Campus Roundup

AZCOM/MWU Students, Faculty Host Arizona Regional Brain Bee

01-11-17_MWU-Brain-Bee_CRFrom left to right: BASIS Chandler students Irene Zhang, Vijeeth Guggilla, and Rohini Nott came out on top after a record 29-round final in the 2016 Arizona Regional Brain Bee, held at Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ., on February 3, 2016.On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, Midwestern University will welcome some of Arizona’s top high school students for the annual Arizona Regional Brain Bee. Participation is free, and the winner receives a $2,000 first prize scholarship to any Midwestern University program as well as free airfare and expense money for the National Brain Bee.

Last year, more than eighty students from 12 Arizona high schools participated in the Brain Bee, which culminated in a jaw-dropping 29-round final involving 13 challengers. The 2017 Arizona Regional Brain Bee is presented in partnership with the BHHS Legacy Foundation.

All Pueblo Council of Governors Signs Resolution in Support of BCOM Initiatives

After months of meetings and preparations, the All Pueblo Council of Governors have officially signed a resolution in support of the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM)'s initiatives. The All Pueblo Council of Governors represents the 19 American Indian Tribal Pueblos in New Mexico, as well as Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo in El Paso.

Part of BCOM’s mission is to address the health needs of Native American populations in this region. The resolution affirms commitment on both parties to develop clinical training opportunities for BCOM students at Pueblo Health facilities and Indian Health Service facilities. This is the first step in ensuring that the medical students will have opportunities to work closely with the American Indian tribes while they fulfill their required clerkships during their third and fourth years of schooling and when they enter into residency positions after graduation.

This resolution also paves the way for pathways programs that will encourage and mentor young tribal members who may be interested in pursuing a career in medicine. “At BCOM, we’re trying to develop more Native American physicians who will be more likely to return to their Pueblo and practice medicine after graduation. These students will have a more effective understanding of the culture and customs and thus be better able to make those deeper connections of trust that a good doctor-patient relationship is based on. They’ll also be more invested in the community and have that desire to live, work, and make a difference there,” said Justin McHorse, BCOM Chief of Staff and Assistant Dean for Multicultural Inclusion.

In signing the resolution, the All Pueblo Council of Governors also endorsed their support for the Osteopathic Loan for Service, funding legislation which will help alleviate the high cost of medical school tuition for BCOM students who commit to practicing in a New Mexico health professional shortage area. Read more.

Team of 24 Serve on CUSOM Winter Medical Mission Trip to Guatemala

01-11-17_CUSOM-teeth_CRPhoto: First-year osteopathic medical student Casey Wershing teaches Guatemalan children about brushing their teeth on the winter medical school missions trip.

A team of 24 from Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM) spent part of their winter holiday serving the people of Guatemala. Eleven first-year medical students, two Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences students, two undergraduate pre-med students, five faculty and staff, as well as four additional support staff traveled to Naranjo, La Lima, San Jacinto, and the Chiquimula City landfill.

The team had been trained in basic medical Spanish in preparation for the trip by Ann Ortiz, PhD, from the CU Spanish Department, and they were assisted by local volunteer translators through the Songs of Joy ministry. The team worked under the umbrella of local churches and in coordination with the health department, Centro de Salud. The local missionaries who collaborated with the team in these locations included 91-year-old Reese Hurley who prayed with each of the 615 patients seen by the team. The trip provided many impactful experiences clinically, as well as emotionally and spiritually. 

Esther Kwak, DO, Selected as 2016 Student Volunteer at the CommunityHealth Clinic in Chicago

The CommunityHealth Clinic (CHC) in Chicago celebrated 12 volunteers during their annual Volunteer Holiday Party. Esther Kwak, DO, from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) was chosen as the Volunteer Medical Student of the Year. This is the first time that a student from CCOM has received this award. The CHC is the largest free clinic in the U.S. and attracts volunteers from five Chicago medical schools. Medical students from the different colleges collaborate to sponsor “student-run-clinic nights," which provide patients with high-quality care and valuable learning experiences for student volunteers.

DMU Research Symposium Draws Record Number of Abstracts

A record number of submitted abstracts and diverse basic, clinical, and translational investigations made the seventh annual DMU Research Symposium a great success. Held on campus December 1, 2016, the symposium drew 72 abstracts, including four oral presentations and 68 posters. The more than 450 graduate and undergraduate students, faculty, residents, and other researchers who attended enjoyed exploring a wide range of topics in biomedical sciences, education, movement science, and public health. Award recipients included DMU-COM students Michelle Brenner, OMS-II, for her poster “A Comparative Molecular Analysis of the Leucine Metabolic Pathway in T Cells and EL-4 Lymphoma Cells,” and Megan Elsenheimer, OMS-II, whose poster was entitled “Blood Pressure Control Through Barbershops.” Read more.

OU-HCOM Funding Opportunities

Heritage College Celebrates Five Years of Growth through OHF Vision 2020 Award

01-11-17_OHF-gift_CRPhoto: Executive Dean Ken Johnson, DO, (left) and OHF President/CEO Rick Vincent unveil a plaque commemorating the Vision 2020 Award.

Five years after the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation made a record-setting $105 million grant to the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), the college reviewed investments in education, research, and care made possible by the award and previewed plans still in the works.

Through fiscal year 2015-16, $31.75 million has been expended or endowed from the "Vision 2020: Leading the Transformation of Primary Care in Ohio" award, leaving $73.25 million to be disbursed incrementally through 2028. Read more.

Heritage College Plays Role in HRSA-Funded Rural Health Project

A grant from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) will help the OU-HCOM enhance efforts to make health care training better address the needs of underserved rural areas.

HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce has awarded a five-year, $3.7 million cooperative agreement to the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine. The agreement funds a national collaborative for Rural Primary Care Research, Education, and Practice (Rural PREP), in which the Heritage College plays a major role.

The goals of Rural PREP are to conduct and sponsor research on health profession education; share research findings and best practices with rural health care educators and providers; and foster and engage with “communities of practice and research" --an area in which the Heritage College’s Department of Family Medicine and Office of Rural and Underserved Programs will take the lead. Read more.

PCOM Primary Care Innovation Fund Selects AristaMD for Its First Investment

Investment in eConsult Platform that Expedites PCP Access to Specialty Expertise Marks First for Fund

AristaMD, a digital health company focused on improving the specialty referral process, and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) are announcing that PCOM’s Primary Care Innovation Fund completed an investment in the company. The investment is the first for the new PCOM venture capital fund, which was established in May 2016 to invest in companies such as AristaMD with established products and services that are delivering healthcare innovations focused on primary care.

AristaMD will use the proceeds to continue commercialization of its eConsult Platform, which has been proven to resolve more than 50 percent of routine clinical questions at the primary point of care. The AristaMD solution replaces the need for many in-person specialist visits, improves the overall quality of care and significantly reduces costs.

Through investments in companies such as AristaMD, the Primary Care Fund allows PCOM to extend its osteopathic philosophy of preventive, holistic, and patient-centered approaches to care beyond its campuses, to improve patients’ quality of life nationwide. Read more.

UP-KYCOM Research Fellows

Six students were selected to participate in the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (UP-KYCOM) summer research fellowship program, which encourages and supports research in basic medical, clinical, osteopathic, education, and public health. Working with mentors, students discover the potential benefits of research pertaining to patient care. UP-KYCOM research fellows presented their work during the annual UPIKE-KYCOM Research Day and are encouraged to participate at regional, national and international conferences.

KYCOM summer research fellows include:

  • Casey Potts, “Investigating Fiber Type Changes of the Diaphragm Muscle in Response to Hypoxia in Mice with and without Satellite Cells” 
  • Derek De Mann, “A Drosophila Model for Understanding the Role of Autophagy in Diabetic Cardiomyopathies” 
  • Maria Cacciotti, “Determining Precise Clinical Criteria to Reduce Delay in Recognition and Treatment of Sepsis Among Burn Patients” 
  • Martin Erlandson, “Non-verbal Use of Smart Phones/Tablets and Associated Somatic Dysfunction” 
  • Trusha Mehta, “Quantitative Analysis of the Nicotine Concentration Women are Exposed to During and After Pregnancy” 
  • Zac Slattery, “Septins are Oncogenes in Pancreatic Cancer, Whose Activity is Inhibited by Chmp1A Tumor Suppressor” 

VCOM-Auburn Student Organization Raises Funds for Local Charity

Student members of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine – Auburn campus (VCOM-Auburn) have been volunteering to support a local charity that offers horse riding therapy to children facing challenges.

VCOM-Auburn students Sam Purkey, Austin Thomas, and Will Ruffin park cars to raise funds for Storybook Farm.

In addition to regularly volunteering at the farm, VCOM-Auburn students raised more than $15,000 for Storybook Farm by parking cars in downtown Auburn, AL, during Auburn University football game days this fall. A local bank generously loaned out its parking lot to Storybook Farm during home football games. Leaders at Storybook turned to Will Ruffin, OMS-II, ACOFP President, a regular volunteer at the farm, to organize volunteers to staff the lot.

“So much of Storybook is the personalities of our volunteers," said Wade McKinney, Director for Marketing and Grant Development at Storybook Farm. “It is not only their hard work, but their love, passion and interest in Storybook and the children and their families,” McKinney added.

VCOM-Carolinas Pediatric Organization Named ACOP National Student Chapter of the Month

01-11-17_VCOM-CC-PediatricsThe Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus (VCOM-Carolinas) pediatrics student organization was recently named “National Student Chapter of the Month” by the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians (ACOP).

The pediatrics organization was selected for this honor by the ACOP due to students’ volunteerism and community education efforts during November 2016. Starting off the month, students hosted the VCOM-Carolinas fifth annual Pediatric Wellness Fair, free for children and parents in the community. They incorporated the year’s national theme of food insecurity by educating participants about local resources, serving a free nutritional lunch, and providing extra food for the weekend to families in need.

Following the Wellness Fair, the pediatrics organization hosted an event for local second-graders as part of the Promoting Lifelong Activity in Youth (PLAY) Program, which was developed to help children facilitate a desire to make healthy life choices, and to learn fun, safe, and creative activities that will empower them to make a commitment to lifelong wellness.

Later in the month, the pediatrics organization volunteered at the annual NOURISH Finish Line Arts Park following the Self-Esteem Stomp 5K and 1 Mile Walk/Run. VCOM students hosted a coloring and relaxation station for race participants as part of the event to emphasize ways for children to nourish themselves both physically and mentally. Read more.

VCOM-Virginia Hosts Professor Samuel K. Snyder, DO

On December 1, 2016, the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus (VCOM–Virginia) chapter of the American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI) hosted visiting professor Samuel K. Snyder, DO, of Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Snyder spoke to students about “how to succeed on rotations and get the residency of your dreams.” According to Dr. Snyder, the key is to follow many of the steps taught to medical students about interacting with patients such as gathering a history. The main point he wanted to reach students with was that becoming a good physician goes beyond learning procedures.

“This is about the kind of person you would want to be in order to be the kind of doctor you would want to go to,” said Dr. Synder.



Vol. 1, No. 1
January 12, 2017