Speaker Biographies

Yewande Dayo, PharmD, BCIDP

Dr. Yewande Dayo grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and migrated to the United States in 2006.  After earning an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, she completed her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Howard University in Washington, DC. She pursued her first year of pharmacy residency training at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, during this training she was exposed to several aspects of infectious diseases. She subsequently spent her second year of training specializing in infectious diseases at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston, TX. She has worked as a clinical pharmacy specialist in infectious disease and antimicrobial stewardship at a community teaching hospital, and currently works in a similar capacity at Ochsner Health System, overseeing antimicrobial stewardship activities across various facilities within the Ochsner Health system. She is passionate about antimicrobial stewardship and its impact on public health. She believes that it is very important to empower patients by educating them and helping them to be meaningful participants in their health. Dr. Dayo is a member of several pharmacy organizations including the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), Making a Difference in Infectious Diseases (MAD-ID), she currently serves as the co-chair of the publication committee in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy ID PRN committee (ACCP ID-PRN) and currently serves as a member of the diversity, equity and inclusion committee in the Society of Infectious Disease Pharmacists (SIDP).


Alexandra DeWitt, PharmD.

Alexandra DeWitt completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Louisiana State University. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy from University of Tennessee Health Science Center – College of Pharmacy in Memphis, TN. Last year, she completed her PGY1 pharmacy residency at University Medical Center New Orleans, and is now the current Critical Care PGY2 resident at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, LA.


Bryan J. Donald, PharmD

Dr. Bryan J. Donald is an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisiana Monroe College of Pharmacy. While at ULM, he has practiced inpatient internal medicine at Ochsner LSU Monroe and pediatric ambulatory care at Ochsner for Children West Monroe Pediatric Cardiology Clinic, where he had a federal grant to study collaborative drug therapy management in pediatric hypertension. In addition to precepting pharmacy students, Dr. Donald teaches in medical literature, infectious diseases, and nephrology; and conducts research in pediatrics and cardiology.


Brett Dragomer, PharmD, BCPS

Brett Dragomer completed his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Ferris State University, and a post-graduate pharmacy practice residency at Henry Ford Allegiance Health. Prior to joining Ochsner Health, Brett practiced in Michigan as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Antimicrobial Stewardship. Currently he serves as one of the two System ID/Antimicrobial Stewardship Clinical Pharmacists managing the corporate system-level antimicrobial stewardship initiatives and activities at Ochsner Health. In his spare time he enjoys watching soccer, playing tennis, chess, and hiking with his wife and two dogs.


Deborah Grimes, RN, JD, MSHQS 

Deborah Grimes received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UAB . Worked as Registered Nurse for 10 years.  She graduated from the Birmingham School of Law in 1995 with a Juris Doctor Degree.

Deborah worked at UAB Risk Management as a Healthcare Attorney.  In 2004, she returned to Hospital Administration as the Director of Joint Commission/ Quality Resources. She was promoted to VP of Quality/Regulatory Affairs named Chief Compliance Officer for UAB Hospital. During this tenure she received a certification as a Healthcare Quality Professional, Certified Healthcare Compliance, completed leadership fellowship training with Momentum Inc. and graduated with Master’s in Science Degree in Quality and Patient Safety. Effective April 1, 2017 she was appointed as UAB Health System first Chief Diversity Officer. Named by Savoy magazine 2019 one of the Most Influential Women in Corporate America. In March of 2020 was hired as Ochsner Health’s first VP Chief of Diversity and Inclusion.

Deborah also serves as a Board member of the Alabama Kidney Foundation and is Past President, for Momentum Inc. Co- Founder of Breast Cancer Support Group “The Courage Network to assist breast cancer survivor to thrive while surviving treatment. She is a member several professional groups, such as Black Nurses Association, Society of Human Resource, Birmingham Society of Human Resources, Healthcare Compliance Association and National Association Society of Healthcare Executives. She is married to Ernest Grimes Jr. for 27 years they have 2 children Ernest III and Jessica Grimes Patton.


Phillip Hutchinson, BS, BA, CPht

Nationally certified pharmacy technician, college faculty, and education coordinator, Phillip Hutchinson has had an aberrated career in pharmacy. A Louisiana transplant, he is originally from South Carolina. There he graduated from Wofford College with bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Spanish. Since becoming a pharmacy technician in 2008, he has garnered experience in numerous practice settings including community, institutional, research, and charitable pharmacy. For almost fifteen years, he has been engaged in post-secondary education, training healthcare paraprofessionals through his roles as faculty member and ,subsequently, program coordinator.  

In 2019, he joined Ochsner Health System’s Medication-Use, Safety, and Education team as the Sr. Education Program Manager. His practice areas include system communication, educational programming, staff training, and workforce development. He has served as Committee Chair of the pharmacy system’s Change Management Advisory Committee since its inception. His recent accomplishments include implementation of a pharmacy apprenticeship program as well as authoring the operational standard for standardized onboarding of newly hired pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.  

He remains adjunct faculty and curriculum consultant for American Business and Technology University.  

