PPA News

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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.


Posted by: Matthew Helms on May 15, 2019


It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that former PPAG Executive Director Henry "Hank" Wedemeyer passed away on May, 1, 2019 at home after a long battle with scleroderma. He was 76 years old.

Mr. Wedemeyer grew up in Overland, Missouri, the first son of Daniel and Eleanor Wedemeyer. After serving in the United States Army, Mr. Wedemeyer earned his bachelors and masters in pharmacy degrees from The Ohio State University, where he also completed a hospital residency program. He relocated to Denver, Colorado to embark on his new position as Director of Pharmacy at St. Luke’s Hospital where he successfully instituted the Pharmacy Technician and Pharmacy Residency programs. After serving as St. Luke's Hospital, he became the Director of Pharmacy at Children's Hospital Denver (now Colorado Children's Hospital). He left his position at Children’s Hospital to become the first full-time Executive Director of PPAG in 1998, serving through 2002. Following his service to PPAG, he served as Director of Pharmacy for the Metro Community Provider Network in Aurora, CO until his retirement in 2015. The Metro Community Provider Network is committed to serving low-income patients seeking care.

Mr. Wedemeyer was a charter member of Pharmacy Directors of Pediatric Hospitals (PDPH) in 1985 which later became the Pediatric Pharmacy Administrative Group (PPAG), now known as the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group.

While serving on the PPAG Board of Directors, Mr. Wedemeyer helped establish the Center for Pediatric Drug Information and the Pediatric Adverse Drug Event and Reaction Reporting (PADR) Program. During his tenure as Executive Director of PPAG, Mr. Wedemeyer launched PediNet (now MyPPAG), the first electronic bulletin board for PPAG members. During this time, PPAG became an approved provider of continuing pharmacy education by the American Council of Pharmacy Education (ACPE). He is also responsible for organizing the first PPAG Specialty Conference that was dedicated to pharmacy practice in the NICU.

Mr. Wedemeyer is survived by his loving wife, Judy, three children: Christopher (Heather), Kimberly (Johnny) and Benjamin (Sarah). He also leaves behind seven grandchildren, Cody, Austin, Annabelle, Gabriel, Sophia, Mitchell and Kaylee. Brother of Madeleine Rielley, Sister Dannel, SSND, Mary Eleanor Crook, Florence Murphy and Daniel Wedemeyer.

“On behalf of the members of PPAG, the Board of Directors expresses our condolences to the Wedemeyer Family. We remember Mr. Wedemeyer’s contributions to the profession and our organization. Recognizing where we came from unites and inspires us as we move into the future of the profession,” says Hanna Phan, current President of PPAG.














Posted by: Kevin Lonabaugh on Mar 7, 2019

Posted by: Matthew Helms on Feb 26, 2019

Posted by: Matthew Helms on Feb 26, 2019

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