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Alumnus Stephen Bell, D.O., continues spirit of service

Class of 2015 alumni open pharmacy in Edinboro, Pa.

LECOM ranked No. 3 among primary care medical schools; 63rd overall

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L | E | C |O | M


Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine SUMMER 2011

Coffee Culture

opens in Erie

Meet the Deans

page 42

page 6

Message from the President “A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are for.” — John A. Shedd, Salt from my Attic, 1928

John M. Ferretti, D.O. When the Board of Trustees of Millcreek Community Hospital founded the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in the early 1990s, it became the 16th college of osteopathic medicine in the nation. Since that time, the tenacious efforts of faculty, staff and students alike have propelled LECOM to its place as the largest educational institution of its kind. LECOM instills the values of leadership excellence, not solely in educational training, but also through community presence. It is without doubt that LECOM is viewed as a leader in education, but as the partnership between LECOM and Millcreek Health System has grown strong, we have emerged as a leading healthcare asset in the Erie community, as well as in all of the communities in which we have laid cornerstones. In addition to the firstrate medical and pharmacy schools LECOM has opened in three U.S. cities, next year LECOM will open its first School of Dental Medicine in Bradenton, Fla. The tre-

mendous growth of LECOM is one of the top entrepreneurial success stories in the nation. To what can LECOM attribute this success? In a word — “Leadership.” Leadership is comprised of many attributes: integrity, self-discipline, purpose, preparedness, common sense and compassion. Leaders are not born; rather, they are made through hard work, sacrifice and determination. LECOM recognizes that leadership centers upon building a community of leaders at all levels of society. By gifting the fundamentals of leadership to our physicians and pharmacists — and in a few years, our student dentists — they will not only have the ability to lead themselves, but to pass on this same gift to others. A good leader earns the confidence and trust of others; however, a great leader inspires people to build confidence within themselves. We, at LECOM, hope to create great leaders. We acknowledge and celebrate leadership at LECOM, for it is essential to fuel passion, to value others, and to create a sense of progress through which we may confront issues and challenges. We accept challenges and we face them so that we may feel the victory of purpose. Just knowing that the difference

between the impossible and the possible lies only with individual determination. LECOM is proud of its faculty, staff, students and alumni who live to lead. Leaders inspire others to grow in responsibility and in skill. I am encouraged each day by those around me who accept leadership roles and exude leadership qualities simply by doing their jobs in a dependable way and by encouraging others to share in attaining a worthwhile vision. Here at LECOM, we understand leadership is not a one-day activity; rather, it is a constant commitment to excellence. One cannot emphasize enough the importance of perseverance, service and reliability. Leaders give their best in whatever task they undertake. At LECOM, we seize upon every opportunity to offer encouragement, for it is like oxygen to the body. We know that the will to win is worthless if one does not possess the will to prepare. We understand that everyone faces challenges and problems, while success lies in dealing with challenges promptly and thoroughly. We find success through service to others, not at the expense of others. Knowing that we can make a difference in this world is a great motivator that instills within

us the willingness to lead. In this uncertain future of healthcare turmoil, of economic strife, of directionless political leaders, I urge all of you to challenge yourself to lead all the days of your life. Halfheartedness never won a battle. I dream of the intrepid few who take the next step instead of worrying about the next thousand steps. This issue of the LECOM Connection honors the noble principle of leadership — a principle that each student hones through protracted hours of study and tireless determination; an awareness that in order to lead others, one must often be willing to go forward alone; and the realization that leaders shape their own frontiers, seeing challenges as opportunity instead of roadblocks. As I recall the humble beginnings of LECOM — as a once wistful idea that crossed the minds of a few dreamers as they envisioned the future — I am reminded that all who have accomplished purposeful victories have kept their aim high, fixing their gaze upon a seemingly impossible goal. And, despite obstacles, they have persevered, stopping only until success is reached. For this is the code of leadership, this is the mission of LECOM, and this is the heart of LECOM scholars.

Mission Statement The mission of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is to prepare students to become osteopathic physicians, pharmacy practitioners and dentists through programs of excellence in education, research, clinical care and community service to enhance the quality of life through improved health for all humanity.


L| E | C |O| M


Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine


Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine 1858 West Grandview Blvd. Erie, PA 16509 814-866-6641

John M. Ferretti, DO President


Legislative Days Pharmacy students travel to Pa. and Fla. state capitals

Community Service


Silvia M. Ferretti, DO

Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs

Dressing the Part

Hershey Bell, MD, MS (Med Ed)


Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of School of Pharmacy


Pierre Bellicini

Director of Communications

Making Headlines

Michael Polin

Assistant Director of Communications and Marketing, Bradenton

First-year students receive first white coats of their careers

Clinical Care

Clinical Care

LECOM ranks high in U.S. News & World Report


Michael J. Visnosky, Esq Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Business Savvy

Robert George, DO


Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Bradenton

Erie students present entrepreneurial ideas

Sunil S. Jambhekar, PhD Associate Dean for Bradenton Operations

Allison Seib

Editor & Designer

Rebecca DeSimone, JD Chief Writer

Rob Macko

Contributing Writer & Photographer The LECOM Connection invites you to contribute to our publication. If you have news of alumni achievements, research or student activities, please contact the Communications Department, at (814) 866-6641, or e-mail

05 Feature Story

LECOM’s legacy of leadership thrives

16 Wellness Center Leaders

Center’s new director a ‘team player’ Member services manager shines in role

06 Administration Leaders

‘First In Leadership’ — Dr. Silvia Ferretti 18 08 ‘The Organizer’ — Dr. Robert George 10 ‘As Dedicated As’ — Dr. Hershey Bell 12 ‘New Leadership With’ — Dr. Robert Hirsch 19 20

14 Alumni Leaders

14 Alumnus’ LECOM spirit alive today 15 Class of 2005 alumni open pharmacy

Student Leaders Pharmacy student pushes for legislation Transplant recipient joins national board Medical student recognized by ACOFP Pharmacy leadership elective excels

20 Community Service

22 LECOM sponsors hockey award $5,300 donation given to Cancer Society


06 Meet the Deans of LECOM Meet the Deans: (L-R) Robert Hirsch, D.D.S, dean of the School of Dental Medicine; Hershey Bell, M.D., dean of the School of Pharmacy; John M. Ferretti, D.O., president and CEO; Silvia Ferretti, D.O., provost, senior vice president and dean of academic affairs; and Robert George, D.O., associate dean of academic affairs in Bradenton, Fla.

Contents 24 Education

28 Rho Chi initiates 27 students, School of Pharmacy dean

29 Clinical Care

30 Third Annual Pharmacology Seminar held in Erie 31 Colby Foundation teaches students compassion 32 Three RX students take 1st at OTC contest Students travel to Seattle for competition 33 Medical students compete in Primary Care Olympics

34 Research 35

23 A mission trip overseas

LECOM Sports Medicine Director Patrick Leary, D.O., shares his recent trip to Honduras.

The 2011 Research Yearbook is on its way

34 The Community is Our Campus

Generation Rx founder honored in Florida 35 Students represent LECOM at Pirate Fest 36 LECOM presents donation to Community Health Net Students remember World AIDS Day 37 LECOM holds parties for Erie BayHawks Integrative Medicine Club helps plant a garden 38 Congressman Buchanan visits Fla. pharmacy Pharmacy students volunteer at food bank 39 Seton Hill military students don uniforms Medical students participate in ‘D.O. on the Hill’ day 40 LECOM Wellness Fair attracts crowds at mall 41 Kids encouraged to adopt healthy habits at fair Students perform screenings at a senior health expo

30 Physicians turn out for PC2011 More than 170 physicians attended the 2011 Primary Care Conference at Peek ‘n Peak.

42 LECOM Updates

Coffee Culture franchise to open soon 43 2011 Student Scholarship Auction approaching

44 Student Notes 46 Faculty Notes 46 Alumni Notes 47 In Memoriam

42 MCH unveils library’s new look A donation made by Erie resident Kirk Steehler, D.O., on behalf of his parents helped fashion this larger Millcreek Community Hospital library.



LECOM’s legacy of leadership thrives The College leads in growth, academics & innovation among U.S. osteopathic schools From collegiate growth, to a dental school ground breaking and a recently published economic report, it is difficult to overlook the impact that the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine has had in Pennsylvania and Florida. Now, as LECOM approaches its 20th anniversary year — a testament to its longevity as a leader in healthcare education— it is apropos that this issue of the LECOM Connection highlights leadership and those who have played a hand in the College’s continued success. LECOM has many times over proven to be a trailblazer in healthcare education since opening its doors in 1993 as the nation’s 16th osteopathic medical college. Twelve colleges of osteopathic medicine have followed suit, bringing the total to 28 colleges (34 campuses). In 1997, LECOM’s charter class graduated with only 40 students. LECOM has since grown into the largest osteopathic medical college in the U.S., with more than 2,800 medical, pharmacy, post baccalaureate and master of science students enrolled between its three campuses. Not only has LECOM continued to hold its top spot as the largest osteopathic medical college to date, it is estimated that class sizes at LECOM will continue to grow exponentially, bringing the total number of graduating students to nearly 900 in 2016, including its first class of dental medicine graduates. This year the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) released a report stating that applications to osteopathic medical colleges had increased by 6 percent in recent years. As LECOM continues to expand its class size, statistics suggest that application submissions to LECOM have followed this same trend. Of the 13,147 applications received by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOMAS), LECOM received more than half (8,482) of those applications, which helped set a new record for enrollment applications to osteopathic schools. This was a 24 percent increase for the College. Compared to other osteopathic schools, LECOM takes the lead in various other avenues, as well: 1. LECOM is one of the most affordable osteopathic medical colleges — tuition at LECOM is the lowest among all private osteopathic medical colleges for both in-state and * Source:

out-of-state students. When including public institutions, LECOM ranks fourth in offering the lowest tuition among these schools for instate students; ranking second in lowest tuition for out-of-state students. 2. LECOM continues to match curriculum programs to varying learning styles of students. LECOM is the only osteopathic medical school to offer five unique pathways — LectureDiscussion, Independent Study, and ProblemBased Learning, as well as the three-year, accelerated Primary Care Scholars and Physician Assistant pathways, which allows students to be trained in fewer academic years. LECOM students also receive more intensive training than students from most other osteopathic medical schools. Our students log more than 1,000 hours of basic sciences in-class study, as well as nearly 800 hours of clinical sciences study. They average 40 weeks of study in the first two years, with 48 weeks spent in training in their final two years with LECOM.* 3. LECOM offers state-of-the-art facilities that are frequently updated to match the growing needs of our students. The College expanded its main campus in Erie in 2002. LECOM also opened a branch campus in Bradenton, Fla. in 2004, and a satellite campus at Seton Hill University in 2009. The College is currently expanding its Erie campus to offer added security for its students, faculty and staff. And, in 2012, the College anticipates the opening of the LECOM School of Dental Medicine in Florida, which will attract some of the nation’s brightest future dentists. LECOM’s impact transverses healthcare education, as well. This year, Tripp Umbach, a research analysis company, helped LECOM to publish its “Driving America’s Healthcare Economy” economic impact report. In it, Tripp Umbach states that LECOM has had a total operational impact on the U.S. economy of more than $328 million, while also directly and indirectly impacting the Pennsylvania economy by $225 million, and Florida with $66 million in 2010. In the Greater Erie Area, those impacts have supported nearly 1,000 jobs, while generating $136 million for the city. In Florida, LECOM supports more than 160 jobs. In this issue, LECOM is proud to showcase some of its influential leaders who have helped the College reach the status as one of the most innovative, and preeminent of all osteopathic medical colleges in the U.S.

LECOM programs receive high marks in accreditation LECOM completed a year of visits by accreditation teams representing the governing bodies responsible for professional education in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and dental medicine. All three LECOM campuses hosted inspectors who evaluated the college, its academic programs and operations. Many administrators and staff devoted countless hours preparing for the site visits, ensuring that the visitors had all of the information they needed. LECOM was more than ready for this challenge. The medical, pharmacy and dental programs received high marks from inspectors who visited the college. As a result, LECOM received accreditation from the American Dental Association (ADA) Commission on Dental Accreditation, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). The ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation granted the LECOM School of Dental Medicine an initial accreditation, which allows the dental school to begin recruiting and accepting students, hiring faculty members and preparing for the start of classes in 2012. The AOA Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation granted LECOM continuing accreditation status. This is given to colleges that meet or exceed the accreditation standards. The accreditation is good for seven years. The next AOA site visit will be in fall of 2017. The ACPE gave the LECOM School of Pharmacy a full six-year accreditation, which is the maximum recognition that can be given to a pharmacy school. It is a mark of meeting the established qualifications and educational standards through initial and follow-up visits. LECOM administrators applauded the work of all administrators, faculty, students and staff who planned for and participated in the site visits. Their commitment to excellence was acknowledged and rewarded through the successful accreditation process. More information on accreditation is available at


Silvia M. Ferret t i, D.O.

First In Leadership

Provost, Senior Vice president & Dean of Academic Affairs


urvivors often become leaders. Perhaps this transformation occurs as a result of an innate ability to overcome a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, or perhaps there are countless reasons known only to more providential designs how those who have triumphed over adversity find the ability to answer the call of leadership. Such is the case with Silvia M. Ferretti, D.O., who many know as the Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa. As a young girl who overcame serious head trauma, Dr. Silvia found herself drawn to the underlying philosophy of restoring the body. Her early experiences with rehabilitation ignited within her a firm desire to heal broken bodies and to revive fractured spirits. After receiving her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, Pa., and completing her internship at the Hospital of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine with a residency in Physical Medicine Rehabilitation at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Dr. Silvia established a thriving practice in rehabilitative medicine and physical therapy. Her calling centered on helping those afflicted with disabilities and life-changing injuries by restoring a sense of normalcy to their lives. The philosophy of that mission would come to underscore the focus of her life’s work. Dr. Silvia readily admits that she had no desire, plans nor grand designs to become the first woman dean of an osteopathic medical college. She did not seek the positions she now holds as provost and dean. Shortly after opening the College, the first group of LECOM leaders — (L-R) Michael J. Visnosky, Dr. Dennis Agostini, Dr. John M. Ferretti, Mary Eckert and Dr. Silvia Ferretti — meet to discuss its progress.


1996 In honor of National Osteopathic Medicine (NOM) week, Dr. Silvia gets a snap shot with an actor dressed as Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, the ‘father’ of osteopathic medicine.


Though her great success as an active- and renowned-leader of osteopathic medical education have ensued, Dr. Silvia was immensely content in operating her rehabilitation practice. In the grand scheme of things, Dr. Silvia had a much bigger calling. Life, in many ways, is about roots — from where one starts and from where one learns, to the way that knowledge can be carried forth to others. Dr. Silvia brought to LECOM her vast understanding of the substantive philosophies of rehabilitative therapies, and she began to apply those theories to the practical application of educating physicians. She examined the ways that her work in rehabilitation completely centered on the patient. With that paradigm in mind, Dr. Silvia determined that the same application should be brought into practice with the student as the focus, thus defining the lynch pin of student-centered pathways. This concept remains unchanged as Dr. Silvia remains ever true to that principle. Her undying passion to provide students with all of the “tools” needed to succeed in the field of medicine paralleled her mission in rehabilitative training to restore the whole person. Such passions are observed throughout LECOM campuses as Dr. Silvia seeks to blend the harmonies of mind, body and spirit into a unified influence to advance the success of each student. To that end, visual amenities throughout each campus reveal Dr. Silvia’s love of art and artifacts. Tributes to local and community history permeate the buildings, reflecting her desire to create a museum of memorabilia honoring both Erie Mayor Joyce Savocchio presents Dr. Silvia and Mary Eckert, president and CEO of Millcreek Community Hospital, with a City of Erie Proclamation, announcing National Osteopathic Medicine week in the city.


