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Campus Roundup

November 01, 2017

BCOM Student Finds Meaning on Himalayan Medical Expedition, Wins National Award

Gabriel on Himalayan mountainsideIn the summer of 2017, after his first year of medical school, Gabriel Pontipiedra admitted to feeling a bit lost. “Whether it was finding out what specialty I wanted to go into or what I needed to do to get the ideal residency, I hoped a new purpose would present itself to give me direction,” he writes. “I had joined almost every specialty club my school has to offer, shadowed various medical professionals, and threw myself into each subject and organ system, hoping to find whatever it was I was looking for. Alas, all of it proved futile. So, in a desperate attempt, I turned to travel in hopes that getting thrown out of my comfort zone would help me find my way again.”

Pontipiedra’s essay was selected as the first-place winner in the narrative medicine competition. He was awarded $750 and invited to speak at the 19th Annual International Seminar, “Innovation in Osteopathic Medicine and Outreach,” held in Philadelphia, PA, in early October, where he gave a presentation detailing his experience working internationally and held a Q&A session. Pontipiedra says, “It truly was an amazing experience and I was extremely proud to represent not only myself, but BCOM as well.” Read more.

DMU Students, Faculty Provide Post-Race Relief to Marathoners

110217_DMUCOM_CRDes Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) partnered with the IMT Des Moines Marathon for finish line first aid and post-race osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) treatments and physical therapy. In all, more than 150 students and faculty provided race support, and even the DMU campus played a role as the first water stop on the course. The DMU Mobile Clinic also was on display. “One of my patients was having considerable hamstring pain after the race,” said Mark Wise, a third-year student at DMU-COM. “Using OMM, I was able to provide instant relief to the patient. It is very satisfying to apply the skills that I have gained from the classroom and OMM lab.”


Two MSUCOM alumni were recognized for their accomplishments in residency at the recent American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) Honors banquet at OMED. The banquet was held in conjunction with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)’s annual OMED conference. Kate Hughes, DO, Clinical Instructor at MSUCOM, and Monica Zaki, DO, earned honors as the Outstanding Resident of the Year in Emergency Medicine and in Neurology and Psychology, respectively.

110217_MSUCOM_Darryn110217_MSUCOM_HardingLaura Harding (pictured at left), second-year osteopathic medical student, and Darryn Winter (pictured at right), third-year osteopathic medical student, received grant awards during the OMED conference in Philadelphia. Harding received the Rossnick Humanitarian Grant Program award for her work during the Peru Global Outreach Initiative in August. Osteopathic physicians, residents and students are eligible for the grant, which is offered to help offset their travel costs as they provide care in underserved areas across the globe. Winter received the Welch Scholars Grant. This award goes to medical students with notable outstanding academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities, strong commitment toward osteopathic medicine, and financial need.

110217_MSUCOM_Mrozinskiz_KalcecAngela Marie Mrozinski-Kalcec (pictured right), wife of fourth-year MSUCOM student Everett Kalcec, received the Donna Jones Moritsugu Memorial Award at the AOF Honors banquet. This award was established in memory of Donna Jones Moritsugu, wife of Dr. Kenneth P. Moritsugu, to honor spouses of graduating osteopathic medical students who provide immeasurable support for his or her mate, family, and the osteopathic profession. 

PCOM Recognized for Commitment to Diversity

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) received the 2017 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The award recognizes U.S. medical, dental, pharmacy, osteopathic, nursing, and allied health schools that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“Diversity is a core component of our institutional identity,” said Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and CEO. “More than just a top-down initiative, we strive to imbue our entire campus culture with a sense of inquiry, respect and appreciation.”

RVUCOM Military Appreciation Ceremony

110217_RVUCOM_CROn Friday, September 29, Rocky Vista University (RVU) celebrated military students and visiting dignitaries with touching military appreciation ceremonies on both the Colorado and Utah campuses. This included keynote speaker Dr. James Caruso, Specialist in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology on the RVU Colorado campus, and keynote speaker Tony Moore, Commander, United States Navy, Retired, and State Officer at Southern Utah Veterans Home on the RVU Utah campus. The ceremony was followed by a reception for friends and family.

