Walgreens Pharmacy/University of Minnesota Physicians Bethesda Clinic

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walgreens groupHost Site: Walgreens Pharmacy/M Health Bethesda Clinic
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Walgreens Site Coordinator: Michelle Aytay, Rph, CPE
Bethesda Site Coordinator: Ann Philbrick, PharmD, BCPS
Bethesda Preceptor: Ila Harris, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS

Bethesda Clinic Site Description

Bethesda Clinic is a family medicine clinic that is part of University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) and St. Joseph’s Family Medicine Residency Program for resident physicians. Our patients are diverse and many are underserved. The mission of the UMP clinical pharmacists is to care for patients by providing comprehensive medication management (CMM) while educating learners in an interprofessional environment. Currently, two clinical pharmacists (Dr. Philbrick & Dr. Harris) provide care and serve as faculty in the family medicine physician residency program. At Bethesda Clinic, clinical pharmacists are integrated into the care of patients as a vital member of a collaborative team. In addition, pharmacists have their own schedules and see patients independently and by referral. The pharmacists practice under a collaborative practice agreement of practice that allows them to initiate, change, and discontinue most medications, order labs, and send prescriptions to pharmacies. The CMM model is utilized with some disease state management for anticoagulation, tobacco use, pulmonary disease, diabetes, and latent TB. The pharmacists are also involved in Transitional Care Management (TCM) and see all patients coming to the clinic for a visit following a hospital discharge.

Walgreens Site Description

At Walgreens, the focus on patient care is taken to the next level by allowing residents to practice in a community environment in which they can enhance their professional skills. This setting allows residents to have a direct influence on patient outcomes through participation in CMM, patient counseling, immunization services, travel health, and specialty pharmacy. In addition, our resident plays an active role in the community in which they serve by participating in numerous community outreach opportunities, such as providing immunizations and blood pressure assessments off-site, presenting smoking cessation presentations, and promoting pharmacist services by collaborating with organizations such as the American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, and JDRF, just to name a few. The resident will provide direct patient care to a variety of patient populations, collaborate with other healthcare professions to optimize patient outcomes, and incorporate patient care activities into daily workflow.

The resident also has the opportunity to learn at several Walgreens Specialty pharmacies within the Twin Cities. Here, the resident can immerse themselves in a variety of innovative clinical pharmacy services for patients who are prescribed complex therapies such as antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDs and hepatitis C, chemotherapy agents, medications for transplant recipients, and those with Crohn’s disease or rheumatological disorders.

In addition to participating in the University of Minnesota’s Pharmacy Residency Program, the resident will partner with the Walgreen’s Pharmacy Residency Program. The mission of the Walgreen Pharmacy Residency Program is to develop well-rounded, confident, and innovative community pharmacy practitioners who will advance the profession by providing superior patient care. Walgreens seeks to enable residents to achieve their professional goals, become a leader within the profession, provide compassionate care for members in their

Educational Experience

The resident splits their time evenly between Bethesda Clinic and Walgreens, providing the resident a unique opportunity to gain ambulatory care experience in both a community clinic and a community pharmacy. The resident will be developing clinical skills through direct patient care experiences at both Bethesda Family Medicine Clinic and Walgreens Community Pharmacy. The specific program for this resident may vary in structure based upon the resident's entry-level knowledge base, skill and interest. The resident will receive training and develop competence in providing evidence-based recommendations, patient-centered comprehensive medication management within interdisciplinary teams, managing and improving the medication-use process, exercise leadership and practice-management skills, demonstrate project-management skills, and provide medication and practice-related education/training. With four preceptors who interact with you on a regular basis, the resident experiences four different perspectives and styles of practice and teaching. What makes this program unique is the variety of experiences and settings. Every day brings a new situation, a new challenge, and a new type of patient.

In addition to the ambulatory care experience, the resident spends two weeks on the Family Medicine inpatient service at St. Joseph’s Hospital. This provides a unique experience because this inpatient team takes care of the clinic’s patients in the hospital. Not only are they resolving acute issues, they are also managing chronic conditions and helping them transition back into the community.

Teaching: Residents provide experiential teaching in their clinical practice environment and serve as a preceptor to pharmacy students at both Bethesda and Walgreens. One day a week, they are the primary preceptor to students at Bethesda Clinic. In addition, residents do at least two clinical presentations and one journal club presentation to physicians, and help run a half-day didactic learning session for physician residents. If desired, the resident will have the opportunity to teach at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. At Walgreens, the resident has an opportunity to work with pharmacy students who are providing CMM, off site immunizations, blood pressure assessments, smoking cessation presentations, and a variety of other community events.

