Mike Medel, PharmD, MBA

What recent accomplishment makes you most proud?

I’m most proud of watching my kids become adults.

What motivated you to join PSG?

Nothing motivated me more than Dave and Tim.

What was the best advice someone gave you?

You can learn something from everyone you meet.

How do you balance your career and home life?

Make family first and think of your co-workers and clients as your extended family.

Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?

At my school bus stop, my junior year of high school, one of my friends said, “My mom is a nurse and thinks being a pharmacist is a good job.” I took it from there.

If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job would you like to have? 

I would be a drummer in a rock band.

What advice would you give someone just starting their pharmacy career? 

Don’t feel that you have to conform to the traditional pharmacist role.

Tiffany Sarell, PharmD

If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job would you like to have?

I have been blessed in my pharmacy career to serve in roles that incorporate my clinical passion with my secondary interest, data science. I enjoy collaborating with data scientists to merge data sets and perform exploratory analysis to identify cost savings opportunities and develop and monitor clinical strategies.

What recent accomplishment makes you most proud?

When I look back on this pandemic, I want to remember the positive impact I made. I am grateful that I had the ability to serve the next generation of pharmacists and support the pharmacy profession by precepting nine students in one month when the pandemic peaked and practice sites canceled rotations as part of their infection control efforts.

What advice would you give someone just starting their pharmacy career?

Because PSG is so supportive of the pharmacy profession, we can offer Doctor of Pharmacy students an advanced pharmacy practice elective rotation in managed care. I like to share some unconventional advice with my students to look for those unconventional jobs. Not only is the scope of pharmacy practice growing, but our healthcare training positions us with the ability to bring tremendous value in healthcare roles that may not require a clinical background.

Before working at PSG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you ever had?

My residency training landed me in jail, and then I spent five years in prison, as a correctional pharmacist, that is. Working my way up from a resident to a corporate position as the Director of Clinical Pharmacy offered me many opportunities to work with interdisciplinary professionals in managed care.

Beth Hebert-Silvia, RPh

What motivated you to join PSG?

As a former PSG client leading a Blue’s plan, PSG was my go to consulting firm providing market based knowledge happening throughout the industry, not just in the service area the plan supported.

If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job would you like to have?

My back up plan was to go to law school and become a health care attorney, considering the number of PBM contracts PSG negotiates, it might have been a good fit!

What recent accomplishment are you most proud of?

Pulling off two sons' weddings in the middle of COVID!

What advice would you give someone just starting their pharmacy career?

Be creative and innovative in finding where you can best contribute to the empowerment of the profession of pharmacy. Trust in yourself and gain as much knowledge from a trusted advisor as you can.

Who are you outside of work? What is something you like to do off-the-clock?

My husband and I love to travel as time allows, the more exotic and difficult to get to, the better!

Renee Rayburg, RPh

Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?

I excelled in math and science, and I was looking for a college degree where I could use those skills while in a job where I could make a difference.  

If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job would you like to have?

I would be a fashion buyer or stylist. I love fashion, shoes, jewelry, and putting the right outfits together. My first thought when scheduling an event is always, “What am I going to wear?”

Who are you outside of work?

Someone who loves, above all else, to spend time with my family.

I love holidays, especially Christmas and working hard to make those days special for my family.  

Before working at PSG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you ever had?

I worked as a retail pharmacist in a medical center that housed a retail pharmacy as a one-stop-shop for patients to fill their prescriptions before going home after seeing their doctors. I encountered a difficult customer who was struggling to coordinate and afford all of her medications. Each time she came in, I took the time to help her. She became one of my favorite customers. She was so appreciative she would bring me home-made apple tarts or cookies each time she came in. When they decided to close the pharmacy, she cried her last time coming in for her prescriptions and to say goodbye.

How do you balance your career and home life?

By not requiring a lot of sleep! In all seriousness, as a working mom of three, I decided when my kids were younger to focus on the quality of time I spent with them as opposed to the quantity trying to make the most of every second we spent together.


Having a good daycare arrangement was necessary when my kids were little. I am grateful for my mom and all she did as my babysitter, including the special bond she had and the time she was able to spend with my kids.


When my oldest left for college, he thanked me for working. He said that was the only life he knew, and he felt his life was a little better being able to enjoy some of the extra experiences that my working afforded our family.

What motivated you to join PSG?  

I liked the work they were doing in the market place, especially Artemetrx and specialty drug management. I wanted to be a part of the extraordinary work being done.


I am very passionate about my work, and I care. I care deeply about every aspect of the work I do. I care about my team. I care about my clients. I care about adding value, but most of all, I care about making a difference in any project or challenge I take on.

Tara Higgins, PharmD

Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?

In eighth grade, we did a career matching activity. I came up strong in math, science, and working with people. One of the career options was pharmacist. I started working, at 13, at our local independent pharmacy doing the register and cleaning the shelves. That was my start, and I knew it was a career that fit me!

Before working at PSG, what was the most unusual

or interesting job you ever had?

I worked in ambulatory care with primary care physicians. It involved disease state management, care transitions, interdisciplinary team care, and quality improvement. It was interesting to apply my knowledge both from a clinical and business sense in the ambulatory care setting. I also enjoyed working with patients and physicians to help educate them.

What advice would you give someone just starting their pharmacy career?

There are so many options in pharmacy. Be open to non-traditional job options, and start building your network as soon as possible. Find a mentor too, someone you can bounce ideas off and look to for direction and support.

If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job would you like to have?

I would either be a teacher or work in a greenhouse/nursery.

What recent accomplishment makes you most proud?

I was invited to join the board of directors for Camp Surefire in 2018, which is a camp for kids with diabetes based in Rhode Island. The work with the board and the individuals I have met has been amazing and very rewarding, both personally and professionally.

What is something you like to do off-the-clock?

I like gardening and being in nature. I also like spending time with family and friends, traveling, and exploring new places.

What motivated you to join PSG?

Great people!

Michael Kolodij, PharmD

Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?

My mom is a pharmacist and has had a long career in the pharmaceutical industry, working for some of the largest pharma companies. She encouraged me to study pharmacy and demonstrated the optionality of the degree from a career perspective.

If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job would you like to have?

As a kid, I was obsessed with cars, especially German cars. I wanted to just have some connection to the automotive space but thought I could’ve become a car designer or engineer. Today my passions are more aligned with promoting the tourism industry where I live in Newport, RI. When traveling, places are best enjoyed if you have a local guide. I could see myself helping people explore Newport and learn about its history.

What advice would you give someone just starting their pharmacy career?

Diversify your experience. Take chances. Find your niche and what makes you unique and marketable. Technology is transforming all aspects of our lives and many of the inefficiencies in traditional dispensing will be solved over the course of our working lives. Pharmacists will need to hone cognitive services and carve additional responsibilities within the healthcare delivery system, moving away from status quo, fee for service of dispensing a product.

What is something you like to do off-the-clock?

I enjoy being active and on the water; running, biking, paddle boarding, golf.

What motivated you to join PSG?  

The tremendous opportunity to work with the country’s largest health plans. The opportunity to advise them on ways to best manage trend, either through their vendor relationships or internal programs. There was also an idea of this being an opportunity for personal growth, stepping out of my comfort zone.

Duane McKinley, RPh

Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?

I started working at Walgreens during high school and was so impressed with the drug and disease knowledge that the pharmacists had that I knew that would be my career.

What advice would you give someone just

starting their pharmacy career?

Make an effort to explore all of the career options available to someone with a degree in pharmacy. Don’t assume that dispensing medications is the only opportunity out there.

If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job would you like to have?

I would like to be an airline pilot.

Kimberly Simmons, PharmD, MBA, BCACP

What advice would you give someone just starting their pharmacy career?

Think broad. Evaluate what you like to do and identify your strengths.

If you weren’t a pharmacist, what job would you like to have?

If I weren’t a pharmacist, I’d be a full-time stay at home mom and part-time business owner.

Before working at PSG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you ever had?

The most unusual job that I held was at Great American Cookie Company located in Greenbriar Mall, Atlanta, GA. This was my introduction into customer service and I’ve appreciated this interesting job ever since.

Who are you outside of work? What is something you like to do off-the-clock?

Outside of work, I thoroughly enjoy traveling, domestically and internationally, to gain new experiences and exposures to other cultures.

What motivated you to join PSG?

I joined PSG because their core values of innovation, excellence, and integrity aligned with my personal and professional values system. Additionally, PSG allows me the opportunity to work with amazing people and stretch and grow within my career.  

Michael Lonergan, RPh

Who has been a mentor to you?

What was the best advice they gave you?

My grandfather was probably my most influential mentor. The best advice he gave was essentially just how he behaved and treated people. He was always curious, genuinely interested in people and helping them.

What recent accomplishment makes you most proud?

I’m proud every day watching our people serve our clients with excellence.

How do you balance your career and home life?

Not very well! Making home life commitments is important. If I don’t make commitments, I tend to keep working because I enjoy my job.

Why did you decide to become a pharmacist?

I worked in a community pharmacy growing up and really enjoyed how the pharmacist worked with the physicians and the patients to help them solve problems and get well. I was always impressed with how much trust and respect the patients and community have for pharmacists.  

What advice would you give someone just starting their pharmacy career?

Don’t be afraid to try new things. There are so many unique opportunities for pharmacists beyond traditional practice settings. I would also highly recommend all pharmacists take business courses. Pharmacy is big business.

Before working at PSG, what was the most unusual or interesting job you ever had?

I was a bartender for a few years and enjoyed interacting with the customers.

What is something you like to do off-the-clock?

I like to watch my kids participate in sports. My daughter plays volleyball, while my boys play football, basketball, and baseball. My wife and I play tennis and snow ski.

What motivated you to join PSG?

The people. I wanted to work with the best. I think our team is great because we are passionate, humble, and

purpose-driven.

Get the latest in pharmacy news with PSG's RxWire

Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.