The Medical Center of Trinity (MCT) PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency is a 12-month program which provides a personalized experience for its residents. Residents will have the opportunity to learn in a variety of patient care settings, receiving instruction in medication management from dedicated, competent, and enthusiastic preceptors. The Medical Center of Trinity PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program is committed to providing a robust training environment grounded in excellent training experiences that support the resident’s clinical, academic, and professional interests. Opportunities for professional travel, networking, and continuing professional development are provided.
The mission of the MCT PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program is to develop confident, and competent pharmacists who are able to manage all aspects of medication management for patients they serve. The program is dedicated to developing future pharmacy clinicians and leaders by promoting confidence, leadership and professional skills in pharmaceutical care. The residency also follows the MCT Mission: to improve the lives of the people we touch.
Program Purpose Statement
The Medical Center of Trinity PGY1 Pharmacy Residency Program builds on Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) education and outcomes to contribute to the development of clinical pharmacists responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions, producing confident, self-directed learners who are eligible for board certification, and eligible for postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency training.
Eligibility and Application
- Applicants must be graduates or candidates for graduation from an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited degree program (or one in process of pursuing accreditation)
- Licensed or eligible to apply for a license to practice pharmacy in the state of Florida. All being selected residents MUST be licensed in the state of Florida by October 1st.
- Participate in the ASHP Residency Matching Program
- Completed application submitted to PhORCAS prior to January 5, and include:
- Letter of intent
- Copy of pharmacy school transcript
- Three professional references/evaluations submitted via PhORCAS
- Curriculum vitae
- If selected, an on-site interview is required for Phase I of the Match. If necessary, an online interview (e.g. Skype) is required for Phase II (i.e. scramble) of the Match.
The MCT PGY1 Residency Program participates in the ASHP Resident Matching program. The residency program participates in the ASHP residency showcase as the primary recruiting forum and uses the online admissions management software platform, PhORCAS to support the residency recruiting process. The deadline for receipt of application materials is January 5th.
The following are examples of items considered during the selection process:
- Professional competence based on clinical APPE rotations, as well as work, presentation, research, biomedical writing/publishing and practical experience
- Collegiate achievements
- Communication skills represented in the letter of intent, professional references, APPE, academic, and interview performance
- Leadership potential as indicated by the nature and extent of participation in professional societies, community or public services, and social activities
- Ability to work cooperatively with others
- Major research/service project
- Manuscript of project, which must be eligible for journal publishing
- Poster presentation at ASHP Midyear Meeting
- Presentation at Florida Residency Conference
- 1 hour Continuing education seminar
- Medication use evaluation
- Minimum of three journal clubs and six Formal Residency Conference Presentations per year
- Successfully obtain “Achieved for Residency” for 80 percent of ASHP PGY-1 Residency taught goals/objectives
Core required rotations includes the following:
- Orientation (1 month)
- Internal Medicine (2 months)
- Critical Care (2 months)
- Infectious Disease (2 months)
- Neonatal ICU (1 month)
- Administration (1 month)
Elective concentrated rotations may include but is not limited to the following (Two, 1 month rotations):
- Cardiology (Northside Hospital and Heart Institute)
- Drug Information (HCA West Florida Division)
- Emergency Medicine
- Medication Safety
- Nutritional Support
- Pharmacy Informatics (HCA West Florida Division)
- Transplant (Largo Medical Center)
- Trauma (Regional Medical Center of Bayonet Point)
Pay, Benefits and working conditions
Detailed information about salary, benefits and amenities will be provided to pharmacy residents by Human Resources.
- Salary: Competitive
- Duration of appointment: One year, beginning on July 1 of the program year.
- Vacation and holiday leave: 10 days of paid time off (PTO) can be taken during rotations throughout the year with prior approval from the rotation preceptor and residency program director. Residents are required to work some holidays.
- Sick and family leave: Sick leave is deducted from PTO. Residents are expected to notify co-workers and their respective preceptor or supervisor as early as possible when illness requires absence.
- Educational and professional leave: Nine days are granted for paid professional leave to attend appropriate continuing education or professional programs, travel to job interviews or visit other residency sites or professional practice locations. Requests for professional leave must be submitted to the residency program director. Residents are expected to attend the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Midyear Clinical Meeting as well as the Florida Residency Conference. Financial assistance is provided for travel, meals and lodging expenses for these meetings.
