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

Program Overview | Preceptors | Residents

Abby Biesterveld

Abby Biesterveld

Previous Education: PharmD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and BS in Nuclear Medicine Technology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

Short Bio: I grew up in Little Chute, WI and have since lived in numerous cities across the state. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching sports, playing volleyball, reading when I get a chance, and traveling. I also like most things “Wisconsin” including the Packers, Brewers, Badgers, beer, and just about any type of cheese!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a well established program with a variety of elective rotations in inpatient and ambulatory settings, as well as, strong mentorship, teaching opportunities, and a larger class size.

Why Aurora? Aurora matched very well with what I was looking for in a residency program. They offer a wide variety of rotations in my areas of interest, are innovative in the practice of pharmacy, and are a well-established program with dedicated preceptors. My interactions with the people at Aurora and the positive vibe I received during my interview helped me realize why Aurora was a great choice. I also wanted to be a part of an organization where pharmacists play a significant and respected role in patient care and I believe that occurs here.

Current Rotations: Oncology, MRICU, Infectious Diseases, Administration/Drug Use Policy, Medicine, Cardiothoracic Transplant, Surgical

Year-Long Project: Standardization of Pharmacist Provided Inpatient Education for Select Medications

Future Plans: I am considering pursuing a PGY-2 residency or obtaining a clinical pharmacist position. I’m hoping to choose which route best fits my interests after my rotation experiences in the next few months!


Allison Buida

Allison Buida

Previous education: Butler University (Indianapolis, IN)

Short Bio: I was born and raised in Nashville, TN, and am excited for my first Wisconsin winter this year. In my free time I like to scrapbook, bake, go out with friends, and spend time outside. I love all the festivals Milwaukee has to offer and can’t wait to check out even more!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I wanted a larger residency class and a program that had a wide variety of rotations available. I am interested in pursuing a PGY2 so choosing a program that had opportunities for PGY2 was important to me.

Why Aurora? Aurora had everything I was looking for – a large residency class, established program, PGY2 in oncology, and many elective rotations to choose from. I was impressed throughout my interview with the caliber of the program and the opportunities available.

Current rotations: My core rotations are surgery, administration/drug use policy, oncology, and medicine. My elective rotations are the oncology ambulatory clinic, cardiothoracic transplant, and infectious diseases.

Year-Long Project: Pharmacist Preoperative Medication Evaluation for Elective CV Surgery Patients

Future Plans: I am considering a PGY2 in oncology. I would like to get my BCPS after residency. Eventually, I would like to work as a clinical pharmacist in a large hospital and precept students and/or residents.


Becca Nolen

Becca Nolen

Previous education: St. Louis College of Pharmacy in Saint Louis, Missouri

Short Bio: I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri, although I’ve also lived in California and Texas. I love to drink beer, travel, and spend time with my friends and family. One of my favorite vacations was to Galway, Ireland, which was a breathtaking experience.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: Residency class size, reputation and history of the program, availability of oncology experiences, enthusiasm of preceptors and program director, and hospital size.

Why Aurora? I really like that Aurora has a large residency class that has a robust history. All of the pharmacists at the hospital welcome and support the residents – they spend a lot of time ensuring we are able to have a meaningful experience. As much as I love St. Louis, I also wanted a chance to experience a new area of the Midwest.

Current rotations: My core rotations are oncology, administration/drug use policy, surgery, and medicine. My elective rotations are infectious diseases, anticoagulation clinic, and MICU/ED at Aurora Sinai.

Year-Long Project: Optimizing the Duration of Antimicrobial Therapy in Non-critical Adult Inpatients.

Future Plans: I plan to pursue a PGY2 in oncology.


Carrie Bruno

Carrie Bruno

Previous education: PharmD from University of Wisconsin-Madison

Short Bio: I am originally from Winthrop Harbor,IL. I attended Millikin University in Decatur, IL for my undergraduate coursework before heading to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for pharmacy school. In my free time, I like to spend time outdoors, travel, cook, and hang out with my family and friends.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a residency program that offered a variety of experiences and electives. I wanted a residency program at a large institution, but still allowed for a flexible schedule. In addition, it was important for me to be a part of a well-established program with a large residency class.

