The Texas A&M Health Science Center Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, on the Texas A&M University-Kingsville campus, was created in response to the shortage of pharmacists in the border region. According to a report completed by the Texas Department of Health Education and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas-Mexico border region has a population-to-pharmacist ratio of 1,700 to 1, which is 32 percent higher than the statewide ratio. The report concludes that the border’s rapid population growth, and difficulty in recruiting and retaining pharmacists, and a decrease in the number of pharmacy graduates in Texas over the last several years have contributed to the pharmacist shortage in the border region.
The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy opened its doors to students in 2006 to meet a critical need in the South Texas community, the college has now established an exceptional pharmacy program, obtained full professional accreditation with flying colors, and has graduated four cohorts of students. Today, 103 out of 309 of the college’s graduates have returned to South Texas to help underserved populations. The college’s leadership strives to entrench a culture of excellence, education, research, practice and patient care to each professional student enrolled. Guided by a set of core values that are referred to as five-C’s (care, compassion, competence, community and collaboration), the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy continues to advance the profession of pharmacy and to enhance the quality of peoples’ lives in South Texas, Texas and beyond. No wonder it is ranked in the Top 50 for pharmacy programs in the country within a record time, as per the recent US News and World Report rankings.
Just as an example of its ongoing commitment to promote and nurture cutting edge pharmaceutical and biomedical research, the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy sponsored a regional Research Colloquium where more than 50 South Texas researchers gathered to share current research projects in the summer of 2013 on pancreatic cancer, HIV, pandemics, allergic reactions, asthma, epilepsy, preeclampsia, drug development and other major health care issues facing Americans in oral presentations to foster collaboration with colleagues.
The Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy has plans in the works to expand its program as it continues its focus to serve South Texas. Expansion will allow for a modest increase in enrollment and open more seats in Kingsville for South Texas residents who meet the competitive standards for the professional program. The students at the Texas A&M Rangel College of Pharmacy attain and practice their skills with the largest preceptor network in the state of Texas, 915 members strong.
The college, emboldened by its mission and vision, endeavors to change the face of South Texas through its unbridled commitment to exceptional pharmacy education, superior science and compassionate patient care. The college is proud of its past and is poised for the timely growth to meet the needs of South Texas residents.