» Dean's Professional Advisory Group

Kal  Chatto, MS.Pharm.
Kal Chatto, MS.Pharm.
Co-Founder Acunova Life Sciences
Westlake, CA
Mr. Kal Chatto, is Co-Founder of Acunova Life Sciences Inc., a CRO started with the help of Manipal group and later acquired Ecron. Kal led the startup of the CRO which received the prestigious Proximere Award and is now as Encron Acunova, one of the most successful CRO’s in the world. Formerly, Mr Chatto served as CEO, Director and later as independent director of Acunova. In 1988 he was recruited and developed from Glaxo Inc.’s Leadership Team to be one the first 9 Amgen Founding executives in commercialization of the first Breakthrough Biotech Product launch, EPOGEN, June 1989 followed by Neupogen, Aranesp, Neulasta, Enbrel. Kal Relentlessly Contributed to Amgen's paramount success in becoming the best Biotech Company Worldwide by improving values for patients, stockholders and Amgen employees.
In 2005 Kal was awarded the "FIP Distinguished Service Award" by the International Pharmaceutical Federation( FIP) in recognition of his exceptional and distinguished contribution to FIP. Recognized globally, the award honors outstanding achievers who inspire others with their vision and leadership. Kal also serves on the board of leading professional organizations and key pharmacy schools of prestigious U.S Universities including the University of Arizona School of Pharmacy, Claremont Graduate University, School of Info System and Technology. He formerly served on the boards of School of Pharmacy University of Wisconsin, College of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee, USC School of Pharmacy, Innovative Medical Communications, and Avitacor LLC.
Mr. Kal Chatto received his B.Pharm from Banaras Hindu University and M.S. in Pharmacy Administration from the Long Island University, New York. He has also completed Executive Management Programs from Marshall School of Business, USC and Anderson School of Management, UCLA.
Laura Cook, PharmD
Laura Cook, PharmD
Dr. Cook holds a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific and has a 20-year background in retail pharmacy. She received her post-doctoral residency training at Syntex Labs in Palo Alto then continued on to the Veteran's Hospital in La Jolla. Dr. Cook managed several Rite Aid pharmacies in the Orange County area before becoming a home health care infusion pharmacist in 2009 for a small business.
Dr. Cook has been a dedicated advocate for quality education in her community; serving as an officer of the PTA every year for the last 15 years and currently sitting on the Health and Welfare Committee for the Irvine Unified School District. She serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations which serve underprivileged youth and women in Orange County. She is committed to serving the Chapman pharmacy students and the entire Chapman family.
Shetal Desai, PharmD
Shetal Desai, PharmD
Senior Director, Clinical Account Management
OptumRx, South Pasadena, CA
Shetal Desai is an outdoor enthusiast with a heart for people and service. She enjoys international travel and occasionally travels abroad for medical missions organizations providing relief to the underserved communities around the world.
Professionally, she holds a PharmD from the University of Maryland and has a 14-year background in managed care pharmacy. Currently, Dr. Desai works for OptumRx as a Senior Director, Clinical Account Management. In this role, she manages the clinical-client relationship with the United Health Care National Employer Group accounts. Previously, Dr. Desai spent the last several years at USC’s School of Pharmacy developing and teaching the managed care curriculum including training students for the annual P&T competition. She has lead USC to 4 National AMCP P&T competitions with USC taking 1st place in 2011 and 3rd place in 2013.
Dr. Desai completed a 1-year PBM intensive specialty residency in managed care at CVS Caremark in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Upon completion of the residency program, Dr. Desai relocated back to Southern California to work for WellPoint Pharmacy Management, the PBM arm of WellPoint Health Networks in Thousand Oaks, CA. In 2003, Dr. Desai joined Caremark as a Clinical Account Manager for Caremark’s West Region Employer Group segment, which included CALPERS in Sacramento, CA. In 2005, Dr. Desai was honored with the prestigious Caremark’s President’s Club Award as Clinical Manager of the Year.
