California Pharmacists Association president-elect highlights pivotal moment for the profession

Kevin Komoto ’08, PharmD, MBA, embraces the challenge of executing a strategy that has the potential to significantly alter the trajectory of the pharmacy profession. In April he officially started his term as president-elect of the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA).

“We’re at one of the most exciting, pivotal points for the profession,” said Dr. Komoto. “If we set up the right type of institutions to ensure exceptional training in emergent practice settings, we can enhance the number of access points for patients to get pharmacist services.”

CPhA is laying the groundwork to fundamentally shift the way the pharmacy profession is regulated in California. Dr. Komoto explains that a standard of care model applies to physicians and nurses, giving them broad latitude for treating patients. In contrast, pharmacists operate within the constraints of a scope of practice. A pharmacist’s ability to provide health care services, such as administering immunizations or distributing Naloxone, requires specific state legislation for each service. CPhA has demonstrated that adopting a standard of care model for pharmacy practice results in increased health care access and better patient outcomes.

“There are many consequential changes happening right now within the American health care system and specifically in California,” he said. “CPhA is fighting very hard to be able to carve out opportunities for pharmacists to not just be better practitioners, but to be a more integral part of the larger health care system.”

The long-term goal of the association is to increase the number of advanced practice roles available to pharmacists across a range of practice settings. Dr. Komoto emphasizes that to accomplish this objective, multiple pathways need to be enhanced or developed. He proposes establishing new certificate programs, developing additional avenues for earning the Advanced Practice Pharmacist certificate and creating additional PGY1 and PGY2 residencies. Dr. Komoto is leading by example—through his role as chief operations officer of Komoto Healthcare, he spearheaded the creation of a PGY1 residency, in partnership with the School, which launched in 2024.

Alumnus Kevin Komoto ’08, PharmD, MBA

Dr. Komoto is a second-generation pharmacist. His father, Brian Komoto, PharmD, opened a community pharmacy in Delano in 1981. Komoto Healthcare has expanded and is now comprised of five distinct companies: Komoto Pharmacy; Komoto Medical Pharmacy; Avina Health, a clinical pharmacy services company; Integrated Care Systems, a home infusion and specialty pharmacy; and Komoto Family Foundation, a non-profit organization improving access to care for individuals in underserved communities. Each of the companies within Komoto Healthcare has a specific mission but all are united in the vision of making a “meaningful, lasting, positive impact on patients.”

Even as a student Dr. Komoto did not shy away from leadership roles. He shared that serving as president of Pacific’s chapter of the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists was a formative experience.

“It exposed me to leaders and pioneers, both within the university and through the alumni network. Learning from their examples and their experiences set the foundation for how I wanted to practice upon graduation. I would not be the practitioner I am today if I didn’t have that exposure.”

Dr. Komoto encourages students, faculty and alumni to engage with CPhA. The stakes are high, yet the potential is considerable—the opportunity to propel the profession into a new era.