News Release

August 6, 2014

OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Jennie Melendez - (405) 522-7404

OHCA pharmacists fill bill at prestigious award ceremony 

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) is honored to announce Pharmacy Director Nancy Nesser, Pharm. D., J.D., as the 2014 Ralph D. Bienfang Outstanding Practitioner. Among other accomplishments, this distinction recognizes Dr. Nesser for her longstanding and exemplary leadership within the pharmacy profession, sensitivity to human needs, and public service. The award is from the University of Oklahoma (OU) College of Pharmacy Alumni Association. 

"The Oklahoma Health Care Authority congratulates Dr. Nesser on this much-deserved honor," said CEO Nico Gomez. “The agency is extremely fortunate to have such a well-rounded, consummate professional leading our pharmacy program. It is due to the commitment of people like Dr. Nesser that SoonerCare continues to be a model of excellence among state Medicaid programs.” 

Since 2001, Dr. Nesser has overseen all aspects of the SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) pharmacy benefit, including drug coverage status and reimbursement issues. Dr. Nesser is also a volunteer pharmacist with the Lighthouse Medical Clinic, a free clinic in south Oklahoma City.  

“You go about your business every day thinking that no one notices what you are doing, and then someone gives you an award like this and you realize someone is watching,” said Dr. Nesser. “I am deeply honored to have been selected.” 

Dr. Nesser is a member of the Western Medicaid Pharmacy Administrators Association and the American Medicaid Pharmacy Administrators Association. Currently, Dr. Nesser co-chairs the pharmacy workgroup of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. 

A lifelong learner, Dr. Nesser earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in biology and chemistry from Oklahoma Christian University, a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Pharmacy from OU, a Juris Doctor degree from Oklahoma City University School of Law, and completed her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at OU in 2005. 

“I remember seeing the plaque in the hallway with all the previous winners listed each year,” said Dr. Nesser, who in this month marks 30 years since she started pharmacy school. “It never crossed my mind that I would be included one day.” 

 Dr. Nesser is one of three pharmacy professionals to be recognized at the 2014 Alumni Celebration and Awards Program in Norman, Okla.   

Bethany Holderread, Pharm. D., is also an honoree. As the Drug Utilization Review coordinator at Pharmacy Management Consultants in Oklahoma City, Dr. Holderread provides operational, consultant and educational services to OHCA, through a professional services contract with the OU College of Pharmacy. Dr. Holderread is the 2014 Outstanding Young Alumni. 

About OHCA  

Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, known as SoonerCare, is administered by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA). SoonerCare works to improve the health outcomes of Oklahomans by ensuring that medically necessary benefits and services are responsive to the health care needs of our members. Qualifying Oklahomans include certain low-income children, seniors, the disabled, those being treated for breast or cervical cancer and those seeking family planning services. Insure Oklahoma assists qualifying adults and small business employees in obtaining health care coverage for themselves and their families. OHCA strives to educate and engage our current 805,779 members regarding personal responsibilities for their health services utilization, behaviors, and outcomes in partnership with a state-wide network of 39,726 providers. For more information, visit