Faculty

Departmental Leadership

John Mercer, RPh 
Director of Pharmacy

John Mercer is a graduate of West Virginia University School of Pharmacy. John has spent his entire career in hospital pharmacy and has been employed at Reading Hospital since 1987, serving in many roles, beginning as a staff pharmacist and accepting successive positions prior to being named Director of Pharmacy in 2012. John’s responsibilities include the oversight of all Pharmacy programs and functions. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Hospital Medication Safety Team, is a member of the Patient Care, Critical Care and Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committees as well as other multidisciplinary teams and committees at the leadership level.

Chuck DiTrapano, RPh 
Operations Manager

Chuck DiTrapano is a graduate of Albany College of Pharmacy. Chuck’s professional career started as a pharmacy officer in the United States Navy. Chuck remained in hospital pharmacy in various roles. He also spent 15 years in long-term care pharmacy including serving as a Vice President of Omnicare Institution Pharmacy Company. In 2001, Chuck made the decision to return to hospital pharmacy as a supervisor at Reading Hospital. Chuck is also the founder and primary developer of RxToolkit.com, this patient safety software program earned the 2004 Cheers Award from the Institute for Safe Medication Practices. Chuck is the founder and developer of a medication safety blog, MedSafetyOnline.org.

Joan Mege, Pharm.D. 
Clinical Manager 
PGY1 Residency Program Director

Joan Mege earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Temple University, School of Pharmacy and her Doctor of Pharmacy at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutger’s University. In addition to her experience in the hospital and clinical pharmacy arena’s, Joan has worked as a medical writer and a pharmacy consultant for professional organizations and government agencies. Joan began her career with Reading Hospital in 2001 as one of two Clinical Coordinators charged with establishing the Clinical Pharmacy Program for the institution. Joan is the Pharmacy Residency Program Director and serves as a preceptor for students from five of the seven Schools of Pharmacy in Pennsylvania. She is the chair of the Anticoagulation Safety Team and represents Pharmacy on numerous multidisciplinary teams including Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, Diabetes Steering Team, COPD Steering Team and the Outpatient Formulary Team.

Maria Seitz, RPh 
Quality Manager

Maria Seitz is a graduate of The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (University of the Sciences in Philadelphia). The majority of her professional career has been in hospital pharmacy and administration, with some retail and long term care experience. As Quality Manager of Reading Hospital Pharmacy Department, Maria is responsible for monitoring pharmacy processes to promote a safe and efficient environment, facilitating implementation of process improvements in medication management, monitoring regulatory compliance regarding accreditation and controlled substance reconciliation, and coordinating education, training and competency evaluation processes. Maria serves on many committees, including the Patient Safety Committee, the Medication Safety Committee, and the Pharmacy Medication Safety and Quality Committee.

James Smith, RPh, MHA, BS 
Informatics Manager

Jim Smith is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy & Science (University of the Sciences in Philadelphia). Currently Jim is the information manager for the pharmacy department. In his role Jim collaborates with clinicians regarding the medication management systems, as well as implementing, maintaining and supporting pharmacy related automation and medication related clinical systems. In addition Jim collects appropriate metrics related to the medication process. 

Clinical Pharmacy Specialists:

Robert Alspach, Pharm.D., BCPS 
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Internal Medicine

Robert Alspach graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 2008. Upon graduating, he worked in the community setting both in Philadelphia and the San Francisco Bay Area before returning to do a PGY-1 pharmacy practice residency at Lancaster General Health and a PGY-2 in cardiology and anticoagulation at UMass Memorial Medical Center.  His research has been in bivalirudin utilization in obese patient populations as well as pulmonary arterial hypertension. At Reading Health, he is the preceptor and specialist for adult internal medicine as well as cardiology elective rotation.

Rebecca Cofsky, Pharm.D. 
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Infectious Diseases 
Antimicrobial Stewardship, CoDirector

Rebecca Cofsky is a graduate of Duquesne University. She completed an ASHP-accredited Pharmacy Practice Residency at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., and an Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Residency at Stony Brook University Medical Center in Stony Brook, Long Island, N.Y. Rebecca’s current professional interests include antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial resistance, and infectious diseases in immunosuppressed patients.

Regine Ghoubrial-Waibel, Pharm.D.
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Emergency Department

Regine Ghoubrial-Waibel is a graduate of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Gina began her employment with Reading Hospital in 2001. Prior to joining the clinical pharmacy team, she was a staff pharmacist for five years. Gina has implemented new policies and procedures in the Emergency Department such as pharmacy providing alteplase for ischemic stroke patients.

Roman Gokhman, Pharm.D. 
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Critical Care

Roman Gokhman is a graduate of Temple University School of Pharmacy. Roman completed his general practice residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center and a cardiology/critical care residency at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with an emphasis on cardiothoracic surgery critical care. His areas of research have been emergency response, arterial pulmonary hypertension, extracorporeal pharmacokinetics and drug distribution in heart and lung transplant recipients. Roman also serves as an adjunct assistant professor of critical care pharmacotherapy at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy. At Reading Hospital he provides clinical pharmacotherapy services to medical and surgical critically ill patients.

James Helms Jr., Pharm.D. 
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Heart Failure

James Helms Jr. is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy of the University of the Sciences. After pharmacy school, he began work at Reading Hospital as a staff pharmacist for two years before accepting the position of clinical coordinator. He worked as the Clinical Specialist in Internal Medicine before transitioning to the position of Heart Failure Clinical Specialist. Jim’s current practice focuses on medication reconciliation at transition of care and opportunities to ensure continuity of care at points of transition. Jim is a preceptor for students from numerous schools of pharmacy and represents the department on a number of multidisciplinary teams.

Karen Yakabosky, Pharm.D. 
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Pediatrics

Karen Yakabosky received her Bachelor’s of Pharmacy degree from Temple University School of Pharmacy, and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University. Karen gained experience in retail, hospital (Mercy Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.; Ephrata Community Hospital, Ephrata, Pa.; Community General Hospital, Reading, Pa.), and long-term care pharmacy settings prior to joining the pharmacy staff at Reading Hospital. She worked as a staff pharmacist at Reading Hospital in all areas including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Pediatrics prior to accepting the Pediatric Clinical Specialist position in 2010.

Karen’s current practice focuses on evaluation of medication selection and dosing in neonatal and pediatric patients, training and evaluation of pharmacists in pediatrics/NICU as well as recommending dosing parameters for Alaris Infusion Pumps and Reading HealthConnect. She also serves on numerous hospital committees, including Pediatric QI, Pediatric and Neonatal Code Committees and serves as preceptor for pharmacy residents.