Why Aurora? I was originally interested in Aurora because it offered many things I was looking for in a residency program. Also, I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the preceptors and residency director. I felt that they were connected to the program which would provide me with a lot of mentorship and support throughout my residency year.

Current rotations: Infectious Disease, MICU/ED at Sinai Medical Center, Oncology, General Medicine, Cardiology, Administration/Drug Use Policy, SICU.

Year-Long Project: Selection and De-escalation of Antibiotics in the ICU.

Future Plans: Ultimately, I would like to work as a clinical pharmacist in an inpatient setting and I am considering pursuing a PGY2 in either Infectious Disease or Oncology, or possibly finding a position immediately after residency.


Angela Colella

Becca Nolen

Previous education: Bachelor’s from University of Wisconsin, Madison. PharmD from Concordia University Wisconsin, School of Pharmacy

Short Bio: I am a non-traditional resident, meaning I have come into the pharmacy world after a number of years in a different career and a few years being a stay-at-home mom. My first job after completing my undergraduate degree (I majored in English literature) was in Chicago at a public relations firm that focused on medical and health communications. I then worked as a marketing manager at an academic medical center in Augusta, Georgia followed by a similar position in Baltimore at the University of Maryland Medical Center. My husband and I moved back to Wisconsin after our second son was born and I returned to school a few years later.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: Location, leadership and staffing.

Why Aurora? Aurora had the best fit for me to balance my home life and excel as a pharmacist. I felt that I would be able to develop clinically under strong preceptors and professionally under strong mentors.

Current rotations: I am currently on administration and drug use policy. My electives for this year will include infectious disease, neurology ICU/outpatient clinic, and informatics.

Year-Long Project: My role is to lead the conversion of our PICC line capping policy and procedure from heparin to citrate.

Future Plans: I hope to secure a position that incorporates my strong interest in drug policy or investigational drugs.


Emily Bryant

Emily Bryant

Previous education: Undergraduate pre-requisites at University of Wisconsin-Madison (two years), PharmD at Concordia University WI-School of Pharmacy

Short Bio: I was born and raised in Wisconsin, and grew up in Kewaskum (a very small town about 45 minutes north of Milwaukee). I’m addicted to the Food Network and enjoy perusing the many unique and delicious restaurants that Milwaukee has to offer. I also love to read (for fun!), play volleyball, and spend time with family & friends.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I wanted to stay in the Milwaukee area, but was looking for a well-established program with a large residency class and PGY2 opportunities.

Why Aurora? After completing an APPE rotation at St. Luke’s I was really impressed with the pharmacist’s abilities here. The pharmacy program is very progressive, and the new practice model really allows the pharmacists to maximize monitoring time and direct patient care. Most importantly, Aurora has a great pharmacy staff and awesome preceptors!

Current rotations: My elective rotations are abdominal transplant, critical care (in the Medical Respiratory ICU), and infectious disease. My core rotations are oncology, administration/drug use policy, cardiology, and general medicine.

Year-Long Project: Fluoroquinolone Restriction Policy

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


Krista Rice

Krista Rice

Previous education: Chemistry BS and PharmD from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities.

Short Bio: I grew up in Brookfield, WI (just west of Milwaukee) and I am excited to be back in the Milwaukee area after many years of school in Minnesota. I enjoy spending my free time with family and friends – especially out on the lake waterskiing (or downhill skiing when it’s cold), trying all of the delicious foods and drinks at the Milwaukee summer festivals, running an occasional 5K, playing racquetball, and “jamming” with our family bluegrass band when we’re all in the same city (I play fiddle!)

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a well-established program in Wisconsin that offered a variety of electives and rotations that aligned with my interests.

