Preceptor Bios

Michael Herald, PharmD
Coordinator of Clinical Pharmacy Services
Residency Program Director

Michael P. Herald

Dr. Michael P. Herald is the Coordinator of Clinical Pharmacy Services for the Hazard ARH Pharmacy Department and the Residency Program Director for the PGY1 Residency Program.

Dr. Herald earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Kentucky College Of Pharmacy. He also completed the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Certificate program at the University of Kentucky.

He has served as the Coordinator of Clinical Services since 2000. Under his supervision, the clinical pharmacy services offered at Hazard ARH have grown significantly. While maintaining a thriving pharmacokinetic monitoring program, Dr. Herald developed and implemented an antimicrobial stewardship program. He oversaw the implementation of an anticoagulation monitoring program, renal dosage adjustment service and several other clinical services. He initiated the hospital’s participation in clinical trials and currently serves as research pharmacist or sub-investigator in several ongoing trials.

As the Residency Program Director, Dr. Herald played an integral role in the successful inaugural year of the Hazard ARH PGY1 Residency Program. Under his direction, the residency program was awarded a six year term for accreditation from the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP).

Dr. Herald has advanced the impact of the pharmacy department on the ARH system by serving on various local and system-wide committees. He has served as a leader in the pharmacy profession by maintaining an active role in professional pharmaceutical organizations. He currently serves as the President-Elect for the Kentucky Society of Health System Pharmacists (KSHP).

Dr. Herald has cultivated relationships with several Colleges of Pharmacy and developed several pharmacy practice clerkship sites. He serves as a preceptor for six Colleges of Pharmacy and an advisor on various schools’ experiential education advisory councils. He also serves as a preceptor for the University of Kentucky Rural Health Residency Training program for medical residents.

Dr. Herald grew up in Southeastern Kentucky and now resides in Hazard, Kentucky. During his free time, he enjoys playing golf and traveling with his family. He is actively involved in many charitable ventures through his church and ARH. He is the proud father of two young sons.


Jeffrey L. Akers, PharmD, MHA, BCPS

Dr. Akers is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy in Lexington, Kentucky where he received a Bachelor of Science (BSPharm) in 1992 and a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) with Distinction in 1993. In 1998, Dr. Akers graduated with a Masters in Healthcare Administration (MHA) degree from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. In 2000, Dr. Akers became a Board Certified Pharmacotherapeutic Specialist (BCPS) as granted by the Board of Pharmacotherapeutic Specialties. He is currently serving as the System Director of Pharmacy for Appalachian Regional Healthcare, a 10-hospital integrated delivery system in Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia.

Dr. Akers is also active in the pharmacy profession. He is currently an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Kentucky, College of Pharmacy. Dr. Akers is also a member of several professional societies including the American Society of Health System Pharmacists, University of Kentucky and North Carolina Alumni Chapters. Dr. Akers serves as a Deacon at the First Baptist Church of Pikeville. He is married to Zoe Akers and has two handsome boys, Zane and Rand.


Dustin Thomas, PharmD, BCPS
Emergency Department/ Critical Care Medicine Learning Experience Preceptor

Dr. Dustin Thomas is originally from Hindman, Kentucky. He completed his undergraduate pre-pharmacy course work at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, KY. He obtained his PharmD from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. During pharmacy school, Dr. Thomas served as an intern at the Hazard ARH inpatient pharmacy whenever his schedule allowed. Following graduation, Dr. Thomas completed a PGY1 residency at the University of Louisville in KY. During his residency, Dr. Thomas completed the University of Kentucky’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Certificate Program. He currently serves as a preceptor to pharmacy students and residents. Upon completion of his residency training, Dr. Thomas returned to Hazard ARH and practices as a clinical pharmacist practicing in the emergency department and medical intensive care unit. Since returning to ARH Dr. Thomas has obtained a Board Certification as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist.

As a member of the clinical pharmacy team, Dr. Thomas has become involved in many endeavors throughout the hospital to improve patient care. He has worked to solidify unit based practices in the both the emergency department and the medical intensive care unit. Dr. Thomas has worked on pharmacotherapeutic education of nursing and pharmacy staff, writing and revising protocols and implementation of patient safety initiatives. Dr. Thomas has also taken an active role in numerous hospital and pharmacy related committees.

Dr. Thomas currently resides in Pine Top, KY with his wife. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and traveling. He also has general love for the outdoors.


