Driven by mission, our team is proudly dedicated and committed to creating medication safety impact.

Mika Pollack

Executive Director

As our Executive Director, Mika Pollack manages all day-to-day operations. Prior to Safest Drug, she worked as an operational leader managing industry- and government-funded multi-million dollar drug studies to investigate the safety and efficacy of new or novel medicines, as well as medications already under FDA approval and being marketed, then sold, to U.S. consumers. Those experiences provided her with a front line view into pharmaceutical drug safety, sparked an interest in the public health implications of medication-induced health issues and, ultimately, led to the founding of Safest Drug in 2019. In addition to clinical drug research, Mika has a background in entrepreneurship and has worked in other research capacities managing environmental, clinical informatics, and social science studies funded by government agencies such as the CDC, NIH, HRSA and AHRQ. Before research, Mika worked in mental health and social services. She has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Ursinus College, a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts and has been a certified Project Management Professional since 2010. Mika is a member of the American Public Health Association and the Project Management Institute. A New Jersey native, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and two kids. She can be reached at mika@safestdrug.org.

Rebecca Carlson

Regional Program Manager

Rebecca helps to develop, manage, implement and cultivate medication safety partnerships. Her role also involves developing health education materials and promoting workshops, community dialogue on medication safety issues, and material dissemination for our Ask, Read, Report education campaign. As a double major at Elon University, she graduated with Bachelor degrees in both Biology and Psychology. She also earned a Masters degree in Public Health from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. In addition to educating the public about safe medication use, her interests include community resiliency and addressing adverse childhood experiences. She’s a proud North Carolina native and a member of the American Public Health Association. She can be reached at rebecca@safestdrug.org

Charles Burger

Board Member & Chair

Dr. Burger is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, educator, administrator and long-time volunteer supporter of causes which advance health and education. He holds a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership and Administration from Point Park University and a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Geneva College. He resides in Ohio with his wife.

Ed Williams

Board Member & Treasurer

Mr. Williams is a finance and accounting leader with over 20 years of accounting experience. He holds a Bachelors degree in Accounting with a minor in Spanish from the University of Houston and is currently pursuing graduate study in Accountancy. Originally from Chicago, he now resides in Texas with his wife, a practicing pharmacist.

Dave Stephens

Board Member & Co-Chair

Mr. Stephens is a Human Resources professional who has worked in government and has experience working with multiple nonprofit organizations. He holds a Bachelors degree in Management and a Masters degree in Human Resources Management. He advises our organization in people and organizational management, HR structure, corporate policy development and workplace strategy. Although he has northeast roots, he now resides in the Midwest.

Lori Hoepner

Board Member

Dr. Lori A. Hoepner, MPH, DrPH is Assistant Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at SUNY Downstate School of Public Health. Dr. Hoepner received her MPH in Maternal and Child Health from Tulane University and her DrPH in Environmental Health Sciences from Columbia University. Dr. Hoepner has over twenty years of extensive public health research experience using complex primary and secondary data on exposures and their relationships with health outcomes. Additionally, she is experienced in large-scale digital integration of public health data from multiple sources, such as collaboration on harmonization of multi-center primary data leading to publications and to the NIH-funded program: Environmental Influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO). With her background in health disparities research, Dr. Hoepner has the goal of understanding the intricacies of race/ethnicity, sex, and socioeconomics as they pertain to environmental health from a global perspective, as well as from a community-wide perspective.

Courtney Hardy

Board Member & Secretary

Ms. Hardy is a public health professional with experience in health insurance and hospital administration. She has worked in corporate strategic planning, process improvement, healthcare quality and community relations. She holds a Bachelors degree in Health Policy and Management from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and currently resides in North Carolina.