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Cigna Pharmacy Residency Programs

Cigna PGY1 Managed Care Pharmacy Practice Residency

Location: Remote work from home with minimal travel.
Program headquartered in Nashville, TN.

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Take the next step on your journey toward career success with a 12-month, accredited, managed care pharmacy residency at Cigna, a global health service company. Cigna's mission is to improve the health, well-being, and peace of mind of those we serve by making health care simple, affordable, and predictable.

While the role allows for a global company view, the residency is focused on Cigna Medicare pharmacy services. The pharmacy team supports beneficiaries to live healthier, more active lives through personalized, affordable, and easy-to-use health care solutions. 

Develop the knowledge and skills necessary for pharmacists to assume leadership roles within a managed care organization through:

  • Development and administration of research to present at regional and national conferences
  • Medicare Part D formulary and utilization management policy development and maintenance
  • Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program development and oversight
  • Pharmacy claim trends and outcomes analysis
  • Development of pharmacy quality improvement initiatives to improve health outcomes and Star ratings
  • Mentorship by Cigna health care personnel
  • Teaching certificate program and ability to precept APPE students
  • Opportunity to gain experience in areas such as:
    • Comprehensive medication reviews
    • Interdisciplinary care teams
    • Coverage review
    • Claims adjudication
    • Drug utilization reviews
    • Medicare Star measures and interventions
    • Overall pharmacy operations
    • PBM Services (in partnership with Cigna's Evernorth/ Express Scripts colleagues)
    • Teaching certificate program and ability to precept APPE students.

Benefits and Perks

  • Competitive salary
  • Eligible for 401K
  • Comprehensive health plan, including medical, dental, and vision benefits
  • Paid time off, paid holidays, company paid volunteer community service hours, and more
  • Conference registration and travel expenses paid for required professional meetings
  • Cigna Medicare headquarters is close to the sights and sounds of Music City, USA, located within 25 miles of Nashville International Airport, and near many global health care organizations.

Medication Therapy Management (MTM)

Provide medication education and counseling to optimize customers’ health and well-being.

  • Provide evidence-based medication therapy management.
  • Conduct comprehensive medication reviews.
  • Provide medication education and counseling.
  • Be involved with operational aspects of program, including eligibility criteria development.
  • Monitor medication use based on:
    • Appropriate dosing and indication.
    • Efficacy
    • Adverse effects
    • Cost-effectiveness


Help to design effective formularies.

  • Focus on the ongoing maintenance of formularies.
  • Complete and present a drug monograph or therapeutic class review.
  • Develop and implement clinically appropriate utilization management criteria.
  • Contribute to the annual formulary build and benefit design process.
  • Monitor concurrent drug utilization review edits.1

Coverage Review

Use established criteria and clinical judgment to evaluate coverage review requests.

  • Evaluate coverage review decisions such as:
    • Prior authorization (PA) requests
    • Quantity limit exceptions
    • Non-formulary requests

Transitions of Care

Assist in post-discharge care transition for our Medicare Advantage customers.

  • Improve transitions of care by providing patients with tools and support that promote knowledge and self-management of their transition as they move from hospital to home.
  • Complete a post-discharge medication review, including medication reconciliation and counseling.
  • Collaborate with providers and case management staff to identify and resolve drug therapy problems and provide medication-related recommendations to optimize care.


Utilize and enhance your project management and research skills.

  • Identify, design, and execute a research project related to a current managed care topic.
  • Present at regional and national conferences and create a draft manuscript for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

Pharmacy Quality Improvement

Continuously monitor, evaluate, and improve the clinical care and services provided through the pharmacy benefit.

  • Learn how quality initiatives impact patient care and population health management.
  • Use knowledge of evidence-based medicine to positively impact health outcomes.
  • Gain an understanding of the Part D STAR metrics and initiatives to improve the measures.
  • Develop medication safety presentations.
  • Answer drug information questions.
  • Conduct medication use evaluations.

Pharmacy Administration

Interact with key stakeholders.

  • Be actively involved in projects and discussions with the:
    • Clinical Pharmacy Team
    • Pharmacy Network Team
    • Finance Team
    • PBM Account Management Team
  • Gain experience in the management of:
    • Pharmacy networks
    • Drug pricing
    • Fraud, waste, and abuse
    • Contractual compliance
    • Claim adjudication
    • Pharmacy billing
    • Benefit design
    • Clinical edits
    • Pharmacy messaging

Integrated Patient Care

Serve as the pharmacy subject matter expert on an interdisciplinary team.

