Pharmacy Residency Program
The VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System (VAEKHCS) PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency is a one year post graduate experiential educational program which provides a well-rounded training experience with focus on ambulatory care, mental health, and geriatrics. Residents will gain experience through various learning experiences such as Ambulatory/Primary Care, Anticoagulation, Acute Medicine, Geriatrics, Mental Health, Home Based Primary Care, Pharmacy Administration and Leadership. Residents will have a chance to choose from our elective experiences to fit their specific interests.
About the Program
The pharmacy residency at the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System (VAEKHCS) is an ASHP accredited training program. It is co-located at the Colmery-O’Neil campus in Topeka, KS and the Dwight D. Eisenhower campus in Leavenworth, KS.
Our PGY1 residency program builds upon Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) education and outcomes to develop pharmacist practitioners with knowledge, skills, and abilities as defined in the educational competency areas, goals, and objectives. Residents who successfully complete our PGY1 residency programs will be skilled in diverse patient care, practice management, leadership, and education, and be prepared to provide patient care, seek board certification in pharmacotherapy (i.e., BCPS), and pursue advanced education and training opportunities including postgraduate year two (PGY2) residency programs.
We offer a progressive training atmosphere where pharmacists may prescribe medications, order laboratory/diagnostic tests and place consults to other services within a scope of practice. Residents learn to provide proactive, patient-centered care in multiple different clinical settings. The Eastern Kansas Health Care System (EKHCS) pharmacy practice model integrates traditional distributive duties with advanced clinical roles.
Aside from required residency learning experiences, residents can choose from a variety of elective experiences. EKHCS also provides introductory and advanced experiential practice experiences for pharmacy students from the University of Kansas. Residents are provided the opportunity to instruct and precept students while on service.
Annual Program Start Date: June 20th
Number of Positions: 2
Annual Salary: $41,976
How to Apply
Thank you for your interest in the Pharmacy Practice Residency Program at the VA Eastern Kansas Healthcare System. Our PGY-1 program currently offers (2) positions through the ASHP National Matching Service (program code 172413). All applications must be completed online via the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS) at: http://www.ashp.org/phorcas
Standard Requirements for an application in PhORCAS include:
1) Completion of required PhORCAS application
2) Curriculum Vitae (CV)
3) Letter of Intent
4) Three (3) Letters of Reference
5) Official PharmD program transcripts
Additional Requirements: U. S. Citizenship
Information for Application Process
ASHP Residency Directory Name: VA - Topeka, KS - Eastern Kansas Health Care System - Colmery-O’Neil Campus
ASHP Residency Directory Number: 62001
Residency type: PGY1
PhORCAS Number: 19543
National Matching Service (NMS) Number: 172413
Application Deadline: December 31st
An onsite interview is required for consideration. Interview offers are typically made early to middle of January and interviews are typically scheduled for late January through the end of February.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com
The following is a list of required rotations/activities:
- Acute Medicine
- Ambulatory Care
- Pharmacy Operations
- Psychiatry (Inpatient)
- Geriatrics/Long-term Care
- Home Based Primary Care
The following is a list of elective rotations:
- Infectious Disease/Antimicrobial Stewardship
- Pain Management, Medication Safety, Regulatory and Informatics
- Psychiatry (Outpatient)
- Rural Health / Population Health Management
- Medication Use, Regulatory and Informatics
- Any previous rotation as an Advanced rotation
The following is a list of required longitudinal rotations/activities:
- Administration & Leadership
- Drug Information and Teaching
- Residency Research Project
- Staffing (1 weekend per month, 1-4 hours evening shift during the week, one major and minor holiday)
- Teaching Certificate Program (UMKC)
Drug Information / Teaching (Longitudinal) — Residents are responsible for providing responses to requests for drug information from medical staff as well as developing skills in critically evaluating health related literature in this longitudinal experience. Each resident will complete formal journal club and CE presentations during the year. Residents typically teach in the KU Clinical Assessment course and often provide a didactic lecture at KU.
Geriatrics / Long-Term Care — Residents gain an understanding of therapeutics in geriatric patients residing in the Community Living Center (a nursing home setting) and for patients as part of the Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) program. Responsibilities include medication management, drug information, coordination of care, contributing to interdisciplinary team meetings, and medication therapy reviews.
Home Based Primary Care – Residents will gain clinical experience in taking care of Veterans in in their home. Home based primary care is for Veterans who have complex health care needs for whom routine clinic-based care is not effective and are often homebound. The resident will work collaboratively with a team of health care personnel to meet the needs of our homebound veterans.
Psychiatry — Residents will gain clinical experience and develop expertise in the pharmacotherapy management of patients with behavioral health disorders. The resident will work collaboratively with a team of health care personnel to provide care to hospitalized patients and develop an active role in interdisciplinary rounds.
Administration and Leadership — Residents learn and devise strategies to promote cost-effective medication therapy utilization and clinical services management at VA EKHCS. Residents are responsible for completion of non-formulary consults, medication use evaluation, and clinical protocol development/revision. Residents will work with the management team to gain perspectives in budget planning, resource allocation, leadership, and professional/clinical service development. Activities include, but are not limited to: P&T meetings, medication-use-evaluations, drug monograph development, protocol development, longitudinal discussions on leadership development, etc.
Pharmacy Operations — Residents develop skill in medication preparation, dispensing, order verification, patient counseling, and supervision of technicians during this longitudinal experience.
Research Project (Longitudinal) — Residents are expected to design, implement, and present a practice-related research project during the year in conjunction with a pharmacist preceptor. A written manuscript of publishable quality is required to complete the rotation and earn a residency certificate.
Katie Foster, PharmD, MS, FCCM, FASHP, KCHP, DPLA, CLSSBB (Residency Program Director)
Katie Foster is the Associate Chief, Clinical Pharmacy Services at the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System in Topeka, Kansas and is the PGY1 Residency Program Director. Dr. Foster received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Creighton. After graduation, Dr. Foster pursued residency program at the University of Kansas Medical Center specializing in hospital pharmacy and received a Masters of Hospital Pharmacy. Dr. Foster worked at Stormont Vail Health Care for 23 years as their Pharmacy Clinical Manager, Trauma Pharmacist and PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Director. Dr Foster works with multi-disciplinary teams to help improve patient care and is an informational resource for healthcare professionals as well as patients. She may be contacted via email at Katherine.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shannon Baltrusaitis, PharmD
Shannon Baltrusaitis works as a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in Primary Care as an advanced practice provider with a scope-of-practice. Dr. Baltrusaitis earned her PharmD from the University of Kansas in 2017 and completed a PGY-1 Residency at the VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2018. Dr. Baltrusaitis co-precepts the Drug Information and Teaching rotation. She may be contacted via email at email@example.com.
Michael Buck, PharmD
Michael Buck works as a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in Primary Care as an advanced practice provider with a scope-of-practice. Dr. Buck earned his PharmD from the University of Nebraska in 2016 and completed a PGY-1 Residency at the VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2017. Dr. Buck precepts as part of the ambulatory care rotation and coordinates residency social events. He may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kerri Christian, PharmD, BCACP, CGP
Kerri Christian is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in ambulatory care, practicing in primary care and cardiology clinic. Dr. Christian earned her PharmD with distinction from the University of Nebraska in 1998. Prior to joining the pharmacy team at VA EKHCS in 2013, She served as Consultant Pharmacist, Lead Consultant Pharmacist and Clinical Coordinator for Pharmerica, a national long-term care pharmacy. Dr. Christian has been a member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists since 2001, a Fellow of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (FASCP) since 2006 and completed her second term on the Board of Directors for the Kansas Chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists in 2017. She earned her Board-Certified Geriatric Pharmacist Credential in 2003 and BCACP in 2013. Dr. Christian has enjoyed sharing her passion for geriatrics with pharmacy students since 2001 and with PGY1 pharmacy residents since 2014. Dr. Christian may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.
