Digest 1, 2022

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SNAPSHOTS IN TIME Bringing PCOM’s storied history into sharp focus


VOL. 83, NO. 1, USPS, 413-060 Digest Magazine is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications under the direction of Wendy W. Romano, chief marketing and communications officer. EDITOR Jennifer Schaffer Leone, MA PUBLICATION DESIGN Abigail Harmon CONTRIBUTORS – FEATURES Janice Fisher Jennifer Schaffer Leone Dan O’Connor Carol Benenson Perloff David McKay Wilson CONTRIBUTORS – UPDATES Daniel McCunney Orla Moloney Barbara Myers Dan O’Connor Jordan Roberts

Advertisement from the College’s recent awareness campaign, “Educating the Frontlines of Health.” Features JaLisa Jones (DO ‘25).

CONTRIBUTORS – CLASS NOTES Institutional Advancement Staff Mel Daley Meghan McCall PHOTOGRAPHY Daniel Shippey Photography Bruce Fairfield Melissa Kelly Photography Anthony Stalcup SEND QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT DIGEST MAGAZINE TO: Marketing and Communications, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 4180 City Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19131-1695 215-871-6300 communications@pcom.edu SEND INFORMATION FOR CLASS NOTES AND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: Institutional Advancement, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 4180 City Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19131-1695 215-871-6120 alumni@pcom.edu Periodical postage is paid at Upper Darby, PA, and at additional mailing offices. Opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by the College or the editor.


© 2022 Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. All rights reserved. 2

Dear Alumni and Friends: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine draws great strength from its multifaceted history. In 2024—two short years from now—we will mark the 125th anniversary of the founding of our College by Oscar John Snyder, DO, and the Reverend Mason W. Pressly, DO. Such a milestone offers a unique opportunity to celebrate our past and help define and amplify what it means to be a leading health professions institution today. I hope you will follow Digest Magazine—in this issue and in a series of issues to come—as it unearths and explores the collective stories that are the PCOM story. At present, we stand at another historic moment for PCOM: a transition of leadership for our Board of Trustees. This past November, Thomas J. Gravina was elected chairman, succeeding John P. Kearney. In the pages that follow, you can read more about them both: Tom’s vision of growing and evolving the institution, and a retrospective of John’s longtime leadership and service to the College. I truly believe that PCOM—daily—is fulfilling its mission of educating health professionals to care for the whole person and advance the health of diverse communities. As we continue our efforts to achieve overall excellence at PCOM, our work will write our shared history.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81 President and Chief Executive Officer




8 Advancing Alumni 10 PCOM Board of Trustees Elects New Chairman Thomas J. Gravina

14 Past PCOM Chairman 2


John P. Kearney’s Legacy

18 125 Years Through 125 Stories: Six Reflections of Legendary PCOM Professors

26 Edna K. Williams DO

1926: The Diminutive Osteopath with Mighty Hands and Spirit



28 A Humble Genius:

David A. Festinger, PhD

30 Class Notes



ABOUT THE COVER: We assembled this photo mosaic of the iconic PCOM flame from hundreds of images from our archives. Every single one tells a story. If you look closely, you might recognize some of the faces—maybe even your own! If you look from afar, you’ll see the flickering symbol of a College whose rich tradition countless administrators, faculty, staff, students and alumni helped shape. DIGEST 2022



FAMILY MEDICINE AT PCOM GETS A MAJOR MAKEOVER It’s little wonder more patients are flocking to Family Medicine at PCOM and then raving about their experiences online. Highlights of the $3.5 million renovation and expansion project that more than tripled the size of the facility footprint include a spacious and comfortable waiting room, 15 examination rooms, a psychology office, a preceptor room, a lab and a phlebotomy room where patients can get blood drawn without the need to make an additional appointment. “Family Medicine at PCOM embodies the College’s mission,” says Stephen Castellano, chief practice operations officer. “We provide patients in the Philadelphia community with access to quality health care despite social inequity.” At the same time, the healthcare center provides an unparalleled clinical training site for PCOM students. At the center, DO, physician assistant, pharmacy and behavioral health students learn in a hands-on, interprofessional medical environment. “PCOM physicians teach and practice compassion and service as essential components of being a healthcare professional,” says Mr. Castellano. Beyond the spacious layout, new flooring, lighting and soothing ambience, the new vybe urgent care center, located only steps away, is sure to create a surge in clinical service activity, which Mr. Castellano expects will grow by 25 to 30 percent. Mr. Castellano calls the union of urgent care and primary care a “synergistic relationship” where vybe—which has nearly a dozen urgent care centers throughout the Philadelphia region—will refer walk-in patients to PCOM for follow-up care, to identify a primary care provider and for chronic care management. Mr. Castellano says physicians and staff are excited about their fresh workspace. “There’s a new energy among staff,” he says.

DR. KENDORSKI NAMED TO APA BOARD Jessica Glass Kendorski, PhD, chair of School Psychology programs at PCOM, was elected to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Board of Educational Affairs (BEA). Dr. Kendorski was selected from a national applicant pool and will serve a three-year term in this position. The BEA—an oversight board for educational policy at all levels, from early childhood education to higher education— is committed to diversity in education and training in all of its activities and initiatives. Dr. Kendorski will work closely with the other BEA members to recommend educational policy for the APA to their board of directors and their council of representatives. “I am very excited to begin this journey serving the APA and the BEA,” says Dr. Kendorski. “I feel very strongly about educational policy and standards, and I look forward to embracing this opportunity fully.”




to watch the video. Family Medicine at PCOM provides patients with access to quality health care despite social inequity.

WHITE COAT CEREMONY MARKS SIGNIFICANT MOMENT This fall—across College locations—doctor of osteopathic medicine, physician assistant and physical therapy students officially donned white coats for the first time. For students, the White Coat Ceremony is an age-old observance that marks a pivotal educational milestone into the world of clinical medicine. White coats are seen as a symbol of professionalism, humanism and compassion—the very principles required for the provision of patient care. And perhaps a PCOM white coat means even more. It signifies membership in a healthcare family committed to excellence: to caring for the whole person.





Anthony Guillorn, DO ’20 (center), asked Nicole McAndrew, DO ’20 (center left), to marry him in a well-organized, on-campus surprise proposal. There are marriage proposals. And then there are marriage proposals that pop the top off of simply popping the question on bended knee during dessert at your favorite restaurant.

ping to one knee, asking, “Will you marry me?” She enthusiastically said, “Yes!” Now engaged, the PCOM alums will continue their residencies while working to schedule a date for the wedding.

The clever boyfriend: Anthony Guillorn, DO ’20. The unsuspecting fiancée: Nicole McAndrew, DO ’20. Theirs was a match made in med school, so it was only fitting that the proposal would take place where the PCOM alums’ budding romance began: the PCOM Admissions Office, on this day adorned with balloons, flowers, a “She said yes!” sign and a gift basket from PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81.

The well-orchestrated proposal was years in the making. The two Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, natives had met in January 2015 at their medical school interviews and had connected over their shared regional ties. Though they grew up only a town away from each other and attended Scranton Prep, graduating two years apart, the two had never crossed paths until they came to PCOM.

Arriving in the admissions office in December under the guise of a Digest Magazine interview, Nicole was surprised to see Anthony and the couple’s families gathered. As he recounted the couple’s journey together, Anthony smiled at Nicole and held her hands before drop-

They reconnected during their first week of orientation, started dating shortly thereafter and have been together ever since. When Anthony decided he would ask Nicole to marry him, he knew the best place to continue their journey together would be where it started—the PCOM Admissions Office.

RESEARCHERS STUDY COVID-19 DRUG TARGETS Three associate professors from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at PCOM Georgia have joined forces to investigate strategies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, including an inhaled formulation to deliver drugs directly to the airways, where most respiratory viruses colonize. The faculty members—Shashidharamurthy Taval, PhD, Vicky Mody, PhD, and Srujana Rayalam, DVM, PhD—published a paper on their research in Communications Biology, an open access journal for research, reviews and commentary in the biological sciences. As the team works to develop new drugs to treat the disease, preclinical studies with newly developed small molecular weight molecules are planned. Drs. Taval, Rayalam and Mody investigate various strategies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. 4


FIRESIDE CHAT WITH DR. FELDSTEIN On the evening of January 27, with a flickering fire by his side, PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, shared updates with a virtual crowd of more than 100 on the progress the College has made in the past year. In a nearly hour-long conversation with Carrie Collins, JD, PhD, chief advancement and strategic planning officer, Dr. Feldstein touted the successes the College has achieved across all three campus locations. He also praised the continued commitment of students, faculty and staff through one of the most challenging periods in recent history. “What both surprised me and didn’t surprise me [over the last year] is the dedication and commitment of everybody at PCOM—the faculty, the staff and the students—and their adaptability under difficult circumstances,” said Dr. Feldstein.


to watch the video.

PCOM President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, converses with Carrie Collins, JD, PhD, chief advancement and strategic planning officer, during the 2022 Virtual President’s Fireside Chat.

During the Q&A portion of the event, Dr. Feldstein noted that the College continues to strengthen its efforts to increase the diversity of students, faculty and staff, proudly claiming one of the most diverse student populations of any osteopathic medical school in the country. Dr. Feldstein shared his confidence that this trend will continue. “It’s a reflection of our society,” he said. “As our society becomes more diverse, so, too, will our institution.”

In addition to kudos for the daily efforts of the PCOM community, Dr. Feldstein confirmed the College’s firm financial standing, sharing, “We’re very strong financially.” The program wrapped up with Dr. Feldstein looking ahead to 2024, when the College celebrates its 125th anniversary. “Whatever we can do in the next few years to ensure PCOM is around for another 125 years, we’re going to do it,” he said. “With your support, we’re going to do it.”

TWO NEW MEMBERS OF THE PCOM BOARD OF TRUSTEES The College has named Thelma Dye-Holmes, PhD, and Virginia A. Stallings, MD, to its Board of Trustees. They were elected to the board in May 2021 and will serve in their roles through 2023.

Thelma Dye-Holmes, PhD Dr. Dye-Holmes is the Hilde L. Moss Executive Director and CEO of the Northside Center for Child Development in New York, which serves more than 4,000 children and families annually. A former adjunct professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, Dr. DyeHolmes currently serves on the Board of Regents of the New York State Board for Psychology. She previously served on the boards of the Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Coordinated Behavioral Care, Citywide Behavioral Network, Inc., and the Advisory Council of the Citizens’ Committee for Children, among numerous other board appointments and committee roles. Dr. Dye-Holmes earned both her doctoral and master’s degrees from Yeshiva University in New York and her bachelor’s degree from the School of Arts and Sciences at Cornell University.

