Geriatrics at South Texas Veterans Health Care System

South Texas Veterans Health Care System in conjunction with the University of Texas College of Pharmacy

Dr. Heather Payton Blacksmith

Heather Payton Blacksmith, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCGP
Residency Program Director, PGY2 Geriatrics
South Texas Veterans Health Care System
7400 Merton Minter Blvd (119)
San Antonio, Texas 78229
(210) 617-5300 Ext. 14094


The PGY2 Geriatric Pharmacy Residency Program at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System has been accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists since 1986. This comprehensive clinical pharmacy training program is designed to develop autonomous geriatric clinical pharmacist practitioners by conceptualizing and integrating accumulated experience and knowledge into the provision of advanced patient care. Residents who successfully complete this program are prepared for board certification, advanced practice settings, academia, or other specialized careers. Intended outcomes of the program include: function as an integral member of the interdisciplinary treatment team; provide comprehensive medication management to complex patients in a variety of care settings; serve as an educator for patients, caregivers, health care providers, and trainees; exhibit professional leadership and management skills; display self-motivation for professional and personal growth as an independent practitioner; and demonstrate the ability to proactively identify and meet opportunities available in the provision of pharmaceutical care to our aging population.

South Texas Veterans Health Care System serves more than 100,000 veterans throughout San Antonio and the surrounding region. A full range of primary, specialty, surgical, rehabilitative, acute, and long-term care services are provided across 16 facilities including Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital, Kerrville VA Medical Center, and numerous community-based outpatient clinics. The pharmacy department offers 24-hour coverage, decentralized drug distribution systems, sterile compounding, and a diverse team of more than 100 clinical pharmacist practitioners in various specialties with 18 in geriatrics. South Texas VA welcomes over 4,000 health professional trainees annually across multiple disciplines including three PGY1 and ten PGY2 pharmacy residents.

The 12-month residency year will be divided into 13 rotation blocks consisting of four weeks each. The resident will also participate in a longitudinal Geriatric Primary Care Clinic one afternoon per week. Orientation will overlap with the first learning experience. The resident and residency program director will meet initially and quarterly to develop, revise, and update an individualized development plan to meet the personal and professional interests and needs of the resident. 

Core geriatric learning experiences include: Community Living Center, Geriatric Medication Education at Discharge, Home Based Primary Care, Acute Care/Internal Medicine, Geriatric Primary Care, Hospital in the Home, Hospice, and Palliative Care Consult Service. A plethora of elective experiences are also available including: Anticoagulation Clinic, Antimicrobial Stewardship, Cardiology Inpatient, Psychiatry Inpatient, Psychiatry Outpatient, Spinal Cord Injury, and Whole Health. Additional experiences may be developed based on resident interest and preceptor availability. Off-site experiences may be arranged for those with Texas Board of Pharmacy licensure.

Completion of a research project, medication use evaluation, grand rounds presentation, and other scholarly activities are required. Numerous conferences, seminars, and educational programs are available for resident attendance.

The University of Texas at Austin and its affiliated institutions are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply. Security sensitive; conviction verification conducted once applicant selected. 

Residency Details


San Antonio, Texas

Length of Residency

1 year

Start Date

July 1


U.S. citizenship

Pharmacist licensure

PharmD from ACPE-accredited college

Completion of ASHP-accredited PGY1 residency


Competitive stipend and health benefits

Paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave

Professional meeting support

Free parking and telework opportunities