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PCOM South Georgia's First White Coat Ceremony, TouroCOM Harlem's Fall into Health Fair, and More in Campus Roundup

OU-HCOM RUSP Students Do Deep Dive in Underserved Areas

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Photo caption: The owner of Sam’s Gym, a fitness center in Glouster, OH, talks to RUSP students.

Prior to the start of classes in August, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM)’s Rural and Urban Scholars Pathways (RUSP) program, whose goal is to prepare future physicians to practice in medically underserved communities, offered a new opportunity for incoming RUSP students. During a three-day, community-based immersion experience, more than 40 new and returning RUSP students took part in conversations with RUSP faculty and community members in rural and urban underserved areas in Columbus and southeast Ohio. The group visited sites including community programs, federally qualified health centers, clinics and hospitals in the Ohio communities of Franklinton, Glouster, and Logan as a way to learn more about health care needs and experiences in the state. They also learned about food insecurity and packed 700 boxes at the Southeast Ohio Foodbank, as well as journaled about their experiences. Read more.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Receives Insight Into Diversity 2019 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award

The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) received the 2019 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual Health Professions HEED Award—a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion—PCOM will be featured, along with 42 other recipients, in the December 2019 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the fifth year PCOM has been named as a Health Professions HEED Award recipient.

“PCOM is proud to once again be recognized as a HEED award winner,” said Marcine Pickron-Davis, Chief Diversity and Community Relations Officer. “Here at PCOM, we strive to create a community that is inclusive for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. This award is a testament to the many initiatives we have put in place to ensure everyone is welcome.”

PCOM Georgia Student Akila Raja Named 2019 Medical Association of Georgia Student Of The Year

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A Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Georgia Campus (PCOM Georgia) student, Akila Raja (pictured right), has been named the 2019 Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Student of the Year. Each year, the award is presented to a student enrolled in only one of Georgia’s medical schools. Raja was recognized October 18 and 19 at MAG’s annual House of Delegates meeting held in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Raja said, “It is surreal to be recognized in this capacity by the Medical Association of Georgia and my colleagues. It’s easy to forget why we pursue a career in medicine when we’re constantly studying for exams and climbing such a steep learning curve.”

Former DO Council President Annie Phung (pictured left) nominated Raja for the award highlighting Raja’s work on a Road to Recovery Panel held last winter. The event featured five individuals affected by substance abuse and included an interactive Q and A session. More than 100 faculty members and students from all programs attended the panel which was partially funded by the D’Alonzo Fund, given annually to a student whose goal is to host a project that will benefit the community.

“The opioid epidemic is demanding a lot of attention due to the number of lives being taken annually from overdose,” Raja said. “I think it is important to recognize the impact this has on, not only our patients, but our colleagues and the practice of medicine as a whole. As physicians, we have a lot of power to drive change. I believe that patient advocacy and education should be at the forefront of our goals.” Read more.

Students Don White Coats at PCOM South Georgia's First Ceremony

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A rite of passage took place for the first time in Southwest Georgia as 59 medical students donned symbolic white coats on their journey to becoming physicians.

Family members, friends, faculty and staff looked on proudly as members of the Class of 2023 helped each other into their coats at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine South Georgia Campus (PCOM South Georgia) White Coat Ceremony on October 18, 2019.

The ceremony, held in a large, sun-drenched classroom in the 75,000 square foot facility dedicated just two months ago by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, featured remarks by Jessica Brumfield Mitchum, DO, a PCOM Georgia graduate.

“Your white coat is not only representative of your obligation to care for your patients; it is a garment of identification for your colleagues, a team jersey.” Read more.

Fashionably Festive: LGBTQ+ Alliance for Health Hosts First-Annual Halloween Fashion Show Contest

On Saturday, October 26, Pacific Northwest University College of Osteopathic Medicine (PNWU-COM)’s LGBTQ+ Alliance for Health hosted the first annual Halloween Fashion Show Contest, live from Yakima’s Game and Grog Bar.

Inspired to take a different approach in hosting a club fundraiser, LGBTQ+ Alliance for Health president Polly Wiltz says the event aimed to provide members of the Yakima community with an opportunity to connect with PNWU medical students in a lighthearted and enjoyable way. Throughout the contest, the club promoted a raffle-style fundraiser, which included prizes that were donated by a variety of community businesses. Read more.

RVUCOM-SU Students Host Days for Girls Event

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Students at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine South Utah Campus (RVUCOM-SU) created feminine hygiene kits during the Days for Girls event. As an international program, it aims to increase access to menstrual care and education through global partnerships, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions. Advancing these objectives can have a profound impact on the lives of the girls it seeks to help, especially among those in underserved areas and within homeless populations. These young women lack the means or access to feminine care products, often missing school and experiencing humiliating situations during their menstrual cycles as a result. RVUCOM-SU students assisted them by cutting and sewing fabric for menstrual pads and adding supplies to kits that will be given to girls in need. This event was co-sponsored by several student clubs and is an annual event.

TouroCOM Gives Back to Harlem with Free “Fall Into Health Fair”

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Photo: Touro Fall Heath Fair student volunteers outside of school on 125th Street.

Close to 50 members of the Harlem community attended the two-hour "Fall into Health Fair" at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Harlem Campus (TouroCOM-Harlem) on 125th St. across from the Apollo Theater. They received free flu shots and screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, BMI, vision, hearing, bone density, HIV, and hepatitis B and C. Joining the Harlem community at the fair was NYS Assembly Member Inez Dickens, TouroCOM Professor Dr. David Colbourne, TouroCOM Dean Dr. David Forstein, and Director of Community Affairs & Diversity Geoffrey Eaton.

“Touro is doing a good thing in this community,” said Victoria Bah, a nail artist who came to explore becoming a bone marrow donor. Mohammad Akhlaq, who works nearby, was also pleased, “Before, my sugar levels were a little bit high. Now I’ve made sure they’re normal,” he said, looking relieved. Close to 150 student volunteers administered the shots, screenings, and provided health counseling. “It’s a great opportunity for students to give back to Harlem and also practice what we’ve been learning,” said second-year medical student Okker Verhagen Metman, a co-organizer.

TouroCOM-Middletown Receives Local Health Care Award 

TouroCOMMiddletown_CR_11072019Photo: Cornerstone President/CEO Linda Muller (pictured center), Irina Gelman, MD, (pictured left) Orange County Health, and Kenneth J Steier, DO, (pictured right) Executive Dean of TouroCOM.

On November 2, TouroCOM-Middletown received a Pillars of the Community Award from Cornerstone Family Healthcare, a large health care provider in the Hudson Valley. This award is in recognition of Touro’s many contributions to the health and well-being of its community.

Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine Well Represented at Nevada State Medical Association’s Annual Conference

The Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUNCOM) was well represented at the Nevada State Medical Association’s (NSMA) annual conference in Reno, NV, in mid-September.

Nearly 20 TUNCOM students presented research posters during the weekend-long conference, four of whom were recognized for their outstanding presentations.

Student doctors Sarah Fagan and Lauren Price took first place for their presentation titled “Investigating the Relationship Between Opioid Prescription Frequency and Deaths From Illicit Opioids.” The two second-year students worked with Dr. Joe Hardy, Associate Dean of Clinical Education, on the research.

“Having our project recognized by physicians in the state of Nevada is so important to us because we believe physicians can make major impacts on the climate surrounding opioids and addiction,” Price said. “This win will definitely help us power through our next project. Many thanks to NSMA and Touro faculty.” Read more.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and VCOM Announce $3.2 Million Scholarship

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Photo: VCOM-Auburn scholarship recipients (from left to right) Kayla Martin, Anna Bianchi, Katherine Vinson, James Healy, Tianna Humes, Harvey Browning, Farrah Gaston, and Imani Carter.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine Auburn Campus (VCOM-Auburn) recently announced an important initiative to further expand access to primary care physicians. This go far to help improve health care availability for Alabama residents that reside in rural and underserved areas of the state.

To help alleviate this need of primary care physicians within the state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama is making available $3.2 million in scholarships, over a six-year period, to students at the VCOM-Auburn campus. The scholarship opportunity is for medical students agreeing to practice as primary care or behavioral health physicians in an underserved area of Alabama.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Scholars program will pay student tuition for the final two years of their enrollment. In return, scholarship recipients will commit to primary care in a rural or medically underserved region in Alabama for a period of three years. Eight students have been selected for this year's scholarship award. During the next four years of the program, 16 students will be awarded the scholarship grant. Eight students will be selected for the scholarship during the final year.

