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Our 2013-14 Residents


Gregory Fakelman, PharmD
PGY1 Health System Pharmacy Administration Resident

Hometown: Branchburg, NJ

Education: PharmD, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Rutgers University

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: In my final year of pharmacy school, I was very much interested in pursuing a residency, but also had aspirations towards entering management. As I started investigating programs, Allegheny immediately stood out because of the unique combination of administrative and clinical training I could receive over two years in addition to earning my Masters of Public Health degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Once I visited the city for the first time and met the pharmacy staff, I knew the West Penn Allegheny Health System was the perfect fit for me.

Professional Interests/Future Goals: Upon graduating from the program, I will seek employment in hospital pharmacy and work hard in order to advance professionally into different management roles in that organization.


Lauren Finoli, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy Resident

Hometown: Greensburg, PA

Education: Doctor of Pharmacy, Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: After completing a rotation at Allegheny General Hospital as a student, it became apparent that AGH would be an ideal place to complete my residency training. The quality of preceptors and vast number of specialty rotations available were some of my foremost reasons for pursuing residency training at AGH. Additionally, the high acuity patient population seen at the hospital was also a drawing factor as consequently a large number of critical care opportunities are available.

Professional Interests/Future Goals: I hope to pursue critical care as a specialty and teach in my future career in some capacity, whether it be through academia and/or precepting. After residency, I wish to continue improving patient care through research related activities as well.

Armisha Desai, PharmD
PGY2 Infectious Diseases Resident

Hometown: Battle Creek, MI

Education:  University of Michigan College of Pharmacy;
Practice Pharmacy Residency, Allegheny General Hospital

Why AGH/Pittsburgh:  Having completed my PGY1 Practice Pharmacy Resident at AGH, I knew what a great place it was to learn and develop, both clinically and professionally. The preceptors here are excellent mentors and I knew they would support and help me in reaching my career goals- which is why I stayed on to complete a PGY2 in Infectious Diseases here.

Professional Interests/Future Goals:  After completing my PGY2, I hope to find a career as a clinical pharmacy specialist in infectious diseases. My ideal job would have a mix of rounding with the ID team, stewardship, and teaching/precepting pharmacy students and other health care personnel.

Cassandra Dolecki, PharmD
PGY2 Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Residency

Hometown: Pittsburgh

Education:  Community Practice Pharmacy Residency, Allegheny General Hospital; Doctor of Pharmacy, LECOM School of Pharmacy

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: During my PGY1 I encountered a variety of outpatient clinic settings and unique patient populations that allowed me to realize my interest in ambulatory care. The preceptor dedication and fostering of learning experiences is what made me want to stay to complete a second year.

Professional Interests/Future Goals: I want to work as a clinical pharmacy specialist, managing chronic disease states including diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia, while collaborating with other members of a health care team. I also want to teach in a pharmacy school and serve as a preceptor to pharmacy students.

  Rita Habib, PharmD
PGY1 Health System Pharmacy Administration Resident

Hometown: East Brunswick,NJ

Education: Rutgers University / Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy

Why AGH/Pittsburgh:  I was immediately interested in Allegheny General Hospital because the capacity and services of the institution were comparable to my previous employer as a student pharmacist in New Jersey. During my interview I was pleased to find a warm and friendly environment with genuine people who are essentially concerned about advancing patient care. The residency program itself will give me the opportunity to work with supportive mentors that will encourage me to use my degree to its fullest potential. Although I am glad to be relatively close to home and the northeast, I am excited to explore the culture of Pittsburgh and maybe even become a Steelers fan!

Professional Interests/Future Goals: As a pharmacy administration resident I hope to gain exposure to project management and leadership during the next two years. In the future I look forward to establishing a career in public health, possibly by working for the Department of Health and Human Services.

  Brandon Herk, PharmD
PGY1 Community Pharmacy Resident

Hometown: Pittsburgh

Education: PharmD, Duquesne University

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: I initially wasn’t considering AGH as post graduate training. I was looking at programs all along the east coast that had ambulatory care and outpatient clinical pharmacy services. After researching the program and speaking with the preceptors and director to the detail of the outpatient clinics and clinical services provided I was sure AGH was a perfect match for me.

