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MARCH 2009 MARCH 2006


In addition to his position at AtlantiCare, Dr. Becher continues as chairman and professor of the Department of Emergency Medicine at PCOM, running the academic program for medical students as well as an annual continuing medical education program. Helen Anne Chang (DO ’09), this year’s Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal recipient, is known by her peers and professors for her leadership, community service, campus-based initiatives and commitment to PCOM. She was the first osteopathic medical student to rotate through several hospitals for core clerkships and Top: Ken Veit, DO ’77, senior vice president for electives, an achievement that she used as an academic affairs and dean; and Helen Anne Chang opportunity not only to learn, but also to teach and (DO ’09) with portrait of PCOM co-founder Mason Pressly. enlighten others in medicine about the osteopathic Bottom: O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal recipient John W. profession. Becher, DO ’70 (left), and Matthew Schure, PhD, PCOM president and CEO.

The annual observance of Founders’ Day commemorates the founding of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine by Oscar J. Snyder, DO, and Mason W. Pressly, DO. The O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal is the College’s highest award to recognize leadership and service to the osteopathic profession and to the College. The Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal is presented to the student who is recognized by students, faculty and the administration as “Student DO of the Year.”

On campus, Ms. Chang has served the Student Government Association (SGA) as a class representative and as parliamentarian on the SGA Executive Board. She organized the 2007 DO Day on the Hill, an event in which several hundred PCOM students travel to the nation’s Capitol to lobby for physician and patient progress in policy. A member of the Sigma Sigma Phi Honor Society, she has also served the PCOM community as chapter president of the American Medical Student Association.

This year’s O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal recipient, John W. Becher, DO ’70, has devoted his professional life to helping make emergency medicine the highly-respected specialty it is today. In 1977 he was appointed as the first director of emergency room services at PCOM City Avenue Hospital. That same year he was named chairman of PCOM’s Department of Emergency Medicine. In 1985, Dr. Becher was appointed a board member of the newly-created Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, a post he held for 14 years, ultimately serving as chairman. In 2001, he became the first physician to be named National Emergency Medicine Residency Director of the Year by the National Emergency Medicine Residents Association. That same year he was named chairman of the Emergency Services Department at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey.



DEPARTMENT SPOTLIGHT ....4 NEW HIRES......................7


kudos! Kristen Berry, DO, physician, PCOM Healthcare Center– Lancaster Avenue Division, was a guest on the E. Steven Collins show on WRNB Radio, 107.9 FM. She discussed breast cancer awareness.

John Fleischmann, EdD, MBA, campus executive officer, GA–PCOM, was quoted in the article “More graduate education, training holds key to Georgia’s health care success,” which was published in Atlanta Hospital News. James Hale, PhD, associate professor and associate director of clinical training, school psychology, coauthored the articles “Differential ability scales—second edition (neuro)psychological predictors of math performance for typical children and children with math disabilities,” published in Psychology in the Schools; “Alternative research-based methods for IDEA 2004 identification of children with specific learning disabilities,” published in Communiqué; and “Response to intervention: Guidelines for parents and practitioners,” published in Special Education Advocate Newsletter. He also coauthored the chapters “WISC-IV assessment and intervention strategies for children with specific learning disabilities” and “Neuropsychological applications of the WISC-IV and WISC-IV integrated,” published in WISCIV Clinical Assessment and Intervention (2nd ed.). RoMaine Jones, Human Resources Representative, received her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute.


SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY PROGRAMS RECEIVE NATIONAL APPROVAL PCOM has received full approval from the National Association of School Psychology (NASP) for its two graduate programs in school psychology: Master’s/Educational Specialist Degree in School Psychology (EdS) and Doctor of School Psychology Degree (PsyD). PCOM is one of only two schools in Philadelphia with NASP approved graduate-level school psychology programs. Rosemary Mennuti, EdD, director of PCOM’s School Psychology programs, explains the importance of the approval: “This national recognition is a distinction that attests to the outstanding quality of our relatively young programs. The NASP reports were very complimentary and noted, among other things, that the programs have excellent faculty that maintain high visibility in the profession through a variety of teaching research and service activities.” All graduates of PCOM’s EdS and PsyD programs are eligible to apply for national certification. The programs will maintain NASP approval through 2013.

