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New UW School of Pharmacy Course Examines Preparing for the Next Pandemic

June 25, 2020
man at a desk
David Brushwood

Students from many programs of study across the University of Wyoming campus likely took part in class discussions this past spring that focused on the economic, medical, nutritional and physiological impacts of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Implications of the current pandemic, and how individuals and organizations can better prepare for the next pandemic event, are the focus of a new UW School of Pharmacy elective course, titled “Pandemic Preparedness Policy” (PHCY 5160-48).

Scheduled for fall 2020, the course is for upper division -- junior and senior -- undergraduate students, professional students and graduate students from all disciplines.

UW School of Pharmacy Lecturer David Brushwood will teach the course Sept. 13-Dec. 6. The 11-week course will be presented through WyoCourses, the platform for UW online instruction. Students from any academic discipline, even those from other universities, are invited to explore pandemic preparedness.

“We are all in this together. This course is open to any student at any university who wishes to take it in a non-degree-seeking status and transfer credits back to their home institution,” Brushwood says. “We hope to attract a diverse group of students -- geographically and demographically -- to stimulate the discussions based on differing perspectives.”

Learning objectives of the policy course include looking at the role of federal agencies -- including the U.S. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health and Human Services, and branches of the federal government -- in the development and implementation of pandemic preparedness policy.

Students also will examine the societal effects of local, state and federal directives on social distancing; orders to quarantine during illness; and community perceptions on public gatherings.

For students majoring in the health sciences or similar degrees, the course also will examine how health care providers will address future patients on changes in health care. The focus will explain to patients how new drugs and vaccines are developed and approved to assure safety and effectiveness, and to evaluate a patient’s need for drug therapy or treatment during a pandemic.

“We want to look at how health care professionals can participate effectively in local and national meetings that consider the challenges presented by a global pandemic and the role pharmacies can play in meeting those challenges,” Brushwood adds.

Students interested in learning more about the “Pandemic Preparedness Policy” course can visit

For more information, email Brushwood at

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