Eskenazi Health Pharmacy Increases Recruitment through HBCU Partnership

Eskenazi Health is committed to serving and providing state-of-the-art care for patients of Marion County from diverse backgrounds. Continuously delivering quality care to patients comes with a great responsibility to hire diverse medical providers and employees who understand patients’ backgrounds and needs.

In late 2019, Eskenazi Health Pharmacy began a review of its staff makeup and discovered a lack of diversity among pharmacists in the department.

“Our patients need providers they can feel comfortable with. It is important for our patients to have pharmacists who look like them and understand their needs culturally,” said Katasha Butler, Pharm.D., MBA, coordinator for medication use and regulatory compliance.

To address the lack of diversity among its pharmacists and provide quality care to patients, the pharmacy team developed a recruitment program with five historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) to recruit pharmacy students for the Eskenazi Health Pharmacy Residency Program. Pharmacy partnered with Howard University located in Washington, D.C.; Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia; Florida A&M University located in Tallahassee, Florida; Xavier University of Louisiana located in New Orleans, Louisiana; and Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.

Residents begin their pharmacy residency in the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)-accredited Eskenazi Health Post-Graduate Year 1 (PGY1) Pharmacy Residency Program. The purpose of the Eskenazi Health PGY1 program is to build on the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) education and provide additional training and competencies to create strong clinical pharmacists. These clinical pharmacists are responsible for medication-related care of patients with a wide range of conditions and eligible for board certification and postgraduate year two (PGY2) pharmacy residency training.

During their pharmacy residency with Eskenazi Health, residents rotate through various departments of the hospital and have the opportunity to specialize in areas such as critical care, burn and infectious disease. While the unique experiences available to residents make Eskenazi Health a desired location for pharmacy residents, newly created incentives and marketing efforts have increased interest in the Eskenazi Health Pharmacy Residency Program.

Eskenazi Health created scholarships and relocation packages for pharmacy residents to help ease financial burdens students may face that could hinder them from accepting an out-of-state residency program position.

Overall, the Eskenazi Health Pharmacy Residency Program has proven to be a success for both residents and patients.

“Residents are able to serve diverse populations, treat historically underserved communities with the same dignity patients receive at area hospitals and have unique learning opportunities. For these reasons, many of our residents stay and begin their career with Eskenazi

Health,” said Butler. “Our patients are grateful for the diversity among our pharmacists, and there is a sense of comfort for them when their pharmacist looks like them. The program has decreased many cultural roadblocks and helped us continue to serve our patients with the highest quality of care."

To learn more about the Eskenazi Health Pharmacy Residency Program, please visit To donate to the Pharmacy Scholarship Fund, please visit Please enter "EH Pharmacy Department Scholarships" in the comments field.

headingtoline link-1-arrow minus next-arrow plus prev-arrrow radio-off select-icons radio-on