Alicia P. Catabay RPh, MSc, PhD exudes full confidence when she makes this promise. Perhaps, those who are not familiar with the work that went into the establishment of the new College of Pharmacy will wonder how she could make such a bold promise, considering the challenges that every college institution is facing with to the expected drop in first year enrollees in 2016 due to the K-12 program.


Then they will remember that this is De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, an institution that faces every challenge with absolute faith in its people and the mission. Thus, when DLSHSI embarks on a project, this faith is coupled with relentless work, and things fall into place. On its first semester, the BS Pharmacy program attracted 87 students, and its development is now being carried out in partnership with industry giant Mercury Drug Corporation. Thus, with full confidence, Dean Catabay says “I can assure our students that the College of Pharmacy has made every effort to provide an ideal study and work environment for them. Our faculty members are from different areas of Pharmacy practice and most of them are experts in their field. They have master and doctorate degrees from reputable schools in the country and abroad. I can assure them that when they graduate they will be among the best pharmacy graduates in the country.”


Dr. Catabay is joining DLSHSI to be the pioneer dean of its College of Pharmacy, backed up by an outstanding career as an academician with the University of the Philippines, Manila. She holds a Doctor of Engineering degree from the School of Materials Science, Toyohashi University of Technology in Japan and a Master of Science degree from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, State University of Ghent in Belgium, among others.


Dean Catabay believes this is the perfect time for DLSHSI to offer the BS Pharmacy program. “The ASEAN integration in 2015 posts a challenge in education. Are we at par or even better than our immediate neighbors when it comes to educating and training future Pharmacists? Are we confident that our students can perform side by side with students from other countries? As the Dean of the College of Pharmacy, I assure our DLSHSI community that our students will have the level of competence and professional standards that have been the trademarks of DLSHSI’s pioneering academic units,” she says.


At the backbone of this goal, she shares, is a globally competitive and performance-based curriculum that integrates community- based activities. Students, she says, will be engaged in actual community problems, and these experiences will make them appreciate their priceless role as medication experts in the clinical, community, and industrial setting. She also mentions that their cooperative partnerships with national and international academic professional organizations and industrial companies will help in motivating the students to become self-directed learners and to continually grow with their profession.


With the Lasallian formation that students will go through, Dean Catabay already feels the fulfillment that only an educator understands: seeing that your nurturing of your students will make them good decision makers, ready to roll up their sleeves for a cause above anything else, and living the values of a true Lasallian.


Welcome to the community Dean Catabay and the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Pharmacy!