  • Review medical and pharmacy claims to identify medication optimization opportunities and benefit affordability options.
  • Collect and analyze patient information to provide recommendations based on patient educational needs, formulary and utilization restrictions, cost barriers, and drug therapy problems.
  • Complete comprehensive medication reviews for high risk Medicare Advantage customers.
  • Provide evidence-based, patient-centered care in collaboration with other health professionals.
  • Directly contribute to interdisciplinary patient care plans to improve health outcomes.

Teaching Certificate

Earn a teaching certificate upon completion of a partnering college of pharmacy's program.

  • Gain hands-on experience by taking advantage of opportunities to:
    • Present didactic lectures
    • Lead discussion groups
    • Precept APPE students

Annie Schuster joined the company over 15 years ago as a Clinical Pharmacist.  Over the years she’s contributed to various pharmacy services and currently leads the clinical pharmacy team providing services for Cigna’s Medicare customers. After helping start up the residency program over 10 years ago, Annie continues to enjoy the energy that residents bring to the program as well as the reward that comes with helping residents grow professionally over the year. In 2019, Annie was honored to receive the AMCP Managed Care Pharmacy Residency Director/Preceptor Award for her commitment to resident development.

Kassie Herbst, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Quality Improvement

Shenita Outland, PharmD
Clinical Program Advisor, Formulary

Oliver (Trey) Holmes, PharmD
Project Management Sr Advisor Part D Stars

Shivani Patel, PharmD, MBA, BCPS
Clinical Program Sr Manager, Quality Improvement

Annie Schuster, PharmD, FAMCP
Sr Director, Clinical Programs

Jeff Tunney, PharmD
Clinical Program Director, Quality Improvement

Julie Walker, PharmD
Quality Clinical Management Sr Advisor, Quality Improvement

Lindsay Brent, PharmD, MHHC
Pharmacy Resident, Cigna

Emily Ragland, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna

Andrew Frey, PharmD, MBA
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna

Kassie Herbst, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna

Paul (P.L.) Prater, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna

Hamzah Whatley, PharmD
Staff Pharmacist, Utilization Management, Cigna/ Express-Scripts

Jonathan Collar, PharmD, MBA
Director of Pharmacy, Oak Street Health
Clinical Program Sr. Advisor, Cigna

Dana Hale, PharmD, MBA
Clinical Program Sr Advisor, Cigna

Oliver (Trey) Holmes, PharmD
Program Management Sr Advisor, Cigna

Joel Hahn, PharmD, MBA
Product Strategy Sr Advisor, Cigna

Rachael Williams, PharmD, MBA
Pharmacist, Large National Community Pharmacy

Tola Oluyide, PharmD
Consultant Pharmacist
Clinical Advisor, Large National PBM

Vanitra Carlisle Richards, PharmD
Clinical Content Specialist, Wolters Kluwer
Clinical Pharmacist, Large National PBM
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, a College of Pharmacy
Pharmacy Informatics Resident, Vanderbilt Medical Center
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna (formerly Healthspring)

Applicants must:

  • Be a graduate or candidate for graduation from an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) accredited degree program (or one in process of pursuing accreditation) or have a Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalency Committee (FPGEC) certificate from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)
  • Be eligible for licensure in state will reside in during residency year
  • Submit completed application through Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS) by end of day, December 27, 2022, and include:
    • Complete application
    • Letter of intent
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Official transcript from school of pharmacy
  • If extended a virtual interview, successfully complete Cigna’s role application and interview Process. More information can be found at: How We Hire | Cigna Careers
  • Be registered and go through the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Match process.

Important Reminders:

  • Applications are due December 27, 2022. Please refer to PhORCAS for more information.
  • Applicants must become licensed within 90 days of residency start.

A large portion of the Cigna Medicare pharmacy team works at home. We are committed to making the work at home arrangement as successful as possible and leveraging technology to maximize the virtual collaborations. We focus on building and enhancing connections with our colleagues and minimizing the challenges as we “work together apart.” During the residency year, the resident may have the opportunity to travel to meet with the Residency Program Director, Preceptors, and other team members for key in-person meetings. Additionally, if the resident is located near a Cigna office, such as the office in Nashville, TN, it may be possible for the resident to reserve a flex space on a first come, first served basis. The resident will be provided the site to review the Cigna global real estate guide and use the reservation system.

