Freeman Health System Graduates Two Resident Pharmacists

Image Credit: Freeman Health System

(Joplin, MO) – Flashing happy grins, Grace Park and Tyler Specking recently graduated from Freeman Health System’s pharmacy residency program.

When accepted to Freeman’s PGY1 (postgraduate year one) pharmacy residency, the residents gain the equivalent of three to five years of real-world experience condensed tightly into just 12 months. Each resident contributes system-wide by providing patient care rounds as well as drug and patient monitoring in several key departments such as cardiology, adult critical care and oncology.

“They don’t have to do this program; they are licensed pharmacists — they can go get a job, but they want to be the best,” Clinical Pharmacist Audrey Newcomb said. “In turn, we strive to build and support these growing practitioners to serve the world around them and to make it a better place.”

Jack Udell, retired Pharmacy Clinical Coordinator/Pharmacy Residency Program Director, served as the evening’s keynote speaker.

“The residency program would not be where it is today without you,” Amanda Atkins, Pharmacy Clinical Coordinator/Pharmacy Residency Program Director, said of Udell during his introduction.

“I didn’t appreciate my own limitations like I should have,” Udell said, addressing the two graduates directly. “I felt like I had to be everything to everyone, and to always have the answers, even when I didn’t. That got me in trouble more times than not. So not only know your limitations but accept them. I want you to do serious self-reflection and look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘how can I do better?’ That’s so important in our profession.”

The two-hour event, held on June 23, included a catered dinner, awards, accolades, speeches, a video slide show that brought forth giggles from the audience, and one very large graduation cake.

Park has accepted a position with the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, while Specking will be joining Cox Health’s Hulston Cancer Center in Springfield. The program is entering its eighth year and Park and Specking are the 13th and 14th resident graduates respectively.

“We are extremely proud of our residents and take great pride in our program,” Newcomb said.

To learn more about Freeman Pharmacy Department, or the Freeman Pharmacy Residency Program, call 417.347.3022 or visit

About Freeman Health System

Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center — the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services — as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2020, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2020. With more than 320 physicians on staff representing more than 80 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit


Kevin McClintock
Freeman Health System

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