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Pharmacy Residency Program

PGY-1 Program Purpose: PGY-1 pharmacy residency programs build on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and outcomes to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions, eligible for board certification, and eligible for postgraduate year two (PGY-2) pharmacy residency training.

West entrance of Louisville VA Medical Center

Robley Rex VAMC PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency

The Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program, located in Louisville, Kentucky, began in 2010 and is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). We offer a variety of rotations covering acute care and ambulatory care services. Our residents interact with other residents across the Commonwealth of Kentucky by participating in the Kentucky Pharmacy Residency Network (KPRN). The VA is the largest pharmacy residency program in the country. Our residents also interact with other VA residents across the country by participating in monthly resident conference calls and utilizing the VA Pharmacy Residency Listserv.

Wheelchair Games held in Louisville, KY

Our Facility

The Robley Rex VAMC is located in Louisville, Kentucky, near downtown Louisville and overlooking the Ohio River, and is part of the VISN 9 VA Healthcare Network. The facility provides specialized hospital-based care with our 109-bed acute care facility as well as outpatient care to more than 150,000 Veterans residing in central and western Kentucky and in southern Indiana. Located within the medical center is the Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP) facility which provides Veterans with an intensive substance abuse treatment program in a residential setting. In addition to our medical center at the main campus, we offer a number of services to our patients in eight outpatient healthcare centers located in the Kentuckiana area. The hospital is a tertiary care facility and provides a full range of patient care services, with state-of-the-art technology, as well as education and research.  These services include medical, surgical, emergency and critical care, and home care/home based primary care; primary, secondary and tertiary cancer treatment; primary care; hospice and palliative care; women's healthcare; outpatient and inpatient mental health services, among others.

VA Pride

Residency Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Number of Positions: 3
  • Application Deadline: January 3rd
  • Starting Date: approximately July 1st

Benefits

  • Stipend
  • 9 paid holidays (residents work 2 minor holidays)
  • 13 paid vacation days (4 hours accrued per pay period)
  • 13 sick days (4 hours accrued per pay period)
  • Dual appointment
  • Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB)

Residency Strengths

  • Flexible rotation schedule
  • Acute care and ambulatory care opportunities
  • Pharmacist prescribing authority
  • Interdisciplinary team member
  • Mentorship
  • Student co-precepting
  • Strong academic affiliation with the University of Louisville College of Medicine

Networking Opportunities and Clinical Meetings

  • ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting
  • Great Lakes Pharmacy Residency Conference
  • Kentucky Pharmacy Residency Network (KPRN)
  • Affiliated with Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, and Purdue University College of Pharmacy
Health Fair

Learning Experiences

Core Learning Experiences (1-month each)

  • Orientation (4-6 weeks)
  • Ambulatory Care – PACT I & II (2 months total)
    • Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) – 1 or 2 months
    • Geriatric Patient Aligned Care Team (Geri-PACT) – optional 2nd month
  • Anticoagulation
    • Inpatient and Outpatient Anticoagulation
  • Geriatrics (2 of the following):
    • Geriatric Ambulatory Care – Geri-PACT
    • Home Based Primary Care (HBPC)
    • Hospice/Palliative Care and Acute Care for Elderly
  • Internal Medicine I & II (2 months total)
  • Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)
  • Practice Management

Elective Learning Experiences (1-month each)

  • Academic Detailing
  • Geriatric Ambulatory Care – Geri-PACT
  • Home Based Primary care (HBPC)
  • Hospice/Palliative Care and Acute Care for the Elderly
  • Infectious Disease
  • Inpatient Mental Health
  • Oncology
  • Outpatient Mental Health
  • Pain Management and Opioid Stewardship
  • Pharmacy Informatics
  • Research
  • Substance Use Disorders
  • VISN Pharmacy Informatics/Pharmacoeconomics
  • Repeat of core learning experiences

Longitudinal Learning Experiences

  • Practice Management
    • Clinical Pharmacy Practice Council (CPPC)
    • Drug class review/Local Criteria for Use, Monograph, Treatment Guidelines and/or Protocols
    • Medication Safety Committee
    • Medication Use Evaluation Project
    • Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee
    • Pharmacoeconomics/Formulary Management
    • Practice Improvement Projects
    • Quarterly Pharmacy Newsletter
  • Research/Quality Improvement Project
  • Teaching Certificate Program
  • Inpatient Clinical Staffing (e.g., 1 weekend/month, 2 evenings/month)

Certification Opportunities

  • Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) Training
  • Lean Thinking Certification (White Belt, Yellow Belt, Green Belt Training)
  • Teaching Certificate through Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
COPHS Building Photo

Learning Experience Descriptions

Academic Detailing
Academic detailing (AD) is an innovative method of educational outreach for healthcare professionals. It supports improved clinical decision-making by fostering one-on-one interaction between healthcare professionals and trained academic detailers to communicate the latest evidence-based clinical data. The resident will actively participate on the AD service, in collaboration with the AD pharmacist. A target prescribing practice will be identified based on departmental and/or national/regional goals. The resident will help develop initiatives and formulate an academic detailing plan to address gaps in knowledge that may facilitate prescribing change. The resident will perform a baseline prescribing assessment, develop educational efforts to address findings, implement education efforts, and measure prescribing patterns following implementation.

Ambulatory Care – PACT
The Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) is a team of healthcare professionals that provides comprehensive and personalized primary care in partnership with the patient. The PACT pharmacist is consulted to provide management for chronic conditions. The resident will perform medical chart review, patient interview and assessment, order and review lab tests, and provide physician consultation. The resident will evaluate patients, monitor response to treatment, and make changes in therapy as needed in collaboration with the PACT pharmacist. The resident will gain proficiency in common chronic disease states and consensus guidelines that include, but are not limited to diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, smoking cessation, thyroid disorders, COPD/asthma, and osteoporosis.

Anticoagulation
During this learning experience, the resident will gain a better understanding of disease states and pharmacotherapy as it relates to adult anticoagulation both in an inpatient and outpatient setting. The resident will develop skills in assessment and monitoring of disease states, gain experience in pharmacist managed clinics, and collaborate with providers regarding drug therapy. The resident will also provide patient education regarding pharmacotherapy and make interventions to improve medication adherence. For patients taking warfarin, the resident will order and assess labs, interview the patient, and adjust the regimen as needed in collaboration with the anticoagulation and internal medicine clinical pharmacist practitioners. For patients taking direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC), the resident will review DOAC consults, provide patient education, will order and assess labs as needed, and conduct follow-up as appropriate.

Geriatric Ambulatory Care – Geri-PACT
The Geriatric Patient Aligned Care Team (Geri-PACT) provides comprehensive primary care services to elderly patients with a focus on reducing polypharmacy, falls risk, and managing other geriatric syndromes. This learning experience will give the resident an understanding of common disease states and associated treatments encountered in the geriatric patient. The resident will interview patients in clinic and collaborate with other disciplines to optimize medication regimens. During patient appointments, the resident will perform medication reconciliation, assess for efficacy of medications, and provide education to patient/caregiver(s). The resident will present the findings and recommendations to the provider.

