About PPA   |   Sign In   |   Join Now
Meet Our LEADers!



We are proud to feature the following leaders in our LEAD Program. They will lead you through a journey of personal discovery, learning life lessons that may be applied in any leadership opportunity -  be it work, play, family, volunteer, professional growth! For ALL up and coming leaders!


Meet the Program Leader!

The following individual will be your guide as you navigate through the LEAD program. Part coach, mentor, and more she will assist you as you focus on learning and getting as much as possible out of this year round experience.


Nishaminy Kasbekar, BS, PharmD, FASHP
Corporate Director of Pharmacy, University of Pennsylvania Health System

Nish is the Director of Pharmacy at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy and her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science and then completed an ASHP residency in Pharmacy Practice and a Specialty Residency in Infectious Diseases at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Nish has practiced and had many roles in various areas of pharmacy practices. She has contributed to a number of publications, presented at national conferences and received numerous recognitions most notably the PSHP Pharmacist of the Year (2014), Philadelphia Business Journals Top 40 individuals under the age of 40, ASHP Best Practice Award, Pennsylvania Health System Pharmacists Joe E Smith Award, Delaware Valley Society of Health Systems Pharmacists- Jonathan Roberts Award and placed in the American Druggist’s List of Top 50 Most Influential Pharmacists.

Nish has also held a number of leadership positions in PSHP, ASHP and Vizient and is a Fellow of ASHP. She is currently the Immediate Past President of the PPA Educational Foundation and has been Chair of the PPA Educational Foundation Grant Committee for a number of years. Her passion for all areas of Pharmacy is evident in her daily interactions with providers, pharmacists and students and is excited to be a part of the LEAD program. 




Module Program Presenters  (presented in alphabetical order)

Our presenters are our content experts and will have developed and recorded the content for their specific module and will be available by email or phone should you have any specific questions as you proceed through their section.  They may also connect you with one or more other topic experts and encourage your interaction with those individuals as a way to expand your horizons and develop your network of contacts.


Patricia A. Epple, CAE

CEO, Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association

Module: Meeting Dynamics

Pat Epple has served as the CEO of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Assn. since 2002. As the CEO, she oversees the Association’s public policy development, strategic direction, government relations advocacy, member professional development, and membership recruitment and retention. Prior to working for PPA, Pat served in similar chief staff executive roles for both the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association and the Greater Harrisburg Association of Realtors.

She earned her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 1988, has served as the President of the Pennsylvania Society of Association Executives (PaSAE), was presented with the Society’s Award of Excellence in 1997, and has been in association management for more than 30 years. She graduated from IUP with a degree in Business and Hospitality Management.  She has also served in a number of volunteer capacities, including most recently on the Lupus Foundation's Harrisburg Branch Council and the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, giving her the perspective of the "other side." She serves on the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy Board of Visitors and is honored that the students of the University of Pittsburgh named her an honorary Kappa Psi.




Jonathan D. Ference, PharmD, BCPS

Associate Provost for Academics and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Wilkes University – Nestbitt School of Pharmacy
Module: Executive Presence


Jon currently serves as the Associate Provost for Academics at Wilkes University. As a member of the President’s Cabinet, he oversees eight academic-support divisions of the University while working closely with the Senior Vice President and Provost and six academics deans to maintain the academic enterprise.  Jon formerly served in leadership positions in the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy as Assistant Dean of Assessment and Alumni Affairs and as Director of the Pharmacy Care Labs.  He continues to teach in the Pharmacy Care Lab sequence in the areas of the Pharmacist Patient Care Process (PPCP) and information mastery.


He has been recognized as the teacher of the year within the School of Pharmacy multiple times as well being named the prestigious Wilkes University Carpenter award winner in 2014 for overall teacher of the year within the University. 


Jon has served in the leadership of PPA as Director of the Northeast Region and Board of Directors members as well as President of the PPA Educational Foundation. He brings the same passion and enthusiasm to the LEAD program as displayed in the classroom setting.


