ACP Hires First Dean of New Department of Public Health

OAKWOOD, VA (December 6, 2022) – Dr. Jim Florence has joined the faculty and staff at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy as its first dean and a professor in the new ACP Department of Public Health.

ACP Dean Susan Mayhew made the announcement recently, also announcing several staff transitions and the retirement of long-time Registrar and Director of Financial Aid Vickie Keene.

Florence was previously a professor in the Master of Public Health Program, Department of Public and Community Health, School of Health Sciences at Liberty University.

“We are so pleased to have Dr. Florence leading the development of ACP’s Doctor of Public Health degree program,” Mayhew said in making the announcement. “With the increasing focus on the importance of public health we have seen in recent years, ACP is taking the steps needed to increase our teaching focus in that area by adding a department of public health. Dr. Florence is an excellent choice to oversee the new program.”

While at Liberty, Florence was a faculty member, course developer and instructor, researcher and committee member. He served as the lead faculty member on the accreditation committee. His work led to the successful accreditation in 2019 of the Liberty MPH program by the Council on Education in Public Health. Prior to joining Liberty University, he was chair of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health for the College of Public Health at East Tennessee State University.

He is a graduate of California Baptist College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in biology; Loma Linda University Graduate School with a Master of Arts Degree in Biology, a Dr.P.H. in preventive care, an M.P.H. in health education/nutrition; and an M.A.T.S. in theological studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Florence has been published on a wide variety of topics and has been a member of a number community service organizations. He is also a past member and commissioner on the Virginia Department of Health Public Health Advisory Council.

In making the announcement that Florence has joined the ACP staff, Mayhew also announced the retirement of Vickie Keene, one of the founding members of the college’s administrative team. 

“Vickie has been a cornerstone of strength and stability for ACP and will be dearly missed,” Mayhew said. “We thank her for her 17-plus years of service to ACP and wish her well as she retires.”

Keene will continue to work with ACP as a consultant.

Mayhew also announced several staff changes including the following:

  • Tina Fletcher is transitioning from Assistant Director of Financial Aid and Academic Records to Director of Financial Aid.
  • Karen Brown is transitioning from Registrar-In-Training to Registrar and Director of Academic Records.
  • Jason McGlothlin is transitioning from Director of Student Services and Alumni Affairs to Director of Admissions, Student Services and Alumni Affairs.

“We appreciate all our staff members for what they do every day to help make ACP successful,” Mayhew said. “We congratulate Tina, Karen and Jason in their new or expanded roles at ACP.”

The Appalachian College of Pharmacy is the only three-year Doctor of Pharmacy program in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Founded in 2003, the college accepted its first students in 2005. It is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Its mission is to cultivate a learning community committed to education, community outreach and the professional development of pharmacists. Its graduate pharmacists are now practicing throughout the United States.

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