Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC), in affiliation with MCPHS University-Boston, provides a Postgraduate Year One (PGY-1) pharmacy residency program which offers in-depth, hands-on experiences in all aspects of ambulatory care pharmacy practice.
GLFHC, a Federally Qualified Health Center, is the second largest health center in Massachusetts and provides primary health and acute care services to residents of Lawrence and the surrounding Merrimack Valley area. The city of Lawrence is a densely populated community named the “Immigrant City” for its rich multiethnic and multicultural history. Currently, a large percentage of the population is Hispanic which further shapes the local culture and how health care is delivered.
GLFHC is recognized as a National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) level-3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) which affords our pharmacy residents a wealth of interdisciplinary interactions. GLFHC became the first organization in the nation to have an accredited Community Health Center sponsored Family Medicine Residency. This means residents will have the opportunity to directly work and train alongside primary care physicians.
Our clinical pharmacy team provides direct patient care as partners in the PCMH model and practice under collaborative drug therapy management (CDTM) agreements. The GLFHC Family Pharmacy participates in the 340B program which enables scarce resources to be stretched and spread to the most vulnerable patient populations. As a whole, GLFHC distinguishes itself by providing the highest quality multidisciplinary patient care experience and innovative solutions to improve health outcomes in an underserved urban community.
MCPHS University is one of the few private, free-standing universities in the United States specializing in the education of health professionals, and has prepared more students for professional careers in pharmacy than any other academic institution in the world.
The residency program offers longitudinal experiences which allow residents to become fully immersed in the PCMH model, sharpen core skills, and be involved in the community.
Upon completion of the program, a resident will demonstrate competency in:
- patient care;
- advancing practice and improving patient care;
- leadership and management; and,
- teaching, education, and the dissemination of knowledge.
Required and elective learning experiences will serve as the framework for the residency year:
A structured orientation program is scheduled for the first four to six weeks of residency. It is designed to introduce incoming residents to GLFHC as well as responsibilities to MCPHS University as an adjunct faculty member.
Residents are given the opportunity to participate in National Health Center Week. See below for our 2017 slideshow!
Clinical Pharmacy Services (CPS)
This longitudinal learning experience will train pharmacy residents to become highly skilled, confident, and compassionate clinical pharmacists providing direct one-on-one patient care services as integral members of the PCMH team. The interdisciplinary team includes doctors, medical residents, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, medical assistants, dieticians, community support staff, administrative assistants, and other ancillary healthcare workers. Residents will form and establish relationships with patients and the healthcare team to monitor patients’ progress throughout the year. By actively managing all aspects of medication therapy, pharmacy residents can proactively identify, prevent, and resolve medication-related problems and assure appropriate use of prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications, especially for those with chronic illnesses. Commonly encountered disease states include diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia. Residents will also be directly involved with anticoagulation management and the treatment of persons with latent tuberculosis infection.
Residents will be exposed to a varied patient population seeking medications for different disease states. This longitudinal learning experience is designed to ensure that he or she is proficient in outpatient pharmacy operations and services as well as the provision of direct patient care at a dispensing pharmacy. This experience will hone dispensing skills and clinical judgment so as to provide safe and effective pharmaceutical care to patients. Residents will gain direct insight into policies and procedures of community pharmacy practice as well as the policies and procedures required of a 340B pharmacy with two physical inventories.
This administration learning experience is longitudinal and includes several projects throughout the year. Experiences acquired will allow residents to learn how to manage a 340B community and ambulatory care pharmacy practice within a Federally Qualified Health Center functioning as a Patient Centered Medical Home. Residents will work closely with the Senior Vice President of Pharmacy Operations and Director of Pharmacy to gain experience managing five outpatient pharmacies. The residents will also assist in the cultivation and coordination of clinical pharmacy services within the institution. There will be exposure to pharmacy finances with special attention to GLFHC’s 340B participation through internal pharmacy services. Residents will participate in quarterly Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P & T) Committee meetings, quarterly Safety and Sentinel meetings, and 340B Compliance trainings. There will also be opportunity to update standing orders, such as flu and naloxone, look-alike, sound-alike drug lists, and attend a managers training.