Home Based Primary Care (HBPC)
This rotation will emphasize the application of therapeutics in the geriatric patient and require the resident to develop skills in proper drug therapy selection, assessment and monitoring, and patient/staff education. The resident will collaborate with the HBPC pharmacist as part of the interdisciplinary team (includes PT/OT, social worker, dietician, nursing, provider, psychologist, etc.) which provides comprehensive primary care to patients in a home-based setting. The resident will respond to clinical questions and perform initial and quarterly medication reviews for assigned patients enrolled in HBPC. The resident may have the opportunity to perform home visits for HBPC patients and/or lead virtual disease state management visits with patients. 

Hospice/Palliative Care and Acute Care for the Elderly
This rotation is designed to give the resident an understanding of disease states and the associated treatment encountered in the acute care geriatric and hospice/palliative care patient. The resident will participate in daily multidisciplinary rounds on patients admitted to the inpatient hospice unit as well as patients on other inpatient units that have an Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) consult or a palliative care consult. ACE team rounds are attended by the ACE team attending physician, physician assistants, and Coordinated Transitional Care (C-TraC) care managers. Hospice/palliative team rounds are attended by the hospice/palliative attending physician, physician assistants, social worker, psychologist, and chaplain. This rotation will stress the application of therapeutics in the care of patients 65 years of age or older and patients with life-limiting illness and require the resident to develop skills in proper drug therapy selection, patient monitoring, and patient/staff education.

Infectious Disease
This experience involves the provision of patient care for hospitalized patients receiving antimicrobial therapy. The resident will round daily with the infectious disease (ID) team (i.e., attending physician, ID fellow, medical students) on ID consult patients. The resident will make recommendations on selection and dosing of antimicrobial agents, evaluate for potential drug interactions or contraindications, and monitor labs/vitals to evaluate for efficacy and toxicity of antimicrobial therapies. In addition, the resident will participate in antimicrobial stewardship for the facility by performing pre-authorization and prospective audit with feedback to ensure that antimicrobials are used appropriately in the institution.

Inpatient Mental Health
This rotation will develop the resident's knowledge and skills in the treatment of psychiatric diagnoses and comorbid medical disorders. The resident will make recommendations during daily interdisciplinary treatment team meeting (includes attending psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and others). The team provides care for patients suffering from an acute psychiatric episode. The resident will also conduct patient education classes on various mental health diagnoses and associated treatments for patients admitted to the psychiatric unit. The resident will complete discharge medication reconciliation for team patients. In addition, the resident will be involved in patient care in the outpatient setting through completion of mental health pharmacist e-consults and participation in the VA national Psychotropic Drug Safety Initiative, among other activities.  

Internal Medicine
The internal medicine (IM) rotation will provide the resident experience in managing pharmacotherapy of acutely ill patients. On this rotation, the resident will be responsible for rounding daily with the assigned internal medicine team (i.e., attending physician, medical residents/interns/students). The resident will work toward assuming care of all patients on the team throughout the learning experience. Assuming full ownership on the team entails following pharmacotherapy and making appropriate recommendations as well as managing pharmacokinetic and anticoagulation dosing for patients assigned to the team in collaboration with the IM pharmacist. The resident will also be responsible for completing discharge medication reconciliation for team patients.

Medical Intensive Care Unit
The medical intensive care unit (MICU) rotation will provide the resident experience in managing pharmacotherapy of critically ill patients. The resident will be exposed to a variety of both acute and chronic general medicine disease states requiring a higher, intensive level of care. The resident will participate in the comprehensive care of MICU patients from admission to discharge which includes attending daily interdisciplinary rounds with the MICU team (i.e., attending physician, critical care fellow, medical residents/interns/students). The resident will recommend appropriate evidence based therapeutic interventions during rounds as well as manage pharmacokinetic and anticoagulation dosing for critical care patients in collaboration with the MICU pharmacist. 

Oncology
In this learning experience, the resident will develop clinical skills in providing pharmaceutical care to hematology and oncology patients. The resident will take responsibility and function as the oncology pharmacotherapy consultant for nursing staff, attending physicians, nurse practitioners, medical fellows, and pharmacy staff. The resident will participate in patient education and assessment, management of medication adverse effects, management of oral anticancer treatment, patient care consultation, staff education, and medication therapy review. The resident will gain knowledge of oncology disease states, treatment guidelines and resources, chemotherapy regimen assessment, supportive care of the oncology patient, policy development, laboratory value interpretation, medication order review, and hazardous medication preparation and dispensing.

Outpatient Mental Health
This rotation will develop the resident's knowledge and skills in the treatment of psychiatric diagnoses in the outpatient setting. The resident, working under the scope of practice of the preceptor, will see Veterans independently and address their psychiatric medication management needs. The resident will also participate and make recommendations for assigned patients to the behavioral health interdisciplinary program (BHIP) treatment team huddles (including psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, psychiatric residents, nurses, social workers, psychologists). The resident will be responsible for drug information questions that arise during team meetings and through e-consult service.  In addition, the resident will be responsible for mental health (MH) prior authorization drug requests as assigned. The resident is expected to shadow and/or participate in committee meetings, including but not limited to the VA national Psychotropic Drug Safety Initiative, BHIP facility meetings, and the CPPO MH Subject Matter Expert (SME) Workgroup.

Pain Management and Opioid Stewardship
This combined rotation will introduce the resident to the general principles of outpatient pain care and the implementation of health system-wide efforts to improve opioid safety. Preceptors are the Pain Medication Management Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner and the Facility Pain Management, Opioid Safety, and PDMP (PMOP) Coordinator. The resident shall gain practical experience and a better understanding of how to manage pain in Veterans with various chronic pain conditions, including, but not limited to, lumbar radiculopathy, neuropathy, and arthritis.  The resident will assist the Pain Management Team in patient education and comprehensive assessments of medication(s) used for pain management. Additional resident responsibilities and learning experiences will include participation in facility or VISN meetings related to pain management and opioid safety, recommendation of non-pharmacologic methods for reducing pain, providing naloxone education, reconciliation of medications, review of clinical dashboards to promote safe and effective medication use, and development of educational materials and/or delivery of in-services to Pain Management Clinic or other departments, among other responsibilities. The trainee will also become familiar with the concept of the biopsychosocial model and VA Stepped Care Model of pain care and VHA’s efforts to provide risk mitigation for Veterans on opioid therapy.

Pharmacy Informatics
This elective learning experience is tailored to the interests of the resident.  Pharmacy Informatics topics include of data analysis, clinical decision support, pharmacy software maintenance and development, formulary management, and procurement.  Learning opportunities include orientation to electronic health record (EHR) data entry and maintenance, workflow assessment from provider ordering to administration of medications, and data/information management in each step of the medication process.  The resident will be expected to work independently, attend various meetings, and complete assigned projects.  Innovative solutions to formulary management and clinical tool development as well as application of the formulary will also be explored during this experience. 

