United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Tennessee Valley Healthcare System

TVHS Clinical Pharmacy Specialists and Preceptors

TVHS Pharmacy Staff members working with patients.

Cassie Benge, BS Pharm, Pharm.D., BCPS, CDE, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Residency Program Director

Photo of Cassie Benge.Dr. Benge received her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from Auburn University's Harrison School of Pharmacy in Auburn, Alabama in 1997 and 1998, respectively, and in 1998-1999 completed a specialty residency in pharmacotherapy at Baptist Healthcare System in conjunction with Auburn University School of Pharmacy and the medical residency programs of UAB-Montgomery Internal Medicine and Baptist Family Medicine.  She has worked in the Veterans Health Administration since 1999, initially as a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist/Primary Care ('99-'03) where she was the co-director and later director of the ASHP-accredited Primary Care Specialty Residency in San Antonio, Texas.  She accepted her current position at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville campus as Clinical Pharmacy Specialist/Cardiology in December 2003.  Her practice areas include critical care cardiology, lipid/preventative cardiology, diabetes, and general cardiology.  Prior to assuming the role of Residency Program Director of the ASHP-accredited PGY1 Residency in July 2008, she served as the Residency Research Program Manager.  She is an affiliate clinical assistant professor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and is adjunct faculty with Mercer Southern School of Pharmacy and Samford McWhorter School of Pharmacy.  She precepts up to 16 students annually from these colleges of pharmacy.  She is a certified diabetes educator (initially in '03) and board certified in pharmacotherapy 2009.  She is a member of the American College of Cardiology, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, National Lipid Association, Nashville Lipid Club, and American Association of Diabetes Educators.  She served as Secretary of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association in 2005.  Dr. Benge is the recipient of the 2010 ASHP Foundation Federal Services Junior Investigator Research Grant for her research in pharmacists as providers of direct patient care for patients after myocardial infarction.

M. Shawn McFarland, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCACP, BC-ADM, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Shawn McFarland.Dr. McFarland is a native of Monteagle, Tennessee.  He attended Middle Tennessee State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1996.  He attended the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy where he graduated with a Doctorate of Pharmacy Magna Cum Laude in 2000.  He then completed an ambulatory care/community pharmacy residency with the University of Tennessee in 2001.  Dr. McFarland created the Anticoagulation and Diabetes Care Clinic at the Murfreesboro Medical Clinic and practiced there from 2001-2008.  In August 2004, the Anticoagulation and Diabetes Care Clinic was awarded the most innovative pharmacy practice site in the state of Tennessee.  He currently works as a clinical pharmacy specialist in Primary Care, specializing in management of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  He currently serves as the PGY2 Pharmacy Residency Program Director and is a member of the Residency Research Advisory Board and Residency Leadership Board for the PGY1 residency program.  He is an associate professor with the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and has precepted hundreds of students since graduation.  Dr. McFarland’s interests include teaching and research, and he is currently lead investigator of the Diabetes Initiative Project, a prospective trial investigating the benefits of pharmacist management in diabetes.  Dr. McFarland has been the primary author of articles recently published in Pharmacotherapy, Southern Medical Journal, and the American Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy and was senior author of a publication in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.  He is a reviewer for multiple journals and is on the editorial board of the Southern Medical Journal.  He is a member of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy where he is Treasurer of the ACCP-Ambulatory Care Practice Research Network, and is a past President of the Rutherford County Pharmacists Association.

Jennifer Bean, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Jennifer Bean.Dr. Bean received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee Martin and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis Tennessee.  She completed a pharmacy practice residency with VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. In 2007, she was board certified in pharmacotherapy.  She worked in Long-term Care at the Alvin C. York Campus from July 2005 to May 2008 and was previously Program Manager for the Medication Usage Evaluation Subcommittee.  From October 2007 to October 2011 she worked with the Home-Based Primary Care program and mental health services at the Alvin C. York Campus.  Currently, she works with mental health services at the Alvin C. York Campus.  Dr. Bean is the Residency Research Program Manager and a member of the Residency Leadership Board for the PGY1 residency. She is the Residency Program Director for the PGY2 Residency in Psychiatry.  She is an assistant professor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and Samford McWhorter School of Pharmacy and accepts students from UT and Samford for rotation in psychiatry.  She also mentors pharmacy practice residents in Psychiatry.  She is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists, and Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.  She served as Treasurer of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association in 2006 and 2007.  She currently serves on the Program Committee for College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists.

Laura Atkinson, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacist

Photo of Laura Atkinson.Dr. Atkinson received her Doctor of Pharmacy from McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2008.  She completed an ASHP-accredited PGY1 pharmacy residency at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) in 2009.  After completing her residency, she was a staff pharmacist for a year before starting her current position as a medication reconciliation clinical pharmacist at TVHS.  

 

 Jennifer Baker, Pharm.D., BCACP, BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Jennifer Baker.Dr. Baker received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2005.  She completed a pharmacy practice residency with the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in 2006 and was board certified in pharmacotherapy in 2009. She has since received board certification in ambulatory care pharmacy as well in 2011.  Her practice area is in Primary Care and Anticoagulation at the Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro, with a main focus in anticoagulation.  Dr. Baker is on the PGY 1 Residency Research Advisory Board as well as the Residency Research Director of the PGY 2 program. She has been an assistant professor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy since 2009 and has recently become affiliate faculty at Belmont and Lipscomb Universities.  She is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy where she has completed a Research and Scholarship Certificate Program as of October of 2012. She is also a member of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy as well as the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.

Lisa Bartlett, Pharm.D, Clinical Pharmacist

Dr. Bartlett received her Doctor of Pharmacy from University of Florida College of Pharmacy in St. Petersburg, FL, in 2009.  She completed an ASHP-accredited PGY1 pharmacy residency at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, FL in 2010.  After completing her residency, she moved to Nashville and has been a staff pharmacist at TVHS.

Janet M. Bramell, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCOP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Janet Brammell.Dr. Bramell earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology at the University of Georgia in 1981 and dual Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry and pharmacy at the University of Georgia in 1987.  She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia Campus, in 2005.  She completed a mini-residency, Ambulatory Care Certificate Program, Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, at the VAMC Nashville, Tennessee, in 1994.  She was board certified in pharmacotherapy in 1999 and board certified in oncology in 2001 and has kept her certifications current.  She is a member of Nashville Area Pharmacists Association and past Board Member ('03-'04), President-elect ('05), and President ('06); Tennessee Pharmacists Association and serves on Public Health Committee, Patient Care Continuum Committee, and past District Six President (‘06); Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association; Association of VA Hematology/Oncology; and American College of Clinical Pharmacy and past member of Credentials: Membership Committee (’10).  She joined the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville campus in 1991 and served as a staff pharmacist 1991-1998; Pharmacy Specialist/VA Community Clinics 1998-2000; Pharmacy Specialist/Oncology 1999-2006; and currently Clinical Pharmacy Specialist/Oncology.  She is an assistant professor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and preceptor for the adult oncology rotation.  She is also a preceptor to pharmacy practice residents.

Andrea L. Brown, Pharm.D., BCPS, Inpatient Pharmacy Supervisor

Photo of Andrea Brown.Dr. Brown received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2000 and graduated with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy in Memphis with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2008 where she was also the recipient of the GlaxoSmithKline Patient Care Award.  She completed a pharmacy practice residency at Tennessee Valley Health System (TVHS) in 2008-2009.  She continued at TVHS as a staff pharmacist and acting Pharmacist in Charge during which she served on multiple root-cause analysis and policy-forming committees   Dr. Brown currently is an Inpatient Pharmacy Supervisor at TVHS, Nashville and is the primary preceptor in Drug Distribution for the pharmacy residency program.  In addition to her work experience, Dr. Brown is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and served as the 2011 President of the Nashville Area Pharmacist Association.  She is also a member of American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists, and the Tennessee Pharmacist Association.

Abigail T. Burka, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Abigail Burka.Dr. Burka received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Rhodes College in 2006 and went on to earn her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2010. She completed an ASHP-accredited pharmacy practice residency in 2011 as well as a Critical Care residency in 2012 at UC Health University Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. During her residency she earned a teaching certificate from the University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy as well as precepted pharmacy students from several schools. She is currently employed by Lipscomb University’s College of Pharmacy as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice. Her areas of interest include critical care and geriatrics. Dr. Burka is a member of the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

J. Beth Carder, PharmD, BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Beth Carder.Dr. Carder received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy in 2004.  Subsequently, she completed an ASHP-accredited pharmacy practice residency at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) in 2005.  Upon completion of this residency, Dr. Carder practiced as a clinical pharmacist in the outpatient clinics of Grady Health System in Atlanta, GA.  She then transferred to the Atlanta VA Medical Center where she practiced as a primary care clinical pharmacy specialist in the Oakwood Community Based Outpatient Clinic.  She received her board certification in pharmacotherapy in 2007.  Dr. Carder is currently a clinical pharmacy specialist practicing in the Chattanooga Outpatient Clinic of VA TVHS.  She transferred to this clinic in March 2009 to implement pharmacotherapy services.  Prior to this position, she instructed Doctor of Pharmacy candidates from the University of Georgia, Mercer University, and South College of Pharmacy during clerkships.  She is also an assistant professor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and also serves as preceptor for Belmont University College of Pharmacy and Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy.  Dr. Carder has been active in local and state pharmacy organizations in Georgia, including the education committee of the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Atlanta Academy of Institutional Pharmacy.  She is currently a member of the Chattanooga Area Pharmacists Society.

Wes Carnahan, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Wes Carnahan.Dr. Carnahan received his undergraduate degree in Aerospace from Middle Tennessee State University in 1985.  He then went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration as an air traffic controller until he transferred to the Treasury Department in 1987 where he worked as an investigator.  Dr. Carnahan graduated from Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy in 1994 and, subsequently, completed a pharmacy practice residency from the VA in Nashville in 1995.  Upon completion of his residency, he accepted the position of Clinical Pharmacy Program Director of the Marrow Transplant Unit at the Nashville VA where his duties include both inpatient and outpatient care as well as research, pharmacoeconomics, and protocol design.  He has worked extensively with the cardiac, renal, and liver transplant programs as well as the Infectious Disease Transplant team.  He also heads the Non-formulary Medication Review Program for pharmacy which helps manage the formulary for TVHS.  Dr. Carnahan became board certified in pharmacotherapy in 1997 and continues to maintain an active BCPS status.  Additionally, Dr. Carnahan has extensive experience as a consultant pharmacist.  He was a member of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee for a 500-bed nursing facility and did the monthly drug regimen review for that same institution for seven years.  He also worked as the Independent Medical Necessity Reviewer for the entire TennCare program and was the final reviewer of all denied appeals for all TennCare patients for 3 years.  Also, for TennCare, he acted as an expert witness for all appealed reviews in front of an administrative law judge.  Dr. Carnahan left TennCare to work for Universal Care Health Insurance of California-Tennessee Division for two years where he acted as the Independent Medical Necessity Reviewer for the Universal Care Health Insurance pharmacy benefit and formulary.  He continues his expert witness testimony activities for a large private law firm in Nashville.  For the past twelve years, Dr. Carnahan has lectured in the Clinical Pharmacology course at Vanderbilt University Medical School.  He also taught part of the pharmacology course at MeHarry Medical School in Nashville for six years.  Dr. Carnahan has taught numerous Pharm.D. students from six pharmacy schools over the years as well as precepted the pharmacy practice residents that have come through the residency program at TVHS.

Regina Cassidy, Pharm.D., BCPS, CDE, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Regina Cassidy.Dr. Cassidy received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee in 1992 and completed a clinical pharmacy practice residency at the Tennessee Valley Health Care System (TVHS) in Nashville in 1993.  She subsequently began her career as a clinical pharmacy specialist at the Tennessee Valley Health Care System, Murfreesboro campus.  She was board certified in pharmacotherapy in 1995 and has kept her certification current.  In 2004 she became certified as a diabetes educator.  Her main areas of interest involve the treatment of ischemic risk factors including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes.  In addition, Dr. Cassidy served as Co-Investigator in one of the largest hypertensive trials, A.L.L.H.A.T. (Antihypertension Lipid Lowering treatment to prevent Heart Attack Trial).  Dr. Cassidy is an assistant professor of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and has precepted many Pharm.D. students and residents.   She is an active member of the Medical Records Committee at TVHS as well as a member of the National Lipid Association, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.  For over 15 years, she has practiced at the Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro in Primary Care where she has a daily clinic evaluating and managing patients’ pharmacotherapy and assists in meeting the hospital's performance measure goals.  Dr. Cassidy is actively involved in the recent Patient Centered Medical Home, described in the VA as the Patient Aligned Care Teams (PACT), an initiative that provides an effective and efficient team approach to patient care.

