PPA News

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Posted by: Matthew Helms on Mar 25, 2020

Our friends at the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists distributed the following message to their members. PPA agrees with the content of the letter and we encourage our members to submit their concerns to States Board of Pharmacy.

Please see below: 

During times of crisis such as COVID-19, our elected officials and state boards of pharmacy have the power to enact regulations so that pharmacists are able to provide increased care and have more opportunity to further protect the public health and safety.   

One pressing issue in which pharmacists can assist is the recent surge in outpatient prescription of medication that have shown limited efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19, including chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, and azithromycin. While there are currently no approved treatments for COVID-19, there have been several reports that prescriptions for these medications are being issued by prescribers in the community without indication, for persons without COVID-19 disease, often in large quantities with a high number of refills.  

There is concern for hoarding of these medications which is resulting on a shortage for admitted patients with laboratory diagnosed COVID-19, or for their intended indication (i.e., hydroxychloroquine for patients with lupus).  Several of these medications, including hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, are now on shortage or are out-of-stock by distributors and may not be available for patients with COVID-19 disease.

At time of this communication, at least five states at this time have enacted emergency regulations to institute changes to help pharmacists limit prescriptions for these drugs and to reserve them for patients with COVID-19 patients who might need them most at this time.

Ohio & Nevada: Restrict the dispensing or sale of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to those with a prescription for the treatment of COVID-19; and limit quantity dispensed to a14-day supply with no refills 

Idaho: Restrict the dispensing of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to those with a prescription with a written diagnosis consistent with evidence for its use; and limit quantity dispensed to a14-day supply with no refills 

Texas: Restrict the dispensing of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, mefloquine, and azithromycin to those with a prescription with a written diagnosis consistent with evidence for its use from the prescriber; and limit quantity dispensed to a14-day supply with no refills 

Rhode Island: New regulations to allow off-label prescribing to treat COVID-19 only if the prescription meets several requirement inducing indicating an applicable diagnosis code and indicating a telephone number for the provider to address questions related to dose and treatment, and documentation of clinical rationale for treatment

Several other states and boards of pharmacy are expected to enact emergency regulation to limit who can be prescribed of these treatments and how much, in the next few days.  

We encourage you to send a letter to your boards of pharmacy / departments of health, to limit use of these medications and save them for patients with laboratory diagnosed COVID-19.  Please use this template for your letter.


The Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists Board of Directors


Posted by: Matthew Helms on Mar 12, 2020

The 28th Annual PPA Meeting is going virtual!

We have been closely monitoring the CDC and WHO reports regarding the spread of COVID-19. Our Board of Directors has met and based on considerations for individual health, public health, and the financial health of our association, we believe that change to a virtual format for our 29th Annual Meeting is the most appropriate course of action.

While the schedule of events and delivery methods for the meeting have changed, we will still provide our core educational content in hematology, oncology, and neonatal intensive care from April 29-May 3, 2020. We will also be conducting an online/virtual poster session and residency presentations.

Please stay tuned for a revised agenda coming soon.

Over the coming weeks you will be receiving more information about the virtual conference. In the meantime, we have included brief Q&A (below) for you to consider. We hope these answers provide some direction and clarity as we move forward.

We will be holding a virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 4:00 pm Eastern (3:00 pm Central) to answer your questions regarding our Annual Meeting. Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/463995074.

Thank you all for your ongoing contributions and passion for PPA. Although these are challenging times, we are enthusiastic about our upcoming conference, and look forward to “seeing” you there!

We appreciate your patience and understanding!


Hanna Phan, PharmD, FPPA
PPA President

Matthew Helms, MA, CAE
PPA Executive Director


I want to attend the virtual meeting. What do I do now?

If you are registered for the conference, and still want to attend the Annual Meeting, you are all set. You will be sent login/call-in instructions in a few weeks. Your experience will be different of course. However, you will be able to take advantage of the same core programming, posters, and platform presentations. You will be able to receive the same ACPE-accredited and BPS-approved continuing education. The requirements and process for receiving CPE and BCPPS credits will not change.

If you have not registered for the conference, and you can now attend, please go to the Conference website for more information. https://www.ppag.org/index.cfm?pg=events&evAction=showDetail&eid=77786&evSubAction=listAll

I am a student. Will PPA conduct the student conference online, too?

Yes. If you are registered for the conference, and still want to attend the Student program, you are all set. You will be sent login/call-in instructions in a few weeks. While the experience will be different, the content will be the same.

