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Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day Speakers
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Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day Speakers

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Minnesota Pharmacy Legislative Day Speakers

Michelle Aytay

Michelle Aytay

RPh, CDE, Region #21 Clinical Services, Walgreens Co., MPhA President

Michelle Aytay graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996 and has been practicing community pharmacy with direct patient care in Minnesota since that time. She currently advances clinical pharmacy services in her work with Walgreens. Her volunteer leadership roles span numerous organizations. Aytay serves as MPhA President. Prior to assuming the presidency, she co-chaired the MPhA Public Affairs Committee and she currently serves as a member of the Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force. She is on the MPhA Board of Directors and Executive Finance Committee. She served as President of the Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation and remains on the Board. She is active in numerous capacities at the College of Pharmacy, including Past President of the Pharmacy Alumni Society and board member of the Century Mortar Club. She is a preceptor, residency director, mentor and Leadership Networking Partner. Aytay actively promotes the role of pharmacists in patients’ health through community involvement with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association. Her leadership has been recognized through numerous awards, most recently the University of Minnesota Pharmacy Alumni Society Distinguished Pharmacist Award. She also serves on the Minnesota Department of Health Pandemic Preparedness Task Force.



Sara Drake (Invited)

RPh, MPH, MBA, Principal, Mercer

Sara Drake is a Principal in Mercer’s Government Human Services Consulting practice. Her experiences across the pharmacy, government, and health care landscapes allow her to assist her clients in evaluation, research, analysis, and implementation of both new and existing policy options for managing Medicaid benefits in both the managed care and fee-for-service (FFS) environment.

Prior to joining Mercer, Sara worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) where she served in a dual role as the Deputy Director of Health Care Purchasing and Service Delivery and Pharmacy Program Manager. Prior to her role in state government, Sara’s experiences included management consulting, nonprofit health plan, inpatient hospital pharmacy, and retail pharmacy.



Molly Ekstrand

Molly J. Ekstrand

RPh, BCACP, AE-C, Medication Management Program Leader, Park Nicollet Health Services, MPhA Immediate Past President

Molly Ekstrand is a pharmacist and leader of the medication management (MTM) program at Park Nicollet Health Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team of 11 pharmacists has on-site presence in 75% of primary care sites reaching over 5000 unique patients each year. Ekstrand herself practiced comprehensive medication management in internal and family medicine clinics for over 12 years and understands how to fully utilize a pharmacist in a team based care model. Now as we evolve into alternative payment models with so much focus on medication related health outcomes, she has a passion for advocating to expand the role of pharmacists and to show how the profession of pharmacy is evolving.



Julie Freeman

PharmD, Cub Foods, MPhA Public Affairs Co-Chair

Julie Freeman is a staff pharmacist at Cub Pharmacy in St. Louis Park. She has been practicing community pharmacy in Iowa and Minnesota since earning her Doctorate of Pharmacy from The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2012. Julie, co-chair of the MPhA Public Affairs Committee, is also a member of the Iowa Pharmacy Association and the American Pharmacists Association.



Buck Humphrey

PATF Lobbyist

Buck Humphrey is an experienced government affairs and public relations executive with relationships and a track record with political leaders in Minnesota, throughout the Midwest and in our nation’s capital. For more than 20 years, Buck has worked at the intersection of the private and public sectors on issues at the federal, state and local levels. He knows and has worked with Gov. Dayton, the minority leaders, speakers and much of the Minnesota Senate and House legislative membership. He has similar relationships with state capitol leaders throughout the Midwest and around the country. Over the past 4 years, Buck has been on the lobbying team that has passed MAC transparency provisions and build a bipartisan patient pharmacy network access coalition. He is an experienced lobbyist, knowledgeable about our issues and with a strong desire and commitment to move our agenda.



Jeff Lindoo

Jeff Lindoo

RPh, Thrifty White (retired), MPhA Public Affairs Co-Chair

Jeff Lindoo, RPh, grew up in the world of pharmacy. His earliest experience consisted primarily of reading comic books in the back of his Grandfather's and Father's pharmacy in rural Wisconsin. He later graduated to responsibility for emptying the trash and finally worked as a clerk, made fountain syrups, scrubbed the floors and worked as a technician (before the concept of technicians really existed) in the pharmacy, preparing prescriptions for his Father's final approval. He has been a member of MPhA since graduating from the NDSU College of Pharmacy in 1974. He worked his entire 42-year career in pharmacy for Thrifty White Pharmacies, serving in multiple positions and retiring in June 2016. He is a past president of MPhA, serving as co-chair of the Public Affairs Committee. He is a member of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy National Board of Advisors. He served on the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy from 1996 to 2000 and as Vice President in 1999. He is a former member of the Minnesota Retailers Association Board of Directors and Board Chair in 2010. He is also a member of APhA, ASCP and NCPA.



John Pastor III

PharmD, FASHP, Director of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota Health, MSHP Public Policy Committee Co-Chair

John Pastor III, PharmD, FASHP is system director of acute care pharmacy services for Fairview Health Services, a multi-hospital integrated delivery network located in Minnesota. This role includes oversight of pharmacy services for the University of Minnesota Medical Center and the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, as well as services within all Fairview hospitals. He received his undergraduate and Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota, and completed an ASHP-accredited residency in Pharmacy Practice.