Practice Management
This rotation will expose the resident to general administrative and clinical skills necessary to lead a complex tertiary care center with extensive inpatient, outpatient, and clinical pharmacy services. The rotation will provide the resident with insight into key issues confronting pharmacy practice, specifically from pharmacy leadership's perspective. The resident will attend meetings and work on assigned projects in order to develop knowledge and skills related to communication, decision making, productivity management, problem identification, problem solving, strategic planning, and policy development. The resident will also gain a general understanding of human resource management, financial management, labor relations and pharmacy regulations and law.

Substance Use Disorders
This learning experience will provide the resident with experience managing all aspects of pharmacotherapy for substance use disorders and associated mental health conditions. The resident will provide care for patients engaged in all levels of recovery – inpatient, residential, and ambulatory – on an interprofessional team including psychiatrists, psychologists, family medicine physicians, social workers, nurses, and peer counselors. The resident will evaluate patients, initiate therapy, monitor response to treatment, and make changes in therapy as needed, in collaboration with the SUD pharmacist. The resident will gain proficiency in treatments and guidelines for opioid and alcohol use disorders, harm reduction principles, and motivational interviewing/patient-led treatment plans.

VISN Pharmacy Informatics/Pharmacoeconomics
This elective rotation is tailored to the interests of the resident. Pharmacoeconomic learning opportunities include formulary management, medication use evaluations, clinical guidance updates/creation, therapeutic interchange management, contracting, cost analyses, and budget forecasting. Informatics learning opportunities include training in SQL and other data tools, data analysis, and clinical decision support. Additional learning opportunities include medication safety, quality improvement, compliance, and management. The resident will participate in various VISN committees and may work with staff at the VISN or other facilities to complete projects. While this virtual rotation contains no direct patient care, clinical skills will be utilized throughout the rotation.

Pharmacy group photo

Residency Preceptors

Jenny Armbrust, Pharm.D., BCGP

Jenny Armbrust, Pharm.D., BCGP
Rotation(s): Hospice/Palliative Care and Acute Care for the Elderly

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, West Lafayette, IN
Teaching Certificate, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy Teaching Certificate Program, Louisville, KY

Professional Experience
2009 – Present: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Geriatrics, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2001 – 2009: Clinical Manager/Consultant Pharmacist, Omnicare Pharmacies of Kentucky, Louisville, KY
1999 – 2001: Staff Pharmacist, Clark Memorial Hospital, Jeffersonville, IN

Clinical Practice Interests: Geriatrics, end of life care

Hobbies: Comedy, true crime, podcasts, reading, traveling/travel planning, food, animals (especially my mini schnauzer)


 

Brittany Baker, Pharm.D.

Brittany Baker, Pharm.D.
Rotation(s): 
Inpatient Clinical Staffing

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Norton Healthcare, Louisville, KY
Teaching Certificate, University of Kentucky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program, Lexington, KY

Professional Experience
2011 – Present: Inpatient Clinical Pharmacist, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: Pharmacy automation, process improvement, pharmacy policy, infectious disease, diabetes management

Hobbies: Baking, cake decorating, crafting, church, reading, college basketball, and family time


 

Amy D. Barras, Pharm.D., BCPS

Amy D. Barras, Pharm.D., BCPS
Rotation(s): Ambulatory Care (PACT), Orientation, Practice Management (Longitudinal)

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Belmont University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Nashville, TN
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
Teaching Certificate, University of Kentucky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program, Lexington, KY

Professional Experience
2015 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, PACT, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2014 – 2015: Clinical Pharmacist, Outpatient Pharmacy and Endocrinology, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: Chronic disease state management, diabetes, hypertension, pain management, women's health

Hobbies: Traveling, crafts, cooking, spending time with family and friends, church and working out


 

Lindsay Binns

Lindsey N. Binns, PharmD, BCPP
Rotation(s): Outpatient Mental Health

Education
Bachelor of Science in Chemistry/Biology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Master of Science in Chemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, Cincinnati, OH
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Edgewood, KY
Teaching Certificate, University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, Cincinnati, OH
PGY-2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency, Northeast Ohio VA Healthcare System, Cleveland, OH

Professional Experience
2021 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Mental Health, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2018 – 2021: PGY-2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency Program Director, VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend HCS, Corpus Christi, TX
2019 – 2021: Clinical Pharmacy Manager, Mental Health, VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend HCS, Corpus Christi, TX
2017 – 2021: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, BHIP, VA Texas Valley Coastal Bend HCS, Corpus Christi, TX
2013 – 2017: Clinical Pharmacist, Mental Health, Southern Arizona VA Healthcare System, Tucson, AZ

Clinical Practice Interests: Mental Health, Substance Use Disorders, process improvement, teaching/precepting

Hobbies: Swimming, reading, spending time with kids, skincare, fashion/shoes, television/movies


Jiahui (Jasmin) Chen, Pharm.D., BCACP, BCGP

Jiahui (Jasmin) Chen, Pharm.D., BCACP, BCGP
Rotation(s): Geriatric Ambulatory Care (Geri-PACT)

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY 
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Professional Experience
2023 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Geri-PACT, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2019 – 2023: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Anticoagulation and Geri-PACT, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2015 – 2019: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Anticoagulation, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2011 – 2015: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, PACT, VA Northern Indiana Health Care System, Muncie, IN

Clinical Practice Interests: Geriatrics, anticoagulation

Hobbies: Traveling, cooking & baking, reading, crafts


 

Dustin W. Darnall, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS
Rotation(s): Ambulatory Care (PACT)

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, Louisville, KY
Master of Business Administration, Sullivan University, Louisville, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY

Professional Experience
2015 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, PACT, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2014 – 2015: Inpatient/Outpatient Clinical Pharmacist, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: Diabetes, hypertension, obesity/weight loss

Hobbies: Family, exercise, personal finance, traveling, reading, all things sports (GO CATS!!)