I am presenting a poster. What do I do now?

PPA will be hosting a Virtual Poster Session on Friday, May 1, 2020 at 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM eastern time. You will be able to present your poster from your home or office at that time. If you are registered for the conference, and your poster has been accepted, you will receive emailed instructions on how to upload your poster to the system. Note: your poster must fit inside a PPT slide.

I want to attend the Virtual Poster Session. What do I do now?

If you are registered for the Annual Meeting, you will be sent emailed instructions about how to login to and navigate the Virtual Poster Session.

Will PPA virtually present Best Practice Award, Teaching Award, and Scientific Platform Presentations?

Yes, although the exact times of the presentations have changed. Please refer to our revised agenda.

I am a Resident schedule to present during the Annual Meeting. What do I do now?

If you are presenting your residency project, things will be changing a lot! The Bruce Parks Memorial Residency Project Presentations will be held on Friday, May 1, 2020 from 12:30-3:30 pm eastern time, and will become a Virtual Poster Session combined with your oral presentation. We have been in contact with ASHP’s Accreditation Services Office to make sure that our changes meet the R2.2.6 accreditation objective.

We will be sending an email with a modified schedule and specific instruction on what to do next.

What is the refund policy for registration?

If you cannot attend the virtual meeting and have already registered for the meeting, you can request a refund. You also have the option to transfer any balance to a future PPA meeting. Please contact us at membership@pediatricpharmacy.org.

Can I get reimbursed for transportation and hotel cost or penalties?

No. We are unable to provide refunds for travel expenses. Please work directly with your airline and the conference hotel at 757-763-6200 to cancel your reservations. If you purchased travel insurance, please contact your provider for information and next steps. 



Posted by: Matthew Helms on Feb 28, 2020

M. Petrea Cober, PharmD, BCNSP, BCPPS, FASPEN, attended the University of Tennessee, College of Pharmacy in Memphis, Tennessee. She completed her PGY1 Pharmacy Residency at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and her PGY2 Pharmacy Residency in Pediatrics at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is currently the Clinical Coordinator - Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and PGY1 Residency Program Director at Akron Children's Hospital where she provides clinical services and precepts pharmacy students, PGY1 pharmacy residents, and PGY3 medical pediatric residents. She is also the Section Lead for Specialty Care and an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). Her didactic teaching is in the areas of pediatrics, women’s health, and nutrition. Dr. Cober's expertise is in pediatric pharmacotherapy, nutrition, ethanol lock therapy, and management of patients with intestinal failure.

Dr. Cober served as the Chair of the Webinar Education Committee from 2017-2019 and is the current Chair of the Education Committee. She is active in the Academia, GI/Nutrition, Neonatology, and Residency Program Directors SIGs.

Jeremy Stultz, PharmD is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and practices as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. He received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and completed a PGY-1 Residency at Le Bonheur and a 2-year Pediatric Pharmacotherapy Fellowship at The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He was a faculty member at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy before returning to Tennessee. He has authored over 20 peer-reviewed journal publications focused primarily on pediatric infectious diseases, computerized clinical decision support, and medication safety.

Dr. Stultz attended his first PPA Annual Meeting as a student. Since that time, he has presented multiple times PPA meetings. Dr. Stultz has served as PPA Research Committee Chair, and helped form the Pediatric Pharmacy Association Practice Based Research Network.



Posted by: Matthew Helms on Feb 28, 2020

Kristin Klein, PharmD, BCPPS, FPPA has been chosen by members of the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA) as President-Elect in the annual election.

Dr. Klein is a Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, and is a pediatric infectious diseases clinical pharmacist specialist at Michigan Medicine. Dr. Klein received her B.S. in Pharmacy from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Oklahoma. She then completed a specialty residency in Pediatric Pharmacotherapy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Dr. Klein is especially interested in training future pharmacists. She spent four years serving on the Michigan Medicine pharmacy residency advisory committee, including two years as the committee’s co-chair. She was also the advisor for UM’s APhA-ASP chapter for 13 years.

For nearly 20 years, Dr. Klein has been an active member of PPA where she served as co-chair of the Advocacy Committee from 2009 to 2014, and section editor for PPA's Advanced Pediatric Therapeutics textbook. Dr. Klein has been PPA’s infectious diseases section leader for the BCPPS BoardPrep course since 2013, and she served as the Infectious Diseases Chair for PPA’s 2017 fall meeting. Dr. Klein also served on the PPA Board of Directors for three years (2015-2018). Dr. Klein was inducted as a fellow of PPA in 2012 and achieved board certification in pediatric pharmacy (BCPPS) in 2016.

