Diversity & Inclusion
Drake's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is committed to creating an inclusive community that celebrates diverse perspectives and talents. The College has proven its dedication to diversity and inclusion since its inception. Cultural competency and diverse learning experiences are important factors of the CPHS curriculum in order to prepare future healthcare professionals to serve and address the unique needs of diverse populations.
Diversity in Curriculum/Co-Curriculum
Required Course Work/Experiences:
- Culture Care Course - In this health sciences curriculum required course, students will learn about the necessary adaptations to healthcare delivery that reflect an understanding of the diversity between and within cultures. They will acquire both generic and specific cultural knowledge for the different patient populations through lectures, group discussions, case studies, projects, and a cultural competence and values self-assessment.
- Patient Advocacy Series - This series stems from the cultural competency component in the curriculum to prepare students to advocate for diverse groups. Includes healthcare simulations and topics on empathy, mental health disabilities, and health literacy.
- Cultural Competency Lab Series - Prepares students with the ability to respect, work effectively with, engage, and involve people from varying backgrounds and perspectives. Includes case studies and topics on health disparities, self-awareness, cultural sensitivity, cultural adaptability, and respect for others.
- Diversity Plans - Each program has developed a diversity plan that outlines the courses and curricular requirements throughout the curricula that develop cultural competence.
- Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) - All second-year pharmacy students participate in a 40-hour IPPE to learn how social determinants of health impact patient care. The students are involved in providing health care services in environments where patients are at risk for experiencing healthcare disparities.
- Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) - All fourth-year pharmacy students participate in either 5-week APPEs as they prepare for pharmacy practice. At least one of these APPEs must be located in a practice site where patients are at-risk for healthcare disparities. Example sites include Indian Health Services sites, Veterans Administration sites, rural healthcare sites, and other sites where socioeconomic factors place patients at risk for healthcare disparities.
- Community Health Screenings - Students from all programs participate in community health screenings. Occupational therapy students step off campus to volunteer for many disability organizations and at various events an estimated 1,000 times in one school year.
University-wide curriculum requirements meant to expose students to diverse learning experiences and foster responsible global citizenship:
Dual Degrees, Concentrations, Minors:
- Spanish for Health Care elective and weekly conversation hours
- LGBTQ Health: Issues, Impact, and Inclusion - J-Term Course
- Annual J-Term Experience led by Professor Mahajan to rural India - students complete research projects while at the Pravara Institue of Medical Sciences
- International Rotations - Practice sites in Australia, Belize, Canada, China, Dominican Republic, and South Africa
Learn more about opportunities for International Students to attend our World-Class pharmacy program here.
- Reisetter Scholarship
Established by alumnus Brian Reisetter. Awarded to a student who enhances the diversity goals of the College. The award is renewable for up to 4 years.
- James F. Snyder Scholarship
Presented to a student who enhances the diversity goals of the College.
- Walgreen Co. Diversity Scholarship
Presented to a student who actively promotes pharmacy, exhibits professionalism, and promotes diversity.
- Verdun Scholarships
Established by alumnus Patrick Verdun and spouse Annette Verdun. Awarded to a student who is from a rural community or enhances the diversity goals of the College. The award is renewable for up to 4 years.
- Opportunity Scholarships
Awarded to entering students with financial need who are from educationally, economically, or socially disadvantaged backgrounds or whose enrollment will significantly contribute to the diversity of the student body.
- Walbridge Medical Mission/International Community Service Trip Travel Scholarship
Established by alumnus Mary Walbridge. Awarded to students who complete a medical mission or international community service trip for which academic credit is not being received.
- Johansen International Experience Scholarships
Established by alum Greg Johansen, these scholarships support pharmacy students who travel abroad as part of their academic program.
More scholarship information:
CPHS student organizations are dedicated to providing support and leadership opportunities for diverse students. These student organizations include:
- Student National Pharmacists Association (SNAPhA)
- American Pharmacists Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP)
- Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS) - Women's pharmacy organization
University-wide student organizations dedicated to diversity and inclusion - Crew Scholars, Flight Program, NAACP, International Student Association, and more. The full list can be found here.
BullD.O.G.S. in Healthcare
BullD.O.G.S. in Healthcare is a summer program hosted by the Drake University that introduces high school students to careers in the health professions. The goal of the program is to educate them about opportunities in health sciences and inspire them to explore different pathways. Participants learn the importance of diversity in the healthcare field and partake in cultural competency exercises. Funding is available to students with financial needs. Learn More
Points of Pride - Notable Alumni
- Wendell T. Hill, PH'50, eventually became Dean at Howard University. He was honored as a Drake University Weaver Medalist in 2007.
- Penny Ferguson, PH'59, was recognized as a 2019 "Sage Over 70" by Des Moines Magazine for her community service and dedication to the growth of Des Moines.
- Felix Gallagher, PH'00, is the CEO of PharmServ and was named a 2013 Des Moines Business Record's Forty under 40 Winner. Gallagher serves on the Board of Directors for the Des Moines Area Community College Board of Directors.
- Huy Hoang-Nguyen was a finalist for the Next Generation Future Pharmacist Award in 2012.
Des Moines is #4 on Vocativ's list of America's Most LGBT-Friendly Cities after Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The city also earns high scores on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index.
Des Moines provides opportunities for cultural exploration and learning through events such as I’ll Make Me a World in Iowa, CelebrAsian, and the Latino Heritage Festival.