Coleen M. Kayden, R.Ph.
Consultant Pharmacist, Medication Information Services, a Division of Williams Apothecary
Module: Addressing Adversity and Conflicts


Coleen is a 1978 graduate of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and has been a staff and consultant pharmacist for Williams Apothecary, Lancaster, PA, since 1986. Her responsibilities include consultant work for several long-term care facilities in Lancaster County as well as Hospice and Community Care.

She is a Past President of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, past Chairperson of the Lancaster Community Health Plan Board of Directors, and a member in good standing of the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and the National Community Pharmacists’ Association. She has chaired various committees and task forces for the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association and is a past chair of its Educational Foundation. Coleen has served on the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy Board of Visitors; the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy Board of Visitors; the Pennsylvania Medical Assistance Advisory Committee, and in 2005 was appointed to the board of St. Joseph’s Health Ministries in Lancaster.

She is a founding Board Member of Linking Pharmacists to Improved Health Outcomes (LPIHO) and serves as liaison to the Business Group on Health and the ACTRx Program for Patient Self-Management (PSM) in diabetes and cardiovascular disease and medication therapy management (MTM). In 2009 Coleen was appointed to the Pennsylvania Restraint Reduction Initiative (PARRI) Task Force and in 2011 was appointed to the Technical Expert Panel for Quality Insights of Pennsylvania. Coleen served on the Steering Committee for Project Access Lancaster County (PALCO). She is a past recipient of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists’ Association Pharmacist of the Year award, the 2008 Bowl of Hygeia Award winner for outstanding community service, and was honored in 2010 as Outstanding Alumnus of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. She was elected to the Penn Manor High School Distinguished Alumni Wall of Honor in 2015.


  Nicholas Leon, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCACP
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Jefferson School of Pharmacy
Nicholas Leon graduated with his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. He completed a PGY-1 residency in pharmacy practice at the New Mexico Veteran Affairs Health Care System in Albuquerque, NM and a PGY-2 residency specializing in ambulatory care at the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Leon is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at the Jefferson School of Pharmacy in Philadelphia. Dr. Leon practices as an ambulatory care clinical specialist at the Penn Center for Primary Care where he was the first pharmacist to provide drug therapy management services.

Dr. Leon has been an active member of several pharmacy associations engaging in meaningful committee work within APhA, AACP, and ASHP where he most recently served as Vice-Chair of the Educational Steering Committee within the Section of Ambulatory Care Practitioners.

Over the years, Dr. Leon has been most active within the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association where he started off initially as a member of the Conference Committee and then went on to serve as Chair of the Health Policy Committee for 4 years. In 2013, he joined the Board of Directors after being elected as Director of the Southeast Region. The following year he was elected to an officer position, serving as 2nd Vice-President. During his time on the Board of Directors, he is responsible for the creation of PPA’s PREP program and was the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Young Pharmacists Award.

Additionally, since 2008, Dr. Leon has volunteered almost annually as a clinic pharmacist for Global Medical Brigades in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and is board certified in pharmacotherapy and ambulatory care.


PJ Ortmann, RPh, MBA

Managing Partner, MedivisoRx, LLC

Module: Leading Through Influence

With over 40 years as a practicing Pharmacist, PJ brings his uniquely diverse Pharmacist experience to find novel solutions to improve patient care, while reducing financial waste in prescription benefits.

Graduating from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1977, PJ served as an active-duty pharmacy officer in the US Army; worked as a Hospital supervisor at Lancaster General Hospital; led 2 mid-sized Managed Care Plans in Central Pennsylvania as Pharmacy Director; and was a Sr. Account Manager for Novartis. He continues practicing Community Pharmacy in the Lancaster area. In 2011 he and his partner formed Medvisors to bring transparency and a better understanding of PBM and Pharmacy Benefits to employers.

PJ rose to the rank of Lt Colonel (USAR), has been the multi-year VP of the Lancaster County Pharmacists Association, and was elected as President of LCPA for 2013 and 2018. He is an active member of PPA and is a founding member of the South Central Pennsylvania Opioid Awareness Coalition.


