Skip to main content Back to Top

Press Release

Dennis Wagner Honored with Zellmer Lecture

Dennis C. Wagner, M.P.A., will present the fourth annual William A. Zellmer Lecture on September 17, 2013, as part of Policy Week activities of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) in Bethesda, Md. Approximately 130 leaders in hospital and health-system pharmacy practice will be in attendance.
The William A. Zellmer Lecture was established in 2010 by ASHP in collaboration with the ASHP Research and Education Foundation’s Center for Health-System Pharmacy Leadership. It honors Zellmer’s contributions to health-system pharmacy policy development, advocacy, planning, and communications during his career with ASHP. The lecture is given annually during ASHP Policy Week by a distinguished individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in advancing health care-related public policy that has improved the safety and effectiveness of medication use through the engagement of pharmacists.
Wagner is a national and international leader in the fields of health care quality improvement, the environment, and social marketing. He currently works in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as co-director of the Partnership for Patients Initiative and as associate director for campaign leadership in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center.
Wagner previously served as the associate deputy director and then acting director of the CMS Office of Clinical Standards and Quality. Before joining CMS, Wagner worked for 12 years at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), including a final stint as acting director of HRSA’s Office of Health Information Technology and Quality. While at HRSA, Dennis led a major national effort that increased the donation and transplantation of organs by nearly 25 percent over a four-year period.
In his more than 20 years of service with the U.S. government, Wagner has led or been involved in numerous national and international public health campaigns, including efforts to:
  • Improve health outcomes and drug safety by increasing access to clinical pharmacy services,
  • Increase access to health care and reduce disparities for underserved populations,
  • Create integrated systems of health care in communities across the nation,
  • Reduce exposure to second-hand smoke in the U.S.,
  • Reduce the public health risks of indoor radon gas, and
  • Increase organ donation in Australia.
Wagner received a master in public administration degree from Montana State University, and joined the federal service with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a Presidential Management Intern in 1986.

About ASHP
ASHP is the national professional organization whose nearly 40,000 members include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy students who provide patient care services in hospitals, health systems, and ambulatory clinics. For 70 years, the Society has been on the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. For more information about the wide array of ASHP activities and the many ways in which pharmacists help people make the best use of medicines, visit ASHP's website,, or its consumer website,

About the ASHP Foundation
The ASHP Research and Education Foundation was established in 1968 by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. The mission of the Foundation is to improve the health and well-being of patients in hospitals and health systems through appropriate, safe and effective medication use. The Foundation provides leadership and conducts education and research activities that foster the coordination of interdisciplinary medication management leading to optimal patient outcomes. Emphasis is given to programs that will have a major impact on advancing pharmacy practice in hospitals and health systems, thereby improving public health.