Welcome to VA Maine: PGY2 Program Highlights
PGY2 pharmacy residency programs build on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and PGY1 pharmacy residency programs to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists in specialized areas of practice. PGY2 residencies provide residents with opportunities to function independently as practitioners by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge and incorporating both into the provision of patient care or other advanced practice settings. Residents who successfully complete an accredited PGY2 pharmacy residency are prepared for advanced patient care, academic, or other specialized positions, along with board certification, if available.
This PGY2 program provides a specialty level training from our experienced preceptors that results in a greater depth of knowledge, skills, attitudes and abilities in the area of clinical pharmacy services and leadership in the ambulatory care setting.
The PGY2 Resident will deliver disease state management care to patients in-clinic at the Bangor Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), pictured above, and to patients at our outlying Rural Health CBOCs. These established pharmacy clinics will present the Resident with daily opportunities of clinical challenge and professional growth.
Our Pharmacy Service is comprised of people that enjoy being out front with innovative changes in our distribution and clinical programs. This attitude is evident in the strong support our Residency programs receive from the Pharmacy Service and the Medical Center itself.
Clinical Video Telehealth
Clinical Video Technology (CVT) high resolution units are used at VA Maine to provide diabetes, HTN, anticoagulation and other clinical pharmacy services to Veterans whom otherwise would either not have this available to them at their Rural clinic or, would need to drive hours to one of our larger CBOCs. We also utilize VA Video Connect (VVC) which allows veterans to meet with their providers through live video on any computer, tablet or device with an internet connection.
The use of CVT/VVC is innovative and informative, but the process of organizationally and “virtually” developing care teams at these outlying clinics provides the Resident with truly unique and invaluable experience in clinical team building.
Collegiality with other Residents
The PGY2 Resident will have opportunities for immediate and frequent contact in the work and social setting with the three PGY1 Residents at VA Maine. Additionally, all of VA Maine’s Residents have opportunity to interact with other residents throughout the state by way of association-sponsored conferences and activities.
Primary Care Clinic (Required, Longitudinal)
This accounts for the majority of the Residents weekly clinical training (approximately 3 days/week) and is at the core of the Resident’s year-long learning program. Conducted in-clinic at Bangor CBOC and virtually via CVT to our Rural Health clinics, the amount and quality of clinical pharmacy direct patient care is at the high level one expects within VA. These rotations emphasize the complete development of the Resident’s clinical skill set in the Primary Care setting. Preceptors immediately work with the PGY2 Resident toward progressive clinical independence and problem-solving. The Resident develops particularly close professional relationships with our Rural Health clinic primary care providers and nurse clinic managers due to the shared-care aspect of delivering disease state management to remote sites.
Anticoagulation Clinic (Required, 6 months)
One day per week the Resident is assigned a patient panel of anticoagulation clinic patients. At VA Maine this is a unique experience for several reasons. We have a centralized Anticoagulation Clinic (ACC) serving over 1200 patients. We use a customized Microsoft Access ® database that allows for real-time, multi-site updating and information sharing among the clinical pharmacists working from multiple clinic sites on a daily basis. Other features include clinical information sharing through a VISN1 Sharepoint site, monthly anticoagulation Journal clubs with national experts as guest speakers, Time within Therapeutic Range (TTR) tracking at the patient level, and access to other outcome data for use to improve clinical practice.
Smoking Cessation Clinic (Required, Longitudinal)
Once weekly, the resident will facilitate a Smoking Cessation Group Clinic for Veterans at multiple CBOCs virtually. During the first half-hour of clinic, Veterans will remotely attend a lecture given by a guest speaker located at Togus Medical Center via CVT technology. During the second half-hour, the the resident educates and counsels the Veterans regarding nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and other smoking cessation medications. NRT supplies are prescribed during the group session. The group atmosphere allows for open discussion between the Veterans and a great support system.
Teaching (Required, Longitudinal)
The PGY2 Resident will be asked to provide at least 1 CE presentation for Pharmacy Service during their tenure at VA Maine. In addition, the Resident will work with the RPD to provide in-services to PACT teams as needed. Lastly, the Resident will be asked to precept in some capacity during the year – typically 1-2 pharmacy students and 1-2 PGY1 pharmacy residents.
Research Project (Required, Longitudinal)
A longitudinal research project is required to complete the PGY2 program. Some past projects include – “Implementation and impact of a pharmacist-led oral chemotherapy clinic at VA Maine Healthcare System,” “Evaluating the prevalence of veterans on guideline-recommended pharmacologic therapies for heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) at VA Maine Healthcare System,” and “Evaluation of post-discharge medication reconciliation and review by a pharmacist following heart failure admission at VA Maine.”
Generally, the PGY2 Resident will complete 1-3 longitudinal electives during the residency year. Available options include Outpatient Mental Health, Geriatric/Liver Clinic, Outpatient Oncology, Home-Based Primary Care, Leadership/Administration, Endocrinology, Women’s Health, and Academic Detailing.
