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APhA Task Force On Structural Racism In Pharmacy

Task Force Chair

CDR Andrew Gentles, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID


APhA Trustee Senior Regulatory Program Coordinator Food and Drug Administration Washington, DC

Task Force Vice Chair

Melissa J. Durham, PharmD, MACM, APh, BCACP


Associate Professor, Clinical Pharmacy

Assistant Dean, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Durham is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Pharmacy. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, completed a residency in Community Pharmacy Practice, and has earned her Master of Academic Medicine degree, all from USC. She has taught cultural competence at USC since 2012, is a member of the President and Provost’s Task Force for Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at USC, and is the Vice Chair of the APhA Task Force on Addressing Structural Racism in Pharmacy.

CDR Andrew Gentles


CDR Gentles is a member of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS and currently stationed at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where he serves as a Senior Regulatory Program Manager. As a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS) with Added Qualifications in Infectious Diseases and pharmacist with over 10 years of diverse clinical experience and collaborative leadership, he was commissioned in 2012 in Indian Health Service (IHS) where he served as the Deputy Chief Pharmacist for a 60-bed hospital. CDR Gentles commitment to advocacy and improving the health of underserved communities has continued outside of the corps. In 2017, he became the first PHS officer to serve as President of the State Pharmacy Association for the District of Columbia and spearheaded an initiative resulting in the passage of regulations for Collaborative Practice Agreements between Physicians and Pharmacists. He has represented the District of Columbia’s pharmacy community as an APhA House of Delegate member and in 2020 was elected to serve as a member of the 2021 APhA Board of Trustees. CDR Gentles is the Chair of the APhA Task Force on Addressing Structural Racism in Pharmacy.

Melissa J. Durham


Dr. Durham is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Southern California (USC) School of Pharmacy. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, completed a residency in Community Pharmacy Practice, and has earned her Master of Academic Medicine degree, all from USC. She has taught cultural competence at USC since 2012, is a member of the President and Provost’s Task Force for Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at USC, and is the Vice Chair of the APhA Task Force on Addressing Structural Racism in Pharmacy.

Task Force Members

Vibhuti Arya Amirfar, PharmD, MPH


Professor Trustee-elect, St. John's University

Clinical Advisor, Policy, Resilience & Response NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene New York, NY

Dr. Arya has worked for the past 15 years to bridge the gap between healthcare, well-being, and equity. She serves as a Clinical Professor at St. John's University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Clinical Advisor to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In her role, Dr. Arya works to integrate pharmacists into public health initiatives, particularly among high-risk, medically underserved areas in NYC, and advises on legislation pertinent to pharmacy practice and access to care. She is part of the Divisional team within the Health Department and helped develop an equity tool for strategic planning. Vibhuti is also a Global Lead for Gender Equity and Diversity Workforce Development for the International Pharmacy Federation. She completed the Pharmaceutical Care Leadership Residency at the University of Minnesota, and her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of

Leonard Edloe, ThM, PharmD


Retired CEO, Pharmacist

Edloe’s Professional Pharmacies Pastor, New Hope Fellowship Mechanicsville, VA

Dr. Edloe is the Retired CEO of Edloe’s Professional Pharmacies, Pastor of New Hope Fellowship, and Adjunct Professor of Christian Ethics at the John Leland Theological Center. He is a graduate of the Howard University College of Pharmacy where he serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Visitors and the University of Florida School of Pharmacy. He is a former trustee of APhA and Past President of the APhA Foundation. He was the first African American student to serve as a national officer of SAPhA and he served on the Task Force on Women in Pharmacy. He has served on the Clinical Faculties of four colleges of pharmacy and has earned degrees in theology for Virginia Union University and Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Kennedy M. Erickson, PharmD Candidate


APhA-ASP National President-elect Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Ms. Erickson is a third-year student pharmacist at the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and serves as the APhA – Academy of Student Pharmacists 2021-2022 National President-elect.

Meryam Gharbi, PharmD


Pharmacist

Walgreens Pharmacy Salisbury, MD

Dr. Gharbi is a community pharmacist at Walgreens. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, MD. She has served as a leader nationally as the 2017-2018 National Member-at-large of the American Pharmacists Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). Gharbi remains an active leader in APhA and Walgreens and serves as a coach for retail pharmacy teams.