2000 Dr. John M. Ferretti and Dr. Silvia welcome Congressman Phil English, who stopped by LECOM in support of medical education in Pennsylvania.

local history and medical sciences. Her attention to detail in affording magnificently designed college facilities — buildings painted in soothing colors and maintained to spotless perfection — are conducive to providing students with a calm and clean learning environment that enhances the educational experience. The implementation of a LECOM dress code supports the principle that the best work of a scholar is called forth from a positive self-image imbued with the highest standard. Such augmentations enrich the campus experience, advance the comprehensive success and develop the mind of each LECOM student. Dr. Silvia has never lost sight of her modest beginnings. Growing up in the heart of “Little Italy” in Erie, she recognized the need for affordable education. She has always believed that no person should lose sight of his or her dream because of financial constraints. So moved and motivated was Dr. Silvia about this point that she, along with her brother, John M. Ferretti, D.O., championed the LECOM Student Scholarship Fund, which raises thousands of dollars each year for students, allow- LECOM Provost Silvia Ferretti, D.O., receives the 2010 Dale Dodson Award from Anthony Salvagni, ing a countless number of them to attain their President of the AACOM Board of Deans during the April 15, 2011 awards ceremony in Baltimore, Md. dreams of becoming physicians or pharmacists. Dr. Silvia’s abundant and impressive two recent mentions of her work with the Her work in service extends to the boards chronicle of notable achievements — both Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Council of of multiple charitable organizations in state in medicine and in education — are a testa- Deans and of her recent receipt of the 2011 and nationally; and she supports a bevy of ment of her leadership. Moreover, they are Dale Dodson Leadership Award presented private causes and faith-based initiatives. Dr. a testament to the principles that she dis- by the American Association of Colleges of Silvia is an unabashed leader who personifies covered in youth — ideas fostered by fam- Osteopathic Medicine. the qualities that are at the epicenter of leadily, stirred by her own personal challenges, Through the steady and determined ership — integrity, determination, purpose, and strengthened by her tireless determina- tasks of consistent fortitude and unflagging adaptability, common-sense and compastion and will. Enumerating the awards and patience, Dr. Silvia has guided LECOM to sion. honors bestowed upon Dr. Silvia would un- its estimable position as the largest medical For those who believe that obstacles are duly discomfit this humble educator, which college in the nation, which offers the best insurmountable, Dr. Silvia M. Ferretti has results in the inclusion herewith of only in healthcare education at a reasonable cost. advanced the standard that they are not.

During the Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2000, Dr. Silvia, along with the Board of Trustees, line up for a photo.

The owners of the Erie BayHawks called Dr. Silvia to center court just before tip-off for the team’s season opening home game. Steve Demetriou and Owen McCormick presented Dr. Silvia with a framed BayHawks team jersey.

Dr. Silvia and Erica Shatzer, director of travel at LECOM, take a break at the 2008 LECOM Student Scholarship Auction.

2005 At the AOA conference in San Francisco, Deborah Lee-Sanko, Dr. Silvia, and Dr. John Ferretti inform visitors who stop by LECOM’s booth about LECOM’s success, including its recent growth in Florida.




LECOM Trustee Kevin Colosimo congratulates Dr. Silvia and President and CEO John M. Ferretti, D.O., who were among 24 other finalists nominated for the “Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award.


Robert George, D.O.

LECOM's 'Organizer'

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs


obert George, D.O., currently serves as the associate dean of academic affairs at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Bradenton, Fla. He is a graduate of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, and he is certified in emergency medicine and Family Medicine. For more than 30 years, Dr. George served as medical director and director of medical education of Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. From 1971 to 2001, he was instrumental in overseeing the Ohio facility, a position that Dr. George credits with bringing him to this point in his career. Prior to taking his current position in 2003 as associate dean of LECOM’s Bradenton campus, he spent 18 months as director of medical education at St. John’s Health System in Detroit, Mich. Dr. George interestingly notes that, as dean, he graduated LECOM’s first Bradenton class on June 8, 2008, an event that took place exactly on his 40th wedding anniversary. He and his wife, Goldie, were married in 1968, and they have three adult children: Michael, Mark and Michelle. Michael holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University

Dr. George instructs Class of 2008 medical student James Skorczewski Jr., D.O., who practices OMM on his peer, Abbey Faruzzo, D.O.


Dr. George presents the American Osteopathic Association Mentor Award to faculty member Larry Bunnell, D.O.

2005 Dr. George walks through an ER rounds simulation with Class of 2008 medical students Liana Rodriguez, D.O., and Christopher Hummel, D.O., at the Lakewood Ranch Hospital.


of Akron. He is the director of contracting and provider support services at Summa Healthcare in Akron, where he is also a firefighter. Mark is a physician’s assistant for an osteopathic dermatologist in Birmingham, Ala. Michelle teaches fourth grade at Bath Elementary School in Akron. An evident enthusiasm is effervescent as Dr. George discusses his work with LECOM. Dr. George demonstrates that all achievement is an amalgam of time, patience and dedication, which is derived from a good day’s work. He notes that this exuberance and purposeful belonging at LECOM is present across the board, supported by the fact that most of the original 15 founding faculty are still part of the LECOM family. “That says a great deal about a school,” said Dr. George, explaining that there is typically a high turnover rate in medical education institutions. “It is a gratifying commentary about an organization to see the longevity of the original members who are still active and on board after all this time. If someone needs assistance in a certain area, it matters not what position is held, folks simply roll up their sleeves and pitch in to help.”

2007 Dr. George welcomes LECOM guest speaker State Rep. Bill Galvano during Constitution Day.


Dr. George knows all about “pitching in;” he is, for all intents and purposes, “the organizer” at LECOM Bradenton. He is heavily involved with the American Osteopathic Association. He also serves on several federal committees dealing with health issues, of which he has experience chairing meetings and convention organizing. Dr. George is a regular organizer for the annual LECOM Auction. He and his wife enjoy purchasing items for the auction and sponsoring a table at the yearly dinner gala. They also relish in motivating their guests to “bid high and bid often” for a good cause. In countless ways, LECOM’s faculty influence the lives of the people whom they touch. Dr. George is one of LECOM’s unwavering standard leaders, and he has demonstrated that his organizational skill and his animated persistence are the twin sisters of excellence. One is a matter of quality; the other, a matter of time — but, together they comprise the unsurpassed mission and commitment to excellence that LECOM seeks to fulfill every day.

Dr. George hoists the Dean’s Challenge Cup won by LECOM at the FSACOFP conference in 2008.

Dr. George honored as ACOFP 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient profession — at In recogniboth the national tion of a lifetime and state levof service to his els — serving as community as an ACOFP Presiosteopathic famdent, treasurer ily physician and and member as a leading voice of the Board of for the osteopathGovernors, as ic profession, the well as president American College of the Ohio Soof Osteopathic ciety of ACOFP. Family Physicians In addition, he (ACOFP) presented Lake Erie ACOFP President George Sawabini, D.O., and Kenneth Heiles, has served as College of Osteo- D.O., present Dr. Robert George, D.O., with the ACOFP 2011 president of the Academy of Ospathic Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award. teopathic DirecAssociate Dean of tors and Medical Academic Affairs Robert J. George, D.O., FACOFP, with the Educators and as treasurer for 12 years of the Osteopathic Political Action Committee 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award. The of the American Osteopathic Information presentation took place during ceremonies Association. held at the ACOFP 2011 Annual ConvenDr. George has become most well-known as tion in San Antonio, Texas. his role as an educator. He has served as DiDr. George is the eighth recipient of the rector of Medical Education, Medical Direcaward, which recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding career-long service tor and Family Medicine Residency Director at Cuyahoga Falls General Hospital in Ohio, to patients, to the profession of osteopathic and he was Director of Medical Education at family medicine and to the ACOFP. SelecSt. John Detroit Riverview Hospital before tion of the recipient is made by the ACOFP joining LECOM. Board of Governors. “For the past 12 years, Dr. Robert His passion for education can also be seen George has worked to develop our profesin his volunteer commitments, particularly sion’s certification examinations and policies, in his work with the American Osteopathic through his service with the American OsAssociation where he has served on the teopathic Board of Family Physicians, where Committee on Postdoctoral Training Intern he now holds the position of vice chair of Subcommittee, Committee on Continuing the Board of Governors, said ACOFP PresiMedical Education, the Task Force on OMT dent George T. Sawabini, D.O., FACOFP. and Certification and Credentials, the Bureau “Dr. George has given more than four deof Conventions and the Bureau of Professioncades of service to the profession, including al Education, which he leads as chairman. exemplary service as a leader and educator.” Throughout his career, Dr. George has been an active leader within the osteopathic

2009 Dr. George receives the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association’s Presidential Achievement Award. Dr. George is pictured with Christy Nolan, D.O., Class of 2010.

2010 Dr. George congratulates Fatima Imtiaz, D.O., LECOM Class of 2011, on receiving a $5,000 scholarship at the 2010 Florida Osteopathic Medical Association Conference.

Dr. George talks about LECOM’s arrival and its history in Florida at the Anna Maria Island Rotary Club.


Hershey S. Bell, M.D.

As Dedicated As..

Vice President of Academic Affairs & Dean of the School of Pharmacy


s the dean of the LECOM School of Pharmacy, vice president of the Department of Academic Affairs, clinical professor of family medicine, esteemed lecturer, distinguished fellow, and a man whose resume prevails with accomplishments and awards, Hershey S. Bell, M.D., M.S. (Med Ed.) — the only physician dean of a pharmacy school — brings an interprofessional education focus to the forefront of medical instruction. For many, a career is a calling. Commonly, careers develop as one remains on a singular occupational path, and while on that path, does quite well to advance. At times, careers resemble long-standing marriages where passion is exchanged for comfort, security and predictability in an uncertain world. Dr. Bell’s career is something different entirely — he has discovered not just a career, but his passion — that with all his heart, he has given himself to fully. It has been said that the world needs “dreamers” and “doers;” but, most importantly, the world needs dreamers who are doers. Dr. Bell is such a man. Beginning his life in Toronto, Canada, Dr. Bell later matriculated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto in 1982. Completing his family medicine residency

During a two-week long Medical Applications of Science and Health (MASH) program, Dr. Bell walks two high school students through the process of a physician’s exam.


2007 While representing LECOM at an AACOM conference, Dr. Bell discusses the College’s success with Michael Murphy, D.O., an AOA Trustee.


at the University of Toronto and at Duke University, he achieved board certifications both in the United States and Canada. His distinctions are many, serving as a Duke University National Faculty Development Fellow; a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians; writing extensively in his field of expertise; and receiving his Master of Science in Medical Education degree from LECOM. In 2009, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine named Dr. Bell one of 12 charter members of the National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators. Also in 2009, Dr. Bell was named as the recipient of the John M. and Silvia Ferretti Distinguished Teaching Award. He also received the William D. Miller AACOM Leadership Award for making outstanding contributions to advancing the osteopathic profession. Engaged in the practice of “full-service” family medicine for more than two decades, Dr. Bell has brought strength, courage and confidence to his practice. Working in Flemington, N.J., in the oldest family practice residency program in the nation, Dr. Bell committed his work to patient care and teaching. Still to this day, he exudes a caring and calming demeanor that seems at once to reassure and resonate not only with patients, but with students,

As the former director of the Master in Science in Medical Education program, Dr. Bell instructs students at the Erie Bayfront campus.


2009 Dr. Bell and Lynn McGrath, MSN, CRNP, present a check to Patty Stubber, executive director of Northwest Area Health Education Center.

faculty and staff, as well. Perhaps it is this nature that has driven Dr. Bell to his life-long focus of writing medical literature. He has contributed numerous articles, which range from competency-based educational topics to physician-patient relationship publications. His studies in the field of competencybased education have even received international recognition. With his work garnering much acclaim, Dr. Bell was selected to serve as part of a team that developed the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Outcome Competencies. Beginning in the mid 1980s, Dr. Bell introduced the concept of “physician competency,” which focuses on how physicians and patients interact. In 1997, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine developed core competencies for family medicine. In 2003, the “Bell Model” was adopted at the national level of the American Osteopathic Association to teach such educational methods to osteopathic physicians as they learn to minister to the needs of patients. Having hailed from outside the United States, Dr. Bell evinces a natural affection for his birth country, as well as a strong reverence for former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the Toronto Maple Leafs; however, Dr. Bell still beams with pride when he speaks of the U.S. “I have a deep respect for the United

In addition to 27 pharmacy students, Dr. Bell was initiated into the Gamma Tau Chapter of the Rho Chi Society. Kim Burns, R.Ph., J.D., left, presented Dr. Bell with the honor. Andrew Grimone, Pharm.D., gave the keynote speech during the ceremony. (More on ceremony, page 28).

States, and particularly for the opportunities it provides,” said Dr. Bell. “I don’t believe any country other than the United States could have allowed people like John Ferretti and Silvia Ferretti to accomplish the great things they have accomplished. And, the opportunities that have been offered to myself and my family have been extraordinary. I view myself as a grateful recipient of the American way of life, and especially grateful that the American way of life can accept a

Dr. Bell; Associate Professor Kim Burns, R.Ph., J.D.; and Director of Institutional Assessment and Accreditation Matt Cettin, MSHE, help raise money for the scholarship fund by golfing in the MCH Golf Classic.

Dr. Bell greets Class of 2012 pharmacy student Kathleen Kelly, right; her father and MCH Patient Safety Officer, Marty Kelly; and her mother, Liz.

2010 Former AACOM Board Chair Michael Adelman, D.O., J.D., presents Dr. Bell with the 2010 Miller Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Osteopathic Medical Profession.

Canadian such as myself.” Dr. Bell is married to his wife of 26 years, Marianne. The couple has three children — Nicholas, 21; Andrew, 17; and Audrey, 12. Nicholas is a sophomore at William and Mary. He plans to study in Wales, Great Britain, next term. As an enthusiastic teenager, Andrew excels in mathematics, art and debate. The youngest, Audrey, is a hardworking sixth-grade student. The family’s homestead is located in Fairview, Pa.

Dr. Bell briefly spoke at the 2011 White Coat Ceremony, where 140 pharmacy students and 270 medical students received coats.

2011 Dr. Bell welcomed the new class of 140 pharmacy students to LECOM during the School of Pharmacy twoday orientation held in August.


Robert F. Hirsch, D.D.S.

New Leadership With Dean of the School of Dental Medicine


he Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine is pleased to announce the appointment of Robert F. Hirsch, D.D.S, as dean of the LECOM School of Dental Medicine. It is anticipated that the School of Dental Medicine will open in 2012. While conferring the position of dean often occurs in accordance with great pride in recognizing the achievement of its LECOM faculty, it is with an especially venerable acknowledgment that this position is bestowed. The proficient and unsurpassed excellence observed in the performance of Dr. Hirsch as a faculty member is deserving of the highest recognition and gratitude. Dr. Hirsch explains that he is one of the only deans in the country — there are 58 accredited schools — whose entire career was not spent in academia. “I feel that this gives me a unique perspective on dental education, one that fits the LECOM philosophy of primary care being so important,” said Dr. Hirsch. “Our curriculum is designed to give our students almost twice the patient contact hours compared to most dental schools.” Dr. Hirsch is confident that through LECOM’s design, students will be better prepared to tackle private dental practice immediately after graduation; whereas, other graduates need at least one year of post-graduate practice to become better prepared. Dr. Hirsch notes that the dental profession is facing a period of transition where the idea of health professionals possessing more cross training meshes with the educational goals of LECOM. The dental program will offer integrated education covering the basic sciences in small Problem-Based Learning (PBL) groups for the first two years. Previously, Dr. Hirsch held faculty and administrative positions at Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, Nova Southeastern University School of Dentistry and the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. He is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University where he received both his BA and his DDS degrees. Operating his private dental practice in Erie, Pa., for more than 20 years, Dr. Hirsch views the area — one that he feels is a great place to live and work — as a valued and beloved community centered on family. Dr. Hirsch invests his research with dental education models and into studies of improvements that seek to advance dental care, healthcare and hygiene. As dean of the LECOM Dental School, Dr. Hirsch will move forward with innovations in dental education that include hands-on pragmatic experiences 12 | LECOM CONNECTION | SUMMER 2011

in practice management. Dr. Hirsch notes that many dental schools exhibit a deficiency in teaching practice management and that educational dearth has been a noticeable short-coming frequently mentioned as a top concern in alumni surveys. As a leader in dental education, LECOM’s curriculum will offer an enhanced opportunity for students to observe and to practice their management skills, while applying their knowledge at the very outset of their program study. With this integral augmentation to the curriculum, students gain a fuller perspective of operational aspects of dental medicine while recognizing the way such training will become an essential part of a successful career. At LECOM, it is a verity that excellence is not viewed as a skill; rather, it is seen as an attitude that encompasses an unlimited and constant ability to improve the qualities that one has to offer. Such is the standard of LECOM across all of its disciplines. Therefore, when one of its faculty members distinguishes himself in supreme accomplishment of this attitude, it is incumbent of LECOM to mark this achievement and to welcome him as dean.

LECOM breaks ground for dental school Administrators and trustees from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine joined with local, state and federal leaders to launch construction of a new building for the LECOM School of Dental Medicine. Work has begun on the state-of-the-art 100,000 square foot, two-story facility just 500 feet north of the current LECOM Bradenton campus. The construction is underway on 36 acres along Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and 44th Avenue, with the work on schedule for the opening of the School of Dental Medicine in July 2012. Conceptually, the structure houses two facilities under one roof, the dental school and a patient clinic. “LECOM recognizes that dentists have become an integral team player in improving the health of their patients. The role that they play in preventive medicine corresponds with the osteopathic principals of total health care as taught by the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the School of Pharmacy,” said LECOM President and CEO John M. Ferretti, D.O. The dental school features a 7,000 square-foot Learning Resource Center to provide print and electronic resources for every academic program, 23 Problem-Based Learning (PBL) small group classrooms, and a 55-station simulation lab on the first floor. Two lecture halls, each seating more than 250 students, are located on the second floor. Each lecture hall will feature the latest in smart classroom technology, and the entire building will have wireless computer access. The clinic utilizes 40,000 square-feet (20,000 square-feet on each floor). This 115-chair dental patient clinic is equipped with the latest technology that helps maximize learning opportunities for students under the guidance of faculty members. The dental clinic will be staffed by faculty and students who will be able to treat up to 600 patients per day, providing dental health care for many people who are currently unable to receive dental care. Innovation will take place in the classroom through the PBL curriculum, an approach that challenges students to learn though patient cases that provide the context for acquiring knowledge and understanding basic medical science. Dental students will begin their PBL study alongside

Dr. Robert Hirsch speaks at the Manatee County Tiger Bay Club’s March meeting.

LECOM introduces its new logo for the School of Dental Medicine.

LECOM School of Dental Medicine Dean Dr. Robert Hirsch, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Michael Visnosky, LECOM President and CEO John Ferretti, DO, Rep. Bill Galvano and President of the Florida Dental Association Dr. Larry Nissen break ground on the LECOM School of Dental Medicine.

medical students. Award-winning architects Fawley Bryant have been charged with the building’s design. Fawley Bryant has designed projects such as: Energy Court Center in Sarasota and the City Centre Complex in downtown Bradenton. Construction of the school will be handled by Willis A. Smith Construction Company. Willis A. Smith Construction Company has built the Ringling College of Art & Design Student Center, the State College of Florida Graphic Technology Arts Building and the Florida State University Ringling Museum of Art Asolo Visitors Service Center. The inaugural class of the LECOM School of Dental Medicine will have 100 first-year students. Within four years, the school will enroll 400 students.

Dr. Hirsch speaks during a press conference announcing the LECOM School of Dental Medicine.

2011 Dr. Hirsch was among the LECOM faculty speaking at the Manatee County Tiger Bay Club. Pictured are (L-R): Tiger Bay Club President Gregory Porges; LECOM Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Robert George, D.O.; School of Pharmacy Associate Dean for Clinical Education Julie Wilkinson, Pharm.D.; and Dr. Hirsch.

An artist’s rendering of the LECOM School of Dental Medicine, scheduled to open in July 2012.


|Alumni Leadership|

Alum keeps LECOM spirit of service alive LECOM encourages its students to remain true to the duality of service and leadership that embody the heart of the College’s mission during their years spent here and well into their healthcare careers. Alumnus Stephen Bell, D.O., is just one such graduate who has continued making LECOM proud as he epitomizes the spirit of volunteerism and service, as well as being a role model of leadership. As an associate professor of medicine at Michigan State University, Dr. Bell has continued teaching those who are the future of American medicine. Dr. Bell’s service goes beyond education — he was recently elected to a position with the Monroe County Board of Commissioners in Michigan. A man of principled leadership in both his life and career, Dr. Bell is active in his church, local government and in the Republican Party. “As healers, we see and care for people as individual human beings in the context of their families and communities, not merely as abstract demographic populations,” said Dr. Bell. “As osteopathic m, physicians, we can and ; Callu l l e B . should further cultivate the R) Dr y: (Ll i rew, 6 m empathy and integrity that a ; And 8 ell f , B e m e h T ill guides our daily patient care, l. x, 6; W ichelle Bel applying it to the benefit of obtain 4; Ale M s; and h t our larger communities.” his master’s n o m Dr. Bell attended the Lake degree in ancient and Erie College of Osteopathic medieval history and teaching credentials Medicine in Erie, obtaining his Doctor in history, English and social studies. of Osteopathic Medicine degree in 2002. Dr. Bell then journeyed to the small, northwest Washington town of Lynden He continued his medical education where he worked as an educator in the at Henry Ford Hospital in Wyandotte, Lynden High School District and coached Mich., where he completed an internship. track. There, he was honored with the Dr. Bell received further training during award of “Hurdles Coach of the Year.” a residency in Internal Medicine at It was during a track and field sports Oakwood Southshore Medical Center medicine conference in the fall of 1996 in Trenton, Mich., where he was chief that this teacher realized his calling was in resident. medicine. Medicine was Dr. Bell’s second Dr. Bell has continued to be active career; he spent the first several years of within professional organizations his academic career in the humanities. germane to his practice, maintaining He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in active memberships in the American history from the University of California College of Physicians, American College at Irvine. He later traveled to Western of Osteopathic Internists, American Washington University in Bellingham to


Stephen Bell, D.O., Class of 2002, often attends and lectures at the annual LECOM Primary Care conferences held at Peek ‘n Peak Resort in early March. In 2011, Dr. Bell lectured on weight management and obesity.

Osteopathic Association, Michigan Osteopathic Association, the American Society of Hypertension and in U.S. Amateur Boxing, which trains athletes for the U.S. Olympic team. This interest in becoming involved is nothing new, as Dr. Bell was vice president of LECOM’s chapter of the Christian Medical and Dental Association during his time in Erie. He was invited to join the board of the Wayne County Osteopathic Medical Association several years ago, currently holding the position of president. Dr. Bell now serves on the medical staff at Mercy Memorial Hospital System in Newport, Mich., where he practices primary care internal medicine and bariatric medicine in two separate medical clinics: Newport Internal Medicine and Great Lakes Weight and Wellness, both of which he owns and operates. True to the mindset of osteopathy, Dr. Bell remains physically active, and he boasts many interests, including operating two clinics and volunteering as a ringside physician for underprivileged youth in both southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio. Dr. Bell supports the development of these young men and women who are learning important life lessons as amateur boxers, training for well-known tournaments, such as the Silver and Golden Gloves. As a practicing Christian, he also plays an active role in his local church, where he and his family attend regularly. The Bell family is comprised of his wife, Michelle, and four small boys, ages 8, 5, 3 and 6 months.

LECOM alumni open pharmacy in Erie County Months of ownership and replanning and hard lated topics.” work have finally “We had a paid off for Rebecca lot of strong Wise, Pharm.D., ties through the and Paul BerkeLECOM program bile, Pharm.D., to the healthcare graduates of the community, and LECOM School we want to continof Pharmacy Class ue that,” Dr. Berkeof 2005, who have bile added. He said opened their own their emphasis will business together be on providing — Lakeside Health quality health care.   Mart Pharmacy. Dr. Berkebile They celebrated said they will dewith a grand openvelop relationships ing this year in with patients and Edinboro, Pa. physicians. “My During an open value is not saying, house, Dr. Wise Paul Berkebile, Pharm.D., and Rebecca Wise, Pharm.D., cut a red ribbon to mark the grand opening of the ‘yes that prescripand Dr. Berkebile Lakeside Health Mart Pharmacy in Edinboro, Pa. Looking on in the background is a group of LECOM School tion is ready to proudly cut the go,’” Dr. Berkebile of Pharmacy students and Hershey Bell, M.D., M.S., dean of the LECOM School of Pharmacy, right. ribbon outside the said. “It’s looking pharmacy comat drug interactions, different disease states that mencing a tour of patients have, alerting them to issues and possibly the pharmacy by alerting physicians to issues that I see.” community memWhile many LECOM School of Pharmacy bers and representagraduates work in retail settings, clinical settings tives from the local or hospitals, it is very unique to have two graducommunity who ates go into business on their own. Hershey Bell, had a chance to talk M.D., M.S., dean of the LECOM School of to the new business Pharmacy, said he is grateful that Dr. Wise and owners. Dr. Wise Dr. Berkebile will work with LECOM.  and Dr. Berkebile “They’re obviously very appreciative of the both worked in education that they received, and as educators retail pharmacy setthemselves, they want to become a part of the tings before decideducational mission,” Dr. Bell said. “It’s just a Dr. Wise and Dr. Berkebile, 2005 LECOM School of Pharmacy ing to branch out wonderful opportunity for a new kind of partnergraduates, decided to open their own pharmacy to serve the health on their own.  ship for our school.” LECOM phar- care needs of Edinboro. Lakeside Health Mart Pharmacy is unique macy students also and innovative in several ways. There is a sepatook part in the grand opening festivities by educating customers rate waiting room with a children’s play section, an area to view about adult immunizations, which are offered at the pharmacy, educational videos, and a gift shop offering items from local and poison prevention. LECOM pharmacy students will complete artists and businesses. These amenities are located away from the clinical rotations at the pharmacy under the direction of Dr. Wise pharmacy to insure patients have privacy when picking up their and Dr. Berkebile, who are also adjunct clinical faculty members prescriptions. at LECOM. Pharmacists can talk to customers in a separate, private paAs LECOM graduates, the pharmacists know they are role tient counseling room. The pharmacy uses green products and models for current students. “Hopefully we’re setting the best exadheres to environmentally-friendly practices. Lakeside Health ample,” said Dr. Wise.  Mart Pharmacy offers home delivery anywhere in Erie and She is excited to give back to her alma mater. “We’re going northern Crawford counties. They will also conduct free monthto take on the education of LECOM students,” she said. “We’re ly public health information seminars at the pharmacy. For more also going to give them lectures on management, on business information, contact the pharmacy at (814) 734-8500.


|John M. & Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness & Wellness Center Leadership|

Center’s new director a ‘team player’ as he “Stay hungry. Stay focused. Stay humble.” These words spoken by manager-turned-director Tyler Travis, who was promoted to executive director of the LECOM John M. and Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Center in early March — illuminates one way he believes that you can rate the success of leadership and see how well staff come together as a team. “What I encourage our staff to be — with everything they do, including how they work everyday — is to ‘stay hungry, stay focused and stay humble.’ I think if you have those three qualities with anything you do, you can have a successful team.” As the Center’s former fitness manager, Travis developed this motto as a way to rally his employees to think as a unit — to stay hungry for the job, to stay focused on job-related responsibilities, and to stay humble if recognized. Getting his employees to think on the same page has proven beneficial in establishing a team atmosphere at the Center. “I’m growing and learning a lot as I transition,” said Travis. “The

good news is that we had a pretty good foundation from the start, and we have a great team in place.” As a fitness manager, Travis was bestowed the task of hiring all of the Center’s fitness specialists. The way his team came together under his supervision is one of the reasons Travis believes he was given the opportunity to interview for the director’s position. “I really feel that with any leader, your scorecard is the result of how your team performs,” said Travis. “While a manager sets policies and procedures, and develops systems to make things efficient, a leader knows how to connect with his team and understands that the team needs resources to be successful. My goal is to make sure each employee on our team has the resources and the support he or she needs to be successful.” But as new executive director of the Center, what does Travis have in-store? He plans to lead his team to promote a stronger integration of medicine and fitness, especially when it comes to referrals between the medical offices on the third floor and the Center’s clients. Travis also wants to see the already top-rate customer service continue being offered to clients by making their trips to the Center

Leading by Example: Center’s new members What better way to guide a department of employees than to have been in their shoes before? As the new member services manager at the John M. and Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Center, Rachel Hunter’s experience working at different levels and positions at the Center has paid off. Starting in February 2009, a month prior to the Center officially opening to the public, Hunter was hired with the status of “part-time plus,” meaning she was guaranteed 30 hours in member services, as well as 10 hours of life guarding each week. After five months, Hunter was brought on full time. Only three months later, in November, Hunter was promoted to member services supervisor. Surrounded by a whirlwind of promotions in less than two years, Hunter has now stepped into the position of member services manager. “The environment here is wonderful,” said Hunter, who is grateful to have been given so many opportunities at the Center. “It’s very easy to work in this environment because everyone wants to be here. Being in the health and wellness field, everyone who works here is a positive person; it’s very exciting to work around that.”


