Pharmacy tech school at Overlook Medical Center becomes 1st to be accredited in N.J.

Atlantic Health System’s pharmacy technician school, based at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, has recently become the first and only technician program in New Jersey to be accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education.

Launched in fall 2021, the roughly 14-week “pharm tech” program is currently in its third class and has had six students complete the program. Following the graduation of the first cohort in January 2022, ASHP and ACPE were able to visit Overlook to observe the program to evaluate it for accreditation.

The program is open to Atlantic Health System team members with high school diplomas or the equivalent, currently serving in other occupations, who may be seeking different careers with the potential for growth. The organization is seeking to ultimately open the program to applicants outside of Atlantic Health System.

“As more health care workers pursue paths to become pharmacy technicians, this accreditation gives those who graduate our program added credibility as they enter this competitive field,” Agnieszka Pasternak, manager for pharmacy services at Overlook, said.

Pharmacy technicians, who work with pharmacists to dispense medication to patients or other clinicians, have become an in-demand field in part due to growing numbers of older people who typically use more prescription medications, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Atlantic Health System leads the Healthcare Transformation Consortium, a partnership of six regional hospitals and health systems dedicated to improving access and affordability, and is a founding member of the PIER Consortium — Partners in Innovation, Education and Research — a streamlined clinical trial system that will expand access to groundbreaking research across five health systems in the region.

Atlantic Health System has a medical school affiliation with Thomas Jefferson University and is home to the regional campus of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers and is the official health care partner of the New York Jets.