Skip to main content Back to Top

John Armitstead

Credentials: MS, RPh, FASHP
Position/Title: System Director of Pharmacy
Organization: Lee Health
Primary Specialty: Hospital and Health-System Administration
Specialties: Ambulatory Care, Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Home Health and Infusion, Informatics, Inpatient Care, Internal Medicine, Oncology, Pediatrics

Education/Advanced Training

Becoming a pharmacy practice leader will most likely require residency training in today's practice, preferably two years of residency training. In addition a graduate degree such as an MS, MHA or MBA will equip you with the leadership skills necessary to be effective with health care administrators.

Type of Patient Population Served

We serve the full range of patients from prenatal care, obstetrics, neonatal, pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric care. Although our highlighted services include cardiovascular, neuroscience, orthopedics, trauma, renal transplant, oncology and pediatrics, the system provides care to all patients including family and general medicine. We have inpatient services, ambulatory services, infusion and specialty pharmacy services in addition to home care and managed care.

Roles and Responsibilities

As system director I am responsible for the operation of pharmacy services, including strategic planning, day-to-day operations, clinical distributive services, financial management ($110 million in expenses), legal responsibility and personnel management (300 staff). Our mission is to Optimize Patient Outcomes Through Interdisciplinary Medication Management in all settings..

How I Got Where I am Today

I would suggest that in addition to a Pharm.D. degree, residency training and possibly an advanced degree pharmacy practice leaders should consider success factors such as vision, training, tools and mentorship. Your vision must begin with a sound background of reading and can be developed by expressing your opinions and working with other pharmacists and health care professionals to advance practice. Mentorship is also essential as you are guided in your thoughts and decisions made with others. I would consider my mentors my staff and colleagues at three academic medical centers in which I practiced and led (Ohio State, Cincinnati and Kentucky), in addition to special collegial relationships with Clifton J. Latiolais, Thomas P. Sherrin, Philip J. Schneider, Donald N. Schneider, Milap Nahata, Marianne F. Ivey, Paul Abramowitz and Max L. Hunt, Jr..

Advice for Students Pursuing this Career Path

I would suggest that students study for knowledge not for competition, get involved and serve others, read, participate, network, follow, lead, experiment, take opportunities and risks, and most of all be positive and optimistic. Consider where you wish to be in the four decades of your career, and set a path for leadership and success. I encourage students to seek the Best Practice including safe, individual patient care focused, collaborative, interdisciplinary, evidenced based and cost effective care.

Professional Organizations/Activities Outside Day-to-Day Job Responsibilities

I started my professional activity on the program council of a local society of health-system pharmacists and have always served on one or more professional societies every year of my career through active membership. I am a past president of the ASHP, past member of the Board of Directors of the ASHP, past president of the OSHP and KSHP  and have always found great opportunities for growth and leadership in serving. In my spare time in addition to spending cherished time with family and friends, I enjoy landscaping, gardening, boating and skydiving.

Contact Information

You can reach me by e-mail at

Letters to a Young Pharmacist

Letters to a Young Pharmacist

View Product
Link the whole card
PSF on ASHP Connect

PSF Community on Connect

Member-only section discussions, blogs and announcements

Member Log-In
Link the whole card

About ASHP

We represent pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings.

Read More
Link the whole card

Join / Renew

Join ASHP or renew your membership to take advantage of our benefits, services and resources
View Benefits
Link the whole card