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PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program

The PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program is a one-year training program that begins on or near July 1 and continues through the end of June the following year. During this year of training, residents will gain practical experience and knowledge which will enable them to become confident and competent practitioners.

Pharmacy residents are expected to be integral members of Pharmacy Service, participating in patient care, departmental and facility committees, and aiding in the development of policies and processes with the goal of improving the medication use process. Residents also play an active role in the education of Veterans, staff, and pharmacy students.

Residents will receive training in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings, with an emphasis on care provided in the ambulatory setting. Successful completion of the PGY1 Pharmacy Residency program at the Montana VA will prepare the resident for a position as a clinical pharmacy specialist in an ambulatory setting.

Program learning opportunities


  • Orientation (4 weeks)
  • Inpatient (4 weeks)
  • Outpatient (4 weeks)
  • Behavioral Health – Inpatient and Outpatient (6 weeks)
  • Internal Medicine (6 weeks)
  • Anticoagulation Management (6 weeks)
  • Primary Care (PACT) (6 weeks/longitudinal)
  • Practice Management (longitudinal)
  • Project (longitudinal)
  • Staffing (One weekend per month - two 8-hour shifts) *

*Dual appointment may be offered for resident staffing requirement


At the Montana VA Health Care System, we aim to tailor the resident’s learning experience to their personal and professional goals. A wide variety of elective learning opportunities are offered with this in mind. The program also offers the flexibility to create new learning opportunities based on the resident’s interests. Current elective rotations are as follows:

  • Antimicrobial Stewardship (6 weeks)
  • Formulary Management/Informatics (6 weeks)
  • Home Based Primary Care (6 weeks)
  • Oncology (6 weeks)
  • Pain Management (6 weeks)
  • Primary Care (PACT) II (6 weeks)
  • Teaching Certificate (Longitudinal)

Application process

Applicants to the Montana VA PGY1 Residency program must meet the following general requirements at the time of entry into the program:

  • Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an ACPE-accredited School of Pharmacy
  • Active pharmacist license OR eligibility in U.S state
  • U.S. citizenship
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA or a minimum of 3 years’ experience in pharmacy practice

The Montana VA PGY1 Residency program participates in the ASHP National Residency Matching Program and will comply with all rules associated with this program.  Residents applying must also adhere to the rules of the resident matching program.  Application materials must be submitted through PhORCAS/WebAdmit, and include:

  • A letter of interest
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Official pharmacy school transcripts
  • Three professional letters of recommendation

Members of the Residency Advisory Committee (RAC) will screen all application materials and will invite the most qualified applicants to an on-site or virtual interview.  The interview will be performance-based and conducted by several members of the RAC.  Application materials, results of the interview and program alignment with the applicant’s goals and objectives will be considered in the final ranking of applicants submitted to the Matching Program.

The application deadline for the 2024-2025 academic year is Jan. 1, 2024.

Meet our residents:

Kayla Newmiller

Kayla Newmiller

Hometown: Helena MT

Pharmacy School: University of Montana


Why did you choose to complete your residency at the Montana VA Health Care System

I chose to pursue my residency with the Montana VA Health Care System as I find caring for our veterans to be an extraordinarily rewarding experience. I knew I wanted to find a residency that allowed me to have meaningful patient interactions while simultaneously building upon my clinical foundation; being a resident with Montana VA allows me to do just that. As a student, I found the Fort Harrison pharmacy department to be a nurturing environment. The staff continuously encouraged me to grow and expand upon my knowledge. I feel honored to be a part of the pharmacy team and serving our veterans.


What are your professional interests and goals? 

My long term professional goals are to complete residency, become board certified, and hopefully establish a career with the VA so I can continue to provide care to our veterans.


What is your favorite thing about living in Helena? 

I am originally from Helena, MT, so my favorite part about being back in my hometown is being close to my family and old friends. I’m excited to rediscover the town, hiking trails, and of course, explore the brewery scene! Helena is a small town with a close community and I’m happy to be a part of it once more. 


Trevor Meyer

Trevor Meyer

Hometown: Boise, ID

Pharmacy school: University of Utah


Why did you choose to complete your residency at the Montana VA Health Care System

I chose to pursue a residency at the Montana VA Health Care System because of their focus in mental health care and the continued development of the program. Specifically, the expansion and utilization of ambulatory care to best serve the large proportion of the veteran population living in a more rural setting.  


What are your professional interests and goals? 

Eventually, I would like to end up working within the PCMHI or another mental health specialty service within the VAMC. In addition, I enjoy teaching and precepting students and would like to become more involved in this process. 


What is your favorite thing about living in Helena? 

My favorite thing so far about Helena is the outdoor focused community and lack of a large city atmosphere. Helena has a great trail system and does an excellent job at providing a variety of trails for hikers and cyclists. In addition, I appreciate the sense of community that is quickly apparent here in Helena and something I did not realize was missing from Salt Lake while I lived there. For my hometown, I would like Boise, Idaho.


About VA Montana Health Care System

Montana VA Health Care System serves approximately 38,000 of the 47,000 enrolled Veterans across Montana. Montana VA Health Care System has 17 sites of care statewide including: a VA Medical Center at Fort Harrison, a Health Care Center in Billings, 14 Community Based Outpatient Clinics, a Primary Care Telehealth Outreach Clinic, a 20-bed Community Living Center in Miles City, and a Sleep Disorders Center. Fort Harrison VAMC has 29 authorized/18 operational acute care medical/surgical beds (including six ICU) offering a broad range of acute, chronic, and specialized inpatient and outpatient services. Fort Harrison operates a 24-bed residential rehabilitation unit for PTSD and Substance Abuse treatment.

Pharmacy Service operates two main dispensing pharmacies at the Fort Harrison and Billings sites, providing more than 766,00 prescriptions to 31,000 unique Veterans in fiscal year 2020. Clinical staff pharmacists rotate through inpatient and outpatient settings at Fort Harrison, with designated clinical pharmacists supporting inpatient programs, formulary management, computer applications, and quality assurance activities. Clinical pharmacist practitioners supporting primary care, home-based primary care, anticoagulation, pain management, and behavioral health programs operate under an approved scope of practice that includes medication prescriptive authority and the ability to order labs and other testing to monitor medication therapy.

The Montana VA PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program is accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP), with initial accreditation received on Sept. 17, 2017.


Keaten LaBrel, PharmD
Residency Program Director 

Airlynn Taylor, PharmD
Residency coordinator

Kayla Neumiller, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy Resident  

Trevor Meyer, PharmD 
PGY1 Pharmacy Resident