VCU School of Pharmacy partners with CVS Health to increase Spanish-speaking applicant recruitment

CVS Health has partnered with Virginia Commonwealth University to increase the number of Spanish-speaking applicants to the VCU School of Pharmacy and improve cultural awareness among students enrolled in the school’s doctor of pharmacy program. The company will provide $248,500 to the VCU School of Pharmacy, which will be spread across five years, to fund a Spanish-speaking applicant pipeline for the school.

“VCU School of Pharmacy is committed to developing a workforce that will be equipped to serve the commonwealth’s diverse populations,” said Joseph T. DiPiro, Pharm.D., dean of the VCU School of Pharmacy. “The grant from CVS Health will help support recruitment of talented and diverse students from around the state and will help us prepare students to better care for Spanish-speaking patients.”

VCU and CVS Health will host a joint press conference regarding the partnership on March 12 at noon in the Robert Blackwell Smith Building lobby (410 N. 12th St.).

“CVS Health’s commitment to diversity is deeply rooted in our purpose of helping people on their path to better health,” said Eileen Howard Boone, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy at CVS Health. “For our company to thrive, we need innovative partnerships with institutions like VCU School of Pharmacy to help produce a highly trained, culturally diverse future health care workforce for companies like CVS Health.”

The grant will include support for undergraduate students to volunteer as medical interpreters at CrossOver Healthcare Ministry and Southside Community Health Center. Ten students will be selected for participation in the first year, and the number of available positions will increase by five each year. Students selected as medical interpreters will receive medical interpretation training and will participate as members of the health care team along with pharmacists, nurses and physicians.

Grant funding also will support the School of Pharmacy’s undergraduate mentorship program and the school’s preparedness boot camp, which assists undergraduate students interested in a career in pharmacy with preparing school applications and studying for entrance exams.

“We are grateful for the support from CVS Health, which will help us recruit talented and diverse pharmacy students who will ultimately contribute to a culturally aware and relevant pharmacy workforce in Virginia,” DiPiro said.

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 30,000 students in 233 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-two of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Tappahannock Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and MCV Physicians. The clinical enterprise includes a collaboration with Sheltering Arms Institute for physical rehabilitation services. For more, please visit and