Professional Interests/Future Goals: I am interested in ambulatory care topics that include transition of care, pharmacists as providers, and cardiovascular medicine. I intend to be a clinical preceptor and a professor at a school of pharmacy one day.

  Lauren Long, PharmD
PGY1 Community Pharmacy Resident

Hometown: Chadds Ford, PA

Education: Doctor of Pharmacy, Temple University School of Pharmacy; Pharmacist and Pharmacy Manager for Acme/Shoppers Pharmacy

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: When I was looking into PGY1 community programs, I knew I wanted a program that was part of a hospital and offered rotations primarily in ambulatory care settings considering I had already been working as a community pharmacy manager for the last two years. I had already known that AGH had a very well respected PGY1 Pharmacy Residency from friends who were previous residents, but it wasn’t until my interview that I was convinced. On the interview, it became clear that as a resident I would be in the hands of preceptors and staff that are dedicated in the developing a resident’s full potential. Yet, it was the passion and enthusiasm they all shared for the profession of pharmacy and our possibilities as medical professionals that really “sealed the deal” for me.

Professional Interests/Future Goals: My professional interests are in ambulatory care and the pharmacist role in transitions of care. I see myself pursuing a board certification in ambulatory care and working in outpatient pharmacy services at a university affiliated medical center where I can precept students and be adjunct faculty.



Ashley Janis Martinelli, PharmD
PGY2 Critical Care Residency

Hometown: Youngstown, Ohio

Education:  The University of Cincinnati, James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy; Pharmacy Practice Residency, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore

Why AGH/Pittsburgh:  Allegheny General Hospital has a strong reputation for its critical care training and a variety of clinical experiences that align with my personal interests. The preceptors are also very enthusiastic, driven, and dedicated to resident development. After my positive interactions with the critical care pharmacy specialists throughout the interview process, I knew I had found a great fit to complete my residency training.

Professional Interests/Future Goals:  This year, I am fortunate to have the opportunity to explore all areas within critical care. I enjoy the challenges of both surgical and medical intensive care unit patients with particular interest in infectious diseases and clinical research. In the future, I hope to obtain a position as a critical care clinical specialist in an academic medical center. Additionally, I hope to become a preceptor for future residents and students to model the exceptional mentorship I have received throughout my training.


  Sean McGonigle, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency

Hometown: Villanova, PA

Education:  BS in Biology, Penn State; PharmD, Temple University

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: AGH has an excellent PGY1 residency program, availability of PGY2 ID residency

Professional Interests/Future Goals:  I plan to pursue a PGY2 Infectious Diseases Residency and an Infectious Disease Pharmacy Specialist position

Arpit S. Mehta, BS, PharmD
PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration Residency/MPH

Hometown: Laurel, MD

Education: MPH,  University of Pittsburgh; Doctor of Pharmacy, LECOM School of Pharmacy, Erie; BS in Biology, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Baltimore

Why AGH/Pittsburgh:  The strong leadership team at AGH/WPAHS is what attracted me to AGH’s Administration residency program. Reasons why I joined team AGH:
• The variety and quality of management training (rotation) options in year one and two along with balanced clinical focus in year one;  • Opportunity to start this excellent program under the guidance of experienced leadership/management team; • Opportunity to conduct rotations at the system and corporate level; • Mentors who go above and beyond and
• Multidisciplinary Master of Public Health (MPH) program from University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health.  Pittsburgh has a lot going on in terms of arts and culture, sports, entertainment, etc. and it is close to family and friends for me – so it is a perfect location.

Professional Interests/Future Goals:  Health-System Pharmacy Administration; Leadership Development; Medication Safety; Pharmacy Informatics and Technology. My future goal is to practice as a health-system pharmacy leader and an effective manager for advancing the patient care at a large academic medical center while continuing my involvement with the state and national health-system pharmacy organizations.

