Member Pharmacy Practice

CPEL Program a Family Affair for Two Pharmacy Leaders

Jodie Tillman
Jodie Tillman Writer/Content Strategist Published: May 10, 2024
James and David Mangan
Left to right, Jim Mangan and David Mangan

When 16 pharmacy leaders met at ASHP headquarters this week to complete the final steps toward their Certified Pharmacy Executive Leader (CPELSM) credential, two participants needed no introduction — they'd known each other their entire lives.

Jim and David Mangan are brothers and fellow pharmacist executives. Jim (big brother, by two years) is director of hospital pharmacy for Cape Cod Healthcare. David is chief pharmacy officer at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Health in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The Mangans decided on one of their frequent phone calls to apply to be part of the same CPEL cohort.

“You read about it first, right?” said David, as the pair took a break after a taco lunch this week.

“Yeah, it seemed like a great opportunity for us both,” said Jim. “I’m learning a tremendous amount.”

Growing up in Troy, New York, both Mangan brothers excelled in math and science. Jim was into cars; David played sports. Even though their parents worked in healthcare — mom and dad were both certified registered nurse anesthetists — the boys hadn’t thought too hard about what they wanted to do when they grew up. But their parents, said David, gave them a “mindset that promotes hard work, collaboration and being mission driven.”

Then a neighbor suggested to a teenage Jim that he consider pharmacy. “She was actually a district attorney,” Jim said with a laugh.

 “He was thinking about going into law,” explained David.

“She knew we both had math and science minds, and she was like, ‘Why are you looking to go into law?’” said Jim. “She said ‘Why don’t you look at pharmacy?’”

Jim said he was intrigued, and after some research and college fairs, he eventually went off to the University of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy’s Springfield campus.

Meanwhile, back at home, David wasn’t quite sure where he’d head after high school.

“I wouldn’t say I had the ability for insight that a lot of kids today have in terms of what they’re going to do. So I was undecided,” he said. “I spent a year at home at community college and heard a little more about the curriculum.” Before long, he had joined his brother in Springfield.

James and David Mangan

They talk shop — and family life — on the phone at least twice a week.  “It’s more of a sounding board than guidance,” said David. “He knows what he’s doing, I know what I’m doing. You usually don’t get new things you’ve never ever seen before that you can’t work through.”

But the brothers, who live a 90-minute drive apart, say they don’t get feedback from their parents, spouses (David’s wife is also a pharmacist), and children that they are overdoing it with pharmacy talk at family get-togethers.

“We’ve got plenty of other stuff to talk about,” said Jim.

“Plenty of other space to fill,” added David.

Like their shared affection for home projects. “If there’s something going on at our houses, we just go and fix it,” said David. “We help each other with our big projects like painting, installing doors, mulching and the like.  We both enjoy cooking. We have a lot of things in common. To this day, Jim will help me out when the car needs maintenance.”

Earning their CPEL credential together gave them new insights into their work, they said.

“Any time you’re in a group of leaders this large with such diverse experience, there’s always something you’re going to learn. You learn something about yourself, how others are doing things better. So it’s just a great opportunity,” said Jim. “Our CEO says healthcare is a team sport. And if you’re not part of the team … ” 

David interjected: “Look elsewhere.”

Their participation in CPEL activities also provided some quality one-on-one time. They took the same flight, stayed in the same hotel, and shared more meals together than they had in a long time.

“That was important to us,” said David. “You get to hang out with your brother a week. Plus, our parents are the only people in the world that can say they have two CPELs at Thanksgiving!””

Learn more about CPEL, including how to apply.

Posted May 10, 2024

Advance Your Professional Development

View Other Products

Free Board Exam Prep Resources

The Review & Recertification Reward Program (RRRP) includes free access to exam preparation material + enrollment in a recertification plan billed monthly ($10) during your initial recertification cycle. For ASHP members only.

Learn More
Review & Recertification Reward Program (RRRP)

New Edition Available to Order

AHFS Drug Information® 2024 contains the most dependable drug information available—all in one place. It is the most comprehensive evidence-based source of drug information complete with therapeutic guidelines and off-label uses.

Order Today
AHFS 2024 Drug Information