Wafa Samara

Pharm.D.,VP and Chief Pharmacy Officer | City of Hope

As the pharmacist-in-charge, Dr. Samara is responsible for the strategic planning, business growth, oversight, and leadership of the pharmacy enterprise and for ensuring the highest level of quality, safety, and compliance.

Prior to joining City of Hope, Dr. Samara held multiple executive leadership positions, including Chief of Pharmacy Service at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Chief of Pharmacy Service at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Chief Operating Officer at the VA.

In her current role as Chief Pharmacy Officer, Dr. Samara has been instrumental in closing the gap between cancer innovation and the people who have access to them. She positioned the pharmacy to be a strategic partner at the organizational and national levels through advocacy and by creating private public partnerships.

She expanded the role of the pharmacists in oncology allowing top of the license practicing. She launched multiple programs to improve cancer health care delivery, safety, research, and patient experience. She continues her advocacy for diversity, equity, and inclusion in cancer care.

Dr. Samara is a member of The Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers (ADCC) leadership group, a board member of the California Society of Health System Pharmacists (CSHP) Hospital Council and a governing council for American Public Health Association.

In her previous roles in the federal government both at NIH and VA, Dr. Samara led multiple national initiatives focusing on care innovation, patient-centered care, whole health, telehealth, patient experience, and transition of care. She advocated for expanding the scope of clinical pharmacy practice by successfully deploying clinical pharmacists in specialty care areas to improve patient care and outcomes.

Dr. Samara received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of Florida after completing a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and a residency at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. As a certified transformational coach and mentor, she successfully launched APHA’s pharmacy mentorship program that advances the pharmacy contribution in public health. As a former United States Air Force honorary commander, Dr. Samara expanded the partnership between VA and Department of Defense (DOD).

Over the years Dr. Samara received multiple awards for her contributions including multiple NIH and VA special contribution awards, US congressional commendation and APHA lifetime achievement award.

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