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VOL. 79, 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 CONTRIBUTOR – FEATURE Janice Fisher CONTRIBUTORS – UPDATES Renee Cree Barbara Myers CONTRIBUTORS – CLASS NOTES Institutional Advancement Staff Meghan McLaughlin CONTRIBUTOR – MY TURN Snow Feng, MS, PA-C ’14 PHOTOGRAPHY Bruce Fairfield Melissa Kelly 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.

From PCOM’s social media campaign, “Whole Picture Health”

Dear Alumni and Friends: Given the fact that the opioid crisis is the greatest public health crisis faced by our nation, the need for action has never been more acute. As a premier osteopathic medical school, it is our duty to be on the front lines of the struggle, providing education and training to our students. While our DO curriculum has always provided excellent education on opioids and pain management, the curriculum has recently been enhanced to further address the serious ​ epidemic at hand. DO students now receive supplementary instruction hours in the areas of psychology of addiction, pharmacology of treatment for addiction, pharmacology of treatment for chronic non-cancer pain, and clinical research on pain management. By graduation, students possess the core competencies required to evaluate pain, addiction risk, pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic options for pain management, and they are able to identify and treat opioid overdose. Furthermore, in all academic programs at the College, we are adopting a more opioid-conscious curriculum. It will surely require an interdisciplinary team approach—physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, psychologists, scientists, researchers and advocates—to respond most effectively to the crisis in their communities and nationwide. This issue of Digest Magazine delves into professional personal viewpoints from alumni and faculty engaged in the trenches of the opioid epidemic. The feature attests to the gravity of the crisis, having spared no demographic and having changed the interests and energies of practitioners in every medical specialty.


© 2018 Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. All rights reserved. 2


If there is a silver lining, for me it is this: guided by the osteopathic philosophy, members of our College community are able to remember the patients, to know the consequences of stigma to the individual, to intervene and address addiction through a whole person approach.

Jay S. Feldstein, DO ‘81 President and Chief Executive Officer OSTEOPATHIC MEDICINE

CONTENTS 2 Updates 10 Institutional Heritage: Founders’ Day 2018

14 Facing Addiction 28 Class Notes 2







PCOM SOUTH GEORGIA RECEIVES INITIAL APPROVAL In December, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine received initial approval from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation and met the criteria as outlined by the accrediting agency to establish an additional location in Moultrie, Colquitt County, Georgia. With this approval, the College has been moving forward with the development of PCOM South Georgia, a four-year additional location with an inaugural class of 55 DO students. A 75,000-square-foot building is in the conceptual stage, and plans call for classes to begin in August of 2019. Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer, credits the new location to “the commitment of the South Georgia Medical Education and Research Consortium and all partners who have joined forces to bring this initiative to fruition.” The consortium, a partnership of independent hospitals in Southwest Georgia, was founded in 2011 to address healthcare access and physician planning through the development of a medical education pipeline and graduate medical education programs. “We are confident PCOM South Georgia will have a positive impact on health care in the South Georgia region,” affirms H. William Craver III, DO ’87, dean and chief academic officer, GA–PCOM. “We’re excited as we move forward in making significant investments in South Georgia, including in capital infrastructure, pipeline programming and educational scope.” GA–PCOM, PCOM’s branch campus in Suwanee, focuses on recruiting, educating, graduating and retaining health professions students from Georgia and the surrounding states. The South Georgia location will join with GA–PCOM in this focus. In addition, cognizant of the state’s critical need for physicians in the South Georgia region, PCOM South Georgia will seek to recruit qualified students who wish to pursue a career in rural medicine. To help accomplish this mission, PCOM is working to establish partnerships with colleges in the region and pipeline programs to develop interest in the health sciences. Learn more about PCOM South Georgia: www.pcom.edu/ south-georgia/faqs.html.

PHYSICAL THERAPY PROGRAM MAKES PROGRESS Faculty members of the developing Physical Therapy program at GA–PCOM have moved into their new offices and state-of-theart equipment is in place at the new physical therapy education center, a 12,000-square-foot addition recently completed. More than 40 students have been accepted to the inaugural class which will begin in June 2018, pending accreditation approval. The three-year physical therapy program is being established in response to a national need for physical therapists, especially



in the Southeast. The curriculum includes both coursework and experiential training in a variety of settings, which effectively trains students in critical thinking and evidence-based practice. With highly experienced faculty members, and the recent addition of Philip A. Fabrezio, PT, DPT, MS, CIDN, associate professor, the program provides a wellness orientation and opportunities to practice and serve in community settings.

Sasaki Associates, Inc. Front Exterior View

Rear Exterior View

NEW MEMBER JOINS BOARDS OF TRUSTEES PCOM has named Suzanne S. Mayes, JD, to its Boards of Trustees. She is a shareholder at the law firm of Cozen O’Connor, and serves as chair of the firm’s Public & Project Finance Group, and as vice chair of the firm’s Business Law Department. She has served two terms on the firm’s board of directors. Ms. Mayes’ practice focuses on municipal and project finance in the areas of economic development, transportation, public works, education, senior living, and housing. She has been recognized as a “Pennsylvania Super Lawyer” since 2006 and is a member of the American and Pennsylvania Bar Associations. In 2017, she was named one of the Best Lawyers in America.

THREE-PEAT FOR DIVERSITY For the third year in a row, PCOM has been recognized for its commitment to diversity with the Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award. The honor was given to the College by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.




On the night before the Philadelphia Eagles secured their historic Super Bowl win, Fazad Mohamed (DO ’19) had a unique opportunity: a chance to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra in a rousing rendition of the Eagles’ fight song, “Fly, Eagles Fly.” A staunch Eagles fan, Mr. Mohamed was the winner of the orchestra’s popular social media contest which secured him a spot on stage at Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and solidified a moment he will long remember.

SPENCER NAMED DEAN OF PHARMACY Shawn D. Spencer, PhD, has been appointed dean of the PCOM School of Pharmacy. He is an alumnus of Temple University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and a doctoral degree in pharmaceutical sciences. Dr. Spencer brings to his post more than 23 years of combined experience in pharmacy practice and education and has held a wide variety of academic leadership roles. He most recently served as the associate dean of institutional improvement at Florida A&M University, where he was a tenured professor of clinical pharmacology. With experience working as a pharmacist in hospital and community pharmacy settings, Dr. Spencer has a research background



as co-investigator on phase-1 cancer clinical trials conducted at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research in Bethesda, Maryland. In 2015, he was awarded a $2.5 million NIH grant to establish an innovative Center for Research Education and Training Enhancement at Florida A&M University, which emphasizes development of soft-skills for students in support of their biomedical research to improve patients’ lives. “It will be an honor to lead PCOM School of Pharmacy into the next era of pharmacy education,” he says. He believes that advancing pharmacy practice is one of the key drivers to improving the quality of life for citizens of Georgia and the surrounding states. “We’re educating not just pharmacists, but leaders in our communities,” he said. “The School of Pharmacy is a top-50 private pharmacy program, which is evidence of the commitment of PCOM graduates, faculty and staff, and is in keeping with the legacy of PCOM.”

Will Figg



MONITORING TEEN SUICIDE Terri Erbacher, PhD, clinical associate professor, psychology, works with local school districts to identify and monitor students at risk for suicidal behavior. In 2015, she created the Suicide Risk Monitoring Tool (SMT) to address the insufficient monitoring schools often give to students identified as having suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Recently, she co-authored a case study in Contemporary School Psychology demonstrating how the SMT can be used with students in a school setting. Here’s how the tool can be implemented:

PCOM recognized LGBT History Month in October with the launch of a new annual lecture series sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Community Relations and the PCOM LGBTQIA Council. The inaugural event in Philadelphia was hosted by endodontist and transgender health advocate Anne Koch, DMD, who underwent gender confirmation surgery at age 63. At GA–PCOM, the inaugural lecture was hosted by Holiday Simmons, MSW, director of community education and advocacy at Lambda Legal in Atlanta. Both spoke on the challenges that LGBTQ patients face in accessing health care, and the gaps in healthcare delivery for this chronically underserved population. “The most intimate thing you can do—other than die—is to have this surgery,” Dr. Koch explained during her lecture. “If there’s anything that requires some handholding, it’s this. The surgery is only the beginning.” She said that care for transgender patients was a “720-degree” process—it must be all-encompassing, with complete continuity of care for each patient. Mr. Simmons defined key terms and explained how, as future physicians and clinical providers, students can identify and address healthcare needs for LGBTQ people. The new lecture series is one of several efforts by the College to train competent professionals who can provide culturally sensitive care for those patients. In 2016, PCOM hosted a Transgender Medicine Symposium, which brought together local and national experts on transgender health—including alumni A. C. Demidont, DO ’00; Christine McGinn, DO ’95; and Sherman Leis, DO ’67—to help primary care physicians better understand and more effectively treat this population. The College is also working with Dr. Koch to develop future transgender medicine educational initiatives, designed to educate healthcare providers about the medical and psychological needs of transgender patients.


