Tennessee Pharmacists Association

2022 Summer Meeting


Additional information will be added as received.

Julia Bonner
Julia Bonner is the founder and president of Pierce Public Relations, a company she established in 2015 that’s known for its communication and PR strategies that help businesses and nonprofits create greater brand awareness and stronger positioning. Under her leadership, the agency has grown to represent many leading companies in their sectors, including Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Wold Architects and Engineers, ServisFirst Bank and many others. Bonner believes in investing in the community and using her passion for communication to make a difference. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards during her career and currently serves as board president of the Nashville Film Festival and chair-elect of Young Leaders Council. Bonner has been recognized for her leadership and noteworthy contributions to her clients and industry as a recipient of the Nashville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and Women of Influence Awards. She was also named to the Nashville Post’s 2022 “In Charge” list, an annual compilation of Nashville’s foremost leaders driving change across the PR & marketing industry. She earned her M.S. in Public Relations & Corporate Communication from New York University and B.S. in Journalism from the University of Tennessee.

Nena Bowman
Nena Bowman, PharmD, DABAT, received her Bachelor of Science in biochemistry at Middle Tennessee State University in 2010 and her Doctorate of Pharmacy degree at Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy in 2014. Dr. Bowman completed a specialty fellowship in toxicology with the Utah Poison Control Center at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT in 2016. She is board certified as a clinical toxicologist, Diplomate of the American Board of Applied Toxicology (DABAT). She currently practices at the State Department of Health as the COVID-19 Vaccine Storage and Handling Coordinator. Dr. Bowman works closely with providers across the state to ensure proper storage, handling, and transport of COVID-19 vaccines. She also teaches at Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy as an adjunct professor in toxicology and emergency preparedness curriculum. She is an Advanced Hazmat Life Support (AHLS) Provider and Instructor, and she is the current president of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association. She enjoys working in public health to educate providers, finding new ways to initiate outreach and engage the public, and problem solving to navigate new scenarios and issues surrounding COVID-19 vaccines.

Ryan Burke
Ryan Burke, PharmD, is the Director of Professional Affairs at the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), where he serves as a liaison to state and national pharmacy associations, state boards of pharmacy, and pharmacy technician organizations. He closely follows state legislative and regulatory changes that may impact pharmacy technician practice and monitors trends related to pharmacy technician education, training, and certification requirements. Before joining PTCB in August 2018, Dr. Burke worked at the American Pharmacists Association in practice and professional affairs and governance roles. He also has experience working as a PTCB CPhT at Walgreens. Dr. Burke earned his PharmD degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy and completed a post-graduate executive residency program in Association Management and Leadership with the APhA Foundation.

Jennifer Byrd
BYRD, Jennifer S.
Jennifer Byrd, PharmD, BCACP, BCADM, received her doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and completed an ASHP-accredited pharmacy practice residency with an emphasis in ambulatory care at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Dr. Byrd is a Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist and holds the Board Certified-Advanced Diabetes management credential. She has served as a member of the TPA Ambulatory Care/Collaborative Practice Committee and Chair of the Tennessee Society of Pharmacists. She is an Associate Professor at Union University College of Pharmacy.

Bri Carlesimo
Bri Carlesimo is a seasoned public relations professional with 10 years of industry experience. In her current role as a Senior Account Manager at Pierce Public Relations, she manages the day-to-day activities on a variety of B-to-B and nonprofit accounts while building strong client and media relationships, developing innovative communication and PR strategies and coordinating with her team to deliver valuable solutions that meet clients’ needs. Prior to joining Pierce PR, she served as a Corporate Communication Specialist at DynamicHR, a professional human resource management company, and, before that, as a Corporate Communications Coordinator at DENSO, a global automotive components manufacturer. Carlesimo currently serves on the marketing and fund development committee at Alternatives for Girls, a Detroit-based nonprofit helping homeless and high-risk girls and young women, and was recognized as a 30 Under 30 by International Panhellenic sorority Alpha Delta Pi in 2017. She holds a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Broadcasting from Oakland University.

