Dr. Karen Pellegrin

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Dr. Karen Pellegrin has led teams to win more than $30,000,000 in competitive federal grants for UH Hilo since joining the College of Pharmacy in 2008. She served as Principal Investigator and Project Director for the “Pharm2Pharm” program, which was funded by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. The highly successful program has advanced knowledge and practice of pharmacist-led care models while providing educational and professional opportunities for many students.

She has more than 25 years of leadership experience in health care quality, strategy, research, and education. Prior to joining the College, she served for more than seven years as an executive for Compass Point Research, a corporation with three subsidiaries providing clinical trials management and ethics review services and technology throughout the US. She began her career at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), where she served as a member of the MUSC Medical Center management team and faculty member.

Dr. Pellegrin received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of South Florida, completed a postdoctoral fellowship in health psychology and quality management at the Medical University of South Carolina, and received her MBA from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina.


  • Ph.D. - University of South Florida, Tampa
  • M.B.A. - The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, Charleston
  • M.A. - University of South Florida, Tampa
  • B.A. - St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana


  • Hawaii Health Information Exchange board member, and serve on the Finance Committee and the Legal Policy Committee (2017-present)
  • East Hawaii Regional Board member of Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, and serve as chair of the Stakeholder Engagement Committee and a member of the Quality Improvement & Patient Safety Committee and Strategic Planning Committee (2015-present)
  • Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Medication Therapy Management (MTM) Advisory Group member (2015-present)
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) representative on the Pharmacy Health Information Technology (HIT) Collaborative Advisory Work Group (2011, 2014)
  • Hawaii State Rural Health Association board member (2010-2015)
  • Hawaii Island Workforce and Economic Development Ohana (HIWEDO) board member (2010-2016)
  • Charleston Regional Business Journal “Forty Under Forty” award in recognition of outstanding leadership in the Charleston Business Community (2001)

Research Interests


  • U.S. Department of Health and Human services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, Health Care Innovation Award, Pharm2Pharm Model Innovation in Rural Hawaii (award # 1C1CMS331061, 2012-2016)
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program, Hawaii County Beacon Community Consortium (award #: 90BC0012/01, 2010-2012)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Rural Health and Safety Education Competitive Grants Program (USDA-CSREES-RHSE-002255), Medication Safety Education for Elderly in Rural Areas (award #: 2009-46100-06032, 2009-2011)

In the News

Current Teaching

  • PHPP 522
    • Pharmacy Practice Management and Marketing
  • PHPP 535
    • Healthcare Leadership
  • PHPP 536
    • Strategic Management-Evidence Based
  • PHPP 557
    • Personal Finance
  • PHPP 558
    • Business Admin Overview
  • PHPP 567
    • Rural Health Science: Introduction
  • PHPP 568
    • Rural Health Science: Advanced Topics

