PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency - VA Salt Lake City Health Care System
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VA Salt Lake City Health Care System

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PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Residency

The PGY2 psychiatric pharmacy residents at the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System (VASLCHCS) have the opportunity to be an integral part of multidisciplinary teams throughout all rotation experiences. There are 11 clinical pharmacy preceptors within mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) settings; clinical pharmacists at this facility are well-respected and function at the top of their license. PGY2 residents have the opportunity to apply for a scope of practice, with preceptor supervision. Strengths of the program include interdisciplinary teamwork through clinical rotations and in didactic settings, mentor support for research and quality improvement projects within pharmacy administration and the research department, and a wide range of inpatient and outpatient clinical rotations. See below for rotation descriptions, websites about living in Utah, and contact information. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information about the residency program.

Program Purpose

The PGY2 pharmacy residency programs build on Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and PGY1 pharmacy residency experiences to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists in advanced or specialized 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 that improves medication therapy.  Residents who successfully complete an accredited PGY2 pharmacy residency should possess competencies that qualify them for clinical pharmacist and/or faculty positions and position them to be eligible for attainment of board certification in the specialized practice area.

Rotation Descriptions

The PGY2 psychiatric pharmacy residency at VASLCHCS includes various elective and core rotations listed below including the clinical pharmacist preceptors. There is rotation flexibility if resident interests change during residency.


Core Rotations (4-6 weeks)

Inpatient Psychiatric Unit (IPU)

Preceptors: Allison Beatty, BCPP (Faculty at Roseman University in South Jordan, Utah with clinical appointment at VASLC); David Denio, BCPP; Joel Grussendorf, BCPP

 There are four teams within this 30-bed unit and various trainees of all disciplines with whom the resident will be working (psychology interns, physician assistants (PA), nurse practitioners (NP), psychiatry residents, etc.). The resident teaches patient education groups, is involved in daily patient rounds, completes admission and discharge medication reconciliations, provides medication management and treatment recommendations, and leads topic discussions. There are usually opportunities to precept students and residents during this rotation.

Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP)

Preceptor: Sadie Roestenburg, BCPS

SARRTP is a 15-bed residential treatment program for Veterans with substance use disorders and often-times concomitant mental health disorders, including PTSD. The Veterans reside on the unit for 5-9 weeks depending on their treatment plan (SUD vs. SUD + PTSD treatment). The pharmacy resident will interact with a dynamic interdisciplinary clinical staff (psychiatrist, physician assistant, social workers, psychologists, recreational therapist, etc.), along with various trainees in these areas. The resident completes admission and discharge medication reconciliations, provides medication management and treatment recommendations for the team, and leads patient education groups and topic discussions. Other experiences include participating in didactic lectures with psychiatric residents at the University Neuropsychiatric Institute, and attending the Veteran groups related to SUD treatment to obtain different perspectives about residential treatment.

Services for Outpatient Addiction and Recovery (SOAR) clinic

Preceptor: Zac Hill, BCPP

The SOAR team, embedded within Addiction Treatment Services (ATS), is an interdisciplinary team focused on caring for those with addiction and co-occurring mental health, medical, and psychosocial issues. Throughout a Veteran’s course of treatment, the SOAR team provides care coordination through a stepped care model. The resident will see patients for mental health medication management appointments, provide medication management recommendations to psychiatric staff, and coordinate medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for patients. They will have the opportunity to lead patient education groups in the intensive outpatient program and develop topic discussions related to SUDs. The resident will interact with various disciplines and trainees (psychology, social work, psychiatry, and nursing, etc.) as well as participate in didactic lectures with psychiatric residents at University Neuropsychiatric Institute. Other experiences may include assisting with lectures for University of Utah pharmacy students and participating in recovery-oriented substance abuse groups to experience multiple facets of outpatient substance abuse treatment.

Vulnerable Veteran Innovated Patient Aligned Care Team (VIP-PACT)

Preceptors: Amy Butz, BCPP; Natalie Valentino, BCPP

The VIP team offers a unique primary care service delivery model with a goal to improve the health of Veterans who are particularly vulnerable due to medical disease and/or their social determinants. This includes Veterans with substance use disorders, co-occurring addiction and pain disorders, social determinants of health (ex. homelessness), and high utilizers of healthcare services. The VIP team consists of 2 MH/SUD PharmDs, 3 addiction medicine MDs, a mental health APRN, and a social worker who work collaboratively to determine appropriate treatment plans. On this unique rotation, the resident will have the opportunity to manage patients longitudinally for OUD/AUD MAT, including management of buprenorphine/naloxone, manage mental health medications, and fully integrate into the team through shared medical appointments with primary care providers.

Outpatient Mental Health (OMH) and Primary Care Mental Health Integration

Preceptor: Jeff Gower, BCPS

This rotation provides exposure to a broad range of outpatient mental health care experiences. The resident will build relationships with other practitioners and improve medication management abilities through participation in several services, including: clozapine clinic, Mental Health Intensive Case Management (MHICM) team which serves Veterans with serious mental illnesses in the community, and Primary Care Mental Health Integration (PCMHI). Additional rotation activities include completing mental health pharmacist consults, non-formulary review, coordination of long-acting injectable antipsychotics, and supporting the lithium monitoring clinic.

Geriatric outpatient clinics - (Geri-assessment, Geri-PACT clinic, Geri-med psych, G-HELP (geriatric high-risk evaluation and liaison program)

Preceptor: Jenni Ladutko, BCPS

This rotation is a required learning experience designed to strengthen the resident’s knowledge and skill set in outpatient psychiatry, geriatric primary care and geriatric mental health concerns. The resident will be involved with many different outpatient geriatric services throughout the rotation. The goals for the resident are to work as a mid-level provider to develop pharmaceutical care plans targeted to optimize mental health conditions, reduce polypharmacy, and manage chronic disease states in geriatric populations. He/she will have extensive experience working with interdisciplinary teams, and independently in clinical pharmacist clinic.

