PGY1 Pharmacy Residency – Aurora Health Care Metro, Inc. Milwaukee, WI

Program Overview | Preceptors | Residents

Amanda Birnschein

Amanda Birnschein

Previous Education: PharmD from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and BA from Lawrence University

Short Bio: I grew up in Door County and moved to Milwaukee after my undergraduate program. I am really excited to be back in Milwaukee after finishing pharmacy school in Philadelphia. Summers in Milwaukee are the best, everything from enjoying the lakefront to tending my first garden. I enjoy spending my free time with family and friends in the outdoors – rain, snow, or sunshine!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: The most important factors for me choosing a residency program was the supportive atmosphere, as well as the rotations offered. Aurora Health Care Metro, Inc. offered both of these.

Why Aurora? Aurora is a great health care system that provides care for all individuals. I really like the atmosphere and the caregivers I get to work with on a daily basis.

Current Rotations: Cardiology, Medical/Respiratory ICU, Medicine, Coronary ICU, Administration, Oncology, Surgical

Year-Long Project: Developing an Integrative Tool Kit for Improving a System-Wide Medication Safety Program

Future Plans: I hope to become a clinical pharmacist and I am considering a PGY2 in critical care or cardiology. I really enjoy working in the inpatient setting and would like to continue working in this atmosphere after residency!

Laura Clark

Laura Clark

Previous education: BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. PharmD from Concordia University Wisconsin.

Short Bio: I am originally from Racine, WI. In my free time I enjoy traveling, exercising, reading, and trying everything Milwaukee has to offer! I am also a big fan of the Badgers and Packers. My current areas of interest are infectious disease and critical care.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for an established, reputable program with strong preceptors who enjoy teaching. I was also looking for a larger institution with a wide variety of patients and rotation opportunities.

Why Aurora? Aurora has a progressive pharmacy practice model where pharmacists are given autonomy and are viewed as an integral part of the medical team. I had a few rotations at Aurora during pharmacy school and was always impressed by my preceptor's willingness to teach and develop clinically competent, confident pharmacists.

Current rotations: Medicine, SICU, Administration/Drug Use Policy, MRICU, Surgery, NEICU/Epilepsy Clinic, Cardiology

Year-Long Project: Implementation of an Antibiotic 48 Hour Time Out

Future Plans: I am considering a PGY2 in infectious disease or critical care. I may also pursue an inpatient clinical pharmacist position.

Christine Collins

Christine Collins

Previous education: Bachelor of Science from State University of New York at Geneseo. Masters in Natural Sciences from University at Buffalo. PharmD from D'Youville College in Buffalo, New York.

Short Bio: I grew up in Orchard Park, New York, just south of the city of Buffalo. I began Irish dancing when I was very young, and traveling for competitions around the world has instilled in me a love of travel. I am a foodie and a wino, and enjoy discovering new restaurants or learning to cook new dishes. I also like coffee shops, especially when I have some time to read a novel for a bit. I like to run, kayak, and hike, but I've most enjoyed discovering Milwaukee by bike, especially the waterfront area.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: Elective opportunities that were offered, preceptor and director enthusiasm, hospital and program size, how the role of the resident was integrated into their pharmacy practice, previous resident's feedback, and PGY2 opportunities.

Why Aurora? Aurora offered me the educational opportunities I desired in the setting of a supportive learning environment I knew I could thrive in. I was impressed by the focus on individualized goals, the enthusiasm of the preceptors, and the progressive practice of pharmacy. I also had fried cheese curds following my interview, which may have added to my desire to move to Milwaukee.

Current rotations: Critical care in the CVICU, investigational drugs, general medicine at Sinai Medical Center, cardiology, administration and drug use policy, and infectious disease.

Year-Long Project: Ensuring Compliance with REMS (risk evaluation and mitigation strategies)

Future Plans: I would like to pursue a PGY2 in oncology, or seek a clinical pharmacist role that would incorporate my interest in investigational drug research and drug use policy.