Phillip takes pleasure in knowing that he is equipping others with the necessary tools to be more effective, resulting in positive implications on safety, quality, and the overall patient care experience. 

Katherine Jennings, PharmD, BCCCP

Dr. Jennings received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Wayne State University.  She completed her PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency and PGY2 Critical Care Pharmacy Residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Dr. Jennings began practicing at Ochsner Medical Center in 2013 as a Critical Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist.  She is the director of the PGY2 Critical Care Residency program and precepts PGY1 and PGY2 residents on their Medical and Surgical ICU rotations. 


William R. Kirchain, PharmD, CDCES

Dr. Kirchain is the Director of the Xavier University College of Pharmacy Health and Wellness Center.  He oversees a large community-based practice focused on the prevention and early detection of disease and the promotion of wellness through self-care and healthy lifestyle choices.  The Center provides free screenings for a variety of chronic diseases; medication check-ups; smoking cessation coaching; diabetes classes and health cooking classes.

In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Kirchain teaches pharmacy law and regulation at Xavier.  He currently or has served as President of the Louisiana Pharmacists Association, the Chair for Public Policy, Louisiana Society of Health-system Pharmacists, Vice Chair for the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners’ Advisory Committee for Collaborative Practice, Louisiana Delegate of the APhA House of Delegates and the Board of Directors Louisiana Pharmacists Association.


Mark Kirkikis, PharmD 

Mark graduated from pharmacy school from the University of Mississippi, then completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Ochsner Foundation Clinic in 2015. He then worked as a cardiology pharmacy specialist at AdventHealth in Orlando, Florida, where he focused on acute coronary syndromes, electrophysiology, and advanced heart failure. He moved back to New Orleans in 2021 to rejoin Ochsner’s pharmacy team, taking the position of System Clinical Pharmacogenomics Pharmacist at the beginning of 2022. He obtained his PGx Certificate from ASHP.

Mark was born and raised in New Orleans and he is expecting his third child with his wife, Laura.


Jason Lafitte, Pharm.D.

A Shreveport native, Jason attended the University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy and, upon graduation in 2004, joined the pharmacy team at LSU Health Sciences Center –Shreveport. In 2009, he moved into a leadership role were he has continued to serve the Northwest Louisiana community ever since. Jason currently serves as AVP-Pharmacy for Ochsner LSU Health and as President of LSHP. With 12 years of leadership experience, Jason enjoys working with pharmacists and technicians to develop new skills and strategies that can be deployed to advance pharmacy and improve patient outcomes.


Joseph G. LeBlanc, Jr., Pharm.D., R.Ph., M.H.A., M.B.A., D.P.L.A.

“It is important for aspiring leaders in the healthcare industry to pursue opportunities to affect positive change through organizational leadership when possible and constantly have their sights set on learning more.”

Dr. LeBlanc attended pharmacy school at the University of Louisiana at Monroe College of Pharmacy where he obtained is Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010.  He received his Master of Health Administration Degree from Simmons College in 2014 and his Master Business Administration from New England College in 2016.  Dr. LeBlanc has 11 years experience as a licensed pharmacist 8 of which has been spent in hospital pharmacy management. He has served as a sterile compounding clean room consultant for independent, specialty pharmacies and as a consultant on director of pharmacy advisory boards for pharmaceutical companies. He currently serves as pharmacy manager at Our Lady of Lourdes Heart Hospital and as a licensed staff pharmacy for Wal-Mart Pharmacy. Dr. LeBlanc also serves as Central Chapter President of the Louisiana Society of Health-System Pharmacists and as a Louisiana Delegate on the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists House of Delegates. He is the 2012 recipient of the Louisiana Pharmacist Association Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year Award, the 2014 recipient of the Louisiana Society of Health-System Pharmacists Outstanding Affiliate Chapter President Award, the 2015 recipient of the Louisiana Society of Health-System Pharmacists Health-System Pharmacist of the Year Award, the 2017 Louisiana Pharmacists Association Hospital Pharmacist of the Year Award, and the 2018 Upsher-Smith Excellence in Innovation Award. Dr. LeBlanc has distinguished himself as an advocate of sterile compounding through his numerous organizational lectures and works to provide a pharmacy community with a successful transition towards compliance with the upcoming sterile and hazardous drug compounding standards.


Paul Menasco, Pharm.D

Paul Menasco, Pharm.D, is a native New Orleanian. He attended Xavier University of Louisiana earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy in 1989. He returned to Xavier to earn his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree in 1999. He worked for Tenet Healthcare as Pharmacy Director at St. Charles General Hospital in New Orleans, LA, Doctor’s Hospital of Jefferson in Metairie, LA, and Meadowcrest Hospital in Gretna, LA before accepting a position at Ochsner in 2006 as Pharmacy Director at Ochsner Medical Center West Bank in Gretna, LA. He has worked with Ochsner Health for the past 15 years and as of May 2020, became Ochsner’s System Accreditation and Regulation Compliance Pharmacist. Among Paul’s many accomplishments, he successfully introduced a RCRA (hazardous pharmaceutical) waste management program in 2010 and collaborated with the Manager of Regulatory and Environmental Safety to prepare, position and implement key aspects of USP797 and 800, bringing to bear his 25 years’ experience as a Pharmacy Director and expanding knowledge base of pharmacy rules and regulations. In his free time, Paul enjoys swimming and exercising between spending time with his wife Hala and 3 children.