Experiences include, working in geri-med psych clinic in primary care, geri-psych with mental health providers, geri-assessment clinic with an interdisciplinary team, geriatric PACT clinics, and in GHELP (Geriatric High Risk Evaluation and Liaison Program) and provide at home medication evaluations. This rotation and experiences within the rotation can be customizable to meet the resident’s rotation and career goals.

Mental Health Pharmacy Transitions of Care Services

Preceptor: Rachel Bauer, BCPS

The MH Pharmacy Transitions of Care Services was created to streamline the discharge process from community psychiatric hospitals to minimize medication related errors and optimize care for Veterans. The MH Pharmacy Transitions of Care Rotation may be either elective or longitudinal rotations. During the elective rotation, the resident will collaborate with a community facility to gain information about the practice of pharmacy and psychiatric medication use within that facility. The resident will coordinate care and discharge prescriptions for veterans discharging from that facility, and provide medication reconciliation with VA records and education to patients. During the longitudinal experience, the resident will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of their assigned facility and engage in QA/QI projects throughout the rotation.

Elective Rotations (3-4 electives, 2-4 weeks each)

Mental Health Consult Liaison

Preceptor: Zac Hill, BCPP

The resident will work in an interdisciplinary team consisting of psychology, social work, neurology, and psychiatry to assess and evaluate patients on inpatient medical floors of the hospital with acute mental health needs. The resident will be expected to respond to consults/pages placed by acute medicine teams, assess disease state endorsed for evaluation, goals of care, and obtain pertinent social history from patients through clinical interviewing. Expectation of pharmacy resident will be to function in the same capacity as psychiatric medical residents to develop clinical interviewing skills, communication with acute care medical team for recommendations, and documentation of recommended interventions for medications, non-pharmacologic, and follow-up for all parties involved.

Academic Detailing

Preceptor: Abby Atherton, BCPS, BCPP

The purpose of the Academic Detailing experience is to introduce the pharmacy resident to the skills and techniques of Academic Detailing and to gain experience applying these practices. This rotation allows for perspective of the entire healthcare system orchestration and how pharmacy service may be aligned to improve outcomes on various initiatives. Additionally, the resident will be exposed to training and discussion related to specific campaigns and general leadership development. Based on current campaigns, the resident will be involved in direct patient care risk mitigation strategies using database tools. As campaigns may shift unexpectedly, expectations and activities will be individualized based on need.

Additional Elective Rotations

    • Poison Control Center at the University of Utah
    • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (through partnership with Primary Children’s Hospital) 
    • Repeat core rotation
    • Others available depending on resident interest!

Longitudinal Rotation (weekly 1/2 day clinic, 5 months)

Residents will be required to complete 1-2 continuity clinic experiences lasting 4-6 months to gain longitudinal experience in mental health medication management. These experiences are typically one-half day clinics once weekly to allow residents to develop rapport with patients through medication management visits. These experiences include, but are not limited to, outpatient medication management through SOAR and VIP clinics, clozapine clinic, opioid replacement therapy (ORT) clinic, MHICM team, geriatric specialty clinics, and resident project-based longitudinal (i.e. new service or clinic).

Weekend Staffing

Residents are required to staff one weekend per month on the inpatient psychiatry unit. Responsibilities include completing admission medication reconciliation and providing medication management recommendations to the weekend psychiatry team, teaching a 1-hour patient medication education group, and addressing medication needs. While residents will be the sole pharmacist on the unit after initial training, clinical pharmacist preceptors are on site for patient staffing and resident support.

Other opportunities and experiences:

      • Precepting and teaching opportunities year-round through affiliations with the University of Utah, Roseman College of Pharmacy, University of Utah College of Social Work.  
      • Leadership Certificate (with PGY2 Ambulatory Care Program) which includes monthly discussions, community service, and a Leadership in Motion Project. 
      • Weekly interdisciplinary topic discussions (NP residents, psychology interns, pharmacy residents, etc.)
      • Topic discussions (2-3 per month) with all PGY2 residents and mental health clinical pharmacy preceptors
      • Year-long research or process improvement project
      • Medication use evaluation (MUE)
      • Poster presentation and attendance at either ASHP Midyear or College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) Annual Meetings
      • Oral platform presentation at Mountain States Conference located at the University of Utah in the Spring

See contacts below for more information. Please do not hesitate to contact us!

David Denio, PharmD, BCPP - VA Salt Lake City Mental Health PGY2 Residency Director
VA Salt Lake City HCS Pharmacy Administration 119
500 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84148
Phone 801.582.1565x1172
E-mail: david.denio@va.gov

Natalie Valentino, PharmD, BCPP - VA Salt Lake City Mental Health PGY2 Residency Coordinator
VA Salt Lake City HCS Pharmacy Administration 119
500 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84148
Phone 801.582.1565x1640
E-mail: natalie.valentino@va.gov

Current 2019-2020 PGY2 residents

Audrey Wadhwani Audrey.Wadhwani@va.gov

Jamie Lei Jamie.Lei@va.gov

Kate Voltz Kathleen.Voltz@va.gov

Accreditation Status

Full 6-year accreditation through the American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists (ASHP)

Application process

Early commitment from the PGY-1 Program into the PGY-2 program is highly encouraged. Open PGY-2 slots are matched through PhORCAS. Application materials must be submitted using PhORCAS (see application deadline in the PhORCAS portal). The Postgraduate Year Two (PGY2) Psychiatric Pharmacy residency NMS Code is 655866. If selected, an on-site interview is required and is usually scheduled for late January or February.

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

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