 

Melissa Dragoo

Melissa Dragoo, Pharm.D., BCPS
Rotation(s): Pharmacy Informatics

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, West Lafayette, IN
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, St. Louis University Hospital, St. Louis, MO

Professional Experience
2017 – Present:  Pharmacy Informaticist/CAC, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2005 – 2017:  Clinical Pharmacist/CAC, Sacramento VA Medical Center, Sacramento, CA
2003 – 2005:  Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Drake University, Des Moines, IA
2003 – 2005:  Internal Medicine Clinical Pharmacist, Broadlawns Medical Center, Des Moines, IA

Clinical Practice Interests: Informatics, Data Analytics

Hobbies:  Family, cooking/baking, crafts


 

Julie Edwards

Julia (Julie) Edwards, Pharm.D., BCACP
Rotation(s):
Pain Management and Opioid Stewardship

Education
Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics Education, Biology Minor, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Master of Arts in Secondary Education, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Asheville VA Medical Center, Asheville, NC

Professional Experience
2022 – Present: Facility PMOP Coordinator (Pain Management, Opioid Safety, and PDMP), Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2017 – 2022: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, PACT, Carl Vinson VA Medical Center—Brunswick CBOC, Brunswick, GA
2016 – 2017: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Pain Management, Beckley VA Medical Center, Beckley, WV

Clinical Practice Interests: Opioid Safety, Pain Management, Lifestyle Interventions, Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Hobbies: Time with my family, traveling, reading, cooking, camping


 

Mallory Eley, Pharm.D., BCACP

Mallory Eley, Pharm.D., BCACP
Rotation(s): Ambulatory Care (PACT)

Education
Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Doctor of Pharmacy, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, Louisville, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Sullivan University/The Center for Health and Wellness, Louisville, KY
Teaching Certificate, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy Teaching Certificate Program, Louisville, KY

Professional Experience
2019 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, PACT, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2017 – 2019: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, PACT, Bowling Green VA Outpatient Clinic, Bowling Green, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: Diabetes, anticoagulation, infectious disease

Hobbies: Traveling, baking, reading, playing with my dog, spending time with family, movies


 

Holly A. Embree, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCGP

Holly A. Embree, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCGP
Rotation(s): Home Based Primary Care (HBPC), Orientation, Practice Management (Longitudinal)

Education
Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, University of Kentucky College of Public Health, Lexington, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
Teaching Certificate, University of Kentucky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program, Lexington, KY

Professional Experience
2023 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, HBPC, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2016 – 2023: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, HBPC and Geri-PACT, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: Geriatrics, palliative care, mental health, teaching/precepting

Hobbies: Tennis, pickle ball, pets, board games, hiking, traveling


 

Bill Frizzell, Pharm.D., BCACP

Bill Frizzell, Pharm.D., BCACP
Rotation(s): Practice Management

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy with Honors, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Primary Care, James A. Haley VA Medical Center, Tampa, FL

Professional Experience
2020 – Present: Associate Chief, Clinical Pharmacy Programs, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2019 – 2020: Pharmacoeconomics Program Manager, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2017 – 2019: Clinical Pharmacist Specialist, PACT, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2012 – 2016: Clinical Pharmacist Specialist, Diabetes, ESA and Antiarrhythmic Clinics, Orlando VA Medical Center, Viera, FL
2009 – 2012: Clinical Pharmacist, PACT, Orlando VA Medical Center, Viera, FL
2007 – 2008: Clinical Pharmacist, Home Based Primary Care, Orlando VA Medical Center, Viera, FL
2004 – 2006: Manager of Pharmacy Technology, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Lakeland, FL
2000 – 2004: Pharmacy Technical Specialist, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Lakeland, FL
1998 – 2000: Pharmacy Manager, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Indian Harbor Beach, FL
1997 – 1998: Assistant Pharmacy Manager, Publix Super Markets, Inc., North Port, FL

Clinical Practice Interests: Practice expansion, education and training, process improvement, diabetes management 

Hobbies: Biking, hiking, traveling, spending time with family and friends


 

Sabrina K. Haskell, Pharm.D., MBA

Sabrina K. Haskell, Pharm.D., MBA
Rotation(s): Internal Medicine

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
Master of Business Administration, University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics, Lexington, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Lexington VA Health Care System, Lexington, KY
PGY-2 Internal Medicine Pharmacy Residency, Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI
Teaching Certificate, University of Kentucky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program, Lexington, KY

Professional Experience
2019 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Internal Medicine, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: Internal medicine, anticoagulation, critical care, cardiology

Hobbies: Riding horses, outdoors activities (kayaking, hiking/backpacking), crafting, reading


 

Matthew D. Hellman, Pharm.D.

Matthew D. Hellman, Pharm.D.
Rotation(s): Ambulatory Care (PACT)

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Lexington VA Health Care System, Lexington, KY
Teaching Certificate, University of Kentucky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program, Lexington, KY

Professional Experience
2021 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, PACT, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2020 – 2021: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, PACT, Alexandria VA Medical Center, Pineville, LA

Clinical Practice Interests: Chronic disease state management, internal medicine, infectious disease

Hobbies: Family, reading, hiking, hunting, tabletop games


 

Jessica Johnson, Pharm.D.

Jessica Johnson, Pharm.D.
Rotation(s): Substance Use Disorders

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, Louisville, KY

Professional Experience
2020 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Substance Use Disorders, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2019 – 2020: Director of Pharmacy Education, Kentucky Pharmacists Association, Frankfort, KY
2015 – 2018: Manager of Outpatient Pharmacy Services and Clinical Pharmacist, University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: SUD medication management, harm reduction, public health, access to care

Hobbies: Cycling, reading, games, time outdoors with family (hiking, camping, kayaking)


 

Colleen Lewellyan

Colleen Lewellyan, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS
Rotation(s): VISN Pharmacy Informatics/Pharmacoeconomics

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI
Master of Business Administration, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, Tampa, FL
PGY-2 Pharmacy Outcomes and Healthcare Analytics, Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 15, Kansas City, MO
Teaching Certificate, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Kansas City, MO

Professional Experience
2022 – Present: Deputy VISN Pharmacy Executive/Pharmacoeconomics Program Manager, VISN 9 – MidSouth Healthcare Network, Nashville, TN
2020 – 2022: Pharmacoeconomics and Medication Safety Program Manager, Kansas City VA Medical Center, Kansas City, MO
2020 – 2020: Pharmacoeconomics and Quality Assurance Program Manager, VA St. Louis Healthcare System, St. Louis, MO

Clinical Practice Interests: Pharmacoeconomics, data analytics, medication safety, process improvement, informatics, diabetes, heart failure

Hobbies: Hiking, traveling, being active, cooking, reading, hockey, music, dogs


 

Laura Limbrick, Pharm.D., BCPS

Laura Limbrick, Pharm.D., BCPS
Rotation(s): Anticoagulation (Outpatient)

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, McWhorter School of Pharmacy of Samford University, Birmingham, AL
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Tennessee Valley VA Healthcare System, Nashville, TN

Professional Experience
2019 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Anticoagulation, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2015 – 2019: Staff Pharmacist, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2010 – 2015: Medication Reconciliation Pharmacist, Tennessee Valley VA Healthcare System, Nashville, TN
2009 – 2010: Staff Pharmacist, Tennessee Valley VA Healthcare System, Nashville, TN

Clinical Practice Interests: Anticoagulation, geriatrics, medication reconciliation

Hobbies: Family time, reading, cooking


 

Leigh Ann Luckett, Pharm.D., BCPS

Leigh Ann Luckett, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCGP
Rotation(s): Anticoagulation (Outpatient)

Education
Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
Certified Diabetes Educator, National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators, 2012-2017

Professional Experience
2000 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Anticoagulation, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2012 – 2016: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Medication Therapy Management, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
1994 – 2000: Staff Pharmacist, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: Anticoagulation, cardiology, diabetes, geriatrics

Hobbies: Traveling, running, skiing, paddle boarding, cooking, reading


 

Ashley McGee

Ashley McGee, Pharm.D., MBA, BCOP
Rotation(s): Oncology

Education
Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Doctor of Pharmacy, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, Louisville, KY
Master of Business Administration, Sullivan University, Louisville, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY

Professional Experience
2022 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Oncology, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville KY
2013 – 2022: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Oncology, North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System, Gainesville, FL

Clinical Practice Interests: Oncology, hematology, supportive care, oral oncolytic therapy

Hobbies: Cut flower gardening, Pilates, travel, reading, fostering/rescuing huskies


 

Leah Michael, Pharm.D.

