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uhcop students and rgv assistant dean at dhr
UHCOP Pharm.D. candidates on advanced pharmacy practice experiential rotations at DHR Health in Edinburg go over a patient case with RGV Pharm.D. Satellite Program Assistant Dean Ronnie Ozuna, Pharm.D., BCPS.

UH Rio Grande Valley Alumni Host Edinburg Reception for UHCOP Dean Pritchard

Close to 100 University of Houston (UH) alumni and friends are expected to gather at the Cantu Ranch Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Edinburg, Texas, to celebrate the growth of UH in the rapidly growing Rio Grande Valley.

"The Road Ahead in the Rio Grande Valley," event is being hosted by UH alumnus Alonzo Cantu (’78) and his wife, Yolanda Cantu, and UHCOP alumna Elvia Saenz, R.Ph. (’74),  and her husband, Jesus Saenz. F. F. Lamar Pritchard, Ph.D., R.Ph., dean of the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, will be the honored guest of the Cantus and Saenzes.

Pritchard will be joined by Mike Pede (’96), UH associate vice president, Alumni Relations, who will discuss UH’s vision for the future and highlight significant achievements by the university. Ten of the university's 14 academic colleges will be represented by alumni at this event, showing the great diversity of the UH alumni community in the RGV.

Lamar Pritchard

"I'm very excited about seeing some of our longtime friends and meeting some new ones, and being able to talk about the great things happening at our UHCOP and DHR Health and the amazing opportunities that our close collaboration provide for the RGV," Pritchard said.

This catered alumni reception also will feature the faculty and staff of UHCOP's Rio Grande Valley Pharm.D. Satellite Program, which was launched in 2017 between the college and DHR Health, a 500-bed physician-owned hospital in Edinburg with 70 specialties and sub-specialties among 750 practicing physicians and 1,200 nurses.

The academic and clinical collaboration between UHCOP and DHR Health is aimed at training Pharm.D. students to help alleviate the region's health care professional shortage and expand clinical pharmacy services to patients, especially in reducing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition to serving as an experiential site for Pharm.D. students on introductory and advanced pharmacy practice rotations, the program complements the college’s Pharmacy Certificate in Hispanic Healthcare.

The first of its kind in the nation, the certificate program combines advanced Spanish language coursework with experiential training at sites serving predominately Hispanic/Spanish-speaking patients. It is designed to help close disparity gaps in health care in areas such as the Rio Grande Valley by being responsive to the cultural and linguistic needs of the resident population.