The Dean’s Advisory Board includes alumni and friends of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at St. John’s who are committed to advancing the College’s and University’s mission and offer individual expertise in relation to the University’s strategic priorities.
Robert Blenderman, P.A., M.B.A. ’01P
Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Blenderman was born and raised in Middle Village, Queens, and attended St. Francis Preparatory School. Given an interest in medicine, he volunteered at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens during his junior and senior years, at which time he was exposed to the Physician Assistant (PA) profession.
This led Mr. Blenderman to St. John’s University, where he enrolled in the Physician Assistant program. He graduated in 2001 and was hired as a trauma surgery critical care PA at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in addition to being an Adjunct Professor for the PA program at St. John’s.
Mr. Blenderman’s affinity to critical care and the operating room brought him to North Shore University Hospital under the mentorship of Alan Roy Hartman, M.D., where he was hired in the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. During his 15 years at Northwell Health, he had progressively increasing leadership roles from Chief Critical Care Specialist to Manager of Quality and Education for the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery.
In 2010, Mr. Blenderman obtained his M.B.A. in Quantitative Methodology and Finance from Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business. He was then appointed as the Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center, where he oversaw the administrative and clinical operations across both campuses.
As Northwell Health’s footprint grew, the position evolved and Mr. Blenderman became the Corporate Director of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery across Northwell’s eight hospitals, spanning from Staten Island to eastern Long Island, a group that represented the largest volume of cardiac and thoracic surgeons in the Northeast. Mr. Blenderman’s career path came full circle in 2017, when he accepted the position of Chief Operating Officer at NewYork-Presbyterian Queens. In this role, he oversees operations, strategy, emergency management, patient flow, and hospital safety.
Katie Boston-Leary, Ph.D., NEA-BC
Director of Nursing Programs
American Nurses Association
Katie Boston-Leary is the Director of Nursing Programs at the American Nurses Association, overseeing the Nursing Practice and Work Environment Division and Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation. She is also the Co-lead for Project Firstline, a multimillion-dollar grant collaborative with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for training on infection prevention and control.
Dr. Boston-Leary is an adjunct faculty member and an advisory Board member with the Nurse Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She also serves on the Advisory Boards of St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and The George Washington University’s Women’s Leadership Program. She also serves as Co-chair for the Healthcare Leadership Network of the Delaware Valley Board and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and the Healthy Nurse Healthy Nation Advisory Committee.
As a Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Executive, Dr. Boston-Leary has led organizations to obtain numerous accolades for quality and safety, including an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence designation, and to win the coveted annual ANCC Pathway to Excellence Award in 2017. She also leads a nonprofit, The Reach Initiative, LLC, that provides executive coaching to health-care leaders, with a focus on providing pro bono services to nurses who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
She also has strong partnerships with deans and chairs of nursing programs in the communities she has worked in to improve nursing curriculums and effectively prepare nurses to transition from novice to experts, and has developed many nurse leaders from charge nurses to executives. She was a featured guest at the inaugural SEHA nursing conference in Abu Dhabi, which was a hospital system seeking ANCC Pathway designation. She has also been invited with the American Nurses Association to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, to discuss the havocs of regulatory burden on hospitals.
She was identified in the August 2019 issue of HealthLeaders as one of the “Five Chief Nursing Officers Who Are Changing Healthcare.” Her most recent research was a qualitative study on nurses’ perceptions of power dynamics in the hospital setting. She is a well-known speaker nationally and internationally, with many publications and podcast guest invitations.
Dr. Boston-Leary recently completed her Ph.D. in Health Services at Walden University, earned a dual degree M.B.A. and M.H.A. from the University of Maryland Global Campus, and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Bowie State University in Maryland. She is a board-certified Nurse Executive, and earned a nurse executive leadership certificate from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
She has been interviewed for stories in numerous print, online, and televised media outlets, namely CNBC, Cheddar, HR Maximizer, and Bloomberg News. She recently co-authored an article, “The US COVID‐19 Crisis: Facts, Science and Solidarity,” which was published in the International Nursing Review, the official journal of the International Council of Nurses.
Linda M. DaSilva, R.Ph. ‘81GP
Life Sciences Market Development Leader
Linda M. DaSilva, R.Ph. ’81P is currently a sales executive within Deloitte Consulting’s Life Sciences Commercial and Market Access practice based in Morristown, NJ.
Over the past 10 years, Ms. DaSilva has been a business development leader for two top-tier management consulting firms. Prior to entering consulting, she has spent more than 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry (both generic and ethical pharmaceutical organizations) after practicing as a retail and a hospital pharmacist.
As a Life Sciences veteran, Ms. DaSilva has broad experience in health care and life sciences’ commercial launch and market access, marketing, distribution operations, executive governance, and business development. Her success in leading internal, crossfunctional teams led to increased responsibility for external partner relationships, operational business performance, and activation of business strategy.