Suicidal Thoughts or Behaviors Conduct Suicide Screening YES

Conduct Suicide Risk Assessment Determine Level of Risk


Contact Parents Determine if intervention is needed Safety Plan

Suicide Monitoring Tool

MODERATE Contact Parents Plan

Intervention Safety Plan

Suicide Monitoring Tool


Contact Parents Consider Hospitalization Safety Plan

Suicide Monitoring Tool with high frequency




IT’S A MATCH! Students from both campuses recently learned where they will go for their residencies and internships, thus starting the next phase of their careers. They celebrated their accomplishments during funfilled events at Lucky Strike in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta, Georgia. Members of the DO class of 2018 matched through the National Resident Matching Program, the American Osteopathic Association Intern/Resident Registration or the Military Graduate Medical Education Match. PsyD candidates in the class of 2019 also celebrated the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers Match. At the event, students wore commemorative “I Matched” t-shirts and took photos at a designated photo booth, all while celebrating with bowling, pool and various other games. Students reported moving on to residencies and internships at institutions such as Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania; Grandview Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio; Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie, Georgia; WellStar Graduate Medical Education Residency at Kennestone in Marietta, Georgia; and Hutchings Psychiatric Center in Syracuse, New York.

SHEPHERDING STUDENTS TOWARD SUCCESS Medical students are under an enormous amount of pressure to perform well academically so they can land the best residency spots. That can take its toll mentally; a 2015 study published in BMC Medical Education found that the risk of depression rose significantly between a medical student’s first and third years, and also showed an increase in perceived stress levels. The DO programs in Philadelphia and Georgia are taking steps to address those issues among students through recently launched and refined mentoring programs. In Philadelphia, first- and second-year students are paired up with a DO faculty member to discuss any issue they might be having, from the personal to the professional to the academic. Emily Eshleman (DO ’19) approached the DO Curriculum committee with the idea to have students meet with those who can provide a unique perspective on what students face—because faculty had lived it themselves. While participation is not mandatory, students are strongly encouraged to meet with their mentors as either part of a group— their “family”—or one-on-one to discuss any issues. The program formally launched in 2016, and has had a positive reception among



students. In a recent survey of first- and second-year DO students, more than 60 percent of respondents said that overall, they were either “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the program. In Georgia, DO students are placed in seven “houses”—each with faculty sponsors, lab teaching assistants and peer tutors. “Bigs” and “Littles” are also matched up and placed in the same house. The result, which is still evolving, is providing participants with opportunities for camaraderie, friendly competition and advice. In October and February, forums were held with alumni talking to house members about such topics as work-life balance, choosing a specialty based on the life they want to live, coping with stress, trusting oneself as a physician and preparing for board exams. There have been opportunities for volunteering together, as well as activities designed just for fun. Leanne Henry-Miller, a personal support counselor, assisted in coordinating the initiative at GA–PCOM. “The students are all in this together,” she said. “It’s important to learn from those who have walked in their footsteps. We hope that this year’s first-year students have seen the value of a mentoring program and will help those who follow them.”


GA–PCOM was recently named one of the Top 150 places to work in Atlanta by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and its partner Energage. In the category of mid-size companies, GA– PCOM was among the top 50 places to work (nearly 2,350 metro Atlanta companies were nominated to participate in the awards program). GA–PCOM is also a Best of Gwinnett winner as selected by Gwinnett Magazine. Best of Gwinnett winners and nominees are chosen through a combination of readers’ votes and editors’ input and are vetted through several ranking sites.

HOW TO BE HAPPY Research has long suggested that happier people are generally healthier people. A new program at PCOM led by Scott Glassman, PsyD ’13, associate director of the Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling program, speaks directly to that correlation. Called “A Happier You,” the program is designed to help participants enhance their optimism, increase the frequency of positive emotions and better manage any negative emotions. Over the course of six weeks, groups meet at one of PCOM’s three community-based Healthcare Centers for an open discussion that focuses on instances in each participant’s life that could positively affect his or her mood and activities to increase happiness in a variety of areas. Weekly themes include gratitude, kindness, humor, successes and personal strengths. Dr. Glassman says the program hopes to help its participants flex their happiness muscles. “Happiness is a skill that becomes more automatic with time,” he says. “And one person sharing their positive experiences can help and inspire others in the group.” Each week, participants learn strategies to not only cope with negative emotions, but also increase positive ones. At the end of each session, participants are given “happywork”—activities that can be done between sessions to help continue to grow feelings of happiness and positivity. Participants are asked to rate the strength of their positive feelings before and after activities to become more aware of the control they have over mood. “We’re giving them the tools to build on the best of who they already are,” said Dr. Glassman.

SWAPPING WHITE COATS FOR APRONS First- and second-year DO students on the Philadelphia campus are trading in their white coats for aprons as part of a new Culinary Medicine elective at PCOM, designed to teach the future physicians about diet, nutrition, and their ties to wellness, so that they can in turn share that information with their patients. Based on a curriculum pioneered at Tulane University, the course offers a “practice-what-you-preach approach,” to medical education, says Joanne Kakaty-Monzo, DO ’97, professor and chair, obstetrics and gynecology, who co-directs the Culinary Medicine program at PCOM. “Teaching medical students about how to be smart about their diet will help them teach their patients about it—and how diet goes a long way in preventing disease, not just treating it,” she said. Prior to class, students study journal articles, view kitchen safety videos, and take practice quizzes. At the beginning of each class, students review that work, and then head into their test kitchen to create healthy meals. During their cooking sessions, they learn basic kitchen skills and how to make common dishes in a healthier way. Students then gather for mealtime, and have the opportunity to review patient case studies similar to what they would find on their board exams. “We want to give students the tools to guide their patients on how to eat,” said Farzaneh Daghigh, PhD, professor, biochemistry and molecular biology, and co-director of Culinary Medicine. “Often, the conversation stops at ‘You would benefit from losing

weight.’ But if students know how to implement little steps to improve diet, that can be incredibly helpful for their patients.” Andrea Weir (DO ’21), president of the Nutrition and Medicine Club, was a chef prior to attending medical school, and took the class to better understand how her knowledge of food could help her be a more effective physician. “Nutrition plays a part in every aspect of health, both physical and mental,” said Ms. Weir. “I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to blend my experience in cooking with how best to treat my patients.”




SHOWCASING OSTEOPATHIC LEADERSHIP IN SURGERY Surgeons and soon-to-besurgeons of all specialties descended on PCOM recently for a weekend filled with hands-on activities and lectures designed to further knowledge and foster collaborative care, and highlight osteopathic physicians as leaders in the field of surgery. The 5th Annual PCOM Neurosurgery Symposium brought nearly 300 neurosurgery residents, medical students and support staff to campus to highlight the College’s Neurosurgery Residency Program, which has trained scores of skilled neurosurgeons. Many returned to discuss cases and treatments they use in their own clinical practices. Next, the PCOM Wisely Surgical Association hosted its annual Philadelphia Surgery Symposium, bringing together more than 150 allopathic and osteopathic students from medical schools around the region to learn skills and techniques related to trauma care. Several PCOM alumni lectured on topics from innovations in surgery to advances in research. Danielle Estrada (DO ’20), president of the Wisely Surgical Association, says that having so many leading DO surgeons at the event helps illustrate to medical students—DOs and MDs alike—how osteopathic physicians are leading strongly in the field of surgery. “Our goal was to provide conference attendees with confidence in osteopathic surgical training. Bringing MD and DO students together was an excellent way to highlight that leadership among a broader community,” she said.

