By Steve Vivona
Dean Robert Mangione of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences wants his school to be known for "competent,
compassionate health care with a devotion to uncompromised
excellence." During a recent interview with St. John's Monthly,
Dean Mangione stressed the concept of compassion and noted that
it's a theme that runs through nearly everything they do at the
The connection between research and practical care is not always
easily recognized, Dean Mangione observed, but a closer look
reveals the relationship. Often research scientists work to better
the effectiveness of drugs that will ease patients' suffering. At
the center of it all, he stressed, is education.
"Not only educating future health care providers, not only
educating future practitioners, academicians and researchers but
also the manner in which we deliver the education," is key, he
said. "We're always striving to improve on that as well."
The area of urban health care is a major point of interest, Dean
Mangione observed. "We want to be recognized as leaders for the
poor and indigent. He added that when considering St. John's
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences he thinks of St.
John's first. "That's what distinguishes us as a college of
He added, "We must make sure that the Vincentian charism is part
of everything we do." Practical applications of that charism
include asking students to reach out to the disadvantaged, "trying
to determine what are the barriers to pharmaceutical care that
patients face on a day-to-day basis and (ask) how can we break
through those barriers."
Dean Mangione encourages his students who are doing clinical
rotations to learn not only what the textbook tells them about a
patients' disease but also to try and understand how it affects a
patient's life. He wants his students to ask themselves how they
can help improve their patients' lives and, by extension, make the
world a better place.
The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has a
special relationship with the poor, Dean Mangione observed. "I ask
our faculty, wherever possible, to think about the marginalized.
Not that we exclude others but we must ask what can we do to bring
them closer to health care." He added, "We ask them to research
these areas, ask the tough questions and come up with answers."
Dean Mangione discussed several faculty members who volunteer
their time including one who works part-time with a mobile health
clinic that visits homeless shelters and others who provide
pharmaceutical care at a clinic in Uniondale that cares for
uninsured patients, no questions asked. "Forty million Americans
are uninsured. How do they get the care that they need? The
faculty, by volunteering their time, is making a difference
"We do that because of St. John's," Dean Mangione stressed. "We
must do these things because we are who we are."