Her commercial leadership roles have included oversight of trade account managers, customer service, contracting services, the US commercial supply chain, service providers and consultants, professional and trade associations relationships, and strategic alliances.
Her executive governance experience includes corporate planning (strategic and business planning), and Chief of Staff responsibilities to the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Committee. She has also lead the creation of new organizational capabilities aligned to strategy for the following: US commercial distribution operations, Enterprise Risk Management, Business Continuity Planning/IT Disaster Recovery, Pandemic Planning, Record Retention, M&A due diligence, and asset acquisition integration.
Outside of Deloitte, Ms. DaSilva is a volunteer leader with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) for more than 20 years, serving in multiple global and local chapter board roles, as well as committee and advisory roles. She has been honored with several HBA recognition awards: Rising Star (2003), Luminary (2014), and President’s Award (2013). She is a frequent speaker and moderator on topics such as gender parity, diversity and inclusion, inclusive leadership, networking, mentorship, and sponsorship.
Ms. DaSilva is a New York State-licensed pharmacist. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy from St. John’s University, and her Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Health Care Marketing and Sales Administration from the Arnold & Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Long Island University Pharmacy).
Michael A. Dorato, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., Fellow A.T.S. ’71P, ’73GP, ’76Ph.D.
Vice President of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Michael A. Dorato, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., Fellow A.T.S. ’71P, ’73GP, ’76Ph.D. is Vice President of Pharmacology and Toxicology at MBX Biosciences, with overall responsibility for pharmacology and toxicology research and development across the MBX Biosciences pipeline, including strategic and scientific direction.
Formerly he was Sr. Vice President of Toxicology and Pharmacology at Inotiv, responsible for discovery through final registration; Executive Vice President of Smithers Avanza Toxicology Services, with overall responsibility for the operational, strategic, and scientific direction of general toxicology, pharmacokinetics/toxicokinetics, vaccine safety, and business development; Vice President and Chief Security Officer, Global Contract Research Organization (CRO) Drug Development Services, at Covance; and Executive Director, Toxicology, and Greenfield Laboratories Site Head, at Eli Lilly and Co.
In these positions he led global organizations in safety and efficacy; lead optimization; investigative and regulatory toxicology; discovery and late-phase pathology; animal welfare; molecular and anatomical imaging; in vivo pharmacology (e.g., oncology, neuroscience, cardiovascular and metabolic disease, inflammation, renal, bone, receptor occupancy); developmental and reproductive toxicology; veterinary medicine; and model development.
Dr. Dorato has been a Visiting Scholar at St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and is a distinguished alumnus. He earned a B.S. in Pharmacy in 1971, an M.S. in Pharmacology in 1973, and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1976. He has more than 48 years of experience in toxicology and pharmacology (from discovery to final registration), leading drug development decisions in various phases of pharmaceutical research and development; driving organizational growth; implementing change and continuous improvement; developing leaders; moving ideas from concept to practice; building partnerships and alliances; and initiating, leading, and managing CRO/industry relationships.
Dr. Dorato is a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology and a Fellow of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences.
Peter J. Micca ’89CBA
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Mr. Micca is a Partner in Deloitte & Touche LLP, with 30 years of experience serving a broad array of clients in all sectors of the health-care, technology, and life sciences industries. He has significant experience with health technology organizations, software as a service organizations, pharmacy benefit management, clinical and diagnostic operations, and emerging growth and private equity financed organizations in life sciences and health technology and services. He has experience applying a deep knowledge of industry sector business issues regarding the emerging trends surrounding consumerism, convergence, cost considerations, emerging regulatory, and compliance issues and consolidation.
Mr. Micca has served as Lead Client Service Partner for prominent domestic and global industry clients, most recently advising Change Healthcare and Oscar Insurance.
He currently is Deloitte’s National Health Tech Marketplace Leader, leading the development of the company’s national industry strategy, including client service, quality, business development, marketing, and eminence surrounding organizations developing the innovative and disruptive technology and services to the health-care and life sciences industry.
Mr. Micca has previously served as Deloitte’s National Audit and Assurance Healthcare Sector Leader and National Assurance and Enterprise Risk Services Industry Leader. He has served and delivered a diverse cross-section of solutions to organizations in the health-care, technology, and life sciences industries, including experience with external audits, assurance and enterprise risk management, corporate governance and compliance, cyber risk, internal control, internal audit, and mergers and acquisitions services. He previously served in Deloitte’s special mergers and acquisitions services group, dedicated to transactions exclusively in the health-care, health technology, and life sciences industries.
