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I am from northeast PA and received my bachelor’s degree in neuroscience (2013) and master’s degree in healthcare administration (2015) from King's College in Wilkes-Barre. I then attended the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (2021). I always had a passion for healthcare administration ever since I started as a pharmacy technician at an independent pharmacy in 2014, where I began noticing areas of improvement and implementing new processes and policies. While I was in pharmacy school, I was also a healthcare administrator officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves. When it came time to apply for residency, I chose Geisinger's HSPAL program because it aligned with my desire to build my pharmacy leadership career. Since starting with Geisinger as a pharmacy technician in 2016, I have always been inspired by Geisinger and knew I would continue to have the ability to optimize patient care at any career level.   

My favorite rotation so far has been my ambulatory executive rotation with Geisinger’s AVP of ambulatory services, Jerry Greskovic. Throughout the year, I have been gaining experience in all pillars of outpatient pharmacy. When the executive rotation with Jerry began, I was familiar with each area he oversaw and could be part of incredible opportunities, all while fully understanding our impact in those areas.  

I’m always looking for ways to broaden my education and leadership capabilities. When I was on my executive rotation, my calendar stated my preceptor would be out of town for a few days for the Pennsylvania Health-System Pharmacists (PSHP) annual assembly in Pittsburgh. I sent a message to my RPD requesting approval to also attend the meeting. I was granted approval and I joined the annual assembly. While I was there, I met up with a group who were also looking for ways to be more active in organizations. I soon became the chair of PSHP’s New Practitioners Committee. What I love about this residency is the fact that we make our experiences our own. We are given set expectations that we must meet, and the rest is up to us. Thanks to the HSPAL residency, there have been many opportunities to take advantage of, and I have been doing just that. 


Sarah Jallen, PharmD, MHA (PGY2)

School of pharmacy: University of Colorado

I am from Elysburg, Pa., and I went to Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy where I graduated in 2021. I chose Geisinger because it feels like home to me. Because I’m from the Danville area, I grew up admiring the quality of health that Geisinger provides to the community. Being at Geisinger allows me to learn at a large academic center while still enjoying the small, connected community that I love. I chose the HSPAL program because I wanted to learn how to make the best decisions for not only the patient in front of me, but for every patient that receives care at Geisinger. I admired the ability to lead fellow pharmacy colleagues and wanted to gain experience from leaders who were excited to teach me. Likewise, I wished to participate in interdisciplinary efforts that enhances pharmacy’s presence in the healthcare system.

My favorite rotation so far has been my Cancer Services rotation, because I was able to experience firsthand the impact pharmacy has on our Cancer Institute. I participated in multiple interdisciplinary meetings, policy updates, collaborative practice developments and quality improvement efforts while on rotation.  

I cannot put into words the number of opportunities that Geisinger has provided me throughout the years. I began my journey with Geisinger as a cooperative education student my senior year of high school and continued to work as a pharmacy technician throughout pharmacy school. When I found out I matched at Geisinger, I was so excited to be able to continue caring for members of my community and spend at least two more years with my Geisinger “pharmily.” From tiny NICU babies to geriatrics, I’m proud to say that my time at Geisinger has afforded me opportunities to care for every person at any age.


Katelin Ivey, PharmD (PGY2)

School of pharmacy: Wilkes University

I was born and raised on the island of Puerto Rico. My journey from there took me through a bachelor's in fine art and four years of military service. I finally decided to follow in my mother's footsteps and become a pharmacist. I chose to go to the University of Florida’s Jacksonville campus. After that, Geisinger came onto my radar when my husband and I decided we wanted to be where the seasons are. Pennsylvania was to become our new hub and Geisinger Medical Center had a new HSPAL program in need of a few pioneers. Experience has taught me that I will always protect those who work alongside me. The best way to do that is to be in a leadership position that affords me the opportunity to ensure they are working in a safe and well-balanced environment, which is why I chose to do a two-year program focused on HSPAL. 

My favorite experience from my PGY1 year has been the camaraderie that forms with every new team I’ve had the opportunity to work with. From the medical interns to the fellows, we bond over the demands of our chosen paths and ensure we are all working together for our patients. We struggle together, but we also win together when we can find the right diagnosis and tailor the treatment regimen to our patients’ needs.

After graduation I hope to become part of the Geisinger’s administrative team and contribute to the expansion of innovative services for our community. I also would like the opportunity to be a part of an employee workplace satisfaction and recruitment team. To ensure not only retention but also expansion of teams with people from across the nation that can contribute to the health system and bolster the pillars that make Geisinger such a force in this area. 

Geisinger Medical Center is a melting pot of cultures, medical professions and services, which has allowed me to interact with such a varied group and expand my knowledge base in every direction — from game nights with my fellow medical and pharmacy residents to conversations about the future of Geisinger with attendings and technical staff alike. My experience here and these conversations help to shape my vision of what I want to bring to this program and what I hope to achieve during my time at Geisinger.


Nichole M. Varela Gonzalez, PharmD (PGY1)

School of pharmacy: University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville