VCU Names Kelechi Ogbonna Dean of School of Pharmacy

Ogbonna, the interim dean of the school since June, said, “Our students will serve as the thought leaders and change agents for an ever-evolving health care landscape.”

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Kelechi “K.C.” Ogbonna, Pharm.D., has been named dean of Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy after an extensive national search.

Ogbonna has served as interim dean since June 2022. Prior to that appointment, he served as associate dean of admissions and student services at the School of Pharmacy, overseeing recruitment and student support for the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

“Dr. Ogbonna has a fantastic record of innovation and delivering results for students, patients, faculty and staff,” said Marlon Levy, M.D., interim senior vice president and CEO of VCU Health System. “We are excited that Dr. Ogbonna will help guide the School of Pharmacy to even greater heights of scholarship, research and community engagement.” 

As a pharmacist and educator, Ogbonna has focused on connecting communities with health care, improving health disparities and expanding access to the health professions. As the pharmacy school’s head of admissions and student services, Ogbonna’s innovative approaches strengthened student outcomes and expanded student success services, while the school hit historic highs for on-time graduation rates and number of underrepresented minorities entering the pharmacy profession.

In 2022, Ogbonna was the recipient of the Riese-Melton Award, VCU’s highest honor for academic and administrative leadership on issues related to diversity and inclusion. Ogbonna also has received the 10 Under 10 Award from the Virginia Pharmacists Association, the President’s Award from the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and the Black History in the Making Award from VCU’s departments of Health Administration and African American Studies.

“VCU has a strong track record of research, education and patient care, and I am honored to have the opportunity to continue that legacy,” Ogbonna said. “Pharmacy touches every aspect of health care. With Central Virginia poised to become a hub for pharmaceutical innovation and manufacturing, we at VCU are preparing for a new era of workforce development and professional training. Our students will serve as the thought leaders and change agents for an ever-evolving health care landscape.”

Ogbonna was a pre-pharmacy/chemistry major at Fairleigh Dickinson University and earned his Pharm.D. at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences and a Master of Health Administration degree from the VCU College of Health Professions. He completed his PGY-1 general pharmacy practice residency and PGY-2 geriatric pharmacy residency within the Veteran Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, Connecticut. He joined VCU School of Pharmacy in 2012 as an assistant professor, teaching geriatrics and helping to create the Richmond Health and Wellness Program, the precursor to the VCU Health Hub at 25th. He was founding director of the school’s postgraduate geriatric residency program. He currently holds the rank of professor at VCU. 

He succeeds Joseph T. DiPiro, who served as dean from 2014 until June 2022 and now serves as associate vice president for faculty affairs. 

About VCU and VCU Health

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 28,000 students in 244 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Twenty-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 11 schools and three colleges. The VCU Health brand represents the VCU health sciences academic programs, the VCU Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Health System, which comprises VCU Medical Center (the only academic medical center in the region), Community Memorial Hospital, Tappahannock Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, and MCV Physicians. The clinical enterprise includes a collaboration with Sheltering Arms Institute for physical rehabilitation services. For more, please visit vcu.edu and vcuhealth.org.

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