Tara Montgomery, PharmD, MS, MBA, MPH

Tara Montgomery currently serves as Director of Pharmacy Services at Touro Infirmary/LCMC Health New Orleans, LA. Tara joined the Touro/LCMC Health Team in September 2016, with 20+ years of experience in Pharmacy Operations and Clinical Practice Management. In addition to administrative oversight at Touro, she is the Touro Pharmacy Practice Residency Director and actively precepts Pharmacy students and Residents. Tara’s professional background includes Operational Management, Managed Care, Prescription Benefit Management, Pharmaceutical Industry, and Pharmacy Academia. Tara actively mentors Pharmacy Students, Residents, Pharmacists and Technicians. In addition, she is very active in the community via the following organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, Greater New Orleans Chapter National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the National Council of Negro Women.


George Nawas, PharmD, BCPS

Dr. Nawas received both his bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from ACPE-accredited Lebanese American University (LAU) in Lebanon. After graduating he worked for 4 years as a retail pharmacist in his hometown, Beirut, and for 3 years as a clinical instructor at LAU’s School of Pharmacy in Byblos. Remaining very passionate about clinical pharmacy, acute care, and academia, he decided to pursue residency training and matched at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he completed his PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency, PGY-2 Internal Medicine Residency with a focus in infectious diseases, and obtained a Pharmacy Resident Scholars in Teaching and Learning (PRSTL) certification. Dr. Nawas also received his Board Certification as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS).

After completing his residency training at the University of Arizona in 2018, Dr. Nawas accepted an appointment as Clinical Assistant Professor at Xavier University of Louisiana’s College of Pharmacy, where he currently coordinates and teaches Infectious Diseases in the Integrated Sequence of the Pharmacotherapeutics module.

Dr. Nawas’ practice site is the University Medical Center New Orleans (UMCNO), a teaching hospital and the only level one trauma center in the metropolitan area, providing care to a primarily medically underserved population. As a Clinical Specialist, his main responsibilities include participating in interdisciplinary rounds with Tulane University School of Medicine Internal Medicine teams, assisting with UMCNO’s antimicrobial stewardship program, and developing policy and guidelines related to antimicrobials. He also serves as primary preceptor for Xavier and UMCNO pharmacy residents on their Internal Medicine and/or Infectious Diseases rotations, as well as Xavier pharmacy students on their Introductory and/or Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences.


Catherine B. Oliver, PHARMD, BCPS, DPLA

Catherine B. Oliver, PharmD, BCPS, DPLA is a graduate of ULM College of Pharmacy in 2009 and completed PGY1 residency training at Cone Health in Greensboro, North Carolina.  She served as the Assistant Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services at Ochsner Medical Center for four years before assuming her current role as System Director for Clinical Pharmacy Services in 2019.  Her interest areas are innovative clinical practice models and outcomes, leadership development, pharmacogenomics, opioid stewardship, and transitions of care.  She serves as the vice-chair for the Vizient Pharmacy Practice Advancement Committee, in addition to precepting residents as part of Ochsner’s PGY1/2 HSPAL program.


Anthony Perissinotti

Anthony J. Perissinotti, PharmD, BCOP, is a hematology clinical pharmacist specialist at the University of Michigan – Michigan Medicine, clinical team leader of hematology/oncology, and adjunct clinical assistant professor at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Dr Perissinotti obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He completed his first year of postgraduate residency at the Detroit Medical Center – Harper University Hospital in Detroit, and he completed his second year of postgraduate residency training at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Dr Perissinotti is a board-certified hematology/oncology pharmacist.


Jamie S. Sinclair, M.S., R.PH., FASHP, FMSHP

Jamie S. Sinclair, M.S., R.PH., FASHP, FMSHP is the Director, Pharmacy Services for Mercy Medical Center, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. Sinclair earned her B.S.Pharm. from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and M.S. from the University of Minnesota. She completed an ASHP-accredited residency at Methodist Hospitals of Memphis. Sinclair has practiced in academic and community-based settings, beginning as a critical care pharmacist, and has held health-system leadership positions for over 20 years. Her passions include developing technicians, pharmacist practitioners and leaders, implementing/optimizing technologies, and fostering interprofessional relationships.

Sinclair’s service to ASHP includes: Council on Pharmacy Practice; Chair, Commission on Affiliate Relations; Committee on Nominations; Women in Pharmacy Leadership Steering Committee; ASHP/ISMP Medication Safety Certificate Faculty; and state delegate (Iowa and Minnesota). She is a member of the Iowa Pharmacy Association and past Treasurer and President of the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists. She is currently serves as an ASHP Board Member.