UTech, Jamaica Opens new State-of-the-art Pharmacy

Professor Stephen Vasciannie, CD, President, University of Technology, Jamaica and Dr. Janet Campbell-Shelly, Dean, College of Health Sciences participate in the cutting of the ribbon marking the official opening of the new UTech, Ja. Pharmacy at the University’s Papine campus on Thursday, April 19, 2018.

The University of Technology, Jamaica recorded an historic milestone on Thursday, April 19, 2018 with the official opening of a new state-of-the-art pharmacy located at the College of Health Sciences, Papine Campus.

The spacious, approximately 1,000 sq. ft. pharmacy replaces the former UTech Pharmacy which previously operated in a much smaller location at the College, dating back over 40 years as part of the teaching, learning and service facilities at the former College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST).

Professor Stephen Vasciannie, President, UTech, Ja was elated in his welcome of the new development and expressed profound gratitude to all persons who made the opening of the modern pharmacy a reality. He commended Dean of the College, Dr. Janet Campbell-Shelly, Pharmacy Manager, Mr. Junior Stewart and his team of Registered Pharmacists, Mrs. Kamelia Ranger-Morris and Ms. Andrea Watson.  President Vasciannie also acknowledged the significant role played by former and current Deans, Heads, School of Pharmacy, programme directors, lecturers, administrators and other stalwarts “who have maintained the high standards of the Pharmacy programme and of the UTech Pharmacy.”

The President asserted that “the UTech Pharmacy is not only well positioned as a pharmaceutical service provider to staff, students and members of the surrounding communities; but also serves as a learning and teaching space for our third year Pharmacy students.”  He added that “the new and improved dual training and service space will serve to advance the UTech, Jamaica brand and reputation for hands-on training of our graduates who are known to hit the ground running.”

Registered by Pharmacy Council

The new UTech, Jamaica Pharmacy is registered by the Pharmacy Council of Jamaica and provides all the benefits of a full service pharmacy.  Services include a wide range of prescription and non-prescription drugs, first-aid  and personal care supplies, contraceptives, etc., computerized processing of prescriptions and a private consultation room. The purposeful space also has a built-in classroom for pharmacy students. UTech, Jamaica students and staff receive a 30% and 10% discount respectively on prescription drugs.

Dr. Janet Campbell-Shelly, Dean, COHS in her welcome explained that the opening of the new UTech, Jamaica Pharmacy has been long in coming and has been a journey of dedication and commitment by the many persons who worked tirelessly to enable its completion.  Dean Campbell-Shelly noted that students who are required to do rotations as part of their training will benefit tremendously from the upgraded facilities. She heaped praises on Pharmacy staff headed by Pharmacy Manager Mr. Junior Stewart, Pharmacy Technicians, Ms. Victoria Perkins and Miss Shelly-Ann Miller.  She also acknowledged  Cashier Mrs Karen Jackson-Hamilton  and thanked the staff of the UTech, Jamaica Medical Centre who work closely with the Pharmacy to provide complete patient care; the Facilities Management Department (FMD), Finance and Business Services and the Project Management Unit (PMU) for their support.


Dr. Eugenie Brown-Myrie, Associate Professor, COHS and former Dean of the College who is also an alumnus of the University’s pharmacy programme, provided a comprehensive historical picture of the development of the pharmacy at the institution.

She explained that the CAST Pharmacy originated out of a need to provide dispensing of medications at low cost to students who visited the Medical Clinic at the College and to provide practical experience for third year pharmacy students in the  former 3 – year Diploma programme.

The first Certificate of Registration by the Pharmacy Council was awarded on January 21, 1974 to the College of Arts, Science & Technology to operate the Dispensing Unit then located on the 3rd floor of the Science Department Building.  Renewals of the Certificate of Registration have been awarded annually over the 44 year history.  The first Pharmacist to be in charge of the operations at the CAST Pharmacy was Mrs. Barbara Trewick (1974- 75). Current Pharmacy Manager, Mr. Junior Stewart has been the longest serving full-time pharmacist since 2004.

Former CAST Pharmacy student, Dr Norman Dunn, Member of Parliament, South East St. Mary who was guest speaker at the opening ceremony beamed with pride as he reflected on his years of study at the College which he said “has given me the foundation for the life that I now live,” adding that “Pharmacy is the best thing that could have happened to me.” A Pharmacist by profession, Dr. Dunn owns 9 retail pharmacies and is the largest private employer of pharmacists in Jamaica. 

“Paving the way for Pharmacy practice in Jamaica and the Caribbean Region”

Dr. Dunn congratulated the University on the new state-of-the-art pharmacy quipping that it can “rival any pharmacy,” including the ones he owns.  He praised UTech, Jamaica educators for paving the way for Pharmacy practice in Jamaica and the Caribbean Region and called for more training of clinical pharmacists across the region, acknowledging the tremendous value they add to health care.

Greetings were brought by Mrs. Catherine Dawson-Shaw who represented Mrs. Everton Anderson, CEO, National Health Fund, Dr. Sophie Abrikian, Medical Doctor, UTech, Jamaica Medical Centre who brought greetings from the Centre’s Health Services Administrator, Mrs. Heather White. 

Among  guests in attendance were current and past Pharmacy students, pharmaceutical drug company representatives and members of faculty and staff.

Touring the New UTech, Jamaica Pharmacy

Mr. Junior Stewart, Pharmacy Manager, UTech, Jamaica shows  Mrs. Lorraine Watson,  (left) Executive Assistant,  Office of the President something of interest while leading a tour of the Pharmacy.

Pharmacy Supporters

During the opening ceremony special acknowledgement was given to some members of the University  community who have consistently supported the Pharmacy over the years.  Receiving appreciation gifts from Mrs. Victoria Perkins, Pharmacy Technician are a happy Dr. Andrea Daly, Head, School of Pharmacy, Mrs. Carol White, former Dean and Miss Delva Barnes, College Administrator, COHS.

Consulting the Pharmacist

Professor Stephen Vasciannie, President, UTech, Jamaica and Mr. Junior Stewart, Pharmacy Manager consult at one of the two convenient prescription windows located inside the new UTech, Jamaica Pharmacy.

 Milestone Accomplished

Celebrating the proud moment following the opening ceremony, from left, are Dr. Eugenie Brown-Myrie, Associate Professor, COHS, Pharmacist Dr. Norman Dunn, Member of Parliament for South East St. Mary who was Guest Speaker, Dr. Janet Campbell-Shelly, Dean, COHS, Dr. Sonia Richards-Malcolm, Vice Dean, COHS and Professor Stephen Vasciannie, President.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 970-529
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.j