Hunter, who radiates with positivity herself, said — when asked what makes a good leader — that she hopes to be a helpful guide, is someone who is always there when her staff needs her, and most importantly, is someone who sets an example. “I think it’s important to lead by example,” said Hunter. “It’s important to stay positive, interact with the members on a daily basis, give them the information they need, be polite and go that extra

Rachel Hunter, who has been stepped up to be member

focuses on staff, members’ experiences “an experience,” rather than “just another trip to the gym.” In addition, Travis also wants to see the Center’s functional movement screen test incorporated into a regular screening available to the Center’s clients. As a test that “grades” a person’s movement pattern, it is currently offered to basketball players on the NBA D-League Erie BayHawks team. By extending this screening to the Center’s clients, it would not only establish a foundation for members to realign their movement patterns, but would also be a holistic approach that would decrease the risk of injury. The center will continue offering its incoming fitness assessment to new members, as well as its more than 100 exercise classes, some of which include aerobics, cycling, yoga and Pilates. The John. M. and Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness center also offers three pools; a gymnasium; modern locker Tyler Travis was promoted to executive director of the John M. & rooms with saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms; and the Healthy Living Café. Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness & Wellness Center in March 2011.

services manager radiates in leadership role

an employee for two years, services manager in January.

me so much education and so many resources on how to be successful,” said Hunter, who added that she will likely look back 20 years from now and remember the impact her former bosses have had in her career. “Looking back on it now, Ken (Pasko) and Mike (Hyek) have given me so many opportunities to grow. For that reason, I think it’s important to give my staff individual projects so that they have that same sense of responsibility and purpose, while building up their own leadership skills, as well.” With quite a bit on her plate, what does Hunter plan to accomplish as member services manager? According to Hunter, not only is she focused on making sure her staff is well equipped to perform their responsibilities, but she hopes to create more programs and to maintain an atmosphere where the Center’s clients are satisfied. She also hopes to continue growing the Center’s corporate business membership base, as well as sustain membership retention, connect with members more efficiently, and to reach out to the community to let them know the John M. and Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Center is committed to the Erie community.

step when helping someone.” Despite being a selfdescribed shy, reserved individual, it is no wonder that someone with as much ambition and work ethic as Hunter has moved up the ladder so quickly. But humbly, she doesn’t give herself all the kudos — she also credits her predecessors with preparing her to take on her current leadership role, as well as previous roles. “They have given


|Student Leadership|

Erie Rx student lobbies for rights

Rebecca Bollinger shares her passion about the pharmacy profession “I live by the motto: ‘I like to make a difference,’” said LECOM Erie pharmacy student Rebecca Bollinger, Class of 2012. Bollinger’s impact has been felt here at LECOM and beyond. She is one of those students who seems to be involved in just about everything and willing to help out whenever need- Pharmacy student Rebecca Bollinger, Class of 2012, speaks to a ed. Through her involve- shopper at the Millcreek Mall in Erie during the 2011 LECOM Wellness ment in the American Fair. Bollinger hopes to spread her passion for the pharmacy profession, Pharmacists Association- as well as bring about change in pharmacy law in Pennsylvania. Academy of Student Bollinger spent this past year as APhAPharmacists (APhA-ASP) and other student ASP president-elect and will be the club’s organizations, Bollinger has fought for the president for the 2011-12 academic year. rights of student pharmacists. She has also Bollinger has increased the number of clubencouraged her peers to get involved in sponsored activities and volunteer opportupharmacy issues and community service. nities, as well as getting more students inIn early April, Bollinger attended the volved with APhA. In addition, she enlisted Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association Leg- a group of 24 students to travel to Virginia islative Day in Harrisburg, Pa. She set up for an APhA mid-year meeting and rallied face-to-face meetings and visited with eight 17 students to participate in the local AphAstate legislators to talk about issues affecting ASP Patient Counseling Competition. Bollinger was also selected to be an edipharmacy students and the profession. One legislative bill in particular has spe- tor for the magazine Student Pharmacist, a cial significance to her. State lawmakers are national publication that presents issues considering legislation that would allow from a student’s point of view. Bollinger recently received word that she pharmacy student interns to administer vacwas named a 2011 American Association cinations under the supervision of a licensed of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Walmart pharmacist. Some of the wording used in Scholar. She received a $1,000 travel scholthe bill is based on a policy proposal written arship to attend the AACP annual meeting by Bollinger, who submitted her proposal in San Antonio, Texas, in July. during the PPA Student Health Policy FoBollinger said her involvement in extrarum last October. curricular activities stems from the fact that According to the Pennsylvania Pharmashe has a lot of ideas and the innate ability cists Association, student pharmacy interns to get things done. “I don’t function well as can give immunizations in 34 states. Bola ‘fly-under-the-radar’ sort of person,” she linger thinks Pennsylvania lags behind those said. “I constantly challenge the status quo, states and thinks the current state law puts especially when I see something that I know Pennsylvania pharmacy students at a disad- could be better,” she said. vantage. As a student leader, Bollinger has trav“It puts us behind everybody else,” Bol- eled to many pharmacy conferences across linger said. “If we want to go to one of the the region, state and country. She has done states where they do let students immunize, an exceptional job representing the LECOM those students now have two or three years School of Pharmacy by proudly explaining of immunizing experience where we have the three-year pharmacy program at the Erie none. It’s not good for public health. It’s not campus and the high caliber of students that good for our professional development.” attend LECOM. 18 | LECOM CONNECTION | SUMMER 2011

First-year SH on nationwide You could say that first-year Seton Hill medical student Manu Varma has a lot on his plate. Attending Problem Based Learning sessions and keeping up with his studies doesn’t leave much free time. But with what little free time he does have, Varma chooses to give back to a cause that’s close to him — kidney disease. Last December, Varma, who is a kidney transplant recipient, was named to the board of the NephCure Foundation. At 29, he’s the youngest member on the board. The NephCure Foundation is a national organization devoted to finding a cure for two specific types of kidney disease: Nephritic Syndrome (NS) and Focal Segmental Glomerularsclerosis (FSGS). These diseases primarily affect children and young adults. Varma has spent more than half his life dealing with kidney disease. He was only 10 when he was diagnosed with renal dysplasia. Throughout his pre-teen and teenage years, Varma lived with the disease and maintained a fairly normal life. Any sense of normalcy changed during his senior year of high school when his condition worsened. Doctors eventually told him he would have to have a kidney transplant. “I didn’t have to have kidney dialysis,” Varma said. “I had kidney failure over several years. It progressively got worse. I received the transplant before I needed dialysis.” Varma, of Upper St. Clair, Pa., received his new kidney when he was an 18-year-old sophomore at the University of Michigan. “I was very lucky,” Varma said. “My dad was my kidney donor.” His father, Rajiv Varma, is a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. “Initially, it was brought up that my parents could be kidney donors. My mom very much wanted to be my donor and pursued the whole evaluation process,” Varma said. “Two days before, she had a final test of her renal arteries and it showed an abnormality in both so they said she couldn’t be my donor. My dad

student serves foundation

Third-year medical student Benjamin Cox, who studies osteopathic medicine at the Bradenton campus, was awarded first place in the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP) Namey/ Burnett Preventive Medicine Writing competition. ACOFP President George T. Sawbini, D.O., FACOFP, presents Cox with his award.

had to do the entire medical evaluation the day before the transplant operation,” he said. Varma believes his unique background helps him as a board member. “It’s an interesting perspective,” Varma said. “I have been a patient, and many of the board members have children who have had kidney transplants.” Varma has been a volunteer for the First-year Seton Hill medical student Manu Varma, right, recently was named to the NephCure Foundation board, which is an organization devoted to finding cures for two specific types of kidney disease. Varma, who is a kidney transplant recipient, is shown with his father, Rajiv Varma, who is his kidney donor.

NephCure Foundation since 2008. He served on the research committee, was a consultant for the foundation’s scientific programs, has written articles and worked on the organization’s website. “Manu knows as much about chronic kidney disease as anyone I’ve ever met,” said Henry Brehm, executive director of the NephCure Foundation. Brehm says Varma brings a variety of talents and perspectives to the board. “He’s been terrific from day one,” Brehm added. The NephCure Foundation raises money to fund research grants, while seeking scientists to study kidney disease. Varma helps review summaries and research proposals that are submitted to NephCure. “What impresses me about Manu is how thorough his thought process is. He researches all possibilities,” said Brehm. “He cares. He’s really got a passion for results.” Varma had his transplant at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. Throughout his pre- and post-operative experience, Varma met many young patients with kidney disease, physicians and families. He said that his experience as a kidney transplant recipient played a major role in his decision to go to medical school. Through his work at the NephCure Foundation, Varma is able to use his experience and talents to help other patients and families coping with kidney disease.

Med student exemplifies a model leader “Great leaders are people who set their own standards of excellence, and therefore, are never in competition with others,” said Benjamin Cox, a third-year medical student at the Bradenton campus. “They are always out to do their personal best, and in the process, help other people along the way.” Cox has served as president of the Student Government Association, while also representing the College at the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) and the American Osteopathic Association House of Delegates. “I have always had a natural inclination toward politics, and leadership development is a personal interest of mine,” said Cox. “Volunteerism is fundamental to the development of the psyche of a physician. The mentors I have had in my life have always emphasized the importance of service.” Cox has served the community well. He volunteers at Shepherd’s Hope Clinic — a free clinic for the medically underserved in Orlando, Fla. He also visited Haiti as part of the “Hope for Haiti” medical mission program. “By definition, a doctor is a leader. Patients look to physicians for guidance,” said Cox. “Whether you currently practice leadership skills or not, ultimately you are going to be someone that people will look up to as a leader — so why not start now?” Cox’s leadership prowess has led him to be honored by the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association (FOMA) and the

American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP). He received a $5,000 scholarship from the Osteopathic and Podiatric Foundation of Florida Hospital East Orlando during FOMA’s 108th annual conference. Cox is completing core clinical rotations at the hospital. The Foundation Award is given to students who attend osteopathic medical schools in Florida in recognition of exemplary academic achievement and leadership. Scholarship candidates must submit two letters of recommendation, transcripts, a personal statement and curriculum vitae. The Florida Hospital East Orlando scholarship committee reviews all applications. Cox was also awarded first prize in the ACOFP’s Namey/Burnett Preventive Medicine Writing competition for his paper titled, “Current Nutritional Considerations for Prevention of Cervical Cancer.” The paper was published in the April edition of The Osteopathic Family Physician journal. The annual competition honors the best preventive medicine papers submitted by osteopathic medical students, interns, residents or fellows. “I feel fortunate to have been honored with several leadership awards. It is nice to have hard work and leadership recognized,” said Cox. “For first- and second-year students who are thinking about assuming leadership roles but are not sure, my advice would be to just go with your instincts.”


|Student Leadership|

Evolving Pharmacist : Bradenton What motivates students to take on high levels of management or administrative responsibilities.” responsibility? Why is there a dearth of leaders in the Students have taken a keen interest in leadership. pharmacy profession? Four of Dr. Wilkinson’s students — Niyati Patel (P4), Julie Wilkinson, Pharm.D., M.S., thought she Michelle Taylor (P4), Stacey Caponi (P2) and Barbara would find out the answers to those questions and Osei-Sraha (P2) — have had leadership-related artimuch more while teaching LECOM’s Leadership in cles published in The Pharmacy Times. Pharmacy class. “The elective enhanced my views on leadership. I The two-credit elective course was developed so realized that every pharmacist is in a leadership posithat students can engage in exploring their own potion,” says Caponi. “No matter if you are a staff phartential for leadership within the pharmacy profession. macist or community pharmacy manager, pharmacists Wilkinson said leadership is a topic that needs to be are in charge of themselves, their technicians, interns addressed in the curriculum for all Pharm.D. candiand the patients. Leadership should begin in phardates. macy school and continue into the practice setting.” Julie Wilkinson, “When we were first starting the Bradenton pharCaponi and Osei-Sraha coauthored a report on the Pharm.D. macy program, local pharmacy leaders talked about a importance of mentoring. lack of interest in leadership among recent pharmacy grads,” said “Our article addressed how we can use mentoring to recruit leadDr. Wilkinson. “Part of the rationale for the course was to link ers in the pharmacy profession,” says Osei-Sraha. “In our course, we leadership responsibility with the quality of patient care. There is learned that there is a shortage of pharmacy leaders, and through a a need for this skill in all pharmacist positions, not just those with mentorship program more leaders can be developed.”

|Community Service|

Pharmacy Legislative Day: LECOM LECOM School of Pharmacy students joined with other student pharmacists from Pennsylvania and Florida to make their voices heard in their state capitals. The Florida Pharmacists Association (FPA) held its Florida Pharmacist Health Fair and Legislative Days from March 15-16 in Tallahassee, Fla. The Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA) Legislative Day was held on April 5, in Harrisburg, Pa. During the events, students spoke with lawmakers about the training student pharmacists engage in, while also emphasizing the changes they are pushing for in current pharmacy laws. “The main purpose of these events is to get pharmacy students and professionals from all over the state together as one voice,” said LECOM Erie student Matt Madurski. “We spoke with lawmakers about different legislation and issues that are currently being discussed in the state legislatures to see if we could influence them.” LECOM Bradenton faculty members Fallon Enfinger, Pharm.D., and Stephanie Peshek, Pharm.D., accompanied 18 students to the Florida event. The group was comprised of fourth-year student Janine Manning; third-year students Kamlesh Christian, Sanjay Kohli, Leah Williams, Pinang Balsara, Rochelle Forsyth, Sara Lammers, Kunal Kunani and Danilo Solis; second-year students Melinda Buchanan, Jessica Mayoz, Jon Francisco, Natalie Johnson, Po-An Lu and Anthony Sanchez; and first-year students Henry Tsang, Tolulope Akinbo and Monica Yu. The students met with their local legislators — Sen. Michael Bennett (Bradenton), Rep. Greg Steube (Bradenton), Rep. Doug Holder (Sarasota) and Rep. Betty Reed (Tampa) — and sat in on an appropriations committee meeting. They also volunteered at a health fair, providing blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol and body composition screenings for the public.


LECOM Pharmacy students from the Erie campus who participated in Legislative Days included, from right: School of Pharmacy Dean Hershey Bell, M.D., M.S.; Rebecca Bollinger; Arthur Malahimov; Kelsey Laks; Denise Traficante; Matt Madurski; Brooke Spino; Amanda Sommer; Erika Gould; Megan Groshner; Arpit Mehta; and Assistant Professor Bojana Stevich, Pharm.D., M.S.

Students were also briefed on current issues facing pharmacists by lobbyists and executives from the FPA and Florida Society of Health System Pharmacists. Currently, some of the hot button issues include proposals to allow pharmacy interns the ability to give immunizations, expanding the number of immunizations pharmacists can give, and supporting the controlled substance database to prevent the abuse of prescription drugs. The FPA has opposed a proposed requirement to have Medicaid prescriptions filled by mail-order, which would eliminate the

Students engage in leadership elective Patel and Taylor’s article focused on leadership being a key ingredient to owning an independent pharmacy. They say that in order to get the most out of a successful pharmacy practice, students will have to rely heavily on their leadership and management skills. By using these resources, students will have the confidence to meet the challenges that come with being an independent pharmacist. Dr. Wilkinson is proud that her students have written papers that are of high quality and relevant for publication. She says that the class is not just about being a supervisor, but making a positive impact in any work setting. “For many years there has been a shortage of pharmacists. People chose high-paying positions without much administrative responsibility,” she says. “Now that the environment is more competitive, it’s important that new pharmacy graduates show a maturity and willingness to take on challenging roles.”