RESPECT RESULTS FROM TRAUMA DAY Held at Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) in Lawrenceville, Georgia this fall, Trauma Day enabled EMT, nursing and medical students from three Gwinnett County colleges to join forces with GA–PCOM master’s students, to hone their skills in a chaotic environment. Jeff Adams, MS, NREMT-P, director of simulation, GA–PCOM, explained that collaboration and communication were the two objectives of Trauma Day, which allowed the students to experience what it is like to work across disciplines. Biomedical sciences students built a total of 10 different cases that were reviewed by faculty members to ensure they were clinically sound. EMT students from Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville transported patient actors and high-fidelity mannequins to the GGC Simulation Center to be cared for by the nursing students from GGC and student doctors from GA–PCOM. Cases included patients experiencing a motor vehicle accident while pregnant, multiple stab wounds, a stroke, a gunshot wound, mental health issues and even human trafficking.





Various student groups on the Philadelphia campus recently welcomed more than 50 athletes with the Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia program for a day dedicated to physical fitness, arts and crafts and learning about health and wellness. Dubbed “MedBuddies,” the event paired a child with a PCOM student, allowing the future health practitioners to interact with a traditionally underserved population while also allowing the children to learn from PCOM students in a fun and interactive way. Students played basketball and soccer, listened to their hearts with stethoscopes and made their very own medical bags and X-rays. “As future physicians, we noticed that we didn’t get a lot of interaction with the special needs community,” notes Jazmin Garcia (DO ’20), co-chair of the event. “We wanted to create an opportunity that would allow us to interact with this population, and help prepare us to better address their unique needs when we one day become health professionals.”

STUDENTS GIVE BACK THROUGH ANGEL TREE PROJECT This past holiday season, an Angel Tree, surrounded by a multitude of donated gifts, served as a reminder of the generosity and goodwill of GA–PCOM students, faculty and staff members. The Angel Tree project, a campus-wide endeavor to collect wished-for toys and supplies to give back to the community during the gift-giving season, was started in 2016 by Hershika Patel (PharmD ’18), the 2016-17 Student Government Association president. With her help, the SGA continued the project in 2017 and hopes to make it an annual endeavor. Some 65 donations were collected from individuals and organizations and delivered to local shelters, including the Atlanta Day Shelter for Women and Children and Solomon’s Temple.

As the campus entered its 13th year, a new, one-thirdmile walking trail to enrich the GA–PCOM experience was completed. The trail, which was formally dedicated on October 19, 2017, is meant to entice students, faculty and staff members to stretch their legs and enjoy some cardiovascular exercise. Twelve alumni and friends of the College donated money for the walking trail, and their donations were matched by a grant from the PCOM Alumni Association. In a separate event, Paul Evans, DO, founding dean and former chief academic officer, GA–PCOM, was honored at a portrait unveiling held in the Atrium. In opening remarks, Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer, described Dr. Evans as a “builder,” a “founder” and a “mentor to all of us.”

IMPACTFUL FUNDRAISING Student groups, faculty members and staff at PCOM can now raise money for various projects related to research, events, programs and more through Impact PCOM, the College’s new crowdfunding platform. The goal of the new initiative is to engage students, faculty and staff directly in the fundraising process, while also allowing those groups— and alumni—to donate to a project of their choosing. Campaigns must benefit an official campus student group, faculty research project or other PCOM initiative, and all projects submitted are subject to an approval process. “Projects funded through Impact PCOM are meant to positively impact the community, both on and off campus, by reinforcing and expanding the College’s footprint in Philadelphia and Georgia,” says Carrie Collins, JD, chief advancement officer. For more information, visit alumni.pcom.edu/impactpcom.





The annual observance of Founders’ Day honors the forebearers of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine: Oscar John Snyder, DO, and Mason Wiley Pressly, DO. The profiles of the honorees that follow provide examples of those who continue to embody the dedication, loyalty and service that the College’s founders exhibited. 10




Heart surgery visionary Francis P. Sutter, DO ’76, FACS, FACOS, takes a less intrusive approach to coronary bypass surgery, using a robotic surgical system to perform coronary artery bypass grafts while his patients’ hearts continue to beat. The procedure spares patients the foot-long incision, split sternum and connection to a heart-lung machine that is required in traditional coronary bypass surgeries. Dr. Sutter has performed close to 1,700 robotic procedures—more than any surgeon in the United States. He is considered a pioneer for this approach and has traveled the world, presenting his experience to cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists in Beijing, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Montreal, Mexico, Moscow and Rome. In June 2017, Dr. Sutter was in Rome at the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgeons, to present data from surgeries

he’d performed. “I’m on a mission,” says Dr. Sutter, chief of cardiac surgery at Lankenau Medical Center, “to teach other surgeons how I do the procedure and for them to see the benefits. A robot makes heart surgery much more humane and far less traumatic. Procedures that avoid the cardiopulmonary bypass machine result in a quicker recovery, shorter hospital stays, decreased mortality, and reduced need for blood transfusions. Patients are under anesthesia for a shorter period of time, and they can get out of bed on the same day they’ve had the procedure.” Dr. Sutter prepares for surgery the same way each time, taking nothing for granted. He reviews cardiac catheterization films and patient results and then personally calls the patient prior to surgery—to encourage him or her. Dr. Sutter is ever cognizant of fostering a relationship of confidence with his patients and their families—a quintessential lesson one of his mentors taught him. Dr. Sutter began doing the minimally invasive bypass surgeries at Lankenau Medical Center in 2005, after he, his

partner and the hospital conducted a $1 million fundraising drive to purchase the robot. Now that device—and other robotic systems—are used for a full range of surgeries at Lankenau. MaryAnn Wertan, a nurse who has worked with Dr. Sutter since 1986, notes that he has continually adapted to new technologies that improve outcomes for his patients. “He focuses on continuous learning, and doing what’s best for his patients,” she says. While an undergraduate at La Salle University in Philadelphia, Dr. Sutter, a surfer, majored in biology and contemplated a career in oceanography. But late in his senior year, he decided to pursue medicine, and gained acceptance to PCOM. Helping him find focus on the rigors of medical school was his girlfriend, Marilu, whom he met years prior while on the lifeguard stand. She encouraged him that being a doctor was a calling and that he was on a mission. They married shortly after graduation. Also helping Dr. Sutter find a release to escape stress was the discovery of a new sport: rowing. At PCOM, he was intro-

duced to rowing, racing sculls on the Schuylkill River. He was a natural. By his fourth year, he was a contender for the 1976 US Summer Olympics team. Unfortunately, he and his partner lost in the finals. “The next year, they asked me to join the US rowing team, but I had to decline. I was starting my residency in surgery,” he says. Cardiothoracic surgery wasn’t Dr. Sutter’s first choice of a medical specialty; from the beginning, he was on track to become a primary care physician. A year later, as most athletes would, he considered orthopedic surgery. An opportunity in orthopedics presented itself, but he would need to wait. In the interim, as a general surgery resident at Thomas Jefferson University, he realized that he wanted to care for more than just orthopedic problems. “I just couldn’t get enough of the operating arena. I liked to take care of patients, and I liked the excitement of surgery,” he states. “But unlike today, back then I couldn’t get board certified in general surgery as an osteopathic graduate.”




Five years later, Dr. Sutter embarked on a cardiothoracic surgery residency also at Jefferson, which he completed in 1986—ten years after graduating from PCOM. He became the first osteopathic physician to be board certified by the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. Over the years, Dr. Sutter has continued an association with PCOM, as a clinical associate professor, Department of Surgery, Division of Vascular and Thoracic Surgery. PCOM students have completed rotations within his department at Lankenau, and he returns to campus annually to present to PCOM’s Surgery Club. “The PCOM students are sharp as tacks, and they truly care about patient care,” he says. “PCOM has such a culture of caring.” Dr. Sutter notes that his advice to current students is simple: “energy and persistence conquer all things.” And he often cautions the students to “stay humble”—a bit of advice from his own mother.



Andrew G. Canakis (DO ’18) comes from a family of physicians; his father, Jerrold, is a gastroenterologist; his aunt, Katherine Canakis, DO ’83, is an internist; and his brother, Justin Canakis (DO ’21), is a first-year student at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Like his family, Mr. Canakis holds a deep commitment to community service. Early in his studies, Mr. Canakis dove into service on two projects: founding both PCOM’s Gastroenterology Club and the PCOM chapter of Philadelphia’s Health Career Academy.