Kathryn Dement, PharmD, BCPP
Kathryn Dement is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in psychiatry. Dr. Dement graduated from University of Iowa College of Pharmacy in 2010. She went on to complete a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 2011 and joined the staff at VA EKHCS in July of 2011 as an inpatient behavioral health clinical pharmacist. She earned her BCPS in 2011 and her BCPP certification in 2015. Since 2018, Dr. DeMent has served as a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner with an advanced scope of practice for psychiatry working with the PTSD treatment program and outpatient mental health clinic. Dr. Dement may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emma Evans, PharmD
Emma Evans is a clinical pharmacist practicing on the Topeka Campus. Dr. Evans earned her PharmD from the University of Wyoming in 2021. She went on to complete a PGY-1 residency at VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dr. Evans currently precepts residents in pharmacy operations. She may be contacted via e-mail at Emma.Evans@va.gov.
Micah Halton, PharmD, BC-ADM, CDCES
Micah Halton is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in ambulatory care. Dr. Halton earned his PharmD from the University of Kansas in 2009 and completed his pharmacy practice residency at the Providence VA Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island. He joined VA Eastern Kansas Medical Center in 2010. Dr. Halton currently precepts residents for the ambulatory care rotation. He also precepts pharmacy students from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in ambulatory care. Dr. Halton earned his BC-ADM and CDCES in 2012. Dr. Halton may be contacted via e-mail at Micah.Halton2@va.gov.
Margit Hansing, PharmD, BCACP
Margit Hansing is as a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in Anticoagulation, Cardiology and serves as the Anticoagulation Program Manager at VA Eastern Kansas HCS. Dr. Hansing earned her PharmD from South Dakota State University in 2017 and completed a PGY-1 Residency at VA Black Hills HCS in 2018. Dr. Hansing joined the VA Eastern Kansas Medical Center in 2018. She precepts the anticoagulation clinic rotation. Dr. Hansing earned her BCACP in 2020. She may be contacted at Margit.Hansing@va.gov.
Melissa Hinrichsen, PharmD, BCGP
Melissa Hinrichsen is a clinical pharmacist, practicing on the Topeka Campus. Dr. Hinrichsen earned her PharmD from the University of Kansas in 2019. She completed her residency at VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2020 and has remained on staff since. Dr. Hinrichsen currently precepts pharmacy practice residents as a part of the pharmacy operations experience and coordinate residency social events. She may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.
Shelby Hippler, PharmD, BCACP
Shelby Hippler is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in ambulatory care. Dr. Hippler graduated from University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in 2014. She completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at the Fayetteville VA Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Dr. Hippler joined the Eastern Kansas VA Medical Center in 2015 as a PACT Pharmacist. In 2017, she transitioned to a role as a clinical pharmacy specialist for the Junction City CBOC and began precepting residents in ambulatory care. Duties include assisting CBOC Teams with medication related issues and managing chronic disease states for rural Veterans. Unique duties include involvement in Shared Medical Appointments, population management, and tele-video patient visits. Dr. Hippler is the lead preceptor for the rotation and coordinates residency social events. She may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robin Meistrell, PharmD,MS
Robin Meistrell is an inpatient behavioral health clinical pharmacist at VAEKHCS since 2018. Dr. Meistrell precepts pharmacy students and residents in acute psychiatry. Dr. Meistrell graduated from Belmont University College of Pharmacy in 2013 and obtained her Master of Science in 2022 from University of Maryland, Baltimore. Can be reached at email@example.com
Brynn Rivelan, PharmD
Brynn Rivelan earned her PharmD from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in 2021. She completed her PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency with the VA Eastern Kansas Healthcare System in 2022. Dr. Rivelan is now a clinical pharmacist serving the geriatric population in the Community Living Center on the Topeka campus. She precepts the PGY-1 geriatrics rotation and can be contacted at Brynn.Riveland@va.gov
Sara Weeder-Korus, PharmD, BCPS
Sara Weeder-Korus is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner practicing in Chronic Disease Management and Hematology/Oncology. Sara earned her PharmD from Creighton University in 2008 and completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency at the Grand Island, Nebraska VA Medical Center in 2009. She joined VA Eastern Kansas in 2009 and earned BCPS certification in 2013. She has previously served as a clinical pharmacist and preceptor in acute medicine before transitioning back to Ambulatory Care in 2014. She currently precepts residents in chronic disease management. She may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gunther Wehrman, PharmD
Gunther Wehrman is the Pharmacy Operations Manager at the VA Eastern Kansas Health Care System in Topeka, Kansas. Dr. Wehrman earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Kansas in 2021 and completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency at VA Eastern Kansas in 2022. He currently co-precepts the pharmacy operations rotation on the Topeka campus. He may be contacted via email at Gunther.Wehrman@va.gov.