Second-year students Stacey Caponi, left, and Barbara Osei-Sraha coauthored a report on the importance of mentoring in pharmacy.

student pharmacists travel to state capitals relationship that patients have with their community pharmacists. The LECOM Erie contingent that traveled to Harrisburg was made up of second-year students Arpit Mehta, Denise Traficante, Rebecca Bollinger, Erika Gould, Arthur Malahimov, Kelsey Laks, Megan Groshner, Brooke Spino and Amanda Sommer; and first-year student Matt MadurThird-year pharmacy students Kunal Kanani and Kaski. Hershey Bell, mlesh Christian speak to legislators in Tallahassee, M.D., M.S., dean Fla. about keeping their cholesterol in check. of the LECOM School of Pharmacy, and Assistant Professor Bojana Stevich, Pharm.D., M.S., also attended the event. PPA Legislative Day gave students an opportunity to meet with elected officials about issues important to students and the pharmacy

profession. LECOM students set up a booth that explained the amount of training a student must go through before becoming a pharmacist. “Many legislators didn’t realize we get doctorate degrees,” said LECOM student Rebecca Bollinger. “They didn’t know pharmacists can do residencies just like physicians can do.” LECOM students attended face-to-face meetings with Erie-area lawmakers and legislators from their hometowns. “We were able to meet with them one-on-one,” Madurski said. “We had their undivided attention, and they seemed to be genuinely interested in what we were saying.” Students shared news about the LECOM School of Pharmacy with lawmakers and told them how the School has become a model for pharmacy education and professional education. They also encouraged lawmakers to pass legislation that they believe will benefit student pharmacists and the pharmacy profession. The student pharmacists are pushing for three key changes in law. First, they want to prohibit insurance companies from requiring mandatory mail-order medications. Some companies force patients to fill prescriptions by mail instead of giving them the choice to visit a community pharmacy. Secondly, student pharmacists support a bill that would set uniform standard procedures for pharmacy audits. Thirdly, student pharmacists are pushing for the right to administer vaccinations under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist. As it stands now, only practicing pharmacists in Pennsylvania can give immunizations. Thirty-four states allow student interns to provide immunizations. Students also want lawmakers to remove the age restriction, which does not currently allow pharmacists to give vaccines to anyone under the age of 18.


|Community Service|

LECOM sponsors women’s hockey award The top NCAA women hockey players took to the ice in Erie for the Frozen Four Championship, and LECOM was a integral part of the welcome for the players. The college was a major sponsor of the championship and the main sponsor of the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award given to the top player in NCAA Division I Women’s Ice Hockey. When asked by local women’s hockey supporters to sponsor the award, college administrators felt strongly about promoting women’s sports in the community. This also gave the college the opportunity to put LECOM Sports Medicine in the spotlight since our physicians have taken an expanded role in college and professional sports health care in Erie. During introductions at the award ceremony, USA Hockey Foundation President Ron DeGregorio recognized LECOM for sponsoring the 2011 award. DeGregorio recognized LECOM Provost Silvia M. Ferretti, D.O., for her leadership at the nation’s largest medical school. Wisconsin Badger Meghan Dugan won

the Kazmaier Award. The award is given in honor of the late Patty Kazmaier, who was a four-year varsity letter-winner and All-Ivy League defenseman at Princeton University from 1981-86. To win the award, Dugan surpassed Mercyhurst College player Megan Agosta, a star of the 2010 Olympic gold medal winning Canadian team.

USA Hockey Foundation President Ron DeGregorio presents a team jersey to LECOM Provost Silvia Ferretti, D.O. Also pictured are: (L-R) Patrick Leary, D.O., director of the LECOM Sports Medicine program, and USA Hockey Communications Manager Christy Cahill.

Relay raises $5,300 for American Cancer Society In accordance with the College’s enthusiasm for community service, students from the Erie campus recently donated $5,363.45 to the American Cancer Society. They raised the money during LECOM’s annual Relay For Life event held at the John M. and Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Center in February. LECOM students more than doubled the amount they raised in 2010 as more than 150 students from the LECOM College of Medicine, School of Pharmacy and Post Baccalaureate Program participated in the event. They collected money in pledges from family members and friends and through online donations at “It was really wonderful seeing everyone show up and participate,” said outgoing SGA First Vice President Erin Brennan, who was one of the event

organizers. “They were very enthusiastic. The students took time out from their studies to support a great cause.” In fact, some first-year medical students had a test the following Monday and carried study materials with them as they walked around the track. Students presented a check to Kelley Spaeder, community income development specialist of the American Cancer Society. Spaeder, who has worked with LECOM students at Relay For Life events over TOP: LECOM students presented a check for $5,363.45 to the American Cancer the past several years, said Society after raising the money at a Relay For Life event. Pictured are: (L-R) Nikhil she was impressed by the Mohan, SGA president; Craig Van Tassel; outgoing SGA president; Kelley Spaeder, enthusiasm and dedication the American Cancer Society community income development specialist; Erin Brennan, students showed. “This was outgoing SGA first a banner year for them. They vice president; and did a really good job,” she Nilam Patel, SGA said. “They got involved, were first vice president. energized and raised a huge amount of money for us.” LEFT: More than Spaeder said all of the 150 medical, money raised will stay in pharmacy and Post- Erie County. “We think it’s Baccalaureaute great. It’s going to help us Program students with all our patient services, walked in the Relay our education and prevention detection messaging.” For Life event.


Bringing health care to Honduras The villagers came from miles around. They sat in wooden pews amidst the oppressive heat, waiting for a chance to relieve their chronic pain. The venue was a modest church in Tela, Honduras, a small city in the northern part of the country along the Caribbean Sea. While the natives waited, volunteers screened them and asked about their pain. At the end of their wait, several dozen doctors, nurses and volunteers were on-hand, ready to help ease their suffering. LECOM Director of Sports Medicine Patrick Leary, D.O., was one of the physicians who answered the call to help. He and the other medical professionals were there to administer a rejuvenating injection therapy called prolotherapy. Dr. Leary traveled to the Central American country with two LECOM Sports Medicine fellows: Andrew Martin, D.O., LECOM Class of 2007, and Craig Chappell, D.O. They spent nearly two weeks in Honduras in early March as part of a philanthropic mission trip to provide these treatments to the Honduran people. “It’s mostly 30 to 70, 80- and 90-year-olds that have worked with machetes in the fields and have wrist problems and back problems,” said Dr. Leary. “It’s a very poor country. Rheumatoid arthritis runs rampant down there. Most of these folks just have over-use injuries or are people who have been in automobile accidents that really don’t have any health care.” Prolotherapy is a process that involves injecting the area where the ligament enters the bone with a dextrose-based solution. Dr. Leary said these are very vulnerable areas. He said prolotherapy treatments will cause damaged tissue to become inflamed; the inflammation then stimulates healing. “I think the body’s natural ability to heal itself is to inflame,” Dr. Leary said. “When the first thing we try to do is to take Advil or Ibuprofen to eliminate the inflammation; I think we short-circuit the body’s ability to heal itself.” Prolotherapy is a non-surgical method used to treat chronic neck, back or joint pain. Doctors will give a patient multiple injections in a certain part of the body to ease pain in that specific area. Dr. Leary said the concept of prolotherapy is to get the body to respond naturally within its own immune system. This is the third time that Dr. Leary has traveled to Honduras with the Hackett Hemwall Foundation. The organization, based in Madison, Wis., specifically promotes prolotherapy. Two other groups of 30 people, also affiliated with the Hackett Hemwall Foundation, worked in two other cities in Honduras.

The clinics were open to anyone in the village, with the native people paying a modest fee to receive treatment. Physicians were assisted by translators who helped the villagers communicate. Some of the patients would receive 40 or 50 small injections with a two-inch long needle. It may sound like a painful procedure, but Dr. Leary says the reward is relief from chronic pain. “They’re very thankful,” he said. “They come back; they come back in droves. They come back the next year and say ‘oh yeah, I had this done last year and it felt so good,’ and ‘I feel so much better.’” Dr. Leary estimates that he treated roughly 150 people during the two-week visit. He said the experience is not only rewarding for him, but also his fellows who were able to learn about prolotherapy and interact with physicians from all over the world. “It’s a skill set that they can leave here with; their ‘bags of medical tools’ are much broader and bigger now,” Dr. Leary said. “Wherever they go, they’re going to know that there is an appropriate time and place for prolotherapy.” He said trips like this one also help LECOM attract high quality physicians for sports medicine fellowships. “We can advertise that part of our teaching curriculum is prolotherapy,” Dr. Leary said. “By the time our fellows go down there, between Dr. Greg Coppola and myself, they have quite an experience with prolotherapy and injection therapy in general.” Dr. Leary said the fellows also participated in daily medical lectures and learned from experts from all over the world. In addition to Honduras, Dr. Leary has traveled to Chile and Santiago to treat athletes during weight lifting competitions. He has also visited numerous locations across the United States and Canada for various sporting events, athletic competitions and workshops.


LECOM physicians of sports medicine, Andrew Martin, D.O., left, and Patrick Leary, D.O., director of sports medicine, visit with Brian McDonagh, M.D., a surgeon from Chicago, Ill., during their two-week stay in Honduras.

White Coat 799 LECOM students receive white coats With the commencement of each New Year comes the hope for a fresh start, and a desire for a new beginning. For first-year medical and pharmacy students at LECOM, the New Year has an additional meaning. As a symbol of trust between the physician/pharmacist and the patient; a symbol of compassion; and a symbol of the purity of the healthcare professional’s purpose, the White Coat Ceremony signifies the first celebrated milestone in a LECOM student’s career. LECOM celebrated White Coat Ceremonies on three separate days — Jan. 22, 2011, in Bradenton, Fla.; on Jan. 29, in Erie, Pa.; and on Feb. 12, in Greensburg, Pa. — with a total of 542 medical students and 257 pharmacy students receiving their white coats. Not only are these annual ceremonies special to the first-year students because they receive their first professional coats, but the ceremonies also offer the opportunity for first-years to get motivated as alumni step up to the stage to share their experiences and inspirational messages. In Bradenton, 1999 LECOM graduate Trent A. Mascola, D.O., clinical director of Aston Gardens Assisted Living Facility, spoke about hope as he addressed medical students; and Laurence Namdar, Pharm.D., Class of 2010, a community pharmacist for CVS Caremark Pharmacy, noted the key role pharmacists play in caring for patients. As for keynote speakers in Erie, Paula Miaczynski, D.O., 1997 LECOM graduate, spoke to the medical students, while Jeffrey Nowak, Pharm.D., Class of 2005, spoke to pharmacy students about the importance of upholding values, ethics and trust. In Greensburg, medical students were welcomed by 2006 LECOM graduate Garrett Clark, D.O., who currently is a Medical Associates of Erie physician. Dr. Clark told students the desire to care for and serve mankind is the “highest calling.” Both campuses in Erie and Greensburg were also greeted by Alice J. Zal, D.O., president of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA), who formally greeted students and told them that they will be valuable assets throughout their medical careers. POMA donated both the white coats and stethoscopes to medical students.


LECOM Erie Class of 2013 pharmacy student Carrie Nolan requests a photo with School of Pharmacy Dean Hershey Bell, M.D.

Ceremonies Medical students from the Class of 2014 in Erie, Pa., received their white coats and stethoscopes, which were donated graciously by the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medicine Association (POMA) on Jan. 29, 2011, at the Warner Theater.

Find m ore W @ face hite Coat pho book.c om/1LE tos on COM.

LECOM Erie medical students (L-R) Kiran Bojedla, Robert Borowski, Kelli Bowser and Sarah Boyce receive their white coats on stage.


White Coat Ceremonies

At LECOM’s campus in Greensburg, Pa., 108 medical students received their white coats on Feb. 12, 2011, at the Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center. White

coats and stethoscopes, which were received during a previous ceremony, were donated by the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association. Guest speakers


CLOCKWISE, TOP LEFT: Medical student Joey Leary, center, Class of 2014, gets a photo with his parents, Patrick Leary, D.O., LECOM director of sports medicine, and Linda Leary. TOP: Trent Mascola, D.O., LECOM Class of 1999, right, gave the keynote speech at the 2011 White Coat Ceremony held in Bradenton, Fla. Pictured with Dr. Mascola are: (L-R) William Silverman, D.O.; FOMA President Linda Delo, D.O.; AOA President Karen Nichols, D.O.; Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Robert George, D.O.; Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs Silvia Ferretti, D.O. BOTTOM LEFT: School of Pharmacy Class of 2014 students Phuong Nguyen, left, and Marialis Kirk shine with LECOM pride.


LECOM Seton Hill First-year Seton Hill students: (L-R) Daniel Bender, Kinsey Bernhard and Arvind Bhasker excitedly receive their white coats.

First-year LECOM Seton Hill medical student Garrett Britton takes a moment to pose with his proud mother, Bonnie.

included: Alice J. Zal, D.O., president of POMA; and Garrett Clark, D.O., Class of 2006, a Medical Associates of Erie physician.

LECOM ERIE BELOW: Primary Care Scholar Pathway students pose with Professor of Family Medicine Richard Ortoski, D.O. Pictured are: (front, L-R) Nicole Daignault, Lindsey Mellot, Kevin Kwolek, Amie Coffman and Candace Okupski; (back) Holly Barth, Andrew Slane, Richard Curren, Dr. Ortoski, Michael Luca, Edward Ellis, Allan Zhang and Travis Ewing. RIGHT: Paula Miaczynski, D.O., LECOM Class of 1997, served as keynote speaker for the LECOM Medical School White Coat Ceremony. Pictured with Dr. Miaczynski are: (L-R) Alice J. Zal, D.O., POMA president; Silvia M. Ferretti, D.O., LECOM provost and senior vice president; and John M. Ferretti, D.O., LECOM president and C.E.O.



LECOM’s Rho Chi chapter inducted new members at Erie’s Bayfront Convention Center on Feb. 19, 2011. The new members include: (Front row, L-R): Agata Boggs, Kelly Shaw, Jennifer Shaffer, Ling Ivy Chen, Christopher Cotton, Kaitlyn Fagan, Jessica Ledwich, Donna Mott, Kim Thuc Pham, Karey Tyler, and Raey Taye. (Back row, L-R): Harry Aldrich, Milos Blagojevic, Zachary Bouchat-Friedman, Megan Cody, Ashley Dawson, Matthew Flint, Hsin Li, Joshua Miller, Brandon Wilds, Riley Williams II, and Hershey Bell, M.D., M.S., dean of the LECOM School of Pharmacy. Not pictured from the Class of 2011: Skyler DeBlasio, Rachel McCoy, Chi Le, and Katie Krise; Class of 2012: Charles Clendenin and Roy Fornwalt II.

Society inducts 27 LECOM students, S.O.P. Dean The Gamma Tau Chapter of the Rho Chi Society inducted 27 students from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine School of Pharmacy into its membership during a ceremony on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pa. LECOM School of Pharmacy Dean Hershey Bell, M.D., M.S., was also initiated into the honor society. Andrew Grimone, Pharm.D., clinical pharmacy manager at Saint Vincent Health System in Erie, gave the keynote address. He inspired the new inductees to become leaders in the pharmacy profession. Dr. Grimone, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy, told the student pharmacists that their patients will come to them for trust and guidance. “For many years the pharmacy profession has been recognized as one of the most trusted professions,” Dr. Grimone said. “People look to us because we give them advice. I think it’s important to entrust that message of honesty and integrity upon all of the students that will go out

Hsin Li, left, incoming Rho Chi president, presented a gift basket to Andrew Grimone, Pharm.D., for giving the keynote speech at LECOM’s Rho Chi ceremony.

and practice pharmacy.” Hsin Li, one of the inductees and incoming Rho Chi president, said becoming a member of Rho Chi was one of the goals he set for himself when he came to pharmacy school. “I wanted to excel academically,” Li said. “I wanted to really push myself. I’m glad that I accomplished that.” Rho Chi recognizes individual aca-


demic achievement and encourages high standards of leadership, professionalism, conduct and character in all of its members. Dr. Grimone said the inductees should be proud of their accomplishments. “These students are the ones that have proven by their academics and other requirements that they are truly the elite and at the top of their class,” said Dr. Grimone.

|Clinical Care|

U.S. News & World Report ranks LECOM in top 3 of best medical schools for primary care Primary care ranking Osteopathic medical colleges with the highest numbers of graduates who pursue primary care residencies in the U.S.