MEDICAL CENTER RECEIVES FUNDING Sullivan County Medical Center has received two grants from the Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. A $12,500 grant will help pay for commonly needed pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical supplies to serve an additional 350 uninsured and underinsured patients in 2009. The Center also received a $10,000 grant to offer age-appropriate education on topics such as bullying, anger management, domestic violence, Internet safety and sexual assault to students, in Bradley Rosenfield, PsyD, clinical grades K-12 in the Sullivan assistant professor, psychology, County School District. coauthored the article “Extreme makeover: The case of a young man with severe ADHD,” published in the journal Clinical Case Studies. He also presented “Integrative treatments for adult ADHD using a case based approach” at the Managing ADHD Across Settings Conference, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

NEWS@PCOM RECOGNIZING COMMITMENT Congratulations to this year’s service award recipients. The following individuals were recognized at PCOM’s 35th Annual Employee Service Recognition Luncheon. In addition to a lovely luncheon at the City Avenue Hilton, awardees received a $125 Wachovia Visa Gift Card for every five years of service.

THIRTY-FIVE YEARS Harriette Fine, Plant Operations Betty Mack, Financial Operations

THIRTY YEARS Robert Cuzzolino, EdD, Dean’s Office Christopher Gearhart, Plant Operations Linda Gentry, Financial Operations Doris Williams-Powell, Distribution Services

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS Denise Curran, Student Affairs

TWENTY YEARS Rani Bright, MBBS, Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology and Forensic Medicine

Larry Finkelstein, DO, PCOM Healthcare Center–Roxborough Division Fred Goldstein, PhD, Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology Saul Jeck, DO, OB/GYN Division Sheila Saldutti, Financial Operations Arthur Sesso, DO, Surgery

TEN YEARS Denah Appelt, PhD, Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology Brian Balin, PhD, Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology and Forensic Medicine Theresa Beauford, Distribution Services Victoria Blair, Patient Billing

Theresa McGrath, Printing Services Deborah Muldoon, Patient Billing Beatrice Nace, Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology and Forensic Medicine Etheldra Templeton, Library Marc Wertheimer, MIS

FIVE YEARS Kristen Berry, DO, PCOM Healthcare Center–Lancaster Avenue Division Marilyn Heywood, Internship Program Douglas Koch, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Barbara Lloyd, PCOM Healthcare Center–Cambria Division

Clara Bogle, Osteopathic Manipulative Katiria Lopez, Registrar Medicine and Osteopathic Practices and Oliver Bullock, DO, PCOM Margaret McLaughlin, Geriatrics Principles Healthcare Center–Cambria Division Missie Miller, Inter-Med John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, Terri Curry, Radiology/Forensic PA-C, Physician Assistant Studies Penny Patton, Standardized Patient Medicine Program Farzaneh Daghigh, PhD, Allan McLeod, DO, JD, MBA, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Virginia Salzer, PhD, Clinical Clinical Education Connie Ennis, Alumni Relations and Psychology Mary Wilson, Osteopathic Manipulative Development Jenayle Smith, PCOM Healthcare Medicine and Osteopathic Practices and Principles Donna Feeney Figaniak, Dean’s Office Center–City Avenue Division

FIFTEEN YEARS Joy Schweizer, Financial Operations Richard Pascucci, DO, GME Administration

Theresa Fullerton, Academic Research Carlos Stokes, Laboratory Animal Resources Development Lisa Wooten, PCOM Healthcare Christine Hammond, Pathology, Center–Roxborough Division Microbiology, Immunology and Forensic Medicine

Marjorie Brodsky, Printing Services With a combined 90 years of PCOM service, from left: Harriette Fine, Robert Cuzzolino, Denise Curran, Christopher Gearhart, Betty Mack, Linda Gentry and Doris Williams-Powell.


DEPARTMENTHIGHLIGHT Kravitz, information systems coordinator; Madeline Law, administrative assistant; and Brittney Cole, clerk typist. “We can’t do our jobs if we can’t get accurate data on our alumni,” stresses Florence Zeller, vice president of alumni relations and development. “Connie generates reports that can tell us almost everything we need to know about our alumni. If I need a list of all the anesthesiologists in a certain ZIP code, she can get me that information. She can sort reports by class year, giving history, specialty — whatever we need to make connections with alumni.” The staff of alumni relations and development: Clockwise from bottom left: Florence Zeller, Scott Righter, Angela Duson, Connie Ennis, Madeline Law, Pam Ruoff, Susan Kravitz, Mikki Pham and Donna Cleary.