Carissa Fuchs

Carissa Fuchs

Previous education: PharmD at Concordia University Wisconsin

Short Bio: I grew up in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin (a small suburb of Milwaukee) and I am excited to complete my residency in an amazing city and still be close to all my friends and family. While not focusing on pharmacy I love planning my wedding, hanging out with my friends, trying new restaurants, attending great festivals, running by the lakefront, and traveling.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: When choosing a residency I wanted a well-established program that often a variety of rotation options as I have many clinical interests. Plus I wanted a program that would allow me to interact with pharmacy students and a variety of interdisciplinary team members. The enthusiasm shown by the staff during my interview was a definite plus.

Why Aurora? I have been with Aurora Health Care for over five years. I truly believe in Aurora's vision of finding better ways. Aurora is continuously striving for excellence and has continuously been ranked as one of the top hospitals in Wisconsin. I know if I needed to recommend a family member to a facility for their health care, I would definitely recommend Aurora. I am proud to work for an innovative health care system, especially one that always puts patient care first.

Current rotations: My rotations for the year include oncology, general medical, medical-respiratory ICU, infectious disease, administration/drug policy, surgical, and cardiac ICU.

Year-Long Project: Assessment and Revision of organizational Adult Intravenous Medication Administration Guidelines.

Future Plans: After my PGY1 pharmacy residency, I would like to pursue a PGY2 pharmacy residency in either critical care or oncology.

Brittany Jensen

Brittany Jensen

Previous education: Bachelor's from Marquette University. PharmD from Concordia University Wisconsin, School of Pharmacy.

Short Bio: I'm originally from Rice Lake, WI (about 1 hour north of Eau Claire) and completed my undergraduate work at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. I enjoy traveling, watching movies with my kitties (Miss Sofia and Pip), running (especially with my running group), and exploring festivals and activities in Milwaukee with friends and family – there's something new almost every weekend!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a well established program with a variety of elective rotations and strong mentorship. I am interested in pursuing a PGY2 so choosing a program that had opportunities for a PGY2 was important to me.

Why Aurora? Aurora has everything that I was looking for in a residency – large residency class, established program, PGY2 in Oncology, and many elective rotations to choose from. The pharmacy practice model allows for more direct patient care and the integrated health care system allows for a large resident impact.

Current rotations: Infectious Disease, Inpatient Oncology, Cardiology, Administration/Drug Use Policy, MRICU, Ambulatory Oncology Clinic, General Medicine

Year-Long Project: Assessing Medication Usage and Standardization of Cataract Surgical Eye Medication and Preparation Procedures

Future Plans: Obtaining a PGY2 residency in Oncology. I would like to work as a clinical pharmacist in a large hospital and precept students and/or residents.

Asha Kalichira

Asha Kalichira

Previous education: BS, MS, PharmD at University of Illinois at Chicago

Short Bio: I grew up in central Illinois and then lived in Chicago for several years. I love exploring, trying new things with friends, running, and just being outside. I am excited to explore Milwaukee!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a well-rounded program that offered a broad range of electives, staffing components, and opportunities in informatics and leadership.

Why Aurora? Not only did Aurora fit into everything I was looking for, I was also blown away by the enthusiasm of the preceptors and the caliber of the program.

Current rotations: Surgery, informatics, administration/drug use policy, oncology, medicine, MICU/ED

Year-Long Project: Pediatric Med Prep Standardization

Future Plans: Ultimately I would like to work in informatics and am considering a PGY-2.

Robbie Kattappuram

Robbie Kattappuram

Previous education: Genetics BS from University of Wisconsin-Madison, PharmD from University of Colorado

Short Bio: I am originally from Waukesha, WI, moved to Colorado for pharmacy school (and to snowboard), and now excited to be back in Wisconsin. In my free time, I like to hike, travel, run, bike, and just be outside.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a strong program that was focused on developing competent clinical pharmacists. Also, I looked for a wide selection of electives and the opportunity to pursue a PGY-2.

