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WesternU / College of Pharmacy / Outreach & Events / College of Pharmacy: Ray Symposium

College of Pharmacy: Ray Symposium

About the Ray Symposium

Max Ray The Ray Symposium, an annual speaker series, honors Max D. Ray, MS, PharmD, Dean Emeritus of the WesternU College of Pharmacy. As Professor and Dean from 1996-2006, he created a stimulating educational environment that fostered excellence and professionalism.


His professional career was divided almost equally into pharmacy practice, association management, and education. A major focus of his work throughout his career was seeking ways in which to improve the value of pharmacy to society.


Today, the Ray Symposium celebrates the multifaceted role that pharmacists play in improving the lives of patients and the health of their communities.

A man in uniform smiling in front of a flag.

2024 Ray Symposium Be Infectious. Navigating through an Era of Plagues, Politics, and Public Health

The 18th Annual Ray Symposium – April 25, 2024, 4:00 -5:00 p.m. (in person and virtual)

Rear Admiral (retired) Scott Giberson retired as an Assistant U.S. Surgeon General and two-star admiral with the U.S. Public Health Service. He is well versed in the
delivery of healthcare solutions in under-resourced and vulnerable populations and has successfully led organizations through global and domestic health crises.

Currently, RADM (ret.) Giberson is the CEO of AMI Expeditionary Healthcare (USA), a global company that provides medical and public health services and solutions
to the U.S. government, international aid organizations, humanitarian concerns, the private sector and state government agencies in a wide range of remote and
challenging environments.

RADM (ret.) Giberson served as the acting Deputy Surgeon General of the United States (2013-2014). He was the Surgeon General’s principal liaison with health
leadership in multiple U.S. Departments. He also held executive positions as the Senior Advisor to the Office of Surgeon General, Director of Commissioned
Corps Headquarters, and Senior Public Health Advisor for the Department of Defense, at Pacific Command’s Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and
Humanitarian Assistance (2003-2006). He also served as overall Commander of the Corps’ Ebola Response in West Africa, where he provided oversight of multiple
missions and deployment of over 1,000 officers as a direct task from the White House.

RADM Giberson has authored numerous articles and delivered well over 100 keynote lectures on leadership, pharmacy, global health, and public health at numerous
venues domestically and internationally. He has been interviewed on multiple TV and radio affiliates and serves on several academic boards. RADM (ret) Giberson has
received numerous service and non-service awards including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and USAID’s Humanitarian Group Award. In 2015, he received the Presidential Unit Citation from President Obama in the Oval Office for the West African Ebola response.
  • Ray Symposiums

    Photo of Daniel Kraft, MD Daniel Kraft, MD
    Physician-Scientist and Innovator
    “Catalyzing the Future of Health and Medicine: What’s Next?”
    April 27, 2023

    Portrait of Asaf Bitton Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH
    Executive Director of Ariadne Labs
    “Health Systems Improvement – Scaling for the Globe”
    April 28, 2022 2022 Ray Symposium Presentation

    Aaron Kesselheim Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH
    Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School
    “Drug Regulations in the 21st Century- The FDA, Policy, and Politics?”
    April 22, 2021 2021 Ray Symposium Presentation

    Katherine Eban
    Investigative Journalist
    “The Hidden World Behind America’s Low-Cost Drugs”
    April 30, 2020 2020 Ray Symposium Presentation

    Cato T. Laurencin, featured speaker Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD
    University Professor, The University of Connecticut
    “Addressing the Future of Health in America: Diversity, Racism and Health Disparities”
    April 18, 2019

    Alan L. Leshner Alan I. Leshner, PhD
    CEO-Emeritus, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Former Executive Publisher, Science
    “Communicating Science Effectively”
    April 19, 2018 2018 Ray Symposium Presentation

     Dana Goldman, PhD

    Dana Goldman, PhD
    Professor, Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair and Director for the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics
    “Re-Thinking Value in an Era of Health Reform”
    April 20, 2017 2017 Ray Symposium Presentation

     Michael W. Kalichman, PhD

    Michael W. Kalichman, PhD
    Professor, Director of the UCSD Research Ethics Program
    “Science, Truth and the Public Trust”
    April 21, 2016 2016 Ray Symposium Presentation

     Ellen Peters, PhD

    Ellen Peters, PhD
    Professor of Psychology, Director of the Behavioral Decision Making Initiative, The Ohio State University
    “Numeracy and Health: A Tyranny of Numbers”
    April 30, 2015 2015 Ray Symposium Presentation

    Eileen Crimmins, PhD Eileen Crimmins, PhD
    AARP Chair in Gerontology, USC Davis School of Gerontology
    “Shorter Lives, Poorer Health”
    April 17, 2014

    Patricia B. Crawford, Dr. PH, RD Patricia B. Crawford, Dr. PH, RD
    Director, Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist
    “Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention”
    April 18, 2013

    Joshua S. Benner, PharmD, ScD Joshua S. Benner, PharmD, ScD
    President and CEO, RxAnte, Inc. and Visiting Scholar, The Brookings Institution
    “Reforming Health Care: Policy, Politics, and Patient Care”
    April 12, 2012

    William E. Evans, PharmD William E. Evans, PharmD

    Director and CEO, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    “The Promise of Genomics – What Lies Ahead?”
    April 21, 2011

    Michael Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD

    Michael Cohen, RPh, MS, ScD
    President of The Institute for Safe Medication Practices
    “Safe Medication Practices – Preventing Errors”
    April 15, 2010

    David B. Reuben, MD David B. Reuben, MD
    Director, Multicampus Program in Geriatrics Medicine and Gerontology (MPGMG) and Chief, Division of Geriatrics at UCLA Center for Health Sciences“Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce”
    April 9, 2009

    Brian Smedley, PhD Brian Smedley, PhD
    Research Director and Co-founder of the Opportunity Agenda
    “Eliminating Disparities”
    April 17, 2008

    Lyle Bootmanion Lyle Bootman
    Co-editor, 2006 National Institutes of Medicine Report
    “Preventing Medication Errors”
    April 19, 2007

  • Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support.

    Corporate Sponsors:


    Walgreens logo on a white background.

    986 pharmacy logo on a white background.

    Ralph's logo on a white background.

    The blue shield of california logo on a white background

    Individual Sponsors:


    Dr. Lilia Xu

    Dr. Nayan Patel

    Dr. Paul Huynh

    Victor Law, RPh

    Dr. John Sie

    Dr. Ray Yutani

    Dr. Ramesh Upadhyayula