Notable Heroes in Health Care: George E. MacKinnon

Last updated on December 17th, 2021 at 12:21 pm

When George MacKinnon, founding dean and professor of pharmacy at the Medical College of Wisconsin School of Pharmacy, developed the doctor of pharmacy curriculum in 2015, the school was unable to include immunization training early on in the program due to state statutes for pharmacy practice.

Since then, MacKinnon has worked to change the statutes. When it became apparent that a COVID-19 vaccine was likely to become available, he again brought up the topic with the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin to advocate for a legislative change impacting pharmacy students’ training.

MacKinnon suggested that during a pandemic, when all credentialed providers are needed, such distinctions would hinder the full deployment of vaccines. With the Legislature’s bipartisan bill and the governor’s approval, the suggested changes were enacted in late February 2021.

Last fall, MacKinnon charged his leadership team to expand influenza clinics and open them to all students, staff and faculty. The intention was that these clinics would serve as the prototype for a COVID-19 immunization clinic at MCW. The clinic administered close to 20,000 vaccines from December 2020 to mid-April 2021.

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