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. 15: Oncology Conversations with Dr. Hardeep Phull

On this week’s season finale episode of The PQI Podcast with special guest Hardeep Phull, MD to discuss various oncology hot topics including burnout, financial toxicity, AI, and remaining current with literature.

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Dr. Phull is the Director of Oncology at Palomar Health, the Alumni Specialty Director at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, and a Clinical Instructor at the University of California San Diego. He views his ongoing journey in medicine as a series of experiences that have enabled him to appreciate different values, cultures, and viewpoints, keeping him grounded and highly involved in education, mentorship, leadership, and advocacy in the community.

You can find articles from Dr. Phull in NCODA’s Oncolytics Today here:

 The Mental Health Epidemic in Oncologists

 Effect of Prior Authorization Rule Remains to be Seen

Season 6 Ep. 14: The Chemo Tapes with Jerad Rex Davis

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we sit down with Jerad Rex Davis to discuss his cancer journey and subsequent album “The Chemo Tapes.”

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Despite his battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Jerad, an attorney and musician from Western North Carolina, found solace in his music. His album “The Chemo Tapes,” blends Americana, bluegrass, and folk, reflecting his resilience and unwavering spirit. Listen in as we explore Jerad’s uplifting story, a testament to the healing power of music and the human spirit.

You can find more information and Jerad’s music here.

Season 6 Ep. 13: 2024 NCODA International Spring Forum Speaker Insights

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we put a spotlight on the recent 2024 NCODA International Spring Forum. The meeting brought together hundreds of NCODA members and partners with the shared goal of improving patient care.

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Listen in as we hear from several clinical and industry experts who participated in the Forum, sharing their insights and highlights from this inspiring gathering of oncology professionals.

Thank you to all Spring Forum participants for your dedication and support! Save the date for the 2024 NCODA International Fall Summit, which will be held in Orlando, FL, on October 23 – 25.

John Zieger, Bristol Myers Squibb
Todd Knepper, PharmD, Moffitt Cancer Center
Jordan Scott, PharmD, Roswell Park
Emily Zimdars, CPhT and Jean Meyer, CPhT, M Health Fairview

Season 6 Ep. 12: IV Iron Therapy with Layla Van Doren, MD, MBA ,and Kristen Boykin, PharmD, BCOP, BCPS

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we sit down with Layla Van Doren, MD, MBA, and Kristen Boykin, PharmD, BCOP, BCPS, to discuss IV iron therapy.

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Dr. Van Doren is a hematologist with Yale New Haven Health and Director of Education in the Adult Sickle Cell Program. Kristen is the Director of Pharmacy Operations at Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute.

This podcast episode is sponsored by Pharmacosmos Therapeutics Inc.

Pharmacosmos Therapeutics Inc. is a U.S. specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to providing patient care through the commercialization of Monoferric® (ferric derisomaltose) injection and through exceptional resources to support this treatment. We are the U.S. affiliate of the Denmark-based Pharmacosmos Group. Please visit us at www.monoferric.com to learn more.

Season 6 Ep. 11: Collaboration in Oncology Pharmacy Care with Juline George, PharmD, and Sasha Watson, PharmD

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we sit down with Juline George, PharmD, and Sasha Watson, PharmD, to explore the significance of pharmacist collaboration in oncology and its impact on optimizing patient care.

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Juline brings expertise in complex drug therapy from her role at Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy, while Sasha serves as an Outpatient Medical Oncology Clinical Pharmacist at the University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Season 6 Ep. 10: The Evolving Role of Oncology Pharmacy Technicians in England with Claire Kennedy, BSc (Hons), MAPharmT, and Chandra Maraj, BSc (Hons), MAPharmT

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast,we welcome Claire Kennedy, BSc (Hons), MAPharmT, and Chandra Maraj, BSc (Hons), MAPharmT, from Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Joined by guest co-host Taryn Newsome, CPhT, Associate Manager of OPTA at NCODA, we dive into an engaging discussion on the evolving role of oncology pharmacy technicians in England.

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Claire, an Advanced Clinical Cancer Pharmacy Technician and Operational Manager, and Chandra, also an Advanced Clinical Cancer Pharmacy Technician and Cancer Pharmacy Manager at the same trust, are dedicated professionals passionate about advancing the career path and clinical role of Pharmacy Technicians in oncology.

