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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) embraces transformation-

Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), formerly known as the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM),

al change. Whether it’s new ideas, programs or partnerships, the faculty, staff and students of NEOMED have met the challenge to accept and embrace these items that build upon our fine history and continue to enrich our current presence. We are fortunate to have such a talented group of individuals here in Rootstown, Ohio.

is a community-based, public medical university with a mission to improve the quality of health care in Northeast Ohio working in collaboration with its educational and clinical partners. NEOMED is a member of the University System of Ohio, and its partners include teaching hospitals, community sites and boards of health. Ignite magazine is published twice per year by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing. NEOMED Board of Trustees Eric Kodish, M.D. (‘86), Chair Chander M. Kohli, M.D., Vice Chair Daisy L. Alford-Smith, Ph.D. Dianne Bitonte Miladore, M.D. (‘81) Paul R. Bishop, J.D. J. Austin Fredrickson Jr. – Student Trustee J. David Heller, CPA Philip K. King – Student Trustee Anil M. Parikh, M.D., DFAPA Steven P. Schmidt, Ph.D. Gary S. Shamis, M.Acc., CPA Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D. President Laura Mariano – Editor Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Cristine D. Boyd – Associate Editor Director of Public Relations and Marketing Contributing Writers: Heather Bing, Public Relations and Marketing Specialist; Cristine Boyd, Director of Public Relations and Marketing; Carole Harwood, Manager, Communications and Development; Lindsey Loftus, Senior Development Officer; Laura Mariano, Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Publication Design: Scott J. Rutan, Graphic Designer Photography: Ken Love Photography Cover photo courtesy of Kyle A. Gustafson, Pharm.D., BCPS Office of Public Relations and Marketing 4209 St. Rt. 44, PO Box 95 Rootstown, Ohio 44272-0095 email: No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission of the editors. Copyright 2012 by Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio 44272

As the physical “face” of the campus changes with the construction of the Research and Graduate Education Building, the Residential Housing Village and the Health and Wellness Center, the excitement is beginning to build. Some classes and offices (along with parking) may have to shift locations during the construction, but we look forward to utilizing the new facilities as early as the 2013/2014 academic year. These new facilities will allow us to truly transform into a university campus – enabling our students to live, study and take advantage of enhanced learning opportunities as we integrate curriculum with the concepts of the Health and Wellness Center and offerings of the Medical Office Building. The new research labs and REDIzoneSM will also bring increased innovation to our ever-growing research enterprise and increase our interactions with corporate and research partners.

Representatives from NEOMED and Cleveland State University (CSU) met with Sen. Rob Portman during a visit to Washington, D.C. Pictured (left to right) are: William Napier, CSU senior advisor to the president; Richard Lewis, NEOMED director of governmental relations; Jay Gershen, D.D.S, Ph.D., NEOMED president; Sen. Portman; Dr. Ron Berkman, Ph.D., CSU president; and the Honorable Louis Stokes, former congressman and chair of the NEOMEDCSU Community Advisory Committee.

New programs and partnerships are also an important part of the change taking place. The launch of the NEOMED-CSU medical partnership offers an incredible opportunity to increase medical care to the urban communities in Northeast Ohio. And the start of the Bio-Med Science Academy, a new STEM+M (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) high school on our campus helps build new talent for the health care workforce of tomorrow. These programs will help to differentiate us as a University that listens, meets community needs and reduces barriers. As we carry on with our transformation, we continue to strive to recruit and retain the best and brightest. We look forward to welcoming new students, faculty, staff and members of the leadership team to our campus and invite everyone to continue to work with the University in ways that can impact others. Best wishes,

Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D. President, Northeast Ohio Medical University

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STANDARDIZED PATIENTS: Teaching Patient-Centered Care for More Than 25 Years SPOTLIGHT ON SERVICE: College of Pharmacy Faculty Members Travel to Serve in Health Care Missions


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NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health Announced as Lead Project for D.C.-Based Sullivan Alliance Leaders Gather to Discuss Health Professions Education and Diversifying the Health Care Workforce


ortheast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) and Cleveland State University (CSU) celebrated the official launch of the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health on April 30, announcing support from a national organization dedicated to diversifying the health professions, new scholarship funding in support of the initiative, and plans for a new and distinct educational model for students in the program. Support for the NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health is being championed at the national level by the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions, which through its state, regional and national partnerships supports diversity initiatives that enhance the health professions pipeline. “The NEOMED Education for Service regional initiative is one of the Sullivan Alliance’s national priority programs,” said Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. “By combining NEOMED and CSU’s strengths in urban health, primary care medicine and interprofessional education, I believe the resulting unique primary care education programs will become models for the nation.” St. Vincent Charity Medical Center also announced support for the partnership and Education for Service program. The downtown Cleveland hospital presented the initiative with a gift of $25,000 for student scholarships. 04 | IGNITE

As part of the Partnership, NEOMED and CSU are working together to identify and train health care professionals to meet the challenges of creating a more diverse health care workforce that cares for medically underserved populations. “With the projected shortage in primary care providers, our health care system must produce more health care workers in primary care fields and address the need for providers in practice settings that are in underserved rural and urban areas,” said Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of NEOMED. “NEOMED and CSU are responding to these challenges by partnering to educate and support a new generation of primary care physicians. Through innovative health care workforce development, we seek to improve the health and economic vitality of Northeast Ohio.” The NEOMED-CSU Partnership for Urban Health will facilitate stronger, more lasting connections with the medically underserved communities in Cleveland and nearby suburbs by establishing a Neighborhood Clinic Model. Through this new educational model, students will be paired with a single site throughout their four years at the College of Medicine. This is distinct from other neighborhood-based programs because students will engage with specific community members, allowing students to get to know the people of a particular neighborhood well and increasing the likelihood the student will return post-residency to practice within that area and to serve those residents.

“Given the critical need for health care in our community and the support of health care institutions in Cleveland, this collaborative program between CSU and NEOMED promises to create a model for the rest of the country, while serving the unique medical needs of our urban community,” said Ronald M. Berkman, Ph.D., president of CSU. “On the student side of the equation, the Education for Service program will help attract talented CSU students to the program who might not otherwise have the financial resources to achieve a medical education.”

Members of the Community Advisory Board led by the Honorable Louis Stokes and Edgar B. Jackson Jr., M.D. (Opposite page) Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., addresses the crowd during the NEOMED-CSU celebratory launch on April 30.

The event also included remarks about how the partnership will impact Cleveland and Northeast Ohio from Rob Portman, U.S. Senate; Sherrod Brown, U.S. Senate; Marcia L. Fudge, U.S. House of Representatives; Frank G. Jackson, mayor of Cleveland; Edgar B. Jackson Jr., M.D., co-chair of the Community Advisory Board; and, Louis Stokes, J.D., former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and co-chair of the Community Advisory Board. For more information on Education for Service, visit www. Pictured on the right are (left to right) Ronald M. Berkman, Ph.D., president of Cleveland State University; the Honorable Louis M. Sullivan, M.D., former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and chairman of the Sullivan Alliance to Transform America’s Health Professions; Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of Northeast Ohio Medical University. 05 | IGNITE

First ‘Education for Service’ Scholarship Recipient Named at Northeast Ohio Medical University Summit County physician who will serve as a mentor. After residency, the scholar must then practice in Summit County as a physician for at least five years. “We are thankful to the Sisler McFawn Foundation for kicking off the Education for Service Scholarship Program for the Akron community,” said Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of NEOMED. “Primary care physicians are desperately needed, and Education for Service scholarships are a key component to addressing the health care workforce needs and improving the economy in Northeast Ohio.” A first-generation college graduate from Youngstown State University, student loans and the burdens that go along with them were a new experience for Parise and his family. And when he was accepted into the College of Medicine, the onset of debt became all too real. Parise applied for the Sisler McFawn Education for Service scholarship as a way to help address the debt. “Northeast Ohio is my home, and I planned to stay here anyway,” Parise said. “The scholarship was a natural fit. Primary care doctors are what I am most familiar with and the type (of physician) I want to be.”


ess than two years after announcing its intent to start an Education for Service program, Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) named its first full-tuition Education for Service scholarship recipient, thanks to a generous donation from the Sisler McFawn Foundation of Akron, Ohio. Robert Parise, a second-year medicine student from Lowellville, Ohio, was granted the scholarship, which will pay for four years of tuition and fees at the College of Medicine. In return, the scholarship requires the scholar to complete 64 hours of community service, remain in contact with the Sisler McFawn Foundation and meet regularly with an assigned 06 | IGNITE

Richard Marsh, chairman of the Sisler McFawn Foundation, was pleased with the choice of Parise to be the first scholar for the Foundation. “He is just the type of student we are looking for as the first Sisler McFawn Education for Service Scholar … first generation, primary care and dedicated to Northeast Ohio.” The Sisler McFawn Foundation committed to the Education for Service Scholarship after hearing about NEOMED’s dedication to providing more physicians to needed areas in Northeast Ohio. “We want to ensure that the scholar is engaged in Summit County and will whole-heartedly serve the community and the people there with quality medical care,” said Marsh.

Visible Growth: Watching the Campus Expand


y the end of 2014, Northeast Ohio Medical University’s campus will nearly double in size from its current 450,000 square feet, adding new research facilities, the campus’ first Residential Housing Village, a Health and Wellness Center, retail space and other campus enhancements. This physical campus expansion mirrors the University’s transformation from a College to a University that is now home to three Colleges: a College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and College of Graduate Studies. With the addition of 35 seats to the College of Medicine as part of the new Cleveland State University partnership, 70 high school students entering the first class of the Bio-Med Science Academy and other efforts to increase the presence of world-renown faculty and researchers, the University has made accommodating new people, projects and programs a priority. The near-term campus expansion efforts are already underway. The Research and Graduate Education Building construction, which began in May 2011, has an estimated completion of summer 2013. The new facility will house customizable state-of-the-art wet labs, classroom and lecture space, faculty offices and more.

At its May 4 meeting, the Northeast Ohio Medical University Board of Trustees approved Signet Development as the private developer responsible for the Residential Housing Village. Groundbreaking for the Village began in July 2012 and has an estimated completion date of August 2013, in time for the start of the new academic year. Three, four-story buildings will make up the 270,000-square-foot village, and will feature nearly 350 single and double, fully furnished rooms, which will be available to the University community. The Health and Wellness Center, which will house medical offices, a fitness center, the Conference Center, Bio-Med Science Academy and other retail components – all open to the campus and surrounding community – is slated for construction beginning this fall with a completion date of December 2013. A retail complex and other campus enhancements will follow. During this ongoing campus expansion project, the University will maintain an online portal with the most recent construction activity, pictures and video of the progress in real time, ongoing news and announcements, and answers to frequently asked questions. Keep apprised of the latest campus expansion activity at 07 | IGNITE


Preventing Suicides, Violence and More By Carole Harwood


n the past 15 years, the number of suicides on college campuses has tripled. Today, there are an estimated 1,100 suicides among nearly 18 million college students annually. Campus mental health is a serious concern. In addition to the escalating number of suicides on campuses, more students are presenting with acute or serious disturbances and/ or matriculating in college with mental health disorders. More students are arriving on college campuses taking more psychiatric medications than ever before.


Depression among college students has doubled in the past 15 years, with 45 percent of college and university students self-reporting depression and 10 percent reporting suicidal ideation. Forty-four percent of U.S. college students admit to binge drinking and sexual assaults on campus have quadrupled. Campus administrators are turning to mental health professionals for help with mental health issues that range from eating disorders to self-injury to campus violence. “Preventing suicides and other violent acts on campus requires a comprehensive approach to addressing campus mental health,” said Mark R. Munetz, M.D., the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation Endowed Chair in Psychiatry at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). “We believe that addressing mental health problems will assist students in being academically successful so that they can stay in school, and, ultimately, enhance retention and graduation rates. There are several overarching issues to consider: suicide prevention, substance abuse and the availability of mental health service.” Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training involves training law enforcement officers to de-escalate crisis situations and connect persons with mental disorders with local psychiatric treatment resources, and it is a major initiative of the Ohio Criminal Justice Coordinating Center of Excellence (Criminal Justice CCoE). The Criminal Justice CCoE was established by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and has operated at NEOMED’s Department of Psychiatry since 2001. “Deaths on campus are far more likely to be the result of suicides than homicides, said Dr. Munetz. “The Virginia Tech tragedy was a murder/suicide. Suicide prevention is violence prevention. After Virginia Tech, providing CIT training to campus officers became a very high priority for the Criminal Justice CCoE,” said Dr. Munetz. In 2009 and 2010, the Criminal Justice CCoE received grants from the Ohio Department of Mental Health to expand campus safety and mental health initiatives. A statewide advisory committee was convened to develop a comprehensive mental health promotion and suicide/violence prevention plan for Ohio’s colleges and universities. In addition to providing CIT training on campuses, the plan called for promoting early identification of mental health problems, help-seeking behavior and stigma reduction; creating a better understanding of counseling and health services on and off campus; preventing suicide; and identifying and overcoming systems issues and barriers between campuses and community mental health systems.

Members of the Ohio Program for Campus Safety and Mental Health team at NEOMED, (left to right), Amy J. Lukes, M.S.S.A., LISW-S, program coordinator; Mark R. Munetz, M.D., the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation Endowed Chair in Psychiatry; and Natalie Bonfine, M.A., research coordinator II in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.

To achieve its objectives, the Ohio Program for Campus Safety and Mental Health issued a request for proposals for Collaborative Program Development Grants to assist colleges and universities with development or expansion of partnerships with their local mental health boards, and awarded grants to the partnerships with the greatest potential to promote campus mental health and safety. “In a majority of instances, colleges and universities do not have the campus-based resources to fully address the many and varied mental health needs of their students, which is why we encourage them to partner with their local mental health systems,” said Dr. Munetz. In August 2011, campus safety and mental health promotion efforts gained further momentum when NEOMED’s Department of Psychiatry received a $75,000 grant from the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, a $50,000 grant from the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation of Hudson, Ohio, and a three-year, $102,000 Garrett Lee Smith Suicide Prevention Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).



CIT on Campus

A Comprehensive Mental Health Promotion and Suicide/Violence Prevention Plan for Ohio’s Colleges and Universities

technical assistance to current grantees who are developing and/or sustaining mental health programs and to those who are preparing grant applications. She also coordinates regional and statewide training programs and conferences.

“We partnered with the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation to provide regional gateOutreach/Stigma Reduction Addressing Systems Issues keeper training to approximately 200 faculty, staff and Based on the Jed Foundation Framework students from 30 different campuses,” added Lukes. “NEOMED is one of 21 campuses awarded Garrett Lee Smith “And we are particularly excited about our November 2012 Campus Suicide Prevention grants in 2011. The NEOMED conference, which will highlight innovative practices on Ohio’s proposal is unique among current and continuing grantees campuses, bring together a support network for psychiatrists with its statewide approach to suicide prevention. SAMHSA practicing on campus and include a keynote address by Dr. is anticipating that NEOMED will be a leader in teaching other Victor Schwartz, the Jed Foundation’s medical director.” campuses how to reach across localities, counties, regions and states to help keep students safe,” said Rosalyn Blogier, The Jed Foundation is the nation’s leading organization LCSW-C, public health advisor, Suicide Prevention Branch/ working to promote emotional health and prevent suicide Campus Team Coordinator, SAMHSA. among college students. It was founded in 2000 by parents who had lost a son to suicide while he was attending college. Amy J. Lukes, M.S.S.A., LISW-S, joined the Ohio Program Jed Foundation materials and tools are available to all colfor Campus Safety and Mental Health as coordinator in leges and universities throughout the United States. November 2011. “Our primary goal is to foster close collaboration between campus and community stakeholders to “Ultimately, we hope to improve the mental health status of develop programs that prevent suicide and other tragedies students, faculty and staff on Ohio campuses through the on campus and promote student success,” said Lukes. Ohio Program for Campus Safety and Mental Health,” said Dr. Munetz. Ten Collaborative Program Development Grants were awarded in March 2012. A second request for proposals was issued To learn more about the Ohio Program for Campus Safety in June 2012 with ten awards to be announced by Sept. 1. and Mental Health, please visit: “We encourage applicants to consult the Best Practice Registry that is coordinated by the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) The programs in the registry have been reviewed and address specific objectives of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention,” said Kerri Smith, LCSW, M.P.H., senior campus prevention specialist, SPRC. In addition to administering the collaborative program development grants, Lukes provides 10 | IGNITE

BeST Center, Regional Partners Establish Early Identification and Treatment of Schizophrenia Programs


he Best Practices in Schizophrenia Treatment (BeST) Center in NEOMED’s Department of Psychiatry believes that the early identification and treatment of schizophrenia is an urgent, essential and achievable task. Many individuals with schizophrenia have symptoms for months – sometimes even years – before seeking an appropriate diagnosis and beginning treatment. Intensive intervention as soon as possible following a first episode of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder is very important: Emerging studies suggest that early and comprehensive treatment enables a faster, more complete recovery. There are three collaborative early identification and treatment of psychosis programs, each of which is called FIRST, in Northeast Ohio. The BeST Center has FIRST programs established in three counties: 1. FIRST Summit County, established January 2010 Partners: Child Guidance & Family Solutions, Community Support Services, Inc., County of Summit Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board and the BeST Center 2. FIRST Trumbull County, established March 2012 Partners: Valley Counseling Services, Compass Family & Community Services, Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board and the BeST Center

April Caraway, center, executive director of the Trumbull County Mental Health and Recovery Board, cuts the ribbon announcing the creation of FIRST Trumbull County.

3. FIRST Portage County, established March 2012 Partners: Coleman Professional Services, Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County and the BeST Center FIRST treatment services include medication management, individual counseling, family psychoeducation, supported employment/education and case management. These services are provided by a team of mental health professionals in an integrated manner. The overarching goals for the FIRST program are to help individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders to: • improve recovery and resiliency • reduce relapse rates • set and achieve goals for the future The clinical outcomes for individuals participating in FIRST are promising: the re-hospitalization rate is very low, and the majority of individuals in the FIRST program are either working or pursuing educational goals full-time or part-time. FIRST clients who have participated in the program for at least three months are also reporting decreases in symptoms. To learn more, visit

Harold V. Farrier, executive director of the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County, had the honor of cutting the ribbon shortly before his retirement to announce the creation of FIRST Portage County at the May 14 ribbon-cutting ceremony.


Standardized Patients: Igniting Patient-Centered Care for More Than Years



by Heather Bing

t’s not uncommon to see pharmacists in white coats, physicians sporting stethoscopes and researchers pushing lab equipment on carts throughout Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). But actors and actresses from surrounding community theaters? Local statisticians? Retired teachers and health care providers? These individuals also frequent the halls of NEOMED on a regular basis. They appear to suffer from a range of maladies requiring diagnosis and care. They are also passionate about playing a significant role in training tomorrow’s physicians, pharmacists and other health care providers. 12 | IGNITE

Standardized patients are individuals who are carefully trained to role-play or portray a patient with a particular illness or medical condition to the University’s medicine and pharmacy students, residents and other health care professionals in a simulated health care scenario. The standardized patient accurately simulates an actual patient by incorporating appropriate body language and personality characteristics, creating a realistic environment conducive to teaching and evaluating the patient-centered care model critical to today’s health care practice. “Serving as a standardized patient allows community members to learn and help teach patient-centered, interprofessional health care and assist health care professionals in developing vitally important traits and skills,” said Holly Gerzina, M.Ed., M.Ed., executive director of the William G. Wasson, M.D., Center for Clinical Skills Training, Assessment and Scholarship at NEOMED. “It is a unique experience and allows residents of the community to influence the health care profession in a positive way.” Prior to participation, individuals interested in serving as standardized patients complete a survey that allows the Wasson Center to determine the best fit for participation in a particular teaching or assessment area. The Wasson Center’s

VIGNETTES OF ACTUAL STANDARDIZED PATIENTS Pam Hometown: Alliance, Ohio Experience: Community theatre background Years as a Standardized Patient: Four; has worked with medicine and pharmacy students -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Pam first learned about serving as a standardized patient through Marlene, a recruiter/trainer, who told her about the opportunity.

patient recruiter/trainers prepare standardized patients for interviews and exams with on-site training as well as takehome materials for standardized patients to study on their own. They are compensated for training and participation based upon their activity. The interactions between standardized patients and health care professionals are recorded and reviewed to evaluate the health care professional’s skills in a variety of areas, including medical interviewing, physical exams, disease diagnosis and interpersonal communication. Standardized patients are carefully trained to provide objective verbal and written feedback to the learner as well as their faculty member or preceptor, who listens to and views the interaction from behind a two-way mirror into the exam room. NEOMED has 350-450 individuals serving as standardized patients at any given time, and many have been performing these roles for more than 10 years. Dependable individuals of all ages and backgrounds are needed to serve as standardized patients as part of a fluid pool of participants, and the University is always in need of those ages 20-65 with diverse cultural backgrounds. “Individuals who excel at serving as standardized patients exhibit a good memory for details and enjoy working with others,” said Gerzina. “The most successful standardized patients, and the ones who end up returning year after year to participate, are those who have a true desire to learn about the medical professions or have a passion for wanting to further the education of our students and other health care professionals who require training.” To learn more about how standardized patients further health care professional training, or how to become involved as a standardized patient, visit

With a background in community theatre, Pam took the opportunity to apply her love of acting to something she finds incredibly beneficial, and she’s open to trying any role the Wasson Center asks her to perform. “I like to get the background of the character I’m going to play and learn about it,” Pam said. “I’m an actress so I try to become the character. I react how that patient would react. If a student doesn’t approach something appropriately, I’m not afraid to respond as the patient would.” In addition to enjoying the challenge of performing as a standardized patient, Pam firmly believes the role of the standardized patient in training future health care professionals is needed. “I think it’s a really invaluable program because we’ve all had doctors who don’t know how to talk to people,” Pam said. “This gives them the experience they need in situations with different people and personalities.” Terry Hometown: Boardman, Ohio Experience: Community theatre background and retired school teacher Years as a Standardized Patient: Five; has worked with first- through fourth-year medicine students -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Terry found out about the opportunity to serve as a standardized patient through a friend. A retired teacher with a background in theatre, Terry couldn’t think of anything that better combined the things he loves. He has performed 12-15 different maladies as a standardized patient, and in addition to enjoying learning and performing the different roles, he’s interested in the teaching aspect of his role and the opportunity to personally learn more – about health issues and medical procedures. 13 | IGNITE

“I don’t like to overact – this is not about me, it’s about them,” Terry said. “But I do give the character some personality.” His most memorable experience serving as a standardized patient was performing a mental health case. “The student became so involved in the case that she started to cry,” Terry said. “She said she forgot I wasn’t a patient. She was very moved by the experience, and I know she will be an incredibly empathetic physician someday.” Terry continues to be interested by the many walks of life of the patients he role-plays, and he has helped recruit others to serve as standardized patients. “You don’t have to have a theater background, you will just enjoy doing it because it’s fun,” Terry said. “I want to continue doing this, maybe playing the geriatric roles, as long as they’ll have me.” Grace Hometown: Canfield, Ohio Experience: Children’s theatre background Years as a Standardized Patient: Six; has worked with first-through fourth-year medicine students -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Grace learned about the standardized patient program through an individual she met in the local children’s theater. New to the area, Grace welcomed the opportunity to use her acting skills, meet new people and perform a public service. 14 | IGNITE

“I like that it’s a non-confrontational environment – you feel like you’re contributing and accomplishing something,” Grace said. Grace enjoys learning the different roles but has been most impressed with the students she’s helping to train. “I have seen some of the same students each year, and I love seeing those who have improved,” Grace said. “I remember one physical I did – I couldn’t believe how well they performed. I was awed by the whole thing.” Not only will Grace continue her role, she’s working to recruit others to share in the experience. “The students present themselves so well. You would think they had been in practice for years,” she said. Susan Hometown: Brimfield, Ohio Experience: Medical background Years as a Standardized Patient: Seven -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Susan didn’t realize health care professionals went through simulated training until a friend who was participating in the standardized patient program told her about it. The recipient of poor bedside manner from a few physicians in her past, Susan was drawn to the opportunity to help train up and coming physicians early in their education.

with others, including her grandchildren, who are interested in medicine. “I tell them, ‘there is always something to be learned,’” she said. Kjera Hometown: Kent, Ohio Experience: Statistician and enjoys theatre as an extracurricular activity Years as a Standardized Patient: 10 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------When Kjera saw a flier in the theatre department at Kent State University soliciting students and others for roles as standardized patients at NEOMED, she saw the opportunity as a challenge and change of pace from everyday life. “As someone who works with statistics, it’s interesting to me to see different things along a timeline; watching a whole group of people grow,” she said. “New doctors need to get a feel for how patients will react to things and adjust their bedside manner accordingly,” Susan said. “I think this training leaves something in them. They get an idea of how to react to different things and then have the opportunity to go back to instructors and ask what they should have done. They know they will have to do this in practice someday.” Innes Hometown: Akron, Ohio Experience: Medical background Years as a Standardized Patient: Five -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Innes was familiar with the practice of using standardized patients for training health care professionals but didn’t realize NEOMED took part in the practice until she saw it in her local paper. Having a medical background and some time to dedicate to serving as a standardized patient, Innes took on the role knowing the activity was positive reinforcement to anyone in health care. “The staff at NEOMED have made this a positive and great experience,” Innes said. Innes likes to portray different maladies to the students, who she was surprised to find were nervous during the sessions.

Kjera has mentioned the opportunity to serve as a standardized patient to others, including her mother who is retiring and may be interested in getting involved. “As long as I’m in the area, I intend to keep doing it,” she said.

Northeast Ohio Medical University Awarded $30,000 for Interdisciplinary Continuing Education Adherence Program Members from the Northeast Ohio Medical University Department of Pharmacy Practice, William G. Wasson, M.D., Center for Clinical Skills Training, Assessment and Scholarship, and Office of Continuing Education were recently awarded $30,000 by the University of Cincinnati through the 2012 Ohio Partnership for Adherence through Collaborative Education (OhioPACE) Adherence Block Grant cycle. The funding was awarded in support of the project “Improving Adherence Counseling Skills through an Interactive, Interdisciplinary Education Seminar,” an interdisciplinary (pharmacy/medicine/nursing) continuing education program taking place in the Wasson Center with the help and use of its standardized patients.

She hopes to keep participating and sharing her experience 15 | IGNITE

Spot light on Service :

College of Pharmacy Faculty Members Travel to Serve in Health Care Missions by Heather Bing Photos provided by

Kyle A. Gustafson, Pharm.D., BCPS, and Daniel L. Krinsky, B.S., M.S., R.Ph.

Education, research and service are important areas of focus at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). The University’s faculty, staff, students and alumni channel their efforts to improve the health, economy and quality of life in the region through these dedicated areas of passion and expertise. But not all of their efforts take place in the classroom, laboratory and local community. Sometimes pursuit of life-long learning, professional development and personal growth takes them outside the campus grounds and outside their comfort zones – with life-altering results. Two faculty members in the College of Pharmacy have pursued service missions overseas. Their experiences serving in underserved communities around the globe give them a different perspective on how they educate the next generation of health care professionals, how they apply what they’ve experienced to the practice of pharmacy, and how they care for the local community through their desire and ability to serve.


Giving Back in


Kyle A. Gustafson, Pharm.D., BCPS, assistant professor of pharmacy practice in the College of Pharmacy, traveled to Ghana, West Africa, for the first time in August 2011 as part of a 19-member team on a health care mission. One of seven health care providers on the trip, Dr. Gustafson partnered with another pharmacist, one physician and four nurses setting up open clinics to address the needs of the underserved as the entire team traveled from village to village. He recounts his experiences and how this service and mission trip impacted his personal life and reminded him of his professional goals.

“A lot of time and medication planning went into the months leading up to our trip. No one in our group had done this before so I met with the other pharmacist, Amy Balata, Pharm.D., ahead of time to discuss what diseases we thought we would encounter, what medication donations we thought we would need as well as which ones we could take with us and which we would need to acquire there, and we put together a formulary.”

“Of the 15-day trip, we were in country about 10 days and more than half of our time was spent running the open clinics.”

“Every village had different issues – sometimes everyone had hypertension, other times we were addressing gastrointestinal diseases. There weren’t as many instances of open wounds and not as many antibiotics dispensed as I thought.”


“There were also people who came to the clinics who weren’t sick but wanted a visit and the opportunity to get vitamins.”

“Amy and I were responsible for handing out prescriptions and counseling, and at times it was very difficult. At any given village we were dealing with four different languages and trying to communicate through translators – we relied on the Ghanaians to help us.”

“We had the opportunity to visit a United Nations refugee camp housing refugees from several surrounding countries. It was the first time they had a physician in the camp.”

“Many of the refugees spoke French, and it turned out there was a medicine student who lived in the area who also spoke French. He was very helpful and assisted us with the drug names. Otherwise we were really limited to giving people information on the number of pills they were receiving and when to take them.”


“We did have one free day between all of our clinics. We canoed to Nzulezo, a city built on stilts in the middle of a lake. Afterward we had dinner on the beach.”

“We saw more than 1,200 patients during the mission, which was nearly double what we had expected. We barely had enough supplies to cover everyone.”

“It was such an eye-opening experience. In one sense it was incredible that we really did impact lives – there were three to four people whose lives were literally saved by our intervention. But despite those instances and all of the people we helped, it was still only 1,200 out of millions of people there who need care.”

“While there, I was also constantly reminded of how I’ve been blessed. I downloaded medical books on my iPad prior to the trip for easy access and carried it around in my bag of supplies with my camera. At one point it occurred to me that the value of the contents in my bag was easily equal to about 10 years of earning for someone there. It was a very humbling experience and impressed on me further how grateful I am for what I’ve been given.” 19 | IGNITE

“I was also affected by the trip in another very lifealtering way, meaning my relationship with Amy. We met ahead to plan the trip, got to know one another very well through that process as well as all of our experiences on the trip, became engaged shortly after returning from Ghana, and were married on July 13!”

“This fall, I’m traveling back to Ghana with the team, returning to some of the villages that really needed help last time as well as adding some new villages in need of care. We will have new and returning individuals as well as an expanded medical team – we plan to take three physicians this year as well as one dentist and one physician’s assistant. We really want to build on what we accomplished last year, and in the future I would really like this to be an opportunity for our pharmacy students as well.”

“I don’t know that the experience has changed my outlook on teaching, but it’s certainly changed my approach to how I place priority on certain educational experiences. For example, I might encourage students to do more philanthropic activities – to go outside their comfort zones and try new things – than I did before I went on this service mission.”

“I feel strongly about service, and I was taught throughout my pharmacy education to care for patients. But to go to a third-world country and just do whatever you can – it really reminded me of why I wanted to be a pharmacist and why I’m where I am today.”


Health and Healing in

H onduras

Daniel L. Krinsky, B.S., M.S., R.Ph., associate professor of pharmacy practice in the College of Pharmacy, travels to Honduras each January as part of a health care mission of more than 40 medical professionals to treat the country’s underserved. The lead pharmacist for the team, Krinsky completed his seventh trip this year and already has plans underway to attend again in 2013 with two fourth-year pharmacy students from NEOMED. He recounts his experiences and how this annual service and mission trip impacts his personal and professional ability and desire to serve.

“Each year, I travel with a team comprised of doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, translators, an optometrist, and other volunteers to Honduras. We fly into Tegucigalpa, commonly referred as ‘Tegus,’ the capital of Honduras, and travel about an hour outside of town to begin our trip.”

“When we arrive at our compound, which is specially designed for missionaries and serves as our home base for the trip, our team begins by sorting and organizing all of the medications, medical supplies and more we’ve brought into the country as well as some we have to obtain in country.”

“We create an organized supply area in the main compound so we can easily reload supplies each day. The clinics are often the only time patients receive medical care and treatment. Regarding the medications we dispense, if someone has an infection, we’ll give them a 10-14 day course of antibiotics. If a patient has hypertension or diabetes, we’ll provide them with a year’s worth of drugs due to the uncertainty of when they may next see a health care provider.” 21 | IGNITE

“Each day, our team travels from the compound to remote towns and villages, usually an hour or more away, to set up free clinics. The travel to and from each clinic can be very difficult, but every trip is a wonderful adventure.”

“We set up our clinics in any space available – rooms, schools, tents, etc. Often there are a few hundred people waiting when we arrive. We may see up to a thousand or more patients in a day, many of them children.”

“At each clinic, our team sets up an area for the nurses, doctors, dentists, optometrist, and the pharmacy. We also hire locals to help us with interpretation, transportation, security and to coordinate with the community leaders in each town.”

“Everyone the team sees receives enough medications to treat or manage their condition, all bagged and labeled in Spanish. Each person also receives vitamins, a toothcare kit, anti-parasite medication and an apple.”


“Every child that comes to the clinic receives a toy, and this particular little girl (on the right) got a Beanie Baby®. I will never forget the smile on her face when she got her toy; she had to come into the pharmacy and give everyone a hug. Getting that toy was the best thing that happened to her, and to us.”

“Amid all the hard work is also some time for fun. At one of the larger towns we visited, some of the other volunteers worked out a deal with the local security officers to have me handcuffed and taken aside. It became an ongoing joke that trip.”

“Our compound is next to an orphanage, and each year the children put on a dance and music show for our team. Afterwards we give all the kids cake and ice cream, which they thoroughly enjoy.”

“The folks who run the orphanage are always looking for sponsors for the kids. Many of us who go on the mission trip are now also sponsors. Our family sponsors these two boys – Gustavo and Diego.”



“There are sugar cane fields throughout Honduras and some very near the compound where we stay. One night, as we were driving back, we saw the fields directly across the street were on fire. It was very impressive but a little frightening to see 30 foot flames so nearby.”

“Amid all the travel and clinical work, which easily lasts 12-13 hours a day, we have time to socialize, attend mass together and form meaningful friendships. Many of these people are like family to me now. While we bring health and healing to so many in Honduras each year, I know I gain so much from each trip as I reflect on how fortunate and blessed I am for what I have and my ability to serve.”



Farewell to Dr. Mark A. Penn

Mark A. Penn, M.D., M.B.A.

Mark A. Penn, M.D., M.B.A., special advisor to the president at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), was appointed as chancellor of Roseman University’s South Jordan, Utah, campus and special assistant to the president for program planning.

Dr. Penn has more than 30 years of experience in health care and higher education. His early career experience was in private medical practice in Ohio. Dr. Penn transitioned into health care education as the associate director of a family medicine residency program at NEOMED. He went on to serve in a variety of academic roles at NEOMED, including undergraduate and clerkship director in family medicine, medical director of the clinical skills program, interim vice president for academic affairs and executive associate dean, acting president and dean, and senior vice president for academic affairs and executive associate dean. In 2010, he was invited to lead the development of the educational partnership between NEOMED and Cleveland State University (CSU), as special assistant to the president and vice provost for health affairs at CSU, and special advisor to the president at NEOMED. Dr. Penn earned a Doctor of Medicine degree at the then Medical College of Ohio in Toledo, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Regent University. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Dr. Awad Named ‘30 for the Future’ Recipient Magdi H. Awad, B.S., Pharm.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice at NEOMED and clinical pharmacist at Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., has been selected as a 2012 Greater Akron Chamber ‘30 Magdi H. Awad, B.S., Pharm.D. for the Future’ recipient. Presented by the Greater Akron Chamber and LPC Publishing, the sixth annual recognition program honors 30 young professionals who live and/or work in the Greater Akron Region and are trendsetters in their industry, impacting the region through leadership, mentoring and volunteerism.

Founding Dean of Pharmacy Heads to Ole Miss David D. Allen, R.Ph., Ph.D., FASHP, FAPhA, founding dean of pharmacy and professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Pharmacy at NEOMED, joined the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) earlier this year David D. Allen, R.Ph., Ph.D., FASHP, FAPhA as dean of the School of Pharmacy and executive director of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Dr. Allen said, “Leaving NEOMED is bittersweet. Building the new College of Pharmacy was an incredible experience, and I am thankful for the amazing faculty and staff that helped make it such a success. I now look forward to new experiences as I lead the School of Pharmacy at Ole Miss.” Dr. Allen joined NEOMED in 2006 as the founding dean of the newly established College of Pharmacy. He also served as professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Pharmacy and professor of physiology and pharmacology in the College of Medicine. Before joining NEOMED, Dr. Allen served as associate dean of curricular affairs at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy in Amarillo, Texas. He has published 71 peer-reviewed articles, 41 professional publications, 97 abstracts, four book chapters and has presented his work more than 165 times across the United States and abroad. He earned a bachelor’s and doctoral degree in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Kentucky and gained experience working in community pharmacy and as an intramural research training award postdoctoral fellow at National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. He has had grant support for his research from international, university, national, state and local funding sources, including the NIH, American Heart Association, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Chilean government and industrial sources.



Speaker William G. Batchelder Honored at Northeast Ohio Medical University Commencement The Honorable William G. Batchelder, speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, served as the College of Medicine Class of 2012 commenceWilliam G. Batchelder ment speaker and received an honorary degree in recognition of his dedication to the State of Ohio, and for his significant contributions and excellent counsel in contributing to the success and growth of Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) at this year’s Commencement Ceremony. Speaker Batchelder was one of the first elected officials to support the establishment of the original Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine in the early 1970s, and in 2011, Speaker Batchelder provided significant leadership and support for the inclusion of language and funding in the Biennial Appropriations Bill, House Bill 153, to support the addition of 35 medical students to NEOMED in partnership with Cleveland State University.

Joe Bernard and Dr. Jon Walro Retire from the University

Joe Bernard

Jon M. Walro, Ph.D.


Joe Bernard, laboratory supervisor II, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, and Jon M. Walro, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and neurobiology, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, recently retired. Bernard had been with the University for nearly 31 years. He was feted at a farewell celebration on Dec. 13, 2011. Dr. Walro retired on July 31, after 26 years at NEOMED. We wish them well in their future plans.

Beth Layton Named Co-Chair and Editor for AAHSL On March 1, Beth Layton, M.L.S., M.B.A., AHIP, director, Oliver Ocasek Regional Information Center and the Northeast Cooperative Regional Library Depository, was named cochair of the Assessment and Statistics Beth Layton, M.L.S., M.B.A., AHIP Committee and co-editor of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) Annual Statistics. At the annual meeting in November, Beth will serve as chair of the committee and as editor for a three-year term. AAHSL seeks to improve the role of academic health sciences librarians and information professionals in the United States and Canada by assessing, advancing, strengthening, leading and reframing health sciences libraries in patient care, research and teaching.

Degesys Selected as AMSAUSA Delegate to International Forum Nida F. Degesys, fourth-year medicine student and former student representative to the University Board of Trustees, was selected by the American Medical Student Association (AMSANida Degesys USA) to represent the United States and Northeast Ohio Medical University as a member of the AMSA-USA delegation to the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations General Assembly Aug. 9-15 in Mumbai, India. At the international forum, Degesys networked with more than 1,000 medical student leaders from more than 100 countries, and, in her role as AMSA’s national vice president for internal affairs, spoke and voted on behalf of American medical students on issues affecting the global community of future physicians.

University Launches First-Ever Mascot Contest Who says you need a sports team to have spirit? Northeast Ohio Medical University invites alumni, students, faculty, staff and donors to participate in the University’s firstever official mascot contest! The University invites you to brainstorm ideas for an official mascot you feel embodies the characteristics of the University that are most important to you. The new mascot will make an official appearance next year and will pop up around campus for special events, random hallway prize handouts, photo shoots and more.

mas-cot, n. A person, animal, or object believed to bring good luck, especially one kept as the symbol of an organization. The word mascot comes from the French word mascotte, meaning “mascot, charm.” The English word was first recorded in 1881 shortly after the French word, which was first recorded in 1867, was popularized by the opera La Mascotte, performed in December 1880. The French word in turn came from the Provençal word mascoto, “charm, amulet.”

The deadline for submissions is Nov. 15 with judging taking place in winter. The new mascot will make a first official appearance in spring 2013 and will help roll out the University’s 40th anniversary celebration and the unveiling of the new campus expansion projects. Individuals who submit a mascot idea can be entered to win a $100 gift card to The Nook bookstore and will be announced along with the winning mascot idea. To submit your mascot idea visit

Tips for Choosing a Mascot How do schools, sports teams and companies choose a mascot that reflects their personality, character and mission? Here are some things to consider as you prepare your nomination for a new University mascot: • Mascots often reflect a desired quality or characteristic • Mascots may symbolize a local or regional trait • Mascots often represent a historical or noteworthy event in history • Mascots are meant to be fun and memorable



Alexander V. Galazyuk, Ph.D., in the lab where he and his team study brain mechanisms responsible for tinnitus.

SEEKING SILENCE: NEOMED Auditory Neuroscience Researchers Collaborate Around Tinnitus by Laura Mariano


he goal of the Auditory Neuroscience Focus Group at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) is to promote excellence in hearing research through a highly collaborative environment. Researchers in the sevenyear-old research group are studying a range of disorders and continue to receive funding from such entities as The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The silent problem Alexander V. Galazyuk, Ph.D., associate professor of neurobiology, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, studies tinnitus, a condition that causes the perception of sound in the absence of external sound. “It’s a silent problem that affects roughly 17 percent of the world’s population. A recent survey indicates that about one percent of the general population has severe, occasionally debilitating tinnitus, which may lead to suicidal thoughts,” said Dr. Galazyuk. “I think this research is very timely, as we have 28 | IGNITE

seen an increasing number of tinnitus patients especially in troops returning home from the battlefield after having been exposed to loud (blasting) sounds.” Dr. Galazyuk’s research was recently awarded NIDCD funding to study brain mechanisms responsible for tinnitus. Tinnitus can be suppressed for a minute or two following an external sound. This phenomenon, termed “residual inhibition,” has been known for almost four decades, although its underlying brain mechanism remains unknown. The goal of his research is to determine the mechanisms responsible for residual inhibition in order to identify a class of drug that can either prolong residual inhibition or suppress tinnitus without the application of any external sounds. The combined funding for Dr. Galazyuk’s project from the NIDCD amounts to more than $315,775 this year, and more than $1.62 million over the next five years. “Our goal is to find out what mechanism inside the brain is capable of suppressing the tinnitus during residual inhibition. Then, the knowledge about this mechanism may help us to

The work Dr. Wenstrup and his team are doing with animal models is based on the view that the amygdala plays a critical role in acoustic communication through participation in several processes. First, the amygdala “decides” whether a The Galazyuk research team at NEOMED has spent the past vocal signal is significant and whether it is positive or negative, two years developing a model based on contextual informaof tinnitus in mice. Such a tion from the vocal sequence, model is critical because it can other sensory information and “Our goal is to find out what mechanism help test new drugs and the animal’s internal state. methods that might affect tininside the brain is capable of suppressing Secondly, it orchestrates emonitus. The team has also been tional responses that are apthe tinnitus during residual inhibition. propriate for the received involved in a collaborative project with Akron General Then, the knowledge about this mechanism vocal communication signals and their context. And, lastly, Medical Center. They are may help us to better understand the it modulates responsiveness starting a pilot study with a small group of tinnitus patients nature of tinnitus and, more importantly, to subsequent vocal signals to investigate the effects of a through its direct and indirect to develop drugs that can suppress and/ new technique – transcranial projections to cortical and magnetic stimulation – to supother auditory structures. In or eliminate tinnitus.” press tinnitus. This technique other words, the amygdala is is used successfully for treat– Alexander V. Galazyuk, Ph.D. likely to influence how we hear ment of depression, but is only and respond to vocal comin the exploratory phase for munication signals. treatment of tinnitus. “Our aim is to determine whether or not dysfunction in the amygdala may play a critical role in abnormal relationships Auditory emotional responses Dr. Galazyuk and team will be collaborating with Jeffrey J. between acoustic inputs and emotional responses in a range Wenstrup, Ph.D., department chair and professor of neuro- of hearing-related disorders, such as the profound emotional biology, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, to look at disturbance that can occur with tinnitus,” said Dr. Wenstrup. “Our hope is that by collaborating across the Auditory Neuthe effects of tinnitus on an emotional/neurological level. roscience Focus Group, we will connect our basic science Dr. Wenstrup recently received NIDCD funding in the amount research with clinical applications that could help those sufof $523,950 toward his research on how sound is processed fering from these disorders.” in the brain, specifically auditory information processing in the amygdala. The amygdala is the region of the brain most Earmarked collaborations often associated with learning the emotional content of sounds As a member of the Auditory Neuroscience Focus Group, and directing the appropriate emotional reactions. The grant Brett R. Schofield, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and neurobiis expected to peak out at $2.366 million at the end of the ology, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, is also proposed five-year period. collaborating with both Dr. Galazyuk and Dr. Wenstrup. better understand the nature of tinnitus and, more importantly, to develop drugs that can suppress and/or eliminate tinnitus,” said Dr. Galazyuk.

“This continued support from the NIDCD suggests that they are very interested in our research as we have drawn clear implications to speech and hearing disorders in autism, schizophrenia, post traumatic stress and tinnitus,” said Dr. Wenstrup. “I believe this funding will help to continue our collaborations in researching the function of the amygdala in these life-altering conditions.”

Dr. Schofield’s research, supported by three grants from the NIDCD totaling $2.261 million, focuses on the functional anatomy of the auditory pathways within the brain. The brain processes auditory information in ascending circuits that extend from the ear to the cerebral cortex, where sound is perceived. Descending pathways allow higher centers, such as the cortex, to modify neural processing in the lower centers. 29 | IGNITE


This modification is important for many functions, such as selective attention and understanding speech in a noisy environment, and appears to play a role in the brain’s ability to adapt to a changing world or to acoustic trauma. There is a growing consensus that tinnitus, which often follows hearing loss or exposure to loud sounds, results from the brain’s adaptive mechanisms gone awry. Dr. Schofield is looking into the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh), an essential component in many forms of brain adaptation. There is a potential connection between ACh and tinnitus. Dr. Schofield and Dr. Galazyuk are planning to submit a new grant application to further research on this possible link. Furthermore, ACh is also a significant component of the brain arousal system, posing the potential for a connection between the emotional aspect of hearing and maladaptive conditions like tinnitus. Dr. Wenstrup and Dr. Schofield will be working together to explore these topics. “We have many opportunities to partner on related research projects across the research group,” said Dr. Schofield. “I am fortunate enough to have Dr. Galazyuk and other members of the Auditory Neuroscience Focus Group nearby, as well as collaborators in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences down the hall. I cannot stress how important it is to be able to work closely with colleagues when our interests overlap, and the environment at NEOMED encourages just that.”

Auditory Neuroscience Focus Group Alexander Galazyuk, Ph.D. – Neural Mechanisms in Tinnitus; Complex Sound Processing Yong Lu, Ph.D. – Cellular Neurophysiology of Central Auditory Neurons Merri Rosen, Ph.D. – Neural Correlates Of Auditory Perception: Effects of Hearing Loss and Experience During Development Brett Schofield, Ph.D. – Functional Anatomy of the Auditory Pathways Shobhana Sivaramakrishnan, Ph.D. – Synaptic Transmission and Neural Circuits Jeff Wenstrup, Ph.D. – Brain Mechanisms Relating Hearing, Emotions and Communication 30 | IGNITE

Brett R. Schofield, Ph.D., and Jeff Mellott, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow, discuss their research, which focuses on the functional anatomy of the auditory pathways within the brain.

Jeff Wenstrup, Ph.D., and Carol Grose, research associate, investigate how sound is calculated in the brain, specifically auditory information processing in the amygdala region of the brain.



laucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and, despite increasing interest, effective treatments remain elusive.

However progressive research continues to point to neural dysfunction and degeneration as the originating source of the disease, and a new emphasis is being placed on uncovering the specific neuronal mechanisms related to the disease’s progression. Samuel D. Crish, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) College of Pharmacy, continues to gain important resources and industry recognition for his research on axonopathy in glaucoma. Dr. Crish’s glaucoma research focuses on how defects and degeneration originating in the brain may lead to cell death and resulting functional loss in the eye.

“In other neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease, early pathology occurs in the axon first, and this has been recently implicated in glaucoma,” said Dr. Crish. Dr. Crish was recently awarded the College of Pharmacy’s first Research Project Grant (R01), the original and oldest grant mechanism used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide support for health-related research based on the mission of the NIH. Dr. Crish serves as principal investigator for the grant, which peaks out at nearly $1.9 million at the end of the proposed five-year period. “The first NIH R01 Research Grant in a new college is a cause for celebration, and we are proud to acknowledge Dr. Crish, the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the College of Pharmacy on this tremendous accomplishment,” said Walter E. Horton Jr., Ph.D., vice president for research and dean of 31 | IGNITE


the College of Graduate Studies at NEOMED. “This funding will allow Dr. Crish’s lab to better define glaucoma’s progression and develop more effective therapeutic treatments to address this debilitating disorder.” New research methods With the support of this new grant by the National Eye Institute of the NIH, Dr. Crish’s lab will examine the structural and functional defects in retinal ganglion cell axons, which transmit visual information from the retina to several regions of the brain, in early glaucoma. One research focus will examine changes in the retinal ganglion cell’s cytoskeleton, a protein skeleton that determines the shape of a cell, compared to two major risk factors in glaucoma: age and exposure to elevated fluid pressure in the eye. A second research focus will attempt to identify cytoskeletal abnormalities in relation to axonal transport, the movement of cell parts to and from the cell body, and axonal degenera-


tion, the dying back of the nerves outside the brain. A final research focus will look at specific deficiencies in active axonal transport. “We will be using a combination of analytical techniques as well as a newly-modified method of tracing neural connections between the retina and brain that was developed by our lab,” said Dr. Crish. “We look to determine differences in the timecourse of defects in different transport mechanisms that have been suggested by the glaucoma literature, yet never directly tested.” Team-based and interdisciplinary approach Dr. Crish is partnering with two co-investigators on his glaucoma research: Brett R. Schofield, Ph.D., professor of anatomy and neurobiology in the College of Medicine, and Denise Inman, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Pharmacy. “I am extremely fortunate to have such talented investigators

working with me on this project,” said Dr. Crish. “Dr. Inman and I have been collaborating since 2006 – well before either of us came to NEOMED. She brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience with glaucoma to the project. Dr. Schofield is a renowned expert in many of the neurobiological techniques and concepts we are using here and brings a fresh perspective to glaucoma research.” Dr. Schofield joined the College of Medicine in 2005 following 25 years of teaching and research in various universities nationally and internationally. His laboratory focuses its research on the The glaucoma research team includes (left to right) Samuel D. Crish, Ph.D.; Denise Inman, Ph.D.; functional anatomy of the audiBrett R. Schofield, Ph.D.; Christine Dengler-Crish, Ph.D.; and, Hilary Stinnett, graduate student at Kent State University. tory pathways, looking at how the brain processes auditory information in ascending circuits that extend from the ear to “Our goal is to identify new therapeutic targets and the potential role function-restoring therapies could play in glauthe cerebral cortex, where sound is perceived. coma and other neurodegenerative diseases in the future,” Dr. Inman joined the College of Pharmacy in January 2012 said Dr. Crish. following more than eight years at the University of Washington as a lecturer and senior post-doctoral fellow. She special- And success in studying glaucoma can mean success for izes in neurodegenerative disease, specifically the interactions everyone. between neurons and glia. Cornelis J. Van der Schyf, B.Pharm., M.Sc., D.Sc., DTE, chair The team also includes Christine Dengler-Crish, Ph.D., re- and professor in the department of pharmaceutical sciences search assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the and associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Pharmacy, who completed her doctoral training College of Pharmacy, is elated at the success of this core and an NIH-funded post-doctoral fellowship in sensory neu- group of researchers. robiology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and Hilary Stinnett, graduate student in the Kent State University “The success of the ocular neurodegeneration group will biomedical sciences program in collaboration with NEOMED. benefit other research areas as well, such as drug discovery and drug delivery research,” said Dr. Van der Schyf. “These are already extremely successful components within the Looking to the future With new resources received and new research techniques department’s research portfolio that interface perfectly with underway, Dr. Crish and his team are ready to significantly a long-term view to develop preventive or curative therapies for glaucomatous neurodegeneration.” move the research forward.



BIO-MED SCIENCE ACADEMY NEOMED Campus to be Home for New High School

As Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) continues to diversify its educational offerings, it also continues to look for ways to reach students during middle and high school. The University recently partnered with the Mahoning County Educational Service Center to develop the Bio-Med Science Academy, a new high school launching in August 2012. The Academy is a STEM+M (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) community high school, and one of only a few rural STEM schools in the country. Academy integration on a medical university campus will allow teachers and students to take advantage of sophisticated research laboratories and guest lectures from an array of scientific researchers, professors and medical professionals. The Academy will also engage professionals from engineering,


science, pharmaceutical, biomedical and other companies to provide lectures and serve as project advisors. “Increasing STEM education is critical to workforce development and diversification for Ohio and other parts of the country,” said NEOMED President Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D. “NEOMED is pleased to be part of this unique educational endeavor.” The Academy begins classes with a charter cohort of 70 ninth grade students. The new students hail from Portage, Summit, Stark, Mahoning and Trumbull Counties. Classes will be held on the NEOMED campus, with plans to move into a dedicated space inside the new Health and Wellness Center upon its completion.

Collaboration with Cleveland School of Science and Medicine at John Hay Estimates suggest that the U.S. will see severe shortages in health care professionals over the next 20 years. Researchers and educators within the secondary and post-secondary education have responded with intervention efforts to engage under represented high school and college students in biomedical and health care careers by recruiting new students from underrepresented groups. This pipeline program as part of the NEOMED-CSU Partnership and Cleveland School of Science and Medicine (CSSM) Grant Program offers opportunities to all types of students with varying abilities, interests and academic skills for future career placement and experience in the Biomedical Sciences. Understanding and appreciating the assets of students within their context is critical to building long-term networks and establishing transformative pathways toward health careers. This approach leverages the foundation of the involved schools, the talent and interest of the students and engages them to become “health enthusiasts” by appealing to them in meaningful ways, within the context of experience and learning.

“We are extremely excited about the students who make up our inaugural class,” said Stephanie Lammlein, director of the Academy. “It is going to be an exciting journey that we begin together, and we appreciate the support of the community, the local schools and the families of our students.” The Academy will implement a unique virtual classroom environment to provide content delivery and academic support, where professionals, teachers and students from anywhere in the world can collaborate with Academy teachers and students on joint projects during or after the school day throughout the year. For more information about how you or your company can become involved with the Academy, contact or visit

Students at CSSM have worked with Gina Weisblatt, Ph.D., director of education for service at NEOMED, in the past year to identify an area of interest and learn how to write and apply for a small community grant in the area that they are involved in creating a project. This process has allowed the students to leverage their knowledge from their education and community to find new and innovative solutions to the health challenges they see within their communities. Students worked on designing programs that they believed were important on type 2 diabetes, bully ( psycho-social health) and patient literacy. Three of the four groups (including graduate students, high-school students and teachers) were funded by the Cleveland Foundation to begin to operationalize their projects this fall. As part of the Education for Service program, this model is being expanded to include medicine and pharmacy students as co-creators of ideas and materials and to provide a service opportunity in all the pipeline areas that partner with NEOMED, including Bio-Med Science Academy students.



Student Organizations Raise Funds for Local Charities Blizzard Blitz First-year medicine students in the ‘Reflections on Doctoring’ course at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) designed and executed a one-mile charity run called the Blizzard Blitz for their community service project to do outreach with the local community and promote health and wellness. The event, held Jan. 28 on the NEOMED campus, featured registered runners from NEOMED as well as surrounding communities. The event registered 51 runners, and students raise $324 dollars for Rootstown High School’s Track and Cross Country Teams. Hope waLKS 5K NEOMED Lambda Kappa Sigma (LKS) held its second annual Hope waLKS 5K run/walk on campus April 29. Sixty participants, the majority of whom were pharmacy and medicine students, registered for the 5K. The event raised $1,500 for Project HOPE, an organization that works to make health care available for people, especially impoverished women and children, around the globe.

NEOMED Student Takes Third Place in 30th Annual Poetry Competition The William Carlos Williams Awards Presentation and Poetry Reading, sponsored by the Department of Family and Community Medicine at NEOMED, was held in Meshel Hall on April 27. Third-year College of Medicine student Daniel Grosser took third place in the competition.

Pictured from left to right: second place winner Emily Sorg, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York, N.Y.; first place winner Sarah Andersen, Queens University Kingston, Ontario, Canada; guest poet Rafael Campo, M.D., Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass., author of The Desire to Heal: Diva and The Enemy; third place winner Daniel Grosser, NEOMED, Rootstown, Ohio.

Faculty, staff and students attended the annual event that honored the first, second and third place winners and guest poet. Also in attendance was Martin Kohn, director, Program in Medical Humanities, Center for Ethics, Humanities and Spiritual Care, Cleveland Clinic, and associate professor of medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Kohn started the poetry competition 30 years ago when he was director of the Human Values in Medicine program at NEOMED.

The William Carlos Williams Poetry Competition is open to students attending schools of medicine or osteopathy in the U.S. and Canada. Each year, hundreds of entries are submitted to the competition and go through a rigorous screening by English faculty at Youngstown State University, Kent State University and The University of Akron. The final judge is Richard Berlin, M.D., a psychiatrist and poet from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. 36 | IGNITE

Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy Celebrate Match Day Match Day celebrations have long been one of the most exciting events on campus; family, friends, students, faculty and staff all gather to learn where the University’s impending graduates will continue training. Amid the smiles, camera flashes and buzzing conversations are nerves, anticipation and celebration, as well as a few surprises. This year Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) hosted two Match Day celebrations; a March 16 event for the College of Medicine and an April 19 event for the College of Pharmacy. College of Medicine Beginning promptly at noon on national Match Day, senior medicine students learned their residency placement in the Great Hall of the Ralph Regula Conference and Event Center joined by family and friends to help celebrate their success. Following welcoming comments from Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of NEOMED and Jeffrey L. Susman, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine, attendees were invited forward to participate in a raffle to support Portage County Community Health Center. Donation proceeds collected totaled $948. The 126 students from the College of Medicine’s Class of 2012 who participated in the match program are among medical school seniors nationwide who received results of the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Students began applying for residency programs at the beginning of their fourth year and participated in interviews with hospital officials during the fall and winter months. Students indicated their residency preferences to the NRMP, hospitals indicated their preference of students, and the NRMP matched the two. Fifty-one percent of the College of Medicine’s graduating class

will remain in Ohio for their residencies, 29 percent of which will remain in the University’s hospital partners, and 44 percent will continue their training in a primary care field such as family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics or obstetrics/ gynecology. “We are pleased to see the tradition of retaining our students in Ohio (51 percent), and the number of students, almost half of those who matched, entering a primary care field (44 percent),” said Dr. Susman. “Our students are committed to patient-centered care in Ohio and beyond, and we look forward to seeing their successes in residency training and the impact they will have in the communities they serve.” College of Pharmacy The College of Pharmacy hosted its first official Match Day event on April 19 in the Bitonte Family Atrium of the Ralph Regula Conference and Event Center, celebrating those graduating pharmacists who will continue their pharmacy training in residency programs following commencement. Thirteen students were selected for a residency position, with eight remaining in Ohio and six remaining in Northeast Ohio. An additional two students will be completing other postgraduate programs, including a fellowship and a master’s degree. The students from the College of Pharmacy’s Class of 2012 who participated in the match program are among pharmacy students nationwide who received results of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) Resident Matching Program. The program includes both post-graduate year one and post-graduate year two pharmacy residencies. The program is sponsored and supervised by the ASHP and administered on behalf of the ASHP by National Matching Services Inc. 37 | IGNITE


Awards and Recognition Event Honors Classes of 2012 Students and Faculty The Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine kicked off this year’s commencement celebration activities on May 9 by honoring the members of the Class of 2012 and recognizing the special achievements and contributions of class members, as well as the contributions of members of the faculty and staff, at Awards and Recognition Events in Great Hall.

Preceptor of the Year, Most Influential Professor/Faculty and 2012 Commencement Hooders. The class awards concluded with Janis J. MacKichan, Pharm.D., FAPhA, being named Grand Marshal, an honor bestowed upon a senior faculty member to carry the mace and lead the processions during commencement.

This year’s College of Pharmacy event featured 13 student awards presented by members of the College of Pharmacy faculty. The Student Marshal award was given to Kristin Fearer, Pharm.D., for being the top student in the class. Jaclyn Kruse, Pharm.D., the Student Commencement Speaker and Bowl of Hygeia award recipient, was selected by her classmates as the colleague they would most want as their own personal pharmacist as exemplified through excellent intellectual and clinical skills, empathy and patient rapport, as well as diligence and support of fellow colleagues.

Between ceremonies, the Colleges of Pharmacy and Medicine participated in a celebratory picnic in the Bitonte Family Atrium complete with food, music, activities and prizes.

The College of Pharmacy Class of 2012 also recognized recipients in the following faculty award categories–the P4 Core Faculty Preceptor of the Year, P4 Voluntary Faculty 38 | IGNITE

The College of Medicine began its ceremony by honoring the following faculty and staff award recipients – 2012 Commencement Hooders, Outstanding Service recipients and Gender Equity Award recipients. The Class of 2012 selected James F. Kravec, M.D., FACP (‘02), assistant professor of internal medicine and former president of the Alumni Association to serve as Grand Marshal and lead the processions during commencement, and classmate Rami El-Shaar, M.D., was named Student Marshal for being the top student in the class.

pharmacy administration. The first track for the M.S. degree only is offered to mid-career pharmacists practicing in hospitals and healthsystems in Northeast Ohio who want to pursue an M.S. degree as a nontraditional student. A second track of the two-year M.S. degree will be completed at NEOMED with some courses at the Cleveland State University (CSU) College of Business. A concurrent two-year specialized residency in pharmacy administration will be conducted at the Cleveland Clinic or Akron General Medical Center.

College of Graduate Studies Expands Offerings The College of Graduate Studies at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception in July 2009, adding new degree programs and receiving new approvals for its offerings. In addition to building enrollment numbers in its existing degree and certificate programs, the College has also enrolled students in its newest degree program, a Master of Science (M.S.) or combined M.S./Residency Program in health-system

Along with new program development, the College has also focused on furthering its classroom capabilities, most recently in terms of distance learning approval. In March 2012, the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission voted to approve the expansion of distance education up to 20 percent of total degree programs, including the Master of Public Health program. For more information about the College of Graduate Studies and its program offerings, visit graduatestudies.

New Dean Named for College of Pharmacy Charles T. Taylor, Pharm.D., BCPS, has been named dean of the College of Pharmacy effective this fall. With extensive academic administrative experience developing and implementing strategic plans, educational initiatives and research programs that have increased research funding and advanced scholarly work, Dr. Taylor has built and grown clinical and community partnerships as well as initiated programs to improve operational effectiveness and financial sustainability. He has also worked as a pharmacist, providing medication management services for patients with chronic diseases in primary care clinics.

Dr. Taylor is currently serving as the senior associate dean for professional education and professor of pharmaceutical care and health systems in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Minnesota. Richard J. Kasmer, Pharm.D., J.D., was appointed interim dean of the College of Pharmacy following the departure of the college’s charter dean, David D. Allen, R.Ph., Ph.D., FASHP, FAPhA, and he will continue in that role until Dr. Taylor’s arrival.



Class of 2012 Donates to Local Health Clinic The NEOMED Class of 2012 from the Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy donated $1,500 to Akron Community Health Resources, Inc. (ACHRI). The donation, collected from Class of 2012 activity funds, has become a tradition in recent years as each class has raised funds for ACHRI’s Portage Community Health Resources underserved clinic located in Kent, Ohio. The clinic promotes health and wellness and provides health care for the medically underserved or underinsured. Additionally, the clinic provides affordable health care to people in Northeast Ohio. The clinic was established in November 2008 with the help of individuals from NEOMED and community members from Portage County and Robinson Memorial Hospital. The clinic is designated as a federally qualified health center.

Pictured are (back row, left to right) John Graham, M.D.; Heather Skeckloff, Pharm.D.; Eric Tuttle, Pharm.D.; (front row, left to right) Tina Wood, Administrator, PCHR; Derek Misquitta, Immediate Past President, Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation; Julia Ng, M.D.; and Kris Drummond, D.D.S., M.P.H., CEO, ACHRI.


Alumnus Returns to NEOMED for a Reading Amit Majmudar, M.D. (‘03), is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist practicing in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Majmudar returned to his alma mater on Nov. 28, 2011, where he discussed the writing process and engaged in a reading from his first novel, Partitions. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Poetry Magazine. It took Dr. Majmudar only two months and 10 days to complete the novel, often sacrificing sleep in order to make time to write. His next novel, The Abundance, is forthcoming from the same publisher and should be released in January 2013.

Amit Majmudar, M.D. (‘03)

NEOMED Alumnus and Faculty Travel to China Joseph Dikun, Pharm.D. (‘11), and Dale E. English II, R.Ph., Pharm.D., director of instructional laboratories and professional relations and associate professor of pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Pharmacy, traveled to China May 11-18, to actively participate and provide presentations on medication safety, interprofessional education and leadership at the Forbidden City International Pharmacists Forum, Sino-American Pharmacy Training and Education Stakeholder Meeting, and International Forum on Pharmaceutical Care Skills of Specialized Clinical Pharmacists. This is the second year the two have traveled to China to participate in forums and conferences, speaking on the interprofessional education. 40 | IGNITE

Pictured left to right: Jeffrey L. Susman, M.D., dean, College of Medicine, NEOMED; John P. Crow, M.D., FACS (‘85); Mehool Patel, M.D. (’98), president, Northeast Ohio Medical University Alumni Association; Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president, NEOMED.

Charity Ball attendees revel in the evening’s Phantom of the Opera theme by donning masquerade masks.

Dr. John P. Crow Honored at Annual Aesculapius Charity Ball The Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) Aesculapius Charity Ball was held on Feb. 25, at the Hilton Akron/ Fairlawn in Akron, Ohio. The event was attended by NEOMED students, alumni, faculty and staff and guests where they enjoyed dinner, dancing, game tables, a raffle and a presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Award. Each year, the Distinguished Alumni Award – the highest honor NEOMED bestows upon its graduates – is presented to an alumnus/alumna who has met and transcended his or her fundamental role as a health care provider to become a leader in the advancement of research, service and education.

Ohio, and a professor of clinical surgery at NEOMED. Dr. Crow started at Akron Children’s Hospital in 1992 and has participated in many hospital committees and leadership positions including his current role as trauma medical director and medical staff president. During his time as trauma medical director, Akron Children’s has successfully completed four American College of Surgeons trauma verifications. Dr. Crow is the current chair of medical performance improvement and a past president of the medical staff at the hospital. Dr. Crow’s family and friends – including daughter Megan Sampson, M.D. (‘11) – were in attendance to celebrate this award.

This year’s recipient, John P. Crow, M.D., FACS (‘85), is the trauma medical director at Akron Children’s Hospital in Akron,

Proceeds from the event benefit the Sarah Cho Memorial Scholarship and Pharmacy Emergency Loan Fund.

Distinguished Alumni Nominations Sought The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) bestows upon its graduates. The award recognizes an alumnus/alumna who has met and transcended his or her fundamental role as a health care provider to become a leader in the advancement of research, service and education. This award will be presented to a NEOMED graduate who has demonstrated notable accomplishments in research or exhibited exemplary accomplishments in any of the following areas, including but not limited to: leadership, community service, teaching/education and volunteerism. A committee of alumni will review the candidates’ nominations.

Nominations may be submitted by NEOMED alumni, faculty, staff and colleagues. Nominators are required to submit a letter of nomination to Alumni Coordinator Joni Morrow at The candidate’s CV and other supporting materials (letters of recommendation and references) will be accepted, but it is not necessary to have such documentation in order to nominate a candidate. The deadline for nominating a candidate is Nov. 1. If you know an alumnus/alumna who is outstanding in practice, research, community service or humanitarian efforts, please nominate them today.



Annual Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation Golf Outing The Annual Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation Annual Golf Outing was held on May 7, at the north course at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Twenty-three teams of four comprised of community leaders, University alumni and students participated in this year’s event. A team from Akron General Medical Center took first place with a student group earning second place. Also of note, Jason Blevins of Aultman Hospital scored a double eagle on the 18th hole. This year’s Outing raised funds for scholarships and other important initiatives through the Foundation’s Blue Fund. Twenty-four medicine and pharmacy students were sponsored by donors and competed in the tournament. Thank you to all sponsors, including our Grand Slam Sponsor Summa Akron City Hospital.


Left: Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation Immediate Past President Derek Misquitta surveys his putt.

Below: Paul Watanakunakorn, M.D. (‘98), sinks a putt while team members look on.


80s Shaina Hecht, daughter of Bryan Hecht, M.D. (‘81), and Marcie Groesbeck, M.D. (‘81), is currently a third-year medical student at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. Shaina is a 2010 graduate of Indiana University. Dr. Peter Leone (‘82), gave a presentation titled “Acute HIV: Too Hot to Miss” at the Fifth Annual James S. Tan, M.D., Memorial Infectious Disease Symposium at Summa Akron City Hospital, in Akron, Ohio. John A. Bastulli, M.D. (‘83), was awarded the first Academy of Medicine Education Foundation (AMEF) Philanthropy Award at the annual meeting of the Academy of Medicine of Cleveland and Northern Ohio (AMCNO) on April 27. The Academy paid Dr. Bastulli the supreme personal and professional compliment by naming the award after him.

Tom Boniface, M.D. (‘83), (center), with teammates from his hockey team, “Old and In The Way” – taken while in Lake Placid, N.Y., playing in a pond hockey tournament. Lina Mehta, M.D. (‘84), was recently appointed interim senior associate dean for medical education and academic affairs for the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. She continues in her other roles as associate dean for admissions and associate professor of radiology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Sheila Steer, M.D. (‘84), associate EMS director at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio, was an invited speaker to the recent National Association of EMS Physicians 2012 annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz. Dr. Steer spoke about efforts at Summa Health System to study ambulance turnaround times in the emergency department. Using RFID tags mounted on ambulance cots and a reader in the ambulance entrance, her team was able to establish a benchmark turnaround time as well as identify patterns of delays. This information will be used to improve throughput and speed up return to service for EMS.

John Bissler, M.D. (‘85), was inducted into the Kent City Schools Hall of Fame on April 28 at Theodore Roosevelt High School in Kent, Ohio. Dr. Bissler holds the Clark D. West Endowed Chair of Nephrology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and is the director of the Nephrology Fellowship Training Program and associate program director for research and academic careers. He is also a professor in the Department of Pediatrics and has an appointment in cancer and cell biology at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.




Duane J. Taylor, M.D. (‘85), received the American Academy of Otolarynglogy, Head and Neck Surgery Model Committee Award for his role as the chair of the diversity committee. He received this award at the AAO-NHS meeting held in San Francisco, Calif., in 2011. The preceding year, he received the Presidential Citation at the AAO-HNS meeting in Boston, Mass., and this year he will be inducted as the president of the Montgomery County Medical Society. Dr. Taylor currently serves as the CEO and medical directory of Le Visage CNT & Facial Plastic Surgery in Bethesda, Md.


90s David Kim, M.D. (‘86), was featured in the Dallas Morning News discussing the benefits of weight loss surgery as well as the hard work patients must go through to attain successful results. Dr. Kim helped former Dallas Cowboy and Super Bowl champion Nate Newton lose weight through a vertical sleeve gastrectomy procedure. Newton lost more than 200 pounds in the year following his surgery.

Marc Orlandi, M.D. (‘91), was named chief pediatric anesthesiologist at El Paso (Texas) Children’s Hospital. After graduation, Dr. Orlandi completed his residency at the Cleveland Clinic and went on to do his specialty training in pediatric anesthesia at Akron Children’s Hospital and Johns Hopkins Hospital. In his new position at El Paso Children’s Hospital, he will be responsible for the needs of operating rooms, MRI and procedures for patients in hematology and oncology and will supervise a team of anesthesiologists. Rob Sabota, M.D. (‘93), was recently chosen as president of the Aultman Hospital medical staff. Laxmi Mehta, M.D. (‘98), was appointed president of the Board of Trustees for the Columbus Metro American Heart Association in Columbus, Ohio. She was also honored as one of “12 Women You Should Know” in Columbus by the Women for Economic Leadership and Development (WELD) and featured in the WELD 2012 calendar. Dr. Mehta is also the clinical director of the Women’s Cardiovascular Health Program at The Ohio State University.

Anthony V. Perry, M.D. (‘99), has been named medical director for Brewster Parke in North Brewster, Ohio, and will oversee its patient care program of rehabilitation and nursing.

Anuj Shah, M.D. (‘99), and Geeta Shah, M.D. (‘99), big sister Nikitha (9), and big brother Dhilan (6), welcome the addition of their new baby girl Sanya A. Shah, born May 6. The Shah family resides in Potomac, Md.


00s Jean Blair, M.D. (‘02), was named a “Forty under 40” recipient for the Mahoning Valley. A pathologist and Youngstown, Ohio, native, Dr. Blair was recognized for her commitment to her community and profession. Kevin O. Delaney, M.D. (‘02), is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C., who specializes in breast reconstruction. He performs all types of breast reconstruction with a particular interest in natural breast reconstruction (autologous). Mark Simmons, M.D. (‘02), is the new medical director of radiation oncology at Alton Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Care Center in Alton, Ill.

Justin R. Kunes, M.D. (‘04), has joined the team of orthopaedic surgeons at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in Atlanta, Ga. Prasanth Prasanna, M.D. (‘05), is the latest addition to the team of radiologists at Diagnostic Imaging of Salem in Salem, Ore. Dr. Prasanna holds an avid interest in sports medicine imaging and musculoskeletal ultrasound. Lawrence Ho, M.D. (‘07), has been chosen as Chief Fellow in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Training Program at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, Calif.

Benjamin Patrick Brucoli, M.D., died of congestive heart failure on Feb. 6, in Canfield, Ohio. Dr. Brucoli was a clinical instructor in medicine at the then Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. Stephen A. Farkas, M.D., assistant professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University, died from pancreatic cancer on June 9. Judith Ann Finkelstein, Ph.D., died on June 14. Dr. Finkelstein was a former faculty member in the College of Medicine. Richard P. Levy, M.D., died on Jan. 19. Dr. Levy was the head of the residency program in internal medicine and professor of medicine at the then Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. Janet L. McDermott, M.D., died Dec. 19, 2011. Dr. McDermott was a research assistant professor at Northeast Ohio Medical University. W. Clare Reesey Jr., M.D., died unexpectedly on Jan. 18, at his home in Liberty, Ohio. Dr. Reesey started and ran the first family practice residency program at Northside Hospital. In addition to his work with the residency program, he also taught medicine students at the then Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. Mary Ann Winders, of Hudson, Ohio, died on Dec. 15, 2011. She was a trustee of The Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation and a friend of the University.


DEVELOPMENT AND ALUMNI DONOR PROFILE Through its gift, W3 Wealth Management established the W3 Scholars Program at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). The scholarship program will award two scholarships to Youngstownarea students and two scholarships to Akron-area students pursuing a Doctor of Medicine. The scholarships are for fourthyear medicine students. For the next three years, a new group of fourth-year students will be selected to receive these scholarships. The first scholarships will be awarded for academic year 2012-2013 and based on the success of the program, W3 Wealth Management may renew the scholarship program when this term is completed.

W3 Wealth Management by Lindsey Loftus


ndy Moyer, Frank Bevilacqua and Shelby Morgan are dedicated to the wealth care of their clients and the communities they serve – they are also committed to health care in the region. As the leadership team for W3 Wealth Management, they also manage the assets of the Northeast Ohio Medical University Foundation and have done so for more than 10 years. This year, they made a $40,000 corporate commitment to fund scholarships for students in the College of Medicine. “Our roots are in Youngstown and Akron, and we thought there was no better way to give back than to create these scholarships,” said Shelby Morgan, co-founder of W3 Wealth management. It’s no surprise that their scholarship program is designed to help students from Youngstown and Akron achieve their dreams of becoming physicians. 46 | IGNITE

“We know there is a need for family physicians, and the costs associated with medical school have outstripped inflation. We decided to make a difference and provide this scholarship support,” said Andy Moyer, principal at W3 Wealth Management. Frank Bevilacqua, co-founder of W3 Wealth Management added, “We know investing in a young medical student’s education is a good investment. We work with a number of doctors that are NEOMED alumni, and they rave about their education.” W3 Wealth Management is a team of financial advisors and staff who share a deep commitment to deliver exceptional wealth care, and their clients place a tremendous amount of confidence in them. W3 Wealth Management manages more than $250 million in client assets and places high regard on the trust that others have placed in their management experience. With diverse backgrounds, education, credentials and experience, Andy, Frank and Shelby utilize these key ingredients to provide a successful team approach. The benefits you may find from a large brokerage house are provided with a level of service and dedication that give their clients a high comfort level.


Commencement Ceremonies for the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy Class of 2012 were held on May 19, 2012, at E. J. Thomas Hall on The University of Akron campus in Akron, Ohio.


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I G N I T I N G PA S S I O N F O R … R E S E A R C H Denise Inman, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, joined Northeast Ohio Medical University in January 2012. Q: Why did you choose a career in research? Dr. Inman: I’ve always wanted to make a difference and drive change. Hopefully my research will lead to ways to improve the lives of people who have neurodegenerative disease. Q: What do you hope to achieve through your glaucoma research? Dr. Inman: In neurodegenerative diseases, the functional problem is often not detected until there is a physical problem. For instance, in glaucoma a significant percentage of the cells deteriorate before patients detect changes in their vision, and by then it’s often too late to address the degeneration. I’m interested in finding ways to slow down or even stop the degeneration. Q: How does Northeast Ohio Medical University help you achieve your research goals? Dr. Inman: I love the synergies here; there is an implicit understanding that you will succeed on your own, but we know in science things move forward best in teams. One person’s success can be shared with the other investigators, the entire department, and ultimately the University. I’ve found everyone here has open doors and has made time to meet with me. It’s been very supportive.

Ignite Magazine | Summer 2012  

Ignite is a biannual publication designed to showcase and celebrate the accomplishments and milestones of the NEOMED community around the Un...

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