APhA Senior Staff Biographies

Scott Knoer, MS, PharmD, FASHP, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer

Scott Knoer, MS, PharmD, FASHP, is the 13th Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Pharmacists Association. He 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.

Rafael Saenz, PharmD, MS, FASHP, Chief of Staff

Rafael Saenz received his Pharm.D. from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, and his Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Wisconsin, while concurrently completing the Pharmacy Administration Residency Program at the University of Wisconsin Hospital.

Between 2011 and 2019, Rafael served as the Chief Pharmacy Officer at the University of Virginia (UVA) where he oversaw the pharmacy enterprise for the health system. In this role, Rafael led an expert team that successfully deployed clinical pharmacist services throughout the system, implemented LEAN medication distribution workflows, oversaw a $250M drug expense budget, increased the department’s revenue to attribute to over 45% of all medical center net revenues, and created several new business lines for UVA including a full service specialty pharmacy. Further, Rafael led the expansion of pharmacy residency programs at UVA, tripling the availability of positions during his tenure.

Prior to UVA, Rafael served as Pharmacy Operations Manager for UPMC in Pittsburgh. In this role, he had oversight for clinical unit-based pharmacy services and retail operations, before switching his focus to the pharmacy practice sites within UPMC’s international ventures in Palermo, Italy and Dublin, Ireland. Rafael has deployed clinical services, information technology systems, created supply chains, met regulatory and accreditation requirements, implemented best practices in medication use safety, and launched new pharmacy business initiatives domestically and internationally.

Rafael has served the profession through active membership in state and national pharmacy organizations. He has served on workforce and education committees with various organizations aimed at increasing the pharmacist and technician scope of practice. In 2015, Rafael was appointed to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and served as Chair of the Board from 2018-2019.

Ilisa BG Bernstein, PharmD, JD, FAPhA, Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Practice and Government Affairs

Dr. Bernstein is responsible for leading the development and implementation of APhA’s strategies related to professional affairs, pharmacy practice, advocacy, and government affairs.

She has over 30 years of experience advocating for pharmacy and patients at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where she has held several senior leadership positions. Prior to joining APhA, Dr. Bernstein was deputy director of FDA’s Office of Compliance in the Center for Drug Evaluation & Research, leading domestic and global policies, compliance, and enforcement in areas such as drug compounding, supply chain security, drug quality, drug shortages, and post-market drug safety. Dr. Bernstein also served as director of pharmacy affairs for FDA and senior advisor for regulatory policy in the Office of the Commissioner. She started at FDA as clinical pharmacology reviewer of investigational and new drug applications.

Previously, Dr. Bernstein was senior associate director of worldwide regulatory affairs for Pfizer and completed a post-doctoral clinical residency at the National Institutes of Health. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Michigan and her Juris Doctor from American University Washington College of Law

Antonio Ciaccia, Senior Advisor, Disruptive Innovation and Practice Transformation

Antonio Ciaccia is chief strategy officer for 3 Axis Advisors (3AA), a consultancy that partners with private and government sector organizations to solve complex, systemic problems, and propel industry reform through data-driven advocacy.

Ciaccia and 3AA were instrumental in exposing the drug pricing distortions and supply chain inefficiencies embedded in Ohio’s Medicaid managed care program, which led to the discovery of $244 million in hidden PBM spread pricing in just one year. This set off a tidal wave of national scrutiny and reform, and their more recent data analyses have exposed new ways in which middlemen abuse a lack of transparency, poor incentives, conflicts of interest, and unchecked power to undermine patient care and siphon value out of the healthcare system.

Ciaccia is also a co-founder of 46brooklyn Research, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the transparency and accessibility of drug pricing data for the American public. He previously served as the government affairs director at the Ohio Pharmacists Association, where in addition to his work exposing PBM waste, he also advanced pharmacist provider status to a point where four out of five of the state’s Medicaid managed care plans redesigned incentives to elevate the role of the pharmacist as a clinical service provider.

Frank Fortin, CAE, Senior Vice President, Communications, Marketing and Media Relations

Mr. Fortin is responsible for the development and implementation of leading-edge communications, marketing and media relations strategies to to ensure that APhA is effectively represented to members, the public and other stakeholders.

Fortin has worked as an association executive for more than 20 years. Prior to joining APhA, he held senior positions with the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society of General Internal Medicine. He has served as a consultant and advisor to a wide variety of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, both as president of High Rock Strategies in Alexandria, Va., and as a vice president with RDW Group in Providence, R.I. He began his career in journalism, serving as a reporter, editor and producer for 10 years in print and broadcast news organizations in New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He has been a Certified Association Executive (CAE) since 2011 and is an active volunteer with the American Society of Association Executives. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English (cum laude) from Providence College.

