PQA Expands its Team to Focus on Quality Strategies, Education & Communications


The Pharmacy Quality Alliance has announced an expansion of its team by bringing on board two new staff and promoting an individual from the existing PQA team into a new position.


Springfield, VA (July 12, 2016) - The Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA) is pleased to announce an expansion of its team by bringing on board two new staff and promoting an individual from the existing PQA team into a new position. “We have been very fortunate to attract three pharmacists, Drs. Hannah Fish, Matthew Pickering, and Melissa (Mel) Nelson to the PQA team. Their combined skill set and commitment to PQA’s mission and strategic plan, as well as their experiences working in a multi-stakeholder environment will allow them to meet the growing needs of a healthcare system in a transition from volume to value. Their strong foundations and unique strengths and expertise complement the existing team, and we are excited for the future growth of PQA”, shared PQA’s Executive Director, Laura Cranston.

Dr. Hannah Fish, PharmD, CPHQ has been appointed to a new position on the PQA team, namely the position of Associate Director of Education and Communications. Dr. Fish successfully completed her Executive Fellowship with PQA, having served as the organization’s third fellow after graduating from the University of Toledo. In her role as fellow, she championed the growth of the PQA academic component of our membership. She also has successfully led the PQA Ambassadors Program, launched a new PQA Scholars program, and instituted several new programs for students and faculty in conjunction with the PQA Annual Meeting. Dr. Fish will lead PQA’s educational initiatives and build out PQA’s external communication initiatives in this new position. The PQA Fellowship is designed to produce the next generation of leaders in healthcare quality and association management. In her new role, Dr. Fish will continue to learn more about the fast-changing performance measurement landscape and incorporate this understanding into educational service offerings for the PQA membership.

Dr. Matthew Pickering, PharmD, joins PQA as the Associate Director of Quality Initiatives. Dr. Pickering will build upon the research and demonstration project portfolio that has been expanded during Dr. Sam Stolpe’s tenure at PQA as Senior Director of Quality Initiatives. Dr. Pickering will assume the role of coordinating several large research initiatives now underway at PQA, including one of its flagship research initiatives, ImmuSMART, a research project in the immunization space. Dr. Stolpe is leaving PQA at the end of July to pursue his work in the immunization sector. Additionally, Dr. Pickering will continue to identify needed studies to further validate the impact of PQA’s measures on improving patient care, reducing overall healthcare spending, and filling recognized gaps in performance measurement.

Dr. Pickering most recently completed a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Pickering received his PharmD from East Tennessee State University, and has also completed a Fellowship in medical communications and drug information at the Therapeutic Research Center. Dr. Pickering’s research activities include comparative effectiveness research, patient-centered outcomes research, and quality performance measurement. His experiences will prove helpful as PQA expands its collaborations with a growing membership base of nearly 200 companies.

PQA has also announced the appointment of Dr. Mel Nelson, PharmD, as its fourth Executive Fellow for the 2016-2017 cycle. Dr. Nelson recently completed her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. She also served as a research assistant within the College’s Center for Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomic Research, a position she has held since 2011. In her dual roles as researcher and student, Dr. Nelson distinguished herself as a passionate advocate for pharmacy quality improvement and measurement initiatives. Dr. Nelson has been engaged in numerous research projects with faculty mentors that have prepared her well to step into her fellowship role at PQA.

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