Leah Michael, Pharm.D.
Rotation(s): Ambulatory Care (PACT)

Education
Bachelor of Science in Biology, Alice Lloyd College, Pippa Passes, KY
Doctor of Pharmacy, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, Louisville, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center, Huntington, WV
Teaching Certificate, Marshall University, Huntington, WV

Professional Experience
2023 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, PACT, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2022 – Present: Adjunct Faculty, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Louisville, KY
2021 – 2023: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Internal Medicine, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2017 – 2021: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, PACT, Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center, Huntington, WV

Clinical Practice Interests: Chronic disease state management, cardiology, diabetes, academia, teaching/precepting

Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, outdoors activities, cooking, traveling, and being active


 

Caroline Powers

Caroline Powers, Pharm.D., BCIDP
Rotation(s): Infectious Disease

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Prisma Health Richland, Columbia, SC
PGY-2 Infectious Diseases Pharmacy Residency, St. Louis VA Health Care System, St. Louis, MO
Teaching Certificate, South Carolina College of Pharmacy, Columbia, SC

Professional Experience
2022 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Antimicrobial Stewardship, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2020 – 2022: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Infectious Diseases, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA

Clinical Practice Interests: Antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial resistance

Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, trying new restaurants, traveling


 

William Reesor, Pharm.D., BCPS

William Reesor, Pharm.D., BCPS
Rotation(s): MICU

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
Teaching Certificate, University of Kentucky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program, Lexington, KY

Professional Experience
2019 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Critical Care, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2015 – 2019: Hepatitis C/Inpatient Clinical Pharmacist, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: Teaching/precepting, critical care, infectious disease, internal medicine

Hobbies: Running and cooking


 

Ellyn Schill, Pharm.D., BCPS

Ellyn Schill, Pharm.D., BCPS
Rotation(s): Internal Medicine

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy with honors, Creighton University, Omaha, NE
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA

Professional Experience
2021 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Internal Medicine, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2018 – 2020: Clinical Inpatient Pharmacist, Norton Audubon Hospital, Louisville, KY
2015 – 2018: Internal Medicine Specialist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
2010 – 2015: Labor and Delivery Specialist/Internal Medicine Unit based Pharmacist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
2008 – 2010: Clinical Pharmacist Float, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA

Clinical Practice Interests: Medication Safety, precepting, women’s health, internal medicine

Hobbies: Baking, tennis, traveling, dogs, home decorating, reading


 

Maria Shin, Pharm.D., BCGP, BCPS

Maria Shin, Pharm.D., BCGP, BCPS
Rotation(s): Internal Medicine, Anticoagulation (Inpatient), Research/Quality Improvement Project

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Rutgers University School of Pharmacy, New Brunswick, NJ
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, New York City, NY
PGY-2 Geriatrics Pharmacy Residency, Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock, AR

Professional Experience
2020 – Present: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Louisville, KY
2010 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Internal Medicine, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2010 – 2019: Assistant Professor, Sullivan University College of Pharmacy, Louisville, KY

Clinical Practice Interests: Anticoagulation, geriatrics, academia, research

Hobbies: Tennis, reading, KDrama, spending time with family


 

Morgan Snyder, Pharm.D., BCPP

Morgan Snyder, Pharm.D., BCPP
Rotation(s): Inpatient Mental Health

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Seton Healthcare and UT Austin College of Pharmacy, Austin, TX
PGY-2 Psychiatry Specialty Pharmacy Residency, UT Austin College of Pharmacy, Austin, TX

Professional Experience
2015 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Mental Health, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2013 – 2015: Inpatient Clinical Pharmacist, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2012 – 2013: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Mental Health, William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center, Columbia, SC

Clinical Practice Interests: Inpatient/adult acute care mental health, substance use disorders

Hobbies: Running, reading, cooking, camping, traveling (prior to kids), Netflix


 

Amanda Sturges

Amanda Sturges, Pharm.D., BCPS
Rotation(s): Home Based Primary Care (HBPC)

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, West Lafayette, IN
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
Teaching Certificate, University of Kentucky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program, Lexington, KY

Professional Experience
2019 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, HBPC, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2017 – 2019: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Anticoagulation, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2015 – 2017:  Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, PACT/Anticoagulation, Lebanon VA Medical Center, Lebanon, PA

Clinical Practice Interests: Anticoagulation, endocrinology, geriatrics, primary care

Hobbies: Reading, traveling, gardening, cooking, and biking


 

Christy Taylor, Pharm.D., BCPS

Christy Taylor, Pharm.D., BCPS
Rotation(s): Academic Detailing

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, University of Kentucky Community Pharmacy Residency
Teaching Certificate, University of Kentucky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program, Lexington, KY

Professional Experience
2015 – Present: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Academic Detailing, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2009 – 2015: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, HBPC, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2008 – 2009: Staff Pharmacist, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2008: Staff Pharmacist, Kroger Pharmacy, Shepherdsville, KY
2006 – 2008: Clinical Staff Pharmacist, University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, Lexington, KY
2005 – 2006: Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY
2004 – 2005: Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy, Lexington, KY

Clinical Practice Interests:  Education, heart failure, suicide prevention

Hobbies: Traveling, sports, socializing with family and friends, community involvement


 

Jessica Wagner

Jessica Wagner, Pharm.D., BCPS
Rotation(s): Pain Management and Opioid Stewardship

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Purdue University College of Pharmacy, West Lafayette, IN
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center, Albuquerque, NM
Teaching Certificate, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Professional Experience

2022 – Present: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Pain Management, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2021 – 2022: Clinical Pharmacist Practitioner, Hospice/Palliative Care, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare, Nashville, TN
2019 – 2021: Clinical Pharmacist, Inpatient/Outpatient/Internal Medicine, VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare, Nashville, TN
2018 – 2019: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Geriatrics/Palliative Care, Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center, Albuquerque, NM

Clinical Practice Interests: Pain, hospice, palliative care, geriatrics

Hobbies: Traveling, Purdue basketball, reading, outdoors


Christina White, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS

Christina White, Pharm.D., MBA, BCPS
Rotation(s): Practice Management

Education
Doctor of Pharmacy, Butler University College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Indianapolis, IN
Master of Business Administration, Butler University Lacy School of Business, Indianapolis, IN
PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, IN
PGY-2 Health-System Pharmacy Administration & Leadership Residency, Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, IN
Teaching Certificate, Indiana Pharmacy Resident Teaching Certificate Program