#1 79.4%

#2 73.8%

LECOM ranks No. 63 among all medical schools The Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine made a considerable jump in the ranks of the U.S. News & World Report Best Medical Schools issue. The college moved from No. 100 to No. 63 among the leading primary care medical schools. In terms of the percentage of graduates who go on to primary care residency programs, LECOM ranks third in the nation with 67.4%. Only the Michigan State College of Osteopathic Medicine and West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine have a higher percentage. LECOM, with a larger graduating class, continues to produce more primary care physicians than any other medical college. Between its campuses, LECOM attracts the highest

number of applications to osteopathic medical schools; and this year, LECOM’s application rate grew at the highest rate (24%) among osteopathic medical colleges. Nearly 10,000 applicants apply to LECOM’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medical degree programs at campuses in Erie, Pa., Greensburg, Pa., and Bradenton, Fla. The College accepts 504 students per class. Innovative, student-centered pathways and affordable tuition attract these large numbers of applicants. LECOM student success rates for passing the COMLEX licensing exams are among the nation’s highest. The College also offers two, three-year pathways to earning the doctor of osteopathic medicine degree in primary care.

Largest U.S. Medical Schools: LECOM — 1,862 University of Illinois — 1,395 Indiana University, Indianapolis — 1,288 Wayne State — 1,262 Drexel — 1,082 Michigan State — 1,068




|Clinical Care|

2011 Primary Care Conference — Peek ‘n Peak This year’s Primary Care Conference went off without a hitch, with approximately 170 physicians attending this three-day CME event. This year, guest speakers touched on topics, such as: sports medicine, geriatrics, weight management, infections and depression. Physicians were also offered opportunities to meet with various pharmaceutical and healthcare representatives throughout the conference. Physicians whose families attended were treated to a family night with prizes, a silent auction and magical entertainment. LECOM’s Primary Care Conference does not only offer 20 CME credits for physicians, it offers a place for LECOM graduates to reconnect and network.

ABOVE: Anthony Ferretti, D.O., (left) and Gregory Coppola, D.O., discussed sports medicine. TOP RIGHT: The Esther J. Fucci Art Auction, which featured pieces like these, raised $26,190 for the LECOM Student Scholarship Fund. BOTTOM RIGHT: Richard Ortoski, D.O., LECOM professor of family medicine, brought a few of his Primary Care Scholar Pathway students to the conference.

3rd annual Pharmacology CME Seminar LECOM hosts an annual pharmacology seminar in Erie for physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who need CME credits. This year, physicians and specialists spoke on a range of topics, some of which included: HIV, dermatology, oncology, cancer, STDs and women’s health.

RIGHT: Mark Kauffman, D.O., director of the Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway and clinical associate professor of family medicine, lectured on cancer screenings of the colon. BOTTOM LEFT: More than 25 healthcare professionals attended the day-long seminar, earning 8 CME credits. TOP LEFT: Sharon Thompson, Ph.D., professor of nursing at Gannon University, lays out the CME certificates for participants.


|Clinical Care|

Colby Foundation’s message to students: This is the message that resonated through the lecture halls of each of LECOM’s three campuses as Starla Cassani made an impassioned plea to LECOM medical students about the importance of organ donation. Starla and John Cassani, D.O., experienced unimaginable grief when their 14-month-old son, Colby, died tragically in 1993. They turned their grief into hope when they made the decision to donate his organs. In 1995, Starla and John founded the Colby Foundation in their son’s memory. The foundation raises awareness about the importance of organ and tissue donation. They are now visiting medical schools like LECOM to share their story with future physicians. The Cassanis spoke to LECOM medical students in Bradenton on February 9; Erie on March 17; and Seton Hill on March 18. In 2008, LECOM received a $12,000 endowment for the Colby Foundation to fund a lecture series that educates medical students about organ and tissue donation. Each LECOM campus will receive $4,000 annually. LECOM is one of six osteopathic medical schools chosen for the Colby Cassani Endowed Lecture series. The Cassanis hope their visits will make a powerful impact on students before they become physicians. “It is our hope that you will talk to your patients prior to a crisis about organ and tissue donation,” Starla Cassani said. Edward Faber, D.O., LECOM Class of 2003, also spoke to LECOM students. Dr. Faber performs bone marrow transplants for cancer patients at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., where he also serves as an assistant professor of oncology and hematology. “The students will be involved with transplant patients at some point in their medical careers,” Dr. Faber said. “A lot of times when I see patients for an initial evaluation, they will go back and schedule an appointment with their primary care doctor and ask them for their opinion.” Dr. Faber said he always calls a patient’s family physician and their oncologist when considering

John Cassani, D.O. and Starla Cassani, present a check from the Colby Foundation to Robert George, D.O., LECOM associate dean of academic affairs in Bradenton, Fla.

bone marrow transplants, which involves infusing stem cells into bone marrow. Starla Cassani’s emotional story of Colby’s death brought some students to tears. She said Colby was left alone in a bathtub by a babysitter and slid under the water. The tragedy occurred while the Cassanis were vacationing in the Caribbean. They rushed home to Reno, Nev., where they were able to spend a few days with Colby in a pediatric intensive care unit before he died. The couple decided to donate Colby’s organs after a physician asked them if they would consider such a difficult request. Starla Cassani said the physician who approached them about donating Colby’s organs was courageous, since organ donation wasn’t as common in 1993 as it is today. Many healthcare providers didn’t know how to bring up the delicate subject. Today, most states have designated requestors who are trained to talk to families about organ donation during a crisis, she said. “In the midst of my worst nightmare, I was given some hope,” Starla Cassani told the students. “I was given a little bit

of control.” The decision to donate Colby’s organs gave the Cassanis some comfort in their time of grief. “Colby was a hero. He got to save three people’s lives.” Colby’s liver went to a two-year-old girl in Sacramento, Calif., his kidneys were donated to a 27-year-old man from Pittsburgh, Pa., and his heart was transplanted into a five-month old boy named Brayden from Grand Junction, Colo. The Cassanis first met Brayden when he was 3 years old. Starla Cassani recalled how Brayden gave her a precious gift during that visit. “He asked me to listen to his heart,” she said. “What can you say after hearing that? It was a truly profound moment.” The Cassanis have visited with Brayden and his family on many occasions since then. LECOM students were touched by the Cassanis’ story and said it personalized the topic of organ donation. “As soon as she started speaking, the entire lecture hall went silent. We were just drawn to her story,” said second-year student Tracy Espiritu. “She gave us another viewpoint for us to understand what our patients and their families may be going through.”


|Clinical Care|

Erie pharmacy students take 1st in state event

A team of second-year Erie School of Pharmacy students took home top honors at the Fifth Annual Pennsylvania Student Pharmacists Self-Care Championship sponsored by the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association (PPA). All seven pharmacy schools in Pennsylvania competed at the PPA’s Mid-Year Conference in Harrisburg, Pa. LECOM’s winning team was made up of Kim Thuc Pham, Kevin Long and Riley Williams. Winning the competition was a major accomplishment for the LECOM students. It was the first time LECOM has ever won the Self-Care Championship. The students had to showcase their knowledge of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and home remedies to win the competition. During the fast-paced “Jeopardy”-style competition, points were awarded for correct answers and deducted for incorrect responses. The trio from LECOM was trailing until the final round of competition. Pham, Long and Williams brought home a trophy and each received a $50 prize for their efforts. “The design of this competition, requiring quick recall of product information, demonstrates the dedication of these students to master OTC product information,” said Mary Ray, Pharm.D., LECOM’s director of experiential education and assistant professor of pharmacy. “This is particularly impressive given the fact that it has been nearly a year since they have had coursework specific to OTC products.” Dr. Ray said a solid knowledge of OTC medications will allow students to properly advise patients during their future careers. In addition to Dr. Ray, LECOM assistant pharmacy professors Justin Scholl, Pharm.D., and Maryann Scholl, Pharm.D., attended the competition and cheered the team on to victory. Hershey Bell, M.D., M.S., LECOM School of Pharmacy dean; assistant pharmacy professors Elliott Cook, Pharm.D., and Randy Heemer, Pharm.D., and Millcreek Community Hospital resident Abbey Power, Pharm.D., helped the LECOM team prepare.

LEFT: LECOM School of Pharmacy students (L-R): Riley Williams, Kevin Long and Kim Thuc Pham, all Class of 2012, proudly accept their trophy after winning the 5th Annual Pennsylvania Student Pharmacists Self-Care Championship in Harrisburg, Pa.

Students test their pharmacy knowledge in Seattle Two LECOM School of Pharmacy students participated in the National Patient Counseling Competition in March. The competition was held during the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists (APhA-ASP) national meeting in Seattle, Wash. Vanessa Ray, Class of 2013, LECOM Erie, and Shilo Bremser, Class of 2012, LECOM Bradenton, earned spots in the national event by winning local competitions held in Erie and Bradenton. The student pharmacists also won all-expense paid trips to Seattle. Ray and Bremser competed against 120 pharmacy students from around the country. Bremser said participating in the patient counseling competition taught her how to communicate with patients more effectively. “I learned to counsel patients in a limited amount of time by presenting the most important information to them about their medication in a way that they could understand,” she said. Bremser added the lessons she learned in preparing for the competition will help make her a better pharmacist. Ray said she had a wonderful time in Seattle and was able to visit several attractions including the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and Safeco Field — home of the Seattle Mariners. She also spoke to many pharmacists and industry professionals during the annual meeting, saying that it was a good networking opportunity. As for the competition itself, Ray said, “Although I didn’t win, I feel like it was a great experience and opportunity for me.” The goal of the APhA-ASP National Patient Counseling Competition is to encourage student pharmacists in their efforts to become better patient educators. The competition reflects changes that are taking place in the pharmacy profession. It also promotes the professional development of student pharmacists and reinforces the role that pharmacists have as health care providers and educators. 32 | LECOM CONNECTION | SUMMER 2011

|Clinical Care|

Promoting primary care with olympic games Eight teams of LECOM Erie medical students and residents competed in the 2011 Primary Care Olympics, which were held in March. The teams tested their physical skills in six areas: basketball free throw, cycling, golf, abdominal crunches, running and swimming. Organized by Primary Care Department Director Richard Ortoski, D.O., the olympics promote wellness and student interest in primary care practice. Ninety students and physicians from the MCH residency programs participated at the LECOM John M. & Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Grouped in teams, students supported their teammates from the sidelines as they race head-to-head in the swimming Center. competition of the Primary Care Olympics. LEFT: Mark Kauffman, D.O., clinical associate professor of family medicine, joins in the cycling competition. RIGHT: Erin Brennan, OMS2, stretches with the other teams before the olympics begin.

First — Gold

Second — Silver

Gold Medal winners from the Class of 2013 are: (L-R) Sean McLean, Rhett Ketschke, Ben Biswell, Adam Biedney, Craig Van Tassel, Tyler Smith, James Franz, Matt Szymaszek, Zach Kuptcha and Ben Grandy.

Silver medalists from the Class of 2014 are: (L-R) Ken Heidle, Garrett Caldwell, Jerome Barron, John Baker, Diane Szarflarski, Erica Scheiffen, Tony Cleland, Ray Melder and Shamus Reimold.

Third —Bronze

Bronze medalists from the MCH Orthopedics Residency are: (L-R) Warren Kiegen, Brian Jarris, Dan Lucas, Dan Cowley, Hans Joseph, Mike Corum, Tim Violente, Joe DeWitt and Nick Violente. Not shown is Dr. Anthony Ferretti.



Erie Pharmacy students unveil When does a pharmacy student become a radio DJ? When hosting an internet radio show to drive new business to their pharmacy. That was one of the creative ideas LECOM students came up with as a way to make an independent pharmacy stand out from the crowd. The project was one of the business models unveiled during a poster presentation event at the Erie campus. Students from the LECOM School of Pharmacy Class of 2012 showcased their business skills and ideas in the atrium. Second-year students in the Pharmacy Practice Management class worked together to create mock business plans as part of a class project. Arpit Mehta’s group formulated a business plan for an independent pharmacy that uses an internet radio show to reach new customers and bring in new business. Mehta said the idea is to launch a radio show where customers could call in and talk to pharmacists about their medications and other health-related concerns. In order to complete the project, Mehta’s group talked to five independent pharmacies in Erie, Pa., and several local radio stations. “It was a great experience, because we now have an idea of what it takes to open a new pharmacy and to encourage new customers to come to the pharmacy,” Mehta said. They learned that it can be challenging for independent pharmacists to compete with the larger chains, so they have to offer extra, valuable services in order to attract loyal customers. Eighteen groups explored a wide range of pharmacy business models; topics included: opening an independent pharmacy; community service projects; and using new media to market and promote their pharmacy businesses and services. The assignment required students to think outside of their comfort zones and work as a team to develop realistic business plans Associate Professor Kim Burns, R.Ph., J.D., the course coordinator, said the poster presentations were the third and final step in a threepart project. Students had to submit a written business plan, pitch

a presentation to a panel of faculty members and fashion posters illustrating their ideas. “This is an active learning experience for the students,” said Dr. Burns. “After graduation, some of them might be pharmacy owners or may have to incorporate some business aspects into their practice; the pharmacist’s role is not just a clinical one.”

The Community Generation RX founder honored School of Pharmacy students in Bradenton recognized Dr. Kenneth Hale, of Ohio State University and founder of Generation Rx. The goal of the Generation Rx Initiative is to enhance the public’s understanding of medication safety issues, in general, and those relating to prescription drug abuse. LECOM pharmacy students have presented the Generation Rx initiative to high schools in Manatee County. Pictured are: (L-R) Shinelle Pierre, P2, Rebecca Nelson, P3, Dr. Kenneth Hale and Jaclyn DeCrosta, P3.


Stay Tuned:

Business Plans

TOP: Hershey Bell, M.D., School of Pharmacy dean, talks to second-year pharmacy student Milanka Petrovic about her poster presentation. BOTTOM: LECOM pharmacy students from the Class of 2012 presented their business plans to faculty members and fellow students at a recent poster presentation event.

LECOM Research Yearbook

In fact, two LECOM School of Pharmacy alumni from the Class of 2005 recently opened an independent pharmacy in Edinboro, Pa. Rebecca Wise, Pharm.D., and Paul Berkebile, Pharm.D., are the owners of Lakeside Health Mart Pharmacy. Milanka Petrovic led a group that created a business plan called “Smart Start.” They created a mock, non-profit program that teaches antibiotic resistance education to second graders in Erie County. They made coloring books for students and pamphlets for parents, and they came up with a plan to involve chain pharmacies in the educational outreach. “It helped us work together,” said Petrovic. “We all had to make certain compromises and sacrifices with each other to complete the project successfully,” Petrovic said. First-year pharmacy students were required to attend the poster presentation and had a chance to ask project leaders questions. It gave the first-year students some good ideas for next year when they will have to come up with their own pharmacy business projects.

coming soon!

Faculty and staff are currently collaborating to edit the 2011 LECOM Research Collective Yearbook. The Research Yearbook, which is published every two years, features updates from more than a dozen LECOM faculty members who direct or assist privately-sponsored laboratories with the help of LECOM students. The research found in this publication highlights 15 topics, some of which include: disease states, infections, body functions, parasites, cellular studies, studies of the brain, public health and drug studies. The Research Yearbook documents LECOM’s continual effort to enhance osteopathic medicine and medical research, as well as fulfill LECOM’s own mission to enhance the quality of life.

is our Campus LECOM steps up to the plate In Bradenton, Megan Sterling, OMS1, and Jonathan Gumer, OMS1, let the public know about LECOM during Pirate Fest, an annual street fair held outside of McKechnie Field, the spring training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.