Michele Catalano- Musheno, RPh, MS

Director of Pharmacy, Commonwealth Health - Moses Taylor Hospital

Module: Situational Leadership

Michele has directed acute care and critical access hospitals and retail pharmacy operations.  She transformed several hospital pharmacies from a centralized model to an integrated clinical pharmacy model, and designed and implemented transition in care, anticoagulation services, and infusion pharmacy services.  As an Applied Pharmacoeconomic Fellow in COPD Disease Management with a national health plan and pharmaceutical company, she developed and implemented pharmacy disease management and case management services. She also implemented an ASHP PGY1 residency program in a community based hospital.


Past President of Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association and Lackawanna County Pharmacy Association; current President of NE chapter PSHP; PPA Education Foundation Ambassador; PA DPW Pharmacy & Therapeutics committee member; member of PSHP, ASHP, ASPL, and NAPW.  Inducted into the Beta Psi chapter of Phi Lambda Sigma (Pharmacy’s Leadership Society); recipient of the Innovative Pharmacists of the Year; Bowl of Hygeia Award.  Her pharmacy department was featured in APhA Pharmacy Today Health Systems edition for the implementation of MTM in an integrated clinical model. 


She serves as a preceptor/adjunct faculty for numerous schools of pharmacy and a pharmacology instructor for athletic trainers. Active in the community, serves as a board member  for the county AAA- Prime Time Health Advisory Board presenting educational programs to senior centers and community groups.  Her community involvement also includes board membership on the Junior League of Scranton and Voluntary Action Center. She is also the Past-President of the Society of Irish Women and currently the Chair of St Gregory’s Pastoral Council.  


Shawn D. Parekh, PharmD, MHA, BCPS
Health-System Director of Pharmacy, Abington Health
Module: Emotional Intelligence

Dr. Darshan “Shawn” Parekh is currently a health-system director of pharmacy for Abington Jefferson Health(AJH). His responsibilities include leading various divisions including retail pharmacy, inpatient pharmacies and an outpatient oncology pharmacy. He is an employee of Comprehensive Pharmacy Services and has been consulting for AJH for over 7 years. Shawn received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia and his Masters in Healthcare Administration from Ohio University. He is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. His career includes various experiences including clinical research (Merck) and public health with the state of MA. He is actively engaged with his local chapter of the Pennsylvania Society of Health-System Pharmacists and he also sits on the national Exam committee for American College of Healthcare Executives. Shawn has focused his last 5 years on increasing staff engagement scores with his department as well as implementing multiple technology initiatives. 


Stephanie Smith Cooney, PharmD

President, Gatti Pharmacy

Module: Transformational Change and Innovation


Stephanie Smith Cooney, Pharm.D. is a community pharmacist and owner of Gatti Pharmacy in Indiana, PA. She is also part of the RxHealth Connect team, an innovative pharmacy technology solution.  Stephanie received her Doctorate of Pharmacy from Wilkes University. 


She serves as a management preceptor with the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy Community Practice Residency Program. She is also a preceptor for students completing introductory and advanced practice experiential education rotations with Duquesne University, LECOM, the University of Pittsburgh, and Wilkes University. 


She contributes to the state of Pennsylvania with her active involvement in the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association, serving on the Board of Directors, Editorial Review Board, and the Educational Foundation Board..  Stephanie has earned certificates from the American Pharmacists Association in immunizations and medication therapy management and has completed a course in Advanced Leadership for Pharmacy Owners.  


In 2014, she was honored with PPA’s “Ten Under Ten” award and in 2015, the inaugural recipient of the Pauline Montgomery Leadership Award.  


Working with her pharmacy team, she has implemented a variety of innovative services in her pharmacy, including robust medication synchronization programs, immunization programs, including travel medicine, and medication therapy management programs. Stephanie maintains active memberships with the National Community Pharmacists Association and the American Pharmacists Association.


Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal