Ascension St. Francis Hospital Pharmacy Residency Program - Ascension Wisconsin

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Pharmacy Residency at St. Francis

Ascension St. Francis Hospital is a community hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin which has been serving the community since 1956 while providing a scope of services including the latest in neurological disorders, cardiac care and orthopedics. The Pharmacy Residency Program at St. Francis Hospital is designed to develop independent, insightful practitioners who are effective members of health care teams and provide comprehensive pharmacy services as key members of the Pharmacy Department.


PGY1 pharmacy residency programs build 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, eligible for board certification, and eligible for postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency training.

Residency Mission

The pharmacy residency program is designed to develop independent, insightful practitioners prepared to assume an advanced clinical practice position in a community hospital, pursue a PGY2 in a focused area of interest, or serve as adjunct faculty for a college of pharmacy.

Residents completing the program will expand their knowledge and skill in providing optimal pharmaceutical care in various patient care settings. They will improve medication safety and appropriate medication use as effective members of healthcare teams. Through the development of written and oral communication skills, residents completing this program will become effective educators of health care professionals, patients and students. Residents completing the program will learn to integrate therapeutic knowledge with an understanding of the health care system to become proficient in improving patient care through the development of drug therapy related policies and procedures. Residency graduates will demonstrate critical thinking and time management skills that will allow them to become self-directed leaders within both their practice setting and the pharmacy profession.


Residency Training Sites

Program Identification

  • ASHP Code: 45037
  • National Matching Services Code: 229013
  • Ascension St. Francis Hospital Pharmacy Department

    The Department of Pharmacy is open 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Services are provided through decentralized pharmacists (coverage from 0700-2000) and the main pharmacy. Clinical and distributive services are provided by 23 unit-based pharmacists.

    Decentralized Care Units
    • Adult Intensive Care
    • Medical/Surgical
    • Oncology
    • Center for Neurologic Disorders (Outpatient)
    • Cardiology/Cardiac Intervention Center
    • Investigational Drugs
    Clinical Pharmacy Services
    • Pharmacokinetic Dosing and Monitoring
      • Aminoglycosides
      • Argatroban
      • Fosphenytoin/Phenytoin
      • Heparin
      • Vancomycin
      • Warfarin
    • Renal Dosing Adjustments
    • IV to PO Conversions
    • Antimicrobial Stewardship
    • Joint Commission Core Measure Compliance (AMI, CHF & SCIP)
    • Geriatric Pharmacotherapy Optimization
    • Response to Medical Emergencies
    • Patient Counseling per Request
    • Policy/Procedure Development for Patient Care Areas


The Pharmacy Residency Program at St. Francis Hospital has set expectations, including required rotations and elective opportunities.

These are expectations that are to be completed during the residency year:

  • Licensure in the state of Wisconsin
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certification
  • Attendance at every cardiac and respiratory arrest while on site
  • Attendance at Milwaukee City-Wide Residency Conferences
  • Longitudinal residency project presentation at the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and the Great Lakes Pharmacy Resident Conference
  • Assist in the training of Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience (IPPE) and Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) students
  • Assist in policy/procedure development for patient care areas
  • Assist medication safety pharmacist with medication error analysis and follow up
  • Attendance at each Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee meeting

Required Rotations

  • Introduction to Pharmacy Practice
  • Cardiology
  • Central Pharmacy
  • Critical Care
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pharmacy Administration/Drug Policy
  • Research-Flex time
  • Ambulatory Care (longitudinal)
    Center for Neurological Disorders
    Reiman Cancer Center
  • Medication Safety (longitudinal)
  • Pharmacy Practice/Staffing (longitudinal)
  • Research Project (longitudinal)

      View a sample rotation schedule.

      Elective Opportunities

      • Academia
      • Critical Care II
      • Emergency Medicine
      • Oncology
      • Neonatal Intensive Care
      • Orthopedic Surgery

      Additional Information


      Every third weekend and five separate weeks throughout the residency year.
      View a sample staffing schedule.

      Number of Positions

      Three PGY-1 Pharmacy Residents


      Approximately $46,000


    To apply to the Ascension Wisconsin Pharmacy Residency Program, please read the application requirements and follow the application process.

