UK College of Pharmacy pioneer Joseph Swintosky dies

Portrait of Dr. Joseph Swintosky
Portrait of Dr. Joseph Swintosky

Joseph V. Swintosky, the dean emeritus at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy who officials said led the school to national and international prominence, died Thursday.

Dr. Swintosky, of Nicholasville, was 90.

Dean of the UK College of Pharmacy from 1967 to 1987, Dr. Swintosky worked to transform pharmacy education and the pharmacy profession, according to a statement from the College of Pharmacy.

"The world of pharmacy has lost a giant," Timothy S. Tracy, Dean of the UK College of Pharmacy said in the statement. "Dr. Swintosky placed UK on a trajectory to become one of the nation's top colleges of pharmacy. We would not be the college we are today without his innovative spirit and his commitment to excellence in all we do."

Under Dr. Swintosky's leadership, the college was ranked third nationally in the early 1970s and has remained in the Top 10 since that time, the statement said.

Dr. Swintosky created the college's master's and Ph.D. programs, a move that cemented UK as a national leader in graduate education and pharmaceutical research.

Major transformations in how pharmacy was taught, practiced, and delivered occurred during his tenure, the statement said.

UK created the world's first department of clinical pharmacy in a medical center setting in 1968, according to the statement.

During his tenure at the UK College of Pharmacy, Dr. Swintosky was key in innovation. For example, he thought a pharmacist should join medical doctors on their daily rounds at the UK Medical Center. It is now an industry standard, officials said.

"When you look back at the history of the UK College of Pharmacy, you see a noticeable jump in activity and innovation starting in 1967," said Dr. Patrick DeLuca, Professor Emeritus in the UK College of Pharmacy. "That can be wholly attributed to Joe Swintosky. He was a trailblazer — a brilliant tactician as an administrator, educator and researcher."

At UK, the Dr. Joseph V. Swintosky Distinguished Lecture Series was established in his honor in 1994.

In 1989, Swintosky won the Host-Madsen Medal, awarded by the International Federation of Pharmacy Board of Pharmaceutical Science, for his distinguished work in pharmacy, according to Herald-Leader archives.

Before his appointment at UK, Swintosky was on the pharmacy faculty at the University of Wisconsin from 1945 to 1953, the archives said

From 1953 to 1967, he did research development for the Smith Kline & French Laboratories in Philadelphia. That corporation is now known as Glaxo Smith-Kline. "My dad was, at his heart, a simple man," son Bob Swintosky said in an email. "Despite considerable time devoted to the profession of pharmacy, he always made it clear to us that family and faith came first. He loved spending time in the yard, tending to his fruit trees and grape vines."

He helped found and organize the organization now known as the APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research and Science and became its second president in 1967, according to the UK statement. Dr. Swintosky is survived by his wife, Dorothy Zevnik Swintosky. with whom he had nine sons and one daughter.

Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Milward-Man o' War.

Services will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Luke Catholic Church in Nicholasville.

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