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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 (PGY2)

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



Katelin Ivey, PharmD 

Sarah Jallen, PharmD, MHA

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