Joseph J. Janela, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President, Finance and Administration

As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Janela serves as a business partner to the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Management Team, assessing organizational performance against both the annual budget and long-term strategy. He is responsible for all aspects of the financial affairs of APhA including banking, investment programs, financial management, budgeting, long-range planning and forecasting, financial analysis, and internal control systems, as well as fiscal and operational oversight of the Association’s office building and related office lease operations. In addition, he oversees the effective and efficient operation of APhA’s Administrative Services and Information Technology Departments in support of APhA’s association-wide activities.

Prior to joining APhA, Mr. Janela served as Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), a not-for-profit trade association with 26,000 school and clinical psychologists. As the COO, he is responsible for the business and office operations of NASP and the finance and governance of two related charitable organizations. Prior to NASP, he was the Director of Finance and Accounting at the American Association of Blood Banks and Chief Financial Officer and Senior Director, Business Operations for The Endocrine Society. Joe, a certified public accountant, received his Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Finance from the Catholic University of America.

Jule Miller, Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Ms. Miller leads a human resources team in driving the alignment and integration between organizational priorities and the implications for managing talent, including workforce planning, talent acquisition, performance management, compensation and rewards and individual learning and grown. As a member of the Senior Leadership Team, Ms. Miller works closely with senior management, the Board of Directors and staff to promote organizational sustainability through strategic initiatives and challenges such as leadership development, diversity and professional and personal alignment and balance.

Before joining APhA in August of 2005, Ms. Miller was Human Resources Director for Educational Services, Inc., a government contracting firm specializing in communications, program development, training and technical assistance for public and private sector clients in the fields of education, health, child welfare and family services. Previously, she was Vice President, Human Resources at MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding the world of quality mentoring for at-risk youth, where she was responsible for all aspects of human resources. Ms. Miller also served in an HR and Administrative Services management role at Lane & Mittendorf, a New York-based law firm representing clients in corporate, bankruptcy, litigation, real estate and finance.

Ms. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and Russian from Colorado State University.

Mitchel C. Rothholz, RPh, MBA, Chief of Governance & State Affiliates; Executive Director, APhA Foundation

Mr. Rothholz is responsible for organizational governance, policy development, state relations, public health activities, and management of APhA alliance participation and other external activities. He also serves as the Executive Director of the APhA Foundation and is Secretary for the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP). He is a 1984 graduate of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy and has worked as an association executive for more than 36 years. In 2005, he earned a masters of business administration with an emphasis in health care management from Regis University.

Before taking a position with APhA, Mr. Rothholz served as Executive Director of the Alabama Pharmacy Association from 1989 to 1994 and was the first pharmacist executive for that organization. Prior to his tenure in Alabama, he served on the staff of the Florida Pharmacy Association from 1984 to 1989. He has practiced in chain and independent community pharmacies as well as nursing home, hospital, and managed care practice settings. His professional experience includes developing continuing education programs, editing professional publications, overseeing legislative and regulatory activities, and developing pharmaceutical care programs such as the implementation of pharmacy-based immunization services.

Mr. Rothholz is a member of several immunization coalitions and serves on the Executive Committee of the AMA/CDC National Influenza Vaccine Summit and Advisory Board of the Immunization Action Coalition. He has worked on projects involving collaboration between pharmacists, physicians, and other health care professionals leading to improved patient care outcomes.

Daniel Zlott, PharmD, BCOP, Senior Vice President, Education and Business Development

Prior to joining APhA, Dr. Zlott worked for 10 years as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist with the National Cancer Institute’s Immunotherapy, Surgery, Endocrine Oncology, and Thoracic/GI Malignancy Branches at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He was part of the team that developed and administered the first Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell therapy given to treat B-cell cancers. Dr. Zlott was also the Director of the NIH PGY2 Oncology Pharmacy Residency Program and a clinical investigator on more than 40 NCI-sponsored clinical trials, examining new and innovative ways to treat cancer. While at NIH, he served for 5 years on the National Cancer Institute’s Institutional Review Board. Dan has served two terms on the Board of Trustees of the American Pharmacists Association and has also chaired numerous committees with the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association. He is a graduate of the University of California San Francisco and completed his PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency there before moving to the NIH, where he completed his PGY2 Oncology Pharmacy Residency.