Mr. Canakis, who hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps, initiated the PCOM Gastroenterology Club in collaboration with Steven Lichtenstein, DO ’90, who is one of his mentors. The club organizes simulation events, and hosts practical talks for students seeking a potential fellowship in the specialty. Mr. Canakis realized the importance of strengthening PCOM’s involvement in the Health Career Academy after reaching out to Barry Mann, MD, Lankenau Medical Center, who founded the high school health education program in 2009. Mr. Canakis volunteered to teach health modules to Philadelphia high school students on health issues such as diabetes, cancer and trauma. He also helped develop the program’s curriculum. During his second year with the PCOM chapter of Health Career Academy, Mr. Canakis assisted high school students in producing a video about domestic violence. That year, he also worked to set up a chapter of Health Career Academy at the University of Sciences in Philadelphia; there he involved graduate and undergraduate students in physical therapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy and business administration. Those students then taught public health issues to students at an inner-city charter school in Philadelphia. While balancing his own studies and community service projects, Mr. Canakis also found time to dabble in research. Working with Alyssa Maria Parian, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University, he wrote a case report on an inverted colonic diverticulum, and presented it in 2017 at the World Congress on Gastroenterology. He’s working with Dr. Parian on a chapter in a book on treatment modalities for inflammatory bowel disease. He also did the data collection and was an author of a 2017 retrospective study that evaluated the use of fully covered self-expanding metal stents in patients with benign biliary disease, published in Minerva Gastroenterology. This summer, he will begin an internal medicine residency at Boston University Medical Center.



When Danielle M. Ward, MS (DO ’18), was a pre-medical student at Louisiana State University in 2007, she traveled to San Francisco to attend her first conference of the Student National Medical Association (SNMA). Eleven years later, as she prepares to graduate from GA–PCOM, Ms. Ward, as the national association’s first osteopathic president, planned its prestigious 2018 conference in San Francisco. The annual conference took place March 28–April 1, 2018, and was a successful event with over 1,700 attendees. “Everything is coming full circle,” she says. “After all, it was through SNMA that I first learned about GA–PCOM.” Ms. Ward is GA–PCOM’s 2018 Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal recipient, the College’s highest student honor. She is recognized—among other merits—for serving as a source of inspiration for young minority students considering a career in medicine and for advocating for diversity in healthcare professionals. Ms. Ward recalls the inspiration she sought through her SNMA mentor, Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, an osteopathic medicine pioneer and visionary herself. “I have known many individuals who were in their 20s before they encountered a physician of color,” says Ms. Ward. “The truth is, minority physicians do exist. We are out there. But you can’t want to be something that you’ve never known.” She continues, “Sadly, in 2018, there still remains a lack of diversity in healthcare professionals. So as to deliver the best culturally competent care to patients, healthcare professionals must represent those of various ethnic and social backgrounds and understand the issues faced by different cultural backgrounds.” While at GA–PCOM, Ms. Ward balanced her medical studies while solely raising her elementary school-aged daughter. “The greatest lesson I can teach my little girl is the power of persistence,” she says. “Dreams can come true—through hard work.” Ms. Ward also dedicated her time to serving as a student ambassador, giving campus tours and helping conduct interviews with prospective students. Ms. Ward has documented her journey to become a physician on her blog, www.AspiringMinorityDoctor.com, which provides insightful advice to prospective students. The blog also provides a personal glimpse into her life at GA–PCOM and the road she has traveled. “I prayed for a long time to have a chance at the opportunity to start a path towards medicine, and now that I’m here, I’m embracing every second of it. In a few months, I will be Dr. Ward, and that alone is a reason to smile.” This summer, Ms. Ward will begin a traditional rotating internship at PCOM.



Over his past 40 years at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Robert G. Cuzzolino, EdD, vice president for graduate programs and planning, has demonstrated loyal dedication to strengthening the well-being of the College by serving as the driving force behind the expansion of the College’s graduate programs. While leading the College’s current graduate degree offerings in clinical, counseling, and school psychology; biomedical science; physician assistant studies; organizational development and leadership; forensic medicine; and pharmacy, Dr. Cuzzolino oversees the development of new degree offerings on both the Philadelphia and Georgia campuses. Dr. Cuzzolino is committed to developing partnerships between PCOM and other institutions and has created several dual-degree programs. While serving in his previous position as assistant dean for educational resources, he created PCOM’s DO/MBA and DO/MPH programs, the first such combined programs in the country. He has led the College through numerous institutional self-studies and accreditations and manages program approvals and related government relations. Dr. Cuzzolino serves as a lecturer in Medical Ethics and Law for the Physician Assistant Studies and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine programs as well as a lecturer in the areas of administration, consultation, supervision and health policy for the Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program. Dr. Cuzzolino earned his EdD in educational administration from Temple University in 1988, and his MEd in counseling in higher education from Kutztown University in 1977. He holds an AB in psychology and English from Muhlenberg College.






NG ADDICTION by Janice Fisher

Having spared no corner of the nation, no demographic category, the opioid epidemic has reshaped the interests and energies of practitioners and programs in every medical specialty. The faculty and alumni of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine are no exception. Here, a dozen faculty members and alumni share their professional stories and personal viewpoints about dealing with what has been called the worst public health crisis in American history.





Richard Gold, DO ’91, who began his career in HIV medicine and then became interested in how HIV and addiction intersect, is medical director of Cornerstone Treatment Facilities Network. With two detox and rehab facilities, one in New York City in Queens and the other in Rhinebeck, New York, and a total of 265 detox and rehab beds, it is one of the largest such facilities in the state. A team of 24 physicians and nurse practitioners provides medically supervised inpatient withdrawal and stabilization and inpatient rehab. “Perhaps only 15 to 20 percent of our patients,” says Dr. Gold, “are using one substance—just opiates, for example. Many people who turn to benzodiazepines—Xanax, Klonopin—are self-medicating for anxiety. Benzos work well for the short-term treatment of anxiety, but people get on them for years. Young people who have no psychiatric diagnosis can be addicted to benzos, which they buy on the street. Some take a huge amount—if I took that many, I’d probably stop breathing.

“You have to be a certain kind of person, have the right mindset, to want to do this work. Somebody who comes in and is withdrawing isn’t in their best state of mind, and you have to be able to let their behavior go.” “Fentanyl is a super-powerful opiate. But some people don’t even realize they’re using it. They’re buying counterfeit Xanax that’s actually fentanyl. They take what they think is one Xanax, and they die of a fentanyl overdose. “We see people using a large quantity of pills. They are prescribed strong narcotics for pain, but then the doctor cuts them off. They wind up turning to heroin, which is much cheaper than buying narcotic pills on the street.” 16


A 2017 New York law guarantees all patients up to 14 days of addiction treatment, with no insurance authorization required. “In terms of detox,” which typically lasts five days, says Dr. Gold, “that’s great, because we used to have to call the insurance company and wait hours for them to call us back. And now we don’t need authorization for detox, and the patient does not have to wait for treatment, or possibly be denied. Prior to 2017, when we’d have to get authorization, a lot of people wouldn’t get any rehab services. “But rehab is intended to be a 28-day program. And now, insurance companies generally don’t allow us to extend it much beyond 14 days.” Cornerstone’s average length of stay for rehab decreased from 13.5 days in 2016 to 10.5 days after the new state law took effect. (The numbers include patients who left against medical advice or whose stays were shortened for any other reason.) “Unfortunately,” says Dr. Gold, “even 14 days isn’t very long to teach somebody new behaviors.” Another unintended consequence can be seen with Suboxone. “Probably 20 percent of our patients,” says Dr. Gold, “test positive for Suboxone, but they haven’t been prescribed it. Doctors are prescribing it for other patients, but some of those patients are selling it to buy illicit drugs. “On the other hand, a lot of doctors just don’t want to deal with Suboxone patients. In New York State, some certified Suboxone prescribers have zero patients. In rural areas, patients may have no options for obtaining Suboxone. Even upstate in Rhinebeck, there are many fewer options than in New York City.” Dr. Gold maintains, “You have to be a certain kind of person, have the right mindset, to want to do this work. Somebody who comes in and is withdrawing isn’t in their best state of mind, and you have to be able to let their behavior go. The reason I went to medical school was to help others. It is very rewarding to be able to save a life and help some people get their lives back.”


When David Festinger, PhD, professor of psychology and director of substance abuse research and education, PCOM, started publishing in the early 1990s, use of crack cocaine was epidemic. “I thought it was the most insidious addiction imaginable,” he says. Now he studies opioids. “If you had to set this up as a behavioral experiment, you couldn’t create a more efficient substance to facilitate and sustain an addictive disorder.”

“Young people who have no psychiatric diagnosis are addicted to benzos, which they buy on the street. Some take a huge amount—if I took that many, I’d probably stop breathing.”




