Following is an excerpt from a message Assistant Secretary Martin Mueller sent to staff members in the Health Systems Quality Assurance Division at the Washington State Department of Health:
Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission (PQAC) is undergoing an important change in staff leadership, one about which you should know.
Chris Humberson, the previous executive director of PQAC, has accepted a new assignment as a pharmacy investigator. We have a significant need to add capacity to our current pharmacy inspection and investigation team. Chris’s background, knowledge, and skills will enable him to quickly adapt to this new role and deliver that additional person-power. Chris is already orienting to the job, and soon will relocate to our Kent office to join the inspection staff there. I am grateful to Chris for his contributions to pharmacy regulation over the past three years, and look forward to his contributions in his new role.
Beginning March 16, Steve Saxe will become the acting executive director of PQAC. We have an urgent need for an experienced pharmacist-leader and Steve fits the bill. Steve was once the executive director of the Pharmacy Board (it became a commission in 2013) so this is a familiar role for him. In his current position as director for our Office of Community Health Systems, Steve consistently demonstrates managerial and leadership excellence. He will bring those same assets to his new role with PQAC.
We are working with PQAC to identify the process for hiring and confirming a permanent executive director. Steve plans to serve as the acting executive director until that occurs. I expect this process to play out over the course of the next six months.
Changes of this nature aren’t always easy, but Steve’s background will help minimize the adjustment period. Please be assured that the commission, its staff members and the Department of Health remain committed to the highest standards for pharmacy practice in our state.