Why Aurora? I became interested in Aurora’s program because it offered many experiences that supported my interests (specifically an elective rotation in psych and many opportunities to work with students). At my interview, I was impressed with the enthusiasm of both the program director and the preceptors and it was evident that the residency program receives an abundance of support.

Current rotations: Administration/Drug Use Policy, Surgery, Family Medicine, Infectious Disease, Cardiology, General Medicine, and Psych.

Year-Long Project: Implementation of New Guidelines for Skin and Soft Tissue Infections

Future Plans: I hope to be a clinical pharmacist with a position that incorporates my professional interests and also allows me the opportunity to work with students/residents.


Kristin Blunt

Kristin Blunt

Previous education: Undergraduate work at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and pharmacy school at Concordia University Wisconsin

Short Bio: I am originally from the Milwaukee area – and it seems the longer I’ve been here, the shorter summer gets! The area does have a lot of wonderful things to offer (if the weather permits); I enjoy spending time outside bike riding, exploring Wisconsin, and attending local festivals. I love music, going to concerts, cooking, dining out (I’m a foodie), and travel (especially to warm, exotic locales). My major areas of interest in pharmacy (as of now) are cardiology and infectious disease. I also have personal interests in nutrition and alternative medicine.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: Culture of institution, enthusiasm and attitude displayed by the preceptors and program director, variety in rotation selection, and experience in a large tertiary care center.

Why Aurora? I have worked within the Aurora Health Care system at smaller hospitals as an inpatient pharmacy technician and as I progressed through school, a pharmacy intern. I have always felt like I fit within Aurora’s culture of striving for excellence while maintaining a warm, genuine attitude toward co-workers and patients. The more exposure I had to the pharmacy department within Aurora as a whole, the more I wanted to stay on and continue my journey. I feel honored to work with a staff of exceptional pharmacists that consistently go the extra mile to provide the best patient care.

Current rotations: ID, administration/drug use policy, cardiology, general medical, general surgical, medical ICU, epilepsy clinic/neuro ICU

Year-Long Project: Optimizing Antimicrobial Stewardship in the Emergency Department

Future Plans: I would like to be a clinical pharmacist that serves as an integral member of the health care team. While I primarily see myself in the inpatient setting, I can see myself thriving in a clinic or perhaps even a non-traditional setting.


Kunal Desai

Kunal Desai

Previous education: I received my B. Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Irvine and PharmD from Chicago State University College of Pharmacy.

Short Bio: I am originally from California (Corona, CA to be exact!), but I moved to Chicago for pharmacy school. I love to travel and cook! I have been to India, Argentina, Taiwan, and Mexico but I plan to expand that list after my residency is over.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a program that was well established, reputable, and that had rotations that I was interested in. I also was intent on finding a program that had an amicable staff because ultimately these would be the people who I would be working with.

Why Aurora? I was intrigued by the structure of the program and the experience of the staff. The pharmacy practice model allowed for more direct patient care (something that I enjoy) and also Aurora St. Luke’s was one of the few programs I was interested in that offered an informatics elective.

Current rotations: My elective rotations are informatics, abdominal transplant, and the anticoagulation clinic (ambulatory care). My core rotations are in cardiology, surgery, general medicine, and administration/drug use policy.

Year-Long Project: Decreasing order verification by creating an “auto-verified” list of medications.

Future Plans: I have an interest in pursuing a PGY2 residency in informatics and possibly teaching at a college of pharmacy in the future.


Lauren Schmidt

Lauren Schmidt

Previous education: Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences- PharmD

Short Bio: I am from a northern suburb of Chicago and went to school in Des Moines, IA, so I am enjoying exploring the happy medium of urban and suburban fun things to do in Milwaukee. I am getting spoiled with being able to run along the lakefront, sightsee at festivals pretty much any weekend, and trying so many delicious restaurants! Plus, making it to a Brewers game is definitely on my bucket list.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was looking for a strong clinical program that would provide me with experience in a variety of inpatient practice areas that also had an ambulatory component. In addition to clinical practice criteria, I also wanted to find an environment and people with whom I felt I would get along well.

