Lori T. Armistead, Pharm.D., joined the Center for Medication Optimization as a senior research associate in September 2016. Armistead holds a master’s degree in chemistry from UNC Chapel Hill and earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She subsequently completed a pharmacy residency in ambulatory care pharmacy practice at UNC Hospitals and Clinics. Her professional interests focus on improving medication access and adherence for patients with chronic medical conditions.
The center’s offices are located on the second floor of Kerr Hall in Suite 2400. We encourage you to make an appointment to meet center staff and learn more about what the center offers.
Carrie Martin Blanchard, PharmD, MPH joined the Center for Medication Optimization in May 2018 as a research assistant professor and lead of education and research development. She holds her Masters of Public Health in Health Policy and Management from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and earned her Doctor of Pharmacy from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. She subsequently completed a two-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Implementation Science at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in partnership with the National Implementation Research Network. Her research interests focus on how to implement and scale medication optimization services and value-based care models.
Amy Cardenas, M.A., is a public health researcher with twenty years of experience. She has expertise in advanced qualitative data analysis and data collection. She is highly skilled in the planning and implementation of public health projects. Ms. Cardenas has collected data, conducted assessments, and analyzed data for projects on health, program evaluation, HIV, substance abuse, and homelessness. In September of 2019, Ms. Cardenas joined the Center for Medication Optimization (CMO) as a Senior Research Associate.
Jon Easter joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in January 2016 as the director of the Center for Medication Optimization and a professor of the practice. The center, which is embedded within the Practice Advancement and Clinical Education Division, seeks to solidify the role of pharmacy practice within new, value based healthcare payment and care delivery models by building a hub to support internal and external collaboration, research and education.
Tashani J. Gaskins, D.B.A., is the research and operations project director for the Center for Medication Optimization (CMO) in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Gaskins joined the school in September 2016. In her current role, she manages center operations, coordinates research efforts, and manages external collaborations.
Gaskins’ prior experience includes serving as the chief financial officer and chief operating officer for a privately funded behavioral health and wellness center. Her professional interests include improving healthcare and increasing access to healthcare for underserved populations.
Gaskins received her Doctorate in Business Administration with a focus in Entrepreneurship in 2020 from Walden University. She also has a Master’s in Business Administration (2006) and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration (2003) with a focus in Human Resources from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.
Jordana Levitt, M.S., joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in September 2019 as a Research Assistant in the Center for Medication Optimization. She previously worked as a Forensic Interviewer in child maltreatment intervention and as a Research Assistant for physical abuse prevention research in New Orleans, Louisiana. Levitt relocated to the Triangle area after earning her master’s degree in Behavioral Health and bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Tulane University.
Melanie Livet, Ph.D., joined the Center for Medication Optimization in September 2016 as implementation scientist/research assistant professor. With more than 12 years’ professional experience in the areas of public health and social sciences, she has specialized expertise in the application and testing of implementation science frameworks, capacity building strategies, organizational factors, evaluation methodologies, and digitized implementation support tools.
Shweta Pathak, Ph.D., M.P.H joined the Center for Medication Optimization (CMO) in September 2018 as a Research Associate in Health Services Research. Pathak received her PhD and MPH from the University Of Texas School of Public Health. Her research is focused around increasing and promoting value in healthcare through the study of health care policy, quality of care and outcomes research. Before joining CMO, she worked as a Biostatistician at the Center for Healthcare Data at the University of Texas School Of Public Health.
Neepa Ray, M.S., was joined the School on November 17, 2014. Her position involves assisting the Center for Medication Optimization with the creation of analytical datasets related to center projects, providing supporting documentation to assist data programming, assisting with statistical analyses and helping prepare reports, manuscripts and grant proposals associated with the center. Ray received her Master’s in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the center, Ray worked as a clinical research biostatistician for the Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center at UNC.
Chloe Richard, M.S., joined the Center for Medication Optimization in January 2018 as a research assistant. She has research experience in the areas of social and behavior sciences with a special interest in the implementation of interventions. Richard received her Master’s in Counseling Psychology (2017) from Northeastern University, and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Applied Statistics (2015) and Psychology (2015) from Rochester Institute of Technology.