Dr. Klein will serve as President-Elect for 2020-2021, at which time she will transition to PPA President for 2021-2022. During her tenure as President of PPA, Dr. Klein would like to engage the organization in advocating for changes is state pharmacy practice acts to allow pharmacists to immunize children, where it is not currently standard practice.



Posted by: Matthew Helms on Nov 5, 2019

On behalf of the Pediatric Pharmacy Association, I am pleased to announce Lauren Henretty as Manager of Education. Lauren comes to us from the Water Environment Federation (WEF), where she has served as Education Specialist and Coordinator of the Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC) for the past 10 years.

In her current role she works with various education committees to plan the Conference, including proposal, abstract, and speaker management, developing agendas, and creating and editing marketing materials. Previous to her current position, she was the Coordinator of Conferences for the Color Marketing Group. She also served for three years as Professional Education Specialist at the American Diabetes Association.

Lauren has a B.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh. We are very excited that Lauren is joining us at the Pediatric Pharmacy Association. Her demeanor and approach is a terrific fit for our association’s culture, and her day-to-day work experience at WEF is a perfect match for the PPA education program.

Her first official day will be Monday, November 11, 2019.

Posted by: Matthew Helms on Oct 31, 2019

As you may know, Friday, November 1 marks Dr. Jennifer Chow's last day at the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group/Pediatric Pharmacy Association. For the past five years, Jennifer has served PPAG as the Director of Professional Development. At the Fall Meeting in Lexington, I announced her resignation. The statement was recorded, and we have posted it here for you to view. Below is an edited transcript of my comments: 

Knowing history is important. It gives us context, meaning, and even understanding. Back in 2004 Dr. Stephanie Phelps, a member of the Board of Directors and now our Journal editor, presented an idea to the Board. “Let’s allow residents to present their projects at PPAG.” I think it is fair to say that there was enthusiasm for the idea, and also some doubts and questions. Would people forgo the Regional Conferences? Would residents and directors buy-in? Ultimately, the Board did take the risk and approved the idea. A few years later, we launched the Bruce Parks Residency Project Showcase and 12 residents from 8 programs participated in the event. And we know the rest of that history. After steady year over year growth in participation, now over 130 residents participate annually. This idea, that started small, changed the trajectory of PPAG.

The reason I mention this part of PPAG history to you- is because one of those residents who presented in that first event in 2006 was Dr. Jennifer Chow. Now, sometimes a broken road full of pot holes and unexpected detours leads you exactly to where you need to be at a given moment in life. I have no doubt this is true for Jennifer… and me… and all of us. Things unplanned are not always fun, but sometimes they are meaningful. But to make a very long story short, 5 years ago Dr. Chow found herself as Director of Professional Development at PPAG. And it is all together fitting that one of those first residents who presented back in 06, would later have an idea that would yet again change the trajectory of PPAG. What if we had a residency program showcase during the Fall Meeting? Again, I think it is fair to say that there was some enthusiasm for the idea, but also some doubts and questions. Would residency director, students, and residents buy-in to the program? Could students and residents attend a Fall Conference and an Annual? Would they choose one or the other? How could this work? But again, the Board took the risk, said yes, and the rest might very well be history. Trust me when I say that not even Jennifer predicted we would have twenty-seven (27) residency programs participate, and over sixty (60) students from twenty-eight colleges would attend the conference. It seems that the recruitment process for pediatric residency programs may have changed, and that PPAG continues to build a one-stop shop for all things pediatrics!

I bring you this history because Jennifer has decided to resign from her position after 5 amazing years. We are very sad to see her leave, but that is selfish. Our loss in another’s gain. Jennifer came to PPAG at the exact right moment, and has helped PPAG develop a BCPPS Review and Recertification Program, a soon-to-be launched BCPPS portfolio program, a new learning management system, and has organized six (6) Annual Meetings and five (5) Fall Conference with all associated events, and coordinated webinar programs. This is no easy task supporting six (6) different education committees, coordinating hundreds of presentations, speakers, evaluations, and post-test questions each year. Not to mention fielding many emails and phone calls every day.

We have been blessed by her service to PPAG. We wouldn’t be here without her.