ALUMNI RELATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT: CREATING TIES THAT BIND The primary mission of PCOM is to educate students to become successful professionals. The mission of the Alumni Relations and Development Office complements that mission by keeping those individuals connected to PCOM after graduation. “Our alumni give their time, talent and financial support to the College,” says Pam Ruoff, director, alumni relations and development. “Engaged alumni make PCOM a stronger institution.” PCOM and its students benefit in many ways from alumni involvement. Alumni give guest lectures; offer advice, mentoring and clerkships to students; and make charitable donations to the College. “It’s the individual relationships we form with alumni that make the difference,” Donna Cleary, annual giving officer, points out. “I love the opportunity to meet alumni, learn what they’re doing and share the PCOM story.” The relationship goes both ways notes Scott Righter, special gifts officer. “Our personal relationships with alumni pave the way when we ask for financial support. The more we know about the alumni and their interests,” says Mr. Righter, “the easier it is to ask for gifts.” 4

Keeping track of PCOM’s thousands of alumni are Connie Ennis, information services manager; Susan

Ms. Kravitz processes all the gifts the department receives and, among her other responsibilities, creates reports for students looking for clerkships: “If a student wants to do an elective clerkship in dermatology in Arizona, for example, I can help that student find a PCOM physician willing to provide an opportunity.” Ms. Law also helps keep track of alumni by scanning newspaper clippings from around the country for news of PCOM alumni. She prepares the Class Notes information for the College’s alumni magazine, Digest, and writes congratulatory notes to alumni for their accomplishments. Angela Duson, program coordinator, oversees another important component of alumni relations—the Alumni Association Board of Directors. “The board is an important part of the PCOM community,” points out Ms. Duson. Board members mentor students, make student loans available and have their own scholarship fund, the Alumni Association Scholarship. “The board is very dedicated,” says Ms. Duson. “We have 38 members across the country, and they come to campus twice a year for meetings. In between meetings I arrange conference calls.” The department also conducts annual fundraising activities including the Golf Classic, the Phonathon and The Fund for PCOM. These funds help the College and students in many ways. The Phonathon helps fund the DO Student Scholarship Fund, and The Golf Classic supports the five PCOM Healthcare Centers that provide primary care to underserved communities. The Fund for PCOM enables the College to keep tuition increases to a minimum, obtain the most sophisticated clinical training tools

PCOMNEWS and continue state-of-the-art research. “It’s important to note the large role that faculty and staff play in The Fund for PCOM,” says Ms. Zeller. “Our PCOM employees contributed over $100,000 to this year’s fund, which was a record.” Members of the alumni relations and development staff also host events to strengthen relationship between alumni and the College including annual class reunions, receptions at national and local conferences and regional receptions. Mikki Pham, donor relations coordinator, who helps organize these events, explains that they are an excellent way to keep in touch with former students. “Alumni like to know they are remembered,” says Ms. Pham. As hard as the department works to stay connected to alumni, they can’t do it all themselves. “It’s difficult to manage all alumni encounters on two campuses and beyond,” says Ms. Zeller. “Faculty, administration and staff often interact with alumni, and it’s a great help to our advancement efforts when they share alumni information with us.” The department also connects with students. They participate in orientation, host end-of-year lunches, and provide third- and fourth-year DO students with a list of alumni who mentor students and offer clerkships. Some lucky students have the opportunity to accompany alumni staff to conventions and receptions. The office is currently working with Associate Dean of Student Services Tina Woodruff to develop a site on Nucleus through which students can connect with recent alumni who wish to mentor students. Just as the department strengthens ties between PCOM and alumni, the ties within the department are strong. When interviewed for this article, every individual remarked on how the members of the department work as a team. Perhaps Ms. Duson sums it up best: “Everyone helps everyone; no one ever says, ‘That’s not my job.’ We all just jump in and help.”