Bangor is located in central Maine, about 1.5 hours from Augusta and 2 hours from Portland. Downtown Bangor offers diverse restaurants, bars, and shopping. The waterfront features annual concerts in the summer. Only an hour drive from Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, and a 2-hour drive to the Rangeley Mountains and ski resorts. There are plenty of hiking trails and lakes nearby. The scenery is gorgeous and there’s something for everyone!
Brianna Charles, PharmD, BCACP, is the Residency Program Director and a clinical pharmacy specialist at the Bangor CBOC. Brianna graduated from the University of Kansas College of Pharmacy in 2011. She completed a PGY-1 Rural Health Pharmacy Residency at the Kansas City VA before accepting a position at the VA Maine HealthCare System in 2012. She currently works in the primary care clinic at the Bangor CBOC co-managing patients with long-term anticoagulation and chronic disease states. Dr. Charles serves as the liaison for VA Maine with the National PBM Clinical Pharmacy Practice Office's PhARMD Project for demonstrating the impact of VA Clinical Pharmacy services. She also serves as the Editor of the VA Maine Pharmacy Forum newsletter.
Kate Secord, PharmD, BCPS, is the Residency Program Co-Director and a clinical pharmacy specialist at the Bangor CBOC. She graduated in the inaugural pharmacy class at Husson University in 2013. She completed an ambulatory care focused PGY1 at VA Central Iowa Health Care System; continuing on to complete a PGY2 residency focusing in psychiatry at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System. She accepted her position at the VA Maine Health Care System in 2015. She currently works in the primary care clinic at the Bangor CBOC co-managing patients on long-term anticoagulation and with chronic disease states. She also works on a consult basis with the mental health providers at the Bangor CBOC.
Jenna Barnes, BS, PharmD, is an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist. She obtained her BS in biological sciences at the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 and her PharmD from the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2012. She then completed a PGY1 residency with the VA Western New York Healthcare System before accepting a position with the VA Maine Healthcare System. She currently works at the Togus VA in the Pharmacy Disease State Management Clinic (diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia) and the Anticoagulation Clinic. She also works with the pharmacy residents in the Smoking Cessation Clinic.
Kate Belanger, PharmD,is a clinical pharmacy specialist at the Portland CBOC. Kate obtained her PharmD from the University of Rhode Island in 2006. After graduation she accepted a position with VA Maine Healthcare System at the Saco CBOC, later moving to the Portland CBOC in 2013. She currently works in the primary care clinic at the Portland CBOC managing patients with chronic disease states and on long-term anticoagulation.
Nicole Brunet, PharmD, BCPP, graduated from the University of New England College of Pharmacy in 2013. She completed a PGY1 residency at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, SC in 2014 followed by a PGY2 psychiatric pharmacy residency at the Providence VA Medical Center. Upon completion of residency, Nicole joined the VA Maine Healthcare System as a clinical pharmacy specialist in mental health.
Katie Cleary, PharmD, BCGPis a clinical pharmacy specialist working in home-based primary care (HBPC) and the Hepatitis C Clinic at Togus. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2014 and completed a PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at VA Maine Healthcare System in 2015. Her primary responsibilities include managing pharmacotherapy in veterans enrolled in HBPC and those being treated in the HepC clinic, but is also involved in Geriatric Evaluation and Management (GEMs), Academic Detailing, and anticoagulation practice areas.
Phillip Gall, PharmD,graduated from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in 2011 and immediately went to work for the West Texas VA where his primary focus was on disease state management via telehealth. After two years, he moved to Maine to join the team at Togus where he continues to focus on disease state management and now long term anticoagulation as well. Phillip currently serves as the VA Maine Anticoagulation Clinic Coordinator for VA Maine.
Kenzie Hackett, PharmDgraduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2013. She completed a PGY1 residency at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Massachusetts and was VA Maine Healthcare System’s first PGY2 resident in Ambulatory Care/Rural Health. Upon completion of her PGY2, she accepted a position at the William Jennings Bryan Dorn VA in South Carolina in primary care where she managed chronic disease states for two years. In 2017, she re-joined the VA Maine Healthcare System as a clinical pharmacist for Home Based Primary Care.
Alisa Hughes-Stricklett, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP,is a geriatric clinical pharmacist. She obtained her BS in biology at the University of Utah and spent 15 years doing medical research in nephrology at VA Salt Lake City and the University of Utah. She obtained her PharmD from the University of Utah in 2009 and completed a PGY1 residency with the VA at Salt Lake City before accepting a position at VA Maine. Following her residency, she worked in the primary care clinic co-managing patients with chronic diseases states, long-term oral anticoagulation, and smoking cessation. She is currently acting as the Pharmacy Champion of the VA Maine Opioid Safety Initiative, is heavily involved in quality improvement projects, manages patients enrolled in the geriatric home-based primary care program and participates in the delirium consult service.
Melissa Prew, BS, PharmD,is a clinical pharmacist in the primary care clinic. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy with a Bachelor's of Science degree in 1990. In 1998 she received her PharmD from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, and went on to complete a PGY2 residency in primary care in 1999 from the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals/VCU. Her current practice areas include primary careand the anticoagulation clinic, in addition to supporting the Women’s Clinic.
