Walmart Canada Commits to Pharmacy Education

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto announced today a $1 million donation from Walmart Canada to create the Walmart Canada International Pharmacy Education Centre. This Centre includes a one hundred seat classroom and student break-out areas equipped with state of the art video-conferencing and audio visual equipment designed to enhance and expand the International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) program.

The IPG program is a university-based bridging program that provides internationally-educated pharmacists with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet Canadian pharmacy practice standards and licensing requirements. Since 2000, close to 800 students have completed the IPG program, which has established itself as a model in bridging education. Offered twice a year with enrolment of over 75 students in each intake, this commitment from Walmart Canada will facilitate an anticipated 30 per cent increase in enrolment over the next several years. This increase will make a significant difference in meeting the growing demand in Canada for qualified pharmacists.

"Walmart Canada's generous donation provides the funding and physical infrastructure to increase enrolment, augment program offerings, and enhance the overall learning experience," noted Dr. Henry Mann, dean of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. "The Centre will provide students with a designated space to study, attend classes, and interact with faculty, staff and pharmacy practitioners, so they can develop the skills and support networks necessary to succeed in Canadian pharmacy practice."

"Canadians are increasingly turning to Walmart for healthcare solutions, and our pharmacists play an integral role in delivering these services," said Eric Muir, senior vice-president, Health and Wellness for Walmart Canada. "Through the establishment of the Walmart Canada International Pharmacy Education Centre, together with the University of Toronto we are investing in the future of healthcare to ensure Canadians have access to pharmacists that meet the highest standards. International pharmacist graduates continue to be an important part of providing healthcare services to Canadians representing up to 30 per cent of practicing pharmacists." Muir also stated that "Walmart will continue to provide programs supporting our Canadian pharmacist students and are proud to have this opportunity to also support international graduates in Canada."

"Pharmacists are important and valued members of the health care team because they provide excellent services for people," said the Honourable Deb Matthews, Ontario Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "The Walmart Canada International Pharmacy Education Centre at the University of Toronto will help provide international students the education necessary to practice in a patient-centred environment. This is good news for all Ontario."

About the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
The Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto is Canada's largest faculty of pharmacy, an internationally recognized leader in pharmacy education and pre-eminent centre for innovation and discovery in pharmaceutical sciences. For further information about the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, please contact Jef Ekins, Manager, Marketing and Communications, at
j.ekins@utoronto.ca or 416-946-7036.

About the International Pharmacy Graduate Program
The International Pharmacy Graduate (IPG) program at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, is a best-practices bridging program that provides internationally educated pharmacists with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet entry-to-practice requirements for licensure in Ontario and facilitates enculturation to pharmacy practice in Canada. For further information about the IPG program, please visit www.ipgcanada.ca.

About Walmart Canada
Established in 1994 and headquartered in Mississauga Ontario, Walmart Canada operates 325 stores and serves more than one million customers each day. Walmart is Canada's third-largest employer with 85,000 associates, and is recognized by Waterstone Human Capital as having one of Canada's top 10 corporate cultures. Since 1994, Walmart raised and donated over $125 million to Canadian charities and not-for-profit organizations.

SOURCE WAL-MART CANADA CORP.

For further information:

on Walmart Canada and today's announcement, please contact: Susan Schutta, Walmart Canada, 905-821-2111, x78012

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WAL-MART CANADA CORP.

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