On 23rd March 2022, it was set in the record for life that a black woman identified as Dr Toyin Tofade qualified and was appointed to serve as the President of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for the first time ever.
Dr Toyin Tofade obtained a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University after which she proceeded to obtain a Master’s degree, still in Pharmacy Practice at the University of North Carolina(UNC) Chapel Hill in 1994. She then went for a residency with emphasis on clinical pharmacokinetics in 1994 from UNC-Chapel Hill, and an American Society of Health-System Pharmacy-accredited residency in 1995 at UNC hospitals. She further crowned it with a Doctorate in Pharmacy in 1997 from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Before her newest appointment, Dr Tofade had served as the Dean and Professor at the Howard University College of Pharmacy in Washington, D.C. during which the college nearly doubled enrollment for the class of 2021; doubled the number of student internships; expanded clinical, industrial and international partnerships; and received the maximum number of Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) re-accreditation years possible. Furthermore, under her leadership, the college diversified its faculty composition and expertise; revised the curriculum which has led to improved educational outcomes; entered into a one-of-a-kind partnership with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Glaxo to provide fellowship opportunities in regulatory affairs and policy.
In 2008, Dr Tofade was named Wake AHEC Mentor of the Year and was recognised by the internal medicine teaching service for her continued excellence and dedication to the internal medicine resident and student lecture.
In 2016, Dr Tofade received an award for Excellence and Distinction in medicine and health from the Christian Association for Nigerian Americans.
In 2018, Dr Tofade became the first Black woman to be named a FIP Fellow, which recognises those who have exhibited strong leadership internationally, distinguished themselves in pharmaceutical sciences and/or practice of pharmacy, contributed to the advancement of pharmaceutical sciences and/or practice of pharmacy, and who have served FIP.
In 2020, Dr Tofade was appointed as president-elect of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), a global professional pharmacy organisation. FIP is the global federation representing over five million pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists worldwide.
Still in 2020, on the national front, she was appointed as chair-elect of the council of deans for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and has participated in a variety of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task forces nationally.
In 2021, her alma mater, the University of North Carolina (UNC) Eshelman School of Pharmacy, honoured her with the Pharmacy Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award.
She has received numerous awards, including the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) 2022 Board of Directors’ Donald E. Francke Medal which honours pharmacists who have made significant international contributions to advance pharmacy practice.
According to the press release by Albany College, Dr Tofade’s appointment was validated following a comprehensive search that confirmed the above-mentioned before the decision that made her the 10th President of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Speaking on the appointment, Christopher Di Lascia who chaired the presidential search committee said, “Dr Tofade possesses all the qualities desired, including her deep commitment to academic quality, scholarship, and service and a proven track record of successful management and resource development…”
Reacting to the news, Dr Tofade reportedly said, “It is an honour to be selected for this distinguished role by the Board of Trustees at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences…” She acknowledged how her past roles have moulded her into what she is and how grateful she is to take on this new role.
Several others spoke about her good works one of which was Anthony Wutoh, Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Howard University, who ended his words about Dr Tofade with this, “…her departure is ‘certainly a loss’ to the University, he is thrilled for her that she will expand her leadership responsibilities in her new role as president.”
It is worthy to note and reiterate that, Dr Tofade, who will begin her term on 1st July 2022, is the first Black woman to serve as president of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in the college’s 141-year history.