Parisa “Risa” Vatanka, PharmD is a thought leader and strategic thinker with extensive experience creating novel health care delivery solutions from concept to marketplace. She has a proven record of alliance building and is a key contributor and facilitator, with keen ability to bridge efforts among diverse internal and external cross-functional groups. Risa’s background includes heading high-visibility initiatives implemented nationwide and globally. She is currently championing health care delivery optimization through digital health integration.
Risa is Co-Founder & CEO of Digital.Health – on a mission to foster democratization of health care leveraging digitally enabled care at scale that augments the human touch. She holds a faculty appointment at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) School of Pharmacy and is part of the Vanguard for the NextMed Health conference. Previously, Risa worked at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in strategic alliances. During this time, she led APhA’s digital health strategy which included being founder and chair of the DigitalHealth.Rx Summit and DigitalHealth.Rx Hackathon. She also represented APhA on the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) advisory committee that convened the Digital Health Institute and Digital Health Workshop and was an appointed member of the Digital Medicine Society’s (DiMe) Tour of Duty on driving adoption of The Digital Clinical Measures Playbook where she led development of the Micro-Playbook for Pharmacists. Risa initiated her role as champion for digital health via her volunteer leadership role with the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA), where she founded and chaired the first-of-its-kind interprofessional digital health conference (DHX) with a pharmacy-pharmacist focus. Her efforts have catalyzed a movement where individuals and institutions are now engaging in initiatives to advance healthcare professional’s knowledge, skills, and understanding to effectively engage in digitally enabled care – moving away from unpredictable, episodic care to proactive, continuous care – improving access, efficiency, patient experience, quality, and outcomes.
Risa is a graduate of the University of Kansas, School of Pharmacy. Her professional training includes completing a Post-Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) Pharmacy Practice Residency at UCSF, a PGY2 Administrative Pharmacy Residency at Stanford University, and two externships with the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Indian Health Service (IHS). Risa is a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS), trained at the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center. These experiences instilled in Risa an appreciation of the tremendous value of an interprofessional approach to care with engaged, empowered patients/health consumers to foster health promotion and disease prevention, ultimately contributing to a healthier society.