During her tenure at USC, Dr. Desai had a joint appointment at USC Norris Cancer where she served as Director of the Clinical Authorization Center; a center she created to improve the third party reimbursements for intravenous infused agents administered by the hospital’s infusion center. The center was so profitable that it’s structure and design was replicated throughout the Keck Hospitals other infusion centers in Los Angeles and Pasadena and serves as a model for other institutions across the country.
Dr. Desai believes in the opportunities that pharmacy affords students today and encourages them to seek their place in the profession. She is deeply invested in educating our future pharmacists and believes in the future of pharmacy as we enter a new era of health care.
Linda A. Grace, RN, ADN, BSHS
Linda A. Grace, RN, ADN, BSHS
President COSTech/KBM Business Management, Owner CDM Drugs
Corona Del Mar, CA
Over 30 years experience in the field of professional business and health care management, Linda Grace has extensive knowledge and experience in directing and managing all functional areas of the healthcare system. After receiving her R.N., Associates Degree at the State University New York and acquiring multiple certifications including Intravenous Therapy Certification, CRNI, Chemotherapy Certification, PICC Certification, Medical Coding, Billing, she went on to receive her B.S., Health Science from Chapman University, Orange, CA.
Her hands on clinical career included CCU, Post Open Heart, Surgical GYN, Oncology and Home Infusion Pharmacy. Working for several public and private national Home Infusion Pharmacies including Avon’s Foster Medical and Infusion Care, WR Grace’s NMC Home Care and Curaflex/Coram; she held the position of Vice President of Operations and Clinical Pharmacy and Nursing Services as well as President and founder of Curaflex’s Mail Order Pharmacy. Publishing multiple articles and a textbook chapter on intravenous therapy, she taught both nurses and pharmacist’s the art of Intravenous Therapy.
Linda went on to become a partner in Sutherland and Associates/Partners Consulting Group, an international pharmacy and hospital consulting firm. She served as Executive Director for the National Association for Vascular Access Networks (NAVAN) and Editor in Chief for their professional journal before starting COSTech, a California based consulting organization. COSTech emerged as a muti-dimensional health care management group focusing on all aspects of healthcare including financial feasibility and business management, regulatory management, compliance, quality management and accreditation services. It adapted to the ever-changing health care environment evolving to include turn-around, re-engineering, new start-up, marketing and sales, growth and expansion as well as social media services for Physician practices as well as pharmacy. Linda has enjoyed mentoring physicians in business growth and management for the past 15 years.
She currently owns several businesses including a Health Care Consulting Management Company, a full service retail, compounding and home infusion pharmacy and two wineries. Linda continues to consult with Physicians on a project basis and acts as Quality, Regulatory and Compliance Officer for CDM Drugs and Community Infusion Services.
For fun, Linda is working on her second career as proprietor of Giracci Vineyards and Farms and Cowboy Canyon Winery, a group of family owed wineries in Orange County. Linda is an ardent supporter of philanthropic causes in Orange County, and is involved in several charities currently sitting on the Board of Directors for Laura’s House and the Silverado Modjeska Recreation and Parks Department while supporting other charities such as CHOC and the Roosters Foundation. She enjoys spending time with her husband and four children. With a lifelong passion for quality of patient care she is dedicated to assisting the community in adapting to the changes in the healthcare environment.
Tom Hill, PharmD
Tom Hill, PharmD
Vice President of Operations
St. Joseph Hospital, Orange, CA
Tom Hill, Pharm.D, is a hospital executive with 39 years of hospital operations experience. He is currently Vice President of Operations at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California. In this role he oversees hospital operations in areas including all facility Support Services, Clinical Ancillary Departments (Pharmacy, PT/OT, and Speech), Outpatient Clinical Services (Center for Cancer Prevention and Treatment, Dialysis and Transplant Center, Wound Care Center) and facility Design and Construction.
Prior to joining the St. Joseph Health System, Tom spent 26 years at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach with progressive leadership responsibilities in the areas of Pharmacy, Quality Management, Utilization Management, Risk Management and Safety and Operations (all support and ancillary services). From 1978 – 1993 Tom also held the position of Assistant Clinical Professor of Pharmacy with the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy.