Vibhuti Arya Amirfar


Dr. Arya has worked for the past 15 years to bridge the gap between healthcare, well-being, and equity. She serves as a Clinical Professor at St. John's University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Clinical Advisor to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In her role, Dr. Arya works to integrate pharmacists into public health initiatives, particularly among high-risk, medically underserved areas in NYC, and advises on legislation pertinent to pharmacy practice and access to care. She is part of the Divisional team within the Health Department and helped develop an equity tool for strategic planning. Vibhuti is also a Global Lead for Gender Equity and Diversity Workforce Development for the International Pharmacy Federation. She completed the Pharmaceutical Care Leadership Residency at the University of Minnesota, and her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of

Leonard Edloe


Dr. Edloe is the Retired CEO of Edloe’s Professional Pharmacies, Pastor of New Hope Fellowship, and Adjunct Professor of Christian Ethics at the John Leland Theological Center. He is a graduate of the Howard University College of Pharmacy where he serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Visitors and the University of Florida School of Pharmacy. He is a former trustee of APhA and Past President of the APhA Foundation. He was the first African American student to serve as a national officer of SAPhA and he served on the Task Force on Women in Pharmacy. He has served on the Clinical Faculties of four colleges of pharmacy and has earned degrees in theology for Virginia Union University and Union Presbyterian Seminary.

Kennedy M. Erickson


Ms. Erickson is a third-year student pharmacist at the Washington State University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and serves as the APhA – Academy of Student Pharmacists 2021-2022 National President-elect.

Meryam Gharbi


Dr. Gharbi is a community pharmacist at Walgreens. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, MD. She has served as a leader nationally as the 2017-2018 National Member-at-large of the American Pharmacists Association - Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP). Gharbi remains an active leader in APhA and Walgreens and serves as a coach for retail pharmacy teams.

Anne Lin, PharmD, FNAP


Dean and Professor

Notre Dame of Maryland University School of Pharmacy Baltimore, MD

Dr. Lin is the Founding Dean & Professor of the School of Pharmacy at Notre Dame of Maryland University. She received her. B.S. in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from St. John’s University and completed a clinical pharmacy residency at Medical College of Virginia Hospital. During her career, she has worked to include cultural competence, health care disparities and diversity issues into pharmacy curricula. Additionally, she has served on government and community committees to address issues of diversity and inclusion. Dr. Lin is the 2020-2021 President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

Michael A. Moné, BPharm, JD, FAPhA


President

Michael A. Moné and Associates, LLC Powell, OH

Mr. Mone is Principal at Michael A Mone and Associates where he provides advice on an array of pharmacy statutory, regulatory, and risk management issue. He previously was Vice President and Associate General Counsel – Regulatory with Cardinal Health. Mr. Mone is a pharmacist and an attorney and has worked with the Florida Board of Pharmacy, the USP, the Florida Attorney General and the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Pharmacists Association, the Florida Pharmacy Association, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Mr. Mone’s most valued volunteer contributions are his service as Parliamentarian to the APhA-ASP House of Delegates and to the APhA Institute on Substance Use Disorders where he has been able to engage with a diverse population of students and practitioners. Mr. Mone received his pharmacy and law education at the University of Florida. He was most recently awarded the Joseph L. Fink III Founders Award by the American Society for Pharmacy Law for sustained and outstanding service and contributions to the professions of pharmacy and law.

Parth Shah, PharmD, PhD


Assistant Professor

Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR) Fred Hutch Seattle, WA

Dr. Shah is an Assistant Professor at the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research and the Public Health Sciences Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He received his PharmD from the University of Southern California and PhD in Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research at the UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. He is a behavioral and implementation scientist who studies how to improve clinical practice and health policy in cancer prevention and control.