Teaching and Learning
This is also a longitudinal learning experience. Precepting pharmacy students on clinical rotations, delivering continuing education programs to other pharmacists and health care professionals, and formally teaching in an academic setting requires the development of skills that are best acquired during a University co-sponsored residency program. At GLFHC, residents will have the opportunity to precept Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience interns, participate in several educational sessions for medical residents, and attend medical rounds. MCPHS University will host a Residency Teaching Certificate Program (RTCP). The aim of the RTCP is to motivate and prepare residents to be proficient clinical educators. The RTCP will provide residents with a foundation of core educational principles presented in live and online didactic modules. Guided by an academic faculty mentor (AFM), each resident will also gain practical teaching experience in a variety of educational settings (e.g. large/small classroom, clerkship, laboratory, or seminar). Residents will also develop, with the assistance of their faculty mentor, a formative teaching portfolio that will document their progress and enhance the learning experience. Upon successful completion, a Teaching Certificate from MCPHS University will be awarded.
This is a longitudinal learning experience that is designed to expose pharmacy residents to larger scale and/or longer term impact projects. Pharmacy residents will design and execute a pharmacy-related project, which will be worked on throughout the course of the year. The project should be one that will impact clinical pharmacy and/or add to the general knowledge of the profession.
Homeless Shelter Elective: An opportunity for residents to work collaboratively with the health care team to provide primary and preventative care services to the uninsured and homeless. Residents will provide medication therapy management services and adherence reporting, problem-solve medication-related issues, and offer patient and provider education.
Behavioral Health Elective: An opportunity for residents to work collaboratively with the health care team to provide mental health services. Residents will participate in medication therapy management in addition to patient and provider education as it relates to patients with psychiatric-related illnesses.
There is also opportunity to create a new elective based on each resident’s interests.
The program is accredited by the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP).
Number of Positions
The program currently has 2 available positions.
We utilize the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS) and the Match. Applications are due in PhORCAS by January 1. Using PhORCAS, please submit:
- Letter of intent
- Curriculum vitae
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official school of pharmacy transcript (undergraduate transcripts not required)
Program Start Date
The one year residency program runs approximately from early July through the end of June.
Applicant Qualifications & Requirements
- Must be a candidate for spring graduation or already have obtained a PharmD degree from an ACPE-accredited school of pharmacy
- Be licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts within 90 days of the residency start date
- Be a citizen of the USA (naturalized citizens must provide proof of naturalization) or hold a visa allowing for completion of the residency year; we are unable to sponsor visas
|Residency Program Director:||Alicia Mam daCunha, PharmD, BCACP
|Senior Vice President, Chief Pharmacy Officer:||Diane Martin, RPh
|Residency Program Coordinator and Primary Contact:||Alexia Sroka, BA, PharmD, BCPS
Vivian Nguyen earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of the Pacific located in California, where she was born and raised. Her current interests include transitions of care and diabetes management. She hopes to provide optimal care for patients and advocate for the underserved in the Lawrence community. Outside of work, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends, listening to live music, and traveling.
Mai Yokota first received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Kobe Gakuin University in Japan and, more recently, earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Western University of Health Sciences in California. Her current interests include transitions of care as well as uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia medication management. She is excited to keep learning evidenced-based medicine together and share her learning with our patients. Ever since she started doing triathlons, she’s into outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, snowboarding, and surfing.
Cassandra Fisher, PharmD is originally from the Boston area. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from the University of New England College of Pharmacy in Portland, Maine. After graduation, she continued her training as a PGY-1 resident at GLFHC/MCPHS University. She was drawn to the residency program in Lawrence due to the diverse patient population and incredible opportunities to give back to the local community (including a sock drive for the homeless, Mobile Markets, fundraising for the Lawrence Greenway and more). Upon completing her residency training, she accepted a position at GLFHC as a community pharmacist. In her free time, Cassandra enjoys watching Boston sports games, outdoor activities, and spending time with family.