Why Aurora? I chose Aurora because it is an established program that provides a great support system for the residents and the entire department. It utilizes a progressive pharmacy practice model, yet is always looking for ways to improve. The program also gave me the exposure to multiple ICU settings to expand my knowledge of critical care.

Current rotations: My core rotations are in surgery, general medicine, administration/drug use policy, and oncology. My electives are cardiovascular ICU, emergency department, and medical/respiratory ICU.

Year-Long Project: Optimization of respiratory antibiotics in the outpatient clinics.

Future Plans: I am interested in pursuing a PGY2 residency in critical care/emergency medicine and eventually a clinical pharmacist position at a large medical center.

Caitlyn King

Caitlyn King

Previous education: Concordia University School of Pharmacy

Short Bio: I was born and raised in Fond du Lac, WI. I went to Concordia University in Mequon for pharmacy school. I enjoy watching and playing all sports and I am a big Wisconsin sports fan! When I have free time I like to cook, attend festivals/concerts, and frequently visit restaurants and breweries in the Milwaukee area.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: CI wanted a residency program where pharmacy was heavily integrated into the health care practice model. I have an interest in patient care and cardiology so I wanted a residency where residents can take a hands on role in educating patients as well as take rotations with a cardiology focus.

Why Aurora? As an APPE student, I had a few rotations with Aurora. I enjoyed working with every single preceptor I had and always felt part of the team. The preceptors were very encouraging and served as great resources even after I finished a rotation there. For me it was more than just the rotations Aurora offered, it was about the way Aurora fit my learning style. Aurora is also recognized nationally for innovative care in cardiology and I wanted to play a role in their success.

Current rotations: Internal Medicine, Administration, Cardiothoracic Transplant, Surgery, Cardiology, Neuro ICU/Epilepsy, Infectious Disease

Year-Long Project: Reducing heparin exposure and HIT syndromes by changing to alternative anticoagulation therapies after being on heparin drip for 48 hours

Future Plans: I hope to graduate the residency program and obtain a clinical pharmacist position. I would also like to attend a mission trip with a pharmacy school to travel and help those that live in underserved areas.

Meghan Marino

Meghan Marino

Previous education: PharmD from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy

Short Bio: I grew up in Orland Park, IL (Chicago Suburbs). While I'm not looking forward to winter, the summer in Milwaukee has been full of fun things to do, and I am having a great time exploring the city and all it has to offer. In my free time I like to scrapbook, bake, read, and hang out with my friends.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a residency program that was well established, had many rotation options in many different areas, and had a large residency class size. In addition, I wanted a program that offered many critical care options and preceptors that were enthusiastic about teaching.

Why Aurora? I chose Aurora because I could tell that the program director and preceptors really cared about their residents, and made sure that all of the residents were having the optimal experience, which was very important to me. In addition, Aurora has many rotation options available for many different interests. I also wanted to be able to precept students and Aurora's close relationship with Concordia University will allow me to do that throughout my residency year.

Current rotations: Medical Respiratory ICU, Abdominal Transplant, Medicine, Administration/Drug Use Policy, Oncology Clinics, Cardiology, and Surgical ICU.

Year-Long Project: Assessment of Different Dosing Regimens for Pharmacologic Venous Thromboembolism Prophylaxis in Obese Inpatients

Future Plans: I would like to work as a clinical pharmacist at a large medical center or academic institution. I will also be using this year to determine if I want to pursue a PGY-2 in critical care.

Rahim Merchant

Rahim Merchant

Previous education: University of Michigan College of Pharmacy

Short Bio: I grew up in Southeast Michigan and completed my undergraduate and PharmD degrees in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan. I spend my time biking, listening to podcasts, and lately, have been wandering Milwaukee to see all that it has to offer (like festivals, bike trails, and lots of restaurants!)

