Pharmacy Practice

ASHP Appoints Section of Community Practitioners Executive Committee

Published: March 22, 2021
ASHP Press Release

New Section Supports Growing Area of Practice in Hospitals and Health Systems

ASHP today announced the executive committee members of the new Section of Community Pharmacy Practitioners. This new section offers a membership home for pharmacists, student pharmacists, pharmacy residents, and pharmacy technicians who practice in community and ambulatory pharmacy-based settings in hospitals and health systems and are involved in direct patient care, leadership and management, residency training, and implementation of advanced practice models and education.

 "ASHP's strategic vision calls for pharmacists to manage patients' medication therapy across the entire spectrum of care," said ASHP CEO Paul W. Abramowitz, Pharm.D., Sc.D. (Hon.), FASHP. "As healthcare continues to evolve to support more integrated approaches to patient care, the new ASHP Section of Community Pharmacy Practitioners will provide a critical focus on advancing health-system pharmacy-based community and ambulatory practice. ASHP is committed to supporting efforts that help create more seamless care transitions for patients to ensure that medication therapy is optimized and safe at every step from hospital and clinic, to community and home, long-term care, and beyond.”


ASHP’s Section of Community Pharmacy Practitioners Executive Committee, composed of five ASHP members recognized as pharmacy leaders with broad and diverse practice expertise, will guide the development of education, resources, strategic initiatives, professional policies, and advocacy to support the pharmacy workforce in hospital and health-system-based community and ambulatory pharmacy settings. Committee members for the 2021–2022 term are as follows:

  • Chair: Melissa Ortega, Pharm.D., M.S., is the director of outpatient pharmacy services at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Ortega has focused her career on championing pharmacy practice advancement initiatives locally and nationally across the care continuum. As a member of the pharmacy leadership team, Dr. Ortega oversees ambulatory, community, and specialty pharmacy services. She has expanded clinical and outpatient programs to enhance care transition, medication therapy management, and access. Dr. Ortega received her Doctor of Pharmacy from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and completed postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) pharmacy practice and postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) health-system pharmacy administration residencies at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.
  • Member: Courtney Isom, Pharm.D., BCACP, CPP, is the pharmacy operations coordinator at the Cone Health Community Health Wellness Center Pharmacy in Greensboro, North Carolina. In this role, she is involved with creating medication access and expanding clinical services for the uninsured and underinsured population. Dr. Isom also oversees the day-to-day operations of the pharmacy and serves in several teaching and precepting roles, including as the Residency Program Director for the PGY1 community-based pharmacy residency program. Dr. Isom is also a member of the Advisory Board for High Point University Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy.Dr. Isom received her Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from North Carolina State University and her Doctor of Pharmacy from Campbell University. She completed a PGY1 community pharmacy residency at the University of Georgia in conjunction with Kroger Pharmacy.
  • Member: Tasha Polster, R.Ph., is the vice president of pharmacy quality, compliance, and patient safety at Walgreen Co., in Deerfield, Illinois. Her responsibilities include overseeing the Retail Pharmacy Immunization program, pharmacovigilance group and patient safety, as well as implementing strategic initiatives such as prescription billing, electronic prescribing, and pharmacy automation. In addition, Ms. Polster supervises the pharmaceutical integrity group, which implements guidelines for the proper dispensing of controlled substances. Ms. Polster is also actively involved in transforming community pharmacy and expanding the role of pharmacists and technicians by allowing them to work at the top of their licenses. Ms. Polster earned her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from the University of Colorado.
  • Member: Ashley Storvick, Pharm.D., MBA, is the director of ambulatory services at Advocate Aurora in Milwaukee. Dr. Storvick oversees operations and pharmacy service development for several Greater Milwaukee Area retail pharmacies and ambulatory clinics. She also serves as a liaison between the clinics and pharmacies, designing growth and business development initiatives throughout the system. Since completing her PGY1 and PGY2 health-system pharmacy administration residency at Aurora Health Care, Dr. Storvick has held multiple leadership roles, including inpatient pharmacy manager, director of ambulatory oncology pharmacy services, and system pharmacy business development coordinator. Dr. Storvick received her Doctor of Pharmacy and Masters of Business Administration from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Member: Rema Thyagarajan, Pharm.D., BCPS, MBA, is the system director of pharmacy -ambulatory services at Baylor Scott and White Health (BSWH) in Dallas. She has served in many roles in her tenure at BSWH, including as staff pharmacist, clinical coordinator/manager, and director of pharmacy. In her current role, Dr. Thyagarajan is responsible for implementing pharmacist-embedded clinics to improve patient care and specialty pharmacy outcomes for Baylor-owned retail pharmacies. Dr. Thyagarajan is also responsible for the BSWH accountable care organization’s transitions of care and medication adherence and compliance activities and shared savings measures. Dr. Thyagarajan earned her Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy and completed her PGY1 residency at Baylor University Medical Center.

The executive committee will hold its first meeting virtually in April. Additional volunteer engagement opportunities in the new section will be available to all ASHP members soon thereafter. For more information about the new ASHP Section of Community Pharmacy Practitioners, visit

 About ASHP

ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s nearly 58,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For 79 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists advance healthcare, visit ASHP’s website,, or its consumer website,

Posted March 22, 2021

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