Endowed professor joins SDSU College of Pharmacy

BROOKINGS – Internationally recognized pharmacy expert Sharrel Pinto has begun work at South Dakota State University as the Hoch Family Endowed Professor for Community Pharmacy Practice.

Pinto, who started here April 2, comes from the University of Toledo, where she has been since December 2004. Prior to that, she spent three years at the University of Florida, where she received her doctorate in pharmacy health care administration in December 2004. She also holds a master’s degree in pharmacy health care administration from the University of Toledo (2001).

Her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and a postgraduate degree in marketing management come from the University of Bombay, India, in 1997 and 1999, respectively.

As the Hoch Endowed Professor, she will be responsible for reshaping the community practice program in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions.

Attacking a $290B problem

Pinto, who was head of the Health Outcomes and Socioeconomic Sciences Division within the College of Pharmacy at the University of Toledo, said, “I am excited to spearhead the community pharmacy movement and train the next generation of Jackrabbits pharmacists to lead the nation through innovation in community engagement and practice.

“Rising health-care costs and reports of poor quality of life indicate that the current community-based practice models do not work as well as they should. Medication nonadherence continues to be a major problem costing us upward of $290 billion.

“As health-care practitioners, no matter how well we diagnose and treat a health problem, if patients struggle to take their medications, we aren’t going to see the positive outcomes of our treatments …

“Adherence pharmacy is just one example of the type of innovation I would like to bring to South Dakota.”

 Jane Mort, dean for the college, said, “We’re excited for Pinto to bring that kind of passion and expertise to our community pharmacy program. There are very few experts with this skill set in the country, and we are extremely fortunate to have the support of the Hoch family that has made it possible for us to bring Dr. Pinto to SDSU.”

As an endowed professor, Pinto will receive $40,000 per year to support salary enhancement, undergraduate and graduate students’ salaries to participate in Pinto’s research work, the cost of research projects and subsidize attendance at professional conferences to disseminate research results.

Made possible by Hoch gift

Funding comes from the estate of William Hoch, a druggist in his hometown of Tyndall, who died May 4, 2015, at the age of 93.

Hoch Drug dated to 1914, when his father, Joseph, a 1908 SDSU pharmacy graduate, purchased the south-central South Dakota pharmacy. The business continued to operate until Oct. 1, 2010.

In addition to the endowed professorship, gifts from the estate of William’s son, Greg, each year provide 19 scholarships valued at $2,000 each for South Dakotans entering the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions.

Jeanne Hoch, the daughter of Bill Hoch and the sister of Greg, said, “Hoch Drug and community of Tyndall meant everything to my father and brother. The family is thankful that this gift can help instill that same passion for community pharmacy in other graduates from our family’s alma mater.” 

Formal ceremony to be in fall

Pinto will be formally recognized in her new position at an investiture ceremony this fall.

She joins Wenfeng An as the only endowed professors in the college.

At the An investiture, provost and former pharmacy dean Dennis Hedge called the creation of the college’s first endowed scholar a “transformational” move for the college.

“Endowed faculty positions are very important to the success of academic programs at South Dakota State University and all of academia. They are important because they allow us to do things that we otherwise would not be able to do in our quest for academic and research excellence.

“They are also important symbolically because they attest to the stature of the university and the quality of its faculty,” Hedge said.

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