Dr. Hill received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology (University of Oregon) in 1970 and his Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy (Creighton University) in 1973. He earned his Doctorate Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Southern California in 1974.
In addition to his role at the hospital, Tom is also active in the community and has held several community service positions serving as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Long Beach Metropolitan YMCA (1998-2000) and the YMCA of Orange (2001-2003). Since 2003 he has been active in a leadership role with the Orange Chamber of Commerce, serving as a Board of Directors Member since 2003 and the CFO from 2006-2009.
Tom lives a very active lifestyle. He enjoys all outdoor activities including camping, fishing and golf. He especially enjoys spending time with his family and friends. He is married and has two daughters.
John Jones, RPh, JD
John Jones, RPh, JD
Senior Vice President of Professional Practice and Pharmacy Policy
OptumRx, Irvine, CA
John Jones is the Senior Vice President of Professional Practice and Pharmacy Policy at OptumRx, a United Health Group Company, in Irvine, California. He is licensed as both a pharmacist and an attorney. He has broad experience with more than 35 years of pharmacy practice ranging from chain and independent community pharmacy to hospital, home infusion and managed care pharmacy. He has applied his legal skills in the fields of managed healthcare legislative policy and regulation, health insurance, healthcare contracting, and interstate regulatory compliance for prescription mail service and pharmacy benefit management companies. John serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of URAC. URAC accredits more than 600 healthcare companies for quality nationwide via its 24 accreditation programs across the healthcare continuum. John has a long involvement with the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy where he chaired numerous committees, served on its Board of Directors, as its Treasurer and its President.
John served on the California Board of Pharmacy for eight years, two of those years as its president. He is an active member and leader of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA). He also teaches Law and Ethics at the University of California at San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy.
John is a native of Idaho and graduated from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. He earned his law degree from the University of San Francisco.
Assad J. Kazeminy, PhD
Assad J. Kazeminy, PhD
CEO and Founder of Irvine Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.,
Irvine, CA
Assad J. Kazeminy, Ph.D., CEO and Founder of Irvine Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., has more than 30 years of research experience in Analytical Chemistry and Biochemistry and has been involved in teaching and management aspects for analytical and quality control laboratories for Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical companies.
Dr. Kazeminy has a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science and Biochemistry and has completed a post doctorate at the USC Medical School, Department of Pharmacology. In addition, Dr. Kazeminy has taught at the University of Southern California and has conducted research at the University of California, Irvine.
Dr. Kazeminy has extensive knowledge in and is proficient in FDA regulations and various compendia methodologies. He is an active professional in national and local organizations including the United States Pharmacopeia serving as an Expert Committee member. He has made many contributions towards advancing the pharmaceutical sciences, whereby his efforts have been very influential in shaping and reforming current industry standards (like USP Chapter <467>, Residual Solvents and most recently, USP Chapter <231>, Heavy Metals).
Dr. Kazeminy is also an active board member with TheraVida, LLC, a privately held pharmaceutical company, the Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, and Farhang Foundation.
Chad Kearns, PharmD
Chad Kearns, PharmD
Owner and Director of Pharmacy for CDM Drugs
Corona Del Mar, CA
Dr. Kearns has 25 years of healthcare management experience. He is the co-founder and Vice-President of Creative Outcome Solutions Technology, Inc. dba COSTech® and is co-founder of COSTechtivity®; COSTech's proprietary software package used to collect, compile, report and analyze outcome data. He is also President and CEO of Community Infusion Services, Inc. and KBM Enterprises, Inc. Dr. Kearns has developed Disease Management programs in cooperation with field experts on several disease states and is published in the areas of Continuous Quality Management and Disease State Management.
He received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Pacific, in Stockton, CA. His clinical training included work at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, HI, where he was a team member of a pharmacy management group responsible for the overall medical therapy management of the oncology patients in the outpatient clinic setting. This included the clinical monitoring, management and administration of chemotherapeutic agents and protocols as well as ancillary medications.
Dr. Kearns has held the position of Southern California Infusion Supervisor for Pharmacy Corporation of America (PCA). While at PCA, Dr. Kearns assisted in developing their Home Infusion and Sub-Acute Infusion Programs and Policies and Procedure Manuals for Beverly Enterprises, the parent company of PCA.