Adrienne Simmons, PharmD, MS, BCPS, AAHIVP


Director of Programs

(a program of the Hepatitis Education Project) Washington, DC

Dr. Simmons is Director of Programs at the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Pharmacy, completed a Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership residency at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Medical Center, and earned her Master’s degree in Pharmacy Administration from UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She has experience in federal and state legislative advocacy and has served on national policy committees for the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Anne Lin


Dr. Lin is the Founding Dean & Professor of the School of Pharmacy at Notre Dame of Maryland University. She received her. B.S. in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from St. John’s University and completed a clinical pharmacy residency at Medical College of Virginia Hospital. During her career, she has worked to include cultural competence, health care disparities and diversity issues into pharmacy curricula. Additionally, she has served on government and community committees to address issues of diversity and inclusion. Dr. Lin is the 2020-2021 President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.

Michael A. Mone


Mr. Mone is Principal at Michael A Mone and Associates where he provides advice on an array of pharmacy statutory, regulatory, and risk management issue. He previously was Vice President and Associate General Counsel – Regulatory with Cardinal Health. Mr. Mone is a pharmacist and an attorney and has worked with the Florida Board of Pharmacy, the USP, the Florida Attorney General and the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Pharmacists Association, the Florida Pharmacy Association, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Mr. Mone’s most valued volunteer contributions are his service as Parliamentarian to the APhA-ASP House of Delegates and to the APhA Institute on Substance Use Disorders where he has been able to engage with a diverse population of students and practitioners. Mr. Mone received his pharmacy and law education at the University of Florida. He was most recently awarded the Joseph L. Fink III Founders Award by the American Society for Pharmacy Law for sustained and outstanding service and contributions to the professions of pharmacy and law.

Parth Shah


Dr. Shah is an Assistant Professor at the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research and the Public Health Sciences Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He received his PharmD from the University of Southern California and PhD in Health Behavior at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Services Research at the UNC Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research. He is a behavioral and implementation scientist who studies how to improve clinical practice and health policy in cancer prevention and control.

Adrienne Simmons


Dr. Simmons is Director of Programs at the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Pharmacy, completed a Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership residency at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Medical Center, and earned her Master’s degree in Pharmacy Administration from UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She has experience in federal and state legislative advocacy and has served on national policy committees for the American Pharmacists Association and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

Ex Officio Members

APhA Board of Trustees

Sandra Leal, PharmD, MPH, CDCES


APhA President-elect

Chief Executive Officer SinfoníaRx Tucson, AZ

Theresa Tolle, BPharm, FAPhA


APhA President-elect

Scott Knoer, MS, PharmD


Chief Executive Officer/Executive Vice President

American Pharmacists Association Washington, DC

Sandra Leal


Dr. Leal is the Chief Executive Officer for SinfoníaRx, a national provider of Medication Therapy Management services. Dr. Leal has been a tireless advocate for recognition of pharmacists as healthcare providers. She has chaired numerous non-pharmacy boards and has served on multiple committees to champion the significant role that pharmacists have in improving access, quality and care for patients. Dr. Leal received her PharmD from the University of Colorado and her MPH in Public Health Practice from the University of Massachusetts. Dr. Leal completed her residency at the Southern Arizona VA Health Care System and a Primary Health Care Policy Fellowship with the Department of Health and Human Services. Her work has been published in Diabetes Care, Advances in Chronic Kidney Disease, American Journal of Health- System Pharmacy, Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, Annals of Internal Medicines and a discussion paper published by the Institute of Medicine entitled, “Patients and Health Care Teams Forging Effective Partnerships.” Her programs are a two-time recipient of the APhA Foundation Pinnacle Award, ASHP Best Practice Award in Health-System Pharmacy and the National Association of Community Health Centers Innovative Research in Primary Care Award. Dr. Leal was recognized as APhA’s Good Government Pharmacist-of-the-Year for her advocacy work on pharmacist provider status and currently serves as a member of the APhA Board of Trustees.