Mr. Micca is a speaker and presenter on emerging accounting, financial reporting, and industry issues to external organizations, including HLTH, Med City News, Digital Health Innovation Summit, Rock Health and the Financial Times Health Tech Summit, Financial Executives International, and the JP Morgan Health Conference. He currently serves on the advisory board of the Digital Health Innovation Summit.
He has significant experience working with strategic, operational, and private equity buyers and initial public offerings, SEC accounting and auditing issues, and registration statements and comment letters,
organizational carve-outs and spin-offs, including various portfolio companies of Blackstone, KKR, General Atlantic Partners, TA Associates, and Thomas H. Lee Partners.
Mr. Micca serves on the Board of Advisors of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University. He is also on the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Boy Scouts of America.
Representative clients previously served include Aetna, Athena Health, Bristol Myers Squibb, Cardinal Health (including the Catalent Health spin-out), Emdeon, McKesson (including the Change Healthcare spin-out), inVentiv Health Technologies, Medco Health Solutions, Optum, Oscar Health, Quest Diagnostics, United Health Group (including its health technology operations), WebMD, as well as various emerging growth companies in the health-care and technology sectors.
Joseph Moscola, P.A., M.B.A. ’00P
Executive Vice President
Joseph Moscola, P.A., M.B.A. ’00P, is Executive Vice President, Enterprise Management, for Northwell Health. In this role, Mr. Moscola leads several critical functions that drive the organization and the care team members provide, including human resources, information technology, facilities and construction, real estate, management of $2.5 billion in capital every two years, and shared services administration. In addition, he will be responsible for leading strategic business initiatives that are driving new revenue streams for the health system, including FlexStaff and Northwell Direct.
Previously, Mr. Moscola served as Chief People Officer and drove the creation and successful launch of Northwell Health’s employee promise, refreshed values, and the Northwell Career Experience, which helps team members learn, grow, and thrive in the organization. He led the team responsible for Northwell Health being honored, for the first time, as one of Fortune magazine’s“100 Best Companies to WorkFor” in 2020 (Northwell ranked 19th in 2021), as well as numerous distinctions for equity, diversity, and inclusion.
During our current global health pandemic, Mr. Moscola led team members through four substantial areas of support: staffing, safety, team member health and testing, and team member support and recognition. He set plans in motion to meet increasing staffing demands by creating surge plans, engaging staffing agencies, and ramping up targeted recruitment.
While understanding the importance of transparent communication combined with evidence-based protocols, his team custom built a real-time reporting model within days to track team members, including the number of team members exposed and positive test results. Tranquility tents, psychological/spiritual healing, and a 24/7 emotional support hotline were established to address the total wellbeing of all team members throughout this most difficult time.
Mr. Moscola also previously served as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Ambulatory Operations. In this role, he oversaw the $1.1 billion ambulatory operation, working with clinical and administrative service line leadership, Northwell Health Physician Partners, and clinical joint ventures.
He began his career as a Physician Assistant in Cardiothoracic Surgery and later transitioned to an administrative career, serving as Administrative Director for Neuroscience at South Shore University Hospital, then as Senior Administrative Director of Neurology and Neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center.
Holding a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University, Mr. Moscola earned an M.B.A. from Adelphi University and a physician assistant certificate from Catholic Medical Centers–Bayley Seton Campus. He also graduated as a fellow of the Health Management Academy.
Aside from his executive role at Northwell, Mr. Moscola serves on the Board of Directors for Farmingdale State College and Nassau Community College, along with the National Center for Healthcare Leadership. He is also a trustee of the 1199 Pension Fund, serving employees for the New York region.
Frank Odeh ’93P
Mr. Odeh owns Virginia-based Prosperity Pharmacy. He graduated with a B.S. degree in Pharmacy from St. John’s University in 1993. Following graduation from, Mr. Odeh worked for more than eight years for a retail chain pharmacy. His career in specialty pharmacy started in Washington D.C., where he focused on HIV/AIDs. His wife, Lisa, earned her B.S. in pharmacy from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Like her husband, Ms. Odeh spent several years working for a retail chain pharmacy and later started working at a specialty pharmacy in Virginia.
In 2003, the Odehs opened Prosperity Pharmacy in Fairfax, Virginia, with one additional employee. In 2005, they opened Prosperity Outpatient Pharmacy in Inova Fairfax Hospital, serving newly discharged hospital patients and hospital employees. By 2007, their specialty services had expanded to the point that they decided to open Prosperity Specialty Pharmacy to allow for growth and better patient care.
In 2009, they opened Prosperity Pharmacy Manassas, which, in addition to being a community pharmacy, also served as their durable medical equipment center. At that time, their companies expanded to include more than 50 employees, including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, a fertility nurse specialist, sales representatives, a billing department, and a human resource officer. Today, the Odehs continue to own and operate four specialty pharmacies in Virginia.
Roger Paganelli ’87P
President and Supervising Pharmacist
Mt. Carmel Pharmacy
Mr. Paganelli is President and Supervising Pharmacist at Mt. Carmel Pharmacy. His family has been in the pharmacy business since 1923, when his grandfather opened his first pharmacy in the Bronx. Mt. Carmel Pharmacy was founded in 1964 by Mr. Paganelli’s father, Roger Sr.
Roger Jr. and his brothers grew up working in the store and learning the business, which they purchased from Roger Sr. in 1992. Since then, Mt. Carmel Pharmacy and the Paganelli family have been recognized by the Arthur Avenue Merchants Association as Merchants of the Year, and The City of New York honored them with a City Council Citation as well as the Mayor’s Office Citation for Community Service.
Mr. Paganelli has also been a spokesperson for FixRx, a statewide advocacy group comprised of 3,000 pharmacists, many of whom are independent pharmacy owners. He has been featured in a number of published articles focused on the increasing challenges faced by independent pharmacies and the role of pharmacy benefit managers in drug pricing and reimbursement rates.
Mr. Paganelli and his brothers are active members of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York, Inc., New York City Pharmaceutical Society, and the Italian-American Pharmacists Society. They are also very active in their community, providing free services as well as free delivery to homebound customers; meals to homeless, elderly, and sick populations; and holiday gifts and food for children via their local church. Mr. Paganelli and his wife, Joanne, earned their B.S. degrees in Pharmacy from St. John’s University in 1987. They have five children.
James R. Ruger, J.D., Ph.D. ’75P, ’77G, ’78GP, ’83L, ’86Ph.D.
Attorney, Axiom Legal Services
President/Founder, VALID Consulting, Inc.
James R. Ruger, J.D., Ph.D. ’75P, ’77G, ’78GP, ’83L, ’86Ph.D. is an Attorney for Axiom Legal Services, providing legal advice regarding various US Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.)-related issues concerning the marketing of diabetic medications and therapies to a major pharmaceutical company. Additionally, he is President/Founder of VALID Consulting, Inc., helping to advise F.D.A.- and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments-regulated industries on projects involving, for example, pharmacogenomics, adverse event management, and applicable privacy issues. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to the present, Dr. Ruger has worked with Quest Diagnostics as a former full time in-house attorney, and presently as a consultant on matters regarding Quest testing programs for COVID-19.
Prior to his current work, Dr. Ruger spent 12 years at Quest Diagnostics, where he was responsible for all aspects of F.D.A. regulatory matters to ensure that diagnostic services and products were provided in compliance with US and various other country requirements. Additionally, Dr. Ruger served as the Quest representative on the Diagnostic Testing Working Group and at the American Clinical Laboratory Association to draft recommendations to Congress regarding the proposed legislation called the VALID Act. Prior to working at Quest Diagnostics, he spent nearly nine years as Associate General Counsel at Siemens Group USA, and 10 years in pharmaceuticals as Assistant General Counsel for Sanofi and Litigation Counsel for the former Sterling Winthrop, Inc. companies.
Dr. Ruger began his career as an Associate/Partner at Rivkin Radler LLP in Uniondale, NY, where he was part of the National Resources Defense Council team for Dow regarding the litigation known as In Re: Agent Orange and for several other Dow herbicides and chemicals. Additionally, he was on the National Resources Defense Council team for the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company of environmental claims and lawsuits.
Dr. Ruger received a B.S. in Pharmacy in 1975, a Master of Science in Library and Information Science in 1977, an M.S. in Pharmacology in 1978, a J.D. in 1983, and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1986 from St. John’s University. As a student, he was a member of the Beta Phi Mu Honor Society and Rho Chi Society. As an alumnus, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award (2010) and Excellence Service Recognition (2014).
Colonel John Spain RET, Pharm.D. ’88P
Senior Director, National Payer Account Medical Lead
Dr. Spain currently serves as a Senior Director, National Payer Account Medical Lead, supporting the US Department of Defense and US Department of Veterans Affairs for Pfizer Inc. He previously served as an Army Pharmacy Officer in a variety of assignments within the United States, Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, prior to retiring after 34 years of service. Dr. Spain’s last three positions while on active duty included Pharmacy Director, Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Deputy Commander for Clinical Support, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center; and Army Pharmacy Consultant and Program Manager for the Army Surgeon General.
Dr. Spain and his wife, Monica, have three children Sean (24), Owen (21), and Clare (19). He is active in the American Legion, Knights of Columbus, and Appalachia Service Project. Dr. Spain enjoys reading history books and backpacking in his free time.
Dr. Spain earned a B.S. degree in Pharmacy from St. John’s in 1988. He also earned an M.A. in Public Administration from Bowie State University in 1997 and a Pharm.D. from Rutgers University in 1999.