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Posted by: Matthew Helms on Apr 18, 2018

Jared Cash, PharmD, FPPAG has been named the 2018 recipient of the Richard A. Helms Award of Excellence in Pediatric Pharmacy Practice. The Helms Award recognizes exemplary pediatric patient care, sustained and meritorious contributions to pediatric pharmacy practice and PPAG, contributions to education, and ​contributions of new knowledge.

Dr. Cash is currently the Director of Pharmacy at Intermountain Healthcare’s Primary Children’s Hospital is Salt Lake City, UT. He is also an adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Utah College of Pharmacy. His current position covers Primary Children's Hospital as well as a large Behavioral Health Campus, Riverton Surgery and Clinic Center, Layton Imaging Pediatrics, and all pediatric and NICU patients seen in 22 Intermountain Healthcare hospitals. During his 26 years at Primary Children’s Hospital he has been a Pediatric Intensive Care Pharmacist, PALS instructor, Pediatric Intensive Care Team Leader, Clinical Coordinator, and a Pharmacy Manager.

He received his Bachelors of Pharmacy from the University of Utah and his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Florida. Dr. Cash is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist. He recently completed his Masters of Business Administration. In 2018, he was named Fellow in the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group.

An expert in pediatric medication safety, Dr. Cash was formally involved with the Institute of Safe Medication Practice (ISMP) as a pediatric consultant and completed on-site ISMP assessments at over twenty pediatric centers. He is also on the Editorial Advisory Panel for Lexi-Comp’s Pediatric and Neonatal Dosage Handbook and database.

Dr. Cash has been a member of PPAG for 21 years. He served on PPAG Board of Directors from 2011-2017. He served as the 2015-2016 PPAG President. Dr. Cash was instrumental in developing the Drug Development Committee, and he encouraged collaborative agreements and external relationships with like-minded organizations, like the American Academy of Pediatrics.

He and his colleagues have been awarded three PPAG Best Practice awards throughout the years:

  1. 2007- A Continuous Approach to Improving Pediatric Outcomes through Intravenous and Oral Medication Standardization
  2. 2009- Blinded Volume Verification in a Pediatric Bar-Code Medication Administration System to Reduce Wrong Dose Administration Errors
  3. 2017- Cystic Fibrosis Medication Adherence Measured by an Integrated Health-System Specialty Pharmacy Team


During his tenure at Primary Children’s Hospital, Dr. Cash integrated a pharmacist into a new Trauma Response Team and eventual hospital designation as Trauma One Center in 1998. He designed and developed standardized weight-based medication Trauma sheets still used today and part of code blue responses. Dr. Cash has improved pharmacy practice, including implementing an Antibiotic Stewardship Pharmacist, Cystic Fibrosis Clinic Pharmacist, second Transplant Pharmacist, Outpatient Behavioral Health Pharmacist, IT Technician, and IT Chemo Pharmacist.

The 2018 Helms Lecture will be presented during the 27th Annual PPAG Meeting on April 27, 2018 in Salt Lake City, UT.

About PPAG
The mission of PPAG is to advocate for safe and effective medication use in children through education, collaboration, and research. The association’s 1,400 members include pharmacists, pharmacy residents, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy students who practice in various inpatient and outpatient care settings. For more information about the organization, go to www.ppag.org

For media inquiries, contact:
Matthew Helms, PPAG Executive Director
T. 901-820-4434
E. matthew.helms@ppag.org


Posted by: Matthew Helms on Mar 7, 2018

It is with great sadness, to share with the PPAG Community, the passing of Dr. Helen Fiechtner. As many of you know, she has struggled in her health for the last seven years. She passed peacefully, surrounded by her family on Monday afternoon.

Dr. Fiechtner became a member of PPAG in 1991 and served on various Committees, including advocacy and membership. In 1997 she was elected to the Board of Directors, serving through 2000. Helen was one of 6 co-authors of the Consumer’s Guide book to Children’s Prescription Medications published by PPAG in 1997 and 2001. She was recognized in the inaugural class of PPAG Fellows in 2009.

