KINGSTON — The University of Rhode Island has named Dr. E. Paul Larrat as the new interim dean of Pharmacy while their search continues for a permanent selection. Larrat, who has been a member of the university’s Pharmacy faculty for 25 years, hopes to advance the department’s mission of providing well-informed and up-to-date pharmaceutical education in his role as interim dean.
“I am looking forward to contributing to our college’s success in a new way,” said Larrat, a Saunderstown resident. “The College has many recognized, talented researchers, teachers and clinicians, and assisting them in their efforts is an important part of the Dean’s job.”
Larrat served from 1984 to 1992 as a professional staffer, as a NASA Fellow at the Kennedy Space Center in 2004, and also in the U.S. Senate as a Congressional Health Policy Fellow from 2010-11. He has already identified a number of programs in the College of Pharmacy which are growing, from research to creative educational programs.
“Our new Bachelor of Science program in pharmaceutical sciences continues to grow rapidly,” said Larrat. “The program is designed to train students for employment in the pharmaceutical industry, or for graduate study in the pharmaceutical sciences. Its an exciting new direction for college.”
Research is especially key to Larrat’s tenure, who has been a prime leader on a joint initiative between the College of Pharmacy and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDC) which has saved the correctional system about $13 million in prescription costs since 2001.Both Larrat and Rita Marcoux, assistant professor of Pharmacy Research, have worked in collaboration with the RIDC’s medical staff in order to better manage their pharmaceutical services through URI’s Healthcare Utilization Management Center. The effort was honored in 2009 by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute, the first time in which a college and state agency collaboration had been recognized.
“Our research enterprise has expanded significantly,” he continued. “It’s personally rewarding to be part of this effort, conducting research that can make a difference in individual lives.”
Larrat also made note of the College of Pharmacy’s new $75 million building which opened in early September. The five story, 144,000 square feet structure was built through a 2006 $65 million bond referendum and $10 million in private donations, and provides the university with a world class educational and research center for Pharmacy students and faculty.
“We are extremely fortunate to occupy this space and we have been ramping up our research and teaching efforts to take advantage of the many technology innovations incorporated into the building’s design,” said Larrat.
According to Larrat, the university expects to begin its search process for a permanent dean this fall and aims to select a finalist in early 2014. The 25-year professor’s research interests include drug benefit design issues, formulary compliance strategies, pharmaco-economic evaluation, decision analysis, outcomes assessment, and drug utilization management.
Larrat holds a doctorate in epidemiology from Brown University and an M.S. in pharmacy administration, M.B.A., and B.S. in pharmacy from URI. In turn, the university is happy to have Larrat on board as interim dean while they look for a permanent successor.
“Paul has a very good understanding of the teaching and research programs in the College and he is well-connected and highly respected in the Rhode Island pharmacy community,” said URI Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Donald H. DeHayes. “He will provide effective leadership for the College and ensure its continued progress on important strategic priorities.”