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White Coat Ceremony to Feature Rear Admiral Pamela Schweitzer as Keynote Speaker

The Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is proud to announce that Rear Admiral Pamela M. Schweitzer, Pharm.D., BCACP will be the keynote speaker at the annual White Coat Ceremony to be held on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 at the Garrison Theater.

Symbolizing dedication to clinical service and patient care, the White Coat Ceremony is held every year when new students enter into KGI’s PharmD program. During the ceremony, colleagues already in the profession give each student a white coat, signifying the beginning of the student’s career in pharmacy. For students whose parents are pharmacists, the white coat is given by that respective parent.

Committed to ensuring each student is prepared for a successful career, KGI’s School of Pharmacy offers concentrations and a certificate program that include: Healthcare Management, Clinical Trials/Regulatory Affairs, Medication Therapy Outcomes, and Health Information Technology.

“We are so excited to have Rear Admiral Schweitzer as our keynote speaker,” said Kathy Webster, the KGI School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences founding dean and professor. “She epitomizes all that we want to achieve as a pharmacist and is a tremendous role model for our students. This is indeed a privilege for our school.”

Schweitzer was appointed the 1st female Chief Professional Officer of Pharmacy for the United States Public Health Service (PHS) with a temporary promotion to the Assistant Surgeon General on Aug. 7, 2014. As Chief Pharmacist Officer, Schweitzer is responsible for providing leadership and coordination of Public Health Services (PHS) pharmacy programs and professional affairs for the Office of the Surgeon General and the Department of Health & Human Services.

“We are incredibly pleased that Rear Admiral Schweitzer will serve as our keynote speaker at the fourth annual White Coat Ceremony,” KGI President Sheldon Schuster said. “Her wide range of experience will serve as inspiration for our community of faculty, staff, and students.”

Throughout her pharmacy career, Schweitzer has served in varied assignments, progressing in leadership responsibilities in the Indian Health Service (IHS), Veterans Administration (VA), and currently with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Schweitzer began her Corps career with the IHS at the Pine Ridge Indian Hospital in South Dakota followed by geographic and programmatic moves reflecting increasing responsibility and leadership. Her VA service was with the VA Medical Center Hot Springs in South Dakota. Her current duty station with CMS is in Baltimore. All of these experiences have allowed her to develop lasting partnerships that ultimately improved federal pharmacists serving the mission of their respective organizations.

Schweitzer has been recognized for her leadership contributions including receiving the University of California San Francisco Alumni Award (2015), American Pharmacists Association Distinguished Federal Pharmacist Award (2014), the USPHS Mary Louise Anderson Leadership Award (2012), and IHS Senior Pharmacist of the Year Award (2013).

She received her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Cal State Fullerton; earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from UC San Francisco (UCSF) School of Pharmacy; completed an Ambulatory Care/Administrative Residency at UC Irvine Medical Center; and is a Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist (BCACP). She is currently in the Executive Master of Health Administration (EMHA) Program at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy.

The 2017 White Coat Ceremony will start at 3 p.m. at the Garrison Theater, which is located at 231 E. Tenth St. in Claremont.