Meet Our 2017-18 Residents


Emily Leppien, PharmD
PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy
Chief Resident
Buffalo Psychiatric Center

Dr. Leppien received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She recently completed her PGY1 pharmacy residency at the Buffalo Psychiatric Center and is now the current PGY2 psychiatric pharmacy resident there. Her professional interests include clinical psychopharmacology, inpatient psychiatry, substance abuse and pharmacy education. Upon completion of her post-graduate training, Dr. Leppien plans to pursue a career as a clinical pharmacist in an inpatient psychiatric hospital, continue to teach and precept pharmacy students, and obtain certification as a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist (BCPS) and Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist (BCPP). Dr. Leppien enjoys trying new restaurants and traveling throughout the Caribbean with her family, having visited over eight countries and a dozen islands.


Olawonuola Abiona, PharmD
PGY2 Ambulatory Care
Lifetime Health Medical Group

Dr. Abiona completed her undergraduate course work and obtained her bachelor degree in Biology from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Touro College of Pharmacy, New York. She completed her PGY-1 residency at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, NJ and is now the PGY-2 ambulatory care pharmacy resident at Lifetime Health Medical Group.  Dr. Abiona is actively involved in education and clinical research.  Her future goal is to become an ambulatory care clinical pharmacist and to make a difference in health care, both in America and in her home continent of Africa.


Ivan Alvarez, PharmD
PGY1 Managed Care Pharmacy
BlueCross BlueShield of WNY

Dr. Alvarez was born and raised in Rochester, NY and received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Rhode Island. He is the current PGY-1 Managed Care Pharmacy Resident at BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. Dr. Alvarez would like to pursue a career in managed care after completing his residency program. He is currently interested in formulary development and management. In his spare time, he likes to play guitar, travel, and play soccer.


Katherine Frieling, PharmD
PGY2 Ambulatory Care
Buffalo Medical Group

Dr. Frieling was born and raised in Jackson, Tennessee.  She earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Union University College of Pharmacy in Jackson, Tennessee, and recently completed her PGY1 pharmacy residency at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is now working towards completing her PGY2 ambulatory care residency with Buffalo Medical Group.  Her professional interests include managing chronic diseases, teaching, and precepting student pharmacists.  In her spare time, Dr. Frieling enjoys spending time outside and is excited to learn a variety of winter sports this year!  


ChungYun Kim, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy
Erie County Medical Center

Dr. Kim was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of 10. She attended the University of Western Ontario, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology, and recently earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Midwestern University in Chicago, IL. She has an interest in infectious diseases, ambulatory care, and critical care and is hoping to pursue a PGY2 residency in one of those areas in order to become a well-rounded and clinically competent pharmacist.  During her free time, Dr. Kim loves to eat out with her friends and family, go hiking, and play golf and catch up on her favorite shows on Netflix.


Sarah Mietz, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy
Erie County Medical Center

Dr. Mietz grew up in the greater Buffalo area. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from SUNY Geneseo prior to earning her Doctor of Pharmacy from The Ohio State University. During pharmacy school, she was involved in multiple student organizations including Kappa Psi, Phi Lambda Sigma, and SNPhA. She also served as the pharmacy student coordinator for the largest free clinic in Franklin County, Ohio. Her professional and clinical interests include critical care, informatics, cardiology, academia, and pharmacy law. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her chocolate lab, eating at all of Buffalo’s excellent restaurants, and watching Netflix.


Kara Wilcox, PharmD, MBA
PGY1 Community Pharmacy
Middleport Family Health Center

Dr. Wilcox is a recent graduate of St. John Fisher, Wegmans School of Pharmacy with a dual degree of PharmD/MBA and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from SUNY Fredonia. After her undergrad studies, she had a short career in social work at The Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Chicago working within the Homelessness Prevention Program. Kara has a passion for population health, plans to use her pharmacy and business acumen to change practices and processes that impact population health.  Her professional interests include transitions of care, chronic disease state management and project management.  She has worked in a community pharmacy since 2009 and plans to continue her career in community and ambulatory care. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family and watching her favorite sports teams, which include the Toronto Blue Jays and the Syracuse Orange.


Amanda Zelinski, PharmD
PGY1 Community Pharmacy
Middleport Family Health Center

Dr. Zelinski earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at St. John’s University in May 2014. She is currently a PGY1 resident in the UB/Middleport Family Health Center community residency program. Dr. Zelinski has had several years of experience in community pharmacy as a pharmacist prior to beginning this program. She is very interested in patient care and academia and plans to pursue a clinical faculty position, which will allow her to both teach and practice pharmacy. Dr. Zelinski was born in Queens, NY and raised on Long Island. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her dog, Watson.