After graduating with her BS in Pharmacy from South Dakota State University, she earned her PharmD degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Fiechtner completed her residency training at the University of Texas Health Science Center. Following residency, she served as Assistant Professor with the College of Pharmacy at North Dakota State University and as a Pediatric Clinical Pharmacist at St. Luke’s Hospital in Fargo, ND. In 1982 she moved to Rochester, MN where she worked at St. Mary’s Hospital as a staff pharmacist in the decentralized areas of Pediatric/Neonatology, Adult Medical Intensive Care, and Cardiac Transplant/CV Surgery Intensive Care. In 1991, Dr. Fiechtner moved to her most recent position with the College of Pharmacy at South Dakota State University and as a Pediatric Clinical Pharmacist at Sanford Children’s Hospital (Sioux Valley Hospital). Progressing through the academic ranks, she reached full professor in 1998. Throughout her career, Dr. Fiechtner was active in improving pharmaceutical care to the pediatric patients. "Helen had a great love for the many premies, newborns and children she helped care for during her pharmacy practice. She loved teaching and especially loved working with the many students who had ambition and worked hard."

Not only was Dr. Fiechtner's career most significant and impactful, the contributions Helen made in the pediatric pharmacy community came quietly in behind-the-scenes, kind-hearted, and humble gestures to her friends and colleagues. Her support for the pediatric pharmacy community will be forever remembered. Examples of her selflessness include sending handwritten notes to fellow pediatric pharmacists for a recent accomplishment and sending “pediatric goodie boxes” to struggling young practitioners in need of a pick-me-up. Filled with crayons, coloring books, bubble solution, play-doh, etc. and a personal, handwritten note, these boxes would be a happy surprise for newer practitioners and are remembered by many PPAG members, as a symbol of friendship, love, and generosity.

Dr. Helen Fiechtner will be forever remembered and will be missed by our pediatric pharmacy community, our family.

Helen Beckman Fiechtner
May 4, 1953 - March 5, 2018


Posted by: Matthew Helms on Mar 5, 2018

The Board of Directors and the Nominataions Committee is pleased to announce the results of the 2018 Board of Directors Election.


From Dr. Phan:

"I am deeply humbled and honored to be chosen to serve as President-Elect. I am proud to be a member of PPAG. We have made great strides for our patients and in the profession and we have so much more to come. We are pediatric pharmacy. We are health care advocates of children. We are PPAG.​"

Hanna Phan, PharmD
Dr. Hanna Phan is an Associate Professor in Pharmacy Practice and Science at the College of Pharmacy and in the Department of Pediatrics at the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona (UA). She is also an Associate Research Scientist for the UA Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center and Faculty for the UA Pediatric Pulmonary Center (PPC). Dr. Phan practices as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine at Banner University Medical Center-Tucson. She developed and practices in a variety of Pediatric Pulmonary Clinics (cystic fibrosis (CF), severe asthma, sleep) as well as the Adult CF clinic. She established the Post-Graduate Year 2 (PGY-2) Pediatric Pharmacy Residency at Banner University Medical Center–Tucson, Diamond Children’s in 2009 and served as Residency Program Director through 2015. Dr. Phan earned her Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Michigan and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Pediatric Pharmacotherapy at The Ohio State University.  

She served as a Director-at-Large on the PPAG board from 2014-2017, previously chaired the PPAG Research Committee (2013-2014), and currently serves as a Co-Chair for the PPAG Recertification Advisory Committee. Dr. Phan has been recognized by PPAG with the Spirit of PPAG Award (2012) for her efforts in creating student chapters and the Presidential Citation Award (2015) for her contributions in developing the PPAG BCPPS Recertification Program. She has given lectures nationally and internationally, and authored various book chapters and peer-reviewed publications in the area of pediatric pharmacotherapy. Her current research interests include patient-caregiver education and medication adherence, medication use in schools, and interprofessional care of children with chronic illnesses such as cystic fibrosis and asthma.


From Dr. Poon:

"Since I was fortunate to have a wealth of experiences and great support and mentorship over the years, I am now prepared me to give back to a professional organization that helped shape me. I believe it is time to pay forward and look forward to serving PPAG as Treasurer-elect."