Selected Publications

  • Long A, Hanlon A, Pellegrin KL. Socioeconomic Variables Explain Rural Disparities in US Mortality Rates: Implications for Rural Health Research and Policy. SSM - Population Health, 2018; 6:72-74.
  • Pellegrin KL, Chan F, Pagoria N, Jolson-Oakes S, Uyeno R, Levin A. A state-wide medication management system: Health information exchange to support drug therapy optimization by pharmacists across the continuum of care. Applied Clinical Informatics, 2018; 9(1):1-10, PMID: 29298450 PMCID: PMC5801897
  • Pellegrin KL, Corbin K. A public “safety net” hospital aims for excellence: Mission-driven transformation to improve health in East Hawaii. SAGE Business Cases, SAGE Publications Ltd., London, United Kingdom, January 2, 2018. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526444301
  • Pellegrin KL, Krenk L. Maui Clinic Pharmacy: An independent community pharmacy considers strategic options. SAGE Business Cases, SAGE Publications Ltd., London, United Kingdom, January 2, 2018. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526444981
  • Pellegrin KL. Pope Francis: Leadership to resurrect a mission. SAGE Business Cases, SAGE Publications Ltd., London, United Kingdom, January 2, 2018. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526445049
  • Pellegrin KL. The Libertarian Party struggles to market freedom. SAGE Business Cases, SAGE Publications Ltd., London, United Kingdom, January 2, 2018. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526441751
  • Pellegrin KL, Wetter F. Moore Oil: Exit options for a multi-family, multi-generational small business. SAGE Business Cases, SAGE Publications Ltd., London, United Kingdom, January 2, 2018. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526445575
  • Pellegrin KL, Lee E, Uyeno R, Ayson C, Goo R. Potentially preventable medication-related Hospitalizations: A clinical pharmacist approach to assessment, categorization, and quality improvement. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association, 2017;57(6):711-716. PMID: 28823545
  • Pellegrin KL, Duerler T. Mango Medical: Growing a fresh healthcare model. SAGE Business Cases, SAGE Publications Ltd., London, United Kingdom; January 4, 2017; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526410900
  • Pellegrin KL. CVS Health: Checking the vital signs of the largest pharmacy company in the US. SAGE Business Cases, SAGE Publications Ltd., London, United Kingdom; January 4, 2017; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781526408006
  • Pellegrin KL, Nigg C. The Community Culture Survey: Preliminary findings from a new approach to measurement and understanding health disparities. Journal of Community Psychology; 2017, Vol. 45(2), 283-289. DOI: 10.1002/jcop.21845
  • Pellegrin KL, Krenk L, Jolson-Oakes S, Ciarleglio A, Lynn J, McInnis T, Bairos AW, Gomez L, Benitez-McCrary M, Hanlon AL, Miyamura J. Reductions in medication-related hospitalizations among older adults with medication management by hospital and community pharmacists: A quasi-experimental study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS); 2017, 65:212-219. PMID: 27714762
  • Pellegrin KL. Pharm2Pharm: Hospital Pharmacist Hand-off to Community Pharmacy. University of Southern California conference on Optimizing Medication Safety and Healthcare Quality: Best Practices and Collaborations for Public Health, Geriatrics, and Mental Health, Los Angeles CA, February 11-12, 2016.
  • Pellegrin KL, Miyamura JB, Taniguchi R, Ciarleglio AE, Barbato A, Holuby RS. Using International Classification of Diseases Codes to Track Medication‐Related Hospitalizations of Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS); 2016, Vol. 64(3), 651-653. PMID: 27000343
  • Pellegrin KL. Ben & Jerry’s CEO pay cap and corporate social responsibility: Sweet justice or frozen fiduciary? SAGE Business Cases, SAGE Publications Ltd., London, United Kingdom; March 6, 2016; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781473947962
  • Pellegrin KL, Miyamura JB, Ma CSJ, Taniguchi R. Improving accuracy and relevance of race/ethnicity data: Results of a state-wide collaboration in Hawaiʻi. Journal for Healthcare Quality, 2016, Vol 38(5), 314-321. PMID: 26042756
  • Holuby RS, Pellegrin KL, Barbato A, Ciarleglio A. Recruitment of rural healthcare professionals for live continuing education. Medical Education Online; 2015, Vol. 20, 28958. PMID: 26549047 PMCID: PMC4637333
  • Mnatzaganian CL, Pellegrin KL, Miyamura JB, Valencia D, Pang L. Association between sugar cane burning and acute respiratory illness on the island of Maui. Environmental Health; 2015, 14:81. PMID: 26446010 PMCID: PMC4596502
  • Pellegrin KL. Pharm2Pharm: Leveraging medication expertise across the continuum of care. Hawaii Journal of Medicine & Public Health, July 2015; Volume 74, No. 7, 248-252. PMID: 26225272 PMCID: PMC4507366
  • Pellegrin KL, Barbato A, Holuby RS, Ciarleglio AE, Taniguchi R. Cost-effective strategies for rural community outreach. Preventing Chronic Disease, 2014; Volume 11: 140315. PMID: 25496555 PMCID: PMC4264413
  • Pellegrin KL. A brief survey to identify priorities for improving clinician recruitment and retention: Results from Hawaii Island physicians. Hawaii Journal of Medicine & Public Health, April 2012; Vol 71, No 4, Supplement 1, 45-49. PMID: 22737642 PMCID: PMC3347737
  • Pellegrin KL, Pezzuto JM. Strategic direction for high demand degrees: An analysis of the U.S. pharmacy degree competitive market. International Journal of Management in Education special issue on “Quest for a Competitive Edge in Higher Education”, 2011; Vol. 5 (No. 2/3):285-300. DOI: 10.1504/IJMIE.2011.03949
  • Pellegrin KL, Currey HS. Demystifying and improving organizational culture in healthcare. In: Wolf JA, Hanson H, Moir MJ, Friedman L, Savage GT (ed.). Organization Development in Healthcare: Conversations on Research and Strategies (Advances in Health Care Management, Volume 10). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2011: 3-23. PMID: 21887935


Karen L. Pellegrin, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Director of Continuing/Distance Education & Strategic Planning, Office of the Dean

(808) 932-8118


(323) 372-1603

Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy Building, room 247