Virginia A. Stallings, MD Dr. Stallings is a board-certified pediatric physician nutrition specialist and serves as the director of the Nutrition Center and Jean A. Cortner Endowed Chair in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is also professor of pediatrics at CHOP and at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. A specialist in health, therapeutic nutrition, and dietary intake and body composition, Dr. Stallings focuses her research on nutrition-related abnormalities in people with chronic disease, including cystic fibrosis, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, cerebral palsy, Crohn’s disease, congenital heart disease, obesity and osteoporosis. Dr. Stallings earned her medical degree from University of Alabama School of Medicine, her master’s degree in human nutrition and biochemistry from Cornell University and her bachelor’s degree in nutrition and foods from Auburn University.


to listen to the podcast.




EMBRACING DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION coalition created to advance PCOM’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. The College also launched the 2025 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in its curriculum, policies, processes and practices to advance student, faculty and staff performance as well as excellence in PCOM’s service to communities. These efforts include continued and enhanced pointed recruitment and retention of students underrepresented in medicine and a strong commitment to hiring and retaining more minority faculty across all programs with competitive and fair compensation.

Executive leadership DEI training The College engaged Highlights of the College’s unwavering commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive campus community:

an external consultant, Path Forward, to lead a series of trainings for all members of the executive leadership team on topics focused on unconscious bias, race in the workplace, allyship, inclusive leadership and generational diversity.

DEI award The American Osteopathic Association’s 2021

Admissions process Dr. Feldstein hired Adrianne Jones,

HEED award PCOM also won the 2021 Health Professions

Added coursework The College added new curricular

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Unification Award was awarded to PCOM President and Chief Executive Officer Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81. This inaugural award recognizes exemplary leadership and commitment to promoting and advancing DEI initiatives in the osteopathic community. Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest diversity-focused publication in higher education. The HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is the seventh year PCOM has been named as a Health Professions HEED Award recipient.

Campus-wide initiatives In June 2020, Dr. Feldstein

announced the formation of the President’s Commission on Racial Justice: Transforming Campus Culture, a cross-campus

MLS, as the College’s Chief Admissions Officer in April 2020 to help transform the admissions process for future osteopathic physicians from underrepresented minorities in medicine, adopting a holistic approach aligned with the osteopathic philosophy. sections dedicated to disparities in health care, allocation of healthcare resources and public health issues referencing cultural, economic and ethnic concerns, as well as trainings in microaggressions. In addition, a new lecture series aims to enhance the cultural competency skills of medical students.

Employee DEI awards The College celebrated the inaugu-

ral winners of the Employee Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award at the annual Employee Recognition Awards luncheon. Awards were presented by Marcine Pickron-Davis, PhD, chief diversity and community relations officer.

PATIENT THANKS PROFESSOR FOR SAVING HER LIFE … 27 YEARS LATER Donald Penney, MD, MSc, FACEP, a clinical professor of emergency medicine who was recently appointed chair of the Department of Clinical Education at PCOM Georgia, experienced an incredible gift just before the 2021 winter holidays. A former patient, Rachelle Broom, RN, MSN, reached out to thank him for saving her life 27 years earlier. The physician-patient story began in 1994 when 18-year-old Ms. Broom was ejected from an SUV. Dr. Penney, a neurosurgeon, was on call that night. He performed a craniotomy on Ms. Broom, who in addition to multiple other injuries had a life-threatening brain hemorrhage. Ms. Broom credits the accident with launching her interest in health care and a nursing career. Coming full circle, she knew that she wanted to thank Dr. Penney for saving her life. It took many years, some internet research and a serendipitous friendship for the meeting to take place. The reunion between Dr. Penney and Ms. Broom was made possible through an email introduction from a mutual friend, J. Renee Himmelbaum, DO ‘13, a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at PCOM Georgia, a former student of Dr. Penney’s and now his colleague. 6


Donald Penney, MD, MSc, FACEP, a PCOM Georgia professor, visits with Rachelle Broom, RN, MSN, whose life Dr. Penney saved in 1994 by performing an emergency craniotomy when Ms. Broom was 18 years old.


PCOM GEORGIA AND PCOM SOUTH GEORGIA RECEIVE FUNDING Georgia government officials have delivered nearly $6 million in support of growth and expansion: • PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia received $820,202 in funding from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund for technology and pathway program support. • Local government and community organizations in Moultrie, Georgia, have allocated $5 million to support the growth of PCOM South Georgia. If this is matched by the State of Georgia, the College could have $10 million for facility and program expansion, which will likely include new academic programs to address the severe deficit of providers in certain specialties throughout the state and region.

AGREEMENTS FAST TRACK STUDENTS TO MEDICAL SCHOOL PCOM South Georgia has partnered with regional institutions including Georgia Southern University, Valdosta State University, and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to provide students the opportunity to complete medical school a year early through new articulation agreements. The agreements also provide the opportunity for students with a four-year degree in basic sciences to receive special consideration for the DO program after graduating from their institution. Up to three students per year from the undergraduate institutions will be considered for admission into PCOM South Georgia’s DO program.

PCOM GEORGIA LAUNCHES MEDICAL LABORATORY SCIENCE PROGRAM A new master’s degree program based at PCOM Georgia has begun accepting students. The Master of Science in Medical Laboratory Science is designed for students who aspire to work as medical technologists, and for those who are working in the field and want to add to their credentials. Students with full-time jobs may earn the degree while still working. The program, which has two tracks, will begin in the fall of 2022.

Jeffrey M. Branch, EdD, assistant professor and chair of three graduate degree programs, is the recipient of the 2022 Alumni Association Certificate of Honor, which recognizes distinguished services rendered and loyal devotion to PCOM. It is the highest honor bestowed by the PCOM Alumni Association. Dr. Branch came to PCOM’s Psychology Department 16 years ago to teach courses in organizational development and leadership (ODL) as an adjunct professor. In 2008, he helped to expand the master’s degree program and second-year biomedical science organizational leadership track to PCOM Georgia. He oversees the MS ODL programs, which also includes the MS Public Health Management and Administration and the MS Non Profit Leadership and Population Health Management programs. The Organizational Development and Leadership program intentionally pursued strategic collaborations with two large non-profit public health and population health organizations: the Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC and Affilitates) which offers integrative care to children and adults across the continuum of public health services in Philadelphia, and Woods Services and Affiliates, a population health organization in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, that provides education, housing, and behavioral health services to 18,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Up to 25 employees in each company study for their PCOM graduate degrees in a program sited at their workplace. The companies pay half of the students’ tuitions. Students conduct projects for their degrees in the workplace, which lets the nonprofits develop their internal leaders and benefit from the work developed in the classroom.

For more news, stories, event photos, videos and podcasts from PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia, visit pcom.org/news. DIGEST 2022



ALUMNI PREPARE FOURTH-YEAR DO STUDENTS FOR RESIDENCY INTERVIEWS PCOM’s Virtual Mock Residency Interview Program continues to prepare fourth-year DO students for residency interviews. With a 36 percent increase in alumni volunteers this year, the program has provided 250 students from PCOM and PCOM Georgia with the opportunity to conduct practice meetings with alumni in advance of residency interview season. Because most of the alumni volunteers graduated within the past 10 years and recently went through the interview process themselves, students gain relevant and invaluable tips while making connections in the field. Through the mock interview program, students can register for an interview with an alum from the specialty they plan to pursue for residency. With the assistance of Institutional Advancement, students and alumni are then paired and introduced to schedule a time to conduct a mock interview on a virtual platform. A joint venture between the Office of Institutional Advancement and Residency Planning Services, the Virtual Mock Residency Interview Program was established in the fall of 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic forced all residency interviews to go virtual. This sudden change added anxiety and uncertainty to an already stressful process. “With the move to virtual interviews, I had no idea what to expect,” recalls Donielle Sturgis, DO ’21, who utilized the mock interview program to prepare for the 2021 Match. “I was already anxious about not being able to interview in person and tour the hospitals. In addition to providing feedback on how to approach interview questions, my interviewer was able to give me feedback on my lighting, computer setup and interview space. I used his advice to set up my interview space exactly how he recommended for every interview. The program helped put my mind at ease.” The class of 2021 went on to achieve a 99.6 percent match rate in the National Resident Matching Program. Given this success, Institutional Advancement and Residency Planning Services offered the program again this past fall to the class of 2022. The second year of the program welcomed 139 alumni interviewers. While the 2020 program utilized waitlists for mock interviews in specialties such as psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery and general surgery, no students were waitlisted in the second year of the program thanks to a 36 percent increase in alumni participants. Nearly half of alumni interviewers from the program’s inaugural year returned. Regina Ondrasik, DO ’19, a pathology resident at Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center, has mentored five students through the program over the last two years and finds it fulfilling. “I really enjoy getting to know some of my future pathology colleagues and helping them put their best foot forward as they interview. I like to reassure them that it will all work out. It’s such an exciting time for the students, and I love being a part of it,” says Dr. Ondrasik. The impact of alumni interviewers goes beyond helping students succeed in the match process; they’re also inspiring students to become involved in the program after they graduate. Twenty-one



PCOM’s mock residency interview program prepares fourth-year DO students for their actual residency interviews. members of the class of 2021 participated in the program this year as alumni, including Dr. Sturgis. Amy Brady, DO ’21, a pathology resident at SUNY Upstate Medical University, was one of the students who worked with Dr. Ondrasik in the program’s first year. This year, she volunteered as an alumni interviewer. “As a student, working with Dr. Ondrasik made me more confident as an applicant. I volunteered as an alumna because I wanted to help provide fourth-year students with the same experience. Being able to pass on the advice that was shared with me was the best,” says Dr. Brady. While the true success of the program’s second year won’t be measured until Match Day, the class of 2022 is already seeing its benefits. “The alumnus I worked with went out of his way to help me feel prepared before the beginning of my interviews,” says Mia Robb (DO ’22). “I feel very fortunate that I was connected to him. I hope I will have the opportunity to pay his kindness forward to future students once I am a physician.”



Burt Blender, DO ’62, was attracted to medicine from a young age. Growing up in South Philadelphia, he was influenced by and chose a career in osteopathic medicine after observing the humane, holistic medical care practiced by his neighbor, Benjamin Serota, DO ’50. Before retiring in 2013, Dr. Blender worked for 50 years at Northeast Family Practice (NEFP) in Philadelphia’s Feltonville neighborhood. For his last 25 years in practice, he worked alongside fellow PCOM alumnus Gerald Tadley, DO ’86, who continues to lead the thriving practice today. Dr. Blender’s lifelong interest in and passion for photography enabled him to celebrate the trust and loyalty of his patients by taking their photos. He has self-published Family Practice, a book of patient portraits—photographs that reflect the humanity inherent in the practice of osteopathic medicine. Recently, the Office of Institutional Advancement sat down with Dr. Blender as he reflected on photography and his career in medicine.

photo?” I convinced her to place this quirky photo in a future Halloween issue. Colleagues were in disbelief that I’d successfully submitted a chicken-headed photo to the prestigious New England Journal. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR PATIENTS? Of the many photography courses I’d taken over the years, I was most drawn to portraiture—an application that provided insights into engaging my subjects. In general practice, I treated babies, children, adolescents, the elderly; at one time, I cared for five generations of one family. It was difficult to resist such a phenomenon, so I approached my patients for permission to photograph them, and most, including homebound/house call patients, agreed. The longtime patient/doctor relationship built on mutual trust and caring enabled us to fully share this deep experience. WHAT IMPACT DO YOU HOPE YOUR PHOTOS HAVE? In 2007, several members of the class of 1962 organized and mounted an exhibition of their creative artwork in the lobby of Rowland Hall. That exhibition provided me the rare platform to present Family Practice, my series of photographic images reflecting a cross-section of the extraordinary demographic representative of my diverse, multicultural, multigenerational, multi-socioeconomic osteopathic patient practice of 50 years.

HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY? Photography was thrust upon me in high school by my older brother, who was my role model. Whatever he did, I was expected to do. He was the editor of our high school newspaper and yearbook, and when he graduated, I became the editor. There was no one to take photos, so I purchased a small camera and became a photographer. Later, at PCOM, my classmate, Murray Zedeck, DO ’62, and I were co-editors of the yearbook. WHERE HAS YOUR WORK BEEN PUBLISHED? I have taken thousands of photos. My wife, Libby Harwitz, and I traveled extensively over the years, and wherever we went, I captured images. Several of my photos were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on a page dedicated to photography by physicians. I submitted a favorite to the journal that was taken one Halloween night on South Street in Philadelphia; it featured a truck driver wearing the head of a chicken. The editor contacted me, A selection of the series of portraits Burt Blender, DO ’62, captured of his patients during his asking, “What’s with this osteopathic patient practice of 50 years.






PCOM Board of Trustees Elects New Chairman

THOMAS J. GRAVINA by Jennifer Schaffer Leone

Thomas J. Gravina was elected chairman of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Board of Trustees on November 10, 2021, the fourth Board chair in the institution’s history to serve in this singular role. He succeeds John P. Kearney, who announced plans for his retirement in May 2021. Mr. Gravina joined the PCOM Board of Trustees in 2003, at the invitation of the late Herbert Lotman, LLD (Hon.), former chairman of the Board and a mentor and friend. Mr. Gravina has served as vice chairman since 2015, overseeing the Board’s Foundation Committee and sitting on the Audit, Compensation, Executive, and Finance committees. His service to PCOM has included chairmanship— from 2005 to 2011—of the College’s Golf Classic, benefiting the PCOM Healthcare Centers. Mr. Gravina also led the College’s Presidential Search Committee in 2014. He was the recipient of the PCOM President’s Leadership Award in 2010. Mr. Gravina presently serves as executive chairman of Evolve IP, a company he co-founded in 2006. Evolve IP is a cloud technology company, serving commercial clients in the United States and around the world. He is also executive chairman of GPX Enterprises, a private investment company he

co-founded in 2007, with interests in real estate, manufacturing, software, consumer health, cloud technology and financial services. From 2009 to 2018, Mr. Gravina was a member of the board of directors of FS Investment Corporation, a NYSE-listed business development company. He has also served on the boards of the FS Energy and Power Fund and the FS Global Credit Opportunities Fund. Mr. Gravina holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Villanova University. He serves on the university’s President’s Leadership Committee and is a member of the 1842 Heritage Society. He is a recipient of the Villanova University Joe Walters Special Recognition Award (2018). Mr. Gravina supports several charitable organizations through the Thomas and Tracey Gravina Family Foundation. He also serves on the board of the Center City District Foundation and on the board of directors of the HERB it Forward Foundation (HIFF), among other non-profit organizations. Mr. Gravina resides in Haverford, Pennsylvania, with his wife Tracey and their three children.

In the interview excerpts that follow, Thomas J. Gravina, chairman, PCOM Board of Trustees, shares his personal connection and longtime service to the College; his leadership and philanthropic commitment; and the importance of growing and evolving the institution.




Thomas J. Gravina: In His Own Words On Mentorship “My father passed away when I was eight years old,” recalls Mr. Gravina. “The night he passed, I remember Herb [Herbert Lotman, LLD (Hon.)] and his wife Karen came to our home. My mother knew the Lotmans for many years, as she taught the Lotman children—and later, grandchildren—vocal and drama lessons [she held a master’s degree from the Royal Schools of Music in London]. Herb and Karen wanted to help our family during our time of need and to guide me and my siblings as best they could. “When I was a young boy, Herb would take me out to eat. We would talk about school, sports. He was always a positive and influential part of my life. My family’s friendship with the Lotmans has lasted well over 50 years.”

Pictured left to right: Eugene B. Chaiken; Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81; John P. Kearney; Kenneth J. Veit, DO ’76, MBA; Thomas J. Gravina, newly elected chairman of the Board of Trustees; and Paul McGloin surround a portrait of Herbert Lotman, LLD (Hon.), the late Board of Trustees chairman. The portrait, unveiled in November 2018, hangs in Evans Hall.

Mr. Lotman, who served on the PCOM Board of Trustees from 1990 to 2014, and chaired the Board from 1992 to 2004, often noted that his service at the College was one of the greatest honors of his life— and he wanted the same experience for his mentee. He would be the one to introduce Mr. Gravina to PCOM and urge him to become a Board member in 2003. “I did not know anything about PCOM, but I could not say no to Herb,” says Mr. Gravina. “No one ever could. “Herb was an extraordinary human being. He spent a good part of his life doing good deeds for people—often anonymously. While he would introduce himself as ‘just a butcher,’ his company, Keystone Food Corporation, became the largest privately held meat-products company in the United States. And as if that wasn’t remarkable enough, he used his business as a platform to do tremendous philanthropic things. His community involvement and philanthropy has touched countless people around the world.” During his tenure at PCOM, Mr. Lotman rejuvenated the institution and secured its future. “He literally saved the College,” says Mr. Gravina. “He made it one of the most financially sound institutions in academia. “It will be my privilege to now take the legacy of Herb and many others forward.”



The Harvard of Osteopathic Medicine

Lessons from the Bunker

“Across higher education—especially healthcare education—competition is vastly increasing. There is immense competition for the best and brightest students, for preeminent faculty and staff, for clinical training, for research funding, etc. There are great challenges.

Mr. Gravina has long combined his enthusiasm for golf with his avid support of PCOM’s Healthcare Centers. For six years—from 2005 to 2011—he headed the College’s Golf Classic, which grossed in total over $1,132,000. These funds directly supported physical infrastructure and medical services at the clinics.

“My vision is to grow the institution, capitalizing on the College’s strengths: its history, its tradition of academic excellence, its unique resources. I want PCOM to expand its reach in as many ways as we can successfully. I want us to be considered the Harvard of osteopathic medicine. “I believe we must look toward the future and make the best possible decisions in the best interests of all of our constituents. Like the College’s founders, we must be innovators and, at times, risk-takers. We must adapt to succeed—always striving to find new ways to deliver on our mission. Those institutions that are agile will be the most successful. “I’ve been on the PCOM Board for a long time. PCOM is a remarkable institution. We have nearly 18,000 alumni across the world and over 3,000 students in our health programs. I want them to know that they are our legacy. They are our strength. In my new post as chairman, I plan to work closely with the PCOM Alumni Association and the PCOM Student Government Association. I want to give more visibility to the people of the College; they are the PCOM story. They move us into the future. “I will also work in collaboration with Jay Feldstein, DO, and his Cabinet to support the strategic direction for the College.”

Describe Yourself in Three Words …

PCOM’s Healthcare Centers provide preventive health care to vulnerable populations—especially women and children— with particular attention to social determinants of health and health disparities. The centers also serve as official clinical training sites for PCOM students. The students gain a knowledge of health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment while learning innovative strategies to deliver patient-centered primary care. “The Golf Classic attracted philanthropic support and brought many prominent community members onto the greens to focus attention on the PCOM Healthcare Centers and their critical significance to the communities they serve,” says Mr. Gravina. “It is so important to invest in efforts that support and advance holistic health and well-being.” For Mr. Gravina, golf is analogous to life; it is the followthrough that matters. He offers the following: “In golf, you are out there on your own. You drive your own success. There is only so much someone with raw talent can accomplish. It is up to you and the effort you put into it. Hard work is key. “Golf also teaches the prospect of improvement. Shots often have to be taken from poor locations. Golfers must accept the situation, strategize and enhance their position as best they can.”

“Thankful, humble, grateful,” replies Mr. Gravina without hesitation. He is conscious of the Augustinian values imparted during his days at Villanova University. “I do my best to understand the suffering around the world, and I try to live in the context of what that means.” With his wife of 28 years, Mr. Gravina supports several charitable organizations through the Thomas and Tracey Gravina Family Foundation. The foundation was formed to provide basic human services such as food and shelter, youth development, education, wellness, and community building across the United States. At the same time, the Gravinas have raised their children to be socially conscious young adults, while instilling in them a philanthropic spirit. Thomas Gravina Jr. is a 2020 graduate of Villanova University, and twins Giovanna and Parker are seniors at the University of Pennsylvania and Wake Forest University, respectively. All serve their communities and have active roles in the foundation.

“I want us to be considered the Harvard of osteopathic medicine,” says Thomas J. Gravina, chairman of the PCOM Board of Trustees.





The recipient of the O.J. Snyder Memorial Award reflects on his late son, his PCOM family and the College’s solid financial position.

John P. Kearney’s ties to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine date back to the late 1990s, when his eldest son, JD, was enrolled as a student. While JD’s dream was to become an osteopathic physician, his life was tragically taken in 1999 during a sightseeing trip in Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona. JD lost his footing as he clambered down a cliff to help a fellow classmate who had stumbled. His friend miraculously survived the incident, but JD died of a head injury sustained in the fall. The death of Mr. Kearney’s son immediately brought out the best in PCOM as the College community rallied



around the Kearney family in their profound sorrow. The Kearneys responded in kind, devoting themselves to honoring their son’s memory by establishing a scholarship program. And Mr. Kearney would later join the PCOM Board of Trustees (2002), selflessly serving at the helm from 2014 until his retirement in 2021. “Right from the start, PCOM was family,” says Mr. Kearney. “Family provides a safe place, a source of strength, stability, togetherness. It is the same with PCOM. The College has been and always will be family.”

“ Right from the start, PCOM was family. Family provides a safe place, a source of strength, stability, togetherness. It is the same with PCOM. The College has been and always will be family.” —John P. Kearney “PCOM made some good, solid investments,” says Mr. Kearney. “In my life, money talks. It can open the doors to quite a bit of discussion and opportunity.” Mr. Kearney also maintains two scholarships that he and his late wife, Lois, established in honor of JD. • At Wilkes University, JD’s undergraduate alma mater, a scholarship is awarded to a graduating senior who will attend medical school. • At PCOM, a full one-year scholarship goes to a rising junior who has excelled during their first two years of study. The PCOM scholarship began with a fundraising event held at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, during which the Kearneys raised $50,000. Subsequent scholarships have come from an endowment set up by the family. “Both of the scholarships are based on merit, and mirror what JD received,” says Mr. Kearney. “They go to the best of the best in the classes.”