Professional Experience
2020 – Present: Chief, Pharmacy Service, Robley Rex VA Medical Center, Louisville, KY
2011 – 2020: Associate Chief, Pharmacy Operations, Veteran Health Indiana, Indianapolis, IN
2009 – 2011: Business Manager, Pharmacy Recruitment & Retention Office, Pharmacy Benefits Management, Veterans Health Administration

Clinical Practice Interests: Pharmacy administration and leadership, process improvement, recruitment and retention, organizational development

Hobbies: Golf, traveling, volleyball, fishing, interior design, and Butler basketball


 

2023-2024 Residents

Meet our Residents

2023-2024 Residents

Regan Dean

Dr. Regan Dean is originally from Baton Rouge, LA. She completed her undergraduate prerequisites at the University of Kentucky from 2017-2019. She went on to complete her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Kentucky in 2023. While in pharmacy school, Regan was a leader in Future Pharmacists for Veterans, an organization dedicated to serving the veterans at the Lexington VA. She also served as Co-Chair of the Public Health Committee within KAPS. Her primary pharmacy interests are ambulatory care and special populations. Outside of pharmacy, Regan enjoys hiking, lifting, cooking new recipes, and eating at different restaurants in the Louisville area. She is excited to begin her career as a PGY-1 resident at the Robley Rex VAMC.


 

Brittany Dejarnett

Dr. Brittany DeJarnett is from Louisville, KY. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Louisville. After a career as a science teacher, she completed a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. During pharmacy school, she was actively involved in Rho Chi, Phi Lambda Sigma, APhA-ASP, and ASHP. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beautiful parks around Louisville with her husband and dog as well as baking and cooking, traveling, and reading. Her pharmacy interests include ambulatory care and cardiology. She is excited to begin her career as a PGY-1 resident at the Robley Rex VAMC.


 

Emma Stragand

Dr. Emma Stragand is from Pittsburgh, PA where she earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Pittsburgh in 2023. While in pharmacy school, Emma was part of the Geriatrics and Palliative Care Area of Concentration and was the president of her school’s chapter of the American Association of Psychiatric Pharmacy.  Her primary pharmacy interest areas are ambulatory care and geriatrics. In her free time, Emma enjoys traveling, reading, watching sports, and spending time with family and friends. She is excited to begin her pharmacy career as a PGY-1 resident at the Robley Rex VAMC. 


 

Past Residents

Total program graduates: 26

After completing PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency:

  • PGY-2 Pharmacy Residency: 8 (Ambulatory Care, Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine, Mental Health (3), Pharmacotherapy, Population Health Management and Data Analytics)
  • Current practice site/employed by VA: 20
  • Current clinical specialties include: Academia (2), Ambulatory Care – PACT (8), Community Care Pharmacy Program manager, Critical Care, Geriatrics (3), Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine (2), Mental Health (3), Oncology (2), Specialty Pharmacy Manager, Sterile Compounding Program Manager, Women's Health
Preceptor Group

Application and Contact Information

Application Procedure

The Robley Rex VAMC Pharmacy Residency Program utilizes the Pharmacy Online Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS). For more information: www.ashp.org/phorcas

Appointments to residency positions may be contingent upon the applicant satisfying certain employment eligibility requirements; see Checklist for VA Health Professions Trainees (HPTs) 

ASHP Residency Listing Information

Code: 52009
NMS Code: 185813

This residency agrees that no person at this residency will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any residency applicant.

Culturally and socially responsive practice is integral to the mission of our residency program at the Robley Rex VA Medical Center. We recognize the importance of acknowledging and supporting individual differences in our residents, and within relationships between our residents, staff, and patients. We work to identify, respect, and nurture the unique personal attributes that an individual brings to each relationship, and believe that fostering a culturally rich and diverse training environment is foundational to a strong residency program, and to nurturing pharmacists capable of providing culturally sensitive, socially responsive, and patient-centered care. To that end, we promote an awareness of, and sensitivity to, individual and cultural diversity identities across multiple settings during the residency through discussions during supervision, practice, seminars, and workshops.

Contact Information

Amy D. Barras, PharmD, BCPS
Residency Program Director
Email: Amy.barras1@va.gov

Holly A. Embree, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP
Residency Program Coordinator
Email: Holly.embree@va.gov

Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center
800 Zorn Avenue (119)
Louisville, KY 40206

Applicant Qualifications

  • Submit a complete application via PhORCAS WebAdmit
  • Pharm.D. from an ACPE-accredited college of pharmacy   
  • U.S. Citizen as required by the VA
  • Eligible for licensure in the U.S.
  • Academic transcripts from colleges of pharmacy attended
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letter of Intent
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in pharmacy curriculum (or passing level in each class/rotation for pass/fail grading system)
  • Three references using standardized form via PhORCAS
  • Formal interview to be arranged by residency director
  • Upon acceptance of the position the following must be submitted:
    • 10-2850d – Application for Associated Health Professions Trainees
    • OF 306 – Declaration for Federal Employment
    • SF61 – Appointment Affidavits
  • Licensure: The pharmacy resident is required to obtain a pharmacist license as defined by the Department of Veterans Affairs and ASHP. Resident will be licensed upon entry into the residency program if possible. If the resident is not licensed upon entry into the program, the resident is required to become licensed at the earliest possible date. Failure to obtain a license to practice pharmacy within 120 days of the start of the program will result in immediate dismissal from the program. Failure to attempt to become licensed at the earliest possible date is a serious violation of the intent of this policy and may also result in immediate dismissal. If a resident fails to obtain a license by the deadline through no fault of his/her/their own, individual circumstances may be considered. However, the residency program director and the Robley Rex VA Medical Center may still terminate the resident for failure to obtain a license by the stated deadline based on the needs of the facility and the residency program. If a resident is not licensed for at least 2/3rds (35 weeks) of the program, the resident will not receive a certificate. If the resident is not licensed within 120 days of starting the program, the options are termination, suspending the resident/pausing the program and restarting after licensure, or extending the program. Termination is the usual result of not being licensed within 120 days of starting the program. The potential to extend the program for up to 8 weeks or pause (suspend) the program for up to 8 weeks and restart after licensure so the resident is licensed for 2/3rds (35 weeks) of the program will only be considered under extenuating circumstances and must be recommended by the RPD and RAC and approved through the National VA Pharmacy Residency Program Office. This special consideration will only be extended to residents’ whose performance has been exceptionally good and no rankings of “needs improvement” in any area or on any objective. During a pause/suspension in the program, the resident will not receive a stipend or receive benefits. If an extension of the program is granted, the determination of a stipend for the extension will be decided by the National VA Pharmacy Residency Program Office and National VA Office of Academic Affairs. The resident should not expect a stipend for a program extension because it is possible that no stipend will be provided beyond the 52-week planned term of the residency. Licensure will be verified through the appropriate state licensing board website.

