Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy® and Diplomat Specialty Infusion Group® are joining the Optum® family.

To learn more about what this means for you, visit our FAQ pages:

Specialty Pharmacy FAQ  •  Infusion Pharmacy FAQ

The Empower Team

Meet the people who support your care.

Israa Alia, RDN, MBA

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Israa helps people live healthier through proper nutrition. Her drive complements years of experience motivating and empowering patients.


Israa earned her Master of Business Administration from Dominican University. There, she performed 1,500 hours of hands-on dietetic training. Israa has a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from Benedictine University.

Steven M. Schwartz, PhD

Manager, Clinical Research & Evaluation

Steven coordinates Diplomat’s clinical research. He reviews real-world studies to help design programs that improve patient outcomes.


Steven earned his doctorate degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, specializing in health psychology and behavioral medicine. He has a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the College of William & Mary.

Stephanie LaPointe, PharmD, CSPO, FMPA

Director, Clinical Services; Residency Program Coordinator

Stephanie is responsible for Diplomat’s clinical services and product development. She helps develop and implement treatment plans tailored to patients and their diagnoses.


In 2012, Stephanie completed a postgraduate year one pharmacy practice residency at Diplomat, with a focus on specialty pharmacy. She spent eight years within Diplomat’s Education & Quality department.


Stephanie serves on the Education Committee for the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy and is a board member of the Michigan Pharmacy Foundation’s board of trustees.  She holds additional professional responsibilities at the local, state, and national level.

Caitlin Prusha, MBA

Marketing Manager

Caitlin works with the Diplomat team to provide digital resources that support patients in their daily lives. This includes overseeing the continuing growth and development of the Empower Ecosystem.


Caitlin earned her Master of Business Administration from Central Michigan University. She has spent the last 7 years in the health and wellness field focusing on bringing a better experience to the consumer through digital resources.

Clinical Pharmacists

Pilar Gaggin, PharmD
PharmD, Wayne State University Board-Certified HIV PharmacistTM AAHIVP
Jinesh John, PharmD
PharmD, Ferris State University MBA candidate, University of Michigan - Flint
Tammy Pendleton, PharmD
PharmD, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Jessica Vinckier, PharmD
PharmD, Ferris State University Certified Speciality Pharmacist(CSP)

Contributing Writers

Lissy A.
Mallory T.

Diplomat Staff Writers

Ryan Richards
Jennifer Pavlovich
Megan Ockert

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