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SDSU pharmacy program expanding to add second post-graduate residency with Lewis Drug

An SDSU pharmacy graduate works in a residency program.

South Dakota State University’s College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions will expand its community-based pharmacy residency program from one to two residencies beginning in 2024. 

An SDSU pharmacy graduate works in a residency program.

Since 2012, SDSU has offered one residency as part of its joint residency program with Lewis Drug. In response to growth, strong partnership and workforce need, the program will add a second residency starting in summer 2024. 

The Post-Graduate Year 1 Community-Based Residency Program is an opportunity for Doctor of Pharmacy graduates to continue their education and gain experience in a professional setting as licensed pharmacists. 

Residents are placed in a Lewis pharmacy in Sioux Falls where they participate in educational opportunities and experiences allowing the resident to gain expertise as a pharmacy practitioner in the community pharmacy setting. 

The residency begins the summer following the student’s graduation and lasts one year. 

While gaining valuable hands-on experience, residents learn across four key competencies over the course of their residency, including patient care; leadership and management; advancement of community-based practice and improving patient care; and teaching, education and dissemination of knowledge. 

An SDSU pharmacy graduate works in a residency program.

Jessica Strobl, vice president of professional services at Lewis Drug, said the residency program “offers a variety of experiences allowing for a diverse list of careers that our graduates can pursue. Some of our past residents are professors in colleges of pharmacy, many are clinical pharmacists and others are community pharmacy managers.” 

SDSU first began offering the residency program in 2012 in partnership with Liebe Drug in Milbank. When Lewis acquired Liebe Drug in 2014, partnership on the residency continued through Lewis, with the residency eventually moving to a Sioux Falls location in 2019. 

Starting in 2024, the second residency will be based at a second Lewis pharmacy location in Sioux Falls. 

Jodi Heins, director of experiential learning and the residency program director for the college, said, “Lewis and SDSU are committed to advancing community pharmacy practice, and the addition of a second resident will help develop additional pharmacists who are able to advance practice in the community pharmacy setting.” 

According to Heins, the partnership with Lewis Drug is key to the residency program, as well as to this new expansion being possible. 

“Lewis is committed to promoting and fostering the development of pharmacy practice in the community setting and has been a strong partner with SDSU in this endeavor,” Heins said. 

Strobl likewise noted that this partnership on the residency program has been key to elevating Lewis’ innovation and clinical practices in South Dakota. 

“The residency is designed to help the new pharmacist with applying the concepts and guidelines they learned in pharmacy school. They in turn help our pharmacists by identifying new areas of improvement by conducting research studies and quality improvement projects. The position has created a valuable pipeline for highly trained professionals.” 

Find more information about the Post-Graduate Year 1 Community-Based Residency Program online.