Top recruiter Past PCOM Chairman John P. Kearney is the recipient of the O.J. Snyder Memorial Award.

Solid financial footing This April, when the College observes Founders’ Day, Mr. Kearney will be presented with the O.J. Snyder Memorial Award, PCOM’s most prestigious recognition given to those who exemplify the College’s highest ideals. He will accept the award knowing that under his careful watch, the College has grown in both scope and size, while sound fiscal management practices have delivered a double dose of good news—the College has been able to temper tuition increases while doubling its endowment (see sidebar).

Not long after Mr. Kearney’s successful fundraising event in Augusta, Herbert Lotman—the late food-industry pioneer, philanthropist, and former PCOM Board of Trustees chairman—set up a meeting with Mr. Kearney at a country club in Quakertown, Pennsylvania. Mr. Lotman wanted to know whether Mr. Kearney was interested in deepening his involvement at PCOM. Mr. Kearney wasn’t so sure, living about 120 miles away in Scranton. “I told Herb that all my strength was in Scranton,” recalls Mr. Kearney. “I had no power in Philadelphia.” But Mr. Lotman told Mr. Kearney he liked his ZIP code. It turned out that Mr. Lotman grew up in the same vicinity and began his own business in northeastern Pennsylvania, a company that he grew into one of the world’s biggest suppliers of chicken and beef.




“I told Herb I’d give it a try,” recalls Mr. Kearney. For many years, Mr. Kearney and his wife helped recruit PCOM students from northeastern Pennsylvania, sponsoring receptions for prospective students that drew as many as 150, with PCOM faculty and administrators driving up to meet and greet the aspiring osteopathic physicians.

Scranton suburb of Moosic, a venture he started at the age of 20. It was a business that grew to include ERICO Corp., John P. Kearney Associates, M&K Leasing, MCK Contracting, and Kearney Real Estate. He brought his business savvy to PCOM’s leadership. It’s a philosophy that’s focused on the bottom line, a push for excellence and the need for successful enterprises to grow.

“It was a way to develop our kids’ dreams and aspirations,” says Mr. Kearney. “Our major goal was to get people from northeastern Pennsylvania involved with PCOM.”

“If you don’t expand, overhead is going to catch up with you,” says Mr. Kearney. “You need to be in the black constantly, never in the red. You never spend a nickel if you don’t have the money to cover it.”

When Mr. Kearney took on the PCOM chairmanship, he had just retired from his construction company in the

All roads lead back to PCOM

Mr. and Mrs. Kearney meet aspiring DO students from northeastern Pennsylvania.

In his retirement, Mr. Kearney is a communityspirited man who goes to Mass at 6:30 a.m. daily, and often decamps after the service at a local breakfast spot where he and his friends discuss the problems of the world—be they local, state or international. While he continues on the PCOM Board as vice chairman (through 2022), he also finds time to serve on 12 other boards, including Trout Unlimited, the International Recreational Fishermen’s Association and several nonprofits that provide human services in the Scranton area and across the Commonwealth. He has received numerous awards for his dedication to the community, including the Four Chaplains Bronze Medallion, an award recognizing extraordinary contributions to the well-being of others. And at PCOM, he is a recipient of the President’s Award (2010) and the Alumni Association Certificate of Honor (2014). Mr. Kearney’s wife and beloved companion, Lois, passed away in 2017. He credits her with the ideas for the scholarships and prospective student receptions. “All I did was say, ‘Yes, dear,’ ” says Mr. Kearney. The couple traveled the world, ever seeking new destinations. They relished time with their children and grandchildren. This past fall, Mr. Kearney bought an RV, which he drove across the continental United States with his loyal companion, an Australian Labradoodle named Reba, to visit his youngest son and his wife.

Mr. Kearney joins Dr. Feldstein and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at PCOM South Georgia.



At 73, Mr. Kearney says more travels are on the horizon. He just bought an upgraded RV. He’s planning to drive south, taking time to stop in as many as 10 states. He’ll visit his daughter

“ It’s a way of life. I don’t see myself without my PCOM family in my future.” —John P. Kearney

Fiscally Sound KEARNEY’S TENURE AS BOARD CHAIRMAN MARKED BY ROBUST EXPANSION John P. Kearney’s tenure as chairman of the PCOM Board of Trustees from 2014 to 2021 was a time of ambitious academic and facility expansion, bullish endowment growth and moderate increases in medical student tuition, tempered by a 44 percent growth in scholarship aid. Over those seven years: • Enrollment rose 9 percent, to 3,062; • Scholarship aid grew 44 percent, to $6 million; • PCOM’s endowment grew 183 percent, to $575 million; and • Student tuition went up an annual average of 2.8 percent, with its smallest increase during those years—of 1.5 percent—coming in 2021.

Mr. Kearney celebrates the opening of Meta Christy House.

Mr. Kearney says he learned from his more than four decades in construction, real estate and leasing that growth was essential for healthy enterprises. So was consideration for those served—the students. “Early during my time at PCOM, I can remember going back and forth with a trustee who said that every penny we saved can be used to reduce tuition increases,” says Mr. Kearney. “That stuck in my mind as we moved forward.” Helping to fuel PCOM’s growth during the period was the opening of PCOM South Georgia. The $30 million campus, located in Colquitt County, welcomed its first class of 59 students in 2019. The campus has since added two more cohorts while supporting the local economy with jobs, human capital reinvestment and community development.

At a reception held in his honor, Mr. Kearney is pictured with trustee David McCleskey and Dr. Feldstein.

in Fort Worth, Texas, then head west for Sedona, Arizona, where he will again visit the site of JD’s death.

The College addressed its prolonged need for housing resources in 2020–2021. In spring 2021, the College opened Meta Christy House, located adjacent to the PCOM campus. The newly renovated facility includes 224 fully furnished apartments on 12 floors. The location provides students with the opportunity to be part of a rich, inclusive and safe living community.

Then it will be back to Pennsylvania, and to his work at PCOM. “It’s a way of life,” says Mr. Kearney. “I don’t see myself without my PCOM family in my future.”





OUR STORY. OUR HERITAGE. OUR INSPIRATION. Introduction by Jennifer Schaffer Leone; faculty stories by Janice Fisher

As the College moves toward its Quasquicentennial in 2024, Digest Magazine invites you to celebrate the spirit, character and myriad accomplishments of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s first 125 years. Through an ongoing series, presented in different mediums, we’ll consider the College in the context of its past and future, chronicling the illustrious and untold stories of its people. We’ll capture the richness and reality of place and the magnified moments that collectively reflect PCOM and its enduring commitment to meaningful education and experience.






To start, we proffer six reflections of legendary PCOM professors—as told by today’s professors. Their words connect an intellectual community that extends across generations. In addition, we bring to light the stirring story of PCOM’s second African American alumna, Edna K. Williams, DO 1926, a diminutive osteopath with mighty hands and boundless drive.






ob was my teacher and my colleague. As a teacher, he was brilliant. Yet, I don’t think he ever recognized his own genius— how he informed his art with fresh perspective, sage advice and a hint of silliness. … On the first day of class, we were thrown into a big auditorium. During the course of his radiology presentation, Bob would put up someone’s picture on that big screen and ask us to answer his clinical question. We usually had no idea what he was talking about. Perhaps that was our first reality check: ‘Boy, we’re really in medical school now.’ But very quickly, we realized that he was not concerned about our answers. He was more focused on creating an encouraging educational environment, in every class, to take away some of our paranoia about making a mistake. The wisdom of his teaching was understanding that only when you let go do you open yourself up to learn. … Years later, I was fortunate to have an office very close to where he taught the third-year students. There was a mandatory radiology clerkship; you had to experience Bob regardless of whether you wanted to be a radiologist or a family doctor or an internist. During the first week, it was kind of quiet in that classroom. By the beginning of the second week, you’d hear laughter, singing, all kinds of shenanigans. He had puppets; he was Mister Rogers before Mister Rogers. He would have the students whistling, humming, playing guitars, doing skits. … What could be more embarrassing than standing in front of your peers and singing? But once you got over that embarrassment, you opened yourself up to learning. … Bob hasn’t been with us for a number of years; he passed away in 2005. But hospital administrators—across the state and region—still tell me they can identify PCOM grads because they’re not intimidated by reading images and films. They never have that deer-in-a-headlight look. They know logically how to look through the film, look at the soft tissue, the anatomical components. … Bob won teaching awards over and over again. … He told me, ‘This is how I enjoy teaching.’ The excitement, the enthusiasm, the energy that he created in his classroom came back to him, made him more spirited and more inclined to give.



Often accompanied in class by puppets, Dr. Meals was known to generations of PCOM students for his creative teaching style.

… Even when he got sick at the end, he never retired. His enjoyment of teaching actually penetrated the classroom. You can pick that up as a student. If the teacher is excited about being in front of you, that goes a long way.” As told by Kenneth J. Veit, DO ’76, MBA, FACOFP, Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Dean



