October 19, 2010
The recently enacted changes in healthcare legislation have
impacted every segment of our society, and a thorough understanding
of the new rules and regulations is vital for every current and
future pharmacy professional. On Wednesday, October 13, 2010 John
Coster, Ph.D., R.Ph. '84P returned to campus to share his expertise
on this topic with students and faculty from St. John’s College of
Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. Dr. Coster is Senior Vice
President of Government Affairs, National Community Pharmacists
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Sponsored by Rite Aid and hosted by the College of Pharmacy and
Allied Health Professions, this Lunch with a Leader event was part
of the Alumni Insider's View…Program in which alumni return to the
University to share their expertise with the members of their St.
"We're particularly fortunate to have one of the nation's
leading experts in healthcare reform, who also happens to be a St.
John's graduate, come back and speak to our students," said Robert
A. Mangione '77P, '79GP, '93PD, '99Ed.D, Dean and Professor, St.
John's College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions. "This
legislation will have a profound effect for our students in the
practice of pharmacy, not only for the immediate future but
long-term as well."
The extensive provisions contained in the new legislation have
led to confusion among both patients and practitioners, and it is
expected that as additional regulations are implemented in the
months ahead, a thorough understanding of what is required will
become even more important for all pharmacists. Dr. Coster was
pleased to have the opportunity to help students get a jump on
understanding these parameters even before beginning their
"The new law has many opportunities for pharmacists to practice
their profession as well as new business opportunities for
pharmacists," he noted. "I'm glad to be able to give the students
and faculty an overview of the new law and help them understand how
these reforms will impact our profession now and in the
He appreciated being invited to give back to the University in a
way that would directly impact the current students.
grateful for everything that St. John's did for me when I was a
Pharmacy student here, and also for preparing me for my career," he
said. "I feel that I want to give back to the University in a way
that helps the students so that maybe they'll follow in my
footsteps or in the footsteps of some other alumnus."
Students listened in rapt attention as Dr. Coster explained how
the new regulations would change the many ways in which the
practice of pharmacy is being changed. For many, their interest was
both intellectual and practical.
"My family owns two pharmacies," remarked Benjamin Jacobson
'13P, "and I want to make sure about what's going on with the new
affordable care act. I really haven't heard many of the specifics
about the new law and I want to know what it's all about. I'm
looking at it from the standpoint of my family's business as well
as my future profession as a pharmacist."
"This law will be a part of my professional life after I
graduate," agreed Caitlin Ftehing '15P, "and I want to learn all I
can about it. I'm actually doing a paper on healthcare reform right
now, and hearing from an expert like Dr. Coster will give me great
practical insight into my research."
The opportunity to meet and learn from an alumnus who is a
nationally recognized expert on the impact of government on the
pharmacy profession was a unique opportunity that students could
not afford to miss.
"It's encouraging and valuable to see alumni coming back to
share their experiences and knowledge with the students," said Jake
Mroz '13P, "because they bring a different perspective to what
we’re learning. As a student, learning from alumni helps me to look
forward and set goals that I can work towards in the future."
For information about Alumni Insider's View…Programs, please
call Mark Andrews, Associate Director, Office of Alumni Relations
at (718) 990-5897 or e-mail email@example.com.
For information about events of interest to alumni from St.
John's College of Pharmacy and Health Professions, call Patricia
Nolan '07G, Associate Director of Development at (718) 990-2145 or