Leadership: A distinctive opportunity that this residency provides is the opportunity to actively participate in professional advocacy. The resident is encouraged to participate in professional associations and meetings, policy-making activities, and gain awareness of professional association activities and the legislative process, including meeting with legislators and stakeholders. The resident also attends at least two national pharmacy meetings (ASHP Mid-Year and APhA Annual Meeting), in addition to several state level meetings and legislative day.

University of Minnesota Residency Program Activities: The resident participates in all the programs with the other 20+ University of Minnesota ambulatory care residents, including but not limited to monthly “Academic Days” meetings, case conferences, journal clubs, grand rounds, newsletter writing, and online classes that focus on building an MTM practice. The resident completes a research or quality improvement project focused at either site.

PDF icon Typical Weekly Schedule


Site Coordinators

Ann M. Philbrick, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS, BCACP,  is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Medical School, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She graduated in 2006 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed a PGY1 and PGY2 residency in Ambulatory Care at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Upon finishing her residency, she joined the faculty at the College of Pharmacy and Bethesda Clinic. Dr Philbrick has a passion for making professional connections with patients and loves to impart this passion onto pharmacy students and residents as well as medical students, physician residents, and faculty physicians. Her teaching, research, and patient care activities focus on the role of a pharmacist in an interprofessional setting.  She is an active member in the American Clinical Pharmacists Association, where she has served in several leadership positions.

Michelle Aytay, RPh, CDE, is an alum of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and has been practicing community pharmacy with direct patient care in Minnesota for over 25 years. Ms. Aytay considers volunteerism as a key component of her professional responsibilities as is demonstrated by her contribution in various leadership roles, including serving as the past Minnesota Pharmacists Association (MPhA) President (2017-2018). Ms. Aytay is also a patient president of the Minnesota Pharmacists Foundation. She is an active member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) and has served for numerous years as a Minnesota representative to the APhA House of Delegates. She is passionate about giving back to the profession and her alma mater and has served as president of the Pharmacy Alumni Society and currently serves on the Century Mortar Club Board of Directors.

Ms. Aytay loves precepting student pharmacists and serving as a residency preceptor, being a Learning Network Partner (LNP) mentor, guest lecturer, and mentor for student pharmacists. She is often seen promoting the role of pharmacists in patient health through her community involvement. She is actively engaged with the JDRF, American Diabetes Association, and American Heart Association, as well as loves conduction off-site immunization clinics. Ms. Aytay is passionate about advancing the practice of pharmacy and serves as a member of the Pharmacy Practice Act Joint Task Force, in addition to serving as co-chair for MPhA’s Policy Committee. She has been recognized for her leadership by receiving the UMAA Rising Start Award, the Distinguished Young Pharmacist Award, and most recently, the University of Minnesota Pharmacy Alumni Society Distinguished Pharmacist Award.
In her current role at Walgreens, Ms. Aytay leads efforts to advance clinical services by serving as an APhA immunization and travel health trainer and coordinating Medication Therapy Management (MTM) programs within the region. She has been actively involved as a UPlan MedEdge MTM program provider and trainer and also serves on the UPlan MTM peer advisory panel. She also serves on the Minnesota Department of Health Pandemic Preparedness Taskforce.


Ila Harris, Pharm.D., FCCP, BCPS, is a Professor at the Medical School, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and Adjunct Professor at the College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems at the University of Minnesota. She has over 24 years of clinical experience in Family Medicine and teaching, and has been a clinical pharmacist at Bethesda Family Medicine Clinic since 1998. She was the first clinical pharmacist on faculty at a Family Medicine Residency Program (FMRP) for physicians at the University of Minnesota.  All of the FMRPs now have at least one clinical pharmacist on the faculty, and have incorporated the model of practice that Dr. Harris had implemented.  Dr. Harris has developed and implemented many of the clinical pharmacy services utilized at Bethesda Clinic. In her career, she initiated clinical pharmacy services in three different Family Medicine clinics, utilizing an interprofessional model of practice. She is active in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), and has served on the Board of Regents, and as chair of the Ambulatory Care PRN.  She has numerous publications and national presentations.  Her primary research interest is in documenting the benefits of clinical pharmacy services in primary care/family medicine.