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a positive work environment, opportunities in informatics, and a variety of clinical rotations

Why Aurora? I felt that atmosphere and culture at Aurora was right to be able to learn as much as possible, and make the largest possible impact on patient care as a resident. Additionally, the preceptors here enjoy what they do and are enthusiastic, extremely knowledgeable, and very supportive. Aurora also has lots of offerings in informatics, a set of rotation experiences which I was interested in, and a large resident class.

Current rotations: My elective rotations are Informatics, MICU/ED, and CICU. My core rotations are cardiology, surgery, general medicine, and administration/drug use policy

Year-Long Project: Reducing inappropriate medication warnings in Aurora's EMR system

Future Plans: I intend to work as an informatics pharmacist and am considering additional training in informatics.

Parissa Moghimi

Parissa Moghimi

Previous education: University of Arizona – PharmD

Short Bio: I've lived in Arizona for most of my life and I am loving Milwaukee so far! My favorite things in life are reading, travelling, drinking coffee, trying new foods, and spending time with family and friends.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: Things I looked for in a residency were rotations in my areas of interest, a teaching certificate option, and positive, friendly interactions at Midyear.

Why Aurora? This program offers everything I could want clinically, promises plenty of opportunities to precept students, and, most importantly, the vibes here are off the charts! The best part of this program is the people; they are wonderful and want to help you succeed!

Current rotations: My rotations this year are Administration, Surgery, Surgical ICU, Infectious Disease, Cardiology, Medicine, and Medical/Respiratory ICU.

Year-Long Project: My project is a retrospective review of 3 years' worth of liver transplants at our hospital. I will be investigating the relationship between peri-operative anemia in liver transplant patients and blood product utilization in the operating room.

Future Plans: I plan on pursuing a PGY2, likely in critical care. Eventually, I would like to be involved in precepting students and residents and potentially hold an adjunct position at a College of Pharmacy.

Marena Muelbl

Marena Muelbl

Previous education: PharmD from Concordia University Wisconsin

Short Bio: I am from Wisconsin and have lived in the Milwaukee area all of my life. I enjoy traveling, exploring new restaurants, spending time with family/friends, and participating in anything active outdoors. I love to go hiking, cycling, running, and snowboarding. I also enjoy the occasional Netflix binge when time allows!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a large hospital with a well-established program that offered rotations in both oncology and cardiology.

Why Aurora? My first hospital experience as a pharmacy student was at Aurora, and after spending one week, my pharmacy career path changed from retail to hospital. The pharmacy department is very progressive, and the pharmacists are highly involved throughout different aspects of patient care. The preceptors are very welcoming and enthusiastic, and the program director is exceptional!

Current rotations: Oncology, Cardiology, Administration/Drug Use Policy, Surgery, Anti-Coagulation Clinic, Infectious Disease, and General Medicine.

Year-Long Project: Implementation of a Pharmacist into a Comprehensive Stroke Clinic

Future Plans: I would like to work as either an inpatient clinical pharmacist or an ambulatory care pharmacist. I am also considering pursuing a PGY2 residency in oncology.

Kelsey Mulverhill

Kelsey Mulverhill

Previous education: Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Short Bio: My family is originally from Illinois, and after moving to Texas when I was young, I really wanted to come back to the Midwest for pharmacy school. I absolutely love the people here and the fact that the seasons actually change! After going to school in Indianapolis for 6 years, I was ready for something different, and I'm excited to explore Milwaukee with my fellow co-residents!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: When applying for residencies, I looked at programs with leadership opportunities, enthusiastic preceptors, a wide variety of rotations, and an emphasis on providing excellent patient care to a diverse population.

Why Aurora? The commitment that the preceptors had to the professional development of the residents, the collaborative environment that the pharmacy department supported, and the opportunities to impact the hospital system throughout Wisconsin really impressed me during my interview!

