Residency Program Director's Welcome

Welcome from Diane Erdman!

Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee is a busy teaching hospital in an eclectic lakeside Milwaukee neighborhood. As a tertiary care center, it offers diverse and complex services while maintaining the warmth of a community hospital. The hospital is home to multiple medical residency programs and offers a PGY1 Pharmacy/PGY2 Health-System Pharmacy Administration and Leadership (HSPA-L) 24-month residency program.  The PGY1 and PGY2 years are designed to flow seamlessly together, with no need to re-apply or participate in the early commitment process.


Ascension is the nation’s largest not-for-profit health system and has a network of hospitals in Wisconsin. This connects pharmacy residents at Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee with projects that have site, state, and national impact.


During the first year, after an extensive one-month orientation, the resident participates in training experiences equivalent to the PGY1 program with emphasis in clinical practice (e.g. adult medicine, critical care, emergency medicine).  The PGY1 residency year provides an environment to manage and improve the medication-use process, provide evidence-based, patient-centered medication therapy management with interdisciplinary teams, exercise leadership and practice management, demonstrate project management skills, provide medication and practice related education and training, and utilize medical informatics.  The training program at Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee provides preceptors who are both challenging and supportive. Most rotations have two to three preceptors, which allows learners to experience different teaching styles and gain exposure to multiple subject matter experts. Residents work alongside pharmacists in both ambulatory and acute care settings. Elective opportunities in clinical and administrative practice areas allow residents to customize the program to their interests.


Residents provide staffing coverage in the Central Pharmacy and also on a medical/surgical unit. This allows residents to develop familiarity with both distributional and clinical responsibilities. Residents are trained to provide pharmacy services for medical emergencies, stroke and trauma alerts, and rapid responses. As a result of these expectations, residents become highly independent and capable pharmacy clinicians.


During the second year, the HSPA-L resident will work collaboratively with the Ascension Wisconsin Regional Pharmacy Directors and Statewide Managers to develop advanced leadership skills. The rotations in the PGY2 year will develop competence in  managerial, supervisory, and leadership responsibilities. Resident experiences will be tailored to meet individual goals and expectations.


The HSPA-L residency  is designed to develop accountability; practice patterns; habits; and knowledge, skills, attitudes, and abilities in pharmacy practice and health system pharmacy leadership. The Health-System Pharmacy Administration Pharmacy Residency begins in the PGY1 year where broad-based competencies are achieved. In the PGY2 year continued training and experience will deepen the resident’s ability to manage and lead the development, implementation and management of a safe and effective medication system. Therefore, the HSPA-L Residency provides residents with opportunities to function independently as practitioners and leaders by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge and transforming both into improved medication therapy for patients. 

Thank you for your interest in our combined PGY1/PGY2 Pharmacy Residency Program. I wish you all the best in your search for a residency program that matches your professional goals.

Diane Erdman, PharmD, BCPS, CDE, CPPS, BCACP, FASHP

Residency Program Director