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Pharmacy Fusion-Improving Pharmacy Education Around the World

In this episode of Pharmacy Fusion, we learn about Dr. Ratka and how she has distinguished herself worldwide as an extraordinary leader and innovator in the fields of pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, and pharmacy education.

The L. S. Skaggs College of Pharmacy is pleased to have a 100 year history in educating the pharmacy leaders of tomorrow. One of those individuals is the very deserving 2023 Professional Achievement Award recipient. Dr. Anna Ratka. The Professional Achievement Award is given by Idaho State University to an alumni of each college who has made considerable contributions to their profession, to student education and to the organization. Dr. Ratka earned a doctor of pharmacy degree from Idaho State University in 2000 where she was also an assistant and then associate professor from 1992 to 2003.

Dr. Ratka earned a masters of science degree in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1985 from Poznań University of Medical Sciences in Pharmacy, Poznań, Poland.

Dr. Ratka earned a doctor of pharmacy degree from Idaho State University in 2000 where she was also an assistant and then associate professor from 1992 to 2003. Following this time, Dr. Ratka has distinguished herself as an extraordinary leader and innovator in the field of pharmacy, successfully completing two post-doctoral research fellowships at University of Utrecht, the Netherlands, and at University of Florida. Dr. Ratka graduated from the Academic Leadership Fellows Program at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

Her vast education and expertise have allowed her to become a licensed pharmacist in five states, Florida, Idaho, Utah, Texas and Illinois, where she practiced in community and hospital pharmacies.

After her time at Idaho State University, she was hired by the University of North Texas Health Science Center as a founding director of the Clinical Research Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease. She then went on to join Texas A&M University as founding chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. At that time, she also participated in development of curriculum and infrastructure of a new doctor of pharmacy program, the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy, and its full accreditation.

From Texas, Dr. Ratka moved to Chicago State University to serve as chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and then as interim associate dean of Academic Affairs. In her current institution, St. John Fisher University, she worked for 4.5 years as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and now serves as a professor at Wegmans School of Pharmacy.

Dr. Ratka has accumulated vast experience educating professional pharmacy students, students in other health professions, and graduate students. Her teaching expertise is in pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, sterile compounding, pain, and analgesics. She has been credentialed as a Certified Pain Educator.

Dr. Ratka has research expertise in basic and investigator-initiated clinical study in areas of neuroscience, neuropharmacology, aging, opioids, and pain. Her research was funded by NIH, NSF, professional organizations and foundations. Dr. Ratka has authored more than 100 peer- reviewed publications and presentations, including scholarship of teaching and learning. She has served as a peer reviewer for several professional journals and founding agencies.

During her career, Dr. Ratka has been engaged in several scientific and professional

organizations at state, national, and international level. Currently, she is actively involved in service to the American Pharmacists Association, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the Pharmacy Society of the State of New York, and the Polish American Pharmacists Association. Since 2009, she has regularly served as a team evaluator on accreditation site visits for the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Dr. Ratka has been involved in global pharmacy education initiatives and collaborations with pharmacy faculty, programs, and institutions.

In 2020, she was invited by the Polish Supreme Pharmaceutical Chamber to join an expert team charged with the development of standards of pharmaceutical care practice and education in Poland.

Dr. Ratka has received numerous awards and honors from her peers and students for her accomplishments in teaching, research, and service. In 2019, the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education named her an outstanding peer reviewer. Most recently, she was selected as a 2022 Fellow of the American Pharmacists Association for her tremendous contributions to the profession of pharmacy.

Walter L. Fitzgerald, Jr. serves as Dean of the College of Pharmacy, and Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Administrative Sciences, at Idaho State University. He received the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy in 1979 from Mercer University School of Pharmacy in Atlanta. In 1982 he received the Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Tennessee, College of Graduate Health Sciences, in Memphis. And in 1983 he received the Juris Doctor degree from the University of Memphis, School of Law.