Current rotations: Administration/Drug Use Policy, Medicine, Oncology, Surgery, Neonatal ICU, Cardiology, and Family Medicine Clinic

Year-Long Project: Development of an Anti-emetic Algorithm for the Treatment of Breakthrough Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting

Future Plans: I hope to complete a PGY2 in either oncology or internal medicine (or another area!) and obtain my BCPS after my first year of residency. Eventually, I would like to work as a clinical pharmacist for a non-profit hospital as part of a strong interdisciplinary/teaching team.

Trisha Pedone

Trisha Pedone

Previous education: I received both my BS in Biology and PharmD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Short Bio: I was born in Poulsbo, Washington and moved to Gurnee, Illinois until the age of nine. From there, my family moved to Madison, WI where I lived until very recently. In my free time, I enjoy photography, jewelry making, dancing, hiking, running, and travelling. During my 4th year of pharmacy school, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Belize for an international rotation.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I chose to pursue large hospital programs that offered rotations in ambulatory and inpatient settings. I also looked for programs with a PGY-2 in cardiology.

Why Aurora? I was drawn to the Aurora program for numerous reasons; I loved the fact that I would be with a big residency class in a well-established program and also valued the opportunities this residency gave me to gain exposure in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. Lastly, I found the enthusiasm exuded by the program director and Aurora staff during my interviews to be so refreshing. It was clear that the staff truly believed in the quality of both their institution and program!

Current rotations: Administration/Drug Use Policy, Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Transplant, Family Medicine, Infectious Disease, Oncology, and Medicine.

Year-Long Project: Clinical Outcomes of Hepatitis C Treatment at Aurora Specialty Pharmacy

Future Plans: I am interested in potentially pursuing a PGY2 residency in cardiology and/or clinical pharmacist position at a large medical center.

Karrie Radovich

Karrie Radovich

Previous education: PharmD and B.S. Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Certificates in Leadership and Global Health

Short Bio: I was born in Austin, TX but grew up in New Berlin, WI. I still prefer the warm weather though, and enjoy boating, camping, tennis and waterskiing. While I will always be a Badger fan, it's good to be back in the Milwaukee area again!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a program that had many elective opportunities including ambulatory care and a large residency class.

Why Aurora? While Aurora fit all of the criteria I was looking for in a program, I really knew it was the right place for me after having the opportunities to meet and interact with so many people on site during interview day.

Current rotations: My core rotations will be cardiology, medicine and oncology site. My elective rotations will be ID, family medicine, and neuro ICU/epilepsy.

Year-Long Project: Assessment and Implementation of Vaccine Best Practices Across an Integrated Health Care System

Future Plans: My perfect job would be an inpatient clinical pharmacist position that also provides ambulatory care opportunities.

Samantha Stancato

Samantha Stancato

Previous education: PharmD from Concordia University Wisconsin

Short Bio: I am originally from Kenosha, WI and have lived in the Milwaukee area for the last 5 years. As the social chair this year, I hope to expose my co-resis to all the fun things Milwaukee has to offer! In my free time, I enjoy cooking/baking, reading, shopping, and cheering on the Green Bay Packers!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a residency program located in the Milwaukee area with a wide variety of elective rotations, opportunities for precepting students, and availability of PGY2 programs

Why Aurora? After I completed an APPE rotation at Aurora St. Luke's, I learned quickly that it has all of the factors I was looking for (and more!) The preceptors are knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and the new model allows for ample time for student-resident-preceptor interactions.

Current rotations: Cardiology, Surgery, General Medicine, Administration/Drug Use Policy, Infectious Disease, Neuro ICU/Epilepsy Clinic, Cardiothoracic Transplant

Year-Long Project: Incorporating the Use of eLearning Software into a Health System's Pharmacy Department

Future Plans: I am considering pursuing a PGY2 residency in either Cardiology or Infectious Disease and would eventually like to obtain a position as a clinical pharmacist at a large academic medical center with the opportunity to precept students/residents.