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Advisory Committee

Chair

Patel-Kashyap
Kashyap B. Patel, MD
Chief Executive Officer
Carolina Blood & Cancer Care Associates

Kashyap Patel, MD, is a board certified hematologist/oncologist who specializes in palliative care. He is a full-time practicing medical oncologist with more than 20 years of experience working directly with cancer patients.

Dr. Patel serves as President of the Community Oncology Alliance, on the advisory board for Medicaid HMOs, and has been a Carrier Advisory Committee member for the DHHS (SC), Palmetto GBA. Dr. Patel has a special interest in healthcare policy and economics and new alternative payment models.

He completed his residency at Jamaica Hospital in New York City and a fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. He is a certified trainer for physicians on “Education in Palliative and End-of-Life Care,” and has published journal articles and presented both nationally and internationally.

Committee Members

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Ivo Abraham, PhD, RN
Professor of Pharmacy & Medicine
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

Ivo Abraham, PhD, a nurse by profession and an outcomes and effectiveness researcher by trade, is a professor of Pharmacy and Medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he is also affiliated with the Center for Health Outcomes and PharmacoEconomic Research, the Arizona Cancer Center, and the Center for Applied Genomics and Genetic Medicine. Dr. Abraham has served as a regular or visiting professor at universities in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He currently serves as the associate editor for quantitative methods for JAMA Dermatology, and has co-authored more than 350 articles, 75 chapters, and 30 books and monographs.

Dr. Abraham’s research program has been funded continuously since 1984 by governmental agencies, foundations, and corporations worldwide. In the U.S., he has served as an appointed and ad hoc reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute for Mental Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Veterans Administration. He has also been an expert advisor to the Innovative Medicines Initiative, a joint undertaking of the European Union and the biopharmaceutical industry, to stimulate innovation in human therapeutics.

A native of Belgium, he received his BS (psychiatric nursing) from the Catholic University of Leuven and his MS (psychiatric-mental health nursing) and PhD (clinical research) from the University of Michigan.

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Sanjiv Agarwala, MD
Professor of Medicine; CMO
Temple University; Cancer Expert Now
Philadelphia, PA

Sanjiv Agarwala, MD, is the chief of medical oncology & hematology at St. Luke’s Cancer Center and professor of medicine at Temple University School of Medicine, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Agarwala is nationally and internationally recognized as an expert in the research and treatment of melanoma and immunotherapy of cancer and has presented and led numerous conferences and meetings across the globe.

Dr. Agarwala received his undergraduate education and medical degree from Bombay University.  He completed his medical training through residencies and fellowships at the University of Bombay in India, Otago University in New Zealand, and the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Agarwala has written and contributed to over 150 publications and book chapters on melanoma and other research areas. He is board certified in oncology, hematology, and internal medicine, and is an active member of several professional and scientific societies, including the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO), and the Society for Melanoma Research. Dr. Agarwala has been the principal investigator for multiple clinical trials involving immunotherapy and targeted therapy for melanoma and other malignancies, and has special interest and expertise in immunotherapy for cancer. As a result of his dedication to melanoma and immunotherapy research, Dr. Agarwala has received several honors, including listings as one of America’s top doctors for cancer and best doctors in the United States.

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Jessica Bembry, MSN, FNP
Family Nurse Practitioner
Ballad Health

Jessica Bembry, MSN, FNP is currently employed at Ballad Health as a Family Nurse Practitioner.  Her passion is in oncology. She is a compassionate and caring Family Nurse Practitioner and a Registered Nurse with over 15 years of experience in community and hospital settings. She prides herself on being Instrumental in ensuring high-quality healthcare of all patients.

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Derek M. Burns, PharmD, BCPS, BSCSP, DPLA
Pharmacy Manager
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers
Denver, Colorado

Derek M. Burns, PharmD, BCPS, BCSCP, DPLA, is a clinical pharmacist and the pharmacy manager for Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Denver, Colorado. Within his current role, Dr. Burns provides oversight of pharmacy services for 13 infusion centers and one of the largest accredited specialty pharmacies within US Oncology. In addition to managing the pharmacy team, he serves as a committee member of the US Oncology Network’s USP 800 and Pharmacy Operations Sub-Committees.  

He is dedicated to improving the standard of pharmacy care through leadership, innovation, safety, and efficiency, while maximizing the value provided to the patient. His vision is to consistently empower teams to optimize performance, cultivate engagement, and to continue rejecting the status quo.

He is highly involved with the Colorado Pharmacy Society as an executive committee member of the Academy of Health-System Pharmacists and serves on its legislative committee. He previously served in a similar capacity for the Montana Pharmacy Association and was nominated as an American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) House of Delegates representative.

Dr. Burns earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is board certified in pharmacotherapy and sterile compounding and completed the ASHP Pharmacist Leadership Academy in 2016.