Dr. Festinger, past president of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse, explains that “opioids stimulate the reward centers in our brain very effectively. They mimic very closely the natural endorphins in our body that dull pain and encourage our engagement in behaviors that are essential for survival. When ingested, opioids compete powerfully with and eventually diminish the availability and impact of those natural endorphins. That’s why opioids have a very high addiction potential. For some people, a chronic compulsion develops—an inability to stop using even when it’s causing harm, destroying their lives. A person has to use increasingly larger doses of the drug to get the same high.” After tolerance, individuals who chronically use opioids typically develop physical dependence. “The body enters withdrawal when the individual stops taking the drug, so now it’s a negative reinforcer,” Dr. Festinger explains. “You’re taking the drug to avoid being punished by the withdrawal symptoms.” Dr. Festinger’s current research evaluates medicationassisted treatment (MAT) in drug courts, a setting he has been studying for more than 15 years. “Only recently,” he says, “have drug courts begun to evaluate the use of medication in helping individuals graduate from drug courts sooner, maintain abstinence and demonstrate reduced criminal recidivism. Methadone has shown a lot of efficacy, mostly as a replacement substance and as a way of reducing criminality and the spread of infectious diseases.” More recently, the full antagonist naltrexone, which completely blocks opioid receptors, has become available in a longer-acting form, Vivitrol. “An intramuscular injection completely blocks opioid receptors for 30 days. That means the user can’t overdose, can’t get high. The hope is that after a long enough time, they’ll learn it’s not working.



“Among incarcerated individuals who are addicted to opioids, researchers have begun to examine administering the first dose of naltrexone before they leave prison. But the best behavioral approaches,” according to Dr. Festinger, “haven’t been tested yet. For example, individuals could be released earlier or receive reduced sentences on the condition that they continue to obtain and take their monthly doses of naltrexone. That’s where we run into ethical stickiness. Could you give a person a fair option to choose—to say, ‘OK, I know this is a condition of my release, just like paying fines, getting a job, not breaking parole’? “The criminal justice system is almost entirely opposed to using anything but the full antagonist naltrexone in MAT. There’s a stigma associated with medications that have a potential euphoric effect. But that’s a very black and white way of thinking.” A very few courts, and some parole and probation officers, are starting to look at Suboxone, the partial agonist whose active ingredients are buprenorphine and naloxone. “As more and more research shows that Suboxone may be an effective strategy,” says Dr. Festinger, “it’s going to be important to educate the criminal justice stakeholders about the utility of this method. “Naltrexone and Suboxone are really our first-line treatments now, but there’s no shortage of need for psychology in this arena,” he says. “Cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, and other evidence-based behavioral strategies that we are so strongly aligned with here in our department of psychology can be very useful not only on their own but also as a way to increase compliance and adherence with the medications. “There’s not a student that goes through our doctoral program who’s not going to come up against this in their future clinical work.”


In North Carolina, where Stephen D. DeMeo, DO ’08, MEd, is a neonatologist at WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, the number of infants hospitalized for opioid withdrawal at birth, or neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), is up almost 900 percent since 2005. That increase, he says, correlates directly with the numbers of child-bearing-age women who are addicted to or abusing opioids in the state. “We’re the downstream effect of the problem.” There are 48 neonatal beds at WakeMed, with five or six infants being treated for NAS at any given time. “The average length of hospital stay for those babies is 20 days, compared to two to four days for a normal baby,” says Dr. DeMeo. “As with everything else in health care, we tend to focus on the crisis moment, when a baby is admitted to the NICU,” Dr. DeMeo says. “But hospitals are having more success when they partner with treatment programs in the prenatal period. Our best bet is to identify at-risk women as early as we can, and partner with their obstetricians, psychologists, and treatment programs, and in this way become a part of their lives. “I have an appreciation,” says Dr. DeMeo, “for all the non-pharmacologic things we do—thinking about external stimuli, swaddling, infant positioning and feeding. We’ve learned that non-separation of infant and mother is really important; those babies get out of the hospital faster. And you can encourage moms to continue breastfeeding, which has been shown to decrease length of stay. Part of the osteopathic orientation is toward care of the whole patient, and in pediatrics that sphere is a little wider—you really have to take care of the whole family. “About 60 to 70 percent of the moms we care for are

“I have to build trust, so I’ll say, ‘Look, I’m here to take care of everybody. It’s in the best interests of your baby to have a good understanding of what’s been in your body for the last couple of months.’ ” in a supervised treatment program. Others are women who don’t realize the impact of having taken narcotics or prescription drugs off the street. I have to build trust, so I’ll say, ‘Look, I’m here to take care of everybody. It’s in the best interests of your baby to have a good understanding of what’s been in your body for the last couple of months.’ We are very much against states’ decisions for punitive action against mothers who are abusing opioids, because all that does is drive mothers away from care. “We need to be asking,” says Dr. DeMeo, “whether the NICU is the best place to take care of babies that are withdrawing. I would love to have a dedicated care area where we could have access to the developmental team, our pediatric pharmacist, our social workers, to give moms and babies their own space. But that obviously runs into lots of capacity issues. “Right now, babies have to get off methadone before they are discharged, and there’s a multitude of reasons for that. But some hospital systems have gotten grants for home visitation of nurses to evaluate how an infant is



FEATURE doing. We could still take care of this infant—maybe under the supervision of a neonatologist, but out of the NICU itself—and then, once the infant is controlled on medicine, create a transition to home that’s safe, where you decrease time in the hospital but you still provide moms and dads with what they need.”


As an attending emergency room physician for 12 years, Rachel Mallalieu, DO ’02, has seen “a lot of families that were not whole.” She and her husband, Jared Mallalieu, DO ’03, already the parents of four sons, became licensed foster parents in the fall of 2015, taking care of children who have suffered from neonatal abuse syndrome. They adopted a daughter from foster care, Mila, in 2017. “I have a good relationship with Mila’s mom,” Dr. Mallalieu says. “She was a foster child herself and never had any resources.” Earlier in her career, says Dr. Mallalieu, who currently works two nights a week, she rarely saw deaths result from opioid abuse. But at Baltimore Washington Medical Center–Glen Burnie, Maryland’s second busiest ER, “in my first two shifts in 2014, I had two heroin overdoses, and both patients ultimately died. A 21-year-old man, released that day from prison, shot up, was administered Narcan, and his heart started beating again. But he was declared brain dead the next day. A few days later, a 55-year-old man died of a heroin overdose; I had to break the news to his adult daughter. Now people dying is a fairly regular occurrence for me. In the last four years, so many have died that I can’t remember.” Dr. Mallalieu has seen that “the common denominator among so many foster placements is a parent with a drug addiction. This problem took years to create, and it will take years to fix. But through foster care, I can affect one child at a time, one family, and that’s what gives me hope. I’ve brought along at least three families to also be foster parents—sometimes until the child’s parents can take them back—or to adopt. The hope is that the child can break the cycle and learn a different way of living. If illness is dormant in them, they’ll have tools to handle it.”


“In the pain world,” says Ron Paolini, DO ’85, an addiction psychiatrist and addiction medicine and brain injury specialist at Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia, “chronic pain and acute injury are like apples and oranges. With acute



injury, opioids are effective. But we know that chronic pain is not a clear indication for the use of opioids. “What helps,” Dr. Paolini says, “is what DOs are really good at—treating the whole person. The Army uses acupuncture, including ‘battlefield acupuncture,’ in the management of pain. They use restorative exercise, which teaches you how to exercise and keep moving without further injury. They use regenerative medicine to work on joints; they use yoga. It’s a comprehensive approach, along with cognitive behavioral therapy. “In Eisenhower’s Interdisciplinary Pain Management Center [IPMC],” Dr. Paolini continues, “we have a chiro-

“What helps is what DOs are really good at—treating the whole person.”

practor, acupuncturist, occupational therapist and social worker, as well as a physician assistant and nurses, neurologist, and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists. Everyone works together in the management of the patient. The providers offer radiofrequency ablation, nerve block, spinal cord stimulators, lumbar discography, and injections. And the Traumatic Brain Injury [TBI] clinic draws on brain injury specialists in physical medicine and rehabilitation medicine, and psychiatry, along with neurology, neuropsychology, clinical psychology, clinical social work, psychometry, physical therapy, speech language pathology/cognitive therapy, occupational therapy, recreational therapy and case management.”

