Advancements in Health Care: Rev. Dr. Patrick Ferry, Concordia University of Wisconsin

The Rev. Dr. Patrick Ferry has been instrumental in the growth of Concordia University of Wisconsin and the visionary for the Concordia School of Pharmacy.

Ferry became an ordained minister in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod in 1988. He began his career at Concordia as an assistant professor of history in 1991 and assumed his role as the university’s eighth president in 1997.

Despite the recession, the university’s enrollment is up 11 percent this year, Ferry said.

“We have stayed ahead of the curve in higher education,” he said.

The new Concordia School of Pharmacy will admit students for the first class in August 2010 and move into a new building in the summer of 2011.

“I’ve been proud to grow and maintain our distinct mission and ways we have opened up and taken advantage of our setting and I am confident we will  reach our new goals (with the School of Pharmacy),” said Ferris.

To date, Concordia has received nearly $7 million in donations needed for the construction of the estimated $12 million Pharmacy School building. 

“This new pharmacy school would not exist without the vision, passion and mission focus Dr. Ferry brings to CUW,” said Curt Gielow, the executive dean for the Pharmacy School, who nominated Ferry for a Health Care Hero Award.

“My role as president has been more evolutionary and built on the momentum of the other health care programs in nursing, physical therapy and occupational therapy,” said Ferry. “The synergies were positive where we can help build on our strengths.”

The academic program at the Concordia School of Pharmacy, which will be just one of two such programs in the state, will include a standard 2+4 program, consisting of a 2-year pre-pharmacy program with a 4-year PharmD professional program and a 4-year BS degree program in pharmaceutical sciences. Nationally there are just over 100 accredited pharmacy schools.

The Concordia program’s first class in August 2010 will include 68 students. Concordia is currently accepting applications and the school received over 300 full applications and 183 partial applicants from 26 different states and Canada. A total of 60 applicants have been scheduled for personal interviews in early January.

“We expected a large number of applicants since there is such a demand for pharmacists in our region,” he said.

Ferry, father to five and a former collegiate basketball player, recently released his first book “Faith in the Freshman” about his personal journey with the challenges of his son Andrew, an aspiring collegiate basketball player with teenage-onset Type 1 diabetes.

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