Robin Graham Cooke, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Robin Cooke.Dr. Cooke graduated in 1994 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy and completed a pharmacy practice residency at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee.  She began her VA career in 1996 at the Murfreesboro campus and transferred to the Nashville campus in 1999.  Currently, she is the Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Acute Medicine at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville campus.  In addition to working with medical teams daily, she works with physician residents and attendings in Primary Care and has worked with treatment teams in Psychiatry.  She is the Director of the Antibiotic Surveillance program at Nashville and is a member of the Infection Control Committee.  She has also served on the Residency Leadership Board for the pharmacy practice residency program and as its Residency Recruitment Coordinator.   At various times, she has served on multiple committees and currently serves as an approver for non-formulary medications.  Dr. Cooke has mentored many Pharm.D. students and residents and is an adjunct faculty member with the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University, and Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy.   During the 2008 spring semester, she served as the UT Acute Medicine Elective Course Coordinator and Instructor in Nashville.  In 2000, she was board certified in pharmacotherapy and recertified in 2007.  She has been a member of local and national professional organizations such as the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Tennessee Pharmacists Association.  She held multiple office positions with the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association and was President in 2005.  In 2007, she was honored with the Preceptor of the Year award from the University of Tennessee.

Rebecca Cripps, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Rebecca Cripps.Dr. Cripps received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy in 2009.  She then completed a PGY1 pharmacy residency with the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.  Upon completion of her residency, she accepted a position as a clinical pharmacy specialist in primary care in Nashville, TN, specializing in management of diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia for the primary care medical home model. She currently serves as the Recruitment Coordinator for the PGY2 Residency Program. Dr. Cripps also has special interests in precepting and research, serving as adjunct faculty member with University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy, in addition to precepting multiple resident research projects.  She has had an article published in Pharmacotherapy with other articles accepted for publication in the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Diabetes.  She currently serves as the President of the Rutherford County Pharmacists Association and is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Pharmaceutical Association, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Tennessee Pharmacists Association.

Leigh B. Edwards, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Leigh Edwards.Dr. Edwards received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 1999 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She completed a pharmacy practice residency with Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2000 and then a geriatric pharmacy practice residency with the Nashville VA in 2001.  Her practice areas are in Geriatrics, Home Based Primary Care, and Drug Information, where she coordinates the medication safety and drug information services for both Murfreesboro and Nashville campuses.  She also serves as pharmacy liaison to the VA TVHS Geriatric Research and Clinical Center (GRECC) to coordinate and ensure participation in the GRECC training programs.  Prior to her current position, Dr. Edwards was Clinical Coordinator at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, where she developed and implemented clinical programs for the decentralization of pharmacy staff.  She is also an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and has precepted many pharmacy students and residents.   She has been a member of local and national professional organizations such as the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.

Neal Fourakre, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Neal Fourakre.Dr. Fourakre received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis Tennessee in 2005 and completed a pharmacy practice residency at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in 2006.   Dr. Fourakre became board certified in pharmacotherapy in 2011 and continues to maintain an active BCPS status. Dr. Fourakre's current practice areas are Long-term Care and Geriatrics at the Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro.  He is also the recorder for the VA-TVHS Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) Committee.  Prior to his appointment with the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Dr. Fourakre served as a clinical pharmacist at Maury Regional Hospital in Columbia, TN, and at Hillside Hospital in Pulaski, TN.

