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UF College of Pharmacy revamps curriculum with a focus on team-based patient care education

BY Antoinette Alexander

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The University of Florida College of Pharmacy has announced that it is reforming its doctor of pharmacy four-year educational program in an effort to prepare graduates to work in an environment where inter-professional team-based approaches to patient care are increasingly the norm.

The new curriculum is slated to begin in fall 2015 for all entering Pharm.D. students.

Building on its current Pharm.D. program, UF will integrate the fundamental basic sciences with clinical sciences, so that courses are taught within a clinical context. There also will be increased focus on on soft skills, according to UF College of Pharmacy Dean Julie A. Johnson.

“We have always provided a high caliber of pharmacy training, which is evident by the successes and national leadership exhibited by so many of our alumni today,” Johnson said. “But health care is changing rapidly, and there are new and increasing opportunities for pharmacists and our faculty. Students and alumni are embracing this curricular change, which will help ensure our students’ success when they enter practice.”

Led by Reginald Frye, a professor and chair of pharmacotherapy and translational research, the 15-member task force was asked to develop a curriculum for innovative pharmacy education with an integrated approach that seamlessly prepares graduates for new practice models while continuing the college’s involvement with new technology that advances learning. The task force evaluated current literature from all health professions, examined educational programs at other health science colleges at UF and peer colleges of pharmacy, and held faculty forums to gain input and promote discussion.

Working under the guidance of Diane Beck, an associate dean for curricular affairs and accreditation in the college, the task force proposed a new educational model that uses a body-systems approach so that students learn the context in which they will apply their knowledge in practice.
 
A cornerstone of the new curricular model is the development of a tandem co-curriculum that will provide students with the skills to enhance their interactions, job performance and career prospects. These skills focus on self-awareness, interpersonal communication, patient advocacy, leadership, entrepreneurship and an innovative mindset. The co-curriculum program will be developed to work collaboratively with pharmacy and other health disciplines' faculty to build a rich resource of student experiences to complement their classroom learning.
 

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Vita Coco to debut new coconut oil

BY Ryan Chavis

NEW YORK — Vita Coco, a coconut water brand, will launch new Vita Coco Coconut Oil. The coconut oil is USDA organic-certified, 100% raw and cold-pressed, according to the brand.

The use of coconut oil has escalated recently, as consumers have applied it as a beauty and wellness treatment; they've also used it as an additive in the kitchen. One of the latest trends found consumers using coconut oil for "oil pulling," a practice which, according to some reports, allows them to reap health benefits.

Vita Coco Coconut Oil will be available via Amazon later in August and will be sold in 18-oz. jars. It also will be sold in 14-oz. glass jars in the cooking oil and beauty section of select specialty retailers and department stores.

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Report: Dollar General exploring Family Dollar counter-bid

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Dollar General is considering outbidding Dollar Tree for Family Dollar Stores, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
 
"Dollar General is working with an adviser to evaluate its options and knows that banks are willing to finance a counterbid," Bloomberg reported. "[T]he company is re-evaluating its options out of concern that the smaller retailer may soon be out of its reach for good.
 
The chance that Dollar General will actually submit a counter-bid stands at about 50%, however, Bloomberg reported. 
 
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