Melissa Bigham, PharmD
Melissa Bigham graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Pharmacy in 2014. Subsequently, she completed her PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency with VA Eastern Kansas Healthcare System. Dr. Bigham now serves as a geriatric clinical pharmacist at VAEKHCS – Leavenworth working with residents of the Community Living Center and as a member of the geriatric primary care (Geri-PACT) team. She supplements her clinical role with involvement in the Dementia Steering Committee and the Community Living Center’s Quality Committee. Dr. Bigham was also a contributing author for a chapter on Human Microbiome and Aging in Nutrition and Functional Foods for Healthy Aging. Melissa co-precepts for the Drug Information & Teaching rotation and may be contacted at Melissa.Bigham@va.gov
Nicole Snyder, PharmD
Nicole Snyder currently assists with precepting pharmacy practice residents as a part of the acute care experience. Dr. Snyder graduated from University of Kansas School of Pharmacy in 2020. She completed her residency at VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2021 and has remained on staff since. Dr. Snyder may be contacted via e-mail at Nicole.email@example.com
Gregory Burger, PharmD, CPPS, FASHP, EMT
Gregory Burger currently serves as the Pharmacy Program Quality Manager at the Leavenworth Campus. Previously he was the Accreditation/Performance Improvement Manager with the Quality Dept. at the University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus (Topeka, KS). Prior, he worked as a Medication Safety Coordinator (Stormont Vail Health, Topeka) and Clinical Pharmacist focusing on medication safety (Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence) for 30+ years of healthcare experience. He is a charter member of the Kansas Council of Health-System Pharmacists (president, 2014-2015); Fellow of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (2018); past Chair of the ASHP Inpatient Care Practitioners Executive Committee (2020-2021); a consultant to the FDA’s Drug Safety and Mitigation Committee (2016-2022); and one of the few pharmacists in Kansas to become a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS)(2013-present).
During his career, Dr. Burger has provided leadership on multiple patient safety projects, including the development of a smart pump “library” for hospital infusion pumps and refinement of the computerized physician order entry system. He has lectured extensively at regional, state, and national healthcare conferences. He is currently an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor at KU, where he developed and has taught an elective course on medication safety for the past 10 years. Dr. Burger received the KCHP Legacy Award at the 2021 KCHP Annual Meeting.
In addition to his leadership and service roles in multiple professional organizations, Dr. Burger also volunteers closer to home as a first responder in the Consolidated Fire/EMS district for rural Douglas County, KS. He is Kansas registered Emergency Medical Technician and holds certificates in Firefighter I/II and HazMat Operations. In his free time, he enjoys trail running and holds the distinction of completing 50+ marathon in the past 25 years – including several 100-mile races. Gregory’s unusual spelling can be explained here: https://www.ismp.org/tools/tallmanletters.pdf
Lara Kennedy, PharmD, BCACP
Lara Kennedy works as a Clinical Pharmacist practicing on the Leavenworth Campus. Dr. Kennedy earned her PharmD from South Dakota State University in 2004. She worked at the Minneapolis VAMC and Kansas City VAMC prior to staffing at Leavenworth VAMC. Dr. Kennedy currently precepts pharmacy practice residents for the acute care experience. She may be contacted via e-mail at Lara.Kennedy@va.gov.