Theresa Tolle


Mrs. Tolle is owner of Bay Street Pharmacy in Sebastian, Florida for the past 17 years. Prior to owning an independent pharmacy, she had practice experience in chain, long term care (consultant) pharmacy and hospital. Her pharmacy focuses on patient services such as counseling, MTM, compounding, immunizations and pharmacogenomics testing. Her professional activities have spanned local, state and national pharmacy associations including serving as President of Florida Pharmacy Association in 2003, Treasurer of the Florida Pharmacy Political Committee since 2009, APhA-APPM Community & Ambulatory Chair 1995-96, PAC Region 2 Board of Governors 2009-12 and Speaker- Elect/Speaker of the House 2014-17. As Speaker, she currently serves as a Trustee for APhA. Other APhA service includes appointments to various House of Delegates committees including Policy Committee Chair in 2010-11, AMCP Model Audit Guidelines Task Group, 2010-11 and CPPA Oversight Committee 2012-13. Additional professional involvement includes membership and committee work with NCPA, Cardinal Health National Advisory Board, Health First Health Plans P&T Committee and Creative Pharmacist Advisory Board. Activities outside the profession include Sebastian Chamber of Commerce Immediate Past Board Chair & LGA Chair, American Cancer Society Treasure Coast Council, and Sebastian River Medical Center Trustee. Tolle graduated from University of Florida in 1988. She has won several professional awards including the Palm Beach Atlantic University Community Pharmacy Preceptor of the Year in 2015, Bowl of Hygeia in 2012, APhA Fellow in 2011, APhA Good Government Pharmacist of the Year in 2004 and Cardinal Health’s Ken Wurster Community Leadership Award in 2011.

Scott Knoer


Dr. Knoer received his BA in psychology from Creighton University in 1988 and his PharmD from the University of Nebraska in 1996. He completed a 2-year administrative residency with a concurrent MS degree in hospital pharmacy from the University of Kansas in 1998. Before his current leadership role at APhA, Dr. Knoer was the Chief Pharmacy Officer at the Cleveland Clinic from 2011 to 2020, where he led an international pharmacy enterprise with a $1.4 billion dollar drug budget and 1,558 FTEs in 18 hospitals with facilities in Ohio, Florida, and Nevada; Toronto; London; and Abu Dhabi. After graduation from pharmacy school, he was an Operations Manager at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston for 3 years. Moving to Minnesota, he was the Director of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, for a decade before being recruited to the Cleveland Clinic in 2011. Dr. Knoer has served the profession extensively through involvement in professional organizations at the local, state, and national levels. He is published widely on a variety of pharmacy and leadership topics. He is a frequent invited lecturer to state, national, and international audiences. He is often quoted as a health care expert on a broad array of topics in newspaper, radio, and television outlets. Dr. Knoer is a passionate advocate for patients and the profession of pharmacy. He has successfully lobbied boards of pharmacy in Ohio and Minnesota to allow the advancement of pharmacy practice, and he has led initiatives that changed Ohio and federal law related to the elevation of pharmacy practice and reducing the impact of drug shortages.

Primary Staff Liaison

Brian Lawson, PharmD


Associate Executive Director

Board of Pharmacy Specialties Washington, DC

Dr. Lawson is the Associate Executive Director for the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) where he monitors the professional pharmacy landscape and seeks collaborative relationships in the U.S. and around the globe that promote the value of board certification. Prior to BPS, he was the Associate Director, Governance for APhA with responsibilities related to the activities of the Board of Trustees, the House of Delegates, policy development, profession-wide awards, and Board elections. In 2008, Dr. Lawson was named the first Knowlton Center Executive Resident in Association Management and Leadership at the APhA Foundation and earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from West Virginia University. He is a former president of the WVU School of Pharmacy Alumni Association and serves on the School’s Leadership Council as well as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

Brian Lawson


Dr. Lawson is the Associate Executive Director for the Board of Pharmacy Specialties (BPS) where he monitors the professional pharmacy landscape and seeks collaborative relationships in the U.S. and around the globe that promote the value of board certification. Prior to BPS, he was the Associate Director, Governance for APhA with responsibilities related to the activities of the Board of Trustees, the House of Delegates, policy development, profession-wide awards, and Board elections. In 2008, Dr. Lawson was named the first Knowlton Center Executive Resident in Association Management and Leadership at the APhA Foundation and earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from West Virginia University. He is a former president of the WVU School of Pharmacy Alumni Association and serves on the School’s Leadership Council as well as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.