    Application Requirements (via PhORCAS)

    • Letter of Intent
    • Curriculum Vitae
    • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • School of Pharmacy Transcripts
      Students applying from a School or College of Pharmacy which grants pass/fail grades must submit an official document (signed, hard copy) from their respective Dean or Assistant Dean of Pharmacy stating the student’s rank within the pharmacy class.
    • Supplemental Questions
      *Must be uploaded to PhORCAS
    • PhORCAS Application

    Program Identification

    • ASHP Code: 45037
    • National Matching Services Code: 229013


    All application materials must be submitted via PhORCAS no later than Monday, Jan. 7, 2019 at 11:59 pm CST.


    View current and past Pharmacy Residency Program residents at Ascension St. Francis Hospital by selecting a name below.

    John Knebel, PharmD (R6)

    John Knebel, PharmD, is from Pillager, Minn. and received his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2012. He completed his Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2017. His current practice interests include infectious disease and critical care. He enjoys teaching as well and plans on completing a teaching certificate during his residency. After PGY1, John plans to pursue a PGY-2 in infectious disease or critical care.

    Now that pharmacy school is over, John hopes to continue past hobbies such as hunting and working on cars. He also enjoys playing board games, computer games, watching his favorite teams (Vikings, Wild and UMD Bulldogs), and spending time with family in friends.

    Cassandra Leightner, PharmD (R7)

    Cassandra Leightner, PharmD, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology from University Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2011. From there, she completed her Doctor of Pharmacy from Concordia University Wisconsin – School of Pharmacy in 2017. Throughout her time in pharmacy school, she consistently and passionately supported patients in the community pharmacy setting. She is excited to expand her interests and clinical knowledge in areas such as critical care, cardiology and ambulatory care. During her PGY-1 residency, Cassandra hopes to blend her past patient-focused experiences with new-found clinical knowledge to positively impact and best serve patients and the community.

    In her free time, Cassandra enjoys completing DIY home improvement projects, playing and watching sports, and getting outside to play with her puppy.

    Mazen Samadi, PharmD (R8)

    Mazen Samadi, PharmD, originally from Beirut, Lebanon, earned his bachelor degree in pharmacy with a minor in general business from the Lebanese American University and subsequently his Doctor of Pharmacy in 2017. His interests lie in oncology and solid organ transplantation. During this year, Mazen hopes to receive a wealth of knowledge to help enrich his experiences. He ultimately wishes to translate his residency experience to the clinical setting back home and throughout the region in order to enhance pharmacy practice and the level of care he can provide to patients.

    In his free time, Mazen enjoys traveling, cooking, exercise, and spending quality time with his family and friends.

    Past Residents


    • R1: Ashley Mulvey
    • R2: Dylan Jones


    • R3: Rida Abbasi
    • R4: Meghan Learned
    • R5: Sarah Seward

    If you're a graduate of the Pharmacy Residency Program, please send us your updated/current contact information.


    View current Pharmacy Residency Program preceptors at Ascension St. Francis Hospital by selecting a name below.

    Sean Byers , PharmD, BCPS

    Sean Byers, PharmD, BCPS earned his PharmD from Creighton University in 2014. Upon graduation, he moved to Milwaukee where he completed his PGY-1 inpatient pharmacy practice residency at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. He's currently a clinical pharmacist at St. Francis hospital and is a co-preceptor for the internal medicine rotation. Sean also is a member of both American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin. His clinical interests include internal medicine, cardiology and critical care.

    Contact Sean Byers, PharmD, BCPS

    Deb Byzewski, PharmD

    Deb Byzewski, PharmD received her Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Pharmacy in 1991, and her Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Pharmacy in 2002. She completed a pharmacy practice residency (PGY-1) at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in 2003. She is a member of American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and her practice interests include pediatrics, neurology and investigational drug services.

    Contact Deb Byzewski, PharmD

    Jeaneen Datka, RPh, BCPS

    Jeaneen Datka, RPh BCPS earned a Bachelor or Science in pharmacy from the University of Minnesota in 1991. She has worked in a variety of pharmacy settings, including small community hospitals to large teaching medical centers. Her practice has included the roles of staff pharmacist, clinical supervisor, pharmacy manager, assistant director of pharmacy, and director of pharmacy.

    Historically Jeaneen has served on a wide variety multidisciplinary teams during her 25 years of practice. She recently served on the Medication Safety and EPIC Implementation teams. Currently she is a member of the Critical Care and Sepsis Committees. Jeaneen has been a preceptor of IPPE and APPE students for the past 10 years, and her interests include critical care and emergency services. She is a member of American College of Clinical Pharmacy and American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

    Contact Jeaneen Datka, RPh, BCPS

    Andrew Ensing, PharmD

    Please check back for more information about Andrew.

    Mike Gillard, PharmD, BCPS

    Mike Gillard, PharmD, BCPS received his Bachelor of Science in pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1993, completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in 1994, and earned his PharmD from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1996. He became board certified as a Pharmacotherapy Specialist in 1997, and he currently holds that distinction through 2018.

    Mike has worked in both clinical and leadership pharmacy positions, most recently as the Inpatient Pharmacy Manager for Ascension - Franklin since 2008. From 1999 to 2002, Mike served as a preceptor, primary preceptor and Residency Program Coordinator for the PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program at Aurora Health Care. Mike also served as acting Pharmacy Residency Program Director for the PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency Program at Wheaton Franciscan - St. Joseph Campus from 2011 to 2013. He was a United States lead in the Medication Reconciliation project, a component of the High 5s initiative; a project sponsored by the World Health Organization, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, The Joint Commission, and Joint Commission International which seeks to improve patient safety around the world.

    Mike is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin, serving on the board as Region F Director from September 2014-present, and the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. His areas of interest include medication policy, medication safety, pharmacy informatics and advancement of hospital pharmacy practice through leadership, staff development, and pharmacy resident and student education. To date, Mike has been a preceptor to over 800 students and residents.

    Contact Mike Gillard, PharmD, BCPS

    Rustin Groskreutz, PharmD, BCCCP

    Rustin Groskreutz, PharmD, BCCCP earned a Bachelor of Science in pharmacology and toxicology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1999 and a PharmD from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2002. He has 13 years of clinical practice experience focusing in critical care medicine. He is currently one of the critical care pharmacists at St. Francis in Milwaukee.

    Contact Rustin Groskreutz, PharmD, BCCCP

    Dylan Jones, PharmD

    Check back soon for more information about Dylan.

    Benjamin Scott, PharmD, BCPS

    Ben Scott, PharmD, BCPS earned his PharmD from the University of Wyoming in 2013. He then went on to complete a PGY1 pharmacy residency at Wheaton Franciscan – St. Joseph Campus in Milwaukee. He is currently a clinical pharmacist and residency program coordinator at St. Francis in Milwaukee where he also serves as the primary cardiology preceptor. Ben is a member of American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, American Pharmacists Association, and Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin.

    Ben’s research experience includes the creation and evaluation of the impact of a pharmacist lead discharge medication reconciliation process on readmission rates in heart failure patients. His clinical areas of interest include: management of venous thromboembolism, cardiac core measure compliance, critical care, antimicrobial stewardship, and drug policy development.

    Contact Ben Scott, PharmD, BCPS

    Andrew P. Traynor, PharmD, BCPS

    Andrew P. Traynor, PharmD, BCPS earned his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Minnesota and completed a two-year residency in ambulatory care there. He is associate professor and chair of Pharmacy Practice at Concordia University Wisconsin School of Pharmacy. In this role Andrew is the residency director for School of Pharmacy’s PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency Program. He also has teaching responsibilities in the Applied Patient Care Labs, Pharmacotherapy Series (Chronic Kidney Disease Module), and Servant Leadership focus of the program. Andrew also works to coordinate the teaching skill development of pharmacy residents in the Milwaukee area.

    Prior to the School of Pharmacy, he served for four years as assistant professor and assistant residency director for the Ambulatory Care Residency Program at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy, Duluth campus. His instructional expertise includes the development of patient care and leadership skills. Andrew’s scholarship has focused on access to pharmacy services in rural areas and the development of curriculum to prepare students to lead change in pharmacy, where his curriculum work has been nationally recognized through the receipt of Innovations in Teaching Award from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in 2010. His rural pharmacy work has resulted in publications, research grants, testimony at government committee hearings, and presentations to local and national audiences.

    Contact Us

    For more information about the Pharmacy Residency Program at Ascension St. Francis Hospital, please contact:

    Mike Gillard, PharmD, BCPS
    Residency Program Director

    Benjamin Scott, PharmD, BCPS
    Residency Program Coordinator