In a message to the campus community, Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) President Sheldon Schuster thanked everyone who attended the January 9 gathering to celebrate the life of Founding Dean Kathy Webster.
Schuster also announced that Gail Orum-Alexander will serve as Interim – Founding Dean Kathy Webster Chair of the KGI School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (SPHS). Most recently, Orum-Alexander served as associate dean for assessment and faculty development and professor of clinical and administrative sciences.
“Founding Dean Kathy Webster launched a School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences based on utilizing team-based active learning to prepare the next generation of health professionals,” Orum-Alexander said.
“Our role now is to build on this foundation to develop leaders who will be prepared to address the challenges of the future of healthcare.”
In an effort to honor Webster’s legacy and the impact she made at KGI, an Endowed Chair has been created in her name. Future SPHS deans will receive the prestigious recognition of carrying her name and legacy forward as KGI continues to build on the foundation she set.
With the encouragement of the SPHS leadership team, the faculty, staff, and students continue to enrich the community. Events such as PharmCAMP, Drug Take Back Day, and the NAMI Walk for Mental Health have built KGI’s culture of service and support in lending a helping hand to Claremont and other local communities.
Webster’s many contributions to KGI, and to higher education, will be felt for generations to come. Orum-Alexander and all of the SPHS students, faculty, and staff will carry Webster’s flame forward in the pursuit of excellence.
Before joining KGI in January 2015, Orum-Alexander spent seven years as the Dean of the College of Science and Health at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, where she was responsible for the development, implementation, and accreditation processes of such programs as Nursing, Pharmacy Technology, Physician Assistant, Public Health, and Radiologic Technology.
In her capacity as a faculty member, Orum-Alexander developed and taught pharmacology curriculum to nursing, physician assistant, and nuclear medicine technology students. She also held an adjunct faculty appointment in the Physician Assistant Program of USC Keck School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine. Her research involves the impact of medication non-adherence on health outcomes for medically disadvantaged populations.
Orum-Alexander has served as the principal investigator or co-investigator on several grants, some of which were funded by the US Department of Education, California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. She holds membership in many organizations, and has served on numerous boards and committees including the National Library of Medicine Environmental Health Information Partnership, Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, and the Health Careers Connection Advisory Committee.
In addition to her academic career, Orum-Alexander has had the opportunity to practice in numerous pharmacy settings including investigational drug services, chain pharmacy, long-term care pharmacy, home infusion services, and HMO. She earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, and is a board certified geriatric pharmacist.