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Preceptor Bios

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 11-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 has two handsome boys, Zane and Rand.


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
Coordinator of Clinical Pharmacy Services and Residency Program Director

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.


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 was recently published in the 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.


Josh Smallwood, PharmD
Informatics Learning Experience Preceptor

Dr. Joshua Smallwood is the Informatics Pharmacist for the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. He completed his undergraduate training at Morehead State University where he received a B.S degree in Chemistry. He earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Appalachian College of Pharmacy in Grundy, VA in 2010.

Following graduation, Dr. Smallwood completed the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency program at Hazard ARH. As the first resident in the program, he gained unique experiences in the design and accreditation processes involved in residency training programs.

Upon completion of his residency training, Dr. Smallwood accepted a position at Hazard ARH as a clinical pharmacist. He played an integral role in establishing the Critical Care Pharmacist position in the sixteen bed intensive care unit. He was then promoted to the position of Director of Pharmacy at the Whitesburg ARH Hospital in 2012. There, Dr. Smallwood was able to implement many initiatives to improve pharmacy practice. He also became the lead pharmacist in the implementation of a new electronic pharmacy order entry system. His experience with this program led to his promotion to the System Informatics Pharmacist in 2014.

In his current role, Dr. Smallwood works not only with pharmacy staff but also with nursing, ancillary and medical staff members to ensure the safe and effective use of our electronic pharmacy-related systems.

Dr. Smallwood currently resides in Hazard, KY with his wife. He enjoys spending time with his family during his free time. He is the proud father of one daughter and two sons.


Christopher D. Case, PharmD, MBA, MPH
Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine Preceptor

Dr. Christopher D. Case is originally from Garrett, KY. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Morehead State University with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Computer Information Systems. He then completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, also at Morehead State University, while working as a graduate assistant in the Information Systems Department. After deciding to return to college to pursue the profession of pharmacy, he completed his pre-pharmacy requirements at Big Sandy Community and Technical College before attending the University of Kentucky. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the UK College of Pharmacy while simultaneously earning a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the College of Public Health in 2012. Dr. Case currently serves as a Clinical Staff Pharmacist for Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Case serves in a variety of roles as a Clinical Staff Pharmacist for ARH. His primary areas of focus are emergency medicine, acute care, and critical care. Dr. Case also works extensively with technology issues and initiatives to promote patient care and safety as well as improving efficiency for the pharmacy and medical staff. He continues to explore and develop new ways to use available technologies to improve the delivery of care to patients. Dr. Case also works on various committee projects and assists with the development of various protocols. Dr. Case currently serves as a preceptor for the Appalachian College of Pharmacy as well as assisting in overseeing students from other colleges. He also serves as Residency Preceptor for the Internal Medicine and the Emergency Medicine rotations for the Hazard ARH Pharmacy Residency Program. He enjoys working with students and residents to develop skills and a knowledgebase that will help them become leaders in the profession and serve their future patients to the fullest of their abilities.

Dr. Case currently resides in Garrett, KY. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, and watching movies.


Katie Blain, PharmD, MPH
Ambulatory Care Co-preceptor

Dr. Katie Blain is originally from Inez, Kentucky. She completed a bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition at the University of Kentucky before her acceptance into their College of Pharmacy, where she completed a PharmD and Masters of Public Health (MPH) dual degree.

Following the completion of pharmacy school, Dr. Blain completed a PGY-1 Community Pharmacy Residency with Walgreens Co. and Sullivan University College of Pharmacy (SUCOP) in Louisville, Kentucky. As a resident, Dr. Blain served as Residency Recruitment Chair, organizing and coordinating recruitment events for all six SUCOP residency programs.

In addition to providing direct patient care, Dr. Blain was able to utilize her MPH to improve clinical services offered by Walgreens Co. She collaborated with local and corporate management in the development of a statewide company naloxone policy, following a change in state law allowing pharmacists to dispense naloxone per protocol agreement. Along with a faculty sponsor, she applied for and received internal SUCOP grant funding to initiate a hypertension clinic in Walgreens. This clinic is currently being implemented by the following resident and staff pharmacists at the practice site.

Dr. Blain is APhA Immunization and Medication Therapy Management (MTM) certified. She actively managed immunization and MTM services provided by Walgreens in the Louisville area. During flu season, she worked with Louisville Metro to coordinate flu vaccinations for city first responders (police, fire, EMS) and their families. She provided MTM support for Walgreens pharmacists and provided technician education programs to increase technician involvement in the MTM process.

Dr. Blain is an active member of KPhA, APhA, and ASHP. Community service has always been an important part of Dr. Blain’s life. She is an Alpha Phi Omega alumnus, which is an international fraternal organization with emphasis on community service. As a resident, she coordinated student volunteers to provide free flu vaccinations and blood pressure screenings at local 5K charity races. She precepted students at various health fairs and was a medical staff member at Camp Hendon, a summer camp for children with diabetes.

She discovered a passion for teaching and precepting while completing a teaching certificate during residency. She is in the process of becoming a preceptor for her alma mater, UK, and looks forward to precepting students in the near future.

Dr. Blain currently resides in Hazard, Kentucky with her husband, David. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to national parks, baking, and spending time with her friends, family, and her cat, Milo.


Ryan Meadows, PharmD
Emergency Department, Project Development and STLP Co-Preceptor

Dr. Ryan Meadows is a Clinical Pharmacist at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center. Dr. Meadows is from Richlands, Virginia. He attended East Tennessee State University for his undergraduate education in Johnson City, Tennessee. He then attended the Appalachian College of Pharmacy in Oakwood, Virginia and received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Following graduation, he completed a PGY1 pharmacy residency at Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center. Dr. Meadows completed the University of Kentucky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program during his residency, and he has now begun teaching pharmacy students and co-precepting pharmacy residents.

Dr. Meadows is highly active both within the hospital and professional organizations. He is currently a member of the Pharmacy Practice Committee of the Kentucky Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and he attends various committee meetings within the hospital. Additionally, Dr. Meadows is often involved in with updating and creating various hospital protocols. His professional interests include infectious diseases, critical care, and emergency medicine.

During his free time. Dr. Meadows enjoys the outdoors, physical fitness, and reading.


Andrea Elam, PharmD
Internal Medicine and Critical Care Co-Preceptor

Dr. Andrea Elam is a Clinical Pharmacist for the Hazard ARH Pharmacy Department.

Dr. Elam is originally from Hazard, KY. She completed her pre-pharmacy coursework at Alice Lloyd College in Pippa Passes, KY. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy in Lexington, KY. She currently precepts pharmacy students from Appalachian College of Pharmacy and East Tennessee State University. As a member of the clinical pharmacy team, Dr. Elam is active in patient care improvements.

She currently serves on the Advisory Board Committee for the psychiatric center where she prepares a medication utilization evaluation for each quarterly meeting. Dr. Elam currently resides in Hazard, KY with her husband. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.