- Health benefits: Residents are eligible for health benefits as full-time pharmacist employees of Medical Center of Trinity
- Liability insurance: All pharmacy residents are covered under Medical Center of Trinity’s liability insurance policy. This insurance does not cover any other professional services at facilities outside of Medical Center of Trinity
- Office space and resources: Office space for use by pharmacy residents is provided at each site. A laptop is also available for each resident. One lab coat will be provided at no charge to each resident
- Discounts and amenities: Residents are eligible to receive a wide variety of entertainment, health and other discounts via HCARewards.
- Parking: Pharmacy residents park free in approved locations
Meet the Preceptors
John M. Allen, Pharm.D., CPh, BCPS, BCCCP is the Pharmacy Clinical Coordinator, and PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Director at Medical Center of Trinity. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Dr. Allen joined MCT in 2015. Dr. Allen’s professional areas of interest include sedation and analgesia in the critically ill, nutrition in the critically ill and traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Allen graduated with his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2009 from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, FL. He then completed an ASHP-accredited PGY-1 residency, followed by an ASHP- accredited PGY-2 Critical Care residency at Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, FL. Dr. Allen is a dual board certified pharmacist in Critical Care (BCCCP) and Pharmacotherapy (BCPS).
Dr. Allen is an active member of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) and the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and has served on several committees within ACCP and SCCM, respectively. In January 2017, Dr. Allen will receive the prestigious honor of induction as a Fellow of the American College of Critical Care Medicine, which honors individuals whose achievements and contributions demonstrate personal commitment to critical care excellence.
Prior to his employment at MCT, Dr. Allen held primary academic appointments at the USF College of Pharmacy and Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy, respectively.
Ankit H. Patel, Pharm.D., CPh, is the Director of Pharmacy Services at the Medical Center of Trinity and its sister campuses. Born in India and raised in Zambia, Dr. Patel migrated to the United States in 1995 with his family to pursue the American Dream. Dr. Patel joined the Medical Center of Trinity in 2014. Dr. Patel’s professional areas of interest include the Advancement of Pharmacy Leadership, Patient Safety, and Pharmacy Clinical Services
Dr. Patel graduated with his Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2007 from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, FL. He then completed an ASHP-accredited PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency in 2008 at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, FL. Dr. Patel also completed an Antithrombotic Traineeship at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in 2009 through the ASHP Research and Education Foundation. This experience afforded Dr. Patel to pursue Grant Award from the Cardinal Health Foundation for the development of an Outpatient Anticoagulation Clinic for the underserved population in St. Petersburg, FL.
Dr. Patel is an active member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP); Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists (FSHP); and the Southwest Society of Health-System Pharmacists.
Prior to his employment at Medical Center of Trinity, Dr. Patel held positions as a Clinical Coordinator; Manager of Formulary Pharmacy; and Critical Care Pharmacist at South Bay Hospital, WellCare Health Plans, and Bayfront Medical Center, respectively.
Shaista Ali, Pharm.D is a Clinical Pharmacist at Medical Center of Trinity (MCT). Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, Dr. Ali is an avid fan of hockey and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Dr. Ali graduated from Rutgers University with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree then pursued a PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, TX. Dr. Ali has been a pharmacist for over 10 years and worked in various settings including Specialty Pharmacy, Pharmacy Administration and 3rd Party Prior Authorization review before joining MCT full-time in 2015. She is an active member of Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists (FSHP).
Elvira Berdennicova, DPh, FAARM, ABAAHP is a Doctor of Pharmacy, registered in three states, including North Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee. Dr. Berdennicova holds a Certification as a Fellow of Anti-Aging, Regenerative Medicine and American Board Anti-Aging Health Practitioner. She received her pharmacy degree from Arkangelsk Pharmaceutical College, Russia and additional training from Zaporizhia State Medical University, Ukraine.
Dr. Berdennicova established herself as a Clinical / Consultant pharmacist by working in the variety of settings, including acute care hospitals, compounding pharmacy, and private consulting practice. Dr. Berdennicova is certified as a second category specialist in phytotherapy, Dr. Berdennicova professional areas of interest include the use of holistic medicine, herbal therapy, nutrients and supplements.
Jeff Bush, PharmD, CPh was born and raised in Utica, New York and moved to Florida in 1979. Dr. Bush obtained his Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Degree from Mercer University Southern School of Pharmacy located in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon graduation, Dr. Bush began his career as a Consultant Pharmacist in Long Term Care. Dr. Bush then moved into hospital Pharmacy at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, Florida. Dr. Bush worked at Bayfront for 12 years serving in a number of roles with responsibilities ranging from Interim Director of Pharmacy, Pharmacy Residency Director and Clinical Coordinator. Currently Dr. Bush holds the position of Division Director of Clinical Pharmacy Services for HCA of West Florida.