"This scholarship will make it easier for me to start a practice in a rural area," said Harvey Browning, a third-year VCOM-Auburn student from Center Point, Alabama. "My goal is to provide care to the people in my community, even if they might not have insurance or be able to afford medical care," Browning added.

VCOM-Carolinas Hosts IPE Simulation Event, Joins YMCA for Kids Wellness Fair

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Active involvement in the local community is an important part of the student experience at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine Carolinas Campus (VCOM-Carolinas). Last week provided fun, educational opportunities for students both on and off campus. On October 25, VCOM-Carolinas hosted students from USC-Upstate and Presbyterian College for the 2019 IPE Simulation Event. Future health professionals from all three schools worked together in a variety of health care scenarios in VCOM-Carolinas' state-of-the-art simulation center. The following day, VCOM-Carolinas and the Thomas E. Hannah Family YMCA of Spartanburg partnered for a Fall Festival and the 8th annual VCOM Kids Wellness Fair. Costumed students were joined by children of all ages for games, a haunted house, free wellness resources, prizes, food, and other fun activities.

VCOM-Virginia Recognizes Substance Use Awareness Week

VCOMVirginia_CR_11072019Throughout Substance Use Awareness Week, October 21- 25, the Emergency Medicine club provided opportunities for Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine Virginia Campus (VCOM-Virginia) staff and students to be trained on how to recognize an overdose, identify Narcan, and learn how to use it. All participants received their own dose of Narcan to take home in case of emergencies. The training session was taught by Megan Schlegelmilch, a second-year student and President of the Emergency Medicine Club. Megan is trained to teach the Revive! Narcan training course. Revive! is a Virginia program geared to educate the community about the current opioid crisis and how to recognize those who need help.

WesternU/COMP Alumna Provides Advice to Students on Social Media and Coping with Burnout

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Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (WesternU/COMP) alumna Vania Manipod, DO(pictured center) is now a psychiatrist in private practice and popular on social media. But she had an inauspicious start to her medical career as a first-year COMP student.

She failed her first Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) practical exam. Her first reaction was to think about quitting. But she re-applied herself, retook the exam and passed.

“Failure is not a bad thing. I learned different ways to study,” Manipod said. “Part of you is afraid of failure. I want you to know there are ways to grow from it.”

Manipod returned to the WesternU Pomona campus on Friday, October 18, to talk to students about psychiatry and social media. The talk was organized by WesternU’s Club of Psychiatry Enthusiasts.

 “I wanted to ask people about their backgrounds, even when I was on surgery rotations. There’s no time for that on surgery rotations, but all those things are important,” she said. “We need more psychiatrists to show that your medical and physical symptoms are not going to improve if psychologically and mentally you are not improving. So that’s where I knew I could make a difference.”

Manipod began blogging during her residency in 2010 and now manages the popular Freud and Fashion blog, while maintaining an active and growing social media presence on multiple platforms as well. One tip she has for those interested in engaging on social media: Establish goals to help inform what content to share and avoid feeling overwhelmed. Otherwise, many become overwhelmed because they don’t know what to post.

Clingman Center Ceremony Emphasizes Importance of Giving Back

WVSOM_CR_11072019Like the woman whose name it bears, the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s (WVSOM) Clingman Center for Community Engagement recognizes the importance of giving back to the community. The value of serving others was a recurring theme of those who spoke at the school’s Oct. 29 ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new facility.

The Clingman Center, located in Lewisburg’s Montwell Commons, will serve as a bridge between WVSOM and the surrounding area, allowing the school to deliver programs that teach community members skills to help them manage healthier lives. It’s named for the late Gwen Clingman, who for many years provided meals to WVSOM students, faculty and administrators at her downtown Lewisburg business, Clingman’s Market.

The Clingman Center is currently used for community workshops and trainings and will provide further options for community engagement and healthy activities as its infrastructure develops. A commercial teaching kitchen has been constructed in the building to offer culinary training and outreach on healthy cooking, and the site also will be used for workforce development programs and community-based health research.

Bob Foster, DO, WVSOM’s associate dean for osteopathic medical education, served as master of ceremonies at the ribbon cutting. Clingman’s daughters, Alice Hollingsworth and Sharon Clingman Shutzer, and a granddaughter, Heather Hollandsworth, spoke at the ceremony. Other family members were also present.


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Vol. 3, No. 19
November 7, 2019