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Department of Pharmacy Practice 
Associate Professor

Dr. Varner brings more than 22 years of pharmacist experience in hospitals such as Emory University Hospital, Emory Decatur Hospital, Emory Long Term Acute Care Hospital, Piedmont Hospital and Northside Hospital. She also has experience in ambulatory care, long term care consulting and geriatrics. During her residency, Dr. Varner researched, planned and provided strategic clinical and operational management for the Emory Decatur Hospital Anticoagulation Management Service, where she served as Clinical Pharmacist and Clinical Coordinator for eight years. Dr. Varner has thoroughly enjoyed serving as a preceptor for 21 years to Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPEs), Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs) and PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residents.

Her background includes adult, geriatric and neonatal pharmaceutical care delivery, and her area of focus is geriatrics and adult critical care. Her experience includes clinical care of patients in the areas of adult critical care, internal medicine, surgery, neonatal critical care, emergency medicine and psychiatry. Her areas focus are management of pain, agitation, delirium and anxiety in the critical care setting as well as anticoagulation, and infectious disease management of adult and geriatric inpatients.

Dr. Varner enjoys serving as a mentor to pharmacy students who wish to pursue all areas of pharmacy and she has served as a mentor to many of her students who have pursued a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency and PGY-2 Specialized Residency. She teaches a variety of classes including Clinical Pharmacy, Integrated Therapeutics, Case Studies and she teaches all Geriatrics lectures as well as a Geriatrics elective which she designed and implemented. Dr. Varner also currently teaches APPE and IPPE students at Emory Long Term Acute Care Hospital where she is currently performing research on assisting patients from weaning from ventilators with pharmacotherapy to treat psychiatric related disorders.

Dr. Varner is the proud mother of an amazing daughter and son and places a very high priority on her faith, family and serving within her church. She considers her position as a pharmacist and professor a blessing because she has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of future healthcare providers. She encourages every student to seek their highest level of academic achievement while always holding the highest professional standards and accountability.


Doctorate of Pharmacy from Mercer University College of Pharmacy and PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency


Clinical Pharmacy, Geriatrics, Capstone, Case Studies V, Case Studies VI, Integrated Therapeutics III 


Dr. Varner’s research experience and practice interests include general medicine with emphasis on pharmacotherapy for cardiovascular diseases, anticoagulation, thromboembolic disorders and related drug-disease state management. Research interests also include oncology, quality improvement, regulatory compliance, medication use processes, advancing the practice of pharmacists in the institutional and ambulatory care settings. Her interests also include strengthening the educational opportunities of pharmacy students and residents within the institutional setting as they function as part of an interprofesional healthcare team leading to higher quality care for patients and lower healthcare costs.

Her current research involves:

  • Effectiveness of using antipsychotics to reduce ventilator associated anxiety in prolonged mechanical ventilation.
  • Impact of pharmacist patient education on post-hospital discharge patient outcomes.
  • Impact of pharmacist-led nursing and respiratory therapy educational services on patient outcomes in the critical care setting.


  • PHA Quality and Patient Safety Award, Georgia Department of Community Health, Georgia Hospital Association, 2002.
  • Georgia Hospital Association Patient Safety and Quality Award Winner DeKalb Medical Center "New Options for Outpatient Anticoagulation Management: The Coumadin Clinic"
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Research/Education Poster Award, 2017.


  • Georgia Society of Health Systems Pharmacists
  • American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy
  • Atlanta Academy of Institutional Pharmacy
  • American Geriatrics Society 


Specialized Training
  • American College of Apothecaries-Anticoagulation Therapy
  • Designing and Implementing an Anticoagulation Clinic, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • BLS for Healthcare Providers, American Heart Association
  • Lifelink Foundation of Georgia, Organ and Tissue Donation Registry
  • Atlanta Dance Theatre