Since 2014, Ellen Scharaga has served as an operational consultant with New York’s Alegria Specialty Infusion and Pain Pharmacy, where she helps develop innovative specialty medications for conditions such as HIV, hepatitis C, and multiple sclerosis. In addition to her work with Alegria, Ellen Scharaga stays current with best practices in the pharmacy field through her membership in professional organizations such as the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA).
Founded in 1995, HOPA seeks to improve the efficacy and efficiency of care for individuals with cancer by providing support to the pharmacy professionals who serve them. To do this, the organization offers its members networking get-togethers, educational events, and opportunities to advocate for public policy and legislation. Additionally, HOPA maintains a research-grant program for qualified members.
Each year, HOPA gives out a total of $150,000 in research funds through two programs. The first of these, the Research Fund Award, offers grants to hematology and oncology pharmacies for research projects in line with HOPA’s goals. It awards a total of $100,000, which may be distributed among up to three grants.
The second program, the Early Career Research Grant, offers $50,000 to emerging investigators who are conducting preclinical lab-based research in oncology. The award, which is reserved for professionals in the first seven years of their careers, comes with a mentoring component.