The PQI Podcast, presented by NCODA, Inc., hosts clinical and administrative experts in oncology providing insight on important industry topics and how they value the Positive Quality Intervention (PQI) resource for their practice. In addition, the podcast highlights patient stories of hope, determination and how patient-centered care has impacted their cancer journey. 
Hosted by NCODA’s Senior Manager of Clinical Initiatives, Ginger Blackmon, PharmD.

Season 6 Ep. 6: Industry Careers & NCODA's Professional Student Organization with Alex Shantiai, PharmD

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we sit down with Alex Shantiai, PharmD, to discuss the dynamic realm of pharmaceutical careers and highlight NCODA’s Professional Student Organization (PSO).

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As an oncology health and science representative and a former NCODA PSO leader, Alex shares insights on diverse pharmacist career paths in the industry, recounting his journey from pharmacy school to pharmaceutical sales.

Alex is a Palm Beach Atlantic University graduate who currently works as an oncology health and science representative for a pharmaceutical company. Alex continues engagement, communication, and philanthropy for the benefit of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and students. He works with national committees among the American Pharmacists Association and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, as well as regional affiliations. He also serves as a board of director member with the international Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

You can find more information on NCODA’s PSO here:


Season 6 Ep. 5: Drug Repository Program with Julie Kennerly-Shaw, PharmD, MS, MHA, BCPS

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we sit down with Julie Kennerly-Shaw, PharmD, MS, MHA, BCPS, to discuss the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Drug Repository Program.

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Julie is an associate director in the Department of Pharmacy and is responsible for hematology/oncology, pain/palliative and ambulatory care clinical services in The James Cancer Hospital. She oversees our state-of-the-art specialty retail pharmacies. In addition to her clinical and operational responsibilities, she facilitates the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and has administrative responsibility for the PGY2 Hematology/Oncology Residency Program.

She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned dual master degrees from The Ohio State University in the areas of health system pharmacy administration and health care administration. She completed a combined PGY1 and PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration Residency at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and completed the Oncology Administration Fellowship at The James Cancer Hospital.

Julie and her husband founded the Summit and Julie Shah Foundation, where they are “On a mission to help the least fortunate in our world and to inspire others to join.” More information on their foundation can be found here: https://www.shahfound.org/ 

Season 6 Ep. 4: Disparities and Updates in Cervical Cancer with Jennifer Young Pierce, MD, MPH, FACOG

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we sit down with Jennifer Young Pierce, MD, MPH, FACOG, to discuss her role, disparities in cervical cancer, and exciting advancements in her space.

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Dr. Jennifer Young Pierce is a Senior Staff Physician and Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of South Alabama Mitchell Cancer Institute (MCI). She joined USA Health MCI in 2017 with national expertise in Human Papillomavirus (HPV), cervical cancer, and cancer disparities. She currently serves as the Division Director of Cancer Prevention and Control and an Abraham A. Mitchell Clinical Cancer Research Scholar.

She is also the host of the podcast, The Cancering Show, seeking to demystify cancer with knowledge, hope, and humor for thousands of listeners. Most importantly, Dr. Pierce is deeply committed to the care of women with gynecologic cancers and spends the majority of her time seeing patients and performing radical surgeries for cancer treatment.  Dr. Pierce lives with her husband and two daughters in Mobile, Alabama.

You can find more information on The Cancering Show here: https://cancering.com/

Season 6 Ep. 3: Sit, Stay, Heal with Renee Alsarraf, DVM, DACVIM

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we sit down with Renee Alsarraf, DVM, DACVIM to discuss her book Sit, Stay, Heal: What Dogs Can Teach Us About Living Well and her personal cancer journey.

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Dr. Alsarraf received her veterinary degree from Michigan State University. She completed an internship and oncology residency in NYC at the Animal Medical Center. Currently, she works as a Senior Veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center in NYC.

She is the acclaimed author of Sit, Stay, Heal: What Dogs Can Teach Us About Living Well. SIT STAY HEAL is a moving and uplifting memoir of an esteemed veterinary oncologist fighting to save her four-legged patients while making sense of her own unexpected cancer diagnosis.

More information on the book can be found here: https://www.sitstayhealbook.com

Season 6 Ep. 2: Molecular Testing & Targeted Treatment in Colorectal Cancer with Makenna Smack, PharmD, BCOP

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we sit down with Makenna Smack, PharmD, BCOP, from MD Anderson, to discuss molecular testing and targeted treatment in colorectal cancer. 

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Makenna obtained her bachelor’s in biochemistry from Brigham Young University and Doctor of Pharmacy from Roseman University in South Jordan, Utah. After graduation, she completed her PGY1 pharmacy residency at Memorial Hermann Hospital System in Houston, Texas, and a PGY2 oncology residency at Boston Medical Center in Massachusetts.

She is board-certified by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties in Oncology Pharmacy. Makenna currently works in the Gastrointestinal (GI) Medical Oncology Clinic at MD Anderson. In this role, she is part of the multidisciplinary team overseeing the care of patients with colon, rectal, hepatobiliary, neuroendocrine, pancreatic, hepatic, and upper GI cancers. Makenna is passionate about providing effective patient education, adverse event management, and supportive care for her oncology patients. Outside of work, Makenna enjoys the snowless winters in Houston, trying new restaurants, and going to the park with her husband and son.

Season 6 Ep. 1: Workplace Well-Being with Dr. Richard Safeer

Our season premiere features Dr. Richard Safeer, Chief Medical Director of Employee Health and Well-Being for Johns Hopkins Medicine. A true expert in cultivating a healthy and resilient workforce, Dr. Safeer will guide us through his book, “A Cure for the Common Company: A Well-Being Prescription for a Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient Workforce.” Listeners will be empowered with practical tools to not only build a thriving workplace but one that flourishes.

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In January 2023, with publisher Wiley, Dr. Safeer released A Cure for the Common Company: A Well-Being Prescription for a Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient Workforce. Dr Safeer is the first author to provide a step-by-step roadmap for creating a well-being culture that integrates science with practical solutions as demonstrated by the numerous real stories from successful companies. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Medicine, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and the American College of Preventive Medicine. He serves on the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst Insight Council and previously served on the board of directors for the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

You can learn more about Richard’s work at RichardSafeer.com or follow him on LinkedIn.

If you’re looking for training on how to create a wellbeing culture on your team or organization, then go to CreatingAWellbeingCulture.com 

A Cure for the Common Company: A Well-Being Prescription for a Happier, Healthier, and More Resilient Workforce is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.


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