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Campus Roundup

Students Deliver Aid to Afghan Refugees, Learn Patient Safety from a Simulation Center Program and More

September 30, 2021


UNTHSC/TCOM’s Longstanding Partnership with Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Celebrates 27 Years

Photo (left to right): UNTHSC/TCOM students Kimberly Tran, Emily Lin, Associate Professor Damon Schranz, DO, and student Megan Dole.

The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM) and Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth recently celebrated 27 years of providing young students with sports physicals and wellness checks. The program sees the students at the beginning of each new school year. About 3,000 children have been served through the program since its inception in 1995.

“Families with limited resources face many challenges,” said Emily Lin, a second-year student at UNTHSC/TCOM, who served as the volunteer coordinator for the event this year. “Children from these families often have fewer extracurricular opportunities than peers from families with access to more resources. Providing low-cost sports physicals removes a barrier for children from participating in extracurricular activities as many athletic programs require a completed sports physical before the child is allowed to participate.”

Read more about the history of the partnership and the care the students provide to the community.

Liberty Osteopathic Medical Student Continues Family Tradition as Fourth-Generation Medical Professional

LUCOM_09302021_350x350Photo: LUCOM medical student Brenner Johnson pictured with his grandfather Juan Carlos Giachino, Sr., MD.

Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM) hosted its annual white coat ceremony on Saturday, August 21. It was on this day when osteopathic medical student Brenner Johnson, Class of 2025, introduced himself as a fourth-generation member of his family to continue in medicine. Standing proud onstage alongside a few of his peers and in front of his family, Johnson was bestowed the infamous white consultation coat by his grandfather, Juan Carlos Giachino, Sr., MD.

Having my source of inspiration by my side during one of the proudest days of my life was an amazing experience,” said Johnson. “I will always look up to my grandfather as an amazing physician; however, in my heart he’s ‘Pops’—the loving, goofy and supportive grandfather whom I love.” Read more about the family’s legacy and why Brenner chose LUCOM for his medical training.

WVSOM Names Linda Arnold Interim Vice President of Integrated Marketing

WVSOM_Linda_Arnold_09302021_200x300James W. Nemitz, PhD, president of West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM), has named Linda Arnold the interim vice president of integrated marketing and chief communications officer for the medical school.

“I’m very pleased Linda Arnold has joined our team,” Nemitz said. “Her background and experience will be invaluable in furthering WVSOM’s vision and increasing our footprint regionally and nationally.”

She is the founder, former chair and CEO of a multistate marketing company, the author of the syndicated columns “Live Life Fully” and “Life 101” and has a 25-year track record of working with media on a statewide, regional and national basis.

“I’m excited to combine my professional experience in marketing and public relations with my passion for health and wellness on behalf of WVSOM,” Arnold said. “The medical school is a major economic force in the state and region.” Read more about Arnold’s appointment.

‘Pay it Forward’: KCU-COM Osteopathic Medical Student Delivers Aid to Afghan Refugees

KCUCOM_Michelle_Hamed_09302021_350x350Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) second-year student Michelle Hamed spearheaded a fundraising and donation drive to benefit Afghan refugees set to arrive in St. Louis, Missouri, in the coming weeks. A first-generation Afghan-American, Hamed knows firsthand how difficult it will be for the refugees to resettle and navigate life in the United States. She reached out to the International Institute of St. Louis, an organization that helps immigrants, to create a donation drive at KCU-COM. In just  two weeks, with support from KCU-COM Student Services and friends, she raised more than $10,000 in financial donations and almost $3,000 of in-kind donations for refugees. Read more about Hamed’s journey to medical school and how these donations have been used to help refugees.

