St. John’s Dean to Tackle National Pharmacist Shortage as Member of New Council

Dean Anne Lin headshot
February 27, 2024

Anne Y. F. Lin ’84P, ’86Pharm.D., FNAP, Dean and Professor, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at St. John’s University, is among 17 deans from pharmacy colleges across the country to be part of a new advisory council charged with addressing a significant, nationwide shortage of pharmacists.

Walgreens, a health-care, pharmacy, and retail leader based in Dearborn, IL, established the Walgreens Deans Advisory Council at a time when the pharmacy industry “is facing a pronounced labor shortage” while demand for pharmacy services continue to rise, according to a company statement.

“I am honored to be invited to serve on the Walgreens Deans Advisory Council,” Dr. Lin said. “This is an important collaboration between Walgreens and academic pharmacy as we work together to advance pharmacy practice and expand the role of the pharmacist on the health-care team.”

She added, “Equally important is how we can work together to increase enrollment in schools and colleges of pharmacy to insure we will have an adequate pharmacy workforce. I am excited to work with a group of outstanding fellow deans and Walgreens colleagues.”

The new council is sponsored by Rick Gates, Chief Pharmacy Officer at Walgreens, and is cochaired by John Colaizzi Jr., Pharm.D., FNJPhA, Vice President, Pharmacy Practice, at Walgreens, and Angela Kashuba, Pharm.D., Dean, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Lorri Walmsley, R.Ph., FAzPA, Director, Walgreens Pharmacy Affairs, will serve as council vicechair.  

According to data provided by Walgreens, Pharmacy school applications were down 22 percent in 2022–23 compared to the previous year and decreased by more than 60 percent during the past decade.

Members of the council will meet quarterly to  identify ways to attract, recruit, and create a dynamic workplace for current and future pharmacists. The council’s initial objectives include 

  • Rebuilding the talent pipeline and focusing on recruitment efforts, including through programs that expose high school students to careers in pharmacy.  
  • Elevating community pharmacy as a practice setting of choice through direct feedback from colleges.  
  • Addressing staffing challenges and helping pharmacists experience greater job satisfaction and better patient interactions.  
  • Evolving the community pharmacy business model and advocating for pharmacist practitioner services. 
  • Advising on all aspects of community pharmacy strategy, practice, and administration-related topics. 

The council’s first meeting will  be held in March.