UC alumna Tina Hamilton, PharmD, is the PGY1 residency program director, pharmacy student coordinator and clinical pharmacy specialist in primary care at the Cincinnati Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. Hamilton is responsible for recruitment and program management and development of PGY1 residency and student rotations, while also precepting three to six students annually in addition to four PGY1 residents. In addition, Hamilton also oversees disease state management for veterans at the Clermont Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC).
“As a primary care pharmacist, I have a prescriptive authority and am an integral member of the medical team. Students on my rotation will see patients in a one-on-one setting in a primary care clinic to manage diabetes, blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic heart failure and many other disease states. My students work closely with our doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses to ensure the best care for our veterans. They complete a Journal Club and topic discussion that is presented to pharmacists, providers and nurses.”
The Cincinnati VA, she says, offers students a wide variety of rotations in inpatient, policy development, specialty and outpatient pharmacy, and that most rotations offered are clinical, and precepted by a clinical pharmacy specialist working via a scope of practice with interdisciplinary team involvement.
And Hamilton knows what it’s like to have a strong skillset, due to the education provided by the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in natural sciences at Xavier University (2002). While at Xavier and considering her career choices, she spent time volunteering in many areas of health care. By chance, she says, she found pharmacy while volunteering in an emergency department. After working as a pharmacy technician for a year, she applied and was accepted into Winkle College and earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree (2007).
“I was able to confidently apply, accept and complete my PGY1 residency focusing in ambulatory care at Providence Health and Services in Portland, Oregon. Now, as the resident program director and student coordinator, I continue to have a high expectation for all UC pharmacy students, knowing the high quality of the education and rotation experiences provided by the college.
“The UC College of Pharmacy was, and continues to be, the foundation for my career in pharmacy,” she says, adding that it prepared her for clinical rotations and exposed her to the many different areas of pharmacy.
“My eyes were open to many career paths a pharmacist could take. When seeing what a clinical pharmacist could do, especially in primary care, I knew pharmacy was the correct path. As a primary care pharmacist, I am able to make significant impact on veterans’ health every day.”
In 2008, Hamilton was selected as an ambulatory care pharmacist for primary care with the Cincinnati Veterans Affairs’ Home-Based Primary Care (HBPC) and was the first pharmacist for the Clermont HBPC team. Shortly after, she accepted a position as the primary care pharmacist for the CBOC. She then developed and started clinical pharmacy services in the women’s health clinic there, where she was the pharmacist for eight years. During that time, she became a Board-Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS), completed multiple leadership programs through the VA and the Association of Health-System Pharmacists, and completed a Health Care Analytics certificate program through Nebraska Methodist College. She is a certified Fellow Mentor for the VA at a national level and has worked on multiple clinical practice committees at the regional and national level for the VA.
Hamilton accepted the resident program director and student coordinator position at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center in 2018, which has allowed her to follow her passion for clinical services, mentoring and process improvement.