Owensboro Health PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program

Our Purpose

ASHP accreditedTo train pharmacists, who upon completion of the program will be able to confidently practice as a clinical pharmacist in a decentralized pharmacy care model, enter a postgraduate year-2 (PGY-2) specialty residency, or seek a position as adjunct faculty.

The Pharmacy Residency Program is accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, paving the way for further growth of the program.

About Owensboro Health

Hospital entrance

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital is a 477-bed hospital that serves an 18-county area in Western Kentucky and Southern Indiana. Owensboro Health is centrally located and is an integrated health system with three hospitals, a growing network of providers, and locations across the region.

The Pharmacy Department at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital employs over 25 pharmacists. Pharmacists participate in the delivery of optimal pharmaceutical care by providing clinical and dispensing services throughout the hospital with both centralized and decentralized staff. Outpatient pharmacists optimize transitions of care for patients. Satellite pharmacies exist for surgery and outpatient oncology. Four pharmacy specialists practice in their respective areas of critical care, emergency medicine, infectious diseases and oncology.

The PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program began in 2014. Since that time, the program has trained numerous successful residents who pursue PGY-2 specialty residencies or clinical positions after their PGY-1 program completion. The program currently has two resident positions available.

Qualifications

  • Graduate of an ACPE-accredited College or School of Pharmacy
  • Licensed or eligible for licensure in the state of Kentucky

Application Process

*Application Deadline: Monday, January 3, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. CST.*

Submit All Of The Following Via PhorCAS

  • Letter of Intent
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Official transcripts of all professional pharmacy education
  • Three (3) references completed in PhorCAS by healthcare professionals who can attest to the applicant's practice abilities and aptitudes

Learning Experiences

Required - 4-week rotations unless otherwise noted

  • Critical Care I
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Infectious Diseases 
  • Internal Medicine I (6 weeks)
  • Oncology I
  • Orientation (5 weeks)
  • Pharmacy Management

Elective - 4-week rotations unless otherwise noted

  • Ambulatory Care/Transitions of Care 
  • Cardiology
  • Critical Care II
  • Geriatrics
  • Internal Medicine II
  • Medication Safety
  • Oncology II
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery
  • Others based on availability and interest

Longitudinal - 12-month rotations unless otherwise noted

  • Drug Information
  • Medication Use Evaluation (MUE) 6 - 7 months
  • Pharmacy Practice (Staffing)
  • Research
  • Teaching Certificate

Who We Are

Program Leadership

Kristan Higgs, PharmD, BCPS
Email:
Kristan.Higgs@OwensboroHealth.org

Kristan Higgs

  • Position: PGY-1 Residency Program Director/Emergency Medicine Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
  • PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy
  • PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency: Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, IN
  • PGY-2 Emergency Medicine Residency: University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY

Aeriel Thorpe, PharmD, BCPS
Email:
Aeriel.Thorpe@OwensboroHealth.org

Aerial Thorpe

  • Position: PGY-1 Residency Program Co-Coordinator/Clinical/Staff Pharmacist
  • PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy
  • PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency: Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, Owensboro, KY

Margery Wells, PharmD
Email:
Margery.Wells@OwensboroHealth.org

Margery Wells

  • Position: PGY-1 Residency Program Co-Coordinator/Clinical/Staff Pharmacist
  • PharmD: Samford University, McWhorter School of Pharmacy
  • PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency: Baptist Health Madisonville, Madisonville, KY

Pharmacy Leadership

Jason Collins, PharmD

Jason Collins, PharmD

  • Position: Director of Pharmacy
  • PharmD: Samford University, McWhorter School of Pharmacy

Heath Blandford, PharmD, BCGP

Heath Blandford

  • Position: Pharmacy Clinical Manager
  • PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

Sandy Tiu-Berger, PharmD

Sandy Tiu-Berger

  • Position: Satellite Pharmacy Supervisor
  • PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

Additional Preceptors

Shannon Allcron, PharmD, BCCCP, BCPS

Shannon Allcron

  • Position: Critical Care Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
  • PharmD: Butler University College of Pharmacy
  • PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency: Community Health Network, Indianapolis, IN
  • PGY-2 Critical Care Residency: Greenville Hospital System, Greenville, SC

Lance Smith, PharmD, BCIDP

Lance Smith

  • Position: Infectious Diseases Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
  • PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

Kelsey Turcotte, PharmD, BCOP

Kelsey Turcotte

  • Position: Hematology/Oncology Clinical Pharmacy Specialist
  • PharmD: Union University College of Pharmacy
  • PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency: St. Joseph East, Lexington, KY
  • PGY-2 Oncology Residency: Huntsman Cancer Institute, Salt Lake City, UT

Holly Casebolt, PharmD, BCGP

Holly Casebolt

  • Position: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist
  • PharmD: University of Toledo College of Pharmacy

Alex Free, PharmD, MBA

Alex Free

  • Position: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist
  • PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy
  • PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency: Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, Owensboro, KY

Deidre Ledbetter, PharmD

Deidre Ledbetter

  • Position: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist
  • PharmD: Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville School of Pharmacy
  • PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency: Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, Owensboro, KY

Will Lyle, PharmD

Will Lyle

  • Position: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist
  • PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

Jenna Pokrass, PharmD, BCPP, BCPS

Jenna Pokrass

  • Position: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist
  • PharmD: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
  • PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency: Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, Owensboro, KY
  • PGY-2 Psychiatric Residency: Milwaukee VA Medical Center, Milwaukee, WI

Shealy Shelton, PharmD

Shealy Shelton

  • Position: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist
  • PharmD: Manchester University

