Cigna Pharmacy Residency Programs

Nashville, Tennessee Residency Program
PGY1 Managed Care Pharmacy Practice Residency

     
Cigna-HealthSpring logo

Take the next step on your journey toward career success with one of today’s largest and fastest growing Medicare Advantage plans.  Cigna-HealthSpring offers a premier pharmacy residency program in Tennessee.

Cigna-HealthSpring Overview

  • One of the largest, fastest growing coordinated care plans focused on older adults
  • Serving the Medicare and Medicaid segment for Cigna’s product portfolio
  • Nearly 2 million customers in 15 states and Washington D.C. trust us to administer Medicare benefits such as prescription drug coverage

Gain a clinical and administrative perspective of the responsibilities of a pharmacy professional within a health plan through:

  • Development and administration of research to present at regional and national conferences
  • Formulary development and maintenance
  • Participation in an  Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program
  • Involvement in legislative and regulatory aspects of managed care pharmacy 
  • Experience analyzing pharmacy reports
  • Exposure to quality improvement programs
  • Initiatives to improve health outcomes 
  • Mentoring by Cigna-HealthSpring health care personnel
  • Opportunity to develop expertise in areas such as:
    • Coverage determinations
    • Claims adjudication
    • Drug utilization reviews
    • Overall pharmacy operations


Benefits and Perks

  • Competitive stipend
  • Health, dental, vision, life, disability and 401K benefits
  • Paid time off and conference travel reimbursement
  • Close to the sights and sounds of Music City, USA
  • Located within 25 miles of Nashville International Airport
  • Near many global health care organizations

 

Medication Therapy Management (MTM)

Provide medication education and counseling to optimize customers’ health and well-being.

  • Provide evidence-based medication therapy management
  • Conduct comprehensive medication reviews
  • Provide medication education and counseling
  • Be involved with operational aspects of program, including eligibility criteria development
  • Monitor medication use based on:
    • Appropriate dosing and indication
    • Efficacy
    • Adverse effects
    • Cost-effectiveness

Formulary

Help to design effective formularies

  • Focus on the ongoing maintenance of formularies
  • Complete and present a drug monograph and therapeutic class review
  • Contribute to the annual formulary build and benefit design process.
  • Monitor concurrent drug utilization review edits1


Coverage Determinations

Use established criteria and clinical judgment to evaluate coverage determination requests.

  • Evaluate coverage determination requests such as:
    • Prior authorization (PA) requests
    • Quantity limit exceptions
    • Non-formulary requests
  • Design clinical PA criteria for a new drug or class of drugs.


Medication information and safety

Provide comprehensive and timely responses to important drug questions from patients, providers, Medical Directors and Health Services personnel.

  • Develop medication safety presentations
  • Answer drug information questions
  • Conduct medication use evaluations to be presented to clinical team


Research

Utilize and enhance your project management and research skills.

  • Identify, design and execute a research project related to a current managed care topic
  • Present at regional and national conferences and submit for publication in a peer-reviewed journal


Quality improvement

  • Benefit from valuable experience and insight into the quality improvement process.
  • Learn how quality initiatives impact patient care and population health management
  • Use knowledge of evidence-based medicine to positively impact population health
  • Gain an understanding of the Part D STAR metrics and initiatives to improve the measures


Pharmacy benefit management (PBM)

Interact with key stakeholders

  • Be actively involved in projects and discussions with the:
    • Clinical Pharmacy team
    • Cigna Home Delivery Specialty Pharmacy team
    • Finance team
    • PBM account management team
  • Gain experience in the management of:
    • Pharmacy networks
    • Drug pricing
    • Auditing (fraud, waste and abuse)
    • Contractual compliance
    • Claim adjudication
    • Pharmacy billing
    • Benefit design
    • Clinical edits
    • Pharmacy messaging


Patient-centered care

Serve as an active member of an interdisciplinary team.

  • Review pharmacy claims to identify medication non-adherence and gaps in care
  • Evaluate potential adverse drug events and drug-drug interactions
  • Assess medication regimens
  • Complete medication reconciliation reviews
  • Provide evidence-based, patient-centered care in collaboration with other health professionals
  • Contribute to inter-disciplinary discussions to improve health outcomes and track progress for select patients over time


Teaching certificate

Earn a teaching certificate upon completion of the Lipscomb University program.

  • Gain hands-on experience by taking advantage of opportunities to:
    • Present didactic lectures
    • Lead discussion groups
    • Precept IPPE and APPE students


Management

Develop effective leadership and management skills.

  • Precept students
  • Lead large and small meetings
  • Receive mentoring by the program director and other pharmacy managers

 

Annie Schuster joined the company 10 years ago as a Clinical Pharmacist.  Over the years she’s contributed to various pharmacy services and currently leads the clinical pharmacy team providing services for Cigna’s Medicare and Medicaid customers.  After helping start up the residency program over 8 years ago, Annie continues to enjoy the energy that residents bring to the program as well as the reward that comes with helping residents grow professionally over the year.

Learn more and contact:
Annie Schuster, PharmD
VP Clinical Pharmacy
Residency Program Director


Cigna-HealthSpring
500 Great Circle Road
Nashville, TN 37228

Call: 615-695-1241
Email: ann.schuster@healthspring.com

Jeff Tunney, PharmD
Clinical Program Manager, Quality Improvement

Julie Wallace, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Quality Improvement

Shenita Outland, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Formulary

Linda Wright, PharmD
Clinical Program Manager, Coverage Determinations

Lindy Haynes, PharmD

Clinical Pharmacist, Pharmacy Medicaid Oversight

P.L. Prater, PharmD
Pharmacy Resident, Cigna-HealthSpring

Hamzah Whatley, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring

Jonathan Collar, PharmD, MBA
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring

Dana DiMaggio, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring

Oliver (Trey) Holmes, PharmD, MBA
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring

Joel Hahn, PharmD, MBA
Clinical Program Manager, Cigna-HealthSpring

Rachel Williams, PharmD, MBA
Pharmacist, Large National Community Pharmacy

Tola Oluyide, PharmD
Clinical Advisor, Large National PBM

Vanitra Carlisle Richards, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Large National PBM
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, a College of Pharmacy
Pharmacy Informatics Resident, Vanderbilt Medical Center
Clinical Pharmacist, HealthSpring

Applicants must:

  • Graduate from an accredited school of pharmacy
  • Be eligible for Tennessee licensure
  • Submit completed application by noon on the first Monday in January, including:
    • Complete application
    • Letter of intent
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Three letters of recommendation
  • Applications accepted through the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS)
  • Visit Cigna-HealthSpring for an on-site interview
  • Go through the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Match process

Important Reminders:

  • Applications are due in January. Please refer to PhORCAS for more information.
  • Applicants must become licensed in Tennessee.

Enjoy living and working in a culturally rich and diverse city offering multiple forms of enrichment and entertainment.

  • Nashville’s health care industry contributes billions of dollars to the regional economy. – HealthCare Council
  • It is the central operation location for nearly 400 health care companies, 18 of which are publicly traded.- HealthCare Council

Houston, Texas Residency Program
PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency

     
CareAllies logo

CareAllies is Cigna’s provider-focused services company that helps providers and delivery systems improve the quality, value, and experience of care for their patients, to make health care better for everyone. We offer:

  • A collaborative approach to help providers transition to value-based care.
  • Hands-on physician engagement services to drive improved health and cost outcomes.
  • A wide array of provider solutions, including health plan enablement, population health management, value-based programs and provider organization development.

Houston’s Pharmacy Residency Program offers a deep focus on ambulatory care, managed care and academia. 

Program Goals

  • Expose residents to a wide variety of clinical experiences within the managed care arena
  • Focus on developing the knowledge and skills needed to become a proficient provider of pharmaceutical care
  • Develop expertise in the specialized fields of pharmaceutical care including:
    • Ambulatory care
    • Clinical care within a managed care environment
    • Academia

Experience

  • Become a part of an interdisciplinary care team
  • Exposure to ambulatory care in a primary care setting
  • Develop a research project for presentation at the annual Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Conference
  • Earn a teaching certificate through the University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Benefits

  • Competitive resident salary
  • Health, dental, vision, life and disability benefits, including 401K
  • Paid time off and conference travel reimbursement
  • Close to the heart of the world-famous Texas Medical Center
  • Numerous networking opportunities

Residency Opportunities

  • Participate in Medication Therapy Management (MTM)
  • Contribute to interdisciplinary care team rounds
  • Experience ambulatory care in a primary care setting
  • Participate in quality initiatives to improve health outcomes
  • Mentorship by Clinical Pharmacists and other health care professionals
  • Complete a research project for presentation at the annual Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Conference
  • Engage in an academic clerkship at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy
  • Earn a teaching certificate through the University of Houston College of Pharmacy


Rotations at a Glance

  • Practice Management
  • Formulary Management
  • Community Pharmacy   
  • Disease State Management 
  • Quality Improvement
  • Academia
  • Health Outcomes Research
  • Coverage Determination
  • Chronic Care Improvement
  • Electives catered to resident goals


Responsibilities

  • Research project completion, including poster and manuscript
  • Contributions in interdisciplinary rounds
  • Completion of MTM reviews
  • Completion of comprehensive medication reviews
  • Completion of coverage determination reviews
  • PharmD student preceptorship
  • Attend a Teaching and Certification course

Dr. Omar Serna is a 2008 graduate of the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. He completed his residency experience with HealthSpring in 2009, and was retained by the company as a Clinical Pharmacist, working within the Living Well ambulatory clinics for 3 years. He has since become the Residency Director and has played an integral role in the growth and development of the residency program to date. He is very proud of the program and is always looking for ways to extend the program’s footprint.

Learn more and contact:
Omar Serna, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Operations Director
Residency Program Director


CareAllies
2800 North Loop West
Suite 600
Houston, Texas 77092

Call: 713-936-6000
Email: oserna@careallies.com

 

Dr. Tara Wright Esse is a 2009 graduate of the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. She began her career as a retail pharmacist, but pursued a residency after 2 years of retail practice. She completed her residency experience with Cigna-HealthSpring in 2012, and was retained by the company as a Clinical Pharmacist. She has since become the Residency Coordinator and actively works to ensure each pharmacy resident has a quality experience that prepares them for any position within the broad field of pharmacy.

Learn more and contact:
Tara W. Esse, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Program Manager
Residency Program Coordinator

CareAllies
2800 North Loop West
Suite 600
Houston, Texas 77092

Call: 770-779-1630
Email:tara.esse@careallies.com

Tara Esse, PharmD, BCACP
Health Outcomes Research
Practice Management

Julianna Fernandez, PharmD, BCPS, CGP
Academia, University of Houston College of Pharmacy  

Julie Forcum, PharmD, MHA
Complete Health Team Rounds
Pharmacy Services

Esteban Gallardo, PharmD
Complete Health Team Rounds
Quality Improvement

Elizabeth Serna, PharmD
Studewood Pharmacy

Sonal Kwatra, PharmD, BCPS
Primary Care

Amanda Mann, PharmD
Coverage Determination

Grace Mbagwu, PharmD, MS
Disease State Management

Shenita Outland, PharmD
Formulary Management

Omar Serna, PharmD, BCACP
Chronic Care Improvement
Orientation

2018 - 2019
Maream "Ashley" Fosshat, PharmD
Jocelyne Tientcheu Mamvou, PharmD

2017 - 2018
Minh Hong, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring
Man-Khoi Nguyen, PharmD


2016 - 2017
Blessing Adodo, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Scarlett Najera Sossamon, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan 


2015 - 2016
Amanda Woods Mann, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacy Supervisor, Cigna-HealthSpring

Bhakti Jadav Raha, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring


2014 - 2015
Amanda Winters Livezy, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Leeda Mohebbi, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Alexander Nguyen, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Lynsey Smith, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Ambulatory Care Clinic


2013 - 2014
Christopher Henges, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring StarPlus   

Cassandra Sanchez Huggar, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Hospital System

Tiffany Johnson, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Lea Garcia Mendez, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Tricia Tran, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring


2012 - 2013
Lindy Haynes, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring StarPlus

Aeliya Jaffar, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna-HealthSpring


2011 - 2012
Tara Esse, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Program Manager, CareAllies
Residency Coordinator


2010 - 2011
Scott McDowell, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Health System

Tochi Nwosu, PharmD
Pharmacist, Community


2009 - 2010
Eunha “Kelsey” Do, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacist, Hospital System

Mary Nguyen Shaw, PharmD
Pharmacist, Community


2008 - 2009
Reba Mathew, PharmD
Pharmacy Director, Health System

Omar Serna, PharmD, BCACP

Clinical Operations Director, CareAllies
Pharmacy Residency Director

Applicants must:

  • Graduate from an accredited school of pharmacy
  • Be eligible for Texas licensure 
  • Submit application packet, including:
    • Complete application
    • Letter of intent
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Pharmacy school transcript
  • Applications accepted through the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS)
  • Visit CareAllies office in Houston, TX if selected for an on-site interview
  • Go through the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Match process


Important Reminders:

  • Applications are due in January. Please refer to PhORCAS for more information.
  • Applicants must become licensed in Texas.

 

  • Abughosh, S., Wang, X., Serna, O., Esse, T., Mann, A., Masilamani, S., Holstad, M., Essien, E., Fleming, M. A Motivational Interviewing Intervention by Pharmacy Students to Improve Medication Adherence. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2017;23(5): 549-560.
  • Nguyen, A., Sawant, R., Serna, O., Esse, T., and Sansgiry, S. Medicare Part D Insulin Tiering Change: Impact on Health Outcomes. Am J Pharm Benefits. 2016;8(5):e0.
  • Winters, A., Esse, T., Bhansali, A. Serna, O., Mhatre, S., and Sansgiry, S. How Primary Care Physicians Perceive Patient Medication Adherence in a Cohort of Medicare Advantage Plans in Texas. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016;22(3):305-12.
  • Mann, A., Esse, T., Abughosh, S., and Serna, O. Evaluating Pharmacist-Written Recommendations to Providers in a Medicare Advantage Plan: Factors Associated with Provider Acceptance. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016;22(1):49-55.
  • Abugosh, S., Wang, X. Serna, O., Henges, C., Masilamani, S., Essien, E., Chung, N., Fleming, M. A Pharmacist Telephone Intervention to Identify Adherence Barriers and Improve Adherence Among Nonadherent Patients with Comorbid Hypertension and Diabetes in a Medicare Advantage Plan. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016;22(1):63-73.
  • Esse, T., Serna, O., Chitnis, A., Johnson, M., and Fernandez, N. Quality Compensation Programs: Are They Worth All the Hype? A Comparison of Outcomes Within a Medicare Advantage Heart Failure Population. J Manag Care Pharm. 2013; 19(4):317-24.

 

  • Home to the world’s largest medical complex - The Texas Medical Center
  • Over 130 hospitals, health clinics and top research facilities
  • Seven of 13 largest private employers are health care organizations
  • Over 190 life sciences and biotech companies
  • Cultural diversity and exciting entertainment, dining and attractions