Since it was founded in 2006, The Daniel K. Inouye (DKI) College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is filling multiple critical needs. Students from Hawaiʻi no longer have to move away to become trained pharmacists and it is the only college of pharmacy in the Pacific—providing better access for students across the region where pharmacists are in short supply—all while pumping an average of 50 million dollars annually into Hawaiʻi’s economy.

The program reached a major milestone in December 2014 with the groundbreaking of a permanent facility.

“Today is a day for all of the people of Hawaiʻi to celebrate and it’s a day that really represents the pinnacle of an intense effort that was sustained by so many people,” said DKI College of Pharmacy Dean John M. Pezzuto.

The late United States Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the namesake of the college, was the driving force behind the creation of the school that is now fully accredited with graduate programs and residencies and faculty and students in every county.

“This college has exceeded the expectations of everyone,” said UH President David Lassner. “Anyone skeptical about it has to look today and see a world class program.”

The new 21st century facility will provide a flagship, central location that will bring together a program that has been spread out across multiple locations since its inception.

“I can’t say enough about how grateful we as students are that we’re breaking ground today on a new building for our program,” said UH Hilo student pharmacist Shaun Lasky at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We fully realize the support we have from the community here and that support is what drives us to become the best pharmacists that we can be.”

“Today, through this investment in our future, you can be sure that the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy will devote itself to a millennium of service to all the people of the state of Hawaiʻi,” said Pezzuto.