ACP and VCOM to Become Sister Institutions

Oakwood, VA (June 30, 2020) – Appalachian College of Pharmacy (ACP) signed an agreement with Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation (the foundation), of Roanoke, the single member of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), of Blacksburg, Virginia, which will make ACP a sister institution with VCOM in a new educational consortium upon approval by ACP’s accrediting bodies. The agreement was signed, Tuesday, June 30 at ACP. 

The new status is contingent upon approval by ACP’s accrediting bodies, the Accreditation Committee for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), the Southern Association of Colleges and Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV). 

Prior to its formal signing Tuesday night, the agreement was approved by the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors on behalf of Buchanan County and by the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) which met at the pharmacy school in separate meetings earlier in the evening. Their approval was required to amend the Compact which was entered into between them and ACP at the time of ACP’s founding in 2003. 

The agreement will make the foundation the single member of ACP and allow the foundation’s board of trustees to appoint the bare majority of ACP’s trustees. The minority of ACP’s board will continue to be appointed by the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors. 

Under the terms of the agreement, the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation will provide $5 million to ACP for the purposes of establishing a new Doctor of Public Health program and two other new programs; and to build a new laboratory at Oakwood. Employees of ACP’s future online programs will be allowed to live outside of Buchanan County. ACP will remain in Buchanan County and the Compact between ACP, the county and the IDA will otherwise remain in full force and effect. A committee from ACP will also name a member of the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation’s Board of Trustees. 

“We are thrilled to have ACP as our partner in Virginia,” said VCOM President and Provost Dixie Tooke-Rawlins. “This partnership will allow us to provide inter-professional education in Virginia with ACP and the nursing program at Bluefield College, our other sister institution, in the same manner as we do at Auburn University and the University of Louisiana – Monroe.” 

John Rocovich, Chairman of the Board of the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation and of VCOM, said “In addition, the impact of this partnership among these three institutions under the Harvey W. Peters Research Foundation will assure that all of our citizens in Southwest Virginia will have good access to these highly-trained health care providers for decades to come.”

We are very excited about the Appalachian College of Pharmacy becoming a member of a family of healthcare institutions,” said ACP Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Lu Ellsworth. “ACP will be the pharmacy component and will offer additional doctoral programs in the future.” 

The accreditation of VCOM will remain independent of Appalachian College of Pharmacy and with the Commission of Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), the only United States Department of Education (USDE) approved accreditor of Osteopathic Medical Schools.

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine is a four-year osteopathic medical school offering the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) Degree. VCOM’s mission is to prepare globally-minded, community-focused physicians to meet the needs of rural and medically underserved populations and promote research to improve human health. Osteopathic physicians are licensed in every state to practice the full scope of medicine including examining patients, diagnosing illness, writing prescriptions, performing surgery, as well as providing musculoskeletal manipulation. Osteopathic physicians enter every field of medicine from family practice to neurosurgery. The majority of osteopathic physicians practice primary care, with approximately one-fourth of the profession providing care in small communities and rural areas. The school has four campuses in Blacksburg, Virginia; Spartanburg, South Carolina; Auburn, Alabama; and Monroe, Louisiana, and is now the leading provider of primary care physicians for the Southeast United States.

Appalachian College of Pharmacy has a traditional pharmacy school program which has been compacted into three years by having its students attend summer sessions in order to save them significant time and expense. ACP currently offers Virginia’s only three-year Doctor of Pharmacy program. 

ACP founder, Frank Kilgore said, “I am familiar with VCOM, it is a strong school whose mission is consistent with ACP’s goal of improving healthcare in underserved areas.” 

ACP President Mickey McGlothlin said he expects the agreement signed Tuesday will significantly enhance the ability of ACP to fulfill its mission. The mission of the college is to improve the general health and well-being of rural or underserved populations, particularly vulnerable populations within central Appalachia by educating pharmacists who embrace knowledge and technology to optimize pharmacists-delivered patient care and health outcomes in an interdisciplinary health care environment. 

Appalachian College of Pharmacy is located in a beautiful mountain setting on its campus in Oakwood, Virginia.

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