Kimberly Miller, BS, PharmD
PGY2 Health System Pharmacy Administration Resident

Hometown: Newville, PA

Education:  BS in Biology Pre-Health Professions, Shippensburg University; Doctor in Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy with an area of concentration in Business Administration

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: I completed my doctor in pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and enjoyed living in Pittsburgh. AGH seemed like a good fit for me with respect to both the people and the program. The program offered all of the opportunities that I wanted and the flexibility to create experiences that focus on my interests. I’m also a Steelers fan.

Professional Interests/Future Goals: I would like to pursue a career in pharmacy administration, either as an operations or clinical manager. My interests include medication safety and quality improvement.

Jennifer Niccolai, PharmD
PGY2 Hematology/Oncology Resident

Hometown:  North Huntingdon, PA

Education: Duquesne University; Pharmacy Residency, Allegheny General Hospital

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: I had completed 3 advanced practice rotations at AGH as a student during pharmacy school and was really impressed by the number of learning experiences provided and the emphasis the preceptors placed on teaching students and residents. I also just thought everyone was really nice, compassionate, and worked hard to improve patient care. I really wanted to work with such a great group of pharmacists and was so grateful and excited when I matched as a PGY-1. I have always had a special interest in oncology and was so thrilled to have the opportunity to stay at AGH and become the PGY-2 oncology resident for 2013-2014. I love Pittsburgh and feel like I am constantly finding new fun things to do despite living here for the past 7 years, especially going to concerts and eating at amazing restaurants!


Professional Interests/Future Goals: I hope to find a position as an oncology clinical specialist upon completing my residency. At the moment I am particularly interested in the outpatient/ambulatory setting because of the great experiences I have had so far during my residency. However, I hope to have many diverse opportunities throughout my career including precepting students/residents and teaching.


Diwura Owolabi, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy Practice Residency

Hometown: Baltimore

Education:  Doctor of Pharmacy: University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore

Why AGH/Pittsburgh:  I chose AGH because I was looking for a program with PGY2’s in my areas of interest and the opportunity to complete a wide variety of rotations in both acute care and ambulatory care. During my interview I was very impressed with the friendliness of the preceptors and their dedication to the pharmacy residents. Pittsburgh because I wanted to leave my hometown (Maryland) and still be within a drivable distance.

Professional Interests/Future Goals:  My interests are in infectious diseases, HIV/AIDs, critical care and oncology. I hope to complete a PGY2 in one of my interest areas and practice as a clinical specialist in a teaching hospital.

  Zineb Rhim, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy Residency

Hometown: Cincinnati

Education: Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: I was impressed with the opportunities AGH has to offer for their residents. The diverse elective opportunities, the teaching opportunities, and the outstanding reputation of the program made it an ideal site for my postgraduate training. I was also excited about the exceptional learning opportunities AGH can provide in the specialty areas of critical care and infectious diseases. During my interview I was further drawn to the program by the exceptional clinicians who seemed so dedicated and passionate about teaching and helping residents grow. I am looking forward to a great year here at AGH.

Professional Interests/Future Goals:
My short term goal is to pursue a PGY-2 residency in one of my interest areas– critical care or infectious diseases. My ultimate career goals are to be able to practice pharmacy in a teaching hospital as a certified clinical pharmacy specialist and to also serve as an educator to students, patients and other health-care providers.


Elyse Weitzman, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy Resident

Hometown: Baltimore

Education: BS in Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh; Doctor of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

Why AGH/Pittsburgh: While reviewing PGY1 programs, I sought a place with diversified rotations that would offer me the opportunity to thoroughly explore my interests in both inpatient and outpatient environments. With broad- spectrum integration of pharmacists, AGH provides an ideal learning environment for me. The clinical pharmacists here are not only very knowledgeable and dedicated to their work and teaching, but they are also personable and energetic. Pittsburgh, a hub in healthcare and technology, is also a great place for a new pharmacist to grow. I loved living here as a student and wanted to continue the Pittsburgh experience!

Professional Interests/Future Goals: I am interested in ambulatory care, cardiology, transplant, and care transitions. In my profession, I hope to become a clinician that enhances the quality and continuity of patient care, while precepting students and working with the team. As a big picture person, I plan to explore roles in clinical management and public health in the future. I look forward to discovering my areas of passion during my residency.


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