Cathy Poon, PharmD, FPPAG

Dr. Poon joined the faculty at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy-University of the Sciences (PCP- USciences) in 1992 and is currently Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, Chair of Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacy Administration and Associate Dean for Interprofessional Education. She also holds adjunct faculty appointments at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University and University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Dr. Poon is an appointed member of the Advisory Board to the Secretary of Health in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 2006. Recently, she served on the Advisory Board, Center for Innovation of the National Board of Medical Examiners Conference – Strategic Futures Conference. Dr. Poon was inducted as a Fellow of Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (FPPAG) in 2013 and a Fellow of College of Physicians in Philadelphia (FCPP) in 2016. 

Dr. Poon’s practice focuses included neonatology, general pediatrics and pediatric critical care. Since 2005, Dr. Poon held a number of administrative positions at USciences including: Vice Chair of Didactic Education, Interim Department Chair, Executive Department Chair, Vice Dean of PCP, and Associate Provost of USciences before rejoining PCP as Department Chair and Associate Dean for Interprofessional Education. During her early years in practice and academia, Dr. Poon taught over 4,500 students and mentored eleven pediatric residents and one pediatric fellow. In the past eight years, Dr. Poon’s focuses evolved and include, developing and implementing interprofessional education programs and establishing mentorship/leadership programs for emerging leaders. 

Dr. Poon received her Bachelor of Science degrees, toxicology and pharmacy, from College of Pharmacy and Allied Health, St. John’s University and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from College of Pharmacy, Medical University of South Carolina. She completed a post-baccalaureate ASHP-accredited Residency in Hospital Pharmacy from Medical University of South Carolina and an ASHP-accredited Residency in Pediatric Pharmacy Practice from University of Oklahoma Health Science Center. Dr. Poon also completed several leadership development programs including, Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development (GILD) and Management Development Program (MDP) at Harvard Graduate School of Education.


From ​Dr. Chicella: 

"I believe PPAG is an invaluable resource for pharmacists who practice, teach and do research in pediatrics. I have watched PPAG evolve into an organization where directors, clinicians, staff pharmacist, academicians, residents, students, technicians and others are welcomed and encouraged to participate. I believe this mix has helped PPAG become the premier pediatric organizations in the world. I look forward to serving as your Secretary."

Michael Chicella, PharmD, FPPAG

Mike Chicella is the Clinical Manager for the Department of Pharmacy, and he is the pharmacist for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk, Virginia. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1991 with his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. After working at Duke University Children’s Hospital, Mike returned to Campbell University where he earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree. After graduation, he completed a residency at LeBonheur/ University of Tennessee. Mike was then on faculty at Auburn University School of Pharmacy before moving to CHKD in 2003.   

Mike has published a number of book chapters and peer-reviewed manuscripts. He has also had numerous presentations at national meetings. Mike is extensively involved in the education of both students and residents during their rotations at CHKD. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School. Additionally, he serves as the Residency Program Director at CHKD. To date he has trained eighteen residents.

With regard to his involvement in PPAG, Mike has been both a member and the chair of the research committee. He was a member of the Board of Directors from 2011-2014. He is currently the critical care section chair for the board preparation and recertification course. Mike also oversees the John B. Dice Memorial Scholarship at PPAG. In 2016 Mike was named a Fellow of PPAG. 


From Dr. Matson:

​"As a newly elected member of the PPAG Board of Directors, I look forward to helping the Association achieve our mission of safe and effective medication use in children..."

Kelly Matson, PharmD

Kelly L. Matson is a Clinical Professor at the University of Rhode Island (URI), College of Pharmacy with more than 15 years of clinical pediatric pharmacy experience. She currently is a preceptor for introductory and advanced pharmacy practice, as well as, PGY-1 residency experiences at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. At URI, she coordinates an advanced pediatric pharmacotherapy elective course and teaches pediatrics within other required and elective pharmacy practice courses. Dr. Matson has clinical and scholarly interests including judicious antimicrobial use, pediatric immunizations, as well as, adolescent substance misuse, medication safety, childhood obesity, and education of pharmacy students.

Dr. Matson has been a member of Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPAG) since 2001. She currently is active in the Academic Special Interest Group (SIG) and Infectious Diseases SIG, and has served on the Education and Webinar Committee from 2008 to 2015. In 2015, Dr. Matson joined the Advocacy Committee and currently serves as chair. She also has authored newsletters for the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocate and contributed to the Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, both as author and reviewer. Additionally, Dr. Matson serves as faculty advisor for the PediRAMS, URI College of Pharmacy PPAG student chapter. 

