Celebrating 10 Years of Residency Program Excellence

Posted by Navitus Health Solutions on 9/5/23 9:15 AM | 4 Minutes to Read

2023 is a year of celebration at Navitus. Not only is it the 20th anniversary of our founding, but 2023 also marks 10 years of Navitus' residency program! We had the pleasure of connecting with Marnie Wickizer, PharmD, Residency Program Director, to discuss what excites her about the program and what opportunities she feels exist for residents.



The first Navitus resident, Sunny Hirpara, began in July 2013. Since then, twenty-six pharmacy residents have completed the 12-month program. For its second year, beginning in July 2014, the program grew to two residents. For the third year, beginning in July 2015, it grew to three residents. That increase is due in part to the growth of our organization, resident demand and Navitus appreciating the immense value that residents bring. 

At Navitus, we have always had a 100% pass-through and transparent business model. Especially in recent years, it's rewarding to see that model resonating with the health care industry. We are focused on lowering the cost of care and improving health in an innovative, patient-centered way. 

As a growing company within the ever-changing pharmacy profession, continuous improvement is central to our organization and residency program. Two recent residency changes include the incorporation of a Clinical Engagement Center (CEC) rotation and the addition of a Residency Program Coordinator (RPC). During the rotation in our CEC, the resident regularly interacts with Medicare beneficiaries to discuss medication therapy management (MTM) and personalized well-being.

Agata Siwak, PharmD, is a Population Health Pharmacist and Navitus Residency Program Coordinator (RPC). The addition of Agata to the residency team has been incredibly valuable. She serves as a day-to-day resource for the residents and helps customize their experiences. It was Agata’s thoughtful idea to write this 10-year celebration piece. Additionally, she is the preceptor for the data analysis and informatics rotation and is integral to the resident’s main year-long research project, presentation, and manuscript. Each year our residents complete a required research project. That process has helped the organization grow our library of poster presentations and manuscripts. A few examples are here.

Career options in managed care are numerous. Residents are trained in every area of our company where a pharmacist works. Our residency program is fully accredited by the American System of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) in partnership with the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) and currently contains thirteen learning experiences, or rotations. Some differentiators include a specialty pharmacy rotation at Lumicera Health Services, an industry relations and contracting rotation, and an executive leadership rotation. It’s a busy year of training. It’s incredibly rewarding to see the residents working with the various teams and quickly making connections about how one area impacts another.

Q: What career outcomes do Navitus residency program students experience?

A: All past residents obtained a managed care job after residency and over half were hired by Navitus or Lumicera. Past residents have moved into a wide variety of roles right after completion. Some examples include Clinical Programs Pharmacist, Clinical Prior Authorization Pharmacist, MTM Clinical Pharmacist, Clinical Account Executive, Industry Relations and Contracting Pharmacist, Specialty Pharmacist, Population Health Pharmacist, Drug Information Pharmacist and Formulary Operations Pharmacist. Graduates not retained by Navitus or Lumicera also accepted a variety of positions; their common employers include health plans, consultants or pharmaceutical manufacturers. It’s a treat when we get together.

"The program provides residents with invaluable skills and diverse experiences that quickly develop well-rounded clinicians. There is an excellent balance of direction and autonomy, which fosters continuous personal and professional development, and provides ample opportunity to maximize one's potential."
- Kurt Mittelstadt, PharmD, Former Resident 2020 - 2021

Q: How does Navitus' residency program enable residents to give back to the profession?

A: As part of the residency, residents are prepared to give back and serve as mentors themselves. Throughout the residency they continually work with pharmacy students, pharmacy interns and employees in our pharmacy technician training program. The residents present at conferences and complete outcomes research. They can obtain a teaching certificate, serve as judges for local AMCP Pharmacy & Therapeutics competitions and collaborate with professional organizations. One of the noteworthy residency options is the teaching certificate in collaboration with the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The residents are well-equipped to contribute to advancing our profession. It’s incredible to see their unique paths and the ways they’re contributing. As an example, Jennifer Morrison is the Associate Director of Quality at our specialty pharmacy, Lumicera. Lumicera recently started a residency and she’s serving as the Residency Program Director.

If interested in learning more, students and pharmacists are encouraged to contact us at residency@navitus.com. Managed care pharmacy residency is a bit of a niche, especially when compared to more traditional hospital or outpatient residencies. We understand if you haven’t had much exposure or training yet.

"2013 is also a celebration of my mom, as she passed away 10 years ago. Something not many people know is that starting the residency program was a form of creative therapy for me. I like to think that we advance towards our destiny when we encourage others to reach theirs. I'm so grateful to work with pharmacy residents." - Marnie Wickizer, PharmD, Director of Clinical Services and Residency Program Director.


Marleen Wickizer

Marnie Wickizer, PharmD, is the Director of Clinical Services and Residency Program Director at Navitus Health Solutions. Marnie earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy and is licensed in California and Wisconsin. She was the inaugural winner of the AMCP Award for Managed Care Pharmacy Residency Director. Marnie is a Certified Asthma Educator®, a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist® and a University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy Clinical Instructor. She is a practitioned surveyor for ASHP PGY1 Managed Care and PGY2 Population Health Management and Data Analytics Pharmacy residency accreditation surveys. She recently completed an appointment as the AMCP representative on the ASHP Commission on Credentialing.

Agata Siwak

Agata Siwak, PharmD, is the Population Health Pharmacist and Residency Coordinator. Agata earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the Roosevelt University College of Pharmacy in Illinois and is licensed in Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin. She is also an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy.

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