College of Pharmacy Residents, Fellows Graduate Despite Challenging Year

By Ben Boulden

The teacher, Michael Moran, taught him never to use the phrase “more unique” because “unique” means one of a kind, and nothing can be more than one of a kind.

“With my apologies to Mr. Moran, this year is more unique,” he said. “Never before to my knowledge have we had to cope as a program with a worldwide pandemic. Completing a residency in a typical year is difficult enough, this pandemic presented additional problems. Rotations had to be altered, teaching assignments had to be changed and research projects often were in disarray. However, all our residents and fellows lived up to the challenge and were able to complete their training on time.”

Granberry is a professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice.

In its diversity, the graduating class was the same as any other at UAMS, Granberry said. They came from colleges of pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island, University of Louisiana-Monroe, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Howard University, Texas A&M University and UAMS.

Presenters at the College of Pharmacy's Residency Graduation listen in the Smith Auditorium as keynote speaker, Kaitlin Bates, Pharm.D., as she uses a live video connection to address the audience.

Presenters at the College of Pharmacy’s Residency Graduation listen in the Smith Auditorium as keynote speaker, Kaitlin Bates, Pharm.D., as she uses a live video connection to address the audience.

Residency certificates were awarded in Postgraduate Pharmacy Practice, Community Pharmacy Practice, Ambulatory and Geriatric Pharmacy Practice as well as the Fellowship in Pediatric and Microbial Stewardship in Infectious Diseases.

Keynote speaker Kaitlin Bates, Pharm.D., clinical pharmacist at Kroger and St. Vincent Infirmary Clinic, addressed the audience in Smith Auditorium via a live video connection. Graduates in their homes also on live video were introduced in the auditorium by the college’s professors and preceptors before receiving their certificates.

“You have learned to be creative and adapt in hard times like these,” Bates said. “These skills will serve you well as we use new approaches to meet the needs of our patients.”

She said she would not be where she is today in her career without the residency she completed at UAMS in 2017.

“My research during my residency allowed me to have the combined job position I have today,” Bates said. “I love my job. I get to practice at the top of my license each day at work and I feel like I make a difference in my patients’ lives. I also have been able to show providers I work with the value a pharmacist can bring.”

The residents who completed their residences and received certificates were:

  • Sarah Albanese
  • Lauren Ford
  • Caleb McMinn
  • Julianne Mott
  • Nneka Soribe
  • Jane Jeon
  • Tyler Walsh
  • Jordan Talley
  • Andrew San Juan

An assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, Megan Smith, Pharm.D., introduced Andrew San Juan as “the last but certainly not least” of the graduates. He is the first resident to secure an American Pharmacists Association Foundation grant for his work on integrating community pharmacy practice and primary care. San Juan, who completed his residency at Kroger Stores, was awarded the teaching certificate and the research certificate in addition to the residency certificate.

“Our team knew if we came to you with a project, we knew it would be done right and would exceed our expectations,” said Rachel Stafford, Pharm.D., the site coordinator where San Juan’s residency and an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. “You put your own flair and thought to it. You were able to take a project to the next level, and we’re going to grow that project in the next few years.”

San Juan is staying on and continuing his work at Kroger..