As I mentioned in Lexington, Jennifer does not expect a big farewell, but I do encourage everyone to reach out to her in the coming days to wish her well. She will still be a member of PPA/G, of course. She's not going too far away! Jennifer, you will be missed at PPA/G! It has been incredible working with you over the past 5 years. You are awesome. Do NOT be a stranger. I'm still going to text you during conference calls and meetings.

Posted by: Matthew Helms on Sep 19, 2019

As a professional association, we embrace our future and appreciate our past.  This communication is to inform you that as of November 1, 2019, we will be officially doing business as the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA).

PPAG has grown and evolved throughout the years. In fact, previous Boards of Directors have changed the name of the organization two times. Founded in 1985 as the Pharmacy Directors of Pediatric Hospitals (PDPH), the organization then became the Pediatric Pharmacy Administrative Group (PPAG) in 1987. As the organization shifted to offering individual memberships and opened its doors to clinicians, the leadership once again changed the name to Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) in 1992.

For over a year, the PPAG Board of Directors has been evaluating the name of the association and found itself facing the same questions previous Boards have addressed. Does our name and brand mark reflect our identity as an organization? Do our members support a name change? How do inside and outside constituencies perceive our name? What are the opportunities and challenges to maintaining or changing our name? 

In 2018, the PPAG Board of Directors commissioned a small Task Force to address these questions and develop recommendations. The Task Force used a three-pronged approach to answer key questions. First, the Task Force assessed the interest of our members for a name change through a membership survey. Secondly, we conducted targeted communications with specific constituencies to determine their opinion regarding our current name verses a name change. Specifically, we engaged our local affiliates, student groups, sponsors, exhibitors, and our Fellows. The founders and original charter group also provided valuable feedback to the Task Force. Thirdly, the Task Force investigated the financial and legal impact of a possible name change. From the three-pronged evaluation process, we discovered that a majority of our members supported a name change and if executed carefully, a name change could have minimal financial and legal impact while better reflecting the organization we have become.  Therefore the full Board of Directors voted to approve the name change from the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) to the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA).

We also discovered that although a minority, some members were not supportive or were unsure. Fears of losing the unique identity we have built over 30+ years and concerns about costs were reported by members opposed or resistant to a name change. To address these concerns, the Task Force recommended that we revise (not replace) our current brand mark while maintaining our beloved “balloon kids.” We continue to emphasize the four (4) pillars of our mission: Collaboration, Advocacy, Research, and Education (CARE).


Over the next few months, our staff will be working diligently to execute the name change. Our goal is executed a plan with minimal impact on members. However, we wanted you to be aware what to expect over the next few months.

  1. The change will take place in stages. The first change you will see will be the new logo and name on our website and social media accounts.
  2. Your current username and password for any current PPAG website will NOT change.
  3. Memberships to Special Interest Groups, local communities, or student organizations will NOT change.
  4. The organization will soon release a new website URL (pediatricpharmacy.org). However, we will also retain ownership of ppag.org and you will be redirected to the right place if using an old bookmark.
  5. Staff emails will change. However, we will use a forwarding function so you will be able to use our current email addresses for the foreseeable future.
  6. If you are a Fellow, Student Group, or Local Affiliate you will receive a follow-up email with specific information about how the name change impacts you specifically. 


We, as an association, have experienced tremendous growth over the years while remaining at the forefront of advancing our profession (e.g., board certification, collaboration with other pediatric associations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and ongoing advocacy for the patients we serve). We, the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA), are a testament to the strengths of a member-driven organization fueled by professional passion and dedication.  PPA will continue to embrace and emphasize CARE (Collaboration, Advocacy, Research, and Education). 

Thank you for all you do for the patients and families you serve, the profession, and the overall community.

Warmest regards,

Hanna Phan, PharmD, FCCP, FPPAG
President, The Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA), 2019-2020 

Matthew Helms, MA, CAE
Executive Director, The Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPA)


Posted by: Matthew Helms on Jul 17, 2019

This spring PPAG highlighted the newly minted Fellows in the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group in Facebook. Check out the links below to learn more about our Fellows.

Posted by: Jordan Burdine on Jul 17, 2019

During the PPAG Annual Meeting this past April, the new Board of Directors took office. Chad Knoderer and Lizbeth Hansen were elected to serve three-year terms. They join Hanna Phan (President), Shannon Manzi (President-Elect) Miranda Nelson (Immediate Past-President), Cathy Poon (Treasurer), Michael Chicella (Secretary), Tara Higgins, Bob John, Kelly Matson, and Eloise Woodruff on the Board of Directors.