CONFUSED BY THESE LATIN-DERIVED NOUNS? HERE’S HELP: Alumna = one female graduate Alumnae = a group of female graduates Alumnus = one male graduate Alumni

= more than one male or a group of male and female graduates

PCOM ALUMNUS SPEARHEADS FIRST FACE TRANSPLANT Chad Gordon, DO ’02, was three weeks into his plastic surgery fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, when the opportunity of a lifetime presented itself—a candidate for the first facial transplant in the United States. After meeting with a woman who had received multiple surgeries for severe facial trauma, Dr. Gordon walked into the office of Maria Siemionow, MD, PhD, head of plastic surgery research and head of microsurgery training, and made his case. He and Dr. Siemionow met with over 20 different specialists including surgeons and bioethicists to discuss the viability of the transplant patient. They unanimously declared the woman a facial transplant candidate, and an eight-person face transplant surgical team was assembled. “We worked together on weekends and completed three mock cadaver face transplants tailored specifically for this patient,” says Dr. Gordon. “We were confident that we were ready for the surgery. The patient was excited by the prospect.” All that was left was the indeterminate wait for a suitable donor. The wait that could have taken years, miraculously lasted only a few months. The team performed the surgery in early December. The team spent 12 hours setting up two side-by-side operating rooms—one for the donor and one for the recipient. After 22 hours in surgery, Dr. Gordon spent the next eight hours with the patient managing her critical care. Twenty-four hours later the patient began to wake up; Dr. Gordon was at her side. Dr. Gordon credits PCOM for giving him the opportunity to play a role in the largest and most complex face transplant in the world. “As a fourthyear student, I received a PCOM alumni research grant,” he recalls. Dr. Gordon used the grant to spend five months at the Plastic Surgery Lab within Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital where he was first introduced to composite tissue allotransplantation. Dr. Gordon graduated from George Washington University with a fine arts major and a minor in chemistry. He spent a year after college doing medical illustrations prior to enrolling at PCOM. “PCOM accepted my nontraditional path to medicine,” says Dr. Gordon. “Plastic surgery is a happy marriage of art and medicine.” 5

AROUNDPCOM SCHOOL OF PHARMACY PROPOSAL PENDING APPROVAL The Board of Trustees of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has authorized the College to apply to the American Council of Pharmacy Education (ACPE) for approval to begin a four-year School of Pharmacy at the College’s Suwanee, Georgia, campus. Mark P. Okamoto, PharmD, has been named dean and chief academic officer for the proposed school. Dr. Okamoto was formerly professor and chair at the College of Pharmacy Practice at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. A native of southern California, Dr. Okamoto also previously served in a number of academic and leadership positions at Western University in Pomona, California, including associate dean for assessment and teaching effectiveness and chair of social and administrative sciences. His experience at Western University, home of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, gives Dr. Okamoto a unique perspective on integrating a school of pharmacy within an osteopathic college campus. Dr. Okamoto received his BS from the University of California, Los Angeles and his doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California. He has completed post-doctoral fellowships in pharmacokinetics and pharmacoeconomics at University of Southern California. He has a distinguished academic history of teaching, administration and research, and comes to PCOM with an impressive list of peerreviewed publications and grants. Should pre-candidate status be received from the ACPE, and initial approvals received from The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Georgia Nonpublic Postsecondary Education Commission, recruiting of students will commence. The first class of 75 students is expected to begin study in August 2010.


“As with our Georgia-based school of osteopathic medicine and biomedical sciences graduate programs, we will recruit from Georgia and from southern states and establish clinical training sites in the south,” says Dr. Okamoto. “Our hope is to retain our graduates for the practice of pharmacy in Georgia and in the south.”

PERFECT ATTENDANCE! Congratulations to the healthy employees who had perfect attendance between January 1 and December 31, 2008. In addition to enjoying good health, the 18 hearty souls received a $100 Visa Gift Card as a thank you. Shaun Carlin, MIS Denise Curran, Student Affairs Terri Curry, Radiology/Forensic Medicine Bruce Fairfield, Educational Media Edward Gee, Printing Services Sandra Gulich, Sullivan County Medical Center Cheryl Hall, Financial Aid Christine Hammond, Pathology, Microbiology, Immunology and Forensic Medicine Lavinia Lafferty, President’s Office William Laidlaw, Biochemistry/Molecular Biology Alison LaRoch, Inter-Med Jennifer Leone, Marketing and Communications Deborah McKerrow, Sullivan County Medical Center Herbert McMahon, Anatomy Penny Patton, Clinical Learning and Assessment Center Randy Wang, MIS Carol Weill, Financial Operations Marc Wertheimer, MIS

















