Conestoga College to open new pharmaceutical centre in the fall

Conestoga College is set to open a new pharmaceutical centre at their Kitchener-Doon campus in the fall.

John Tibbits, the president of Conestoga College, said the college will invest between $8-9 million for building renovations, equipment and hiring staff. He said the centre will help with their goal to establish the most comprehensive range of programming in health care in Canada.

“We’re making a big commitment,” said Tibbits. ” We don’t, at this point, have a major research hospital here, but our commitment here is to have the wide range of health care programming possible.”

The college said the new facility will have labs equipped with the latest pharmaceutical tools, equipment and infrastructure. Including new digital anatomy beds for students to see the inside of the human body without cadavers.

The centre will be home to the massage therapy programs and new programs for pharmacy technician and assistant. Applications for those programs are open and will start classes in the fall. Tibbits said while he is excited about the new facility and programs, he is looking forward to what the college is planning to over in the years ahead.

“I say within the next five to 10 years, we are going to have a much broader range of programming, including imaging programming,” said Tibbits.

The move was made possible with a $2.2 million donation from Toronto-based philanthropist Diane Blake. Blake’s donation will also be used to help fund scholarships and bursaries for students.

“Education is key to the foundation of progress and provides opportunities for individuals to have successful careers,” said Blake in a press release. “This new Centre for Pharmaceutical Studies at Conestoga College will address the critical skills shortages we are facing in healthcare. It will also improve healthcare accessibility and will result in better patient outcomes that will impact generations to come.”

In October, the provincial government gave more prescribing power to pharmacists, prompting a need for more support in the industry. The college said it plans to introduce pharmacist technician and assistant programs in the fall, as well as post-grad programs in pharmaceutical science, pharmaceutical discovery and pharmacovigilance.

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