Neiloofar Jafari, PharmD is originally from Upland, California. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Keck Graduate Institute School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Pursuing her goals and aspirations of becoming a clinical pharmacist she completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency (PGY-1) at GLFHC/MCPHS University. Upon graduation, Neiloofar joined the GLFHC team as a clinical pharmacist where she continued to follow her passion in providing individualized care to an underserved patient population. Neiloofar believes that her time spent at GLFHC provided her many unique opportunities, which helped her grow on both a personal and professional level. In her free time, she enjoys going to concerts, exploring new foods, and traveling.
Sandy Lee, PharmD is originally from Tucson, AZ. She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. Sandy was drawn to GLFHC/MCPHS University because she was passionate about teaching and providing care to the underserved. Sandy believes that her residency training not only fostered her clinical knowledge, but helped her understand how to help patients despite any financial or circumstantial barriers that they may have. After completing her residency, Sandy accepted a position as the first Clinical Pharmacist at Chiricahua Community Health Center, a federally qualified health center located in Sierra Vista, AZ. Sandy’s role consists of developing clinical pharmacy services, assisting with chronic disease state management, providing patient education, and creating clinical policies and procedures. Her areas of interest include diabetes, asthma, and academia. In her free time, Sandy enjoys cooking, trying new restaurants, traveling, crafting, and spending time with friends and family.
Christine Dimaculangan, PharmD is originally from Jersey City, NJ. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. She completed her PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Training at GLHFC/MCPHS University and completed her PGY-2 Training in Ambulatory Care at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore, MD. She currently holds a position as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University. Her clinical practice site is at the Center for Comprehensive Care (an affiliate of Jersey City Medical Center). She collaborates with a multidisciplinary team, managing chronic diseases (such as diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia) in the setting of HIV and Hepatitis C. Her professional interests include primary care, infectious diseases, serving the underserved, and academia. Christine’s favorite part of the GLFHC/MCPHS University residency was having the opportunity to serve the community with people who are passionate about the work they do every single day. Outside of pharmacy, she enjoys hiking, trying new foods, watching live music, and spending time with her family.
Alana Regan, PharmD, BCPP received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Western New England University in Springfield, MA. Following the completion of her PGY-1 residency at GLFHC/MCPHS University, Alana continued her post-graduate training and completed a PGY-2 psychiatric pharmacy residency at the VA Boston Healthcare System. She now works for McLean Hospital as a clinical pharmacist. Her pharmacy practice interests include mental health, chronic disease state management, teaching, and improving patient access. Alana attributes her wonderful experience at GLFHC/MCPHS University’s residency program to the wide variety of patient care and collaborative pharmacy practice experiences afforded to her, all with a focus on her professional development. In her free time, Alana enjoys bowling and relaxing with family and friends by exercising, cooking, or traveling together.
Jacob Reaser, PharmD, BCACP earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University at Buffalo. Shortly after he graduated from pharmacy school, he joined GLFHC/MCPHS University as the second pharmacy resident. As a pharmacy resident at GLFHC/MCPHS University, Jacob enjoyed working with a wide range of practitioners and establishing long-term relationships with his patients. After completing his residency, Jacob became an Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) where he taught and precepted pharmacy students and pharmacy residents. Most recently, Jacob has accepted a new role as a population health pharmacist with Highmark Health. His role as a population health pharmacist will involve him traveling to different medical offices throughout central Pennsylvania and working closely with practitioners by helping them improve Medicare Star measures, HEDIS measures, and other medication-related measures in their practice. In his free time, Jacob likes to go hiking, running, and doing yoga workouts. He loves to go on long-distance runs and has completed several half-marathons in the past!
Alexia Sroka, BA, PharmD, BCPS received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from MCPHS University in Worcester, MA. After graduation she completed her Pharmacy Practice Residency (PGY-1) at GLFHC/MCPHS University as the programs inaugural resident. Immediately after residency, Alexia joined the GLFHC clinical pharmacy team. Her area of practice is broad but includes anticoagulation, latent tuberculosis, and chronic disease state management. Her interests and passions extend even further when you consider precepting. If you ask, Alexia will say that her GLFHC/MCPHS University residency experience opened the door to networking and an opportunity to deliver patient care alongside an exceptional team. In her free time, she enjoys listening to podcasts while baking Grandma Maggie’s famous banana cake.