Paula Newberry, Pharm.D., BCPS, CGP, AAHIVP, Clinical Pharmacist

Photo of Paula Newberry.Dr. Newberry received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, in 2003 and her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2007.  She completed a pharmacy practice residency with emphasis in Primary Care at the W.G. Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, North Carolina, in 2008 and became board certified in pharmacotherapy in 2009.  Upon completion of residency she worked for seven months as a clinical pharmacist at the Comprehensive Care Center (HIV clinic) in Nashville.  Dr. Newberry is currently practicing as a clinical pharmacist in medication reconciliation at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville.  She has recently served as a preceptor for Acute Medicine and is also involved with precepting pharmacy residents in the area of medication reconciliation and co-precepting a pharmacy residency project. She is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), Nashville Area Pharmacists Association (NAPA), and the Tennessee Pharmacists Association (TPA).

Wendy Johnson, Pharm.D., BCPS, CGP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Wendy Johnson.Dr. Johnson received her Bachelor of Science in biology degree in 1995 and her Doctor of Pharmacy in 2002 from the University of Kentucky.  She completed an ASHP- accredited pharmacy practice residency at the VAMC in Kentucky in 2003 and practiced there as a clinical pharmacist/pharmacy specialist until 2008.  She became board certified in pharmacotherapy in 2005 and in geriatrics in 2008.  She is currently Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (VA TVHS) in Clarksville/Nashville, Tennessee.  Her practice area is Primary Care (Clarksville) and Home-Based Primary Care (Nashville).  She is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Pharmaceutical Association, and Nashville Area Pharmacists Association (NAPA) where she currently serves as Secretary.

Scott Jones, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Scott Jones.Dr. Jones earned his Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Tennessee at Memphis in 1991 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1986.  He began his career with the VA in 1988 while a student in pharmacy school at the University of Tennessee.  After earning his Pharm.D., he worked as a pharmacist at the VA Medical Center in Memphis for one year before transferring to the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro, TN.  Shortly after moving to Murfreesboro, he was involved in establishing and running the first Coumadin Clinic at the Alvin C. York campus.  He was subsequently chosen to fill his current position as Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Acute Medicine at the Alvin C. York campus in 1995 and has precepted pharmacy residents since 2000.  He serves as the Director of the Antibiotic Surveillance program at Murfreesboro and joined the Hepatitis C Clinic at its inception in 2000.  His vast practice experience at Alvin C. York also includes areas such as long-term care, critical care, and surgery service.

Sandra M. Kennel, Pharm.D., BCNSP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Sandra Kennel.Dr. Kennel received her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee and completed a specialty residency with focus in Nutrition Support and Critical Care at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis.  Her primary areas of practice at the Nashville campus are Nutrition Support and Non-Formulary Medication Review.  She is an assistant professor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and has precepted many Pharm.D. students and pharmacy practice residents in the area of Nutrition Support for over 20 years.  Dr. Kennel became board certified in Nutrition Support in 1995. 

 

Kristen Lamb, Pharm.D., BCACP, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Kristen Lamb.Dr. Lamb received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Auburn University’s Harrison School of Pharmacy in 2010. She then went on to complete her PGY-1 and PGY-2 residencies here at Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, specializing in ambulatory care during her PGY-2 experience. Upon completion of her PGY-2 residency, she accepted her current position as a clinical pharmacy specialist in the multi-disciplinary chronic pain clinic. She is currently involved in the residency program through precepting of residents’ journal club presentations. Dr. Lamb is an adjunct faculty member with University of Tennessee, Lipscomb University, and Belmont University’s College of Pharmacy. She is also a member of American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.

