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Service to the State of North Carolina


At the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, everything we do begins and ends with a patient in mind.

Guided by our three-year BEYOND strategic plan and UNC’s Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good roadmap, we are working to better pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences to benefit all patients in the Tar Heel State.

Together, we are Advancing Medicine for Life.

Interested in helping with our initiatives? Contact Ryan McDaniel to learn more about partnering with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. 


Eastern NC

Training in Eastern North Carolina

Eighty of 100 counties in North Carolina are considered rural counties.  In rural Eastern North Carolina, pharmacists are a critical, accessible, important part of these communities who work on inter-professional teams to care for patients.  Pharmacists can make a significant difference in patients’ lives by helping them manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and asthma, between doctors’ visits.  In North Carolina, pharmacists can prescribe birth control, give long-acting injections, and administer vaccines.  Pharmacists work in ambulatory care, health departments, industry, health systems, rural hospitals, Veterans Affairs, and community pharmacies.  They may also own their own pharmacies and/or consulting businesses.  They work with students, teach, and may conduct research.  The career opportunities in Eastern North Carolina are amazing, and there is a unique culture of collaboration between the health professionals.

Pharmacy students who train in Eastern North Carolina can do early immersion and/or fourth year rotations in four areas:  Area L AHEC (Rocky Mount/Wilson area), Eastern AHEC (Greenville area), South East Regional AHEC (Wilmington area), and Southern Regional AHEC (Fayetteville and the Lumberton/Pembroke area).  Therefore, although much of Eastern North Carolina is considered rural, the smaller cities such as Greenville, Fayetteville, and Wilmington are vibrant and active. Agriculture, fisheries, aerospace, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, and tourism are important industries in these places.  The region is also home to several military bases. Students who train in Eastern North Carolina can work with diverse populations, including those who are underserved, including migrant farm workers, Veterans, military members and their families, and American Indian communities.

The Eshelman School of Pharmacy also has partners with other UNC System schools in the East to attract future pharmacy students, including East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, UNC-Pembroke, and UNC-Wilmington.  Our hope is that students from these regions will return to practice in their communities.  Our pharmacy students may also become involved in mentoring youth from these areas.

Advisory Board

Meet the faces behind our Eastern Advisory Board who help advance pharmacy education, practice and research. 

Ashely Abode, PharmD – AHEC Region

Clinical Service Coordinator
Realo Drug
New Bern, NC

Lorrie Basnight, MD, FAAP – Eastern AHEC

Executive Director, Eastern AHEC
Associate Dean, CME-Brody School of Medicine
East Carolina University

Cherry Beasley, PhD, RN, FAAN – Southern Regional AHEC

Dean of the McKenzie Elliott School of Nursing
Interim Dean of the College of Health Sciences

Jennifer Buxton, BS, PharmD, CPP, FASHP – SEAHEC

Chief Pharmacy Officer & Chief Operating Officer
Cape Fear Clinic
Wilmington, NC

Bruce Canaday, PharmD – Experience with all Eastern AHECs

Dean Emeritus
St. Louis College of Pharmacy


Skip Cummings, PharmD – Eastern AHEC

Berbecker Distinguished Professor of Rural Medicine,
Professor in Family Medicine & Public Health and Adjunct Professor of Health Education
East Carolina University


John Grabenstein, PhD – Research experience with military, pharmacists, and vaccines

Vaccine Dynamics

Ford Grant, DMD – Eastern AHEC

Director of General Dentistry
Clinical Associate Professor
East Carolina University

Tom McDowell, PharmD – Area L

McDowell Drugs in Scotland Neck, Clinical Services Coordinator
Rocky Mount Medical Park Pharmacy,

Angela Mitchell, PharmD – Eastern AHEC

Pharmacy Director
Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, Inc.
Ahoskie, North Carolina

Heather O’Brien, PharmD – Southern Regional AHEC

Clinical Pharmacy Faculty
Southern Regional AHEC
Fayetteville, NC

Justine Reel, PhD, LPC – SEAHEC

Interim Dean and Professor,
College of Health and  Human Services
University of North Carolina-Wilmington

Continuing Professional Development

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy (ESOP) faculty members and other partners in education lead continuing education programs through our School’s partnership with North Carolina Area Health Education Centers (AHEC).

The ESOP/AHEC partnership is a collaborative effort to meet the educational and career needs of North Carolina’s healthcare professionals, researchers, and educators. This partnership has been active for several decades, providing professional development and training opportunities for healthcare professionals. Together, we work to train a diverse workforce to support a healthy North Carolina.

Please click here if you are interested in requesting one of our faculty members to participate in a professional development program.

Upcoming Events

  • Join us for the 9th Annual Asheville Summit in 2023. Check back for more updates.
  • For other upcoming UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy events happening near you, view our calendar. 

Meet Our Alumni

From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the dunes of Kitty Hawk, the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is embedded in your community, working to better health care for all North Carolina Residents. Here are their stories: 



Statewide Programs