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VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System

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Grand Island Resident Bios

The RPD meets with residents on a quarterly basis to assess resident progress, interests and goals. The well-rounded program is comprehensive and flexible to match the career goals of each resident. Past residents have entered almost every avenue that pharmacy offers. Of the 35 graduates of the PGY1 program:

  • 18 are working in the VA healthcare system (ambulatory care pharmacists in PACT, inpatient and outpatient pharmacy, pharmacy managers, RPDs, CLC pharmacists and home-based primary care)
  • 1 is working for Indian Health Services
  • 9 former residents have taken non-VA clinical positions ranging from ambulatory care, to 50:50 faculty members, RPDs, inpatient clinical coordinators, pharmacoeconomics (PBM), inpatient infectious disease and inpatient oncology

Sharon Mathew (

Hometown: Lilburn, GA

College: University of Georgia College of Pharmacy

Why the VA: I love the role of pharmacists at the VA and how they have a scope of practice in ambulatory care. I also enjoy working with the veteran population and giving back to those who served our nation.

Favorite Thing about GIVA that I didn’t know before the match: How caring and helpful all the preceptors and staff are here.

Research Project: Management of Hypoglycemia and HbA1C Goals in VA Pharmacist-Run Diabetes Clinic

Career Interests: Ambulatory care

What I enjoy about Grand Island: The beautiful sunsets I get to see from my apartment every day.

Hobbies: Painting, biking, reading

Sarah Albanese (

Hometown: Lincoln, Rhode Island

College: University of Rhode Island, College of Pharmacy

Why the VA: Pharmacists have the ability to practice to the top of their license. Since the VA is federally funded, you can be licensed in any state to work here, which provides a lot of flexibility in terms of location. I am interested in geriatrics and ambulatory care and the VA has been known to be strong in both of those areas.

Favorite Thing about GIVA that I didn’t know before the match: The people here are very welcoming and kind. The pharmacy is like one big family, which is something I was looking for in a residency program. In addition, there are no medical residents here so pharmacy residents are heavily relied on for many medical/drug information questions. This allows us to practice to the top of our license and be an important part of the interdisciplinary team. Having the opportunity to have multiple rotations in the same area (PACT, CLC, Anticoag) allows us to grow at our own pace, without the stress of only having 4 weeks to learn everything about a rotation. In addition, both the Omaha VA and Lincoln VA have electives available for us to take, so that we can individualize our residency years.

Research Project: Opioid tapering in VA Pharmacist-Run Medication Therapy Management Clinics

Career Interests: Geriatrics and Ambulatory Care

What I enjoy about Grand Island: Hearing Grand Island concerts Friday nights throughout the summer, Trivia at Prairie Pride, Local bars and breweries, Volunteering at the Humane Society, The people.

Hobbies: Spending time with friends and family, Netflix, Knitting, Escape rooms, Music

Remington Wade (

Hometown: Wewahitchka, FL


            Undergrad: University of West Florida

            Pharmacy: Florida A&M University

Why the VA: To have the opportunity to excel as a pharmacist and practice at the top of my license. Pharmacists at the VA are highly valued members of the healthcare team.

Favorite Thing about GIVA that I didn’t know before the match: I didn’t know about all of the services that are available to Veterans at GIVA including acupuncture, chiropractors, and other members of the whole health team. Also, the pharmacy team is extremely knowledgeable and facilitative to students and residents.

Research Project: Evaluation of Anticoagulation Therapy Selection in Veterans > 120kg in a Veterans Affairs Pharmacy Clinic

Career Interests: Ambulatory care

What I enjoy about Grand Island: Members of the Grand Island community are some of the nicest people I’ve met! There is also an abundance of excellent restaurant options and many beautiful parks. My wife and I love walking our dog at Eagle Scout Park, our favorite park by far.

Hobbies: I enjoy reading, playing basketball, video games, and spending time with my wife, dog, and cat.