DMU-COM Students Learn Patient Safety from Simulation Center Educational Program

Students gathered around the patient, who came into the emergency room complaining of heartburn and chest discomfort. Feeling anxious and a bit overwhelmed, the students called a huddle to discuss the patient’s signs and symptoms and determine differential diagnoses and orders. The team lead delegates orders. With results in, the team members confirm their diagnosis and hand off care to the cardiology team. Next time they see these signs and symptoms, they’ll be ready to act faster and feel more prepared. Next time, this scenario will be with an actual patient in a real emergency room. In this case, the emergency room is in the lower level of Ryan Hall, part of Des Moines University Iowa Simulation Center, and the patient is a high-fidelity medical mannequin. The students are aspiring healthcare providers across four clinical programs, including the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM). Read more about the simulation center and how it is used to educate students.

Medical Students Participate in Research Opportunities at PCOM South Georgia

Microscope Photo: Mohammad Malik (DO '24) and Emily Wilson (DO '24) review their research slides while Savita Arya, MD, associate professor of pathology, instructs.

Under professors Shiv Dhiman, MD, and Savita Arya, MD, students are working on various research projects in the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine South Georgia Campus (PCOM South Georgia) anatomy lab. These projects involve discovering and learning about diseases in cadavers such as Pick’s disease, atherosclerosis, bladder diverticulum, leukemia and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) interventions.

Disease processes affect tissues in distinctive ways, depending on the type of tissue, the disease itself and its progress. Students participating in the research projects have the opportunity to explore the gross pathological findings in the cadavers and examine microscopic glass slides demonstrating normal histology, pathologic processes and a variety of diseases under the microscope.

Each research group consists of a small number of students who conduct research that is overseen by Drs. Dhiman and Arya. Mohammad Malik is part of a group that is researching CABG interventions. He said, “Research is an excellent way to contribute to the field of medicine. As a medical student, it allows you to learn about a topic in a different and more engaging manner. We are very grateful for the mentorship of Drs. Arya and Dhiman along with funding from PCOM South Georgia, which has helped make our research project possible.” Read more about Malik’s research and the goals of the research program at PCOM South Georgia.

PCOM Assists Afghan Refugees Arriving in Philadelphia

Selli Abdali (DO ’23), a first-generation Afghan-American and osteopathic medical student at PCOM, assists with caring for one of the youngest evacuees from the end of the war in Afghanistan.

As the war in Afghanistan ended last month, the process of evacuating and resettling thousands of displaced Afghan refugees began. Philadelphia International Airport, one of several primary entry points for incoming evacuees, has functioned as a hub to evaluate and process individuals and families fleeing Afghanistan before their eventual resettlement in the United States. This effort required mobilization of volunteers with critical skills and experience, including health professionals and native speakers, and PCOM was prepared to answer the call.

PCOM community members volunteered at Philadelphia International Airport to provide interpretation and intake services for Afghan refugees. With the arrival of the first refugees, Farzaneh Daghigh, PhD, professor of biochemistry and an Iranian-American fluent in Farsi, heard there was an urgent need for translators/interpreters, among others, and knew she could help. Assisting with welcoming, intake, interpretation and distributing donated essentials, Dr. Daghigh witnessed the humanitarian crisis firsthand, “I saw some people who had one blanket around them, and that’s all they had.” Read more about the volunteer efforts of the PCOM community.

PCOM_Georgia_Andrea Mann_09302021_200x300

Women in Medicine Interview: Andrea Mann, DO, FAAP, Dean and CAO of PCOM Georgia

During September, the American Medical Association's Women in Medicine month, PCOM recognizes female physicians who serve as faculty members and role models for students across all three of our campuses in Philadelphia, Suwanee and Moultrie.

Andrea Mann, DO, FAAP, serves as the dean and chief academic officer of PCOM Georgia. Prior to joining PCOM Georgia in the spring of 2021, Dr. Mann served as the assistant dean for clinical education, chair of pediatrics and associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM), Buies Creek, North Carolina. Read the interview with Dr. Mann as she answers questions about why she pursued a career in medicine and advice she has for aspiring women physicians.

RVUCOM-SU Students Volunteered at Medical Stations for Community Events

Photo: The Ivins City Heritage Day Parade.

