APhA Announces Candidates for President-elect, Trustees and Honorary President

The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) today announced the slate of candidates for its Board of Trustees, President-elect, and Honorary President. The elections for these positions will be held March 22–May 13, 2019. Association members will have the opportunity to meet the candidates at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Seattle on March 22–25, 2019.


The two candidates for President-elect for 2020–2021 are Daniel E. Buffington of Tampa, FL, and Sandra Leal of Tucson, AZ. The two pairs nominated for election to serve 2020–2023 terms on the APhA Board of Trustees are: James Kirby of Cincinnati, OH, vs. Randy McDonough of Iowa City, IA; and Caroline Gaither of Minneapolis, MN, vs. Alex Varkey of Sugar Land, TX. Tery Baskin of Little Rock, AR, is unopposed as the candidate for Honorary President.


Attendees of the 2019 APhA Annual Meeting will have an opportunity to hear from the candidates for President-elect during the Opening General Session on Saturday, March 23rd and for Trustee positions at the First Session of the APhA House of Delegates on Friday, March 22, in Rooms 6A and 6B of Seattle’s Washington State Convention Center. Attendees will be able to visit face-to-face with the candidates at the “Meet the Candidates” session to be held near the entrance to Exhibit Halls EF of the Washington State Convention Center Saturday, March 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.


Ballots for APhA's upcoming Board of Trustees elections will be e-mailed to members on the afternoon of Friday, March 22, 2019, along with ballots for candidates for the executive committees and sections of the APhA Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management (APhA–APPM) and the APhA Academy of Pharmaceutical Research & Science (APhA–APRS) and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Also contained within the ballot will be an amendment to the APhA Bylaws regarding Article 6 House of Delegates and Article 7 Recognized and Affiliated Organizations. Any amendment to the APhA Bylaws needs to be voted on by the full membership and, as such, is contained as an additional section within the election ballot. Further election, candidate, and Bylaws amendment information will be available online in mid-January. Find more information on each candidate at APhA’s Election website.


Candidates for President-elect

Daniel E. Buffington, PharmD, MBA, FAPhA, is President of Clinical Pharmacology Services, a clinic-based specialty practice in Tampa, FL. He is on faculty at the University of South Florida’s Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy and served as a Medication Safety Expert with CMS and CMMI for 6 years, focused on innovation models to promote and evaluate medication safety and MTM services. He is completing his second term on the APhA Board of Trustees and serves on the Florida Pharmacy Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He has previously served as President of both the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists (FSHP) and the American Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (AIPS). He has served on the national Pharmacy HIT Collaborative, the AMA Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel and the RBRVS Update Committee (RUC), focused on pharmacist reimbursement coding. His practice experience includes ambulatory care, drug information, hospital, managed care, clinical research, health IT and forensic pharmacology and toxicology. He received his PharmD and MBA degrees from Mercer University and completed his residency and clinical pharmacology fellowship at Emory University. He has been recognized as an APhA Fellow and has received numerous professional awards, including the APhA Foundation Pinnacle Award, the APhA Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence Award and the ASHP Award of Excellence and has been recognized multiple times as Florida Pharmacist of the Year (FPA and FSHP). He is committed to expanding the utilization and impact of pharmacists' services to improve health outcomes and patient safety, as well as assisting to reduce the total cost.


Sandra Leal, PharmD, MPH, FAPhA, CDE, is the Chief Operating Officer for Sinfonía Rx, a national provider of medication therapy management services. Dr. Leal has been a tireless advocate for recognition of pharmacists as health care providers. She has chaired numerous nonpharmacy 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 Medicine 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, the 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.


Candidates for Trustee (Pair One)

James Kirby, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, is the Senior Director of Pharmacy Services for the Kroger Company. His main responsibilities include: establishing a comprehensive clinical pharmacy strategy; overseeing Kroger’s vaccination, medication therapy management, health screening, and disease management/education programs; training and developing pharmacy staff in core clinical content areas; driving innovation in patient care through creation and/or support of pilot programs that improve the medication use process and integrate pharmacists into team-based care environments; and lead/support Kroger’s advocacy efforts for the advancement of the profession of pharmacy. The programs and services he has overseen at Kroger have made a significant impact on the lives of patients and health of our communities, while demonstrating the value of pharmacist-provided care, and have received recognition from OutcomesMTM, ADA and AADE for quality in diabetes self-management education and accreditation by the Center for Pharmacy Practice Accreditation. APhA and the APhA Foundation has honored Kroger with the Immunization Champion Award, Pinnacle Award, and the H.A.B. Dunning Award. James earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from The Ohio State University in 1998 and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Cincinnati in 2002. He has worked as a pharmacist in a variety of settings, including retail, mail, hospital, and managed care/specialty pharmacy. James is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, Certified Diabetes Educator and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati.


Randy McDonough, BS, PharmD, MS, BCGP, BCPS, FAPhA, RPh, is co-owner of Towncrest, Solon Towncrest, and Towncrest Compounding Pharmacies.  He is also co-owner of Innovative Pharmacy Solutions and Thrive Pharmacy Transformations. He oversees Towncrest’s clinical services, including MTM services, nursing-home consulting, wellness screenings, immunizations and adherence services. He is responsible for development, implementation and quality assurance for all aspects of the clinic and services. He is board certified in geriatrics and pharmacotherapy. His areas of interest include community-based outcomes research, geriatrics, chronic disease, management, and the development of patient care initiatives in community pharmacy. Dr. McDonough has published and presented extensively on pharmaceutical care and MTM in the community pharmacy setting. In particular, he is recognized for his efforts in developing and implementing patient care services. He coauthored a book on pharmaceutical care and has written chapters for several other texts. He presents nationally and internationally on pharmaceutical care, MTM services and value-based reimbursement in the community pharmacy setting. More recently, two papers have been published that highlight his work in implementing a new workflow process that emphasizes the role of community pharmacists of ensuring that patients are achieving their therapeutic outcomes with safe and effective medications. This led to a pilot program with the largest payer in Iowa and resulted in Towncrest Pharmacy saving the payer $300.00 per member per month in total health care costs. Randy is a member of APhA, National Community Pharmacists Association, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and Iowa Pharmacy Association. He currently serves as a member of the APhA Board of Trustees.

