Six faculty members from the Nicolae Testemițanu State University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Chișinău, Moldova, visited the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy from Monday, April 16, to Saturday, April 21, 2018, to explore pharmacy practice, research and education in the U.S. and future opportunities for collaboration.
The delegation was led by Livia Uncu, vice dean and professor of pharmaceutical chemistry and toxicology, and included assistant professor Elena Bodrug, assistant professor Elena Chitan, university assistant Cristina Constantin Ciobanu and deputy professor Stela Adauji. They were accompanied by Evelina Gherghelegiu, director of the university’s International Affairs Department, along with facilitator Alexandra Sian translator and Andrei Bulzan from the Moldova embassy.
“This visit has been three years in the making,” said David Steeb, director of global engagement at the School. “We are grateful to the Open World program and look forward to having more faculty exchange visits in the future to help advance pharmacy education and practice in Moldova.”
In 2014, the School established the Global Pharmacy Scholars (GPS) program to provide students an opportunity to be immersed within different health-care environments and cultures by going on a one-month international rotation. Moldova is one of the key partners for the GPS program, which also includes rotation sites in Australia, China, England, Ethiopia, India, Japan, Malawi and Zambia.
While at the School, the Moldovan delegation observed classes and met with faculty to discuss curriculum innovation and assessment, educational technology, rural health, natural products research, medication optimization and drug-delivery research.
The group also visited UNC Medical Center and met with clinical pharmacists and technicians at its Department of Pharmacy; visited the UNC Center for Slavic, Eurasian and Eastern European Studies; and attended a performance of Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 at Memorial Hall.
As part of their trip, the delegates also met with Congressman David Price in Washington, D.C., and with North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall in Raleigh. North Carolina has had an official state-to-state partnership with the Republic of Moldova since 1999, and the partnership is managed by the NC Secretary of State Office. While in Raleigh, the group toured the N.C. Museums of History and Natural Science.
The visit by the State University faculty was made possible by the Open World Leadership Center, an agency of the United States Congress. The Open World program is a U.S. exchange program for countries that are former members of the Soviet Union. The program has enabled more than 27,000 current and future leaders from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan to engage and interact with members of Congress, Congressional staff and thousands of other Americans, many of whom are the delegates’ direct professional counterpart.