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine Southern Utah Campus (RVUCOM-SU) students have been busy volunteering at several community events over the last two weeks. On September 11, students joined the City of Ivins for their annual Heritage Day parade and hosted a booth to meet members of the community. The following weekend, students volunteered at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship at the main medical tent and the T2 medical station (where athletes transition from biking to running). Students were joined by Thomas Bigham, DO, assistant professor of family medicine, and Ben Wilde, DO, FAAFP, vice-chair of the department of primary care medicine.

VCOM-Carolinas and VCOM-Virginia Holds Physician Suicide Awareness Week Events

Photo: VCOM-Carolinas' Physician Suicide Awareness Panel discussed the unique challenges in medicine and how to navigate them and shared their own personal experiences and reflections on their medical journeys.

From Monday, September 13 to Friday, September 17, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus (VCOM-Carolinas) in conjunction with the American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists held several events for Physician Suicide Awareness Week. The events are part of National Suicide Prevention Month.

The goal of the event-filled week was to spread awareness of the prevalence of suicide among physicians and create a safe space to discuss the topic. Monday was “Reflection Day,” with posters and markers provided in the main building’s lobby on which students could share their thoughts on this sensitive topic. Wednesday featured a Physician Suicide Awareness Panel with faculty members discussing the unique challenges in medicine and how to navigate them. Friday featured a Flower Ceremony at the pond on the VCOM-Carolinas campus. Students, faculty and staff took a moment of silence and released flowers into the pond in memory of all those who have passed away through suicide. Read more about the different events held at VCOM-Carolinas.

Caption: VCOM-Virginia students joined together to release sunflowers in the pond to remember someone they have lost to suicide.

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Virginia Campus (VCOM-Virginia) faculty, staff and students came together today for National Suicide Prevention Week. Activities were held to bring awareness and give hope to those who are struggling. Sunflowers were released at a memorial service at our amphitheater in honor of those who are struggling and in memory of someone they've lost to suicide. We hope that this service and future events may help reduce the stigma of suicide and remind people that they are not alone.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (Español: 1-888-628-9454; deaf and hard of hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

VCOM-Louisiana Students Provide First Aid to Tailgaters

Photo: VCOM-Louisiana medical students worked with Interim Dean Mark Sanders, DO, JD, MPH, LLM, MS, FACOFP (center), to assist tailgaters with first aid needs at the Bayou Jamb football games.

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Louisiana Campus (VCOM-Louisiana) students helped kick off the high school football season by providing a first aid tent at the Bayou Jamb community event held at Malone Stadium on the campus of the University of Louisiana Monroe in late August. Bayou Jamb is a two-day event that pits area high school football teams against each other in pre-season games designed to foster friendly competition. VCOM-Louisiana students who worked the first aid tent were equipped with sunscreen, Band-Aids and other supplies to treat tailgaters' ailments.

Integrating Sports Medicine with the Osteopathic Philosophy

TouroCOMNY_09302021_200x291Abbey Santanello, a fourth-year medical student at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine - New York (TouroCOM-NY), and her faculty advisor, Professor Mikhail Volokitin, have won a 2021 Student Research Fellowship Grant from the Touro College and University System to study common dysfunctions among runners, their causes and how to prevent injuries, relapses and rehabilitate runners.

The award follows a research study the pair did recently, “Osteopathic Assessment of Lower Extremity Somatic Dysfunctions in Runners.” Santanello said their work was inspired after she witnessed, while on clinical rotations, the healing of a middle-aged runner with chronic knee pain solely with the use of osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM).

"It's an honor to receive this grant, which affords us the opportunity to further our research and allows us to integrate the osteopathic philosophy with running, a highly popular and widely used exercise method to maintain cardiovascular and physical health. OMM’s hands-on methods to diagnose, treat and prevent musculoskeletal pain and injuries are what makes this research unique compared to any other sports medicine research,” she said.

“We hypothesize that many people run with aches and pains that are acute and chronic, and our preliminary research has confirmed this. With better understanding of the etiology of these injuries as well as utilizing osteopathic manipulation, we believe we can help patients recover faster, prevent future injuries and reduce compensatory injuries.”

Read more about Santanello and her research in her recent interview.