Dr. Matson also is an active member of other professional organizations including American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP), and American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP). She served as Education Committee Chair in 2015-2016 for the ACCP Pediatric PRN. Dr. Matson earned her baccalaureate degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Florida and a doctorate of pharmacy degree from Purdue University. She further completed a pediatric specialty residency at Children's Hospital Colorado in Denver. 


From Dr. Woodruff:

"I am honored to serve PPAG as Member-at-large. I am passionate about pharmacy and the possibilities that exist for us as pediatric medication specialists. We impact our patients’ care on a daily basis. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to assist PPAG and the membership in moving pediatric pharmacy practice forward."

Eloise Woodruff, PharmD

Dr. Eloise Woodruff is currently the Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk, Virginia. She is responsible for covering one of two teams in the level IV NICU. Dr. Woodruff is also the Experiential Site Coordinator for all IPPE and APPE students that have a clinical rotation at CHKD. She has been a residency preceptor for all 18 CHKD-trained PGY1 residents and has served as an advisor for several pharmacy resident research projects. Dr. Woodruff is the Co-Investigator for the IRB-approved Compassionate Use Study of Omegaven for parenteral nutrition associated liver dysfunction at CHKD.

Dr. Woodruff received her Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences-Boston and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. Prior to CHKD, she was the Director of Student Development, Liaison to the Academy of Students of Pharmacy and Coordinator of the Pharmacist Recovery Network at the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA) in Washington DC. Dr. Woodruff is a BPS Board Certified Pediatric Pharmacy Specialist (BCPPS).

Throughout her career, Dr. Woodruff has been an active member and leader in professional pharmacy organizations on the local, state, and national levels including the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group (PPAG), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and Virginia Society of Health System Pharmacists (VSHP). She has been a longstanding member of the PPAG Education Committee since 2006, contributes to the Webinar Committee, reviews manuscripts for JPPT routinely, served as the PPAG Neonatal Special Interest Group Chair for 2 ½ years and is currently the PPAG Annual Meeting NICU Section Programming Chair.

Dr. Woodruff has presented on the local, regional and national levels, has provided a number of poster presentations and has published on research done in collaboration with clinical staff and residents at CHKD. Her research and practice interests include medication safety, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), NAS, gastroschisis and parenteral nutrition associated liver dysfunction.


Posted by: Matthew Helms on Mar 1, 2018

Dear Members,

We are sure that you were as shocked and saddened as we were following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14 that resulted in the deaths of 17 individuals, 14 of whom were children or young adults. We encourage you, as a healthcare provider who cares about the well-being of children, to become informed and advocate on behalf of reducing gun violence.

PPAG acknowledges that gun violence poses a significant public health threat to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention Executive Committee has described that 1 in 4 injury deaths in adolescents/young adults aged 15-19 years is firearm related1. Furthermore, hospitalizations for nonfatal firearm assaults cost an average of $24,353 in direct medical costs1. PPAG recognizes the work published by our colleagues at the AAP regarding firearm related injuries in children.

PPAG also endorses the statement released by the AAP following the school shooting in Parkland advocating for stronger state and federal laws related to gun safety2. Furthermore, PPAG stands by our colleagues at the AAP by endorsing their statement “Addressing Gun Violence3,” which provides recommendations such as trigger locks for firearms and safely storing guns in a manner where children cannot access them. We strongly encourage the members of PPAG to read the recommendations made by the AAP (available in reference 1 listed below).

We know this is a controversial subject. Taking a stance on this topic does not strictly conform to our mission as an organization. There was significant debate among the Board of Directors, and this was not a unanimous decision. Our organization has a responsibility to public health and the opportunity to be bold and stand at the front of a wave that could shift public policy, making children safer at home and in schools. We hope that our actions will inspire other pediatric organizations to follow suit and endorse the statements from the AAP. As always, we hope that you will reach out to any of our board members if you have questions, comments, or concerns.

PPAG Board of Directors


  1. Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention Executive Committee. Firearm related injuries affecting the pediatric population. Pediatrics 2012;130(5):e1416-e1423. Available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/5/e1416.full.
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP Statement on School Shooting in Parkland, Florida; February 15, 2018. Available at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/floridashooting.aspx.
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics. Addressing Gun Violence. Available at: https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pages/Unintentional-Injury-in-State.aspx

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