Mike McKenzie, BS Pharm, Pharm.D., CDE, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Mike McKenzie.Dr. McKenzie completed an Associate of Science degree in accounting at Motlow State College in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and pre-pharmacy curriculum at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  He received his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee Medical Units, Memphis, Tennessee.  He completed a post-graduate residency in clinical pediatric practice at the University of Tennessee Medical Units and a fellowship in geriatrics at Wake Forest University, Bowman Gray Campus. He has also completed numerous courses in finance at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.  He has been with the VA since 1985 and is currently the Clinical Pharmacy Specialist for Long Term Care, Palliative/Hospice Care, Dementia Clinic and Diabetes Education Clinic at the Alvin C. York Campus of the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.  Dr. McKenzie recently completed a pain management traineeship from the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Foundation.  He also serves as a member of the Residency Advisory Board and is an Assistant Professor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy.  He has practiced in the community as Director of Pharmacy Services at Harton Memorial Hospital in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and Franklin County Hospital in Winchester, Tennessee.  He is a certified diabetes educator. Dr. McKenzie is a member of the following professional organizations:  American Society of Consultant Pharmacists,  American Association of Diabetes Educators, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Academy of Pain Management, Virginia Geriatric Society, Florida Geriatric Society,  National Association of Sports Officials, and the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association.  His hobbies and interests include sports and nature.  He is a TSSAA referee (football) and has officiated numerous state final and semi-final games.  He is also a member of the Lakewood Golf/Country Club, and a member of numerous nature, wildlife, and historic associations.

Reinaldo Mercado, MBA, BSPh, Associate Chief of Pharmacy

Photo of Reinaldo Mercado.Mr. Mercado is the Associate Chief for Pharmacy Service at VA TVHS in Nashville, TN.  Prior to becoming Associate Chief in 2005, he was the Inpatient Pharmacy Supervisor at the VA Medical Center in Tampa, FL.  Mr. Mercado received his Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science degree from the University of Puerto Rico Medical Science Campus - College of Pharmacy in 1983.  In 1997, he received his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix while he was working as the Outpatient Pharmacy Supervisor at the VAMC in Phoenix, Arizona.  He currently holds adjunct faculty appointments associated with the University of Tennessee, Samford University’s McWhorter School of Pharmacy, and Belmont University School of Pharmacy.  Mr. Mercado has 29 years of hospital experience and his organizational skills are excellent, which have been extremely conducive to progress in the area of pharmacy service management as well as general pharmacy service.  At the Tampa VA Medical Center in Florida, Mr. Mercado was critical to the success of the implementation of Bar-Code Medication Administration (BCMA), Physician Order Entry (POE), and the Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS).  He has also been active with the allergy tracking program, OTC and herbal program, and has participated on several focus groups and committees over the years.  Mr. Mercado enjoys teaching pharmacy technician students, Pharm.D. students, and clinical pharmacy residents.  He has been an active member in local and national pharmacists associations and is currently a member of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.

James Minnis, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of James Minnis.Dr. Minnis received his Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Tennessee and completed a pharmacy practice residency at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.  He has been a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist at VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System at Nashville since 2001.  In the past he has worked in Anticoagulation and Pharmacoeconomics, but his current practice area is Primary Care at the Nashville campus.  He became board certified in pharmacotherapy in 2005.  He has been a member of the VA TVHS Residency Advisory Board for almost 10 years, and he is an assistant professor at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy.

Tim Morgan, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Tim MorganDr. Morgan received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee in 1995 and completed a pharmacy practice residency with the VA in Memphis in 1996.  After his residency, he accepted a clinical pharmacy specialist position with the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Alvin C. York Campus, where he still practices today.  His practice area is Primary Care.  He is a core rotation preceptor for the TVHS pharmacy practice residency program and serves as a member of the Residency Leadership Board acting as the Residency Learning System Coordinator.   He is an assistant professor with and has precepted numerous students from the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, Mercer Southern School of Pharmacy, and McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University.  He was the 2011 recipient of the “Preceptor of the Year” award from the University of Tennessee, College of Pharmacy. Dr. Morgan also teaches nursing students in his spare time and serves as the Professor of Pharmacology at the Cumberland School of Nursing.

M. Kyle Phillips, Pharm.D., BCPS, Pharmacy Supervisor, Inpatient/Outpatient

Dr. Phillips received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Freed-Hardeman University in 2006 and his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee in 2010. He completed his PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice residency with the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, and was board certified in pharmacotherapy in 2011. Upon completion of residency, he worked as a staff pharmacist at the TVHS Nashville campus.  Dr. Phillips is currently the Inpatient and Outpatient Pharmacy Supervisor at the Alvin C. York Campus in Murfreesboro.

