Preceptors

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Kristine K. Gullickson, PharmD, MBA, FASHP
PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration Residency Program director; director of Pharmacy

Kristine Gullickson is responsible for leadership of a progressive pharmacy department supporting a 630 staffed-bed teaching and specialty care hospital, free-standing ED and multiple hospital-based clinics. She is the director lead for the Allina Health Pharmacy Operations Committee responsible for strategy and operational alignment across the 12-hospital health system. She received her pharmacy degree from North Dakota State University, completed a PGY1 pharmacy practice residency and received her MBA from New England College. Gullickson currently serves as past-chair of the ASHP Section of Pharmacy Practice Leaders Executive Committee. Her other ASHP activities include past chair of the Council on Pharmacy Practice, House of Delegates, Section Advisory Group member, ASHP expert panel member for Controlled Substance Diversion Prevention and the ASHP/APhA Medication Management in Care Transitions project. She has also served her state affiliate as past president of the Minnesota Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

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Rachel Root, PharmD, MS, BCPS
PGY1 Residency Program director, Pharmacy manager

Rachel Root is responsible for oversight of sterile medication preparation, neurology, orthopedics and spine clinical pharmacy practice, the investigational medication program, APPE and IPPE students, and pharmacy informatics. Rachel received her doctor of pharmacy degree and masters in social and administrative pharmacy from University of Minnesota. She completed a combined PGY1/PGY2 health-system pharmacy administration residency at University of Minnesota Medical Center and Fairview Pharmacy Services. Previously, Root worked as a pharmacy operations manager at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore., and has served in a variety of roles within MSHP, OSHP, ASHP and UHC including past-president of MSHP and co-chair of the Minnesota Pharmacy Alliance, an organization focused on state-wide pharmacy policy change and practice advancement. Currently, Root serves as co-chair of MSHP’s Partnerships and Success pillar and as a member of ASHP’s Frontline Leaders Section Advisory Group as part of the Section of Pharmacy Practice Leaders.


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Krista Gens, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID
PGY2 Infectious Diseases Residency Program director; pharmacy coordinator for infectious diseases

Krista Gens earned her doctor of pharmacy degree from North Dakota State University in 2008 and completed her pharmacy practice (PGY1) and infectious diseases (PGY2) residencies at Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis. Gens is board-certified in pharmacotherapy with added qualifications in infectious diseases. She also completed ASHP’s Pharmacy Leadership Academy (PLA) in 2015. As an infectious diseases clinical coordinator, Gens helps maintain antimicrobial stewardship programs at Abbott Northwestern and at several Allina Health regional hospitals. The Abbott Northwestern Antibiotic Stewardship Program is nationally recognized, receiving an ASHP Best Practice Award in 2011 and is featured on the CDC website under antibiotic stewardship success stories. The program has also received the highest ranking of Gold Status in the Minnesota Department of Health’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Honor Roll. Gens is actively involved in several multidisciplinary committees including the Abbott Northwestern Antibiotic Stewardship Committee (co-chair), Allina Health Infectious Diseases Physician/Pharmacy Task Force (co-chair), Allina Health Sepsis Leadership Team, Abbott Northwestern Infection Prevention and Control, Allina Health Infection Prevention and Control Program Committee and the Clostridium difficile Task Force. Gens serves as a preceptor for the PGY1 and PGY2 infectious diseases rotations and preceptor for the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Professionally, Gens is an active member of MSHP, ACCP, MCCP and SIDP. She also currently chairs the Human Workgroup for the Minnesota One Health Antibiotic Stewardship Collaborative. Gens’s areas of interest include antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial resistance, C diff. and teaching.

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Matthew Lillyblad, PharmD, BCCCP, BCPS, AQ-Cardiology
PGY2 Cardiology Residency Program director; pharmacy coordinator for cardiology and critical care

Matt Lillyblad is the pharmacy coordinator for cardiology and critical care and the program director for the PGY2 pharmacy residency in cardiology. He earned his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010. Lillyblad completed a PGY1 general pharmacy practice residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in 2011 and went on to be the inaugural resident for PGY2 cardiology residency program at Abbott Northwestern. Upon completion of his residencies, Lillyblad spent two years as a clinical pharmacist for cardiology at Hennepin County Medical Center, practicing in both acute care and ambulatory care cardiology and one year as a clinical pharmacist for advanced heart failure and the cardiovascular ICU at the University of Minnesota Medical Center-Fairview. Lillyblad obtained his board certification in pharmacotherapy in 2013 and added qualification in cardiology in 2015. Lillyblad is the primary preceptor for the PGY1 advanced heart failure rotation. His nonteaching responsibilities include project management involving the safe and effective use of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and Allina Health. He maintains a patient care practice with the advanced heart failure service. Lillyblad is actively involved with several local and national pharmacy organizations, lecturing at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and publishing. His professional interests include heart failure, acute coronary syndromes and critical care cardiology.

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Maria Agunsoye, PharmD, BCPS
Maria Agunsoye serves as the primary preceptor for the cardiovascular intensive care unit PGY1 rotation. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a bachelor of science in biology before proceeding to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, College of Pharmacy to complete her doctor of pharmacy. At the College of Pharmacy, she completed the honors program and graduated Summa Cum Laude with High Distinction. As a member of the pharmaceutical honor society, Rho Chi, Agunsoye values education, self-growth and awareness. She comes from a diverse background and has lived in several countries before starting college in the United States. Agunsoye completed her PGY1 residency training with a teaching certificate at the University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview. Upon completion of her residency, she moved to the southwest to diversify her portfolio and experience different health systems. She has been with the Abbott Northwestern Pharmacy Department since August 2016 and is excited to continue her practice interest areas as a primary member of the critical care team. Her professional interests include, critical care, diversity, teaching engagement, infectious disease and optimization of work flow, including enhancing electronic medical records. Her nonprofessional interests include, traveling, light hiking, exploring old buildings/ruins, cooking/tinkering with recipes, yoga, reading, watching movies/shows and napping. She is looking forward to working with many future residents.

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Angel Becker, PharmD, BCPS
Angel Becker is a primary co-preceptor for the PGY2 emergency medicine residency rotation. She has worked at Abbott Northwestern in many capacities since 2000. After she earned her doctor of pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy-Worcester in 2006, she returned to Abbott Northwestern to complete a PGY1 residency. Following residency, Becker was hired as a staff pharmacist working primarily in oncology. In 2009, she led the expansion of pharmacy services to the Emergency Department. Becker is involved in a variety of pharmacy organizations outside of work, including ASHP, ACCP and MSHP. Her primary areas of interest include emergency medicine, toxicology, stroke and educating students and residents.

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Gwendolyn Bisek, PharmD
Gwendolyn Bisek received her doctor of pharmacy from North Dakota State University. She completed an ASHP-accredited pharmacy practice residency with the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. After completion of an ambulatory care pharmacy practice residency with the Mayo Clinic, she joined the clinical pharmacist staff of Abbott Northwestern Hospital on the neurology/orthopedics/spine decentral team. Bisek serves as primary co-preceptor of the neurology residency rotation. She also staffs as a secondary member on the cardiovascular decentral team.

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Kara Boyko-Frandson, PharmD, BCPS, CLS
Kara Boyko-Frandson earned a B.S. in clinical laboratory science from Jamestown College, Jamestown, N.D., in 1999. She gained experience as a clinical laboratory scientist in all areas of laboratory diagnostics, spending the majority of time in the microbiology and hematology areas. She received her doctor of pharmacy degree in 2005 from the University of Minnesota and subsequently completed a PGY1 managed care pharmacy residency with HealthPartners. Boyko-Frandson focused her residency on the establishment of medication therapy management practices throughout the HealthPartners Medical Group clinics. She is currently a member of the Emergency Department team at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, as well as co-preceptor for the emergency medicine PGY1 and PGY2 rotations. She is also a secondary member on the critical care decentral team. Her major areas of interest include patient education/interaction, emergency medicine and disease state management/prevention.

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Jason Chheda, PharmD, BCPS
Jason Chheda serves as a co-preceptor for the PGY1 internal medicine rotation. He currently works as a primary member of the cardiology team and a secondary member of the neuro/ortho/spine team. He is a recent transfer from New York and started at Abbott in September 2016. He completed a PGY1 residency at Bronx Lebanon Hospital, New York, and subsequently a PGY2 in solid organ transplant pharmacy at Mount Sinai Medical Center, also in New York. He has experience working as a decentralized pharmacist for internal medicine and cardiology and actively has an interest in transplant pharmacy.

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Matthew Ditmore, PharmD, BCPS
pharmacy manager 

Matt Ditmore received his doctor of pharmacy degree from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston in 2010. After graduation, he completed a PGY1 residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and worked as a staff pharmacist at St. Joseph’s Hospital in St. Paul on the emergency medicine and critical care teams. He returned to Abbott Northwestern as a staff pharmacist before transitioning to a lead pharmacist where he played a key role in the conversion from Pyxis to Omnicell automated dispensing technologies. Ditmore then transitioned to a pharmacy manager position and currently oversees emergency medicine and critical care pharmacy teams and the pharmacy intern program. Ditmore is active in MSHP having served as president for the MSHP - Central regional affiliate and in a variety of other roles for both MSHP and ASHP. Ditmore’s interests include technology’s role in patient care, critical care, emergency medicine and teaching and working with residents and students. He also serves as a preceptor for the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic.

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Jay Eidem, PharmD, BCPS
pharmacy coordinator for transplant services

Jay Eidem's responsibilities at Abbott Northwestern are to provide inpatient and outpatient pharmaceutical care to heart and kidney transplant recipients. Eidem graduated from the University of Minnesota's College of Pharmacy and completed a specialty residency program in nephrology and kidney transplantation at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Eidem became board certified in pharmacotherapy in 2011. He serves as the preceptor for the PGY2 cardiology/infectious disease and PGY1 residents during nephrology/solid-organ transplant elective rotations. His areas of interest are solid organ transplantation, renal medicine, infectious diseases, cardiology and ambulatory care.

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Anne Gerdes, PharmD, BCPS
Anne Gerdes graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha  in 2009. Following graduation she relocated to Minnesota and completed a general pharmacy practice residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. After residency Gerdes began working as a staff pharmacist at Abbott. She is currently a member of the renal/oncology medical surgery team at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and is also a secondary member the medical history team. She currently serves on the Pharmacy Practice Committee and as the co-preceptor for the PGY-1 renal initial decentral rotation.

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David Gurda, PharmD, BCPS
David Gurda serves as one of two primary co-preceptors for the critical care residency rotation. He graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 2012 and completed a PGY1 pharmacy residency at United Hospital in St. Paul, joining the Abbott Northwestern team shortly thereafter. Gurda has earned his board certification in pharmacotherapy and continues to volunteer as a preceptor for University of Minnesota students at the Phillips Neighborhood Clinic in Minneapolis. At Abbott Northwestern, he works as a primary pharmacist on the critical care team and also in the Emergency Department. His practice interests include cardiovascular support, neuro-intensive care, infectious disease and working with students and residents. He previously served as the primary preceptor for the 10-week acute care APPE for University of Minnesota pharmacy students. When not at work, Gurda enjoys camping, hiking, live music and playing soccer.

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Kathleen Johnson, PharmD, BCPS
Kathleen Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 2011. Following graduation she completed a PGY1 residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. She is currently a member of the renal/oncology/medical-surgical team at Abbott Northwestern and is a secondary member of the emergency department and medication history teams. She currently serves as a co-preceptor for the PGY-1 renal initial decentral rotation.

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Suzie Kaminski, PharmD
Suzie Kaminski received her doctor of pharmacy from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and completed her PGY-1 residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Kaminski is a primary preceptor for the precepting and teaching longitudinal rotation and a co-preceptor for the psychiatry rotation, where she works with pharmacy students and residents. She is currently a member of the psychiatry and renal/oncology medical-surgical teams at Abbott Northwestern. Her areas of interest include internal medicine, solid organ transplant and teaching/mentoring.

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Stephanie Kling, PharmD, BCPS

Stephanie Kling serves as a co-preceptor for the PGY1 neurology/orthopedics/spine rotation. Kling graduated from the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy in 2013 and completed a PGY1 pharmacy residency at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, N.D., in 2014. Kling has been with the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Pharmacy Department since October 2017. She is a primary member and team captain of the neurology/orthopedics/spine team and secondary member of the renal/oncology/medical-surgical team.

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Jacob Langness, PharmD, BCPS
Jacob Langness serves as the PGY1 residency co-chair and primary co-preceptor for the PGY-1 longitudinal rotation for precepting and teaching and PGY-2 infectious disease residency rotation. Langness earned his doctor of pharmacy from the University Of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 2010. Upon graduation, he completed his PGY1 residency at University of Colorado Hospital (UCH). He earned his board certification in pharmacotherapy in 2012. Post-residency, he worked in a variety of clinical settings at UCH, including inpatient and outpatient services, outpatient infectious diseases and hepatology. He arrived at Abbott Northwestern in 2016 and works in a variety of inpatient clinical areas and is active on multiple department committees. His primary areas of interest are antiviral infectious disease, internal medicine and emergency services.

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Kelly Moritz, PharmD, BCPS
Kelly Moritz currently serves as the preceptor for the PGY1 cardiology rotation and the PGY2 electrophysiology and general cardiology rotations. She graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and completed a pharmacy practice residency at Abbott Northwestern. After which she began working at Abbott Northwestern in cardiology. She currently staffs in the cardiology and critical care areas of the hospital and is team captain for the cardiology team of pharmacists. She also serves on several committees for the department and the hospital. Her areas of interest include anticoagulation and electrophysiology.

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Zachary Nelson, PharmD, BCPS
Zack Nelson is a primary preceptor for the PGY1 emergency medicine rotation. He earned a bachelor of science, certified by the American Chemical Society in biochemistry and molecular biology and bachelor of arts degrees in chemistry and spanish from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2011 and went on to complete his doctor of pharmacy degree at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 2015. Following graduation, Nelson completed an ASHP-accredited PGY1 residency at United Hospital in St. Paul and subsequently joined the emergency medicine team at Abbott Northwestern Hospital where he became team captain in 2018. Nelson attained board certification in pharmacotherapy in 2017 and in infectious diseases in 2018. He has growing interests in advancing pharmacist practice, provider education, clinical toxicology and the interface of the treatment team with the microbiology laboratory. Outside of work, Nelson enjoys competitive sports, cribbage, trying new restaurants and exploring nature.

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Chad Peterson, PharmD, BCPS
Chad Peterson serves as the preceptor for the initial central operations rotation. He graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 2011 and completed a PGY1 residency ay Abbott Northwestern Hospital. Peterson is currently the lead pharmacist for central operations and automation. He is board certified in pharmacotherapy and has clinical experience in behavioral health and emergency medicine. Peterson sits on numerous pharmacy and inter-disciplinary committees and co-precepts the University of Minnesota Acute Care/Institutional APPE. His other areas of interest include transitions of care, medication safety and optimizing medicine access.

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Paige Skelton, PharmD
pharmacy coordinator for Advanced Heart Failure Ambulatory Care


Paige Skelton’s responsibilities at Abbott Northwestern are to provide outpatient pharmaceutical care to advanced heart failure patients. Skelton graduated from the University of Minnesota’s College of Pharmacy in 2016. She completed a PGY1 pharmacy practice residency at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in 2017 and subsequently stayed on to complete a PGY2 cardiology residency. Following her residencies, Skelton was hired at Abbott Northwestern as a clinical coordinator for advanced heart failure ambulatory care. Skelton is currently seeking board certification in cardiology and is an active member of MSHP and ACCP. She serves as a co-preceptor for the PGY2 cardiology resident on ambulatory rotations, as well as a co-preceptor for PGY1 residents on their internal medicine rotation. Skelton‘s areas of interest include advanced heart failure, anticoagulation, pulmonary hypertension, congenital heart disease and mentoring/precepting. In her free time she enjoys riding her horse, Stella, exploring outdoors and cheering on Minnesota sports teams.

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Jessica Swearingen, PharmD, BCPS
PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration Residency Program coordinator, pharmacy manager


Jessica Swearingen is responsible for pharmacists and services in the areas of medical/surgical, oncology, infusion center, cardiology, behavioral health, rehabilitation and medication safety and leads work at the Allina system level for medication safety and falls. Swearingen received her doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and completed a trauma/critical care residency at the University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy and the Regional Medical Center at Memphis. Swearingen has completed the ASHP Leaders Innovation Masters Series and Pharmacy Leadership Academy and has been certified in MTM Services by APhA. Her previous work experience includes positions as a staff pharmacist, clinical coordinator, clinical manager and residency program director at both large and small hospitals within several large health care systems. Swearingen also held an assistant professor position at the University of Tennessee, College of Pharmacy. She has served MSHP, ASHP, MASPEN (Memphis Area Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition), Neurocritical Care Society, MPhA, and MCCP in a variety of roles and is the current MSHP president-elect and is serving on the MHA Quality and Patient Safety Delirium Committee.

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Sara Telander, PharmD
Sara Telander earned her doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. She completed a one-year, ASHP-accredited pharmacy practice residency at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview. Telander focused her residency in psychiatric pharmacotherapy and joined the mental health/rehab team at Abbott Northwestern as a staff pharmacist. Telander serves as a co-preceptor for the psychiatry rotation for both residents and pharmacy students. Her areas of interest include psychotropic pharmacology, treatment of thought, mood, and substance use disorders and teaching/mentoring.

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Allison Veire, PharmD, BCPS
Allison Veire serves as a primary co-preceptor for the elective oncology rotation. Veire earned her doctor of pharmacy degree at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 2012. Upon graduation, she completed a PGY1 residency at Hennepin County Medical Center and became board certified in pharmacotherapy shortly thereafter. She is currently a member of the renal/oncology/medical-surgical team at Abbott Northwestern and is a secondary member of the neuro/ortho/spine team. Her primary areas of interest are solid organ transplant, dialysis, oncology and internal medicine.

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Maria Zarambo, PharmD, BCOP
pharmacy coordinator for oncology services 

Maria Zarambo’s primary responsibilities at Abbott Northwestern are providing inpatient and outpatient pharmacy services for the oncology patient population. In addition she coordinates and collaborates on opiate stewardship related activities and investigational trials. She is a resource for the inpatient palliative care team. She is the primary preceptor for the elective oncology residency rotation and is involved with oncology student rotations. Zarambo is also involved with educating the pharmacy residents on medication safety longitudinally. Zarambo graduated from the Rutgers University, College of Pharmacy and completed a residency at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. She became board certified in oncology in 2007.