Tiffany Herald, PharmD
Manage Care Pharmacist

Tiffany R. Herald

Dr. Tiffany R. Herald is the Managed Care Pharmacist for the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System.

Dr. Herald earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy in 2001. She served as a Clinical Pharmacist at Hazard ARH from 2001 to 2014, and recently moved into her new role as the ARH System Managed Care Pharmacist. In this role, Dr. Herald works closely with the System Director of Pharmacy, System Human Resources department and the Medical Affairs department to manage the prescription drug benefit for ARH employees. Dr. Herald is implementing Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Services throughout the system’s nine retail pharmacies, and is working to develop opportunities for pharmacists to provide MTM services to hospital patients following discharge. She is also developing employee wellness programs that will be offered to employees throughout the ARH system.

Dr. Herald has served as a leader in the pharmacy profession by maintaining an active role in professional pharmaceutical organizations. As an active member of the Kentucky Society of Health System Pharmacists (KSHP), Dr. Herald served on the Board of Directors for 2 years and currently serves on the Membership Committee. She is a member of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), and attends national meetings regularly. She was a member of the University of Kentucky Committee for the Advancement of Pharmacy Practice for 2 years, and continues to work with state and national organizations to promote the role of pharmacists in healthcare. Dr. Herald has developed several pharmacy practice clerkship sites and played an integral role in the implementation of the ARH PGY1 Residency Program. She currently serves as a preceptor for several colleges of pharmacy as well as the residency program.

Dr. Herald grew up in Southeastern Kentucky and now resides in Hazard, Kentucky. During her free time, she enjoys reading and traveling with her family. She is actively involved in many charitable ventures through her church and ARH, and is the proud mother of two young sons.


Amanda Hall, PharmD
Internal Medicine Preceptor

Amanda Hall

Dr. Amanda Hall is originally from Whitesburg, Kentucky. She completed her pre-pharmacy course work and obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree from Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, KY. She then became a member of the inaugural class for the Appalachian College of Pharmacy in Buchanan County, Virginia. Following graduation, Dr. Hall began her current position as a clinical pharmacist at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Hall has played a major role in shaping the clinical programs at Hazard ARH during her employment. Along with Dr. Michael Herald, Dr. Hall developed, implemented and evaluated the Anticoagulation Monitoring Program. Once that program was well established, Dr. Hall began the first unit-based clinical pharmacist practice on a medicine unit in the hospital. Dr.Hall shaped that practice to provide the most benefit to patients by completing clinical pharmacist duties, assisting with the medication reconciliation process, providing medication related patient education and assisting with discharge counseling. She also monitors the patients on her unit for compliance with Core Measures benchmarks.

Dr. Hall currently precepts students from her alma mater, Appalachian College of Pharmacy. She believes that shaping the future of pharmacy begins with helping students gain the experience that they need.

Dr. Hall has been very proactive in promoting immunizations during the flu season for both employees and the public. Each year she leads the “Drive-Thru Flu Vaccine” making the flu vaccination more accessible to the public.

Dr. Hall is involved in many community service projects within ARH. Each fall, she leads the Operation Christmas Child initiative which fills shoe boxes with gifts for underprivileged children. She also assists with an annual coat drive and various fundraisers to raise money for March of Dimes and Relay for Life.

Dr. Hall currently resides in Hazard, KY with her husband. In her free time, she enjoys photography and being outdoors. She is a country music fan and loves spending time with her friends and family.


Helen Herald, RPh
Director of Pharmacy Services

Helen Herald, RPh is the Director of Pharmacy Services for the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.

She grew up in Southeastern Kentucky and now resides in Hazard, KY. Ms. Herald earned her BSPharm degree from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy.

As the Director of Pharmacy Services she oversees pharmacy functions at the Medical Center Pharmacy, an ambulatory Cancer Center pharmacy, and two retail pharmacies. Under her leadership, the pharmacy services offered at Hazard ARH have grown significantly. A comprehensive sterile product preparation program that is fully compliant with USP 797 requirements, computerized pharmacist order entry of scanned orders, an automated dispensing program utilizing automated dispensing machines and a carousel, automated controlled substance distribution, and multiple revisions of services have all been implemented under her guidance. She oversaw the development of the hospital’s clinical pharmacy program which began as a pharmacokinetic dosing service and has now grown to include unit-based clinical pharmacists in the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, and medicine units as well as programs for anticoagulation, renal dosing, antimicrobial stewardship, investigational drug treatment, and initiatives to improve the hospital’s performance with Core Measures. Other experiences at Hazard ARH have included beginning home infusion services and establishing a new retail pharmacy.

As the Pharmacy Director, Ms. Herald played an integral role in the successful inaugural year of the Hazard ARH PGY1 Residency Program. Under her direction, the residency program was awarded a six year term for accreditation from the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP).

Ms. Herald has advanced the impact of the pharmacy department on the ARH system by serving on numerous local and system-wide committees. She has served as a leader in the pharmacy profession by maintaining an active role in professional pharmaceutical organizations. She is a member of the ASHP.

Ms. Herald has cultivated relationships with several Colleges of Pharmacy and developed several pharmacy practice clerkship sites. She serves as a preceptor.

During her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and dog. She is actively involved in many charitable ventures through ARH and the community.


Wesley Adams, Pharm.D
Oncology/Hematology Preceptor

Dr. Adams is a native of Southeastern Kentucky. He completed his prerequisites for pharmacy school and obtained an Associate Degree in Science at Prestonsburg Community College. Following his undergraduate studies, he was accepted into an accelerated Doctor of Pharmacy program at the Appalachian College of Pharmacy where he completed his Pharm.D degree. While in pharmacy school, he received various awards for maintaining a high GPA through rigorous coursework and was inducted into the Rho Chi Honor Society. He also received the 2009 Merck Award for outstanding proficiency in Medicinal Chemistry.

Dr. Adams currently maintains a position, at the Hazard ARH Pharmacy Department, as a clinical pharmacist. He has been an integral part, along with Helen Herald, RPh, in building the oncology pharmacy program at the Hazard ARH Cancer Center. He has served as a resource to help improve the management of psychtropic medications at the Hazard ARH Psychiatric Center. He currently is a member of the Medication Variances Commitee where he aids in the monitoring of adverse drug event reporting. He also partcipates in an annual summer school program helping educate high school students about the profession of pharmacy.

Dr. Adams currently is a preceptor for the Appalachian College of Pharmacy and Sullivan University College of Pharmacy. He challenges students with oncology pharmacy and enhances their knowledge of chemotherapy/biological drugs to treat cancer.

Dr. Adams is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and involved in various activities at his church.

Dr. Adams currently resides in Emmalena, KY with his wife and two children. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and recreational firearms shooting.


Matthew Blackburn, PharmD
Critical Care Medicine Learning Experience Co-Preceptor

Originally from Owenton, KY, Dr. Matt Blackburn received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Campbellsville University in 2007 and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2013 from the University Of Kentucky College Of Pharmacy. He completed his PGY1 residency training at Saint Joseph Hospital (Main) in Lexington, KY. Matt currently practices as a Critical Care clinical pharmacist in the CCU and ICU. Outside of pharmacy, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, wakeboarding, snowboarding and going to University of Kentucky football and basketball games.


Megan Shepherd, PharmD
Early Pharmacy Practice Learning Experience Preceptor
Advanced Pharmacy Practice Learning Experience Preceptor

Dr. Megan Shepherd is a Clinical Pharmacist for the Hazard ARH Pharmacy Department.

Dr. Shepherd is originally from Hazard, KY. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Appalachian College of Pharmacy in Oakwood, VA. She completed a PGY1 residency at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center. Dr. Shepherd completed the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Certificate program through the University of Kentucky and currently precepts pharmacy students and residents.

Dr. Shepherd’s resident research project, "Evaluation of a Pharmacist-Managed Heart Failure Education Project: Empowering Patients to Self-Manage their Disease" was completed at Hazard ARH and won the 2013 Kentucky Society of Health System Pharmacists (KSHP) poster presentation. Her manuscript has recently been accepted for publication in Journal of Pharmacy Technology.

As a member of the clinical pharmacy team, Dr. Shepherd is involved in many endeavors throughout the hospital to improve patient care. She currently works with education of nursing and pharmacy staff, is involved in hospital committees, and assists with the creation and revision of pharmacy protocols.

Dr. Shepherd currently resides in Cornettsville, KY with her husband. During her free time she enjoys hiking, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. Dr. Shepherd participates in various charitable ventures through ARH.