 

Micheal.Diaz
Michael Diaz, MD
Director of Patient Advocacy
Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute

Michael Diaz, MD is president of the Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and a practicing medical oncologist with Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS). He joined FCS in 2011 and currently serves on the FCS Executive Board and as Director of Patient Advocacy for the practice. Dr. Diaz also serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation, as Vice-Chair, which provides non-medical financial assistance to qualified cancer patients in Florida. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors and as the Immediate Past President for the Florida Society of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO). He is active with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) on multiple Work Groups and as a member of ASCO’s Clinical Practice Committee. Dr. Diaz donates many hours as an active Medical Missionary and has participated in numerous medical missions to Kingston, Jamaica.

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Christina Fuller, BSW
Oncology Patient Financial Navigator
Mosaic Life Care Cancer Care
St. Joseph, MO

Christina Fuller, BSW is employed as an Oncology Patient Financial Navigator at Mosaic Life Care, Mosaic Life Care Cancer Care. At the age of sixteen Mrs. Fuller started in healthcare a Certified Nursing Assistant and has gained extensive experience in the healthcare field. In her current role she prides herself in fullest by assessing the patient’s need and navigating them through the financially tough times they may be experiencing or could experience.Christina worked in the medical field since the age of 16, starting out as a Certified Nursing Assistance.

In May of 2016, Christina graduated with a bachelor's in social work and by December was asked to start the Financial Navigation program at Mosaic Life Care Cancer Care. After starting this program, she soon realized she could use her degree to it’s fullest by assessing the patient’s need and navigating them through the financially tough times they may be experiencing or could experience ahead.

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Jorge J. Garcia, PharmD, MS, MHA, MBA, FACHE
Assistant Vice President
Baptist Health South Florida
Miami, FL

Jorge J. García, PharmD, MS, MHA, MBA, FACHE, serves as an assistant vice president at Baptist Health South Florida with responsibility for system-wide oncology pharmacy services primarily at the Miami Cancer Institute, the Lynn Cancer Institute, and inpatient oncology pharmacy services at several acute hospitals.

Dr. García has pioneered pharmacy charge integrity and revenue management in the health-system setting and is a thought leader and national speaker in this area, as well as in the areas of alternative payment models, biosimilars, and value-based oncology care. Dr. García leads advocacy efforts at the national level to promote evaluation of safe and effective use of biosimilars, along with stakeholder engagement to support a more just and sustainable biosimilar pharmacoeconomics model.

Dr. García obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy and MBA from Nova Southeastern University in 2010. He then transitioned to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to pursue an ASHP-accredited PGY-1 & PGY-2 Health-System Pharmacy Administration Residency and a Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration. He also completed an MHA from Florida Atlantic University. Dr. García is a board member at the Florida Society of Clinical Oncology (FLASCO), a recipient of the FLASCO 2018 Above and Beyond Award, and a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Sarah Hudson-Disalle
Sarah Hudson-DiSalle, PharmD, RPh
Pharmacy Manager
The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute
Columbus, OH

Sarah Hudson-DiSalle, PharmD, RPh​ is the Pharmacy Manager at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. She has a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & health care industry. Skilled in Healthcare Information Technology (HIT), Hospitals, Managed Care, Healthcare, and Healthcare Management.

She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree focused on Pharmacy, Patient Access and Reimbursement Services from The Ohio State University and James Cancer Hospital.

Drew Mace headshot
Drew Mace, PharmD
Oncology Pharmacy Supervisor and Clinical Pharmacist
Penn Medicine-Lancaster General Health
Lancaster, PA

Dr. Drew Mace is a pharmacy supervisor for Penn Medicine-Lancaster General Health’s Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Institute. In this role, Dr. Mace oversees pharmacy operations and clinical initiatives for the cancer institute.  

 

Dr. Mace’s professional interests include the creation and implementation of treatment algorithms that maximize cost effectiveness, alternative payment models (i.e., The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation’s Oncology Care Model), and biosimilar medications. 

Robert.Rifkin
Robert Rifkin, MD, FACP
Medical Director-Biosimilars Associate Chair, Hematology Research, McKesson Specialty Health
Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers LLP

Dr. Rifkin has over 20 years of experience in cellular therapy focusing on the clinical aspects of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. He has been responsible for the creation and accreditation of two hematopoietic stem cell transplant programs. Dr Rifkin remains active in the National Marrow Donor Program in the collection of bone marrows and peripheral blood progenitor cells.

Prior to his current position as an attending physician in the Department of Cellular Therapy at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, he was actively involved in FACT since its inception, and was a participant in the writing of the Fourth Edition of the Standards. Dr Rifkin continues to focus on the role of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in the treatment of multiple myeloma. He is also actively involved in the development of biosimilars and their introduction into the United States marketplace.

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