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CareAllies PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency

Location: Houston, Texas

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CareAllies is Cigna’s provider-focused services company that helps providers and delivery systems improve the quality, value, and experience of care for their patients, to make health care better for everyone. We offer:

  • A collaborative approach to help providers transition to value-based care.
  • Hands-on physician engagement services to drive improved health and cost outcomes.
  • A wide array of provider solutions, including health plan enablement, population health management, value-based programs and provider organization development.

Houston’s Pharmacy Residency Program offers a deep focus on ambulatory care, managed care and academia. 

Program Goals

  • Expose residents to a wide variety of clinical experiences within the managed care arena
  • Focus on developing the knowledge and skills needed to become a proficient provider of pharmaceutical care
  • Develop expertise in the specialized fields of pharmaceutical care including:
    • Ambulatory care
    • Clinical care within a managed care environment
    • Academia


  • Become a part of an interdisciplinary care team
  • Exposure to ambulatory care in a primary care setting
  • Develop a research project for presentation at the annual Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Conference
  • Earn a teaching certificate through the University of Houston College of Pharmacy


  • Competitive resident salary
  • Health, dental, vision, life and disability benefits, including 401K
  • Paid time off and conference travel reimbursement
  • Close to the heart of the world-famous Texas Medical Center
  • Numerous networking opportunities

Residency Opportunities

  • Participate in Medication Therapy Management (MTM)
  • Contribute to interdisciplinary care team rounds
  • Experience ambulatory care in a primary care setting
  • Participate in quality initiatives to improve health outcomes
  • Mentorship by Clinical Pharmacists and other health care professionals
  • Complete a research project for presentation at the annual Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Conference
  • Engage in an academic clerkship at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy
  • Earn a teaching certificate through the University of Houston College of Pharmacy

Rotations at a Glance

  • Practice Management
  • Formulary Management
  • Community Pharmacy   
  • Disease State Management 
  • Quality Improvement
  • Academia
  • Health Outcomes Research
  • Coverage Determination
  • Chronic Care Improvement
  • Electives catered to resident goals


  • Research project completion, including poster and manuscript
  • Contributions in interdisciplinary rounds
  • Completion of MTM reviews
  • Completion of comprehensive medication reviews
  • Completion of coverage determination reviews
  • PharmD student preceptorship
  • Attend a Teaching and Certification course

Dr. Omar Serna is a 2008 graduate of the University of Houston College of Pharmacy. He completed his residency experience with HealthSpring in 2009, and was retained by the company as a Clinical Pharmacist, working within the Living Well ambulatory clinics for 3 years. He has since become the Residency Director and has played an integral role in the growth and development of the residency program to date. He is very proud of the program and is always looking for ways to extend the program’s footprint.

Learn more and contact:
Omar Serna, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Operations Director
Residency Program Director

2800 North Loop West
Suite 600
Houston, Texas 77092

Call: 713-936-6000

Vicente Aparacio, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP
Quality Improvement
Complete Health Team Rounds

Julianna Fernandez, PharmD, BCGP
Academia, University of Houston College of Pharmacy  

Esteban Gallardo, PharmD
Health Outcomes Research
Practice Management

Michael Gin, PharmD
Complete Health Team Rounds

Sonal Kwatra, PharmD, BCPS
Geriatric Primary Care

Grace Mbagwu, PharmD, MS
Medication Therapy Management

Shenita Outland, PharmD
Formulary Management

Omar Serna, PharmD, BCACP
Chronic Care Improvement
Heights-Studewood Pharmacy

2021- 2022
Jelice McBean, PharmD

Faiza Ahmed, PharmD

2020 - 2021
Sarah Laxa, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna

Bumhee "Chloe" Ahn, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna

2019 - 2020
Ryan Payne, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Michael Gin, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, CareAllies

2018 - 2019
Maream "Ashley" Fosshat, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna Medicare

Jocelyne Tientcheu Mamvou, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna Medicare

2017 - 2018
Minh Hong, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist

Man-Khoi Nguyen, PharmD, BCPS, BCACP
Pharmacy Benefits Manager, Health Plan

2016 - 2017
Blessing Adodo, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Scarlett Najera Sossamon, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan 

2015 - 2016
Amanda Woods Mann, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacy Supervisor

Bhakti Jadav Raha, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna Medicare