Candidates for Trustee (Pair Two)

Caroline A. Gaither, RPh, MS, PhD, FAPhA, serves as Senior Associate Dean, Professional Education Division and Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health-Systems, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. She has over 25 years of experience as an educator, researcher and faculty member and practiced pharmacy in various community settings where she developed an interest in pharmacists’ work-related attitudes and behaviors. She received her pharmacy degree from the University of Toledo and advanced degrees in Pharmacy Administration from Purdue University. Dr. Gaither obtained leadership experiences as director of graduate studies, department chair and assistant/senior associate dean. She served on APhA–APRS ESAS committees related to abstract review, postgraduate activities and section program planning. As the author of over 100 research publications and presentations, she provides educational content for APhA Annual Meetings and for JAPhA as manuscript reviewer and author. She served a 3-year term as Chair of the Social and Administrative Sciences Section of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. In 2001, she was awarded the best-published paper from APhA–APRS ESAS and, in 2015, the Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy Impact Paper Award. She was selected as a Fellow of APhA–APRS in 2006 and received the distinguished alumnus award from the University of Toledo in 2007. Dr. Gaither is a member of the Midwest Pharmacy Workforce Research Consortium, a research team that studies trends in the pharmacist workforce. Dr. Gaither understands the vital role of colleges/schools of pharmacy and professional associations in the education and training of pharmacists.


Alex C. Varkey, PharmD, MS, FAPhA, is the Director of Pharmacy at Houston Methodist Hospital (HMH), a 924-bed nonprofit academic teaching hospital in Houston, TX. Alex received his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Houston in 2005. He then completed a 2-year administrative residency at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, while completing his Master of Science in Health-System Pharmacy Administration at The Ohio State University in 2007. Alex has prioritized professional involvement since he was a student pharmacist, serving as national president of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA–ASP) and voting member of the APhA Board of Trustees in 2004–2005. Upon graduating, Varkey remained active with APhA, serving in elected positions in both APhA–APRS and APhA–APPM. Alex currently serves on the APhA Board of Trustees. Alex has also served in organizations such as the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists through various appointed positions. Varkey is an accomplished writer and public speaker, having authored and coauthored several articles in national publications, and has served as a keynote speaker at local and national meetings. Varkey is passionate about educating pharmacy learners, having developed a 2-year health-system pharmacy administration residency and a longitudinal internship program throughout his tenure at HMH. For his efforts, he has won several awards, including the Gulf Coast Society of Health-System Pharmacists Outstanding Pharmacist in 2014 and the University of Houston College of Pharmacy Alumnus Pharmacist of the Year in 2018.


Candidate for Honorary President

Tery Baskin, PharmD, FAPhA, is President/CEO at RxResults and currently the APhA Treasurer. RxResults is an evidence-based risk management company that works in cooperation with the University of Arkansas College of Pharmacy. His lifelong commitment to the profession of pharmacy and to the success of APhA have made him stand out as an amazing pharmacy leader in Arkansas and across the United States, according to his nominators. His long history of pharmacy leadership began while he was still in pharmacy school as a student leader at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy and with the then-SAPhA (now APhA–ASP) as national Speaker of the House. Upon graduation from pharmacy school, he hit the ground running on professional involvement, becoming a member of the Arkansas Pharmacists Association (APA) board of directors and rising to become the youngest president ever of APA. He has owned and operated independent pharmacies in Arkansas and spent a number of years on the staff of the for-profit arm of the APA, where he worked on the early development of what would become the first Arkansas-owned and -operated PBM, Pharmacy Associates Inc. (PAI). Baskin ran PAI for almost 15 years, until it sold in 2000 to National Medical Health Card. During his time of building and operating PAI, he served on the APhA Board of Trustees. As the PBM marketplace moved away from a focus on the pharmacist and their interaction with patients, Baskin recognized a need in the marketplace to emphasize and leverage the role of the pharmacist, so he created a new company called RxResults. RxResults is focused on connecting employers and pharmacists to provide the best possible pharmacist care to the employer’s employees. The goal is simply to use the pharmacist to achieve the best possible health outcomes for the patients. Baskin has been previously recognized as the APA Pharmacist of the Year and as an APhA Fellow. He’s served on the Board of Directors of the APhA Foundation and as the Foundation’s President. Baskin has created a career focused on expanding the pharmacist’s role in health care, and he has spent his professional life volunteering with APhA, an organization that has helped shape and develop him as a pharmacist. Baskin has been supported on his professional journey by his wife, Mary, who has been a great supporter during his career.

Short Description
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) announced the slate of candidates for its Board of Trustees, President-elect, and Honorary President. The elections for these positions will be held March 22–May 13, 2019. Association members will have the opportunity to meet the candidates at the APhA Annual Meeting & Exposition in Seattle on March 22–25, 2019.