Policies and Procedures

Leave policy

Residents accumulate leave at a rate of 4 hours of sick leave (SL) and 4 hours of annual leave (AL) per pay period (26 pay periods/year).  There are 11 federal holidays.  Residents work 2 minor holidays and are granted 9 paid holidays.

Requests for use of AL are made through the VATAS system. Timing of requests and impact on learning experiences and completion of goals/objectives will be considered when approving/denying requests. The preceptor, RPD and residency coordinator must approval all requests for planned time off taking all of the above into consideration.

The accumulation of SL is to protect the resident from loss of pay during an illness. Excessive use of SL could negatively affect performance and the achievement of the goals of the residency. In the event that an extended sick or family leave is necessary, the facility will consider the arrangements on an individual case basis. VA policies will be followed. The Pharmacy Residency Program Director will advocate for the resident but will not excuse the resident from meeting the goals and objectives of the Pharmacy Residency or the ASHP requirements.

If a resident needs to use leave that has not been planned (e.g., SL), they must call the RPD, coordinator, and/or current preceptor who manages timecards according to policy. The resident must speak to at least one of these people. Voice messages, texts and e-mails are inadequate to alert RPD, coordinator or preceptor.  Along with notifying above, resident must all call the Louisville VA Pharmacy call-in line at 502-287-6947.  The resident must repeat this process for every day that he/she/they will be absent unless another arrangement has been made with the RPD or preceptor (i.e., emergency surgery requiring several days of leave).

The residency year is 52 weeks of work. The program is incomplete unless the time and all requirements for graduation are met. Per the ASHP Standards, an extension of the program would be required to complete the program if a resident exceeds 37 days of leave of any type including vacation time, sick time, holiday time, religious time, interview time, personal time, jury duty time, bereavement leave, military leave, parental leave, leave of absence, extended leave, conference, and education days. (See ASHP-Accreditation-Standard-for-PostgraduateResidency-Programs-effective-July-2023.pdf pages 5-6). A program extension will be equivalent in competencies and time missed.

Extended leave for the purpose of this residency program is defined as leave due to personal or family illness greater than 7 business days. If an extended absence occurs (i.e. extended family, sick leave or military leave, etc.), extension of the residency program may be necessary. If the resident’s need for leave exceeds the allotted sick leave (SL) and annual leave (AL) of 4 hours of each per pay period (104 hours of SL plus 104 hours of AL, total of 208 hours), an extension of the program would be required in order to complete the program if the resident's tracked hours do not meet the 2080 hour requirement. Opportunity to extend the program with pay will depend on the decision of the National Director of Residency Programs and Education. The RPD will also inform the Chief of Pharmacy of the potential extension. If extended leave is granted, a resident must use all earned leave prior to going on leave without pay (LWOP). LWOP would be in effect until the resident returned to the program. With an approved extension of the residency program, completion of all requirements of the residency and the number of days that exceeded the allotted leave must be accomplished within 1 year of the initially scheduled completion date (the date planned for completion if there had not been a need for extended leave). Therefore, the maximum time for LWOP would be 1 year. For military leave, veterans who are called to active duty may request an exemption from the National Director of Residency Programs and Education for the requirement to complete the 52 weeks within 1 year of the initially scheduled date of completion. Such exemption will be considered on an individual basis in collaboration with the local Residency Program Director if the veteran has been on active duty/military leave for the time of absence from the residency program.

Just as attendance is critical, so is adequate time away from the facility. To ensure adequate time off, this program complies with the ASHP standards and the ASHP duty hours regulations.

Duty-hour policy

Maximum Hours of Work per Week and Duty-Free Times:

  • Duty hours must be limited to 80 hours per week, averaged over a four-week period, inclusive of moonlighting hours.
  • Mandatory time free of duty: residents must have a minimum of one day in seven days free of duty (when averaged over four weeks).
  • Residents must have at a minimum 8 hours between scheduled duty periods
  • Continuous duty periods should not exceed 16 hours. The maximum allowable duty assignment must not exceed 24 hours even with built in strategic napping or other strategies to reduce fatigue and sleep deprivation, with an additional period of up to two hours permitted for transitions of care or educational activities.
  • Duty hours do NOT include reading, studying, and academic preparation time for presentations and journal clubs; travel time to and from conferences; and hours that are not required/scheduled by the residency program director or a preceptor.
  • Moonlighting hours (internal or external) must not interfere with the ability of the resident to achieve the educational goals and objectives of the residency program
  • All moonlighting hours must be counted towards the clinical experience and educational work 80-hour maximum weekly hour limit averaged over a four-week period and included in the tracking of hours

Requirements for successful completion of program

Residents are expected to satisfactorily complete all requirements of the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs Medical Center Residency Program. Only those residents who satisfactorily complete the requirements will receive their Residency Certificate as evidence of program completion. Evaluation of the resident’s progress in completing the requirements is done as part of the quarterly review process. The Residency Advisory Committee shall assess the ability of the resident to meet the requirements by established deadlines and work with the resident to assure their satisfactory completion. If a resident is failing to make satisfactory progress in any aspect of the residency program, the corrective action policy shall be used (please see corrective action/dismissal policy).

Required activities include but are not limited to the following:

  • Complete a minimum of 52 weeks of training with a full-time practice commitment
  • Complete all required core rotations and staffing requirements
  • Monthly P&T Committee meetings unless excused
  • Monthly CPPC/Clinical Pharmacist Staff Meetings unless excused
  • Conduct a resident research/quality improvement project with a completed manuscript suitable for publication
  • Complete a Medication Use Evaluation
  • Present at least one Journal Club
  • Present at least one Case-Based Presentation
  • Achieve a minimum of 80% of the goals and objectives of the program (all others must be Satisfactory Progress)
  • Completion of all evaluations in PharmAcademic including resident co-signs, self-evaluations, preceptor and learning experience evaluations

Submission of all required documents for graduation to RPD and coordinator

Residency-specific remediation/disciplinary policy

Residents are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times and to follow all relevant Hospital and Residency Program policies.

Disciplinary action will be taken if a resident:

  1. Does not present him/herself in a professional manner
  2. Does not earn satisfactory progress on any of the residency goals or objectives
  3. Does not make adequate progress towards the completion of residency requirements (e.g., project, manuscript,  lecture, seminar)
  4. Does not follow policies and procedures of the hospital, Department of Pharmacy Services, or Residency Program
  5. Performs gross negligence

Disciplinary action will depend on the specific facts pertaining to the situation. Corrective action procedures may include:

  • Verbal counseling
  • Written corrective action
  • Final written corrective action which may include suspension
  • Termination

Resident Complaints

If a resident has a particular problem or complaint, he/she should first attempt to resolve it on his/her own by consulting first with his/her mentor, then with the Program Director. If unable to resolve it at that level, the resident may present, within 30 days of the initial complaint, a written complaint to the Resident Advisory Committee. The committee shall conduct a thorough investigation into the matter and shall provide input regarding an action plan that will be communicated with the Chief of Staff to ensure that it is consistent with the goals and policies of the department and the hospital. The final decision will be then discussed with the resident in a scheduled meeting.

