Walgreens Funds New Pharmaceutical Skills Lab

May 19, 2006

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690


(Albuquerque, UNM) - Walgreens Co. has agreed to contribute a $50,000 gift to the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy (UNM COP) for the construction of a pharmaceutical skills lab.

The Walgreens Corporate Development Grant will provide three checks over the course of three years to the COP. The first check of $20,000 was presented to COP Dean, John Pieper, on Friday, May 12.

Funds will be used to renovate a 30-year-old existing dispensing lab space and a research laboratory. Three rooms within the COP will be renovated to provide approximately 2,500 square feet of connected space. The College's overall vision is to create a modern, pharmaceutical skills lab facility that will allow student pharmacists to move between separate areas in prescription processing and compounding, patient counseling and sterile product preparation.

Renovation is slated to begin this summer and the lab will be open to students for the upcoming fall semester. In the next two years, Walgreens will present another check for $20,000 and a final check of $10,000 to complete the $50,000 grant.

The UNM COP and Walgreens Co. have had a long standing partnership that continues to grow. With UNM having the only COP in New Mexico and Walgreens being the largest prescription drug provider in the state, Dean Piper understood the importance of expanding the relationship.

"This is a critical partnership to continue and the relationship makes sense," said Pieper. "A significant percentage of our graduates work for Walgreens in New Mexico and to continue this relationship will help improve healthcare in the state."

For Walgreens District Pharmacy Supervisor Andrew Bustos, the donation to the COP just made sense. Bustos graduated from the UNM COP in 1998 and to be able to give back to the College was a great opportunity for the alumnus.

"It's good for Walgreens and the College of Pharmacy to have a tight-knit relationship because so many UNM students do end up practicing for Walgreens once they graduate," said Bustos. "I enjoy giving back to the College of Pharmacy. I see how much it has grown and I like being a part of that."

Dean Pieper said the UNM Foundation played an important role in advising him of the opportunity with Walgreens.

"The UNM Foundation went out to the Walgreens National Headquarters in Deerfield, Ill. and really got the ball rolling for us," said Pieper. "When I made the visit to the national headquarters, I had a lot of support from the UNM Foundation to get this process completed which was very helpful and much appreciated."

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