Dr. Michael Pazirandeh
Doctor Michael Pazirandeh is a Senior Clinical Pharmacist at Blue Shield of California in their Outcomes & Analytics department. He helps lead client and business unit level
reporting and consultative analytics to support strategy development. Additionally, Dr. Pazirandeh supports analytics and reporting responses to RFPs.
Prior to joining Blue Shield, Dr. Pazirandeh was a
pharmacy resident with CVS Caremark in their Analytics & Outcomes department. Prior to that, He received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of Southern
California and his Bachelor of Science in Biology from
the University of Notre Dame.
Dr. Caroline Atwood
Doctor Atwood is a Senior Account Manager of Client Services with OptumRx. Prior to joining OptumRx, Dr. Atwood gained valuable patient care experience as a Clinical Pharmacist in several community settings including Rite Aid, Scripps Health and Walgreens. In 2012, Dr. Atwood’s journey in pharmacy was featured in the “Pharmacy is Right for Me” initiative under the national STEM project through Road Trip Nation. Most recently she has served as Orange County Pharmacists
Association 2011 President and Board of Directors, Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Legislative and Regulatory Action Committee 2012 -2014 member,
California Pharmacist Association Academy of Managed Care board member 2012-2014 and Southern California Society of Health System Pharmacist 2010 Secretary and member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Atwood served as a member of the 2010-2013 Pharmacist Fly-In in Washington DC where she met with California congressmen to provide health care consultation and subject matter expertise in pharmacy. She participates in Legislative Day for California Pharmacist Association in Sacramento to discuss legislative bills introduced that impact pharmacy practice. Most recently, Dr. Atwood advocated strongly in California’s grass root efforts to support SB 493, Pharmacist Provider Status. She
received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of Southern California and her Biology Major from University of San Diego.
Doctor Atwood has a passion for serving her community and is dedicated to supporting the profession of pharmacy. She lives in Carlsbad California and enjoys surfing and running in her free time.
Dr. Vinson C. Lee
Doctor Vinson Lee is a Sr. Regional Medical Liaison on the Health Outcomes & Pharmacoeconomics (HOPE) team and covers the Northern California, Nevada, and Utah territory. In this role, Dr. Lee’s primary responsibilities include providing clinical and scientific support to managed care customers to optimize appropriate patient access to Amgen products, assisting in the development and communication of
pharmacoeconomic analyses and health outcome studies, and building professional relationships with key managed care decision makers.
Dr. Lee received his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, Masters of Science in Cell & Neurobiology from the Keck School of Medicine at USC, and Bachelor of Science in
Biology from the University of California at Riverside.
He is actively involved with Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) and the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA). He is currently on the AMCP Educational Affairs Committee, co-Diplomat to the UCSF School of Pharmacy, State Advocacy Coordinator for Nevada, and has previously served on the Membership Committee, Nominations Committee, and Chaired the Schools of Pharmacy Relations Committee. Dr. Lee is also the current Chair of the CPhA Academy of Managed Care, a member of the Editorial Review Committee
for CPhA’s journal, the California Pharmacist, a member of the Policy, Elections and Educational Committees,
and was honored as the 2012 CPhA Distinguished New Practitioner of the Year.
Dr. Susan L. Leong
Doctor Susan L. Leong is the Director of Clinical Quality
& Compliance at OptumRX since 2013. From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Leong was the Pharmacy Director for L.A. Care Health Plan. From 2003 to 2007, she was the Pharmacist Program Manager at WellPoint. She was a Clinical Pharmacist from 1999 to 2002 with PacifiCare of Colorado. Dr. Leong also worked as a retail pharmacist in Colorado and Missouri from 1987 to 1999.
Dr. Leong received her Bachelor’s Degree from St.
Louis College of Pharmacy and her Master’s Degree from Colorado Technical University. She is a licensed pharmacist in 3 states: California, Colorado and Missouri.
Dr. Logan Saito
Dr. Saito graduated from the Western University
of Health Sciences, College of Pharmacy in May 2008. Subsequently, he completed PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency training at VA Long Beach and PGY-2 Specialty Residency in Drug Information at Kaiser Permanente. After residency training, Dr. Saito
served as Drug Education Coordinator and Ambulatory Pharmaceutical Care Supervisor at the Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Medical Center. Dr. Saito
currently serves as the Clinical Operations Manager and Residency Program Director at The Kaiser Permanente Fontana and Ontario Service Area.
Dr. Denis Kitayama
Doctor Denis Kitayama received his Pharm.D. from UOP and residency training at UCSF. He spent nearly twenty years with Friendly Hills HealthCare Network in La Habra. During his later years at FHHN, Denis was director of two inpatient pharmacies, three anticoagulation clinics, and a home infusion pharmacy. He was also PGY2 Residency Program Director, Assistant Clinical Professor (UCSF), and Adjunct Clinical Professor (UOP).
Dr. Kitayama spent three years at St Jude in Fullerton improving physician group compliance with managed care contracts before joining Kaiser Permanente twelve years ago. He is a project manager based in the Kaiser
regional offices in Downey. His team of four pharmacists facilitates the safe and efficient ordering of medications in the electronic medical record used at all Kaiser hospitals.
Dr. George Tran
Doctor George Tran is responsible for Cost of Care Programs for all of Commercial business. Cost of Care programs are programs that are created, implemented, and maintained by WellPoint that either targets the Physician or Patients with messages to voluntarily switch to core cost effected medication. This switch allows for both the Health Plan and the Member to save money and to lower the over all cost of their health benefit. He is responsible for the creating new programs and constantly finding new opportunities for conversion.
Current programs that Dr. Tran is responsible for:
1. Generic Select
2. Therapeutic Equivalence
3. Dispense as Written conversion
4. Proton Pump Length of Therapy
5. Concurrent Antipsychotic Program
6. All programs are eligible f
for Commercial lives, Exchange lives, and
Dr. Craig S. Stern
Doctor Stern holds a Doctor of Pharmacy, a Master’s in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts all from the University of Southern California (USC). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, the American Society Consultant Pharmacists, the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, the International College of Angiology, the Life Management Institute and the California Pharmacists Association. Dr. Stern is also a Certified Specialty Pharmacist (CSP). Dr. Stern received his Bachelor’s degree with a major in astronomy and Physics, and subsequently worked in cancer research in the Cancer Research Project at the USC School of Medicine. Dr. Stern is a Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California, the University of California at San Francisco, University of the Pacific, and the Western University of Health Science. Previously, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Research Associate in the Department of Cardiology of the Wadsworth Veterans Administration in Los Angeles, in addition to continuing affiliations with multiple universities, teaching Health Care, Managed Care, Clinical Therapeutics and Business Courses.
Early in his pharmacy career, Dr. Stern was a Director of Pharmacy and internal consultant on pharmacy operations and clinical pharmacy programming for Republic Health Corporation. He also consulted to integrated health systems and major multi-hospital corporations in the areas of pharmacy operations and productivity enhancement.
In 1986 Dr. Stern formed Pro Pharma Pharmaceutical
Consultants, Inc. as independent consultants to multi-hospital corporations, payers, and providers with special emphasis in Managed Care. The practice focuses on the Design and Management of Pharmacy Benefits, Integration of Pharmacy and Medical Benefits, Data Analysis, Auditing, Strategic Analysis/Planning and Implementation, and the Management of Pharmacy
Risk for Provider Groups. Pro Pharma’s clients include small to medium size Health Maintenance Organizations,
various Blue Cross/Blue Shield Plans, County Medicare/Medicaid Health Plans, Physician Groups, Self-Insured Employers, Taft-Hartley Trusts, Insurance
Companies, Insurance Brokers, and International Benefits Consulting firms.
Dr. Stern is the author of over one-hundred papers,
textbook chapters, multiple abstracts and poster sessions, and is a nationally known speaker in the areas of Clinical Therapeutics, Managed Care, Healthcare
Industry Trends, Data Analytics, Auditing and Strategic Analysis. He is a Past Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy (JMCP), a prior Director on the Board of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy
(AMCP), a Member/Board Member of the Academy of Managed Care of the California Pharmacists Association, the Chair of the California Pharmacy Association’s Editorial Review Committee, and the Editor of the California Pharmacist Journal.
Dr. Avetis Tashyan
Doctor Avetis Tashyan completed his prerequisite classes at Glendale Community College and was accepted to Western University in 1999. He Graduated Western University in 2003. Dr. Tashyan started working
for West LA Kaiser Permanente during his 2nd year as intern pharmacist. When he graduated in 2003, he was offered a lead pharmacist position at West LA. After working for about 2 years in that position, he transferred
to Kaiser Glendale clinic as a staff pharmacist due to the long commute to West LA. After another year, Dr. Tashyan was promoted to pharmacy manager in 2005. After 2 years, he had the opportunity to transfer to Kaiser
Pasadena and work with Kaiser pharmacy operations to be part of opening the new Kaiser Pasadena Foothill pharmacy. After working as pharmacy manager for about 3 years in Pasadena, Dr, Tashyan transferred to the Kaiser Los Angeles medical center 4904 Sunset pharmacy. Dr. Tashyan is currently managing 4904 Sunset pharmacy for two years now. In all, he has been
working for Kaiser for 14 years.
Working for Kaiser Permanente allows Dr. Tashyan
to put the patient at the center of our services. Kaiser Permanente allows the pharmacist to make judgment calls for the good of the patient without calling the physician for every slight change. The pharmacist has access to the patient chart and physician notes, which allows them to make those changes without contacting the physician. It allows the pharmacist to actually be in tune with the physician's decisions and recommendation because patient therapies are mostly consistent with all physicians and utilize a closed formulary. The focus of outpatient pharmacy at Kaiser Permanente is quality, service and affordability and the decisions made by the organization fulfills those promises from top to bottom.