Dr. Kearns then went on to hold the position of Director of Pharmacy for Children’s Home Care of Los Angeles (CHLA), the home health program of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. In this position, he took the program through JCAHO Accreditation, developed the Patient Care Management Program, oversaw operations and clinical departments managing over 500 pediatric patients and managed the Investigational Protocol Program for the physician’s of CHLA.
Dr. Kearns went on to Modern Healthcare to assist in JCAHO Accreditation and development of their Patient Care Management Program directing the clinical teams assigned to UCLA and Daniel Freeman Medical Center. It is here where his teams monitored and assisted the physician/medical staff in the patient care management of highly complex Bone Marrow Transplant patients (UCLA) and Kidney Transplant patients (Daniel Freeman) in the home setting, giving Dr. Kearns the background and experience which sets him apart today as a well know clinical management expert.
Currently, Dr. Kearns is Owner and Director of Pharmacy for CDM Drugs, a full service pharmacy management program focusing on comprehensive clinical patient management systems that optimize therapeutic outcomes. Dr. Kearns is well known for his clinical management of high acuity, complicated infusion patients with multiple comorbidities and their successful therapy management.
Chad has been very active in his philanthropic organization, the Roosters Foundation, raising money for children’s charities in Orange County. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching his twin boys play football, making wine, cooking and gardening.
Keith Lewis, RPh, MD
Keith Lewis, RPh, MD
Professor and Chairman Department of Anesthesiology Boston Medical Center Boston University School of Medicine, Vice-President Plexus Management Group, Inc.
Dr. Lewis chairs multiple committees including the Medication Safety and Quality Committee, Surgical Robotics Committee, Simulation Committee, Perioperative Services Guidance Team and is Director of the Operating Room Executive Committee. Dr. Lewis was instrumental in the creation of AAM’s own consultant firm called Plexus Management Group, Inc., serving as Vice-President, providing consultations in perioperative management and leadership around the country.
Dr. Lewis’ areas of expertise include cardiac and vascular anesthesia and motivating change in the health care. Currently, Dr. Lewis is involved in creating OR’s of the Future and developing new health care approaches to streamline patient flow and avoid waits and delays. Dr. Lewis lectures around the country on OR management topics including open vs. block scheduling, managing flow and variability, strategies to minimize risk and positioning your ORs for the future. Dr. Lewis has been involved with the IHI, IHO and the Joint Commission in presentations on managing flow and variability. In addition, Dr. Lewis was instrumental in the design of the Moakley Ambulatory Surgery Center at Boston Medical Center which is a state-of-the-art facility showcasing new and creative innovations.
Dr. Lewis created the Ellison Pierce Symposium hosted annually in Boston entitled, “Positioning Your ORs for the Future” which is in its 8th year and attracts attendees from all over the country and is the first of its kind. Dr. Lewis serves on several Boards including Plexus, the BMC Healthnet and the AAM and BMC malpractice companies (founding member). Bringing organizations to the next level by motivating and maintaining change is one of Dr. Lewis’ main areas of expertise.
Parmis Khatibi, PharmD
Parmis Khatibi, PharmD
Antithrombotic/Anticoagulation Clinical Specialist
University of California Irvine Medical Center, Irvine, CA
Dr. Khatibi manages a whole spectrum of patients in her clinic who require treatment of thromboembolic diseases and associated complications. Her clinical research interests are in venous thromboembolism and the degree of morbidity and mortality associated with this disease. She recently helped implement Medication Safety Clinics at the UCI Medical Center and has served on the Medication Therapy Management task force for CSHP.
Dr. Khatibi received her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and attended The University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy where she earned her doctorate. She completed a post-doctoral/residency training program at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Prior to her matriculation for her doctorate, Parmis was a high school teacher in a poverty-stricken area of south central Los Angeles. She implemented many programs that dealt with gang prevention as well as self-esteem and self-confidence issues for young women.