Both the IPMC and the TBI clinic offer intensive, threeweek outpatient programs utilizing group integrative therapies. Both are designed to focus on functional recovery for service members, with the IPMC’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) more specific for motivated service members wanting to overcome chronic pain to return to full physical readiness for duty, and the TBI Functional Recovery Program (FRP) more specific for cognitive and behavioral health consequences of injuries but mindful of pain issues and effects as well. The IOP comprehensive program aims to reduce and eliminate the use of opioids. Treatment includes restorative physical training and aquatic therapy along with integrative DIGEST 2018





modalities such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy and yoga, and cognitive behavioral therapy. The FRP utilizes a modified physical training approach, adding more extensive spiritual recovery through chaplaincy interventions coupled with a family program to involve spouses. Working in harmony along with the comprehensive services and support of Eisenhower Army Medical Center, Dr. Paolini says, “These programs make a difference. It’s amazing to hear people describe how these programs have changed their lives.”


Donald Lewis, DO ’00, is chief psychiatrist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, overseeing the mental illness and substance abuse treatment of approximately 183,000 inmates in the nation’s 122 federal prisons. Approximately 40 percent of the inmates have a substance abuse disorder, many involving opiates. Like his colleagues in other settings, Dr. Lewis, who has served in his role since 2009, sees an increase in the acuity of substance abuse–related problems as well as increased polypharmacy among inmates. Resources are spread thin, he says. Yet here is the irony: Substance abuse treatment is better in prison than what inmates would receive in the community. “Many of our patients don’t want to leave to go back to a community that doesn’t support them and where their only avenue is selling and using drugs,” says Dr. Lewis. Because prison is such a highly controlled environment, no one can hide their drug use, as they can in the community. “I love taking care of these guys,” says Dr. Lewis. “They are generally getting regular psychiatric care for the first time in their lives, and 95 percent are extremely appreciative. And I love to see them change. In the community, regardless of what I recommend, I have zero control. Here I know they are compliant. We can sometimes clear up four or five concomitant psychiatric diagnoses. We don’t have to worry about insurance; there are no reimbursement issues. We are available same day for emergencies and have nationwide access to charts, psychiatric records, and lab work. “Most of the time I have no idea what their crimes are; that doesn’t affect management. You just treat them.”


The small fishing town of Lubec, in Washington County, Maine, is where Bethany Pinkham Day, MS/PA-C ’12, spent five years in her first job as a physician assistant at Regional Medical Center, a federally qualified health center.

The closest hospital was about 45 minutes away; specialists, two and a half hours. “So you got really good at handling complicated patients,” says Ms. Day. Tourists arrived in the summer, with split knees or twisted ankles, and there were retirees—“people from away”—attracted by Lubec’s 11 miles of coastline. But commercial fishing is Lubec’s business—and fishing, says Ms. Day, “is a pretty grueling job physically; it takes its toll on backs and knees. Fishermen who were suffering from joint issues were used to getting their pain pills. All of a sudden there was a clampdown on the prescription of opiates, with strict law in place by July 2017. Then we started seeing an influx of heroin.” A fisherman told Ms. Day that he’d go down to the boats in the morning and see people “shooting up heroin in their trucks, because it gave them the energy to get through the day.” When they were paid at the end of the day, they purchased more heroin. It often came from out of state—New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey. “You had a lot of people with easy cash. Smart businessmen from away recognized that there was a growing opiate problem and then started flooding the area.” Those seeking medication-assisted treatment could turn to a methadone clinic in Calais, 45 miles from Lubec, or to a handful of providers within the county who prescribe Suboxone. But detox centers were hundreds of miles away. Those seeking a quick detox had few choices; some went to the ER or the jail. The police, says Ms. Day, “struggled with funding and having resources to deal with the problem. There was a lot of demand, and not a lot of supply.” Up to 80 percent of the opioid abusers Ms. Day saw came from a residential treatment program staffed by volunteers—some formerly addicted themselves—in Machias, the next closest town. Ms. Day had to deem these patients “medically appropriate—without any benzo use or multiple substances, without heavy drinking.” The Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale is typically used to categorize mild, moderate, or severe withdrawal. Depending on where a detox patient fell, says Ms. Day, “you could sometimes get away with just doing symptomatic treatment—something like clonidine to help with the agitation and the heartrate issues, and trazodone to help with sleeplessness. If people needed a little bit more, you could give them Bentyl [dicyclomine] for the abdominal cramping. Sometimes all people needed was a little bit of Benadryl. Typically, depending

“You had a lot of people with easy cash. Smart businessmen from away recognized that there was a growing opiate problem and then started flooding the area.” DIGEST 2018



on what was in their system, they could be feeling a little better in 48 to 72 hours.” The residential program’s founder was from Camden, New Jersey, and many people in the program were from New Jersey and Philadelphia. “They would bring people up to this program to get them out of their environment, and vice-versa; they took people from Maine down there,” says Ms. Day. “Swapping the environments helps at least initially, but the difficult thing is when people return.” Ms. Day lived in downtown Lubec—“more of a main street area, right on the border of Canada.” The hours were long, with a lot weekend and afterhours care. “I didn’t have any friends or family within a three- or fourhour drive,” she says, “and it was hard getting away because the demand was so high. But my work gave me purpose.”


Shari Allen, PharmD, BCPP, assistant professor, pharmacy practice, GA–PCOM, regularly faces concerned veterans in her work at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Decatur, Georgia. “They say to me, ‘I’ve been on these meds for so long’—opioids, benzodiazepines—and my doc wants to take me off them, out of nowhere.’ They don’t see that they shouldn’t have been on those meds long-term to begin with.” Dr. Allen tells them, “They’re taking you off benzos, but then you’re going to be put on a medication such as an anti-depressant, which is the recommended way to treat anxiety. The honest truth is that anti-depressants do not work overnight. Here’s what’s you can expect.” As a community pharmacist, Dr. Allen must make constant judgments when presented with a prescription for opioids or other controlled substances. “Do they need that drug? Why is the script from another state?” She can check the Georgia Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, an electronic database, to see whether someone appears to have been “shopping” for the drug at other pharmacies. “I might tell them, ‘I can’t fill this today unless I can talk to your doctor.’ Some will say, ‘Never mind.’ ” Dr. Allen, who is also a preceptor for PCOM School of Pharmacy students, teaches a third-year substance abuse elective. Last year, every week the class reviewed “a new substance—what it looks like, what addiction to it looks like. We had guest speakers, including a pharmacist who had become addicted to opioids. We had someone come in from the Drug Enforcement Administration. I made students go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting just to open their eyes to what they’re going to see as pharmacists.”



“You can’t overestimate the power of human touch,” says Walter Ehrenfeuchter, DO ’79, FAAO, professor and director of neuromusculoskeletal medicine and osteopathic manipulative medicine, GA–PCOM. “The professional touch involved in manipulative treatment tends to break down communication barriers between physician and patient. So patients end up telling me things on the treatment table that they won’t tell their own psychologist or psychiatrist on the couch.” Dr. Ehrenfeuchter describes the multistep process of using OMM to treat an opioid-dependent patient: “The first thing we do is to find out why they are on the opiate to begin with. Most of the people we see are in pain, but pain is not a diagnosis. The next step is to see if somatic dysfunction is present. Then manipulative treatment does a number of things. First, it removes somatic dysfunction and reduces pain levels almost regardless of the cause. Second, it demonstrates to patients that they can move. So many have been told to rest, to avoid this or that activity. That sets up a vicious cycle—more atrophy, more pain. Once we demonstrate that they can move without dying, the next step is to start to reintroduce exercise into their lives, perhaps just moving their own body against gravity. Sometimes there is a co-diagnosis—whether it’s degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, muscle tears and sprains that didn’t heal well—and the exercise has to progress really slowly or they fail. And the one thing you don’t want them to do psychologically is to fail. “Generally, as you get the pain under better control, patients often taper or discontinue pain medicines on their own. Most people don’t want to be on them.”