Touro University Nevada and Nevada State College Announce New Partnership to Promote Medical Health Sciences for Future Health Care Students

110217_TUNCOM_CRTouro University Nevada (TUN) and Nevada State College (NSC) have entered into an agreement that will provide a pathway for students interested in pursuing careers in health care to participate in an accelerated double degree program which will allow them to receive a dual bachelor’s and master’s degree.

“By allowing qualified students to transition to Touro after their third year, and by waiving the MCAT requirement, many more of our under-represented, non-traditional students will see a clear pathway to their future in medicine,” said Bart Patterson, President of Nevada State College. “Through this partner program with Touro University Nevada, we are paving the way for medical school, physician assistant school, and many of the other professional programs Touro offers.” Read more.

VCOM-Auburn Student Presents Research at OMED 2017

110217_VCOMAuburn_CRKristen Punshon, a third-year medical student at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine Auburn campus (VCOM-Auburn), gave a presentation at the poster session for the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)’s Bureau of International Osteopathic Medicine (BIOM), held in conjunction with the AOA’s OMED 2017 conference in Philadelphia, PA. Punshon presented research titled, "An annual review of the VCOM Zika education and eradication program.” This presentation was an effort along with J.J. White, DO, PhD, VCOM-Auburn Chair of Emergency Medicine, and H. Dean Sutphin, PhD, VCOM Vice-Provost for International Outreach.

To date, this project has helped more than 60,000 patients combat the Zika Virus pandemic by implementing a Zika prevention program at each of VCOM’s medical mission sites in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Honduras. Interestingly, this is the first time the AOA has implemented digital posters, which are essentially digital slide presentations, replacing traditional paper posters. Read more about VCOM’s international outreach efforts.

Photo: Kristen Punshon, OMS-III, presents research on Zika Virus education and eradication at the AOA OMED BIOM poster session.

VCOM-CC Takes a Break with Via Wellness Day

On September 29, the Via Wellness Intellectual Committee, the Council of Osteopathic Student Government President (COSGP)’s Mental Health Awareness Task Force (MHATF), and the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) on the campus of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Carolinas Campus (VCOM-CC) hosted a day of food and games to help balance out the stress of exams. The event took place on the patio and lawn behind the campus. Attendees competed in friendly games of basketball, soccer, street hockey, corn hole, and volleyball. A walking meditation, outdoor yoga session, and potluck dinner nurtured spiritual and social needs, and for intellectual and mental health, there was a tile smashing station complete with hammers and sledgehammers! The event was open to students, faculty, staff, and families.

VCOM-VC Hosts Exhibit Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature

110217_VCOMVirginia_CRA National Library of Medicine traveling exhibit that examines the intersection of medical advances and what it traditionally means to be human, is now on display at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia Campus (VCOM-VC). The display is based around medical advances from the early 1800s, around the time Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein, which became one of the western world’s most popular myths. The National Library of Medicine uses this scientific knowledge as a background to discuss the scientific context and lasting impact of the novel.

The exhibit will be on display on the second floor of the main VCOM-VC building at the library until November 4, 2017. An online version with additional digital content can be found on the website of the National Library of Medicine. Read more about the exhibition, which was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

WVSOM Student, Employee Recognized at Rural Health Conference

110217_WVSOM_CRA West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) fourth-year student and staff member have been recognized for their contributions to rural health in the state of West Virginia. Lucas Hamrick received an award for “Outstanding Rural Health Student of the Year” during the West Virginia Rural Health Association’s annual Rural Health Conference. Additionally, Patti Crawford, WVSOM’s Director of Rural Outreach, received the 2017 “Excellence in Rural Health” award.

The Outstanding Rural Health Student of the Year award recognizes extraordinary student activities within the field with significant accomplishments in rural health. The Excellence in Rural Health award is given to an individual or organization in recognition of exceptional contributions to the improvement of health to the people in rural West Virginia. It honors creative work that applies knowledge or innovative organizational efforts to the betterment of community health. Read more.


Vol. 1, No. 20
November 2, 2017