Host Site: Welia Health
NMS Match Code: 111224
Site Emphasis: Rural Health
Program Length: 1 year
No. of Positions: 2 per year (1 resident is Ambulatory Care and Hospital focused and 1 resident is Ambulatory Care and Community focused)
Co-Site Coordinators and Primary Preceptors: Brent Thompson, PharmD and Kati Dvorak, PharmD, BCACP
Additional Preceptors: Patricia Lind, PharmD, Nicholas Giller, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, BCIDP; Jenny Houglum, PharmD; Aimee Burk, PharmD; Chelsea Benson, Pharm D; Joe Dvorak, PharmD, 340B ACE
Resident(s): Meet the current resident(s)
For over 70 years, Welia Health has been serving the health care needs of central Minnesota, including the counties of Kanabec, Pine, Aitkin, Mille Lacs, and the surrounding areas. Welia Health is a self-sustaining, critical access integrated health system. The hospital is licensed to operate 49 beds and is in Mora, MN. The clinics include a provider-based clinic attached to the hospital, two outreach Rural Health Clinics in Pine City and Hinckley, and an eye clinic in Mora. Welia also operates two community pharmacies, one located within the Pine City Rural Health Clinic, and one located on the Mora campus.
Committed to building a healthier tomorrow, Welia Health recently completed a multimillion-dollar expansion project, which included a new hospital pharmacy and a new community pharmacy on the Mora campus. This expansion allows Welia to accommodate the continued growth in the surrounding communities, upgrades to technology, and provide additional patient services.
Mission: To support and improve the health of the communities we serve.
Vision: To foster a patient-centered culture and maintain a complement of services that meet the changing needs of the communities we serve.
Pharmacy Services and Resident Opportunities: Welia is excited to be expanding its residency program by providing two residency opportunities. Both will offer a comprehensive rural experience with a focus on providing direct patient care and ambulatory services with one having an inpatient hospital emphasis and one having a community emphasis. Being able to understand and provide care throughout a rural health system makes the residents a vital member of the healthcare team as they help to implement quality improvement practices throughout the entire health system. We feel strongly having two residents will allow for expanded learning and knowledge sharing, enhancing their experience, and creating well-rounded rural health providers.
The wide variety of skills and interests of the pharmacy staff enables the department to be a unique think tank for pharmacy growth and vision in rural Minnesota. Welia pharmacists strive to not only improve patient care directly, but also finds additional opportunities to meet the needs of our underserved communities.
Ambulatory Care (applies to both residents): Pharmacists provide Medication Therapy Management (MTM) at all three Welia clinics. The pharmacists work alongside other providers using a broad collaborative practice agreement (CPA) to be able to provide comprehensive medication management and have a real and immediate impact on patient care. They use efficient practice management techniques to run the MTM clinics and are experts in scheduling and referring patients. Documentation is exceptionally thorough and billed is done though the clinic. The clinics, hospital, and community pharmacies have a fully integrated EPIC based electronic health record ensuring continuity of care for patients as they transition throughout the health system. This practice has been steadily growing over the more than 10 years Welia has been offering these services and with new opportunities it will continue to expand.
Inpatient Care (amb care/hospital resident): Interdisciplinary team-based care is predominant throughout Welia. The inpatient pharmacy team works closely with providers, nurses, social workers, and many other team members to improve care and outcomes for patients. The hospital pharmacy offers complete medication and clinical services to the hospital, emergency department, urgent care, and outpatient/chemotherapy infusions. They participate in daily inpatient rounding, are experts in antimicrobial stewardship, and manage all medications given within the health system. The inpatient pharmacist serves as a safety net allowing for continued growth with innovative practices at Welia.
Community Care (amb care/community resident): The community pharmacy team works closely with all members of the health care team focusing on providing high quality patient-centered care in a community pharmacy setting. The existing CPA with Welia providers allows the community pharmacists to practice at the top of their license, giving them the ability to vaccinate, order necessary labs, provide therapeutic interchanges, and initiate therapy. Both community pharmacies provide MTM services for eligible patients and are active members of the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN). The pharmacists, technicians and support staff all work to meet the individual needs of their patients to ensure medications are appropriate, safe, effective, and affordable.
These residencies allow opportunities for the resident(s) to expand knowledge in all areas of rural health.
Ambulatory care is the primary focus for both residencies. Residents will provide comprehensive medication therapy management to patients located in Welia’s three clinics under a collaborative practice agreement. The resident will have an opportunity to have several ambulatory care preceptors to assist in their training. In addition, residents will work closely with clinic providers and nurses when providing chronic care management and caring for patients transitioning through the health system. Through the care of these ambulatory patients and through clinical discussions with preceptors, residents who complete this program will have strong clinical skills to manage patients’ diverse medication needs in a rural setting. During the ambulatory care experience, residents will have opportunities to assist in the education of APPE ambulatory care interns. In addition, the resident at the completion of this experience should possess a strong understanding of practice management issues and be capable of creating an MTM practice on his/her own.
Residents pursuing the hospital pharmacy emphasis will have learning experiences in the management of acute care patients including participation in interdisciplinary care of hospitalized patients, discharge planning rounds, medication reconciliation on admission and discharge, pharmacist staffing, working with APPE acute care interns, and participation in activities of clinical hospital committees. Opportunities for ACLS certification and others will be offered. Hospital pharmacy staffing will include approximately 14 weekend rotations throughout the year. Hospital pharmacy staffing will be approximately 20% of the resident’s experience and would be flexible to meet the needs of the pharmacy and resident.