A PLACE FOR OPIATES WHEN PRESCRIBED AND USED PROPERLY Samvid Dwivedi, DO ’09 (GA–PCOM), an interventional pain physician and anesthesiologist at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, works to manage the pain of “people who otherwise have a long healthy life ahead


Opioid Deaths 2016


Motor Vehicle Deaths 2016









American Lives Lost in Vietnam

Opioid Deaths 2016

* Statistics from the Police Executive Research Forum and the National Institute on Drug Abuse




of them, and that’s where using opioids becomes a problem.” In the pain clinic, Dr. Dwivedi deals with “a lot of post-surgical pain as well as chronic pain from non-surgical sources—like chronic arthritic knee pain, back pain, neck pain, pain from cancer. People have neuropathies from poorly controlled diabetes or chemotherapy, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, chronic headaches and facial pain. “We shoot for a multimodal approach to pain management,” Dr. Dwivedi says. “We typically don’t even approach the opioid option until there’s no other option left. We use a mix of medication—muscle-relaxing medication, nerve pain medication, anti-inflammatories, various intravenous infusions; we do a lot of spine, joint, and other nerve injections under X-ray and ultrasound guidance to see if we can calm down the source of pain. We work closely with PT to improve patients’ range of motion, flexibility, muscle strength, and conditioning, and employ behavioral health specialists to address the depression and frustration that is comorbid with chronic pain. “As this opioid epidemic continues to unwind,” Dr. Dwivedi says, “we have to make sure that the pendulum doesn’t swing too far. There’ll always be patients who do benefit from opioid management. Everyone is trying to tout various other modalities as opioid-free ways of pain control: stem-cell therapy, implantable devices, TENS units, peripheral nerve stimulators, various creams and lotions. We want to make sure we don’t send patients down the wrong path where they could truly get hurt from treatments not backed by good evidence.” Dr. Dwivedi points out that in other specialties, “you can do objective tests and tell what someone’s heart function



is or what their gut function is. With pain, that’s difficult to do. We try to be as objective as we can in treating a very subjective problem. “And I think that was part of what became the opiate problem: physicians always wanting to help people, and if someone comes in and they’re suffering, our first instinct is to try to do what we can as quickly as we can. Unfortunately, I think we lost control of that train when it left the station.”


George K. Avetian, DO ’80, FCPP, a family practitioner in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, is president-elect of the Delaware County Medical Society, as well as co-chairman of the Delaware County Health Advisory Board and chairman of the Medical Subcommittee of the Delaware County Heroin Task Force. In these roles and others, he welcomes the opportunity as a PCP to have both a voice in and impact on the opioid crisis, an epidemic that he stresses “has no boundaries or borders.” The Medical Society’s activities include educating physicians on proper opioid prescribing, providing information about programs for patients who may require rehabilitation; updates on the governor’s declaration of emergency regarding the opioid crisis; and instructing on how to dispose of unneeded and unused pharmaceutical products. Dr. Avetian is proud that Delaware County was the first entity worldwide after FDA approval to purchase Narcan Nasal Spray, which reverses heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses, for use by police officers who suspect an overdose. “We have instructed every officer in use

of the product,” says Dr. Avetian. The district attorney recruited police chiefs, he says, who “realized the problem wouldn’t be solved through the legal system. All counties in Pennsylvania now participate.” Delaware County has also hired certified recovery specialists, who are another resource at every ER to counsel patients and their families about resources. A local drug collection van and drug drop boxes are available—”no questions asked, we just collect and dispose.” James F. Baird, IV, DO ‘09, an attending emergency physician and assistant medical director of the Emergency Department, Jefferson Washington Township Hospital, Turnersville, New Jersey, was honored by the Philadelphia Business Journal as a 2017 Extraordinary Doctor for launching a tracking program at Kennedy’s emergency departments that he hopes could lead to the creation of a national database of opioid-seeking patients. “In the emergency department,” Dr. Baird says, “patients come through very fast. They may have been in other EDs in other systems, but we don’t have that data. Health information exchanges are a bit archaic. If we could log in patient information and keep track of people who OD or exhibit signs of drug abuse behavior, we could get people more help. “Right now, we rely on the Prescription Drug Mon-itoring Program, which lets us see whether people have been prescribed controlled substances. But if someone ODs and gets reversal agents, we don’t have access to that information unless they’ve been in our healthcare system.” Dr. Baird is frustrated that in 2018, “we still can’t get electronic health records to share data. I can get records from another system, but by faxing. I know patients are going 20 minutes to another ED, and then

“It begins with a conversation, and the conversation is being had. If you bring people to the table, someone will have an idea.” 30 miles north—going all around South Jersey. A regional databank is my long-term dream. “If a patient is exhibiting drug-seeking behavior, the old way was to say ‘no, get out.’ ” Dr. Baird knows from his senior colleagues “that the medical community wasn’t always aware that drug-seeking was driven by our giving the drugs in massive quantities. Our mindset must change from cynicism to empathy. I try, both within and outside the hospital, to teach people to look past how someone may be acting in the volatile ER. It’s a real opportunity to talk with this individual, and then you have an opportunity for intervention. “Every day, 175 people die from a drug overdose in America. I think that number is way under-reported, and about 60 percent of it is from opioids. The numbers are always behind the trends we see firsthand. “So the database is important, but we’re trying to educate the public on the epidemic through town halls, high school meetings, partnering with law enforcement. We are showing the community that we’re here to help with your addiction. “It begins with a conversation, and the conversation is being had. If you bring people to the table, someone will have an idea.”





Class of 1962 Mini Reunion in Fort Lauderdale Several members of the class of 1962 reunited recently in Fort Lauderdale. Pictured from left to right are Burton Marks, DO (Delray Beach, FL), Dale Steventon, DO (Schnecksville, PA), Murray Zedeck, DO (Fort Lauderdale, FL), James Black (Brevard, NC), and Bill Bernard, DO (Grand Blanc, MI).


Donald R. Furci, DO, Grove City, OH, retired on June 30, 2017, after being affiliated with Ohio Heritage University College of Medicine since 1995.


Thomas A. Quinn, DO, Weston, FL, wrote a book titled The Feminine Touch: Women in Osteopathic Medicine that inspired the documentary The Feminine Touch: The Struggle for Equality in Medicine. The documentary aired on PBS and won a Suncoast Regional Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for best historical documentary. The documentary and book chronicle how women rose through the medical profession after A.T. Still began accepting men and women into his osteopathic medical school in 1892.


Douglas A. Ockrymiek, DO, Lititz, PA, received the Presidential Award for 2017-2018 from the Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society in recognition of his services and dedication to the progression of psychiatry. Dr. Ockrymiek is the medical director of Behavioral Health Care Corporation and is a consultant to the Samaritan Counseling Center. 28


Joan M. Watkins, DO, Tampa, FL, received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who. Dr. Watkins has over 45 years of professional experience, serves as an associate professor and affiliate faculty in the Department of Environmental and Occupation Health at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, and is an affiliate assistant professor at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine.


William K. Daiber, DO, Harrisburg, PA, joined WellSpan Health’s new urology clinic in Hanover.


Wayne A. Hey, DO, Fort Worth, TX, was named a 2017 Top Doctor in Fort Worth. Dr. Hey has been in practice as a urologist for over four decades. Richard M. Mauriello, DO, Berlin, NJ, was named a 2017 Top Doctor in Berlin. Dr. Mauriello is a family medicine physician at Advocare Berlin Medical Associates and is affiliated with Virtua Voorhees Hospital.


Kenneth J. Veit, DO, MBA, Lafayette Hill, PA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean, PCOM, is enjoying his main hobby, biking, by riding at every opportunity he gets. He recently biked through Spain with the PCOM Pedalers. Jared S. Videll, DO, Ventnor City, NJ, was named a Lifetime Achiever by Marquis Who’s Who. Dr. Videll is a cardiologist and was recently assigned to active duty as deputy commander of the 48th Combat Support Hospital in Kuwait. He has earned the Army Achievement Medal, the Reserve Component Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal.


Richard A. Hoefer, Jr., DO, Newport News, VA, was named a 2018 Health Care Hero by the Virginia Pilot. Dr. Hoefer is a surgical oncologist with Sentara Surgery Specialists in Newport News, director of cancer services at Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton, and co-chairman of the Sentara Cancer Network pancreatic cancer consortium. He specializes in breast, colorectal, pancreatic and melanoma surgery. Sol Lizerbram, DO, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, took over as national president of the Jewish National Fund on October 1, 2017. As president, Dr. Lizerbram will preside over the organization’s billion-dollar, 10-year fundraising plan, which is in its fifth year.


Edward J. Dzielak, DO, Carbondale, PA, retired after 38 years of service at Moses Taylor Hospital, where he had served as chairman of medicine since 1998.


John Brabazon, DO, Ephrata, PA, is practicing at WellSpan Family Medicine with his son, Christopher Brabazon, DO ’98. Walter C. Ehrenfeuchter, DO, Suwanee, GA, director of osteopathic manipulative medicine, GA–PCOM, participated in a symposium hosted by Lincoln Memorial University–DeBusk College

of Osteopathic Medicine that focused on addressing the opioid epidemic. Dr. Ehrenfeuchter discussed how osteopathic manipulative medicine could be used as an opioid alternative.