Alex Tignor, PharmD, BCIDP

Alex Tignor

  • Position: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist
  • PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy
  • PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency: St. Vincent Hospital, Evansville, IN

Current Residents

Sera Andras, PharmD

Sera Andras

Undergraduate Education: University of Louisiana Monroe

PharmD: University of Louisiana Monroe College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Houma, LA

“My name is Sera Andras, and I look forward to completing my PGY1 this year at Owensboro Health. I chose this program because of the friendly preceptors and hope that the wide variety of rotations will help me narrow down my clinical interests. In my free time I enjoy cooking, reading, and taking care of my plants.“


Mimi Jakes, PharmD

Mimi Jakes

Undergraduate Education: Ohio Northern University

PharmD: Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Erie, PA

“My name is Mimi Jakes, and I am so excited to join the pharmacy team at Owensboro Health as a resident. I was drawn to this program because of the diverse learning experiences, knowledgeable preceptors, and the supportive and friendly environment. I look forward to growing into a well-rounded clinical pharmacist and serving the surrounding communities. Outside of pharmacy, I enjoy cooking, hiking, photography, and traveling. ”

Past Residents

Alex Free, PharmD, MBA (2020-2021)

Alex Free

Undergraduate Education: Kentucky Wesleyan College

PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Livermore, KY

Position After Residency: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital

Deidre Ledbetter, PharmD (2020-2021)

Deidre Ledbetter

Undergraduate Education: Lake Land College

PharmD: Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville School of Pharmacy

Hometown: Altamont, IL

Position After Residency: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital


Jesse Gilstrap, PharmD, BCPS (2019-2020)

Jesse Gilstrap

Undergraduate Education: Southeast Missouri State University

PharmD: Sullivan University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Hometown: Owensboro, KY

Position After Residency: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist, Deaconess Hospital


Matthew Wolfe, PharmD (2019-2020)

Matthew Wolfe

Undergraduate Education: University of Kentucky

PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Beechmont, KY

Position After Residency: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist, Baptist Health Madisonville


Andrew Harpenau, PharmD (2018-2019)

Andrew Harpenau

Undergraduate Education: Purdue University

PharmD: Purdue University College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Leopold, IN

Position After Residency: Clinical Pharmacist, St. Vincent Hospital


Aeriel Thorpe, PharmD, BCPS (2018-2019)

Aerial Thorpe

Undergraduate Education: University of Kentucky

PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Owensboro, KY

Position After Residency: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital


Garrett Messmer, PharmD (2017-2018)

Garrett Messmer

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ohio State University

PharmD: East Tennessee State University, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Westerville, OH

Position After Residency: Clinical Pharmacist, Ohio State University – James Cancer Hospital


Rebecca Worden, PharmD, BCOP (2017-2018)

Becca Worden

Undergraduate Education: Ohio Northern University

PharmD: Ohio Northern University Raabe College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Middleton, WI

PGY2: Oncology, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center

Position After Residency: Oncology Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center


Jenna Pokrass, PharmD, BCPP, BCPS (2016-2017)

Jenna Pokrass

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences and Minor in Chemistry, Southern Illinois University

PharmD: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Hometown: Bowling Green, KY

PGY2: Psychiatric, Milwaukee VA Medical Center

Position After Residency: Clinical/Staff Pharmacist, Owensboro Health Regional Hospital


Collin Owczarzak, PharmD (2016-2017)

Collin Owczarzak

Undergraduate Education: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

PharmD: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Hometown: Cheektowaga, NY

Position After Residency: Critical Care/ED Clinical Pharmacist, University of Rochester Medical Center


John Puryear, PharmD, BCOP (2015-2016)

John Puryear

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science in Biology, Dallas Baptist University

PharmD: Union University School of Pharmacy

Hometown: Carthage, TX

PGY2: Oncology, KentuckyOne Health – University of Louisville Hospital

Position After Residency: Clinical Oncology Pharmacist, Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center


Jennifer Baric, PharmD, BCPS (2014-2015)

Jennifer Baric

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science in Physiology, Lyman Briggs College (Michigan State University)

PharmD: Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University

Hometown: Canton, MI

PGY2: Internal Medicine, NorthShore University Health System

Position After Residency: Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System LTC Charles S. Kettles VA Medical Center


Celeste Hollensead, PharmD, BCPS (2014-2015)

Celeste Hollensead

Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science in Biology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

PharmD: University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy

Hometown: Louisville, KY

Position After Residency: Clinical Pharmacist, Frazier Rehab Institute

Teaching & Research

  • Residents will complete ASHP’s Teaching Certificate for Pharmacists which was developed in partnership with the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy. This program is designed to introduce the residents to academic literature, contemporary pharmacy education, teaching styles, and philosophies.
  • Residents are required to complete a research project that is suitable for publication and is presented at the Great Lakes Pharmacy Resident Conference.
  • Residents are required to complete a medication use evaluation to present as a poster presentation at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting.

Wellbeing & Resiliency

Owensboro Health recognizes that residency training is demanding and stressful. Burnout encompasses emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and decreased sense of personal accomplishment and can adversely affect one personally as well as professionally (i.e. increased medication errors). According to a 2018 survey of health-system pharmacists, there was a 53% incidence of burnout, 36% emotional exhaustion and 32% reduced personal accomplishment.

We recognize and agree with ASHP’s commitment to clinician wellbeing and resilience. Our program strives to continually educate, support and address resident wellbeing and resiliency. In addition to providing our residents with available resources, our program also offers mentorship, wellness days and provides a lecture on the importance and value of wellbeing and resiliency. Our goal is to help our residents have a successful year of residency.

Contact Us

For more information contact Kristan Higgs by e-mail or call 270-417-5956.