Casey Ryals, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Casey Ryals.Dr. Ryals received her Bachelor of Science in 2005 and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Auburn University in 2009.  She then completed a PGY1 pharmacy residency at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in 2010.  Upon completion of her residency, she worked as a staff pharmacist at TVHS Nashville campus before accepting a clinical pharmacy specialist position in Anticoagulation and Non-Formulary Medication Review.  Dr. Ryals is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.

 

Monaliza de Jesus Safarian, RN, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacist

Photo of Monaliza de Jesus SafarianDr. Safarian received a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from East Tennessee State University and practiced as a nurse in Acute Psychiatry at the Alvin C. York VA Medical Center and the Atlanta VA Medical Center.  In 2006, she received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, and then completed an ASHP-accredited Pharmacy Practice Residency at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) in 2007.  Currently, Dr. Safarian is a medication reconciliation clinical pharmacist at the VA TVHS in Nashville and has assisted in precepting pharmacy students and residents.  She also practices part-time as a clinical pharmacist at Skyline Medical Center assisting with pharmacokinetics, anticoagulation dosing, and renal dosing programs.  She is a member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and has served as Secretary of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association. 

Brent Salvig, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Brent Salvig.Dr. Salvig received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1995, and began his career with the Veterans Administration in 1991 at the Hines VA Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. He completed a pharmacy practice residency with an emphasis in geriatrics at the Memphis VA Medical Center in 1996.  Dr. Salvig then went to the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center in Florida where he worked as a clinical pharmacy specialist with the geriatrics department in the Long-term Care, Intermediate Care, and Ambulatory Clinics.  During this time, he was an adjunct faculty member and precepted students for Palm Beach Atlantic University and Nova Southeastern University Colleges of Pharmacy and also instructed courses at the Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing for nurse practitioner students.  Dr. Salvig was involved with the pharmacy residency program at West Palm Beach since its inception in 1997 and served on the selection committee as well as a preceptor and advisor.  Dr. Salvig joined TVHS at the Murfreesboro campus in 2009 as a clinical pharmacy specialist in Long-term Care and now precepts and serves on the selection committee for the VA TVHS residency program.

Diane D. Shackelford, Pharm.D., MHA, Chief of Pharmacy Service

Photo of Diane Shackelford.Dr. Shackelford received a BA in Liberal Arts from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, her BS and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees from the University of Tennessee Center for the Healthcare Sciences, Memphis, in 1983 and 1984 and completed an ASHP-accredited Residency in Clinical Pharmacy at the VA Medical Center, Memphis, Tennessee in 1985.  Dr. Shackelford also received her Masters in Healthcare Administration at the University of South Florida's College of Public Health, Tampa, Florida in 1994.  She was selected to participate in Leadership VA in 2001.  Her practice areas have included Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Spinal Cord Injury, Clinical Coordinator, Assistant Chief for Clinical and Educational Programs, and Chief, Pharmacy Service in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Lexington, Kentucky, and now the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System.  Dr. Shackelford is responsible for the professional and administrative operation of comprehensive Pharmacy Services for the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (complexity Ia), which is comprised of two Medical Centers (Nashville and Murfreesboro) and nine Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) (Chattanooga, Tullahoma, Cookeville, Knoxville, Dover, Bowling Green, Ft. Campbell, Clarksville, and Vine Hill); encompassing tertiary care, long-term care, and psychiatry care that spans across middle and east Tennessee; first and second-line supervision of 102.82 FTE and preparation of budget estimates currently at $66 million. 

Ashley Speer, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacist

Photo of Ashley Speer.Dr. Speer received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2001 from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee, and completed an ASHP-accredited Pharmacy Practice Residency at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) in 2002.  Her work experience and positions include Clinical Pharmacist (Critical Care Unit) at Skyline Medical Center in Nashville, Staff Pharmacist at TVHS, and now Medication Reconciliation Clinical Pharmacist at TVHS.  Dr. Speer is currently a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the Nashville Area Pharmacist Association.