Parmis is dedicated to learning about and becoming engaged with the most pressing challenges facing future generations and dedicates her time to political and philanthropic causes. She has served in executive board member and committee member capacity for Girls, Inc., Young Executives of America, Blind Children’s Learning Center, California Women’s Leadership Association, World Affairs Council of Orange County, Gen-Next, American Red Cross of Orange County, Zoroastrian Youth of North America, Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans-Next-Gen, and Farhang Foundation.
Pam Mangus, PharmD
Pam Mangus, PharmD
Pharmacist
Hoag Hospital, Newport Beach, CA
Dr. Mangus also served on Western University’s Admission’s Committee for several years and developed their Patient Based Family Program back in the 1990’s. In addition, she has given lectures to pharmacy students across the country and developed and presented the first OTC “Hands On” Workshop for CPHA in 2006. While in community practice she also wrote and developed clerkship and intern programs for Target Pharmacy and wrote a Residency Proposal in collaboration with University of California, San Francisco for American Drug Stores.
As a side business, she and five other community practitioners started Echelon Medical Support, a staffing company in 2006, where she served as the Vice President of Human Resources. During the economic turndown as business declined, Pam decided to re-invent herself by pursuing a clinical avenue in pharmacy and joined Hoag Hospital, where she still works today.
In January of 2013, Pam joined a Medical Mission Team in Haiti, where she served as the only pharmacist on the team. Because of the impact of Haiti, Pam still serves on the Haiti Team, and hopes to involve her family on her next mission trip. By continuing to learn different aspects of the profession, she is able to achieve personal and professional growth. Pam lives in Laguna Beach, CA with her husband and two kids. When she is not helping serve in her kids activities you can find her reading, writing, or swimming.
Lee Meyer, PharmD, CGP, FASCP
Lee Meyer, PharmD, CGP, FASCP
Long Term Care Facilities and Pharmacies Management Consultant
Irvine, CA
Dr. Meyer focuses on clinical, regulatory, quality assurance and cost containment activities related to medications and drug therapy in advisory capacity to company management. Prior to this role, Dr. Meyer served as the Director of Operations for Pharmacy Advantage, where he developed and ran their pharmacy services. He developed their Medicare Part D program including contract negotiation, facility training and implementation, pharmacy staff education transition policies, prior authorization procedures, and billing and collections procedures.
Dr. Meyer is a Past-President and Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and a member of the ASCP Council of Presidents. He currently serves on the Advocacy Council, DEA Task Force and Political Action Committee. He also represents ASCP on the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) Long Term Care Workgroup. He previously served on the Public Affairs Council and Education Advisory Committee, and has presented at several ASCP meetings.
Dr. Meyer is also active with the California Pharmacists Association serving on the CPhA-CHSP Joint Transitions of Care Task Force, and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. He previously served on the CPhA Board of Trustees of the California Pharmacists Association as the representative of the Academy of Long Term Care in 2010-2011, Audit Task Force, Long Term Care Management Council, CEO Search Committee 2010, Best Practices Committee, Emerging Issues Committee. He is also a member of the American Geriatrics Society, serving on the Public Awareness Committee and the Health Systems Innovation – Economics and Technology Committee. Dr. Meyer was guest editor for the California Pharmacist 2011 and has published several articles and presented various long term care pharmacy topics to a variety of audiences in California and nationally.
Dr. Meyer received his BA and PharmD degrees from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in Stockton, California.
Marsha J. Meyer, PharmD, CGP, CGCM
Marsha J. Meyer, PharmD, CGP, CGCM
Clinical Pharmacist
Independence at Home, division of SCAN health plan, Long Beach, CA
Prior to her current roles, Dr. Meyer was extensively involved with long-term care pharmacy in pharmacy operations and as a consultant pharmacist. She has held a senior management position with a large medical education company and has provided consultant services to a national medication inventory and software manufacturer. Dr. Meyer worked for several years in the pharmaceutical industry in the Pharmacy Affairs department. She began her pharmacy career in community pharmacy and also worked as a clinical pharmacist at Duke University Medical Center.
