New pharmacy building part of larger state-wide goal

Kernel Editorial

UK is getting healthier. Or at least the university is putting more effort and resources in to health and medical related initiatives.

The new College of Pharmacy building on South Limestone is another sign that UK is continuing to make a real investment in its future, and making Kentucky a leader in forward thinking.

Even better, the university has the backing of at least one important person as it works toward that goal.

“There’s no question that the Commonwealth’s medical campus of the future will be a major catalyst for boosting health and economic development,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a Jan. 25 Kernel article.

As the flagship university, Beshear knows just how powerful UK can be in changing the culture of the state. Other people have taken notice, seeing as a crowd of about 200 were present for the ribbon cutting ceremony last Monday.

Patrick McNamara, interim dean of the College of Pharmacy said, “This facility challenges students and faculty to do more.”

Completing one new building is hardly the beginning or the end of what should be a long-term campaign to help the state become healthier. But UK can — and should — play a major part in working to solve some of the health crises the commonwealth faces today.

With the tobacco ban in November, UK was off to a great start. By opening a $132 million building for the College of Pharmacy, UK has taken another step in the right direction. Future plans for a new hospital and medical school campus help insure this isn’t just a flash in the right direction.

Challenging the students and faculty of the university to push the envelope is one thing, but actually giving them the tools to succeed and compete on a national and international level is another thing entirely.

This new building gives the College of Pharmacy a great platform to establish itself as one of the premier pharmacy programs in the nation.

But there’s still a lot to be done, obviously.

The university needs to maintain its commitment to making Kentucky healthier by keeping the rest of the plans for an academic medical campus on track. The College of Pharmacy needs to do its part and respond to being given one of the finest facilities on campus.

There’s no doubt UK can be a catalyst for change in the state, just as the governor said. This may be the area where UK can have the most impact and forge its name among the top-tier institutions.

Graduating students who remain in the state will take what they learn at UK with them into the commonwealth, and faculty who work so hard to follow through on the mission of the university will do the same.

Making health a priority at UK can be the beginning of making health a priority throughout the state and bringing Kentucky up to par with some of the nations’ best.