 Chandra Maraj has devoted 14 years to the Cancer Pharmacy Team at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. From being the sole full-time technician among three, the team has now grown to nearly 20 members.

Throughout her tenure, Chandra has shaped technician roles and spearheaded the establishment of a new pharmacy service for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Passionate about fostering learning and development, she aims to create a happier and healthier workplace for all pharmacy technicians.



Season 6 Ep. 9: ctDNA Testing in GI Cancers with Dr. Robert Zaiden

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, in honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we sit down with Robert Zaiden, MD, FACP to discuss ctDNA testing in GI cancers and his team.

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Dr. Zaiden, a seasoned medical oncologist in Jacksonville, FL, specializing in GI/GU tumors, stands as one of the founding members of Baptist MD Anderson. His active participation and leadership in various committees, including the role of Physician-in-Chief and Head of Cancer Medicine ad interim, underscore his commitment to optimizing patient care. Serving as the current director of the GI Tumor board, he has been instrumental in the rapid growth of Baptist MD Anderson.

With a wealth of experience, Dr. Zaiden has been a Principal Investigator or Sub-Investigator in over 20 clinical trials. Recognized with prestigious awards such as Physician of the Year and Teaching and Excellence awards, he is also the Medical Director of Infusion Centers at BMDA.

Before joining Baptist Medical Center in 2015, Dr. Zaiden contributed to the Hematology/Oncology faculty at the University of Florida in Jacksonville. During his tenure at UF, he received the Outstanding Resident Teacher award and was consistently voted Exemplary Faculty Teacher for five consecutive years. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Dr. Zaiden actively promoted Colorectal and Prostate Cancer Screening awareness to underserved communities, delivering cancer awareness talks at the YMCA. He proudly received the WeCare Patient’s Choice award in 2023.

This episode is sponsored by Walgreens. Our expert oncology-specialized pharmacy team is here for you. Our patients are at the heart of what we do and our pharmacists offer expert and compassionate support throughout each patient’s unique cancer journey. Let’s work together to care for the whole patient. Click here to find a Walgreens oncology-specialized pharmacist near you.


Season 6 Ep. 8: International Women's Day with Shikha Jain, MD, FACP

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we celebrate International Women’s Day! Dr. Shikha Jain joins us to discuss Women in Medicine, an organization committed to empowering and supporting women professionals in the healthcare industry.

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Dr. Jain will not only enlighten us with insights into the inspiring work of Women in Medicine, but she’ll also unveil some exciting developments in the realm of GI oncology. Plus, she shares her secrets to effective patient-doctor communication, ensuring every individual receives top-notch care.

Dr. Jain is a board-certified hematology and oncology physician. She is a tenured associate professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is the Director of Communications Strategies in Medicine and the Associate Director of Oncology Communication and Digital Innovation for the University of Illinois Cancer Center.

Dr. Jain is the Founder and Chair of the Women in Medicine Summit™ as well as the Founder and Board Member of the 501©(3) nonprofit Women in Medicine™. She is also the CEO and Co-Founder of the action, advocacy and amplification 501©(3) nonprofit IMPACT and was named one of Medscapes 25 Rising Stars in Medicine in 2020, one of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Emerging Leaders in 2019 and was also awarded the Rising Star award by LEAD Oncology in 2019. She is also a member of the prestigious AOA society.

In her clinical practice as an oncologist, she tries to incorporate patient education and outreach as often as possible. With the proper tools and guidance, she works with her patients as a team to treat the disease and helps them move through an often-difficult process together with as little stress as possible. She believes in personalized and individualized care and feels the more knowledge a patient has about their own disease, the more informed a decision they are able to make.

The email addresses discussed in the podcast are:




Twitter: @ShikhaJainMD
Instagram: @ShikhaJainMD



Season 6 Ep. 7: Urology Clinic Best Practices with Melanie Boren MHA, RN, BSN, OCN, and Robin Carr

On this week’s episode of The PQI Podcast, we welcome the dynamic duo from Central Ohio Urology Group, Melanie Boren MHA, RN, BSN, OCN, and Robin Carr. Join us as they delve into how their multidisciplinary team collaborates to deliver top-tier patient care.

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Melanie is the Director of Oncology Operations at Central Ohio Urology Group.  She has worked in the oncology setting for 25 years. Robin is the Lead Pharmacy Tech at Central Ohio Urology Group. She oversees all dispensing of medications at two locations and has been a Pharmacy Technician for 35 years. 

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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