Marsha currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP). She is also the Editor for ASCP’s Geriatric Pharmacy Review, a web-based geriatric pharmacotherapy review and recertification vehicle for the Commission for Certification in Geriatric Pharmacy (CCGP). She was the 2012 recipient of the Armon B. Neel Senior Care Pharmacist Award presented by ASCP. She is a frequent speaker at professional and consumer programs. Dr. Meyer received her BS in Pharmacy from Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and her PharmD from Rio Grande School of Pharmacy. She is a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist and a Certified Geriatric Care Manager.
Mike Pavlovich, PharmD
Mike Pavlovich, PharmD
Co-Owner, Westcliff Compounding
Newport Beach, CA
He is one of two pharmacists ever named to serve as USOC’s Team Pharmacist, and was a member of The USOC Medical Team for the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing. His experience was detailed in a cover story published by Drug Topics in 2008. He has addressed professional healthcare organizations nationwide on a variety of pharmacy-related topics and has advised clients from Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the National Hockey League and the NCAA for over 12 years. He has consulted sports-based clients as far away as Europe and the Middle East. He represented APhA on a joint task force with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association charged with creating guidelines for managing medication use in the athletic training facility and was a contributing author for the “National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids”. He has recently been appointed to the California Department of Justice’s working group charged with reforming the state’s prescription drug monitoring system. He has practiced in long-term care, hospice, mail-service, compounding, and community pharmacy.
Dr. Pavlovich is Past President of the California Pharmacists Association. He has chaired the APhA Policy Committee, and the House of Delegates Nominating Committee; and has served numerous committees of APhA and CPhA. He has been recognized by CPhA as Student of the Year in 1989, and Distinguished Young Pharmacist in1995, and received the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management Distinguished Achievement Award in Specialized Pharmacy Practice in 2012. In 1995 he was named to the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.
He is married to Lisa, and is the father of Nicole, Aaron and Ty.
Robert Pollock, BPharm, MS
Robert Pollock, BPharm, MS
Senior Advisor and Outside Director to the Board Lachman Consultant Services, Captain, 0-6 U.S. Public Health Service, Commissioned Corps, Retired
Encinitas, CA
Previous to his time with Lachman, worked in various administrative roles for the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) and clinical roles for USPHS. Robert received his Bachelor’s of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters of Science in Pharmacy Administration from the same institution. He is a Fellow of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education and is credited with many publications and presentations.
Previous to his time with Lachman, worked in various administrative roles for the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER), Office of Generic Drugs (OGD) and clinical roles for USPHS. Robert received his Bachelor’s of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters of Science in Pharmacy Administration from the same institution. He is a Fellow of the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education and is credited with many publications and presentations.
Michael Rigas, PharmD
Michael Rigas, PharmD
Chief Clinical Officer
KabaFusion, LLC, Cerritos, CA
Before moving to Geisinger, Dr. Rigas served as the Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Crescent HealthCare in Anaheim, California, and VP of Infusion Services at Apria HealthCare, Inc, both large alternate site pharmacy company specializing in infusion and specialty pharmacy therapies.
He graduated from USC School of Pharmacy with his Pharm.D. degree and completed his residency at UC San Francisco Hospitals and Clinics in 1982. He spent the first 10 years of his career in the hospital arena serving as the Chief clinical pharmacist in 3 different 200+ bed community hospitals. From 1998 to 2002 Dr. Rigas managed pharmacies and nursing operations for Apria Healthcare, a nationwide infusion company with 32 pharmacies in 22 states at the Vice President level.
Dr. Rigas’ areas of expertise include Antimicrobial therapy, Immunoglobulin therapies, Nutritional support and Pain control, improving clinical and financial outcomes, and payer and contract relations. He also functions as an expert witness for therapeutic misadventures. Additionally, he works with various private and public groups seeking improved management strategies for High Cost Biologic/Specialty Pharmaceuticals and infusion therapies via standardized coding, billing, and payment levels. He is also deeply involved in improving patient access via Patient Assistance Plans and managing Medicare Part D issues in front of the California board of pharmacy and CMS regional managers.
Dr Rigas holds membership in the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists and the National Home Infusion association.