’ve been at the Lancaster Healthcare Center now for fast-paced here at the center and trying to do so much at going on 19 years. When I first came, in 2003, Dr. once. Dr. Gilhool always took the time to get to know the Gilhool was one of the doctors here, and working students, to talk to them about their aspirations—not just with him was just such a pleasure. He is a great in medicine but in the rest of their lives.” doctor, with a really good bedside manner. He’s As told by Kristen Berry, DO ’00, been retired for three or four years, and the patients Assistant Professor, Department of Family still want to know how he’s doing. … He was originally a Medicine gastroenterologist, and you don’t always see a specialist who is able to transition back to primary care. For him, it was a no-brainer. … Dr. Gilhool is very down to earth, very personable. He is probably the best storyteller I’ve ever met. Students would gather around and listen to him talk about his hospital days, his intern days, everything he’d seen when he was in practice. He can A master storyteller, Dr. Gilhool always talk to anybody about anything. … He is took the time to get a great teacher. He was very much into to know his students stopping and making sure students really personally and understood the whole picture, the whole professionally. patient. The students loved it and got so much out of it. … Our offices were right across from each other. We got to know each other personally, and we could see each other’s patients without there being any lapse in care. … He relied on me for some things, like the newer technologies, and I relied on him in terms of his experience, the political ins and outs, that kind of thing. He would leave it to me to draw my own conclusions, because he always joked that I had a lot of guts and wasn’t easily intimidated. He was like that, too. He’d always say, ‘To thine own self be true.’… His father had been a prominent OB/GYN physician in North Philadelphia who early on had a stroke, and his mother, a nurse, had to take care of the father. So he had had some adversity in his childhood and didn’t go right into medicine. He went to medical school at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri, and when he first started working here, he probably felt a bit like an outsider. … Remembering his relationships with the students always reminds me to stop for a minute. We’re so






r. Heilig was my colleague and my mentor. But when I met him for the first time, I was in seventh grade in my T-shirt and tighty-whities, waiting to get my physical for football. Dr. Heilig told me to turn my head to the side and cough. … Basically, because of my father [Nicholas S. Nicholas, DO, FAAO], I grew up with him. He was a really important figure in our lives, kind of like a member of the family. But I could never call him Dave; it was ‘Dr. Dave’ or ‘Doc Dave.’ … I didn’t see him much while I was in medical school. But when my father was hired full-time to chair what’s now the OMM department, the first thing he did was hire Dr. Heilig as his vice chair. That was 1974. And in 1977, I joined the department full-time: it was my father, Dr. Heilig and me. … My father was a very social, extroverted guy—he was a volcano. And if Dr. Heilig had been like him, it wouldn’t have worked. They were opposites; they blended perfectly together. Dr. Heilig was a tectonic plate that moved very quietly. … He was one of the most intelligent, widely educated men I’ve ever met. He was a writer. He could paint and sculpt. He played the cello and bass violin. He was a football player and a diver on the swim team at Swarthmore College. … Dr. Heilig was probably the most deeply thinking osteopathic physician, as well as osteopathic manipulative medicine physician, teaching osteopathic principles and practice. … He was a gentleman and a gentle man—a Quaker, a very spiritual man. I never heard him say anything loud or nasty about anybody. He stood up for his beliefs very strongly, but he did it in a way that was kind and well-thought-out. … Dr. Heilig was what the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator would call an advocate. He helped everybody—he’d put his hands on the students’ hands and take them through the maneuvers. … My father used to say that Dr. Heilig was the greatest manipulative tactician he’d ever seen. And my father was pretty good. … When Dr. Heilig retired, I think that was the only



time the American Academy of Osteopathy honored someone with an entire day of lectures, just on him. He was loved by the entire osteopathic profession.” As told by Alexander S. Nicholas, DO ’75, FAAO dist., Professor and Chair, Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

A true renaissance man and master manipulative tactician, Dr. Heilig was a deeply thinking osteopathic physician.



ick Pedano was my guide and counselor—and also my cousin. My grandmother was a Pedano. … When I decided I wanted to go to PCOM, Nick wrote a letter for me. Later, when I had a little trouble with anatomy, Nick talked to his close friend Angus Cathie [then chair of the department]. … Nick wanted me to be a surgeon, even though I said, ‘Nick, I’m not good with my hands.’ … I remember one case, the second operation was 12 hours. I’m short, so I had to stand on a stool, and I said, ‘Maybe it’s better if I pass out.’ After it was over and we were taking the gloves off, I said, ‘Cuz, this is not for me.’ He said, ‘All right. You’re going to go into internal medicine.’ … Nick could order you to do something and you did it, and then— ‘Wait a minute, what am I doing?’ … The whole family had a commanding presence. Surgeons have to be commanding, and they have to give orders, but they get away with more if the iron fist has a velvet glove. … There were two parts of Nick’s personality. He was friendly, and he was bossy—but he had a nice way about him. … He had a house down the shore in Margate, right by the ocean, and he would have a party every year for the interns and for the residents, a beautiful affair. He would wine and dine them because he appreciated what they did for him. And he developed relationships all the way up the line. That was the social Nick. In the operating room, he took no hostages, because he had to get things done the way he wanted them done. … As chairman of surgery, Nick led the way to the growth of PCOM by example. He had a massive service, with tons of patients. He went all over the place to nurture family doctors. … The people who worked with him were indefatigable and inextinguishable. The College is to a large degree where it is because of his absolutely brilliant energy. … From Nick, I saw that leadership is not totally dictatorial or totally social. It’s a good mixture of both. So I try to achieve that balance with my house staff. Yes, we work hard. When it comes

With his commanding presence in and out of the OR, Dr. Pedano served as chief of surgery at PCOM from the late 1970s into the 1990s.

time for me to be the boss, they look at me as the boss. But then I’ll say, ‘Okay, it’s five o’clock, let’s go over to the Hilton.’ ” As told by Pat Lannutti, DO ’71, MSc, Professor and Chair, Division of General Internal Medicine






oon after I came to PCOM in 1989, I was asked to serve on a committee to revise the faculty handbook and develop a tenure policy. Charlotte Greene was the chair of the committee, which also included Michael Venditto, DO [now professor and chair, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine]. We had a big job to do. … Charlotte was very knowledgeable about the multiple roles of faculty in an academic environment. I enjoyed watching her pause for reflection, and if she didn’t have an immediate response, she’d dig for information and come back to the table with advice for us. She worked extremely hard in this task and in everything she did. … When Charlotte spoke, everybody listened. She was never pedantic and always kept an open mind for the opinions of others. … In her role as educator, Charlotte was responsible for teaching muscle physiology to our DO and MS students. I went to her lectures because this was my area of research. Her goal was to present this conceptually A pioneer in challenging material in a way that students research involving tissue regeneration, would readily understand and would help Dr. Greene them appreciate the relevance to the taught surgeons principles and practice of osteopathic how to perform medicine. She encouraged students to ask laparoscopic questions and made them feel that they cholecystectomy in the early days of had identified gaps in our knowledge. … minimally invasive Where Charlotte really shined was in her surgery. research laboratory. She was a terrific and imaginative scientist. Her favorite role was mentoring students in the research process, and they flocked to her lab to be a part of her projects. … She was a pioneer in research involving College. … I had so much respect for her as a colleague tissue regeneration. Charlotte’s work was recognized by a and an individual. I miss her a lot. She touched the lives company that contracted with her to test compounds for of many of our students.” their effects on wound healing in a model she developed. As told by Mindy George-Weinstein, PhD, She also provided opportunities for surgeons to learn Chief Research and Science Officer, PCOM how to perform laparoscopic cholecystectomy in the early days of minimally invasive procedures. … Charlotte was always thoughtful and never boastful. Although she was passionate about all things academic, she could see both sides of an issue. She loved PCOM and stood behind the difficult decision to sell our hospital for the good of the





aniel Wisely was a very special gentleman. He came into a profession that was often, and still sometimes is, stigmatized as being rude or blunt. But he was so open, sincere, caring. … Yes, you had to work hard. You had to always be at your best. You had to bring a hundred percent, all the time. But he also recognized the sacrifices of the profession to your personal life, to your family. … I can remember him walking around the hospital, and something might be a bit ajar, and he’d take a moment to help out housekeeping, or pause while a nurse was with a patient rather than come in with a bluster. … When I was a resident in surgery, there weren’t that many of us, and you might be unable to get any time off. He’d say, ‘I’ll cover for you. I got this. You need to go home; you’ve been on for three weeks in a row.’… He was a consummate surgeon. I don’t think I ever saw him falter or sweat. He called himself a little country doctor, but his skills were just phenomenal. He had these big hands but such a subtle touch. … He was proud of all his residents and graduates, and of their successes over time. He had an ability to see not only people’s potential, but to take the next step of saying, ‘What can I do to help?’ … He wouldn’t let you in real close to him personally; he was a quiet and private man. But you knew he really cared. … He always made the time when the time was necessary. He just seemed to know. He had a great skillset of people understanding—listening, interpreting, getting to the bottom of something, not just reacting in a moment in time. Today, you can read all the books on management, but this was another era. How did he do it? … If I’m going into a difficult situation, whether to talk to a family about a loved one who is maybe going to pass, or to have a difficult conversation about something at work, I often think about the demeanor that he drew upon. And so it’s more than ‘What would Dan do?’—of course, we never would have called him Dan!—but ‘Without

losing himself, how did he find the space to give everyone their due, their necessary attention? What was the essence?’ ” As told by H. William Craver III, DO ’87, FACOS, Professor of Surgery; Dean and Chief Academic Officer, Osteopathic Medical Program, PCOM South Georgia

With big hands and a subtle touch, Dr. Wisely possessed supreme surgical skills for a self-described “little country doctor.”



1 F 2E5A TY EUARRES T H R O U G H 1 2 5 S T O R I E S



At age 30, Edna K. Williams, DO 1926, graduated from PCOM, one of 18 women and the only African American woman in her class.

On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its Plessy v. Ferguson ruling, which upheld the constitutionality of racial segregation laws within the “separate but equal” doctrine. That was the world Edna D. Kennedy had been born into just five weeks prior. As an African American, she would face challenges in a society that did not offer separate but equal opportunities into the medical profession. Not only would her race limit her access to medical schools; so, too, would her gender. Despite the odds, this native Philadelphian—known as Edna K. Williams, DO, throughout her career—would follow in the footsteps of Meta L. Christy, DO 1921, as PCOM’s second African American alumna and a role model for the community and other Black medical professionals. At the turn of the 20th century, the Kennedy family resided at 625 Pine Street, then an African American and immigrant neighborhood. Edna, the daughter of a laborer, was the eldest of three. By 1910, the family, including one grandmother, moved into a two-story row house in South Philadelphia. Edna attended Philadelphia High School for Girls, followed by a practical education at the Derrick Shorthand School of Philadelphia. Stenography was a reasonable career expectation for a Black woman of her times—and, as it turned out, not a bad skill to have for taking notes as a medical student! But before medical school came marriage, a baby, a divorce and another marriage, all between 1918 and 1920. Husband Dayton H. C. Wilson, a bellman and, in later years, 26


a physician, spent part of their newlywed year on active duty for World War I. While he was deployed, daughter Phylomina was born. By 1920, the estranged couple was living a block apart—with their respective parents—and Edna Kennedy was employed as a stenographer for a fraternal society. In August 1920, she married Alphonzo L. Williams, a chauffer from the District of Columbia, and this time took her husband’s name.

Turpy, the treatment guru As the 1920s roared, this wife and mother hunkered down for life as a medical student, matriculating at PCOM’s Spring Garden Street location in 1922. Classmates came to know her as “Turpy.” Comments published in the PCOM Synapsis yearbook hint at her drive and perseverance. In 1925: “We have naught but praises for this young lady as she pioneers in this great science. She exhibits great pluck in carrying on.” And, in 1926: I see here none other than Edna Williams, hard at work over a new demonstrating machine which enables the beginner to locate lesions by a crier which says “that’s it” or “no, you’re wrong.” Edna has tried many models, as may be seen by looking around, but this machine is no doubt “the” one. At age 30, Dr. Williams graduated from PCOM, one of 18 women and the only African American woman in her class. Dr. Williams started a family practice in a rented three-story row house in Philadelphia’s Brewerytown neighborhood.

