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Published on Tuesday, January 18, 2022

APhA announces candidates for president-elect, trustees, and honorary president

WASHINGTON, DC—The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) announced the slate of candidates for its board of trustees, president-elect, and honorary president today. The elections for these positions will be held March 18–April 18, 2022.

The 2 candidates for president-elect for 2023–2024 are Sean M. Jeffery of Branford, CT, and Alex C. Varkey of Sugar Land, TX. The 2 pairs nominated for election to serve 2023–2026 terms on the APhA Board of Trustees are Scott Tomerlin of Rockledge, FL, versus Cathy L. Worrall of Mount Pleasant, SC and Lauren E. Bode of Saint Albans, VT versus Parth D. Shah of Seattle, WA. James A. Ponto of Iowa City, IA, is unopposed as the candidate for honorary president.

Ballots for APhA's upcoming board of trustees elections will be emailed to members on the afternoon of Friday, March 18, 2022, 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). Further election and candidate information will be available online at APhA's election website.

Candidates for president-elect

Sean M. Jeffery, PharmD, BCGP, FASCP, AGSF, is a tireless advocate for recognizing pharmacists as health care providers and for expanding pharmacist practice opportunities. He is director of pharmacy at Integrated Care Partners, Hartford HealthCare's clinically integrated delivery network. Jeffery oversees pharmacy quality measures and provides consultative services for primary care. Additionally, he is leading pharmacy clinical informatics efforts in Connecticut to create a best-possible medication history through the state's health information exchange. Jeffery is a cofunded clinical professor at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. He was previously a consultant pharmacist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, where he served as a PGY-2 geriatrics residency program director. Jeffery earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut, PharmD from the Ohio State University, and completed a specialty residency in geriatrics at the Durham VA and Duke Center for Aging. His service to APhA includes one term as a trustee on the APhA Policy Committee and 3 years on the finance committee. Outside of APhA, Jeffery was president and chairman of the board of directors for the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists from 2012 - 2014 and chair of the 2007–2008 American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Geriatrics SIG. He also chaired the Polypharmacy Special Interest Group for the American Geriatrics Society (AGS). He was recognized as a fellow of the AGS, was an Ohio State University Distinguished Alumnus, and received the Elan Biopharmaceuticals Innovative Pharmacy Practice Award. In 2021, Jeffery and his daughter became first-time beekeepers.

Alex C. Varkey, PharmD, MS, FAPhA, has dedicated his career to advancing the pharmacist's role in patient care. His passion for professional service began as a student pharmacist, when he served as national president of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA–ASP). As APhA–ASP president, Varkey initiated several new national patient care programs as part of his campaign to promote professional and public service for pharmacy. Varkey's service and dedication to APhA have continued for almost 2 decades, including his current service as trustee on the APhA Board of Trustees. Varkey is passionate about promoting practitioner well-being as an essential component to a well-functioning health care system. As chair of APhA's Well-Being Steering Committee, Varkey develops awareness of well-being concerns in pharmacy and resources to help individuals and organizations address these concerns. Recognized as a pharmacy thought leader on practitioner well-being, Varkey has been invited to speak at numerous conferences and has authored several publications. Varkey is director of pharmacy at Houston Methodist Hospital. In this 950-bed academic medical center, he has implemented innovative technologies to enhance efficiency and safety in medication-use processes and developed thriving learner programs including an award-winning 2-year Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership residency. Most recently, he has coordinated efforts to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to over 150,000 Houstonians. Varkey received his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Houston and Master of Science in Health-System Pharmacy Administration from The Ohio State University. He completed a 2-year Health-System Pharmacy Administration Residency at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Candidates for trustee (Pair one)

Scott Tomerlin, PharmD, CPh, is a Florida-licensed pharmacist. He is the pharmacy manager for Walgreens Pharmacy in Rockledge, FL. Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Tomerlin is a 2006 graduate of the Mercer University College of Pharmacy in Atlanta. There, he met his future wife, Teresa, during their first semester of pharmacy school. Teresa is a pharmacist for MTT Corp. He and his wife have 3 children: John, Nathan, and Isabella. Tomerlin is a 2006 graduate of Mercer University College of Pharmacy and has had training in the independent and chain community, hospital, ambulatory and nuclear settings. He also had the opportunity to complete a 5-week international rotation in Hiroshima, Japan, at the University of Hiroshima during his fourth year of rotations. Tomerlin has served in numerous leadership roles within the profession of pharmacy, including president of the Florida Pharmacy Association, president of the Brevard County Pharmacy Association, and, most recently, on the APhA Political Action Committee Board of Governors. Tomerlin was the recipient of the Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year Award by the Florida Pharmacy Association in 2007 and the Mercer University College of Pharmacy Young Alumni of the Year award in 2016. He most recently served on the Mercer University College of Pharmacy Alumni Association Board. Tomerlin is an Eagle Scout and proudly gives back to the community through his involvement in the American Cancer Society and serving as the treasurer of his son's Boy Scout troop.