The Community LECOM presents donation to underwrite cost of pharmacy education services Erie Community Health Net (CHN) celebrated the grand opening of its new pharmacy at the Daniel S. Snow, M.D., Health Center, 1202 State St., in Erie, Pa. The addition of the pharmacy offers the Erie Community a complete circle of care, including the already established medical, dental, oral surgery, behavioral health counseling, HIV/AIDS medical services, “Health Care for the Homeless” program and vision service. LECOM President and CEO John M. Ferretti, D.O., presents a check to CHN CEO John Schultz and pharmacist Jeff Nowak, Pharm.D., LECOM Class of 2005. The pharmacy’s hours are: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Remembering ‘World AIDS Day’ LECOM observed World AIDS Day with ceremonies and displays at each of its campuses. Students, faculty and staff at each site were encouraged to wear red, with nearly 150 participants between the Erie and Bradenton campuses. TOP: The Christian Medical Club in Seton Hill observed World Aids Day with a poster presentation. Pictured are: (L-R) club advisor Karen Benedum, M.D., project organizer Maryann Salib, and club President Hope Kummant. LEFT: Students in Bradenton lined up to form a large red ribbon.


is our Campus LECOM sees BayHawks as part of the family As a sponsor of the Erie BayHawks D-League NBA team, LECOM wants the team to feel like part of the family. TOP: The Erie BayHawks enjoyed an early Christmas dinner at the LECOM John M. & Silvia Ferretti Medical Fitness and Wellness Center since the team was on the road in Iowa on Christmas Day. The BayHawks received small gifts from LECOM’s own Mrs. Claus (played by Executive Assistant to the President, Helen McKenzie) and Dr. Silvia Ferretti. BOTTOM: BayHawks players took a tour of the College in March, including making a stop in the OMM lab where Patrick Leary, D.O., clinical professor of family medicine, talked to the team about osteopathic medicine in relation to sports medicine. LECOM also treated them to a pizza party.

Club shows off green thumb Members of LECOM’s Integrative Medicine Club in Bradenton assisted fourth- and fifth-grade students at the Center for Education Montessori School to plant a garden. LECOM is partnering with the Center on its Edible Schoolyard Program. Students who participated include: (LR) Jason Meeks, OMS1; Logan Dellinger, OMS1; Center for Education volunteer Patricia McKeithan; Stefanie Johnson, OMS2; and Dennis Gilroy, OMS1. Center for Education Montessori students, pictured in the front row, are: Anna Fleece, Samantha Scholl, Erik Polin and Nathan Fleece.


The Community Congressman visits Community Pharmacy Congressman Vern Buchanan (center) toured the Community Pharmacy of Sarasota recently, meeting with Kimberly Chmielewski, executive director of Community Pharmacy of Sarasota, and Hershey S. Bell, M.D., dean of the LECOM School of Pharmacy. Located in Nokomis, Fla., the Community Pharmacy of Sarasota County is dedicated to providing completely free medication and professional pharmaceutical care to the uninsured and working poor. Pictured are: (L-R) Dr. Bell; Kimberly Chmielewski; Heather Trinkala, P4; Congressman Buchanan; Jason Besser, P4; LECOM Associate Dean for Curriculum Julie Wilkinson, Pharm.D.; and LECOM faculty member Katherine Tromp, Pharm.D.

Bradenton club lends a hand Stephanie Patrick, P2, left, and Doan Nguyen, P3, separate canned food items at the Meals on Wheels Food Bank of Manatee County, which provides stock food items to more than 20 nonprofit organizations that distribute food to needy individuals and families in the community. Other members of LECOM’s Kappa Epsilon Pharmacy fraternity also volunteered their services at the food bank by boxing up food staples.


is our Campus

Pride on display Second-year medical students from Seton Hill decided that they wanted to collectively display their patriotism for the nation by dressing in full-military attire for their final mock board exam. Pictured are: (L-R) Hy Pham, Derek Larson, Alexander Kirkpatrick, Jessica Warneke and Sally Corey.

‘D.O. on the Hill’ Day LECOM Erie and Seton Hill students participated in “D.O. Day on the Hill,” which took place at the Hart Senate office building in Washington, D.C., on April 7, 2011. The students who attended, included: (L-R) Rebecca Mokhiber, OMS1; Christina Giblin, OMS1; and Tyler Bates, OMS1; were photographed in front of Senator Barbara Mikulski’s office. As natives of Maryland, Mokhiber, Giblin and Bates participated in this event, which allows for medical students and practicing D.O.’s to visit with their state representatives in Congress and discuss with them the ideals and principles supported by osteopathic medicine.


The Community

LECOM Wellness Fair a success! More than 70 LECOM medical and pharmacy students and LECOM residents in Erie came together for a one-day Wellness Fair at the Millcreek Mall in Erie, where student displays and demonstrations could reach multitudes of the Erie community. Tables were


lined up in two of the mall’s concourses, displaying information on disease states, heart health, cholesterol prevention, women’s health, prescription medication questions, nutrition, immunizations, skin diseases and blood pressure screenings. BOTTOM ROW, LEFT:

Pictured are: (L-R) second-year pharmacy students Brenda Cheung, Rong (Cecilia) Li, Modanoon Young and Thuy Tram Nguyen. CENTER: Firstyear medical student Tracy Espiritu mans the OMM table with Scott Morris, who works on School of

is our Campus

LECOM medical and pharmacy students in Bradenton participated in ‘Healthy Kids Day’ at the YMCA. Healthy Kids Day encourages families to ‘Put Play in Their Day’ during a free, fun-filled day that includes interactive games, engaging and creative family activities, and health giveaways to encourage children and families to adopt behaviors that support a healthier lifestyle. First-year medical students Paul Sojo, Samantha Mousset, Christopher Ng, Alan Mashraghi and Ryan Tucker were on hand to represent LECOM during this YMCA event. Pharmacy Dean Hershey Bell, M.D. RIGHT: Firstyear pharmacy students (L-R) Kelcey Noble, Sarah Swanson and Carrie Nolan helped at the Pediatric Club’s Kid’s Korner, where children were invited to participate in educational activities.

Alicia Barnes, OMS1, takes a blood pressure screening at the Gulf Coast Senior Expo in Sarasota, Fla.


|LECOM Updates|

MCH unveils new medical library in Erie. LECOM students “I was looking for and Millcreek Comsomething like this to munity Hospital resihonor my parents, and dents have a new place Millcreek Community to study. The Wallace Hospital has been so and Charlotte Steehler kind,” Dr. Steehler conMemorial Library tinued. “It’s just really opened in early March an honor that they are on the second floor of allowing me to do this.” the hospital. After seeing the final The new library product, Dr. Steehler was named in honor of the late Dr. Wallace LEFT: Millcreek Community Hospital President and CEO Mary Eckert, left, and Deborah Lee-Sanko, was impressed with the and Charlotte Steehler executive director of LECOMT, right, thank Kirk Steehler, D.O., who gave a $40,000 donation toward results. “It’s a stunning thanks to a $40,000 remodeling the MCH library in honor of his parents. RIGHT: The old library was 700 square feet, while improvement for the lidonation from Kirk the new library is 2,500 square feet — more than triple the size. The new library was designed by Silvia brary and a wonderful Ferretti, D.O., LECOM provost, senior vice president and dean of academic affairs. It contains 800 addition to the hospital.” Steehler, D.O. “It has enhanced “I’m grateful to Dr. books, 65 journal subscriptions, 250 audiovisual offerings and 12 computers. services for the students Steehler in stepping forward and naming the library in honor of his parents,” said Mary with regard to additional computers and much better space,” said EckEckert, Millcreek Community Hospital president and CEO. Dr. Wal- ert. “The old library was rather cramped in a corridor right off the main lace Steehler was one of the founders of the former Doctor’s Osteopathic hospital hallway.” The library is one of the many renovations completed on the second Hospital in Erie, but also worked at Millcreek Community Hospital. “I felt that my dad and my mom had given so much to the commu- floor, which is devoted to medical education. The improvements on the nity, and I felt that it was important for them to be recognized in some second floor also include new conference rooms, meeting rooms and way,” said Dr. Steehler, who is currently an ear, nose and throat specialist medical education offices.

LECOM’s Coffee Culture opens in Erie, Pa. Erie’s newest coffee house has opened on Peach Street and the café is already busy with customers eager to try out the tasty menu. LECOM opened the Coffee Culture Café and Eatery on Peach Street at 7 a.m. Monday, July 25. Right after the doors opened, patrons were lining up to try the coffee, baked goods and breakfast sandwiches made fresh in the café kitchen. The restaurant offers comfortable seating in a warm, inviting atmosphere, where customers can spend time meeting friends or coworkers, surfing the web, reading or just relaxing with some friends. Coffee Culture is designed like a “European Café” with granite table and counter tops. The upscale interior makes the restaurant unique. There is a “soft seating” section with leather chairs, a fire place and a flat screen TV. The menu includes specialty coffees, a variety of soups, salads, specialty panini sandwiches, pizza and wraps. Customers can also enjoy their beverages and meals outside on a covered patio. Coffee Culture bakes fresh daily on premise offering muffins, pastries, scones, croissants, cookies and serving upscale gourmet cakes and apple tarts. LECOM has hired veteran restaurant manager Neil DiSanti, who will direct the daily operations of the facility and employ up to 30 people. The College remodeled the student center at 5761 Peach Street to accommodate the 65 seat restaurant which is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to Midnight on Friday and Saturday. While the restaurant is open to the public, students will continue to have secure access to the south side of the building. The renovations allow the students to take advantage of the private space to study, hold club and student government meetings and social activities. 42 | LECOM CONNECTION | SUMMER 2011

Coffee Culture & Eatery is located at 5761 Peach St., Erie, Pa. Business hours are: Sunday-Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight. The cafe can be reached at (814) 860-3310.


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“The generosity of the donors to the LECOM Scholarship Fund is greatly appreciated, as it has allowed me to work toward achieving my dream of becoming a successful pharmacist in a more affordable way. ”

“I want to let you

LECOM Student Scholarship Fund Auction 2011 er

Sean Larn


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know how thankful I am for being awarded the Academic Excellence Scholarship. The past two years at LECOM have been wonderful, and although they do involve some of the most stressful and mentally tiresome periods of my life, I can honestly say that they are also the greatest learning experiences I have ever had. ”

Saturday, November 5, 2011

For more information on the events: Erie (814)


Save the Date

LECOM Student Scholarship Fund Auction 2011 Saturday

November 5, 2011

We invite you to join us at the Bayfront Convention Center on this new special night for a “Holiday Celebration.” Come and bid on your LECOM Bradenton choice of many fabulous items. Enjoy excellent service as the Bayfront Convention Center serves a signature dish for the event created by Student Scholarship Fund Executive Chef David Robbinson.

Dinner & Auction Gala


The LECOM Student Scholarship Fund helps deserving students manage the high cost of medical and pharmacy school.

October 15, 2011

860-5148 | Bradenton (941) 782-5927

a Mail to: LECOM 1858 W. Grandview Blvd. Erie, PA 16509


|Student Notes| Class of 2011

transplant fellowship.

Nathan Aardsma, D.O., took second place and won a $200 prize in the 2011 UPMC Hamot Research Day Oral Presentation held in April.

Rebecca Bollinger, P3, attended the PPA’s Fourth Annual Government Relations Advocacy for Student Pharmacists (GRASP) program in February in Harrisburg, Pa. She was one of 21 pharmacy students from across Pennsylvania to attend the conference. Participants learned about legislative side of the pharmacy profession and the regulatory process.

Kevin Dankert, D.O., co-authored an article published in the March 2011 issue of The AAO Journal (American Academy of Osteopathy). The article was titled, “Evaluating the perception of motion in medical students, residents, and physicians.” Craig Chappell, D.O., LECOM Sports Medicine Fellow, was the article’s primary author. Ronak Gor, D.O., published several articles in the December 2010 and April 2011 editions of the Journal of Pediatric Urology. Over the past two years, he has been published in the journal five times as either the primary author or co-author. He also came in first place and took home a $300 prize in the 2011 UPMC Hamot Research Day Poster Presentation in April. James Lamberg, D.O., was selected as LECOM’s 2010-2011 Student D.O. of the Year. He also led a group of LECOM students that created an iPhone application called “OMM Guide.” The app is a free medical resource for osteopathic Dr. Lamberg displays the iPhone medical students App ‘OMM Guide.’ and residents. The app was released on Dec. 15, 2009, and has been downloaded more than 50,000 times. John Leuenberger, D.O., was elected to the board of the Student American Academy of Osteopathy/Postgraduate American Academy of Osteopathy (SAAO/PAAO). He will serve as a liaison between students and residents, oversee the Student Mentor Program and develop new ways to recruit new members to the PAAO. Lucas McCaffrey, D.O., married Laura Wolfe, D.O., on June 11. They are both starting an internal medicine residency at Winthrop University Hospital in Long Island, N.Y. Kathleen Pitterle, D.O., completed a sports medicine rotation this spring at the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sports Medicine Clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was the first LECOM student selected for the rotation. She worked with Olympic athletes, physicians, athletic trainers and physical therapists. She is currently enrolled in an internal medicine/pediatrics residency at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

Class of 2012 Ali Abtahi, OMS4, received the Nils Pfenning Diversity Award from the Centers for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE). He wrote an essay titled, “Motorcycles and Music,” which is geared toward increasing organ donor designation and awareness in the Erie area. Abtahi hopes to pursue a general surgery residency and organ

Jed Duensing, OMS4, won first place and a $500 prize in the Eighth Annual Natural Supplements Research Competition in January in San Diego, Calif. The conference was sponsored by the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. His poster presentation abstract — “The effect of L-carnitine on lipoprotein levels and its role in cardiovascular disease therapy” — was also published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Rochelle Forsyth, P4, was named as a Trustee for the Florida Pharmacy Association in Tallahassee, Fla. She is the first LECOM School of Pharmacy student to serve on the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Erika Gould, P3, traveled to India in February with Devon Swancer, P3. They gave polio vaccines to approximately 2,000 children. They also helped volunteers and Gould, left, and Swancer provided laborers build a vaccines to 2,000 Indian children. dam in a remote village to improve irrigation and crop yields. The trip was organized by Rotary International. Celestine Ichoku, P3, spoke at a Black History Month event at East High School in Erie. As a Nigerian-born American, he spoke about African-American history from a native African perspective. He told the audience that education is the key to success in America, adding that there are many opportunities for African-Americans to succeed in this country. Kunal Kanani, P4, received a $3,000 scholarship from the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation. He was one of 58 pharmacy students nationwide to receive a NACDS scholarship. Kelsey Laks, P3, attended the PPA’s Fourth Annual Government Relations Advocacy for Student Pharmacists (GRASP) program in February in Harrisburg, Pa. She was one of 21 pharmacy students from across Pennsylvania to attend the conference. Participants learned about legislative side of the pharmacy profession and the regulatory process. Gina Petrakos, OMS4, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Sun Coast Osteopathic Foundation in Largo, Fla. James Toldi, OMS4, co-authored a poster, The Use of Venting Slit Sutures as a Modification of Glaucoma Drainage Implants to Prevent Early Postoperative Hypertension and Hypotony.” He


presented the poster in May at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology national conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Amy Wilds, P4, received a $500 Medco Health Solutions Scholarship from the Florida Pharmacy Foundation. In applying for the scholarship, she wrote a 300 word essay, “The Advantages of Providing Patient Care with a Pharmacy Benefit Management/Mail Service Pharmacy Setting.”