Tracy Jo (TJ) McCombs, PharmD, PhD
TJ McCombs serves as the Associate Chief of Pharmacy Operations at VAEKHCS. She has previously worked as a clinical pharmacy specialist and assistant clinical coordinator for St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City. Dr. McCombs precepts residents for the pharmacy leadership and administration rotation. She may be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Potter, PharmD, BCPS
Emily Potter is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in infectious disease and antimicrobial stewardship. Dr. Potter graduated from the Saint Louis College of Pharmacy earning her PharmD in 2010. Subsequently, she completed her PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Via-Christi Health Care in Wichita, KS. In 2011 she took a clinical pharmacist position at Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Internal Medicine/Critical Care with a focus on Infectious Disease where she earned BCPS certification in 2012. In 2015, she took a position as the Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Infectious Disease/Antimicrobial Stewardship at the VAEKHCS. She is actively involved in local, VISN, and National Antimicrobial Stewardship Committees. Dr. Potter is actively involved in research and serves as a KCVA Institutional Review Board member and Chairs Eastern Kansas’ Research and Development Committee. Dr. Potter has recent publications in Enterococcal Bloodstream Infections and Antimicrobial Stewardship. Dr. Potter precepts the Infectious Disease/Antimicrobial Stewardship elective and coordinates the residency research rotation. She can be contacted via email at email@example.com.
Debbie Reynolds, PharmD
Debbie Flores Reynolds serves as the Pharmacy Operations Manager for the VA Eastern Kansas—Leavenworth campus. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. She joined VAEKHS in 2018 after a career in retail pharmacy. Dr. Reynolds’s precepts residents for the pharmacy operations rotation. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roselle Schanker, PharmD
Roselle (Pinky) Schanker serves as the Associate Chief of Clinical Pharmacy at VAEKHCS, Leavenworth division. Dr. Schanker received her PharmD degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 1995 and completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at the VA hospital in Columbia, Missouri. She came to Leavenworth in 1997 and previously worked in Ambulatory Care, Home Based Primary Care and Long-Term Care. Dr. Schanker precepts residents for the pharmacy leadership and administration rotation. She may be contacted via email at email@example.com.
Dorothy Williams, PharmD, BCPP
Dorothy Williams is a Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner in psychiatry. Dr. Williams earned her PharmD from the University of Kansas in 2007. She subsequently completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at Shawnee Mission Medical Center in 2008, after which she stayed on to work as an inpatient behavioral health clinical pharmacist. She joined VA Eastern Kansas HCS in 2014 as a behavioral health clinical pharmacist within the outpatient mental health clinic. She earned her BCPP certification in 2012. Dr. Williams currently works as a behavioral health Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the Leavenworth Campus in the Domiciliary where she practices as an advanced practice provider with a scope-of-practice. Dr. Williams is involved in the Substance Use Disorder Clinical Care Committee for EKHCS and has publications on topics involving psychotropic medications. Dr. Williams may be contacted at Dorothy.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Benefits / Eligibility
- Health and life insurance
- 13 days of sick leave
- 13 days of paid-time-off
- Paid administrative leave for conferences and educational events
- 9 Paid federal holidays
- Competitive stipend
- Free parking
- United States Citizen
- Pharm.D. degree from a school of pharmacy accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE)
- Be licensed or eligible for licensure as a pharmacist in any U.S. state.
About Topeka, Lawrence & Leavenworth Kansas
The Colmery-O’Neil VA is in Topeka, Kansas just 25 miles west of Lawrence and 66 miles west of Kansas City. The Dwight D. Eisenhower VA is in Leavenworth, Kansas just 35 miles east of Lawrence and 30 miles northwest of Kansas City. There is plenty to do in the Topeka, Lawrence, Leavenworth and Kansas City as well as the surrounding areas. Overall, it is a great place for people of all ages.
Brown vs. Board Historical Museum
Combat Air Museum
Local restaurants and bars
Multiple parks and trails
Topeka Performing Arts Center
Topeka Zoological Parks
Washburn University athletics
Art in the Park
Bicycle friendly community
Dole Institute of Politics Museum
Home of the University of Kansas
Local boutiques and shops
Multiple parks and trails
Natural History Museum
Spencer Museum of Art
University of Kansas athletics
Residency Program Director:
Katie Foster, PharmD, MS, FCCM, FASHP, KCHP
785-350-3111 Ext: 52637
785-350-3111 Ext. 54326
785-350-3111 Ext. 54404