Sarah Smith, PharmD, BCACP, Dr. Smith completed her PGY-1 residency at VA Maine in 2011 and before that practiced community pharmacy for almost 3 years. She has kept ties with the VA since 2011 as a resident, clinical affiliate and now full time employee. Dr. Smith’s passion is chronic disease state management, specifically diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and anticoagulation. She was a pioneer of the clinical video telehealth pharmacy program as a resident and has grown the program to reach veterans across the state.
Allison Spaulding, PharmD, CDE, graduated from Northeastern University in 2010. She completed a PGY1 residency with Boston VA Healthcare System before accepting a position at the VA Maine Healthcare System working in the primary care clinic at the Lewiston VA CBOC where she managed chronic disease states (i.e. diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia) and long term anticoagulation. She currently serves as the Associate Chief of Pharmacy at VA Maine.
Emily Stoukides, PharmD– Emily graduated from the University of Rhode Island, College of Pharmacy in 2016. She completed a PGY1 residency and a PGY2 residency specializing in ambulatory care and rural health with VA Maine. Following residency training, Emily accepted a position as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Primary Care. Her primary areas of practice include transitions of care medication management, chronic disease management, and anticoagulation.
Adam Whalley, PharmD, is a clinical pharmacy specialist in oncology. He graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2016, completed a PGY1 residency at UConn Health Center and an Oncology PGY-2 at Maine Medical Center. After completing his residency, he joined the VA Maine team in the oncology department with a focus on ambulatory oncology.
Program Accreditation Status
Our program became fully ASHP accredited in August 2014.
Previous and Current Residents
Natasha Ramsey, PharmD, is our current Resident. She graduated from Samford University in 2019 and completed her PGY-1 residency at Sumner Regional Medical Center in Gallatin, TN. Dr. Ramsey can be reached at Natasha.Ramsey@va.gov.
Whitney Sargent, PharmD, completed our program in June 2020. She graduated from the University of New England in 2018 and completed her PGY-1 residency at VA Maine Healthcare System. Dr. Sargent is currently employed as a PACT Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at VA Maine.
Morgan Harper, PharmD, BCACPcompleted our program in June 2019. She graduated from the University of New England in 2017 and completed her PGY-1 residency at VA Maine Healthcare System. Dr. Harper is currently employed as an infusion pharmacist at MaineHealth.
Emily Stoukides, PharmD, completed our program in June 2018. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2016 and completed her PGY-1 residency at VA Maine Healthcare System. Dr. Stoukides is currently a PACT Clinical Pharmacy Specialist and our PGY-1 Residency Program Director at VA Maine Healthcare System.
Sarah Howard, PharmD, BCACPcompleted our program in July 2017. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy – Worcester in 2015 and completed her PGY-1 residency at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA. Dr. Howard is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the Lahey Clinic in Beverly, MA.
Gina Puglisi, PharmD, BCACPcompleted our program in June 2016. She graduated from Albany College of Pharmacy and completed her PGY-1 residency at United Health Services Hospital in Johnson City, NY. Dr. Puglisi is currently a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the Lexington, KY VAMC.
Kenzie Hackett, PharmD, was the first resident to complete our program in June 2015. Dr. Hackett graduated from the University of Rhode Island and completed her PGY-1 residency at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA. Dr. Hackett is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at VA Maine Healthcare System, specializing in Home-Based Primary Care.
Benefits and Compensation
- Competitive salary
- Medical insurance
- Dental insurance
- Life insurance
- Free parking
- 10 paid federal holidays
- Two and a half weeks paid sick leave/time off for illness/ medical appointments/ family care
- Two and a half weeks paid annual leave (vacation)
- Tuition support for professional conference
Applicants must be a graduate of an American Council of Pharmaceutical Education accredited School of Pharmacy with a PharmD or equivalent degree and have completed an ASHP-accredited PGY1 Residency Program.
***Applicants must be U.S. citizens – a requirement to be employed by the Department of Veterans Affairs ***
Criteria considered by the selection committee includes: knowledge of professional practice, communication skills, ability to apply theory to practice, leadership ability, interest in the program, and confidence through interview.
All applicants must submit their application electronically through the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service: PhORCAS athttps://portal.phorcas.org/The following items will be required to be entered into the PhORCAS system:
- Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited school or college of pharmacy (or B.S. in Pharmacy with equivalent experience)
- U.S. Citizenship
- Eligible for pharmacist licensure in any state
- Official college transcript
- Letter of intent
- Curriculum vitae
- Three letters of reference
- Supplemental materials: Request that references complete and answer all narrative comment questions (1-4) in their entirety on the Standardized Reference available in PhORCAS.
Application deadline:January 15, 2021
All application materials must be submitted via PhORCAS and all applicants must register for the match.
(Note: This residency site agrees to and abides by the rules of the Match including that no person at this site will solicit, accept, or use any ranking-related information from any residency applicant.)
Brianna Brianna Charles, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
VA Maine Healthcare System
Phone: 207-623-8411 ext 2677
Katelin Secord, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
VA Maine Healthcare System
Phone: 207-623-8411 ext 3633