Class of 2013 Adam Allan, OMS3, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from the Sun Coast Osteopathic Foundation in Largo, Fla. Liza Brown, OMS3, received a $1,000 scholarship for the 2011-12 academic year from the Blake Medical Center Auxiliary in Bradenton, Fla. Caroline Davis, OMS3, received a $500 scholarship from the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association (FOMA). She was honored with FOMA’s Student Leadership Award at the FOMA convention in Weston, Fla. Michael Groover, OMS3, was awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation. Matthew Hallanger, OMS3, presented “Recognition and Field Management of Traumatic Brain Injuries” to the Lakewood Ranch Community Emergency Response Team. Colton Hutton, P2, attended the PPA’s Fourth Annual Government Relations Advocacy for Student Pharmacists (GRASP) program in February in Harrisburg, Pa. He was one of 21 pharmacy students from across Pennsylvania to attend the conference. Participants learned about legislative side of the pharmacy profession and the regulatory process. Dustin Paul, OMS3, spent six weeks in India on a medical mission in the summer of 2010. He went with members of St. Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia. He worked six days a week at a clinic at St. Gregorios Hospital in Parumula. He traveled by elephant through the jungle to help patients in need of medical attention. As the only medical student in the group, he talked to Indian physicians about osteopathic medicine and osteopathic manipulative therapy. After leaving India, Paul spent two weeks in Nicaragua on another medical mission.

Class of 2014 Kinsey Bernhard, OMS2, Ben Bumgarner, OMS2, Rachel Johnson, OMS2, Florence Lee, OMS3, Maryann Salib, OMS3, and Amit Sharma, OMS2, have been working with older adults at the Greensburg YMCA. The students use interactive exercises and show seniors ways to look up accurate health information online. The teaching materials were developed by the National Institute on Aging. Jill Eysaman, OMS2, co-authored an article that was published in the February 2011 issue of Clinical Pediatrics. The article was titled, “Screening obese students for acanthosis nigricans and other diabetes risk factors in the urban School Based Health Center.”

Kimberly Feltner, OMS2, received a $250 scholarship from the Advocates for FOMA at the FOMA convention in Weston, Fla. Jonathan Forbes, OMS2, spoke to first- and second-year students at LECOM Seton Hill and to the Evidence Based Medicine Club in March about the research he did as a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. The title of his presentation was, “Innate Immunity: Characterizing Activity for Therapeutic Applications.” Steven Phillips, OMS2, has been named a 2010-2011 Albert Schweitzer Environmental Fellow. He will provide 300 hours of service to

improve the health of students with autism spectrum disorders at the Presley Ridge Day School in Greensburg. He will teach students how to make healthy decisions about diet and exercise. Matthew Ray, OMS2, co-authored an article published in the Fall 2010 issue of the Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy. The article was titled, “Death: A New Legal Perspective.” Ray wrote about current trends in bioethics, and researched historical definitions and criteria regarding death. Upali Ranasinghe, OMS2, was awarded the Dr. Bruce Hudson Memorial $2,500 Scholarship from the Blake Medical Center Auxiliary

in Bradenton, Fla. Sarah Turner, OMS2, recently published an article on an online publication at antimicrobe. org. The article was titled, “NDM-1 — The Newest Recruit to the Army of Beta-lactamases.” She collaborated with LECOM Seton Hill faculty members Timothy Mietzner, Ph.D., and Ja’Nean Reay, Ph.D. Jessica Tyler, OMS2, co-authored an article that was published in the March 24, 2011 edition of Cancer Prevention Research. The article was titled, “Aspirin and Low-Dose Nitric OxideDonating Aspirin Increase Life Span in a Lynch Syndrome Mouse Model.”

|Upcoming Events| August 11 — Millcreek Community Hospital 2011 Golf Classic August 15 — School of Pharmacy classes begin August 22 — School of Pharmacy classes begin in Bradenton September 12-15 — LECOM Primary Care Update, CME Conference in Punta Cana October 1 — White Coat Ceremony at LECOM Seton Hill October 15 — LECOM Bradenton Student Scholarship Fund Dinner and Auction Gala November 1 — Alumni Dinner at the 2011 AOA Osteopathic Medical Conference November 5 — LECOM Erie Student Scholarship Fund Auction January 28, 2012 — White Coat Ceremony at LECOM Bradenton February 11, 2012 — Medical White Coat Ceremony at LECOM Erie February 18, 2012 — Pharmacy White Coat Ceremony at LECOM Erie March 2-4, 2012 — Primary Care 2012 Conference

LECOM Primary Care Update Continuing Medical Education Conference

Paradisus Palm Real Resort Punta Cana, Dominican Republic Monday, Sept. 12, to Thursday, Sept.15, 2011 Earn up to 20 Category 1-A CME Credits For more info., visit; call (814) 866-8121; or e-mail


|Faculty Notes| Hershey Bell, M.D., LECOM School of Pharmacy Dean, and Matthew Cettin, LECOM Director of Planning, Institutional Assessment, and Accreditation, had their manuscript “Medical Student Learning Competency: A survey of 25 osteopathic medical schools” accepted for publication in Family Medicine, the official journal of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. In April, Dr. Bell visited the Oklahoma University School of Community Medicine in Tulsa as a member of the “Beyond Flexner Advisory Committee” administered through the George Washington University School of Public Health.

and the “Colorectal Cancer Screening Update,” which has been approved for publication in the Osteopathic Family Physician journal. He will also lead the Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway at LECOM, which will be implemented in the fall of 2011.

Kimberly Burns, R.Ph., J.D., gave a presentation titled, “The Pharmacists’ Responsibilities When Dispensing Opioids” at the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) annual meeting in Seattle, Wash., in March. She also served on the APhA House of Delegates on behalf of the American Society of Pharmacy Law.

Randy Kulesza, Ph.D., was published in the June 2011 International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience. The article is titled “Air pollution is associated with brainstem nuclei pathology and delayed brainstem auditory evoked potentials.” He presented “Auditory Brainstem Malformations in Autism” in January at the Autism Research Institute’s Think Tank in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Kulesza also came in third place at the Presque Isle Half Marathon in March.

Elliott Cook, Pharm.D., spoke at the Pharmaceutical Pollution Task Force meeting at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in Erie, Pa., in April. It was sponsored by the LECOM School of Pharmacy, Pennsylvania Sea Grant, and State Rep. John Hornaman. Dr. Cook talked about the proper ways to dispose of unwanted medications. Bertalan Dudas, M.D., Ph.D., had an article published in the June 2011 edition of the Neuropeptides Journal. The article is tilted, “A putative morphological substrate of the catecholamineinfluenced neuropeptide Y release in the human hypothalamus.” He collaborated on the article with Laam Ko, D.O., Class of 2008; Giorgio Rotoli, D.O., Class of 2011; and Walter Hu, post baccalaureate administrative assistant. Irv Freeman, Ph.D., J.D., vice president for LECOM at Seton Hill, was named secretary of the Greensburg Community Development Corporation. The GCDC works with businesses, institutions and organizations in Greensburg, Pa., to foster economic development and community improvements in the city. Mark Kauffman, D.O., M.S. (Med.Ed.), has published the COMLEX Level 2-PE Review Guide

Christine Kell, Ph.D., published an article in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, March 2011 supplement. She and Richard Ortoski, D.O., authored the article, “Anal Cancer and Screening Guidelines for Human Papillomavirus in Men.”

Timothy Mietzner, Ph.D., recently published an article in the online publication, antimicrobe. org. The article was titled, “NDM-1 – The Newest Recruit to the Army of Beta-lactamases.” He collaborated with LECOM at Seton Hill faculty member Ja’Nean Reay, PhD, and Sarah Turner, Med ’14, Seton Hill. Philip Miller, D.O., has received his board certification in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. James Moore, DMA, director of recruitment, made presentations outlining LECOM’s history, accomplishments and new School of Dental Medicine during the four regional conferences of the National Association of Advisors of the Health Professions (NAAHP) in March and April. He served on a panel discussing admissions procedures at the National American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Convention in Arlington, Va., in March, and he served as a presenter at the Intermountain Pre-Med Conference in Provo, Utah, in May. Ali Moradi, M.D., has been reappointed to a

three year term as a member of the Health Promotion Disease Prevention and Health Care Delivery Review Committee of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. He was appointed a Fellowship Research Proposal Reviewer for the AOA Council on Research. Dr. Moradi also reviewed abstracts that were submitted for the 139th Annual American Public Health Association meeting. Richard Ortoski, D.O., has been named a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. Stephanie Peshek, Pharm.D., was interviewed and spotlighted in the Pharmacy Practice Managers section of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) website. It was a two-page profile detailing her educational and professional background, qualifications and accomplishments. Ja’Nean Reay, Ph.D., recently published an article in an online publication at antimicrobe. org. She collaborated with LECOM at Seton Hill faculty member Timothy Mietzner, Ph.D., and Sarah Turner, OMS2. Jeremy Sivillo, registrar, received an award and Battalion Coin from the United States Armed Forces Health Profession Scholarship Program (HPSP) Recruiting Battalion in February. Sivillo was recognized for his support and assistance in taking care of LECOM HPSP students. Mark Terrell, Ed.D., presented a seminar to the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont., Canada. He also organized and chaired a symposium — “Research in Anatomy Education” — at the American Association of Anatomists Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in April 2011. Nina Zaveri, Ph.D., has joined the faculty of the LECOM Bradenton College of Medicine. She has a Ph.D. in pharmacology from Ohio State University. She spent 14 years in the private sector working in the areas of neuropharmacology and molecular and cellular biology.

|Alumni Notes| Class of 1998

Frank Fatica, D.O., Erie, won a new Apple iPad in a drawing to benefit the 2010 LECOM Student Scholarship Fund. Everyone who made a donation was eligible to win the prize.

Class of 2001

Brian Pollock, D.O., has been named the Internal Medicine Residency Program Director at Summa Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He joined the hospital in March 2010 after serving for six years on the Board of Graduate Medical Education at South Pointe Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio.

Class of 2002

Jeffrey Lee, D.O., has joined the staff at Silver

Cross Hospital in Joliet, Ill. He is board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He maintains at office with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago at Silver Cross Hospital.

Class of 2003

Henry Ess, D.O., is a member of the critical care team in the intensive care unit at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H. He is board certified in internal medicine and works as a hospitalist. He also co-chairs the hospital’s pharmacy and therapeutics committees. David Fedor, D.O., is on the critical care team in the intensive care unit at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H. He is board certified in internal medicine and critical care. His clinical interests are in blood transfusions and transfusion related acute lung injury (TRALI).


Class of 2004

Eric Milie, D.O., was re-elected to the board of trustees of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA). He is chairman of POMA District 7, which includes Erie, Crawford, Warren and McKean counties. He is a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine at LECOM and a physician with Medical Associates of Erie. Mark Silver, D.O., has joined the staff of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., where he specializes in internal medicine. He completed his residency at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh. His office is in Chicago.

Class of 2006

Anna Dumont, D.O., Erie, is a fellowshiptrained primary care sports medicine special-

ist at Tri Rivers Surgical Associates at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pa. It opened in April and provides musculoskeletal care to patients in Slippery Rock, Grove City and New Castle. The facility has on-site digital radiography, fluoroscopy and electrodiagnostic services.

Class of 2007 Joshua Kentosh, D.O., is serving active duty with the United States Navy. He is currently employed in a dermatology residency at the National Navy Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. He lives in Silver Spring, Md. Jennifer Vandevelde, D.O., was recently featured in a story in the Akron Beacon in Ohio. The article focused on her work with robotic-assisted surgeries at Akron Summa Hospital. Dr. Vandevelde and her husband, Nicholas, live in Akron with their son, Vincent.

Class of 2008 Shawn Adkins, Pharm.D., is the pharmacy manager at Walgreens in Brevard, N.C. He is

married to Pinar Polat Adkins, Pharm.D. They live in Fletcher, N.C.

Chief Resident of Policy for the UPMC St. Margaret Family Residency Program in Pittsburgh.

Pinar Polat Adkins, Pharm.D., works as a pharmacist at Park Ridge Health in Fletcher, N.C.

April Smith-Gonzalez, D.O., took first place in the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association’s Resident Research Poster Competition. Her poster explained how hypertension medications play a role in the treatment of complicated migraine headaches.

Shalia Gupta, D.O., is working at Northwest Indiana Neurological Associates in Munster, Ind. She is board certified in neurology and psychiatry. She completed her neurophysiology fellowship at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Mich. Nnecka Nzegwu, D.O., is enrolled in a fellowship in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.

Class of 2009 Paul Been, D.O., was named Chief Emergency Medicine resident at Akron General Medical Center in Akron, Ohio. His duties will include scheduling, administrative work, and coordinating weekly educational conferences for residents. Kevin Kotar, D.O., has been selected to serve as

Class of 2010 Eda Cristina Abuchaibe, D.O., won second prize in the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association’s Resident Research Poster Competition for the poster describing a missing chromosome in an unusual case of an aortic Sinus of Valsalva rupture. Ahed Salamen, Pharm.D., is a co-owner of compounding pharmacy Clark Professional Pharmacy and Wellness Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. It is one of only five pharmacies in Michigan to receive accreditation from the Pharmacy Compounding Accreditation Board (PCAB). He lives in Novi, Mich., with his wife and son.

|In Memoriam| Silvia M. Agresti Ferretti, 92. The recent passing of Silvia M. Ferretti, the beloved mother of LECOM President John M. Ferretti; Academic Affairs Dean and Provost Silvia M. Ferretti; and Anthony Ferretti, D.O., assistant dean of clinical education, saddened the entire LECOM Family. The resultant outpouring of care, concern and support throughout the community was reflected through countless memorial gifts to the LECOM Student Scholarship Fun to honor the life of Silvia M. Ferretti. The more than $50,000 received by the scholarship fund in memory of Silvia M. Ferretti will make the calling of medicine and the promise of a healing hand a reality for many students who otherwise would have found their dreams unrealized. Silvia M. Ferretti continues to live through the legacy of students who will reach others with their gifts; students who will give hope to the afflicted; and students whose curative skills will better the lives of those whom they touch. The hand of Providence who called home his daughter, Silvia, will hold her presence ever near us and keep her motherly love with us for generations to come. As time brings reflection, and with it memories, each memory becomes a treasure. The legacy created in tribute to Silvia M. Ferretti will keep those treasures of her life alive, and it will make them a part of the tapestry of all that is LECOM.

Class of 1997 Nicholas DePizzo II, D.O., 42, died April 18, 2011, in Youngstown, Ohio. He was board certified in family practice and shared a practice with his father in Youngstown. Dr. DePizzo was an avid runner who completed his first marathon in 2009 in Chicago. He was a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the Ohio State Medical Association and the Mahoning County Medical Association.

Class of 2011 Jennifer Lee LaRue, 28, died October 20, 2010. She was a medical student at LECOM in Erie who would have graduated this year with the Class of 2011.

Class of 2013 Jacob Daniel Fowler, 22, of Riverview, Florida, died June 27, 2011. A graduate of the University of South Florida, Jacob was currently a third-year student at LECOM Bradenton and was eager to begin serving people in his hospital rotations beginning in July. He was past vice president of the LECOM Christian Medical Association and was dedicated to serving others. He is survived by his wife, Diana Rivera Fowler; his parents, Bill and Patty Fowler; and his brothers, Matthew and Zachary.


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LECOM Connection Summer 2011  
LECOM Connection Summer 2011  

The Summer 2011 edition of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Connection Magazine features the LECOM leadership, new dental schoo...