Why Aurora? The variety of rotations that Aurora offers fit my criteria for clinical factors well, and the strong cardiology and oncology areas at St. Luke’s were appealing. The other pharmacists are so receptive to residents and are just genuinely very friendly people! I could see myself working well with them throughout the year and improving my residency experience.

Current rotations: Neurology ICU/epilepsy clinic, oncology, cardiology, administration/drug use policy, family medicine clinic, medical ICU/emergency room at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, and general medicine

Year-Long Project: Implementation of Metrics to Assess the Impact of Pharmacists in Clinics

Future Plans: After my PGY1 residency, I plan to pursue obtaining my BCPS. My goal is to obtain a clinical pharmacy position at an institution incorporating inpatient and ambulatory patient care services where I can build strong interprofessional relationships and precept students.


Lee Meredith

Lee Meredith

Previous education: University of Wisconsin-Madison

Short Bio: My name is Lee Meredith, a first year Aurora Metro, Inc pharmacy practice resident. My primary interests in pharmacy are oncology and infectious disease. Things that I do that aren’t pharmacy related include: planning a wedding (I’ve been granted authority to pick out cufflinks), hiking, doing little home improvement projects, cooking, and hosting the occasional foosball clinic.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: If you have an interest area, tailor your residency choice to the one that will allow you the most practical experience in the type of pharmacy you want to practice

Why Aurora? Aurora has a commitment to improving the practice of pharmacy. The department of pharmacy is constantly undergoing workflow changes and adopting practices that optimize patient care and allow pharmacists to practice to the full extent of their licenses as meaningful members of treatment teams. Aurora is an integrated health care system which means that the practices applied at one site are rolled out to all other sites. This means that as a resident, your impact may extend beyond your immediate practice site to the entire system.

Current rotations: Investigational Drugs/P&T, Oncology, Cardiology, Medicine, Medical/Respiratory ICU, Administration/Drug Use Policy, and Infectious Disease

Year-Long Project: Maximizing Pharmacy Student Impact

Future Plans: Obtaining a PGY2 residency in oncology


Sam Miller

Sam Miller

Previous education: Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Short Bio: I grew up on a farm in Hubbard, IA. With my free time, I enjoy traveling, cycling, and watching movies (any genre). I am excited about moving to Milwaukee to explore the city, attend some of the summer festivals, and spend time with family and friends!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: I was interested in an established program at a large medical center that had a wide variety of elective rotations. I wanted to have an opportunity to explore my interest in cardiology and critical care.

Why Aurora? Aurora fit my description above. Also, the enthusiasm and great support system from the residency director and preceptors throughout the interview and residency process solidified my decision.

Current rotations: Cardiology, Surgical, Surgical ICU, Abdominal Transplant, Clinical teaching, Administration/Drug Use Policy, and Adult Medicine

Year-Long Project: Decrease Waste with Eptifibatide Use.

Future Plans: I would like to work as an inpatient clinical pharmacist and I am considering pursing a PGY2 residency in critical care.


Sara Farrell

Sara Farrell

Previous education: The University of Iowa College of Pharmacy

Short Bio: I’m from a small town called Dewitt, Iowa. I attended The University of Iowa and am a huge Hawkeye football fan. Surprisingly enough I haven’t even been heckled for wearing my Iowa shirts around Milwaukee… yet. I love to eat at new restaurants, go to my new Milwaukee gym, and walk on the lake trails. I also enjoy being actively involved in my state association, and can’t wait to see what PSW has to offer!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: Personalities of co-workers, program history, PGY2 options, teaching/precepting options.

Why Aurora? Right off the bat everyone I interviewed with at Aurora was extremely nice and welcoming. They have a great program that has been around for many years, and has many specialty rotation options. I also value their close relationship with Concordia that will provide me with many opportunities to precept. The fact that it is located in Milwaukee, a town that always has some sort of fun activity going on, was an added bonus!