John Samimi, PharmD
John Samimi, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist
Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo, CA
Over the course of his involvement with the organization, John has been instrumental in organizing and leading conferences and symposiums involving pharmacy leaders and clinicians throughout Orange County and beyond. He has also taken a lead role in coordinating OCSHP participation in numerous community outreach programs including health fairs. This past August, John assembled a team consisting of pharmacist members from OCSHP and OCPHA to meet with Orange County Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (Assembly District 74) to support Senate Bill 493. His team effectively advocated for pharmacist health care provider status by conveying the true spirit and message of this landmark bill which has now elevated to the governor for signature into law. In addition to CSHP, John maintains affiliation with the following professional organizations: the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), and the Infectious Disease Association of California (IDAC).
John is a graduate of the USC School of Pharmacy and completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at UCI Medical Center. In his spare time, he enjoys playing tennis, beach volleyball, hiking, and cycling.
Catherine C. Turkel, PharmD, MBA, PhD
Catherine C. Turkel, PharmD, MBA, PhD
Vice President, Clinical Development
Allergan, Irvine, CA
She practiced bedside as a clinical pharmacist working in a variety of intensive care settings including surgical/trauma, medical and neonatal intensive care in both private and academic settings.
In 1993, Dr. Turkel left clinical practice and worked in a variety of pharmaceutical/ biotech industries before joining Allergan in 1998. She has extensive experience leading multi-disciplinary development teams and committees.
She has been instrumental in designing clinical studies for a variety of medical indications. At Allergan she has served as the Global Project Team Leader and Clinical Leader for the BOTOX® Juvenile Cerebral Palsy, post-Stroke Spasticity and Migraine teams, resulting in new indications for BOTOX in 50 countries for the treatment of adult and pediatric spasticity, and chronic migraine.
She currently serves as the Global Project Team Leader and Clinical Leader for the BOTOX® osteoarthritis pain development program, and Global Project Team Leader for Senrebotase, a first in class biologic protein for treating chronic pain in a new class of Targeted Exocytosis Modulator treatments. Dr Turkel has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles on topics including the use of BOTOX® for the treatment of cerebral palsy spasticity, poststroke spasticity and chronic migraine. In addition, she has numerous publications as a co-author on epidemiology of chronic migraine. Dr Turkel’s work has appeared in such journals as New England Journal of Medicine, Neurology, Headache, Cephalalgia and others. She is lead author or significant co-author on more than 100 abstracts, posters and/or manuscripts.
Dr. Turkel is a member of many professional organizations including the American Academia of Neurology, American and International Headache Societies, International Association for the Study of Pain and the Healthcare Women’s Business Association. She has also served as a member of National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH) working group developing common data elements for headache research.
In addition to her advanced training in clinical pharmacy, Dr. Turkel graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2001 with a Masters in Business Administration. In 2008 she graduated from Capella University with her Doctor of Philosophy in Organization and Management with an emphasis in leadership. Catherine enjoys mentoring others and over the years has served as a mentor for the Healthcare Business Women’s Association, University of California Irvine Merage School of Business, and Olive Crest.
Judy L. Valenzuela, B.S. Pharmacy, RPh
Judy L. Valenzuela, B.S. Pharmacy, RPh
Area Pharmacy Director for Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program,
Orange County Medical Center Area, Southern California Region
In her career she has opened 3 Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and was responsible for start-up of Pharmacy Services in a newly formed Medical Center Area. She has served as Inpatient Pharmacy Director at a 250 bed acute care hospital which also provided pharmacy services to a 50 bed SNF and Inpatient Chemical Dependency Recovery Program. Major change initiatives that Judy has participated in the planning and implementation include: implementation of technicians and consultation in the outpatient pharmacy arena, development and implementation of a compounding formulary, implementation of an organization-wide electronic health record, implementation of a replacement outpatient pharmacy computer system, expansion of oncology infusion services, expansion of ambulatory care pharmacy programs, opening of new medical office outpatient pharmacies, regional communications forum, development of drug utilization collaboration with medical group partners, leadership and participation on both local and regional Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committees.
Judy has been active in the California Society of Health System Pharmacists serving in the past as Inland Society of Health System Pharmacists President. She is the Residency Program Director for the KP Orange County ASHP Accredited Residency Program.