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UK Pharmacy Services Partners with Southside Tech

UK Pharmacy Services Partners with Southside Tech

UK Pharmacy Services, which operates the inpatient and retail pharmacies for UK HealthCare, has teamed up with Southside Technical Center as part of an ongoing effort to create a supply of high-quality pharmacy technician candidates while making high-demand health care fields more accessible to high school students. Southside’s pre-pharmacy program prepares students from Fayette, Jessamine, Scott, and Woodford schools to join a steady job market immediately after graduating high school.

Twenty-eight students enrolled in the inaugural class last August and will complete the program in May. Throughout the school year, pre-pharmacy students spend half the day at public school and the other half completing paid clinical hours at UK Albert B. Chandler Hospital’s central (inpatient) pharmacy through UK’s STEPS employment.

“The program provides a unique learning opportunity where students get paid while receiving on-the-job technician training in a real pharmacy setting,” said Melissa Weber, senior pharmacy technician manager for UK Pharmacy Services and director of the pre-pharmacy program.

Southside’s pre-pharmacy pathway meets the eligibility requirements for the national pharmacy technician certification exam. Once students finish the accelerated program this spring, they will be qualified to sit for the certification exam and enter the workforce as pharmacy technicians.

“I never considered becoming a pharmacy technician until I enrolled in the pre-pharmacy program at Southside and began working on-site at Chandler’s central pharmacy. The community here is so welcoming, and the central pharmacy provides a great learning environment,” said Perle Fayida of Frederick Douglass High School. “This experience has not only opened a door for new career options but college scholarships as well. I’m truly grateful for the opportunities it has given me.”

After certification, the students are encouraged to apply for open technician positions at UK HealthCare. As one of the leading and fastest-growing academic medical center pharmacies in the country, UK Pharmacy Services always needs new pharmacy technicians. They not only help dispense prescription medicines to patients, but also assist in each hands-on process, from collecting patient information to measuring, labeling, and packaging medication. As UK Pharmacy Services continues to expand, more jobs are created to meet the need.

“People often assume that the job of a pharmacy technician can’t be pursued as a lifelong career,” Weber said. “In actuality, there are numerous opportunities for growth as a pharmacy technician at UK in areas such as HR, management, administration, compliance, and more. It isn’t a stopping point UK has so many different career options to explore.”

Enrollment for the pre-pharmacy program at Southside Tech is open now. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until June. Students must be seniors in Fayette, Scott, Woodford, or Jessamine public high schools in 2024-25. All applications receive equal consideration.


Southside Tech’s Pre-Pharmacy Program

UK Pharmacy Services

Credit: Article and photos courtesy of Chelsea Boyken in UK Pharmacy Services

a Southside Tech girl with UK pharmacy tech in the lab
a Black teenage girl with glasses holds up a tube in the laboratory
a white female pharmacy technician works alongside a white teenage Southside girl in the lab
two male pharmacy techs from UK with four female Southside students standing behind a table