WakeMed CEO delivers CPHS graduation address

Campbell University’s College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences conferred more than 150 degrees on Friday, during the institution’s graduation at the John W. Pope, Jr. Convocation Center.  View pictures from the event.


WakeMed CEO and President Bill Atkinson delivered the graduation address.


This ceremony marked the end of the College’s 25th Anniversary. President Jerry Wallace gave remarks on the difference the College has made during the past quarter century, “I can’t imagine where Campbell University would be without this College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences.”


During his address, Atkinson spoke of the controversial issues around health care reform, and that change needs to start with health care professionals.


“Let me suggest that your responsibility will go beyond even those people whose lives you touch directly,” Atkinson said. “Because the skills you learned are skills that are needed in America today to treat another sick patient. That patient is our nation’s health care system.”


Atkinson believes pharmacists and all other health care professionals must find ways to educate people about steps they can take to stay healthy. He urged graduates to be a part of this solution.


“As health care professionals, you live it.  In the end, whatever change comes, making it work will be up to you and me and all health care professionals,” he said. “Now it is our turn. We cannot leave an unhealthy health care system to the next generation.”


Atkinson has led the direction of WakeMed Health and Hospitals since 2003. Wakemed is the largest private employer in Wake County and one of the largest health care systems in North Carolina.  Throughout his career, he has more than 25 years of experience leading hospitals in both rural and urban settings.


“I am honored to welcome you to this great calling of health care and healing,” Atkinson said. “You can make a difference in the world and I wish for you the vision, courage and passion to do so.”


The College honored 154 degree recipients during the ceremony, this included 94 doctor of pharmacy, 11 MS in clinical research, 16 MS in pharmaceutical sciences, 21 BS in clinical research, 1 BS in general sciences and 11 BS in pharmaceutical sciences.