She also opened an office in New Jersey. She kept fees very low, particularly to make health care affordable during the Great Depression. By 1935, husband Alphonzo had returned to Washington. Dr. Williams and Phylomina relocated to 219 East Upsal Street (East Mt. Airy), where she ran her family practice that included delivering babies, sometimes in the middle of the night. Patients referred to her as “the treatment guru.” Although small in stature— barely five feet tall—Dr. Williams had a stool to stand on and strong therapeutic hands to perform osteopathic manipulative treatment. Valerie Griffin, who later worked with Dr. Williams at Gemedco Medical Center in Germantown, recalls how “She surprised a lot of the 200- to 250-pound men who came for treatment and manipulation with the strength of her hands.”

A call to minister While Dr. Williams healed patients physically with her hands, by 1945, she was applying her religious convictions to minister in other ways. Dr. Williams was affiliated with the Third Christian Scientist denomination as a lecturer and teacher. She orated about pathways to spiritual, mental, financial and physical health by channeling God’s healing life currents; she also discussed reincarnation. One could say she exemplified a holistic approach to medicine. Dr. Williams established a chapel on the second floor of a brownstone at 2307 North Broad Street, where she conducted free weekly lectures, sometimes four times each Sunday. By 1949, a growing following likely led Dr. Williams to relocate her chapel to 902 Walnut Street and expand her ministry to “Dr. Edna A newspaper advertisement for the faith-based lectures Dr. Williams delivered from her Philadelphia chapel.

K. Williams Associates.” Her program spread beyond Philadelphia to bases in Baltimore, New York, and Washington, DC, and advertisements for her lectures appeared in Pittsburgh newspapers in the mid-1950s. In her spare time, Dr. Williams enjoyed singing, which she combined with community service. She belonged to the Western Helpers’ Club, which sang Christmas carols to patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She also performed for a Germantown flower club.

Not the retiring type When Dr. Williams retired from private practice, she did not stay in retirement for long. William M. King, DO ’62, who established the Gemedco Medical Center in 1976, convinced Dr. Williams to come out of retirement to work at the community medical center. She started off working one day a week, seeing 20 to 25 patients a day. Eventually, she slowed down to one morning a week and five to six patients—still a remarkable effort given that she was approaching 90. In 1989, Dr. Williams retired for good at age 92. That same year, PCOM established a scholarship in her name to assist minority and ethnic students. She suffered a stroke and the loss of her daughter before passing away on September 28, 1993. Ms. Griffin remembers Dr. Williams as quiet and soft spoken, but firm, and a very warm and kind-hearted spirit. She was always willing to share her knowledge of perseverance—going through medical school, how hard it was as a woman and a woman of color. She was very much a role model, encouraging others to keep striving and persevere.





by Dan O’Connor

Beloved professor David Festinger, PhD, remembered as an amazing instructor and researcher—and an even better person.

Dr. Festinger, a renowned researcher and esteemed faculty member, will be remembered for his selflessness as much as for his genius.

He was the smartest and the nicest guy in the room. He was also a bit of a Big Deal. You’d never know it, though, because David Festinger, PhD, would make such a big deal out of you that you’d almost forget he was a renowned clinical psychologist who’d won multiple opioid addiction research grants and published paper after paper. That will be Dr. Festinger’s enduring legacy. Not his genius or his grants, but how he made his friends, family, colleagues and students feel that they were the best and the brightest. Dr. Festinger, a professor in the Department of Psychology and director of Substance Abuse Research and Education at PCOM, passed away suddenly at age 58 on November 9, 2021. Only now will the man who measured his own success not by his lengthy list of awards and accomplishments, but by others’ happiness, bask in the spotlight he did his best to avoid during a storybook career. “David was exceptionally humble. He was one of those rare geniuses who was also just an incredible person,” says Michelle R. Lent, PhD, clinical psychologist and associate professor, PCOM School of Professional and Applied Psychology. “David was by far one of the most special people I’ve ever encountered. He was universally liked and admired.” In the four years that Dr. Lent worked alongside Dr. Festinger, they were awarded five grants together, including PCOM’s largest-ever research funding award— a $5.5 million contract in 2019 from the Patient-Centered 28


Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study the effectiveness of psychosocial treatments for individuals receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. “Most people get one big grant in their lives,” says Dr. Lent. “David came to PCOM with multiple grants from NIH [National Institutes of Health], which is more than an entire department would have in a decade.” Even Dr. Festinger, the study’s principal investigator, could hardly contain his excitement over the PCORI grant. “He was so happy and excited to be able to build this program at PCOM. But he shared everything. Whatever he earned, he didn’t consider it his, he considered it everybody’s,” says Dr. Lent. At a meeting at a research institute in Washington, DC, Dr. Festinger was smitten by the branded coffee mugs being given away. In plain sight of all, Dr. Festinger stowed as many mugs as would fit into his luggage so that he could distribute one to each member of the research team back at PCOM. “That was David,” says Dr. Lent. “It was hilarious. He’s so charming and lovable, almost innocent in wanting to take extra mugs home because he was so proud of the fact that we had gotten this grant. David was so good-natured that it didn’t matter to anyone that he was taking the mugs.” Then there was the ceremony marking his induction as a fellow in The College of Physicians in Philadelphia. As is customary for new inductees, Dr. Festinger got to inscribe his name in a centuries-old book that lists some of the

founders of medicine, including Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and arguably the most famous doctor in America. Rather than boast about adding his name to the many famous signatures, Dr. Festinger texted a picture of his friend’s signature in the book, which in his estimation was more noteworthy than his own signature. “He was more excited that he saw my name there than his. That was the way he was. Humility is probably the defining element of Dave,” says his longtime friend and colleague Doug Marlowe, JD, PhD, chief of science, law and policy for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, who co-authored several research studies with Dr. Festinger on drug offenders.

HIS LEGACY CONTINUES It’s little surprise that Dr. Festinger’s research centered on treating those suffering from drug addiction fairly and humanely. He believed that treating addiction punitively and fighting the war on drugs with incarceration was fundamentally wrong.

A fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), Dr. Festinger also was a past president (2017) of APA’s Division 28 (Substance Abuse and Psychopharmacology). Dr. Festinger served as principal or co-investigator on more than 20 NIH-funded grants and numerous contracts and grants from other federal, state and local funding agencies. He authored more than 70 articles and chapters and disseminated his research findings at conferences and scientific meetings across the United States and abroad. In addition, he served as one of the principal architects of several evidence-based helping tools for clients and stakeholders within the fields of substance abuse and criminal justice.

SERVICE TO OTHERS ABOVE ALL ELSE The PCOM Department of Psychology compiled a book of memories and sentiments for Dr. Festinger’s family from faculty, staff and students. In one, a student writes, “Dr. Festinger showed me everything that one dreams of in a mentor. He was a kind, patient, thoughtful, unassuming, funny and brilliant man.”

“This research involves real pragmatic work on the ground, testing different approaches to treating patients with opioid use disorder and to helping people meet their recovery goals,” says Dr. Lent. “He was ahead of his time. Not every treatment works for every person.”

Then this from a colleague: “David was one of the gentlest, kindest souls you would ever meet, with equal measures of intelligence, caring and humility and a dedication to teaching and mentorship that made him beloved among his students.”

Dr. Lent will step into Dr. Festinger’s role, leaving her teaching and dissertation duties to oversee the psychology department’s 10-person research team.

Another colleague writes: “He was the humblest person anyone could meet. He never delighted in praise or recognition; he aimed to please and serve others, and that was enough for him. And yet, when I hear all of the accolades about his professional life, while it is incredible and amazing, that is not what defined him.”

“David’s built quite the empire here,” says Dr. Lent. “I’m taking this leap of faith. I think that I have to. I feel really committed to continuing David’s legacy and what he built here. He trained me well.” Some in academia measure greatness by how much grant money they’ve been awarded. Not Dr. Festinger. Even though he had “perfected his ability to win grants,” as Dr. Marlowe puts it, Dr. Festinger was “not interested in getting grants for the sake of getting grants. Research is a means to an end. It’s not the end. You get the money so you can do the research. So many get the grant in order to get the next grant.”

EVERYONE’S BEST FRIEND Robert DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, dean, PCOM School of Professional and Applied Psychology, described Dr. Festinger as a “kind, gentle, and sweet person who was a devoted mentor to his students and a collaborative and cherished colleague.” Dr. Festinger held a doctoral degree in clinical psychology and master’s degrees in counseling and clinical health psychology, and was a licensed clinical psychologist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Lent was a bit disappointed after Dr. Festinger’s funeral to learn that she wasn’t Dr. Festinger’s best friend. Everyone at the gravesite, she says, felt as though they were his best friend. “It was so easy to be friends with David,” she says. People won’t remember you for what you did, but rather for how you made them feel when in your presence. And when you were in David Festinger’s company, he’d duck into the shadows so you were made to feel you were the only person that mattered.

GIFTS IN MEMORY OF Dr. Festinger Memorial Research Fund The Dr. David S. Festinger Memorial Research Fund has been created in his honor. To contribute, visit PCOM Alumni Giving (alumni.pcom.edu/giving), check the “other” box from the dropdown menu, and then type in the fund name.




CLASS OF 1956 CELEBRATES VIRTUAL 65TH REUNION On June 3, 2021, members of the class of 1956 gathered on Zoom to celebrate their 65th reunion. With the assistance of family, friends and caregivers, 10 members of the class, all of them in their 90s, reconnected and reminisced about their time spent at PCOM. Pictured are Jay Joseph, Abraham Zellis, Paul Sadick, Eugene Cohen, Alvin Dubin, Stanley Orons, Joseph Andrews, Jay Friedlin, David Bronstein and William Hemsley.


Frederic J. Friedlin, DO, Pitman, NJ, was featured in an article titled “Broadband Reunites Retired Doctor with Classmates After 65 Years” published on leadingage.org (July 30, 2021). The article focused on the PCOM class of 1956 virtual reunion in June 2021.


Murray Zedeck, DO, Steamboat Springs, CO, bumped into fellow alumnus Jonathan Gusdorff, DO ’98, at a farmers market in Steamboat Springs.


Bernard F. Master, DO, Worthington, OH, celebrated the opening of the Dr. Bernard Master Aviary at the Columbus Zoo. Dr. Master is an internationally recognized birder and conservationist as well as a long-time board member of and donor to the Columbus Zoo.


Richard L. Gordon, DO, Voorhees, NJ, was recognized by Continental Who’s Who as a trusted doctor for his outstanding achievements and his professional excellence at Hackensack Anesthesiology Associates.


Robert C. Luderer, DO, Clarion, PA, received the 2021 David W. “Doc” Humphrey Clarion 30

Hospital Service Award for his unwavering support and dedication to the mission and vision of Clarion Hospital.


Ernest R. Gelb, DO, Pawleys Island, SC, was voted to serve as the American Osteopathic Association’s president-elect. Donald D. Shaw, DO, Wellsboro, PA, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Susquehanna Health Foundation in Williamsport.