2014 - 2015
Amanda Winters Livezy, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Leeda Mohebbi, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Alexander Nguyen, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Lynsey Smith, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Ambulatory Care Clinic

2013 - 2014
Christopher Henges, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna StarPlus   

Cassandra Sanchez Huggar, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Hospital System

Tiffany Johnson, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Health Plan

Lea Garcia Mendez, PharmD
Pharmacy Manager, Health Plan

Tricia Tran, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna Medicare 

2012 - 2013
Lindy Haynes, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna StarPlus

Aeliya Jaffar, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, Cigna Medicare

2011 - 2012
Tara W. Esse, PharmD, MBA, BCACP
Clinical Program Senior Advisor, Cigna

2010 - 2011
Scott McDowell, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist, Health System

Tochi Nwosu, PharmD
Pharmacist, Community

2009 - 2010
Eunha “Kelsey” Do, PharmD, BCPS
Clinical Pharmacist, Hospital System

Mary Nguyen Shaw, PharmD
Pharmacist, Community

2008 - 2009
Reba Mathew, PharmD
Pharmacy Director, Health System

Omar Serna, PharmD, BCACP
Clinical Operations Director, CareAllies
Pharmacy Residency Director

Applicants must:

  • Graduate from an accredited school of pharmacy
  • Be eligible for Texas licensure 
  • Submit application packet, including:
    • Complete application
    • Letter of intent
    • Curriculum vitae
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Pharmacy school transcript
  • Applications accepted through the Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service (PhORCAS)
  • Visit CareAllies office in Houston, TX if selected for an on-site interview
  • Go through the American Society of Health System Pharmacists (ASHP) Match process

Important Reminders:

  • Applications are due in January. Please refer to PhORCAS for more information.
  • Applicants must become licensed in Texas.


  • Hong, M., Esse, T., Vadhariya, A., Gallardo, E., Fosshat, MA., Mamvou, J., Bruce, L., Serna, O., Abughosh, S., Evaluating Success Factors of a Medication Adherence Tracker Pilot Program in Improving Part D Medication Adherence Metrics in a Medicare Advantage Plan: Importance of Provider Engagement. J Manag Care Spec Pharm, 2020;26(5):662-7.
  • Mann, A., Esse, T., Serna, O., Castel, L., Abughosh, S. Effectiveness of mailed letters to improve medication adherence among Medicare Advantage Plan participants with chronic conditions. Patient Pref Adherence. 2019;13:37–46.
  • Abughosh, S., Wang, X., Serna, O., Esse, T., Mann, A., Masilamani, S., Holstad, M., Essien, E., Fleming, M. A Motivational Interviewing Intervention by Pharmacy Students to Improve Medication Adherence. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2017;23(5):549-560.
  • Nguyen, A., Sawant, R., Serna, O., Esse, T., and Sansgiry, S. Medicare Part D Insulin Tiering Change: Impact on Health Outcomes. Am J Pharm Benefits. 2016;8(5):e0.
  • Winters, A., Esse, T., Bhansali, A. Serna, O., Mhatre, S., and Sansgiry, S. How Primary Care Physicians Perceive Patient Medication Adherence in a Cohort of Medicare Advantage Plans in Texas. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016;22(3):305-12.
  • Mann, A., Esse, T., Abughosh, S., and Serna, O. Evaluating Pharmacist-Written Recommendations to Providers in a Medicare Advantage Plan: Factors Associated with Provider Acceptance. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016;22(1):49-55.
  • Abugosh, S., Wang, X. Serna, O., Henges, C., Masilamani, S., Essien, E., Chung, N., Fleming, M. A Pharmacist Telephone Intervention to Identify Adherence Barriers and Improve Adherence Among Nonadherent Patients with Comorbid Hypertension and Diabetes in a Medicare Advantage Plan. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2016;22(1):63-73.
  • Esse, T., Serna, O., Chitnis, A., Johnson, M., and Fernandez, N. Quality Compensation Programs: Are They Worth All the Hype? A Comparison of Outcomes Within a Medicare Advantage Heart Failure Population. J Manag Care Pharm. 2013; 19(4):317-24.


  • Home to the world’s largest medical complex - The Texas Medical Center
  • Over 130 hospitals, health clinics and top research facilities
  • Seven of 13 largest private employers are health care organizations
  • Over 190 life sciences and biotech companies
  • Cultural diversity and exciting entertainment, dining and attractions


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