Carley Castelein
Carley Castelein, PharmD, BCPS, CPPS, realized at a young age that healthcare professions united her heart for people and a passion for helping others. Inspired by her family’s involvement in medical professions, she pursued a career in pharmacy. Dr. Castelein completed her professional doctorate degree at Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, where she was actively involved in several organizations and internships that sparked her desire to connect with people and expand her practical impact beyond direct patient care. Following pharmacy school, Dr. Castelein continued her training as a PGY1 pharmacy resident at Kaiser Permanente in Colorado, where she gained valuable exposure to pharmacists’ impact, specifically in medication safety, which cultivated a desire for further training in improving the safety for patients. Dr. Castelein’s PGY2 pharmacy residency in medication use safety at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center laid the foundation for her current role as Manager of Medication Safety at HCA Healthcare. In her current role, she advocates for system level changes to help resolve identified process failures. HCA Healthcare’s mission aligns strongly with her goal of making the environment safer for patients and for colleagues. Not only does she have the opportunity to lead and engage with pharmacy leaders in the organization across the country, but she is actively involved in training pharmacy residents and students as well as professional organizations like the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She believes that this role allows her to advocate for and impact medication safety nationwide by implementing systems and processes that provide a safer experience for patients, pharmacists and healthcare providers.

Alan Corley
Alan Corley, DPh, graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy in 1977, a second-generation pharmacist. Since that time, he has practiced community pharmacy at Corley’s Pharmacy in Greeneville, TN, which currently operates both a retail community pharmacy and a closed-door pharmacy. Dr. Corley has served as TPA President and Treasurer, as a member and President of the Tennessee Board of Pharmacy, and as President of the UT College of Pharmacy Alumni Association. He also served on the TennCare Pharmacy Advisory Committee for 14 years, 8 of those as Chair.
His current community service activities include serving as the Mayor of Tusculum, TN, as a member of the Tusculum University Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Tusculum-Greeneville-Greene County Industrial Development Board , and as a member of the Greeneville Community Hospital Community Board. Dr. Corley also currently serves as Lead Luminary for CPESN Tennessee, and is dedicated to supporting new opportunities and roles for pharmacists in providing health care directly to patients.

Savannah Cunningham
Savannah Cunningham, PharmD, is a pharmacist who graduated from Mercer University College of Pharmacy in Atlanta, GA in 2022. She is currently working as the Director of Public Policy for the Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding. She has been an active advocate for the pharmacy profession at both a state and national level since the start of pharmacy school, visiting the Capitol to speak with legislators, helping to craft policy, and encouraging others to get involved in the legislative process. She was born and raised in Tennessee and is currently living in Myrtle Beach, SC with her husband, Brandon, and their golden retriever named Nashville.

Melissa De Brito
De BRITO, Melissa
Melissa De Brito, PharmD, is a pharmacist, functional medicine health consultant, and health coach. Dr. De Brito received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy in 2011. She has completed pharmacy residency training and has worked as a clinical pharmacist in the hospital setting. Dr. De Brito has additional certification training in functional medicine, culinary nutrition, and restorative wellness, with ongoing lifelong education in these areas as well. She gravitated towards a functional, whole-person approach to wellness using a nutrient-dense diet coupled with sustainable lifestyle changes and functional medicine solutions after struggling with her own autoimmune thyroid condition of both Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. She has turned her passion for culinary nutrition and functional medicine to educating and empowering others to take control of their health by unlocking the body’s healing potential and addressing the root cause of their underlying health challenges.

KariLynn Dowling-McClay
KariLynn Dowling-McClay, PharmD, MPH, BCACP, is an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at East Tennessee State University Gatton College of Pharmacy. She focuses on research and teaching at the intersection of community-based pharmacy practice and public health. Her current areas of investigation include opioid use disorder treatment, contraception access, and physician-pharmacist collaboration. Dr. Dowling-McClay is a member of the ETSU Rural Health Equity Research Center and the Center for Cardiovascular Risks Research.

Nichole Foster
FOSTER, Nichole

Nichole Foster, MEd, MBA, CPhT-Adv, is the Program Director of the Pharmacy Technician Education and Training Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, TN. She has more than 19 years of experience in many facets of pharmacy practice and is very committed to growth and advancement of pharmacy technicians. Her efforts to advance pharmacy practice for technicians at the state and national level earned her the honor of being the first pharmacy technician to receive the distinguished service award from ASHP in 2020. Foster has earned her MEd, MBA, and CPhT-Adv. She is a member of the Pharmacy Technician Accreditation Council for ASHP and the Certification Council for PTCB.

Kelsey Frederick

Kelsey Frederick, PharmD, is an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Pharmacy within the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science and the Office of Continuing Professional Development. She is a graduate of Auburn University in Auburn, AL, where she played varsity volleyball and received her PharmD degree from the Harrison College of Pharmacy. Following graduation, Dr. Frederick completed an ASHP-accredited PGY-1 community-based pharmacy residency with Kroger Health and UTHSC in Nashville, TN. She then went on to complete an academic community pharmacy fellowship at UTHSC College of Pharmacy prior to joining the College in her role as faculty. Dr. Frederick currently lives in Brentwood, TN with her husband Codey and enjoys painting, playing volleyball, spending time with family and friends, and exploring Nashville.

Jake Galdo

John A. (Jake) Galdo, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, BCGP, is a co-founder and CEO of Seguridad. Seguridad’s Choose My Pharmacy develops and implements quality measures specified to evaluate the quality and safety of a community pharmacy. Dr. Galdo also spends his professional time staffing in a neighborhood community pharmacy, developing innovative clinical services, and representing the profession of pharmacy on various boards and advisory committees for regional and national organizations. Dr. Galdo has previous experiences in association management, quality measure development, continuing education, academia, and community pharmacy practice. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy and completed PGY-1 Community Pharmacy Residency training from the University of Georgia, earned a Master of Business Administration from Samford University, and is board certified in both pharmacotherapy and geriatrics. He lives in Birmingham, AL with his wife, daughter, and parents.

Jenny Gau
GAU, Jenny

Jenny Gau, PharmD, graduated with her PharmD from Drake University College of Pharmacy in 2002. She began her career in community pharmacy and joined Park Nicollet Health Systems in Minnesota in 2005. Dr. Gau has practiced in various settings, including operating a clozapine program in a clinic pharmacy, overseeing an outpatient discharge pharmacy, and leading a team working in an underserved community. Dr. Gau has a strong understanding of how pharmacist interventions can improve medication use and health outcomes. Implementing pharmacy services in the ambulatory environment is something she has always explored. In 2016, she made a career transition to practice integrated medication management in primary care. Dr. Gau is currently a practicing clinical pharmacist in family and internal medicine, as well as the MTM Program Supervisor for Park Nicollet Clinics.

Jason Kotecki

Jason Kotecki is a talented artist, and his presentations are packed with his colorful paintings. His art has been collected and licensed all over the world, and his insights have been featured in publications like Inc. and Woman’s Day. As an author, Kotecki has written five books, including A Chance of Awesome: How Changing the Way You See Changes Everything. Some of his books have been translated into languages he can’t even read. When he is not helping us escape adulthood, he enjoys all things Star Wars, pretending to be a superhero, and spending time with his beautiful wife and three weird kids.

Rachel Lazim
LAZIM, Rachel

Rachel Lazim, PharmD, BCCCP, BCNSP, received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2000. She then completed a PGY1 with emphasis in Oncology at the University of Tennessee Medical Center Knoxville, followed by a PGY2 in Critical Care. From 2002-2019 Dr Lazim worked as a clinical pharmacist at Blount Memorial Hospital in Maryville, TN, developing clinical practice in both critical care pharmacy services and nutrition support pharmacy. She obtained board certification in Pharmacotherapy, Nutrition Support, and Critical Care in 2002, 2004, and 2016 respectively and maintains certification in Nutrition Support and Critical Care. She has served as clinical preceptor for PGY1 pharmacy residents in critical care medicine and nutrition support and pharmacy students in critical care medicine. In 2019, Dr. Lazim joined South College School of Pharmacy (SCSOP) as assistant professor of pharmacy practice and coordinates Pharmacotherapy V. She teaches the Pharmacotherapy of Oncology curriculum and takes APPE students in critical care medicine at her practice site, Morristown Hamblen Healthcare in Morristown, TN. In 2020, Dr. Lazim was awarded “Distinguished Pharmacy Practice Faculty of the Year” by SCSOP class of 2021. In 2022, shje was designated “Faculty Preceptor of the Year” by the SCSOP class of 2022. Dr. Lazim enjoys travelling, reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family when not at the hospital or the college.

MItchell Lingerfelt

Mitchell Lingerfelt, PharmD, BCACP, currently serves as a pharmacy practice coordinator for Kroger in the Memphis area. He graduated from the UT Health Science Center College of Pharmacy in 2011. Dr. Lingerfelt began his career at Kroger in 2007 as a pharmacy intern and has held several positions with the company. As a TPA member, he is currently on the TPA Collaborative Practice Committee and serves as the Chair-elect for the Tennessee Society of Chain Pharmacists. He has been married to his wife Kayla for 12 years, and they have 3 boys: Sam (9), Teddy (7) and Joey (3).

Sarah Melton
MELTON, Sarah T.

Sarah T. Melton, PharmD, BCPP, BCACP, FASCP, is Professor and Vice Chair of Pharmacy Practice at the Gatton College of Pharmacy at East Tennessee State University (ETSU). She is the Clinical Pharmacist at ETSU Health Internal Medicine and the ETSU Center of Excellence for HIV/AIDS Care. Dr. Melton received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (1991) and Doctor of Pharmacy (1994) degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University/Medical College of Virginia School of Pharmacy (VCU). She completed a Fellowship in Psychiatric Pharmacy at VCU in 1996. She has been a board-certified psychiatric pharmacist (Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties) since 1997 and a board-certified ambulatory care pharmacist since 2011. Dr. Melton is a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists. She performs comprehensive medication management in the areas of psychiatric and neurologic pharmacy, substance use disorders, and other primary care disorders. Dr. Melton currently serves on the Virginia Board of Pharmacy, the board of the Virginia Department of Health Professions, the Virginia Opioid Abatement Authority, and the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee.

Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson, PharmD, MS, CPHIMS, FAMIA, is a pharmacist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Nelson is the Director of the Master of Science in Applied Clinical Informatics (MS-ACI) online program, and currently works in Medication Safety Informatics in HealthIT, with a focus on medication reconciliation, e-prescribing, and clinical decision support at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In addition, Dr. Nelson’s practice and research interests include medication warnings, knowledge management and engineering, medication standards and terminologies, EHR design, and CPOE.

Grayson Peek
PEEK, Grayson

Grayson K. Peek, PharmD, MS, BCPS, currently serves as the Director of Adult Clinic Pharmacy Operations at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) in Nashville, TN. In this role, Dr. Peek is responsible for considerable COVID-19 operational and clinical planning through oversight of pharmacy services provided to Vanderbilt’s onsite and offsite clinic enterprise. Prior to VUMC, Dr. Peek served as the Manager of Business Development and Integrity within the Department of Pharmacy at Duke University Hospital (DUH) where he also completed a 2-year Health-System Pharmacy Administration Residency. Dr. Peek earned a PharmD from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and a Master of Science in Health-System Pharmacy Administration from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

Katie Vandenberg

Katie Vandenberg, PharmD, is a Community Outreach Pharmacist, pharmacy owner, and creator of Tennessee Vaccination Services LLC. Most recently, she is the founder of a vaccination outreach non-profit, TNVAX Health Inc. Dr. Vandenberg is a pharmacy preceptor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and Belmont University College of Pharmacy. She enjoys sparking the entrepreneurial spirit in the student pharmacists she teaches. Originally from Franklin, TN, Dr. Vandenberg earned her microbiology bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University. She continued her education and went on to earn her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Belmont University College of Pharmacy. In 2019, after several years as a retail pharmacist, Dr. Vandenberg left retail and founded her first vaccination outreach pharmacy. Lately, she has been busy providing in-home vaccinations to patients with disabilities and coordinating pop-up vaccination clinics across middle Tennessee.

James Wheeler

James S. Wheeler, PharmD, BCPS, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Knoxville campus. He received his BS in 2007 from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and his PharmD from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2011. He completed residency training at the UT Medical Center in Knoxville from 2011 to 2013. Following residency, Dr. Wheeler spent 2 years on the faculty at Wingate University School of Pharmacy in Charlotte, NC, then in July, 2015, joined the UT College of Pharmacy faculty. He teaches drug information, medication safety, and pulmonary medicine coursework at UT and serves as the Director of Continuing Education and Professional Development for the College of Pharmacy. His research interests include the opioid crisis, interprofessional education, continuing professional development, and workforce development. In 2020, he was promoted to associate dean of the UT College of Pharmacy Knoxville campus.

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