Thomas M. Bozzuto, DO, Albany, GA, the medical director of the Phoebe Wound Care and Hyperbaric Center in Albany, was awarded the Eric P. Kindwall Award of Excellence in Clinical Hyperbaric Medicine by the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine. Victor J. Scali, DO, Swedesboro, NJ, professor of emergency medicine at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, won the 2020 New Jersey Health Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award.


Kenneth B. Batts, DO, Virginia Beach, VA, was awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who. Jeffrey M. Bishop, DO, Stuart, FL, is serving as the medical


director of South University’s physician’s assistant program, as well as SkyKare. Samuel P. Wyche, DO, Wyndmoor, PA, has begun his term as president of the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia (PCOP). Dr. Wyche is the first African American/ Native American to serve as president of the PCOP. He was also honored with the 2021 PCOP President’s Award for his extraordinary service to the field.


James M. Bonner, DO, Woodbury, NJ, was elected chair of the Inspira Health Hospital Board of Trustees. The board provides governance and leadership to Inspira’s three South Jersey hospitals. Dr. Bonner also serves as chair of emergency medicine for Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill and Woodbury Health Center. Scott J. M. Lim, DO, Erie, PA, discussed basal cell carcinoma as a guest on an episode of the video series, Journey with the Experts (August 20, 2021)


Elliott Bilofsky, DO, Everett, PA, an otolaryngologist at UPMC Altoona Ear Nose & Throat and chief of UPMC Altoona’s ENT Service, received the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s 2021 Everyday Hero award. Thomas P. Brown, DO, Fort Lauderdale, FL, published an article in the winter 2021 edition of the Academy College of Osteopathic Pediatricians Journal titled “Exertional Heat Stroke in the Pediatric Athlete.” Dr. Brown is an assistant professor of Sports Medicine at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. Joseph A. Giaimo, DO, Riviera Beach, FL, was installed as the 125th president of the American Osteopathic Association in July 2021. Frances Sirico-Kelly, DO, Philadelphia, PA, is happily retired after serving on the staff at both Chestnut Hill Hospital and Abington Hospital, and maintaining a solo practice for more than 30 years. Dr. SiricoKelly now spends half of her time in Southwest Florida.


John N. Hamaty, DO, Medford, NJ, was recognized by Continental Who’s Who with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Medicine as a critical care pulmonologist. James C. Higgins, DO, Jacksonville, FL, was inducted into Cardinal O’Hara High School’s Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in October 2021. Wayne T. Jones, DO, Fairview, PA, was appointed lead physician of the Allegheny Health Network Westfield Memorial Hospital Wound Clinic.


Anthony J. Guarracino, DO, Harrisburg, PA, wrote an article published in the October 2021 issue of the Visual Journal of Emergency Medicine titled “Traumatic Macular Hole in a Pediatric Patient.” Gregory McDonald, DO, Philadelphia, PA, dean, PCOM School of Health Sciences, was interviewed for two PBS NewsHour stories: “Farmworkers Are Dying in Extreme Heat. Few Standards Exist to Protect Them” (August 6, 2021) and “We Don’t Know Exactly How Many People Are Dying from Heat—Here’s Why” (August 10, 2021). George J. Papanicolaou, DO, Byfield, MA, made a guest appearance on the podcast The Doctor’s Farmacy with Mark Hyman, MD, to discuss small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (May 14, 2021).


Glen M. Bouchard, DO, Somers, CT, was profiled by the Boston Globe in an article titled “At the Big E, the Doctor Will Serve You Now” (September 31, 2021). The article explored Dr. Bouchard’s unique relationship with his community as both a doctor and the host of his family’s BBQ stand, Yankee Boy. Kurt G. Datz, DO, Bismark, ND, was appointed medical director of Northland PACE Senior Care Services in Bismarck.


Eileen L. Hug, DO, West Bloomfield, MI, was appointed community assistant dean of

Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine campus at Henry Ford Hospital.


Barbara T. Williams-Page, DO, Drexel Hill, PA, associate professor, department of family medicine, PCOM, was inducted into the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Conclave of Fellows in May 2021.


Darren J. Hohn, DO, Mountain Top, PA, has joined Lehigh Valley Physician Group Ear, Nose and Throat–Health & Wellness Center in Hazle Township. Thomas G. Pollock, DO, Sugarloaf, PA, has joined Lehigh Valley Physician Group Ear, Nose and Throat–Health & Wellness Center in Hazle Township. Jill C. Snyder, DO, Sugarloaf, PA, was presented with the 2021 Distinguished Citizen Award by the Minsi Trails Council of Boy Scouts of America.


Kandace B. Farmer, DO, Denton, TX, was appointed to the Texas Medical Board. Joseph J. Sposato, DO, Suffolk, VA, was profiled by Hampton Roads Physician in an article titled “Thank You for Your Service” (September 21, 2021). The article focused on Dr. Sposato’s experience in the U.S. Navy and practicing medicine.


Paul E. Shields, DO, Buffalo, NY, was profiled by Buffalo Business First in an article titled “Who’s Who in Health Care” (August 5, 2021). Crystal A. Young, DO, Smyrna, GA, was named one of Atlanta’s Best Osteopaths by KevsBest.com.


Amy L. Davis, MS/Biomed ’97, DO, Bryn Mawr, PA, was appointed chair of the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine Quality Committee and chair of the Pennsylvania– American College of Physicians Health & Public Policy Committee. Vy J. Ngo, DO, Austin, TX, was profiled by Austin Woman Magazine in an article titled “See

MICHAEL REIHART, DO ’93 Enhancing Safety in the Amish Community by Meghan McCall In 2006, Michael Reihart, DO ’93, an emergency medicine physician with Lancaster Emergency Associates, served as Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital’s (LGH) incident commander for the West Nickel Mines Amish schoolhouse shooting. Serving as a medical resource for the impacted families, Dr. Reihart has since helped establish many measures to enhance safety in the local Amish community. Dr. Reihart is also heavily involved with EMS services in Pennsylvania, serving as the EMS medical director for LGH, as regional director for South Central Pennsylvania Emergency Services and as chair of the Pennsylvania EMS Medical Advisory Committee. Through these roles, he has treated many traumatic injuries within the Amish community over the years, many of which involved children falling through hay holes as much as 30 feet onto a concrete floor. Typically located on the second story of a barn, hay holes are used to feed the animals below and are usually kept uncovered to increase ventilation and reduce the risk of fire. “Many of us treating these injuries didn’t know what a hay hole was, so I asked the Amish Safety Committee if our trauma physicians and nurses could visit a farm and see one in person. This was the key to engaging a decade of injury prevention with the Amish community,” recalls Dr. Reihart. The Amish Safety Committee, comprised of five elected Amish men, provides safety seminars within their community. Dr. Reihart and his colleagues set out to help them institute a way to prevent tragic falls. “Amish children have been playing in barns for over 300 years. We couldn’t tell them not to do that,” says Dr. Reihart. Instead, Dr. Reihart and his team discussed the complexity of the injuries they were treating and the long-term effects of those injuries, such as depression, learning disabilities and seizures. Out of these conversations, the Amish created netted hay hole covers and worked with the Penn State Agricultural Extension to test them. After the covers were implemented, injuries from hay hole falls fell sharply. Dr. Reihart helped form a multi-disciplinary group to institute more preventative measures, including a buggy safety guide for drivers, child-size reflective vests for children to wear while walking to school and rearview cameras on skid loaders to prevent back-over accidents. “I think we’ve been able to work so well with the Amish because we aren’t preaching to them. We embrace the norms of their community and assist them in what would be most helpful for them.”

Her Work: Vy Ngo—Going to the Places We Fear” (August 1, 2021). Deborah M. Stahlnecker, DO, Coopersburg, PA, was featured in The DO in an article titled “DO Pulmonologist Is One of a Few Physicians Providing This Cutting-Edge Treatment” (July 26, 2021).


Shelly Lynn Chvotzkin, DO, Sarasota, FL, joined the staff at Luminary Medical Group in Sarasota. Steven M. DeLuca, MS/Biomed ’99, DO, Mechanicsburg, PA, was named Pennsylvania’s 2021 Patient Preferred Orthopedic Surgeon by Patient Preferred Physicians and Practitioners. Alexander Doctoroff, DO, RES ’02, Livingston, NJ, was featured in a recent episode of Journey Medical Corporation’s Journey with the Experts video

series. Dr. Doctoroff discussed squamous cell carcinoma, including what it is, why it occurs and how those affected can seek treatment from their local dermatology practice.


Adam Colombo, DO, Coopersburg, PA, assumed command of the 111th Med Group on August 8, 2021. Prior to assuming command, Dr. Colombo served the 111th for the past 12 years as the chief of aerospace medicine and as the Pennsylvania deputy state air surgeon in 2020. Brett A. Gordon, PA-C, Wilmington, NC, joined the faculty at High Point University as an assistant professor of physician assistant studies. Christine A. Mitchell, DO, Bandon, OR, joined the staff at Southern Coos Hospital’s MultiSpecialty Clinic in Bandon.


Charles T. Brophy, DO, Pittsburgh, PA, was appointed medical director of the Ellen O’Brien Gaiser Center in Butler. Payton G. Fennell, DO, Sherrills Ford, NC, was named Novant Health’s primary care sports medicine director for the Greater Charlotte market. Meagan M. DelBaggio Fernandez, DO, Hummelstown, PA, was featured in an article titled “Geisinger Surgeon Completes 200th Robotic Assisted Pediatric Spine Surgery” published by Express News (June 4, 2021).


Victoria N. Zysek, MBA, DO, Broadview Heights, OH, joined the staff at Knox County Hospital in Mount Vernon.




KELLY YANEK, PSYD ’06 Taking Therapy Outside the Box by Meghan McCall Through her practice, Wellness Outside the Box—Therapy Redefined, based in Mullica Hill and Flemington, New Jersey, Kelly Yanek, PsyD ’06, takes a nontraditional approach to traditional therapy. Working in a dual-therapist model, Dr. Yanek and practice co-founder Michele Kinderman, PhD, often take their clients outside of the traditional office environment and into nature for more experiential-based therapy sessions. Practicing this style of therapy, often referred to as adventure-based, lets Dr. Yanek apply much of the knowledge she gained at PCOM. Dr. Yanek gained exposure to adventure-based therapy during an earlier role as a school psychologist. “I took kids out to walk and talk instead of sitting in my office,” says Dr. Yanek, “and I found that I was able to reach students who were more counselingresistant or at-risk.” Dr. Yanek enrolled in the first cohort of PCOM’s PsyD in School Psychology program and focused her research on understanding the impact of adventure-based work. According to Dr. Yanek, taking therapy outside creates space for safe risk-taking. She explains, “It’s one thing to talk about taking risks, but we have the ability to actually put someone on a rock-climbing wall to see in real time how they approach and solve a problem. It gives the therapist the opportunity to stop them in the moment to process and talk through their thought patterns and responses to stressors.” In August 2019, Dr. Yanek joined forces with Dr. Kinderman, a longtime friend and clinical psychologist, to open Wellness Outside the Box. While part of the practice’s “outside-the-box” approach is getting their clients into nature, another unique aspect is their dual-therapist model in which Dr. Yanek and Dr. Kinderman conduct all of their sessions together. “It’s been very beneficial for both of us to be in the room with a client,” says Dr. Yanek. “She and I are able to offer different perspectives in real time with the client. It makes the session very collaborative for both the client and for us. For our clients who have experienced trauma, having another person in the room helps to neutralize the dynamic.”