1. Devin Armstead, Appointment Clerk/Medical Assistant, PCOM Healthcare Center–Cambria Division 2. Deirdre Brown, Administrative Assistant, Clinical Education, GA–PCOM 3. Lori Cushing, Assistant Medical Education Coordinator, Clinical Education, GA–PCOM 4. Richard Gentry, Security Supervisor, Security and Public Safety 5. Jacqueline Heads, Assistant Director, Career Services, Student Affairs 6. Christina Hordijenko, Medical Assistant/Receptionist, PCOM Healthcare Center–City Avenue Division 7. Patrick Law, Security Supervisor, Security and Public Safety, GA–PCOM

11. Nakeya Reese-McClam, Accounts Payable Assistant, Finance 12. Joseph Smith, Security Supervisor, Security and Public Safety 13. Monica Thomas, Bursar’s Assistant, Bursar’s Office 14. Aimee Torres, Medical Assistant, PCOM Healthcare Center–Roxborough Division 15. Lauren Usher, Plant Operations Assistant, Plant Operations

PROMOTIONS Sandra Branche, from Coordinator, School Psychology, to Supervisor, GME Christopher Brown, from Bursar’s Assistant to Bursar Representative, Bursar’s Office

8. Jeffrey Morris, Custodian/Mechanic, Plant Operations

Andrea Kyer, from Secretary to Administrative Assistant to the Dean, Dean’s Office

9. Mark Okamoto, PharmD, Dean and Chief Academic Officer, School of Pharmacy

Carl Nelson, from Mechanic/Custodian to Maintenance Mechanic, Plant Operations

10. Hui-Shia “Tiffany” Pang, Information Systems Analyst, Admissions

Tanya Ray, from Administrative Assistant, Healthcare Administration to Coordinator, School Psychology Programs, School Psychology




May 6 Executive Faculty Meeting Evans Hall 334 A&B, Noon

March 20 is the first day of Spring!

May 16 Board of Trustees Meeting GA–PCOM, 3:00 p.m. May 17 GA–PCOM DO and BioMed Commencement Tommy P. Hughes Grand Ballroom, Gwinnett Center, 2:00 p.m. May 29-31 PCOM Reunion Weekend


May 31 PCOM DO Commencement Academy of Music, 11:00 a.m.

This is one in a series of features on what PCOM researchers are studying with some of the funds from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation endowment for the Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging (CCDA).

June 9 Faculty Senate Meeting Zedeck Amphitheater, 4:00 p.m.

Adwoa Aduonum, PhD, is studying the long-term effects of methamphetamine on learning and memory, in collaboration with a researcher at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.

July 16 Employee Appreciation Day Location TBD

Denah Appelt, PhD, is using unique markers developed by an investigator at Drexel University to look at how Chlamydia pneumoniae can trigger events that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

July 31 PCOM Graduate Programs Commencement Academy of Music, Noon

Qian Chen, PhD, is examining the role of substances called PKC inhibitors. PKC inhibitors may be used in the future to help patients having procedures such as heart bypass and organ transplant surgery. Dr. Chen is working on specialized techniques with researchers at Thomas Jefferson University.


This newsletter was printed on Mohawk 50/10, a paper manufactured with alternative wind-generated electricity, utilizing 15 percent post-consumer recycled fiber.

Marina D’Angelo, PhD, is researching the role of factors in cartilage that cause tissue damage and abnormal bone growth in osteoarthritis and Marfan’s syndrome. Dr. D’Angelo is collaborating with a laboratory at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Dental Medicine. Farzaneh Daghigh, PhD, is studying how certain enzymes may be linked to the inflammation that occurs in periodontitis (gum disease) and rheumatoid arthritis.




WENDY ROMANO Executive Editor

Send, fax or e-mail news items to: Marketing and Communications, Levin Administration Building; fax 6307; e-mail: We can also be reached at 6300.

CAROL WEISL Editor/Writer

ABIGAIL CLAYTON Graphic Designer




FOUNDERS’ DAY 2009 MARCH 2009 MARCH 2006 DEPARTMENT SPOTLIGHT ....4 EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION..................3 NEW HIRES......................7...