Chad Knoderer, PharmD, FPPAG

Dr. Chad Knoderer is a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and Director for Clinical and Health Outcomes Research of Pharmacy Practice at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was appointed to the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG) Board of Directors in January 2018, and was elected to a full three-year term in the most recent Board election. Dr. Knoderer completed his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1999, followed by a PGY1 at Indiana University Health. In 2001, he completed a PGY2 specialty residency in pediatrics at Riley Hospital. He started his professional career as a pediatric clinical pharmacist in general pediatrics at a local community hospital. He then returned to Riley Hospital where he worked closely with the pediatric cardiovascular intensive care and infectious diseases teams. Through these experiences, he developed an interest in research focused on patient care. Today, Dr. Knoderer is able to utilize his passion for research as a faculty member at Butler where he not only provides didactic lectures on research design, but is also able to coordinate student research projects. He is currently mentoring student members of the Pediatric Pharmacy Education Done by Students organization (PPEDS), a local student chapter of PPAG, on multiple projects. Throughout his career, Dr. Knoderer has been an active member of PPAG. Whether he is serving as Chair of the Research Committee or contributing to the board certification review program, PPAGU, Dr. Knoderer is dedicated to pediatric pharmacy and his practice. As someone whose PPAG membership has provided life-long relationships that have helped him grow and develop as a practitioner throughout his career, he recognizes the benefits that come from being part of the PPAG family. He continuously inspires students and young professionals to invest their time and efforts in professional service and encourages them get out of their comfort zone. When taking his own students to the Annual Conference, he encourages them to speak with board members and leaders within the organization so they too can gain insight about all the opportunities this profession has to offer.

Lizbeth Hansen, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS

Dr. Lizbeth Hansen is currently the pediatric acute care pharmacy supervisor, PGY2 pediatric residency program director, and antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Wisconsin and completed her PGY1 and PGY2 pharmacy residencies at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Dr. Hansen then started her career as a PICU clinical specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, which was also around the time when she started to become more involved with PPAG. Her involvement with PPAG first started with giving presentations at conferences, which eventually led to her taking a leadership role as coordinator of the Critical Care Specialty Interest Group from 2011 to 2016. Due to her passion for teaching and education, she became co-chair of the Board Preparation Subcommittee in 2016 and eventually chair of the Education Committee in 2018. Through these leadership roles, she helped develop the PICU section of the board preparation materials. When asking Dr. Hansen about her thoughts on being part of the PPAG family, she expressed genuine excitement and appreciation to be part of such a close-knit, supportive group of pediatric pharmacists. She emphasized the value of being able to bounce off ideas and unique scenarios with the other members of the group. Regarding the PPAG annual conference, she says, “After learning about all of the innovative ideas and re-connecting with the other pediatric pharmacists at the conference, I always come back home with this newfound sense of energy and excitement!”


Posted by: Jordan Burdine on Jul 17, 2019

During the PPAG Annual Meeting this past April, the new Board of Directors took office. Shannon Manzi became President-Elect joining Hanna Phan (President), Miranda Nelson (Immediate Past-President), Cathy Poon (Treasurer), and Michael Chicella (Secretary) on the Executive Committee.

PPAG is excited to welcome Shannon Manzi as President Elect of PPAG. Dr. Manzi, a graduate of University of Rhode Island, has worked at Boston Children’s Hospital for over 20 years and currently serves as the Director of the Clinical Pharmacogenomics Service and Manager of ICU, Emergency, and Transplant Services. She was also one of the first pharmacists to receive a faculty appointment at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Manzi has an impressive and inspiring background but one of the most fascinating things to talk to her about is her experience serving on the Federal Disaster Team. She is very passionate about disaster medicine and has been deployed to numerous natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Maria, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti where she worked out of a tent hospital for several weeks. Dr. Manzi’s involvement in PPAG started with frequently presenting at the annual meetings and joining the Education Committee. Since then she has presented at numerous conferences, received a Best Practice Award for her Pharmacogenomics program, been appointed a Fellow of PPAG, and has served on the Board for the past theee years as a director at large. Dr. Manzi’s advice to PPAG members who want to get more involved is to join a committee or SIG that interests you, ask questions and make connections via the list serves, and most importantly to bring the joy of what you love about pediatric pharmacy because ultimately, that is what makes PPAG.


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