Residents pursuing the community pharmacy emphasis will have learning experiences in the management of ambulatory patients including providing interdisciplinary care, incorporating clinical knowledge and guidelines into the community pharmacy workflow, providing community pharmacy based MTM services and implementing new clinical services to improve patient outcomes. The resident with also providing education to pharmacy and clinic staff, working with APPE community pharmacy interns, and participation in activities of clinic-based committees. The resident with staff in the community pharmacy and will include approximately every 3rd weekend rotation throughout the year. Community pharmacy staffing will be approximately 20% of the resident’s experience and would be flexible to meet the needs of the pharmacy and resident.
The expectation for the resident(s) will be to spend more than half of the residency hours in direct patient care, including caring for patients in the ambulatory care and acute care settings or ambulatory care and community setting. Through this experience, the resident(s) will develop a strong clinical foundation and practice management skills, bridging all aspects of rural care.
Brent Thompson, B.S. PharmD, is the Pharmacy Director at Welia Health and is one of the primary preceptors of this residency program. Brent has been providing care for patients at Welia Health since 2000, first as the clinical pharmacist, now as Director. He graduated from North Dakota State University with his BS and PharmD. His past experiences include community pharmacy in retail settings and consulting pharmacy in both assisted living and long-term care. Today he is most busy helping the clinical pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, resident pharmacist, and several APPE interns care for patients in the hospital, clinic, and community pharmacy. He continues to practice as a clinical pharmacist himself when time allows. His personal area of research is in opiate abuse prevention. Brent is Past President of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association.
Kati Dvorak, PharmD, BCACP, is a Clinical Pharmacist at Welia Health and is one of the primary preceptors of this residency program. Dr. K. Dvorak completed an ambulatory care residency program with the University of Minnesota at Goodrich Pharmacy and is board certified in ambulatory care. She has been practicing in both inpatient and outpatient care for over ten years. Dr. K. Dvorak has served as the Minnesota Pharmacy Association’s (MPhA) Speaker of the House and is currently serving as a rural board member. She was the 2017 recipient of the MPhA Distinguished Young Pharmacist of the Year Award. At Welia Health, Dr. K. Dvorak specializes in caring for patients during transitions of care and provides MTM services at the rural health clinics. Dr K. Dvorak likes the challenge of taking care of patient in all settings and enjoys precepting pharmacy interns and residents.
Patricia R. Lind, BS., MS, PharmD, is a Clinical Pharmacist at Welia Health and is also one of the primary preceptors of this residency program. Dr. Lind has a Master of Science in Social and Administrative Pharmacy and taught Pharmaceutical Care at the University of Minnesota for ten years. She has been at Welia Health since 2005 with continuing interests in developing a strong pharmacy residency program, ambulatory pharmacy services, and streamlining the electronic medical record. She is current chair of the Pharmacy HIT collaborative, Work Group 2, working on developing and disseminating information on the use of clinical documentation codes in pharmacy.
Nicholas Giller, PharmD, BCPS, BCOP, BCID is a hospital based Clinical Pharmacist at Welia Health and has over ten years of experience in acute care and is a clinical acute care resource for Welia Health’s residents. Dr. Giller is a graduate of the University of Minnesota in 2005 and has since become triple board certified. Dr. Giller specializes in infectious disease and oncology and serves as Welia Health’s acute care preceptor for IPPE and APPE interns, in addition to assisting with the precepting of the acute care portion of the residency.
Jenny Houglum, PharmD, is a hospital based Clinical Pharmacist at Welia Health. Dr. Houglum graduated from the University of Minnesota and has over ten years of community and hospital experience. Dr. Houglum, a 2015 recipient of the Bowl of Hygeia Award, concentrates her clinical work in the fields of diabetes, narcotic management and health care associated technologies. Dr. Houglum assists with the precepting of the acute care and educational components of the residency.
Aimee Burk, PharmD, is a Clinical Pharmacist at Welia Health and divides her practice between community, ambulatory and acute care. Dr. Burk graduated from the University of Minnesota and completed a University of Minnesota Ambulatory Care residency at Welia Health in 2015. She then worked at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby, MN where she gained experience with chemotherapy, emergency medicine and inpatient care. Dr. Burk is Welia Health’s ambulatory care preceptor for APPE interns and precepts residents in the ambulatory care setting at the Mora clinic. She serves on the Baby Friendly Initiative Committee to improve patient care for mothers and babies.
Chelsea Benson, PharmD is a Clinical Pharmacist at Welia Health and divides her practice between community, ambulatory and acute care. Dr. Benson graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015. She then completed a University of Minnesota Ambulatory Care residency at Welia Health in 2016, where she gained experience in Medication Therapy Management (MTM), inpatient pharmacy, chronic care management and palliative care. Dr. Benson will be precepting in the ambulatory care setting. Her special pharmacy interests include MTM, transitions of care, and critical care. Dr. Benson enjoys using the knowledge she gained through residency to precept students and residents at Welia Health. She is a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists (MSHP).
Joseph Dvorak, PharmD, is Manager of Welia Health community pharmacy. Dr. J. Dvorak, graduate of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy brings a wide range of community management experience to the residency. He has worked in both small and large chain pharmacy practice settings, has firsthand knowledge of opening a new independent community pharmacy, and is a 340 B Apexus Certified Expert. Dr. J. Dvorak will provide precepting in this residency program in community pharmacy practice management.