Rafael Saenz & Calvin H. Knowlton: October 26, 2020



What Consumers Should Know about the Essential Role of the Pharmacist and Medication Safety


Rafael Saenz

Chief of Staff for the American Pharmacists Association

Calvin H. Knowlton

PhD – Chairman and CEO of Tabula Rasa HealthCare


According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adverse drug events contribute to more than 1 million emergency room visits and over 250,000 hospitalizations in the United States, although many are preventable. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced many unknowns, including various repurposed treatments and vaccines to combat SARS-CoV-2, patients must be aware how these potential treatments and vaccines may interact with their current medication regimens.


On October 26, 2020, Chairman and CEO of Tabula Rasa HealthCare Calvin H. Knowlton and CEO and Chief of Staff for the American Pharmacists Association Rafael Saenz are available to discuss their recent joint efforts to promote medication safety awareness and education. They can share how viewers can take greater control over their medication regimen through consumer education and how pharmacists play a vital role in patient care by minimizing adverse drug events.



More About Calvin H. Knowlton, PhD:

Dr. Calvin Knowlton is the Founder and CEO of Tabula Rasa Healthcare, including CareKinesis, the first national PACE Medication Risk Mitigation Company. CareKinesis is the tenth company he has founded. excelleRx/Hospice Pharmacia was his most recent company prior to CareKinesis. In the aggregate, his companies have employed more than 1,300 people—mostly pharmacists, technicians and administrative staff.

Dr. Knowlton has won numerous awards for his leadership in pharmacy, business, and philanthropy in his career of over 30 years, including the 2003 and the 2013 Ernest and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Greater Philadelphia Region, and the 2004 Walter M. Aikman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He was selected as the Most Influential U.S. Pharmacist in 1997. He has been elected and served as the national President for the American College of Apothecaries, President of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) for two terms, and President of the American Pharmacists Association Foundation. He currently serves as Chair of the Board for the Evergreens Continuing Care Retirement Community and as a Board member on the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University. He serves on the Board (Session) of the First Presbyterian Church in Moorestown, NJ and chairs their Long Range Planning Panel. He recently finished his term on the Boards of St Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, and Coriell Life Sciences. He is a member of the APhA Pharmacogenomics Task Force, as well as the FDA-recognized National Pharmacogenomics Advisory Group.


More About Rafael Saenz, PharmD:

Rafael Saenz received his Pharm.D. from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, and his Master of Science in Pharmacy Administration from the University of Wisconsin, while concurrently completing the Pharmacy Administration Residency Program at the University of Wisconsin Hospital.

Between 2011 and 2019, Rafael served as the Chief Pharmacy Officer at the University of Virginia (UVA) where he oversaw the pharmacy enterprise for the health system. In this role, Rafael led an expert team that successfully deployed clinical pharmacist services throughout the system, implemented LEAN medication distribution workflows, oversaw a $250M drug expense budget, increased the department’s revenue to attribute to over 45% of all medical center net revenues, and created several new business lines for UVA including a full service specialty pharmacy. Further, Rafael led the expansion of pharmacy residency programs at UVA, tripling the availability of positions during his tenure.

Prior to UVA, Rafael served as Pharmacy Operations Manager for UPMC in Pittsburgh. In this role, he had oversight for clinical unit-based pharmacy services and retail operations, before switching his focus to the pharmacy practice sites within UPMC’s international ventures in Palermo, Italy and Dublin, Ireland. Rafael has deployed clinical services, information technology systems, created supply chains, met regulatory and accreditation requirements, implemented best practices in medication use safety, and launched new pharmacy business initiatives domestically and internationally.

Rafael has served the profession through active membership in state and national pharmacy organizations. He has served on workforce and education committees with various organizations aimed at increasing the pharmacist and technician scope of practice. In 2015, Rafael was appointed to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and served as Chair of the Board from 2018-2019.


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