Department of Pharmacy Practice

The University of Mississippi


Leigh Ann Ross, Pharm.D.

Leigh Ann Ross, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs

It is my pleasure to welcome you the University of Mississippi Department of Pharmacy Practice’s website. The Department of Pharmacy Practice was created in 1978 and has grown to be the largest of the six academic departments in the School of Pharmacy. Pharmacy Practice is currently home to approximately 30 full-time and 35 part-time/adjunct faculty members, located on both the Oxford and University of Mississippi Medical Center (Jackson) campuses. In 2012, we opened a new School of Pharmacy building on the Medical Center campus where our faculty, staff and students now reside. This approximately 30,000 square foot facility provides an extraordinary learning environment for our students through small group classrooms and a 175 seat auditorium, state-of-the-art research space, administrative, faculty and staff offices, and conference room meeting space. Our new building has increased the visibility of the School of Pharmacy on the campus and provides an excellent learning and work environment. If you have not had an opportunity to visit, we invite you to stop by for a tour when you are in the Jackson area.

The Department of Pharmacy Practice is committed to quality in our educational mission. Our department administers approximately 60 percent of the professional pharmacy curriculum, including the Professional Experience Program. We are fortunate to have more than 320 extraordinary preceptors in approximately 180 sites who provide high-quality introductory and advanced pharmacy practice experiences for our students. Pharmacy practice faculty direct courses in all years of the curriculum and many are involved in post-graduate residency training programs. We strive to incorporate active learning into our courses. Created almost 20 years ago, the third professional year Problem Based Learning (PBL) course series is one example of our department’s commitment to promoting self-directed learning and to developing our students as life-long learners. More recently, skills laboratories and introductory practice experiences were implemented in the professional program to prepare students for involvement in patient care activities. A state-of-the-art skills lab will open in Fall 2014 in newly renovated space in Faser Hall on the Oxford campus. On the Medical Center campus, students are participating in simulated and standardized patient encounters with students from other health professions schools through our interprofessional education activities. These innovations are evidence of the pharmacy practice faculty’s commitment to provide the very best educational opportunities for our students.

The Department of Pharmacy Practice contributes to the school’s research and scholarship mission through basic science, clinical and community-based research programs. Specific areas of interest include infectious diseases and cardiometabolic research, pediatric clinical trials, obesity assessments and interventions, transitions of care, and models to advance the practice of pharmacy through medication therapy management services. Since 2008, the department has focused on community engagement through our Community-Based Research Program. This program implements projects to demonstrate how pharmacists can impact clinical, economic and humanistic outcomes of underserved residents of Mississippi through better utilization, understanding and adherence to medications. Due to the hard work of our faculty, our department has seen an increase in external funding for research and in scholarly output in recent years. We continue to be excited about opportunities to create and disseminate new knowledge.

The Department of Pharmacy Practice is deeply committed to the service mission of the School of Pharmacy. Our faculty are involved in service activities within the school and university, our profession, and our communities. In addition to traditional academic service, such as committee work and student advising, most pharmacy practice faculty provide direct patient care services in institutional, ambulatory and community settings. Most faculty have obtained board certification in their clinical area of expertise. Pharmacy practice faculty are leaders in pharmacy and many hold elected offices in our state and national pharmacy organizations. Through the Community-Based Research Program and student-led activities, our faculty and students are very involved in community service. These efforts were recognized in 2012 with the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Lawrence C. Weaver Transformative Community Service Award. More recently, the department and PY3 and PY4 students have committed to service in the Jackson Free Clinic, a clinic for the medically underserved. We are proud of the efforts of our faculty, staff and students to improve the lives of fellow Mississippians.

This is an exciting time in pharmacy. With new practice models emerging, pharmacy is uniquely positioned to change the health care environment. The Department of Pharmacy Practice faculty are working with our colleagues, students, and alumni to ensure that our graduates are prepared for the challenges ahead. We are committed to providing leadership within our profession, to sharing our research findings and experiences with others, and to improving the lives of Mississippians through work in our communities. We invite you to learn more about our efforts through the information provided on this site. If the opportunity arises, we would be delighted for you to visit our Oxford or Medical Center campus to learn more about the work within the Department of Pharmacy Practice.

Very truly yours,
Leigh Ann Ross, Pharm.D.
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs