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UMSOP Faculty and Practitioners Elected to APhA Leadership Positions

Rodriguez de Bittner named president-elect; Layson-Wolf named APhA-APPM member-at-large.

Headshots of Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner and Cherokee Layson-Wolf

By Andrew Tie
June 18, 2024

Two faculty members in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research (P-SHOR) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP) won elections for leadership positions in the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), one of the nation’s premier organizations for advancing the pharmacy profession.

Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, FAPhA, FNAP, associate dean for clinical services and practice transformation and professor of P-SHOR, has been named president-elect. Cherokee Layson-Wolf, PharmD, BCACP, FAPhA, professor of P-SHOR, has been named member-at-large in the APhA-Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management (APhA-APPM) executive committee.

“It is an exciting time at UMSOP to see two of our faculty members receiving support from their peers around the country and representing our School on a national stage,” said Sarah L.J. Michel, PhD, dean of the School and professor of pharmaceutical sciences. “Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner and Dr. Layson-Wolf have had illustrious careers in community pharmacy, education, and advocacy that have prepared them well to serve in these significant leadership roles.”

“I am thrilled for Dr. Rodriguez de Bittner in being named president-elect of APhA, and I could not think of a pharmacist nationwide who brings the same experience and passion as she does to advancing our profession,” said Jill A. Morgan, PharmD, BCPS, BCPPS, FNAP, chair and professor of P-SHOR. “I am equally proud that Dr. Layson-Wolf will serve in a critical position for the future of APhA. It is gratifying to see two of our own faculty members leading one of the pharmacy profession’s top organizations.”

Rodriguez de Bittner next in line to lead APhA

Rodriguez de Bittner will be installed as president-elect at the APhA Annual Meeting in March 2025 and will then serve as president in 2026.

Her election represents a groundbreaking moment. She will be the first faculty member from UMSOP and the first female from Maryland to serve as president of APhA, and she is also the first pharmacist from Maryland to be elected since 1930.

Rodriguez de Bittner serves in many roles at UMSOP, such as the Felix Gyi Endowed Memorial Professor in Pharmapreneurship and executive director of the Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions. She also leads the School’s Pharmapreneurship® initiative, which describes the School’s commitment to supporting and best positioning its faculty, students, and staff to achieve their career aspirations and therefore address the nation’s health care, research, policy, and societal needs through innovation. Under her leadership, the School has created a pharmapreneurship pathway in the Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum, created a business pitching competition for students, and now offers multiple scholarships for students who demonstrate pharmapreneurial skills.

Rodriguez de Bittner has been active with APhA and other pharmacy professional organizations throughout her career. She served as an APhA trustee from 2018 to 2024 and is past president of the Maryland Pharmacists Association (MPhA) and the American Pharmacists Association Foundation.

“I am overjoyed and thankful to have received so much support from my colleagues at the School and across the country in being named president-elect of APhA,” Rodriguez de Bittner said. “I am filled with determination as I think about this opportunity to work together with my fellow pharmacists to advance our profession, provide greater contributions to the health care team, and serve our patients.”

Layson-Wolf to help shape future of special interest groups

After her installation at the APhA 2025 annual meeting, Layson-Wolf will join the executive committee of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Pharmacy Practice and Management as a member-at-large. This group engages with members and develops resources and programming to support their development and various practice areas and interests.

Layson-Wolf will be instrumental in shaping the ways that members engage with each other in APhA. The broader APhA organization recently approved major changes in its bylaws to transition SIGs into communities that reflect the interests and practice areas of APhA members.

“The APhA Board of Trustees will take the year to define what the new structure will look like, and myself along with the other member-at-large representatives will participate in those conversations along with APhA leadership and staff to put this transition into place,” Layson-Wolf said.

Layson-Wolf is a practicing pharmacist who serves as the School’s liaison to the Safeway/UMSOP PGY-1 community-based residency program. She is a past president of MPhA and an immunization advocate.

She has also been an active APhA member, co-advisor of the School’s chapter of the APhA-Academy of Student Pharmacists, fellow of APhA, and recipient of APhA’s 2024 Daniel B. Smith Practice Excellence Award.

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