Current rotations: MRICU, Infectious Disease, Surgery, Medicine, Admin/Drug Use Policy, Abdominal Transplant, Cardiology

Year-Long Project: Updating the Patient Portal myAurora to Improve Patient Care and Satisfaction

Future Plans: I’m considering a PGY2 residency in critical care or Emergency Department. I would love to be an inpatient pharmacist at an academic teaching institution with precepting opportunities. I will also continue to be actively involved in my state and national associations.


Sara Sladky

Sara Sladky

Previous education: Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Short Bio: I am from Burlington, IA, which is a small town in southeast Iowa. I love exploring new places to eat, and I have already found some amazing restaurants in Milwaukee! I enjoy running, walking, biking, and spending time outdoors as much as possible! I also enjoy spending time with family and friends!

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: History of the residency program, large residency class, and a variety of rotation opportunities.

Why Aurora? I chose Aurora’s program because of their strong cardiology, oncology, and critical care programs and wide variety of rotation opportunities. I was also very impressed with the preceptors and pharmacy staff, and I felt Aurora’s program would offer great mentorship and support during my residency year.

Current rotations: Surgery, ID, Administration/Drug Use Policy, Oncology, Medicine, Oncology Clinics, Critical Care (MRICU)

Year-Long Project: Design and Implementation of Medication Video Resources in a Health System

Future Plans: My future plans include becoming a clinical pharmacist at a large medical center and becoming a preceptor for pharmacy students.


Sarah Moldenhauer

Sarah Moldenhauer

Previous education: Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Short Bio: I grew up in Manitowoc, WI, which is an hour north of Milwaukee on Lake MI. I love traveling and had the opportunity to study abroad in Greece and Turkey. I also have a passion for doing anything outdoors – hiking, kayaking, biking, running, and playing beach volleyball to name a few.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: Personality of residents and pharmacy department, pharmacy practice model, rotations that coincided with my interests, and PGY2 residency programs

Why Aurora? I chose Aurora because it had a well-established program that fit my interests of cardiology, transplant, and critical care. I also liked the student-precepting opportunities Aurora offered, as well as the genuine dedication of the pharmacy leadership team to the residency program.

Current rotations: Cardiology, cardiothoracic transplant, medicine, medical/respiratory ICU, administration/drug use policy, cardiac ICU, surgery

Year-Long Project: My year-long project is to implement a pharmacist-led teaching service for heart failure inpatients.

Future Plans: I would like to work as a clinical pharmacist in a hospital or clinic setting. I am using my residency year to explore different areas that I may want to specialize in or pursue a PGY2 residency in.


Sean Byers

Sean Byers

Previous education: Creighton University

Short Bio: I am originally from the twin cities area in Minnesota and went to school in Nebraska (yes, there is something there other than cornfields). As you may have noticed, there are only four men in this class of beautiful people, yet everyone is awesome to work with. We have not had the need to band together to form a he-man-woman-haters club. I am a huge sports nut (go Jays) for pretty much any sport except soccer. I like to get outside as much as I can; whether that’s camping, pickup basketball, or going for a run. Milwaukee is an awesome city and always has something going on whether it’s a festival (Summerfest, Germanfest, Irishfest, Oktoberfest etc.), concert, or sporting event.

Factors Considered Most Important When Choosing Residency: Large, exciting, fast-paced hospital where there are many different specialties, diverse patient population, and many opportunities to learn and experience new things. I also looked for the opportunity to work with other (or many) residents to learn from and experience the process with them.

Why Aurora? The residents, preceptors and pharmacists are one big family that pushes each other to get better while also being extremely supportive along the journey. There are also many students in other professions, as well as resident programs, that come through which endorses a learning/teaching environment and the staff are no strangers to residents. Aurora also has an established program and has had residents for the past twenty years.

Current rotations: General Medicine, Administration/Drug Use Policy, Medical Respiratory ICU, Infectious Disease, Cardiology, Surgery and Emergency Department

Year-Long Project: Update Aurora Health Care Policies Relating to USP Chapter 797

Future Plans: Clinical pharmacist in a community hospital.