Board of Directors
Executive Members on the Board of Directors
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Melani Bersten, PharmD graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy interested in addiction medicine and the role of the community pharmacist. After attending APhA’s Conference on Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency, Dr. Bersten was introduced to cannabis-based medicine and returned to Minnesota as a medical cannabis pharmacist. Melani battled with the lack of consistent information and plethora of misinformation available to healthcare providers and the public surrounding cannabis. As a Dean’s Professor for the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Dr. Bersten educates healthcare professionals on the clinical considerations of medical cannabis, as approved by Pennsylvania’s Department of Health. Passionate about empowering patients and providers with the knowledge and tools to transform the public perception of cannabis, Melani has been invited to speak on medical cannabis across the country.
Thomas Donia, RPh is the currently the VP, Corporate Medical Informatics at AmeriHealth Caritas in Philadelphia, PA, where he oversees plan reporting, medical expense trend analytics, corporate dashboards, and the advanced analytics teams. He is responsible for the organization’s next-generation analytics initiative which consists of a modernized grid platform, a Cloudera Hadoop implementation, and several business intelligence platforms. Prior to joining AmeriHealth Caritas, Tom was VP, Clinical Informatics at Amerigroup, Inc. where he was responsible for building out the organization’s pharmacy informatics team. Tom received his B.Sc. in Pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1988 and is PA-certified Cannabis pharmacist who provides online dosing and drug interaction counseling for families using cannabis products for children with autism and seizure disorders. He resides in Harleysville, PA with his wife Kathi and 4 children.
Ethan Carruthers, PharmD is a Medical Cannabis pharmacist and pharmacology expert and passionate advocate for the realistic medical use of cannabis using modern pharmacological standards. Ethan seeks to educate healthcare practitioners, policy-makers, and the general public on the use and benefits of medical cannabis for a variety of health conditions. Ethan has two years of clinical experience in treating patients using a medical therapy management and collaborative practice style of therapy. He has developed various tools and standards for medical cannabis dosing for multiple indications using a variety of dosage forms. Ethan brings evidence-based practices and principles, individualized therapies, and rational regulation to the medical cannabis industry as it evolves.
Brian Harvey, RPh has more than 20 years of experience in delivering high quality Pharmaceutical Care to patients in a wide variety of settings. After starting a small Informatics Consulting Firm in 2011, Mr. Harvey has most recently ventured out as a pioneer and trailblazer in the evolving pharmaceutical specialty of Cannabis Based Medicine. As part of the team that secured the first Medical Cannabis license in the State of Minnesota in 2015, Mr. Harvey’s primary drive in his healTHCare endeavors is to increase the safety and efficacy of cannabis-based medication therapy through development and implementation of best practices and incorporation of evidence based medicine. Mr. Harvey is also dedicated to promoting, demystifying, destigmatizing the topic of cannabis based medications for his community and for his fellow Pharmacists, as well as the Pharmacists of tomorrow.
Christine Roussel, PharmD is a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist with a Bachelors in Toxicology and Doctorate in Pharmacy from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. She works in hospital pharmacy administration in Pennsylvania and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at USciences. Christine has a passion for cleanroom design and pharmacy regulations; and enjoys writing and teaching on these topics. She facilitates educational programs across the United States on sterile, non-sterile and hazardous drug compounding. Clinical use of cannabis and potential drug interactions has been a strong interest of Christine’s since she first began working with oncology patients who self medicated with cannabis. Christine has provided educational programs on cannabis to pharmacists, physicians and nurses through webinars, local, state and national presentations. She is interested in quality control of medical cannabis processing and formulations, and the management of medical cannabis patients as they move across transitions in care.
Joseph Falbo, PharmD Candidate is diligently preparing to be involved with and work towards the cannabis pharmacist career path. Personally affected by the perils of addiction and motivated to do something, Joseph attended the APhA institute on Substance Use Disorders & Alcoholism where pathophysiology, laws/regulations, and available treatments were discussed – with the goal of how health care providers can help those in need and removing stigma. Joseph seeks a career in medical cannabis to support and advocate for patients using his pharmacy knowledge.
General Members on the Board of Directors