John enjoys teaching and is the Residency Program Director for a combined Master of Science degree and PGY1/2 residency in Health-System Pharmacy Administration and on the faculty as a clinical associate professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and Graduate School. John is a past-president of MSHP and co-leads public policy and advocacy efforts for the organization. He is also involved in ASHP and the Vizient Pharmacy Network, serving as Co-Chair of the Programming, Innovation and Engagement Committee.



Pamela Phelps

PharmD, FASHP, System Director, Clinical Services, Fairview Health Services, MSHP Public Policy Committee Co-Chair

Pamela Phelps serves as Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services for Fairview Hospitals and is VP, Clinical Investigations at Fairview Ventures. Dr. Phelps is responsible for standardization and implementation of clinical pharmacy programs and drug policy. She brings 25 years+ of hospital pharmacy experience to Fairview, serving in a number of positions, including; staff pharmacist, pharmacy supervisor, assistant director, and director. She manages the pharmaceutical drug spend for Fairview Hospitals, with $2M in drug cost savings per year. Dr. Phelps is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota and is Residency Program Director for Fairview’s ASHP-Accredited Pharmacy Residency Program. Her leadership has grown the residency program from 6 to 30 residents during her tenure. She has 32 national publications, including as editor of a book on smart pumps, and 48 invited presentations. Dr. Phelps is past Chair of the ASHP Council on Therapeutics, a member of the ASHP Section of Pharmacy Practice Managers, an author of the Pharmacy Forecast Strategic Planning publication, and Past-President of the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists.



Rachel Root

PharmD, MS, BCPS, Pharmacy Manager, Abbott Northwestern Hospital, MSHP President, PATF Co-Chair

Rachel is responsible for the sterile product preparation area, neurology/orthopedics/spine clinical practice, investigational medication program, coordination of APPE/IPPE students, and shares responsibility for medication distribution. Rachel obtained both her Doctor of Pharmacy degree and Master of Science degree in Social and Administrative Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota. She completed a two-year pharmacy administration residency at the University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview. Following her residency, Rachel assumed the role of Inpatient Pharmacy Operations Manager at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, OR before moving into her current role. Rachel is an active member of MSHP and ASHP having served in a variety of roles in both organizations. Currently, Rachel serves as MSHP President.



Steve Schondelmeyer

Stephen Schondelmeyer

PharmD, PhD, CMC Endowed Chair, Professor & Head, Department of Pharmaceutical and Health System, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy

Stephen W. Schondelmeyer, PharmD, PhD, is a professor of Pharmaceutical Economics in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota, where he holds the Century Mortar Club Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Management and Economics. Dr. Schondelmeyer is also the Director of the PRIME Institute, which focuses on economic and policy analysis related to the role of pharmaceuticals and pharmacists in society. A leading expert on pharmaceutical economics and public policy, Dr. Schondelmeyer has spent his 40-year career working extensively on competition and pricing of drug products, affordability and access to drug therapy and pharmacists service, coverage and reimbursement policy under public and private third party programs, and pharmacy workforce trends and policy. His work has shaped both policy and actions related to the role of pharmaceuticals and pharmacists’ services in today’s society. He has served as an advisor to the U.S. Congress, to many state legislatures, and to foreign governments. He is often called upon by the public media as an expert on the dynamic and economic aspects of the pharmaceutical market. Dr. Schondelmeyer holds a BS in Pharmacy from the University of Missouri; a PharmD and clinical pharmacy residency from the University of Kentucky; and a Master’s in Public Administration and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Administration from Ohio State University.



Jill Strykowski

Jill Strykowski

MS RPh BCPS, Director of Pharmacy, Mercy & Unity Hospitals, Allina Health, PATF Co-Chair

Jill Strykowski received her Bachelor's degree in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Master of Science in Social and Administrative Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota. Her Master's thesis was entitled Implementation and Outcome Analysis of an Anticoagulation Clinic. Jill has written and lectured about various aspects of antithrombotic care; but importantly, it was through this work that she became passionate and interested in the potential of leadership of pharmacy practice. Jill is currently the Director of Pharmacy for Mercy Hospital and Unity Hospital in the 13-hospital Allina Health system. Jill has mentored PharmD-IV students and Residents for the last 15 years and has found this relationship to be the greatest joy in assisting young pharmacists in reaching their personal and professional goals. Jill served as president of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association In 2013-14. Jill has served as a co-chair for the Pharmacy Advocacy Task Force to advance legislative changes for the practice of pharmacy. Jill also serves as a member of to the Dean's College of Pharmacy Advisory Board. Additional interests include participation in global health using the practice of pharmacy to advance health care. Jill has traveled with pharmacy students and residents to Peru and Tanzania to assist with the provision of pharmacy services in resource poor areas. Jill is also interested in health care public policy, patient safety initiatives, and new business opportunities for the profession that serve the needs of our communities through the practice of pharmacy.



Cody Wiberg

PharmD, MS, RPh, Executive Director, Minnesota Board of Pharmacy

Cody Wiberg, the Executive Director of the Minnesota Board of Pharmacy, received a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Minnesota in 1985. He has worked as a clinical pharmacist, community pharmacist and nursing home consultant. From 1999, until he joined the Board in September of 2005, he was the Pharmacy Program Manager for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. In that position, he supervised the staff the managed the State’s publicly funded pharmacy benefits, including those for Medicaid. Dr. Wiberg is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and an Instructor and Course Director for the University of Florida Graduate School. (From which he received a Master of Science in Pharmacy Policy and Outcomes in 2009). Dr. Wiberg was named to Minnesota Physician's quadrennial list of the state's 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

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