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Sridhar Rao Gona

Sridhar Rao Gona

BSPharm, MS, MHA

Pharmacy Informatics & Researcher

Meritus Medical Center

Hagerstown, MD

His Story

Sridhar Gona earned his pharmacy degree & masters in pharmaceutics from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, India, and a master's in healthcare administration from the University of New Haven in 2016. He started his career as a research associate in Pharmaceutical Research. He has more than eight years of practice experience in the pharmacy informatics and research setting, providing services to academic medical centers and community teaching hospitals. He serves as a Pharmacy Informatics & Researcher at Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, MD. In addition, at Meritus, he was appointed by MMCIRB to review Clinical research protocols, and he leads the Epic Cosmos research application for the Provider Research Council.

Sridhar shares his expertise through supporting patient care, healthcare quality, teaching, and research. He works globally with renowned informaticians and clinical pharmacy researchers to improve patient care and medication safety. He actively engaged in research with numerous peer-reviewed publications. He provides editorial work for several national and international pharmacy journals. He worked as principal investigator/co-investigator for national and multi-center research studies, including COVID-19, Public and Population Health, Emergency Medicine, Substance Abuse, Social determinants of health, comparative effectiveness research, and quality improvement science. Over his career, Sridhar has promoted pharmacy informatics and his research globally through his engagement with national and international pharmacy associations. Through these activities, he has established himself as an expert and scholar in pharmacy practice, informatics, research, and global pharmacy education and training.

Sridhar was invited to give guest lectures for second-year pharmacy students in Clinical Research, Pharmacy Informatics & Analytics. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a commitment to the education and mentoring of students and young professionals. He currently works at Meritus Medical Center.

Overview of Facility/Health System

Meritus Health, western Maryland’s largest health care provider, is located at the crossroads of western Maryland, southern Pennsylvania and the eastern panhandle of West Virginia. Meritus Medical Center, the flagship facility of the health system, has more than 300 beds and is a Magnet® Recognized and Joint Commission accredited hospital. Meritus Medical Center has officially become a teaching hospital, serving as a clinical training site for the Meritus Family Medicine Residency Program, as well as for more than 1,000 nursing and allied health students annually. Meritus Health also includes Meritus Medical Group, a network of 20 medical practices with more than 100 providers; Meritus Home Health; and Equipped for Life, a medical equipment company. Meritus Health is a 25% owner of Maryland Physicians Care, a 215,000 Medicaid member health plan. With a long-standing history of caring for the community, Meritus Health relentlessly pursues excellence to improve the health status of the region. Recently, Meritus Health is officially seeking accreditation and licensure to open a proposed four-year osteopathic medical school in Hagerstown.

Significant Projects

Sridhar worked on several research studies, including COVID-19 studies, in which the most prominent case study was promoted and published in the NAHQ Intelligence titled "Frictionless Access Leads to Reduced Disparities in Care: A Case Study of a Regional Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing Center". And another COVID-19 real-world study of Monoclonal Antibodies treatment effectiveness and Hospitalizations in rural underserved communities, and the article was submitted for publication in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Sridhar played a crucial role at Meritus in another significant national study in Emergency Medicine in studying outcomes of bleeding patients with ICH and GIB treated with anticoagulation reversals, and the research was submitted to publish in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Sridhar has recently worked on a research study titled "Standardization of Digoxin Toxicity Monitoring to Prevent Toxicity Harm and Unnecessary Medical Expenditure." The study has identified that Digoxin toxicity was frequently not considered by the providers because the symptoms are often vague and may be related to a person's age or other medical problems. As a result, the study investigators wrote recommendations for quality improvement and reduction of digoxin toxicity that resulted in hospitalizations. The recommendations caught the attention and were applauded and supported by several nationally recognized cardiologists. In this research study, Sridhar contributed as a principal investigator.

Initial Involvement in ASHP

Sridhar has been involved with ASHP and currently serves as Section Advisory Group (SAG) on Operations and Automation and leads one of the Podcast work groups. In addition, he serves as a Peer Reviewer for AJHP (American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy) and a peer reviewer for Poster Presentations for the ASHP Summer Meetings & Exhibition.

Advice for Someone New to Your Specialty Area

Take advantage of mentors and colleagues in healthcare to help navigate more difficult situations as well as provide advice for what works for them in managing. Get involved with pharmacy sections and associations to offer resources and information that can help you as you build your practice.

Why did you become involved in ASHP?

Sridhar became involved in ASHP because he wanted to collaborate with and learn from other pharmacy professionals. In addition, he wants to contribute to creating resources and educational materials for current and future pharmacy professionals.

How would you explain the value of ASHP to a friend or colleague?

ASHP offers wide opportunities for collaboration and networking across the nation dedicated to the advancement of the pharmacy profession.

What is the value of ASHP for the profession? 

As one of the largest pharmacy organizations, ASHP can help set practice standards and provide resources that strengthen pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy students to provide the best patient-centered and evidence-based care. Moreover, ASHP advocates for government agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on public policy issues related to medication use and public health.

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Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology

The Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology (SOPIT) connects pharmacy informaticists who share common professional interest and goals

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SOPIT on ASHP Connect

SOPIT on Connect

Member-only section discussions, blogs and announcements on ASHP Connect

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Pharmacy Advancement Initiative (PAI)

PAI 2030

Tools and resources aimed at advancing pharmacy practice through the next decade
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