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January 17, 2007

Pharmacy students, faculty and staff enjoy their new facility

On January 16, ULM's College of Pharmacy students began attending classes in their new 132,000-square-foot Bienville Building, located at 1800 Bienville Dr. Phase I renovations, which included classrooms and offices, were completed in December.

The building, which has undergone significant renovation since its purchase from State Farm Insurance in 2005, adds an exciting new dimension to our state's Pharmacy Program.

Gregory Smith, clinical coordinator for Drug Information Services at ULM, said, "Moving into the new pharmacy building is like a breath of fresh air. I can already feel the new invigorating life it is breathing into our program."

Faculty and staff began moving into the Bienville Dr. building on Jan. 3. First, second, and third-year pharmacy students are attending classes in the new building. Fourth-year students are busy completing their clinical rotations at health care facilities throughout the state.

The new building contains four large SMART classrooms. Two of those classrooms offer live interactive distance learning capabilities that will be used to connect the main campus classrooms with the College's satellite campuses in Shreveport and Baton Rouge.

The building also offers a large Pharmacy Care laboratory that houses 48 work stations, a simulated pharmacy, a simulated hospital room, a patient education facility, and a sterile products compounding area.

Lesa Lawrence, an associate professor in clinical and administrative science, is "delighted" to work in the new pharmacy building. "Having served on the Bienville Renovation Committee in the fall of 2005, I was familiar with every inch of the new building and had visualized the finished product.

So, it was with much anticipation that I awaited official moving authorization. I now look forward to the completion of the next phase of construction, which will bring the rest of our Monroe based pharmacy family to our new building."

Tiffany Luse, a second-year pharmacy student and a member of the Dean's Student Advisory Council, feels that "the new building will bring our program into a new era. The new building will allow us to learn the clinical aspects of our profession in a new state-of-the-art facility. The students are especially thrilled to be able to attend classes in our new Pharmacy Care Lab."

Phase II renovations, which includes the ULM Medicaid Office of Drug Evaluation and Outcomes Research, the Prior Authorization unit, the Disease Management program, and the College's research laboratories, will begin in April 2007. The majority of the College's graduate and research programs will remain in Sugar Hall until the completion of the next phase in January 2008. The College's growing undergraduate Toxicology program will remain in Sugar Hall.

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