William M. Chasanov, II, DO, Lewes, DE, was promoted to the position of vice president and chief population health officer of Beebe Healthcare in Lewes. Michael A. Hart, DO, Rockford, IL, joined the Blessing Health System staff in Quincy as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Preston Landon Williams, MS/ PA, DMSc, Palm Desert, CA, was a guest speaker at the Sisters of Mary of Banneux School in the Philippines during their science month. He facilitated an interactive lecture on “Exploring and

Understanding COVID-19” to 2,500 7th- through 12th-grade students, along with their teachers and administrators.

appointed director of pupil personnel services for Edgemont School District.


Christopher Manieri, DO, West Chester, PA, joined the surgical team at Beebe Healthcare in Lewes. Thucuc T. Nguyen, DO, Wilmington, DE, joined the staff at Family Medicine at Greenhill in Wilmington. Ellen C. Rowe, MS, Selbyville, DE, joined the staff at Atlantic General Hospital’s West Fenwick Primary Care in Selbyville. Sarah L. Wodder, PsyD, Scranton, PA, was named president and CEO of Scranton Counseling Center.

Bhavin M. Patel, DO, Dover, DE, joined the staff at Bayhealth Gastroenterology.


Martin J. Hallam, DO, Seymour, IN, joined Lakewood Ranch Medical Group’s obstetrics and gynecology practice in Bradenton.


Minu S. Poulose, PsyD, Mohegan Lake, NY, was



Saturday, June 4, 2022 Honoring classes ending in 0, 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7 The College is excited to resume in-person reunions this June in Philadelphia. Three years’ worth of reunion classes will be celebrated! Save the date for an evening of dinner, dancing, cocktails and reconnecting with classmates. Registration opens in March. For more information, visit alumni.pcom.edu/events.





Edward G. Appelbaum, DO, Huntingdon Valley, PA, joined the staff at Harrington Physician Services Orthopedics in Southbridge.


Jessica M. Calandra, DO, Philadelphia, PA, joined the staff

at MossRehab at Albert Einstein Health Network in Philadelphia as an attending physiatrist. Erin Lee Hall, MS/CCHP ’12, PsyD ’16, Mansfield, PA, was featured in the Times Leader News for creating a support group for people recovering from COVID-19 at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Jamie A. Hood, DO, Mountain Top, PA, has been appointed as associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville. Justin C. Ross, DO, Philadelphia, PA, co-authored a study titled “Diagnosing Laryngopharyngeal Reflux: A Comparison between 24-hour pH-Impedance Testing and Pharyngeal Probe (Restech) Testing, with Introduction of the Sataloff Score” that was published in the June 2021 issue of the Journal of Voice.


Evan K. Altman, DO, Boynton Beach, FL, has joined Baystate Wing Hospital in Palmer as the medical director of convenient care. Chelsea B. Backer, DO, Nottingham, MD, joined the team at Access Sports Medicine and Orthopedics in Exeter. Christopher A. Cappellini, DO, Philadelphia, PA, will begin his vascular surgery fellowship at Pennsylvania Hospital in July 2022. Mark L. Lucey, Jr., DO, Windsor, CT, joined the staff at Attleboro Medical Associates.


Jessica M. Chase, DO, Wilmington, NC, joined the staff at New Hanover Regional Medical Center Physician Group in Wilmington. Mario W. DeYulis, DO, Ebensburg, PA, recently graduated from residency at Conemaugh Graduate Medical Education program. Dr. DeYulis has committed to continue practicing in the Conemaugh Health System and will serve in the emergency medicine department. Cameron P. Glagola, DO, Williamsport, PA, joined the staff

at the UPMC Department of Family Medicine in Loyalsock. Cecilia Perez, DO, Pennington, NJ, joined the team at Capital Health Primary Care in Pennington as a family medicine physician. Austin W. Sorchik, MS/FM ’13, DO ’18, Valdosta, GA, joined the Valdosta Medical Clinic as a family physician. Nima Yazdanpanah, DO, Brooklyn, NY, was recently appointed to the board of directors of the Eastern Pain Association. Dr. Yazdanpanah currently works as the program director of the New York Society of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation as well as founder and CEO of Inner Peace Medicine.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE Wayne J. Brotzman, Jr., DO ’90, and Ann Orchard Brotzman, DO ’92, Nazareth, PA, are proud of their son, Nicholas, who joined the PCOM family as a member of the class of 2024. Matthew P. Debo, DO ’16, Hummelstown, PA, announces the birth of Nathan Paul, born on May 26, 2019. Keith L. Leaphart, DO ‘03, MBA, Philadelphia, PA, wel-

comes his son, Zuri Lee, born on November 21, 2021. Dr. Leaphart, his wife Ebonne and baby Zuri were featured in a Philadelphia Magazine article, “Philadelphia Babies of the Pandemic: A Photo Essay” (February 19, 2022). Eric A. Liu, DO ‘17, Bloomington, MN, married Alex Busa on July 10, 2021. The couple was featured in a Philadelphia Magazine article,

“We Took Sunrise Photos at Philly Landmarks Then SelfUnited in Washington Square” (February 14, 2022). Nima Yazdanpanah, DO ’18, Brooklyn, NY, married Florence Johnson on June 23, 2021, at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. They were joined by family, friends and their two Australian shepherds, Peste (Pistachio) and Anaar (Pomegranate).


Daniel R. Eichorn, DO, Philadelphia, PA, co-authored an article published in the Journal of Voice titled “Effects of Particle Size of Inhaled Corticosteroid on the Voice” (January 2020).

Leaphart baby


Joan Abar, DO ’63, North Kingstown, RI, November 30, 2021 John C. Bradford, Jr., DO ’55, New Holland, PA, January 18, 2022 Cheryl Branon, DO, RES ’92, Brookhaven, PA, April 15, 2020 John V. Cady, DO ’69, Chesterland, OH, June 30, 2020 Robert W. Capitain, DO ’56, Jacksonville, FL, December 16, 2017 William E. Carroll, DO ’74, Greenwich, NY, July 24, 2021 Doris Osterheldt Cass, RN ’46, Jacksonville, FL, February 28, 2021 Joel P. Chack, DO ’81, Linwood, NJ, May 11, 2021 Edward J. P. Ciecko, DO ’85, Philadelphia, PA, July 12, 2021 Francis J. Cinelli, DO ’58, Bangor, PA, September 16, 2021 James P. Cleary, DO ’66, Lima, OH, May 8, 2021 John Daniel Conroy, Jr., DO ’81, Lemoyne, PA, September 27, 2021

Michael Cordas, Jr., DO ’67, Harrisburg, PA, September 10, 2021 Robert Czwalina, DO ’78, Wilkes Barre, PA, November 5, 2021 Charles R. Darlington, Jr., DO ’76, Coatesville, PA, January 8, 2022 Adam T. Dialectos, DO ’14, Drexel Hill, PA, June 22, 2021 Carl G. DiJoseph, DO ’77, PhD, Holland, PA, July 30, 2021 Henry J. Dubiel, DO ’81, Bristol, PA, August 20, 2020 Herman L. Eberhardt, DO ’57, Warrington, PA, May 4, 2020 Dorothy Michele Ellis-Thomas, MS/FM ’10, Tyler, TX, May 10, 2020 Alan A. Fantuzzo, DO ’73, Fort Myers, FL, October 13, 2020 Harold E. Feiler, DO ’80, Pipersville, PA, October 4, 2021 Ruth E. Frye, DO ’84, Allentown, PA, January 15, 2022 Raymond L. Fuller, Jr., DO ’72, Hendersonville, TN, January 1, 2021

Liu wedding

Jonathan W. Hackenyos, DO ’99, MBA, Chandler, AZ, December 13, 2021 John T. Johnson, Sr. DO ’74, O’Fallon, MO, September 8, 2019 Floyd Krengel, DO ’60, Asbury Park, NJ, October 10, 2021 Michael P. Kuniak, DO ’81, Freedom, PA, August 14, 2021 Marie K. Lang, DO ’68, Idaho Falls, ID, November 27, 2021 James T. Lee, DO ’73, West Hollywood, CA, November 29, 2020 Francis L. Levin, DO ’74, Stratford, NJ, July 1, 2021 Allan W. Levy, DO ’60, Wilmington, DE, July 17, 2021 Samuel D. Looker, DO ’66, Harrisburg, PA, December 29, 2021 Robert C. Madonna, DO ’62, Broomall, PA, June 11, 2021 Frank J. Marruchello, DO ’60, Medford, NJ, January 22, 2021 Wilbert J. Matz Jr., DO ’75, Jacksonville, FL, December 9, 2020

Yazdanpanah wedding

Edward M. Phillips, DO ’54, Wilmington, DE, December 20, 2020 William F. Ranieri, DO ’68, Ventnor City, NJ, October 19, 2021 Marshall H. Sager, DO ’67, Atlantic City, NJ, November 4, 2021 Howard A. Scalone, DO ’58, Brush Prairie, WA, May 14, 2021 Kenneth L. Smith, DO ’60, Ocala, FL, October 9, 2021 Paul S. Snoke, DO ’56, Seminole, FL, June 23, 2019 Frank T. Stratton Jr., DO ’68, Marco Island, FL, September 8, 2021 Eva Meogrossi Sullivan, RN ’46, Marlton, NJ, January 14, 2021 Earl R. Trievel, DO ’68, Lionville, PA, March 21, 2020 Ronald D. Vallorani, DO ’75, Northfield, NJ, October 9, 2017 Laverne R. Van deWall, DO ’85, Watertown, NY, January 19, 2022 Galen D. Young, DO ’65, Ocean City, NJ, January 19, 2022



Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage P A I D Upper Darby, PA Permit No. 167

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 4170 City Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19131

NAME GAME: The Class of 1923 listens intently to a laboratory anatomy lecture at what was then called Philadelphia College of Osteopathy, located at 19th and Spring Garden Streets. In 1967, the school adopted its present-day name, becoming Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM). PCOM was established on January 24, 1899, as the Philadelphia College and Infirmary of Osteopathy (PCIO). In May 1921, PCIO was renamed to Philadelphia College of Osteopathy (PCO).

pcom.edu •

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