KINGSTON, R.I. – July 1, 2009 – Ron Jordan, formerly president of the largest professional pharmacy association in the world and who established himself as a founder and builder of numerous health care firms, has been named dean of the University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy.
The East Greenwich resident has served as interim dean of the College for nearly two years. He succeeds Donald Letendre, who left the dean’s post in September 2007.
“Ron’s collaborative nature, understanding of pharmacy and the broader health fields, leadership skills and strong business sense are exactly what are needed at this time to complement the expertise of the faculty and to sustain our position as one of the leading pharmacy education, research and outreach programs,” said Donald H. DeHayes, URI provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
“Ron brings passion for URI broadly as well as excitement and enthusiasm for the excellent work of our pharmacy programs,” he said. “I am very pleased that Ron has accepted this important position, and we look forward to his leadership and to working with him to advance the College during the years ahead.”
During his term as interim dean of the College of Pharmacy, Jordan has increased alumni support of the College to levels never before experienced. He secured commitments for $4 million in private funding for a new home for the College, and he helped raise $2 million in private support for research and scholarships. The building project, which will break ground later this summer, is also being supported by $65 million in bonds approved by Rhode Island voters in 2006.
As interim dean, Jordan has also worked to increase cultural diversity among the student population, and he notes with pride that the incoming class of freshmen pharmacy students is the most diverse class in College history. During his tenure, the College also launched a new bachelor’s degree program in pharmaceutical sciences and joined with the College of Engineering to offer an undergraduate degree in pharmaceutical engineering.
Going forward, he said that one of his goals is to develop and advance new roles for the practice of pharmacy.
“The role of pharmacists is changing rapidly, so I want to advance some new models of pharmacy practice, including non-traditional roles in long-term care, home health care and other settings, to demonstrate the added value of pharmacists as key members of a primary care team,” said Jordan, an alumnus of the URI pharmacy program.
Jordan also aims to build an increasing number of public-private research partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and related industries to speed the discovery, design and development of new drug products. College of Pharmacy faculty members are inventing new systems for administering drugs to patients, monitoring therapeutic drug levels, and developing therapeutics from plant compounds and other natural products. Other researchers are seeking treatments for diseases such as HIV, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
“I also want the College of Pharmacy to be a partner in the statewide clinical trials consortium that is being developed by the Lifespan hospitals with Brown University,” said Jordan. “This partnership will advance the state of health care and clinical research in Rhode Island, and it’s important that the College is a part of it.”
Prior to being appointed interim dean of the College of Pharmacy in 2007, Jordan had been an executive in several start-up companies in the pharmaceutical industry during the previous 18 years. He was president of Drug Benefit Management Systems Inc., founder and senior vice president of ExcelleRx Inc. (formerly Hospice Pharmacia), senior vice president of PharmasMarket.com, and president and chief executive officer of HCIdea, LLC. Much of his work for these companies involved the development of information management systems that support the improved delivery of health care and pharmacist’s services.
In 2002 he founded Healthation, LLC, which markets a comprehensive health information and benefit management system for all lines of health care, and in 2006 he was recruited to serve as chief operating officer of BidRx, LLC, to launch its consumer electronic marketplace for prescription drugs.
As the only Rhode Island resident ever elected president of the American Pharmacists Association in 1998-99, the largest national professional society of pharmacists in the world, Jordan led development of e-business strategies and drove a new collaboration with the chain drug industry. Jordan is also former president of the Rhode Island Pharmacists Association.