Larkin Health Systems is the parent entity, and Larkin Community Hospital is one of only twelve statutory teaching hospitals in the State of Florida. It is also the largest osteopathic teaching hospital in the United States with over thirty osteopathic medical residency and fellowship programs, an ACGME residency program, a dental residency program, and an ASHP-Accredited pharmacy residency program. These can all be found on the Graduate Medical Education website or Larkin Community Hospital www.larkinhospital.com.
LHSI (soon to become Larkin University) is a private not-for-profit entity. The Dean reports directly to the President. The College of Pharmacy hired me as the Founding Dean in the summer of 2013 to also become the Chief Academic Officer for Larkin Graduate Medical Education. This gave me the opportunity to learn all aspects of the colleges and hospital, as well as the other clinical centers under the Larkin umbrella such as Comprehensive Medical Access, a community health center for uninsured patients; an adult living facility (ALF); six partial hospitalization programs (PHPs) including one that is located at a Federal Detention Center, five imaging centers, and the recent purchase of a new hospital in Hollywood, Florida. In addition, Larkin has state and federal grants to provide medical care for detainees and prisoners.
In early 2013 Larkin purchased 50 acres of land in Naranja, FL, approximately 20 minutes south of the hospital campus. This will become the future home of Larkin University. Plans are currently in development to break ground on the first building on that campus. The College of Pharmacy will begin in a recently purchased a 44,000 square foot building in North Miami that was previously also used as a college. Also included in future phases is the relocation of the School of Nursing and College of Biomedical Sciences, a College of Osteopathic Medicine, a College of Dentistry, Charter Public Middle and High Schools to target students interested in the Health Sciences, Student Housing and a Recreation Center.
The College of Pharmacy has hired the administrative team that will lead the College through the phases of accreditation of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The College of Pharmacy is the only Pharmacy program in Miami, and will be the first year-round, three-year, block-program in the State of Florida. Although students complete their Doctor of Pharmacy in three years (as opposed to the more traditional four years), because of the design of the curriculum, they have approximately 25% more contact time than four-year programs. The block curriculum eliminates traditional classes that may occur only several times a week, leaving much wasted time in the school week. Instead, students attend class from 8 AM – 3 PM Monday to Friday on most weeks. Additionally, students learn in a block format so they can focus on one major topic at a time, not 5 or 6 different courses. Assessments occur every two weeks to determine what has been learned up to that point. Additionally, there are several courses that are taught longitudinally over the year in order to apply the knowledge that has been learned in each block.
In a typical day, the class meets with their faculty, engage in didactic teaching and active learning strategies several times throughout the day so that the large amounts of information learned in pharmacy school is applied regularly, limiting the need for excessive memorization. Application of knowledge is a much better way for most students to not only learn, but to retain information for longer periods of time. Another great component of our program is all the clinical training opportunities that already exist within Larkin and its affiliates, limiting travel outside of the Miami area to those students who desire to do so.
All administrators and faculty embrace this model of teaching and appreciate the College’s Learner-Centered value, meaning that the interests of the student pharmacists will be placed above all else. The primary goal of the College is to promote and foster pharmacy education to create compassionate and knowledgeable pharmacists who are prepared to pursue any of the different career options the Doctor of Pharmacy degree will bring to the graduate, including post-graduate education.
On behalf of the Larkin Community, welcome to Larkin College of Pharmacy. I invite you to check back regularly to this website for regular updates.
Thank you for visiting,
Gary M. Levin, Pharm.D., BCPP, FCCP
Founding Dean and Professor