Cathy L. Worrall, BSN, PharmD, BCPS, FAPhA, is the associate dean for admissions and student affairs and a professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) College of Pharmacy. Formerly a critical care registered nurse, Worrall earned her PharmD at the University of Florida then completed a residency in critical care and nutrition support therapeutics at the University of Tennessee—Memphis. Following residency training, Worrall worked as a critical care clinical pharmacy specialist at the Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, MN, where she started Mayo's critical care pharmacy residency program. She later accepted a position at MUSC, where she specialized in burn, trauma, and nutrition support until she transitioned 12 years ago to the dean's office at the College of Pharmacy. Worrall is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist. Her current research interests focus on student pharmacist personal and professional development, including professionalism, self-awareness, leadership development, emotional intelligence, and wellness and resiliency. Worrall is an active member of AACP, APhA, Phi Lambda Sigma (PLS), Rho Chi, the South Carolina Pharmacy Association (SCPhA), and the South Carolina Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists. She has served in numerous leadership roles in these organizations. Worrall is an APhA Fellow, a past recipient of APhA's Distinguished Achievement Award in Hospital/Institutional Practice, SCPhA's Kenneth Couch Distinguished Mentor Award, and the 2021 recipient of the PLS Proctor and Gamble National Leadership Award.

Candidates for trustee (Pair Two)

Lauren E. Bode, PharmD, BCPS, CDCES, is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the Vermont campus of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and practices with the University of Vermont Department of Family Medicine as an ambulatory care clinical specialist. In 2010, she graduated summa cum laude from Boston University with a degree in art conservation but realized she wanted to use chemistry to restore people instead of art and went to the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, graduating with the highest honors in 2016. After graduation, she completed a PGY-1 and PGY-2 pharmacotherapy residency at the University of North Carolina Medical Center. Involvement in APhA and state pharmacy organizations has been a feature of her career since being a student, serving as the APhA–ASP Speaker of the House and then in various state and national leadership positions, including chair of the APhA New Practitioner Advisory Committee. She is unwavering in her belief that pharmacists are central to improving patients' lives and seeks to create opportunities for pharmacists to do so in innovative and fulfilling ways. For her efforts, Bode was awarded the Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award from the Vermont Pharmacists Association in 2019.

Parth D. Shah, PharmD, PhD, is a pharmacist, behavioral scientist, and faculty member at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch). Shah conducts implementation science and health services research, evaluating and designing programs and interventions that aim to improve the impact of pharmacists in cancer prevention and control and public health. Shah has a national reputation as a vaccination researcher. His work has informed national policy recommendations from the president's cancer panel and National Vaccine Advisory Committee to expand the role of pharmacists in adolescent immunizations. Additionally, he is currently an implementation scientist with the COVID-19 Prevention Network headquartered at Fred Hutch, responsible for several U.S.-sponsored COVID-19 vaccine trials. He has fostered multidisciplinary collaborations to advance public health efforts, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, he has spearheaded projects with the Washington State Department of Health to expand COVID-19 testing and vaccination implementation in community pharmacies. His research has helped establish reimbursement models to sustain COVID-19 services. As a member of APhA for the past 14 years, he has held a variety of elected and appointed leadership positions, notably as APhA–ASP national member-at-large, as well as a member of the APhA Taskforce on Systemic Racism, the APhA Member Engagement Structure Redesign Taskforce, and the APhA New Business Review Committee. Additionally, Shah has served as a delegate for APhA–ASP and APhA–APRS for several years and has been dedicated to student pharmacist professional development, serving multiple times as a National Patient Counseling Competition judge.

Candidate for honorary president

James A. Ponto, BSPharm, MS, RPh, FAPhA, is emeritus clinical professor at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. He earned his BSPharm from University of Iowa and MS in radiopharmacy from the University of Southern California. Ponto completed a short residency in nuclear pharmacy at Duke University Medical Center. He then spent his career at the University of Iowa, where he was chief nuclear pharmacist at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and clinical professor at the college of pharmacy until his recent retirement. Ponto has been a continuously board-certified nuclear pharmacist since the inaugural BPS certification exam in 1982. In APhA, he served on numerous APhA–APPM and nuclear pharmacy committees, including chair of the Section on Nuclear Pharmacy. He also served on various BPS groups, including as Nuclear Pharmacy Specialty Council chair, non-specialist member on the Nutrition Support Specialty Council, and 2 terms on the BPS Board of Directors. He has also served on several United States Pharmacopeia (USP) expert committees and expert panels. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, 40 abstracts, 20 book chapters, and numerous CE lessons. Honors received from APhA include fellow, Distinguished Achievement Award in Nuclear Pharmacy Practice, Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence Award, and 4 poster Presentation Merit Awards. Other honors include ASHP Fellow, Society of Nuclear Medicine Presidential Distinguished Service Award, and USP Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Standards. As a practitioner and educator, he strove to advance nuclear pharmacy specialty practice and recognize, promote, and advance other practice specialties in pharmacy.

About APhA

APhA is the only organization advancing the entire pharmacy profession. Our expert staff and strong volunteer leadership, including many experienced pharmacists, allow us to deliver vital leadership to help pharmacists, pharmaceutical scientists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians find success and satisfaction in their work and advocate for changes that benefit them, their patients, and their communities. For more information, please visit


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