April Qualls Ungar, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of April Unger.Dr. Ungar received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the McWhorter School of Pharmacy at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1997.  She completed a pharmacy practice residency at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville in 1998 and became board certified in pharmacotherapy in 2000.  Her main interest is in anticoagulation management and in 2001 she completed the ASHP Foundation Anticoagulation Management Service Traineeship.  She has been with the VA since January 1999.  Her practice area specializes in anticoagulation management, ambulatory care, and non-formulary review.  Dr. Ungar enjoys working and training doctor of pharmacy students and pharmacy practice residents on their monthly rotations in Anticoagulation and Ambulatory Care.  She currently holds adjunct faculty appointments associated with the University of Tennessee, Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy, and Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy.  She is a member of the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Pharmaceutical Association, Tennessee Pharmacists Association, and was the 2001-2003 President of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.  Dr. Ungar is married to Gary Ungar who is also employed by the Nashville VA as a physician's assistant specializing in Primary Care.

Jessica Wallace, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Jessica Wallace.Dr. Wallace received her B.S. in Chemistry from Middle Tennessee State University in 2006 and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy in 2010. She then went on to complete a PGY-1 residency at VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in Nashville followed by a PGY-2 Internal Medicine specialty residency through the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy, practicing at Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, TN.  During post-doctoral training, Dr. Wallace was appointed as a volunteer faculty for UT College of Pharmacy with involvement in both experiential and didactic teaching and completion of the UT College of Pharmacy Teaching and Learning Program in 2012.  Upon completion of residency training, Dr. Wallace accepted a clinical pharmacy faculty position as Assistant Professor at Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy in Nashville, TN.  Dr. Wallace will maintain her clinical practice site precepting pharmacy students and residents in Internal Medicine at VA TVHS.  Dr. Wallace has an interest in research with multiple publications in peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Asthma,  Journal of Family Practice,  Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis, Pharmacotherapy, and Southern Medical Journal, in addition to abstracts accepted at multiple meetings, including American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) in 2008 and 2009.  She maintains active membership in pharmacy organizations including American College of Clinical Pharmacy, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Nashville Area Pharmacist Association, and Tennessee Pharmacists Association.

Emily Wallis, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacist

Dr. Wallis received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2006. She completed an ASHP-accredited PGY1 pharmacy practice residency at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2007. Upon completion, she began practicing as a staff pharmacist and then transitioned into a clinical pharmacist position in acute medicine at the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was actively involved in the residency program where she served on the Residency Board and was a preceptor to PGY1 residents. She was also an assistant professor for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy and accepted fourth-year pharmacy students. In 2010, she transferred to the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and is a staff pharmacist at the Nashville campus. She is currently a member of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.

Amy Wilson, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacy Specialist

Photo of Amy Wilson.Dr. Amy Wilson received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 1997.  She received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at Memphis in 2000.  She completed a pharmacy practice residency at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2001.  From 2001-2006, she served as a clinical pharmacy specialist in primary care, with a focus in anticoagulation management, at the VAMC in Jackson, Mississippi.  She received the Pharm.D./Ph.D. Clinician of the Year Award in 2004.  From 2006-2009, she worked at the VAMC in Saint Louis, Missouri, Jefferson Barracks Division, as a clinical pharmacy specialist in mental health.  Transferring to the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System in 2009, she is one of the clinical pharmacy specialists in primary care at the Nashville campus.  She focuses in diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia management, where she assists in meeting performance measure goals.  Dr. Wilson is also an assistant professor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy.  She has been an active member in various local, regional, and national pharmacist associations and is currently a member and officer of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association.

Susan Woodard, Pharm.D., BCPS, Clinical Pharmacist

Photo of Susan Woodard.Dr. Woodard received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology in 2002 from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, and her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2006 from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.  She completed an ASHP-accredited Pharmacy Practice Residency at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) in 2007.  Dr. Woodard worked as a clinical pharmacist in the emergency department of Integris Southwest Medical Center in Oklahoma City for six months following residency.   She accepted her current position as a medication reconciliation clinical pharmacist at the Nashville VA in January 2008.  She has precepted pharmacy residents in Acute Medicine and has co-precepted a pharmacy residency project.  Dr. Woodard is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist and a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist.  She completed the Teaching and Learning Certificate Program of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) Academy and is an assistant professor for the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy.  Dr. Woodard served as President of the Nashville Area Pharmacists Association (NAPA) 2009-2010.



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