Withdrawal

At any time, a resident may submit a two week notice of resignation to the RPD.

Corrective Counseling

It is the duty of the Program Director to establish a mechanism for evaluating the performance of the trainees, including written progress reports to the residents. In the event a resident’s clinical or educational performance is found to be inadequate, the RPD should meet with the resident at the earliest possible date, outlining in writing the deficiencies, how they are to be corrected, and the time span in which this correction is to occur. Copies of this written plan will be placed in the resident’s employee file and will be shared with the future preceptors and/or mentor. If after a specified amount of time progress has not been made, the resident may be placed on probation.

Probation

Probation follows when a resident is notified that his/her progress, performance or professional development has been deemed to be inadequate and that continuation in the program is at risk. Where there is concern that a resident’s performance fails to meet the standards set for the training program, the resident may be placed on probationary status by the Program Director. Notice of probation and the reasons for the decision will be set out in writing to the resident. The notice will be delivered by certified mail, Return Receipt Requested, to the resident at their residence or hand delivered with written acknowledgment of receipt by delivery to the resident. The Program Director must also discuss this decision with the resident. There should be clear documentation that the specific areas of concern about the performance of the resident have been identified, and the Program Director should outline, to the degree possible, a specific remedial plan. (e.g., If the resident is unable to complete activities or assignments during a “core” learning experience due to an unlicensed status [i.e., function as an independent licensed pharmacist in the inpatient or outpatient pharmacy], the designated preceptor will notify the residency program director for a plan that supports the resident revisiting that learning and/or staffing requirement when he or she has obtained appropriate licensure.)

The Program Director shall provide both a time and mechanism for re-evaluation. As a general rule, a minimum of 30 calendar days will be allowed for the resident to correct the identified deficiencies. However, some probationary periods may be for a shorter or longer periods of time. If at the end of the probationary period, the Program Director determines that the resident has not corrected the identified deficiencies, then the resident may be dismissed from the program. If at the end of the probationary period, the Program Director elects to dismiss the resident, the hospital’s termination procedures will be followed.

If the Program Director is satisfied that the resident has corrected the identified deficiencies and any other deficiencies which may have arisen during the probationary period, then the resident will be notified in writing that the probationary status has been lifted.

A resident may be placed on probation at any time without first having corrective counseling. The decision to place the resident on probation cannot be appealed.

Dismissal

Upon recommendation of the Program Director and the Program Coordinator, and with the approval of the Chief of Pharmacy, a resident may be dismissed during the term of the residency for unsatisfactory performance or conduct. Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Performance which presents a serious compromise to acceptable standards of patient care or jeopardizes patient welfare
  2. Unethical conduct
  3. Illegal conduct
  4. Excessive tardiness and/or absenteeism
  5. Unprofessional conduct
  6. Job abandonment
  7. Failure to obtain pharmacist licensure in a timely manner
  8. Mental impairment caused by mental disorder or substance abuse

The recommendation to the Chief of Pharmacy for dismissal shall be in writing, outlining the areas deemed unsatisfactory and the reasons for the dismissal.

Formal Appeals Process

The resident may initiate a formal appeals process by composing a response within 5 business days from the time of written notification of a warning, probationary action, or dismissal.

  1. The request to review the action (an appeal) should be submitted in writing to the RPD and Coordinator and received in their office by 4:30pm on the fifth business day after receipt of the warning, probation, or dismissal. Failure to notify the RPD and Coordinator within this timeframe will be considered acceptance of the warning, probationary action, or dismissal.
  1. The resident may appear before the Chief of Pharmacy (CP), RPD, Coordinator and Resident Advisory Committee and be given the opportunity to make a statement. The resident may also identify witnesses to be called or documents to be considered.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of theft. It is a VERY SERIOUS violation of ethical standards and will result in disciplinary action during the residency program and later as a professional. Unfortunately, plagiarism is committed at times without any ill intent because the writer does not fully understand how to paraphrase and cite correctly.

This presentation from MD Anderson Cancer Center has some hints: Effective Writing and Avoiding Plagiarism (slideshare.net)

Residents are expected to read a reference and then explain the content in their OWN WORDS WITHOUT LOOKING at the original passage. Even when an author’s work is cited, direct copying of a statement or portions “word for word” is not permitted. The only exception is when specifically quoting a statement or statements to convey the message and it is properly noted that these are the exact words using quotations. Use of large sections/quotations/tables from copyrighted material requires permission from the authors and/or publishers. Residents are responsible to investigate further or get permission so there is no copyright infringement. Flagrant plagiarism will be referred to the RAC/RPD/RPC/Chief of Pharmacy and the facility disciplinary policy for violation of ethics/policies will be followed. A second episode of flagrant plagiarism will be referred as above and dismissal may result based on the facility policy referenced above.

Financial support for required professional meeting attendance

VA provides financial support for all professional meetings, including ASHP Midyear and Great Lakes Residency Conference.  Lodging, hotels, and transportation must be booked using Concur through VA Fiscal Travel.  Expenses for lodging, hotel, airlines, and transportation are covered with travel booked for official VA-approved travel.  There is also a per-diem rate reimbursed to cover meal expenses for travel days.  If airport parking is required, there is a maximum daily expense that is reimbursable based on ground parking rates at the airport.  If driving, government Vehicles (GOV) must be reserved by contacting the Motor Pool at ext. 5-5418.  If a GOV is not available, for the period of your travel episode, you may submit a written memorandum to the Chief Fiscal Officer (CFO) requesting mileage reimbursement for the use of your privately-owned vehicle.   All flights are to be reserved using Concur (CGE). Use of third-party travel search engines for reservation and payment of rail, flights, rental cars, and/or lodging is prohibited.  You will not be reimbursed if you use these sites.  A Travel Voucher/Expense Report is due within (5) five workdays of the completion of your travel episode.  Failure to submit a Travel Voucher/Expense Report timely may result in non-reimbursement of travel. 

About Louisville

Montage of Louisville, Kentucky, images

Louisville is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the 28th most-populous city in the United States. Today, the city is known as the home of boxer Muhammad Ali, the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Fried Chicken, the University of Louisville and its Cardinals, and Louisville Slugger baseball bats. The city is also a major center of the American whiskey industry, with about one-third of all bourbon whiskey coming from Louisville.

Parks and outdoor attractions: Louisville Metro has 122 city parks, and several of these parks were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed New York City's Central Park. The Louisville Waterfront Park is prominently located on the banks of the Ohio River near downtown and features large open areas, which often hold free concerts and other festivals. 

Annual festivals and other events: Louisville is home to many annual cultural events. Perhaps most well-known is the Kentucky Derby, held annually during the first Saturday of May. The Derby is preceded by a two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival, which starts with the annual Thunder Over Louisville, the largest annual fireworks display in North America. 

For Louisville Events and Kentucky Tourism Information: GoToLouisville.com Official Travel Source