Dr. Bush is a member of ASHP, FSHP, and Southwest Regional Society, where he has been on the Executive Board of Directors for the last three years. Dr. Bush also serves on the Advisory Board of Pinellas Technical Schools Pharmacy Division. Dr. Bush also serves as a preceptor for a number of Colleges of Pharmacy including LECOM, USF, and UF.
Jared Cardoza, Pharm.D. is the Critical Care Pharmacist at Medical Center of Trinity. Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Dr. Cardoza moved south to complete his Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy in Gainesville, Florida. After graduating, Dr. Cardoza went on to complete a Small Rural Hospital PGY-1 residency, at Putnam Community Medical Center, where he was part of the inaugural class. Through his residency Dr. Cardoza received a teaching certificate through the University of Florida. Dr. Cardoza is an active member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. Dr. Cardoza has long had an interest in critical care pharmacy and is excited to share this passion with future residents.
Megan Charlton, Pharm.D is the Pediatric/ NICU Pharmacist at Medical Center of Trinity (MCT). Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Dr. Charlton joined MCT in 2015. Dr. Charlton graduated with her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010 from Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy in Auburn, AL. She then completed an ASHP-accredited PGY-1 residency with a concentration in Pediatrics at The Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, FL. Dr. Charlton is an active member of the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) and the Pediatric Pharmacy Association (PPAG). Prior to her employment at MCT, Dr. Charlton worked as the Pediatric/ NICU Pharmacist at Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery, AL and held academic appointments at Samford University McWhorter School of Pharmacy and Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy.
Anastasia Knecht, BSN, Pharm D, BCPS is an Infectious Diseases Clinical Pharmacist at Medical Center of Trinity (MCT). Born in Russian Federation, Dr. Knecht graduated from I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University with her BS Pharmacy degree. After immigration to the USA, Dr. Knecht earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Cum Laude) from the University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2006 and completed a Medical – Surgical Internship at Medical Center of Arlington, TX. Later, Dr. Knecht earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida in 2016
Dr. Knecht is Board Certified in Pharmacotherapy (BCPS). She has an extensive Medical- Surgical Nursing, Pharmacy Operations, and Clinical Pharmacy experience.
Dr. Knecht is a member of the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists (FSHP). Prior to her employment at MCT, Dr. Knecht worked as an Inpatient Clinical Pharmacist within the Tampa Bay region.
Denise B. Li, Pharm.D., BCNSP is a Clinical Pharmacist at Medical Center of Trinity. Born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, Dr. Li joined Community Hospital, now the Medical Center of Trinity, in 2003. Dr. Li received her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Li completed her Pharmacy Residency in Nutrition Support at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Li’s professional interests include Nutrition Support, electrolyte management and Oncology. Dr. Li is an active member of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) as well as the state chapters of FSHP and FSPEN. Prior to her employment at MCT, Dr. Li worked as a Clinical Specialist in Nutrition Support at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan and was adjunct faculty at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
Athena Markos is originally from Florence, South Carolina. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree of Pharmacy from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. Once she graduated in 1995, she moved to Palm Harbor, Florida, where she started her career working for Eckerd Drugs as a Pharmacy Manger. After working for the company for 3 years, she decided to take a new adventure in her career and obtained her Consultant Pharmacy License. She began working for American Pharmaceutical Services (APS)/Omni Care until November of 2006 as a Consultant Pharmacist. From there, she left to further her career in hospital pharmacy, at Bayfront Medical Center. While at Bayfront, she wore many hats in the 11 years she was there. She did clinical work, staffed in the main pharmacy, became an IT Pharmacist and was a preceptor for the Residency Program (Operations training). With all she had done at Bayfront, it gave her an opportunity to land the Pharmacy Operations Coordinator position at the Medical Center of Trinity, where she has been since October of 2013. Athena Markos is also an active member of Florida Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (FSHP). In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and twins, is very active in her church and also enjoys playing on a kickball league with several of her pharmacy friends.
Getting to Know Our Community
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Pharmacy Residency Testimonials
John Allen, PharmD, Pharmacy Residency Program Director
Ankit Patel, PharmD
Bert Barnes, MD
Ken West, COO
Lizette Otero, RN
If you have any questions about the MCT PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program, our hospital, or our community, please feel free to contact either: