OPA launches new government affairs team!
OPA Executive Director Ernest Boyd has launched a new legislative team that aims to give pharmacists a stronger voice in the state of Ohio. With rules, regulations, and health care reform requiring an ever-growing government affairs presence, Ernie, who has served as the Executive Director of OPA since 1988, has restructured and allocated more resources towards OPA’s suite of legislative services. These services are often the major reason pharmacists join their state association. While continuing as chief lobbyist, Ernie has added Antonio Ciaccia and Lora Miller to the legislative team.
Antonio Ciaccia is the Director of Marketing & Public Affairs and a registered lobbyist for the Ohio Pharmacists Association. He came to OPA in January of 2010 from Applied Measurement Professionals, where he served as Operations Director for the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, and the Communications Director for several other national associations. Antonio is a 2007 graduate of The Ohio State University with dual degrees in Communications and Political Science. He is currently serving on the Ohio Society of Association Executives’ Marketing Communications Committee, and is the current Secretary of the Columbus Italian Club. He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives, Association of Fundraising Professionals, and is a distinguished member & graduate of the Capital Club Ladder Society. In 2010, Antonio served on the Public Health Group of Governor Ted Strickland’s Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force.
Lora Miller is the Director of Governmental Affairs & Public Relations for the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants. She will be spending a portion of her time on pharmacy matters, as they often directly impact retail merchants as well. A native of Columbus, Lora earned her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from Otterbein University, and is a 2003 graduate of the Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute. Prior to her position with the Council, Lora served for 10 years as a legislative aide in the Ohio House of Representatives. In addition to her lobbying duties, Lora is the governmental liaison for the Council’s Chain Drug Committee. In March 2011, Lora was appointed by Governor John Kasich to serve on the nine-member Ohio Retirement Study Council. She is President-Elect of the Ohio Lobbying Association, President of Labor & Industry for a Cleaner Ohio, and a board member of the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice.
“This joint legislative effort will enable better communication with legislators so that the issues impacting Ohio pharmacists and the patients they care for have a louder voice,” said Boyd. “Pharmacists are the most accessible health care providers in their communities and are often underutilized in current care models. Our goal is to allow pharmacists to exercise their six- to eight-year degrees to their full potential so they can better serve their patients.”
OPA extends its thanks to former Director of Government Affairs, Kelly Vyzral, who recently accepted a position as the Associate Director of Government Relations with the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies (OACCA). Kelly did a fantastic job for OPA during her nine years of service, and we wish her the best in her new position.
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