Nicholas O. Biasotto, DO, Wilmington, DE, was named a 2017 Top Doctor in Newark. Dr. Biasotto is a family medicine physician with his own practice and is affiliated with Christiana Hospital and St. Francis Hospital. Joseph D. Piorkowski, Jr., DO, JD, Reston, VA, was inducted into the Academy of Medicine of the District of Columbia in February.


Jay S. Feldstein, DO, Gladwyne, PA, president and chief executive officer, PCOM, was interviewed by Philadelphia Magazine for an article titled “The Patient-Centric Approach Turns 125 Years Old This Year, Here’s Why It’s Trending Today” (November 9, 2017). In the article, Dr. Feldstein discussed the main factors of the osteopathic approach and how the practice continues to shape the future of medicine. William J. Krajcirik, Jr., DO, New Orleans, LA, was named a Leading Physician of the World by the International Association of HealthCare Professionals. Dr. Krajcirik has been in practice for more than three decades and serves patients at Parish Anesthesia Associates in Metairie.


Barry L. Bakst, DO, Wilmington, DE, was named a 2017 Top Doctor in physical medicine rehabilitation by Delaware Today.


Patrick J. Carey, DO, Williamsport, PA, wrote a blog post for Susquehanna Health titled “One Wrong Turn Could Tear Your Meniscus” (October 10, 2017). Kevin B. Gerold, DO, Towson, MD, was named a 2017 Top Doctor in Baltimore. Dr. Gerold is a critical care physician and anesthesiologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is affiliated with Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Susan Guttenplan Manella, DO, Pembroke Pines, FL, accepted an offer to join Asana Medical Inc.’s medical advisory board. Asana Medical is a regenerative medicine company that is developing a novel treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Manella will assume the board’s leadership role in managing information flow and liaising between management and medical doctors. Pamela Tronetti, DO, Mims, FL, was elected president of Parrish Medical Center’s medical staff. Dr. Tronetti is the first woman and the first DO to hold this position at the hospital. Kenneth E. Wood, DO, Annapolis, MD, was appointed an adjunct professor at the Institute for Systems Research within the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland. Dr. Wood is also a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.


Alvin Berlot, DO, Roaring Brook Twp, PA, answered questions in the Pocono Record’s “Ask the Doctor” column (February 21, 2018). In the column, Dr. Berlot discussed how potassium affects your health. Dr. Berlot is a family physician at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono. Steven J. Karp, DO, Scottsdale, AZ, was appointed chief medical officer of Breathe Life Healing Centers. Dr. Karp previously served as chief medical officer at Palm Beach Institute and directed psychiatry and medical care at Rosewood Centers for Eating Disorders. Richard B. Tancer, DO, Little Ferry, NJ, was selected as a Best Doc in Bergen County.


Arnold B. Glassman, DO, Broomall, PA, was named a 2017 Top Doctor in physical medicine rehabilitation by Delaware Today. Jerome M. Guanciale, DO, Mesquite, NV, joined Mesa View Regional Hospital in Mesquite as a general surgeon. Larry M. Kjeldgaard, DO, Keller, TX, was one of the first surgeons to implant medical devices from Nvision Biomedical Technologies with Structural Encoding® technology. The new technology provides

permanent marking embedded within the device that is accessible through an x-ray image.


Laurence H. Belkoff, RES, Lafayette Hill, PA, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Philadelphia Business Journal at their annual Healthcare Innovators event. The award recognizes Dr. Belkoff’s achievements in teaching, research, advocacy, innovation and care. Thomas P. Brown, DO, Fort Lauderdale, FL, had an article published in Practical Neurology titled “Pure Autonomic Failure” (October 2017). H. William Craver, III, DO, Braselton, GA, dean and chief academic officer, professor of surgery, GA–PCOM, was named Physician of the Year by the Georgia Osteopathic Medical Association. Dr. Craver was also awarded Life Membership in the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons during the ACOS Ceremonial Conclave in October 2017. This honor is granted to those who have been a member of the ACOS for 20 or more consecutive years. Lisa J. Finkelstein, DO, Jackson, WY, joined St. John’s Medical Center Urology.


Donna Marie Brunelli, DO, Friedens, PA, advanced from associate professor to professor at Allegany College of Maryland. Dr. Brunelli is a professor of biological sciences at the college’s Pennsylvania campuses in Bedford and Somerset counties and has served on the faculty since 2003. Todd Cousins, DO, Lemont, PA, joined the staff at Geisinger Gray’s Woods in Port Matilda as an interventional pain management physician. Robert R. Rodak, DO, Erie, PA, is chairman of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians.


Dwight T. Kemp, DO, Winchester, VA, joined the medical staff at Berkeley Medical Center and the physician staff at the Center for Orthopedic Excellence in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Dr. Kemp is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who

most recently practiced for 18 years with Bone & Joint Specialists of Winchester and at Page Memorial Hospital in Luray.


Randy B. Barnett, DO, Philadelphia, PA, joined FSSolutions as chief medical review officer for their Workforce Division. FSSolutions is one of the largest, private third-party administrators of drug and alcohol testing, background screening and occupational health testing and compliance in the country. Gerard M. Cleary, DO, Chalfont, PA, was appointed chief medical officer and senior vice president, chief of staff, for Abington–Jefferson Health. Dominic DeMatteo, DO, Holland, PA, joined the staff at Geisinger Gray’s Woods in Port Matilda as a family practice physician. David A. Forstein, DO, Greenville, SC, was appointed dean of Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine–Harlem on November 1, 2017. Anthony J. Orsini, DO, Windermere, FL, presented at the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals Foundation’s 2018 Symposium in Orlando in March. His presentation, titled “Breaking Bad News: Helping Families When They Need Us the Most,” focused on teaching healthcare professionals how to communicate tragic news to patients.


Colleen A. Devinney-Ward, DO, Plymouth Meeting, PA, was named a 2018 Top Doctor in Fort Washington. Dr. Devinney-Ward is a family practitioner at Family Practice Associates of Upper Dublin and is affiliated with Abington Memorial Hospital. James A. Groff, DO, Mount Joy, PA, was inducted into the American College of Osteopathic Internists’ Gillum Society of Master Fellows at the ACOI annual meeting in October 2017. The Gillum Society honors fellows of the ACOI who have demonstrated exceptional service and dedication to both the college and the profession. Dr. Groff is the managing partner for Hypertension & Kidney Specialists in Lancaster.

PCOM Alumni Association Introduces New President Melissa Schwartz, DO ‘91, began her term as president of the PCOM Alumni Association in January. Dr. Schwartz runs her own ENT practice, Montgomery County ENT Institute, in Elkins Park, PA.

Michael S. Weiner, DO, Tomball, TX, was appointed chief medical information officer for Halfaker and Associates, LLC, a technology solutions provider within the federal government’s health, intelligence, defense and security sectors.


Gregory M. Christiansen, DO, Cumming, IA, was profiled in the Des Moines Business Record (June 16, 2017) with a focus on his new role as dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University. Coyle S. Connolly, DO, Moorestown, NJ, discussed how to care for your fingernails in an article for prevention.com titled “Seven Ways to Reduce Fingernail Ridges” (December 27, 2017). Suzanne Greb, DO, Mifflinburg, PA, was named Best Physician in the 2017 Daily Item Readers’ Choice Best of the Valley Awards. Dr. Greb is a family physician with Family Medicine of Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg.


Kimberly Legg Corba, DO, Orefield, PA, opened Green Hills Direct Family Care, the Lehigh DIGEST 2018



FRANCESO MANGANO, DO ’98 Following His Passion to ‘Implausible’ Success in Pediatric Neurosurgery by Meghan McLaughlin Francesco Mangano, DO ’98, Cincinnati, Ohio, has had an extraordinary career in pediatric neurosurgery. Among Dr. Mangano’s many accomplishments, he serves as chief of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Division at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The division was ranked third in the nation by US News & World Report for 2017–2018. At the age of 10, Dr. Mangano emigrated with his family from northern Italy to the United States. Without an understanding of the language, his first few years in the US were not easy. “When we arrived, I didn’t have any friends other than my brother,” Dr. Mangano recalls. As Dr. Mangano grew used to his new home, he developed an interest in medicine, which ultimately led him to PCOM in 1994. As a first-year student, Dr. Mangano began his coursework uncertain of what type of physician he would choose to become after graduation. That changed, however, when he met Richard Kriebel, PhD, former senior associate dean for preclinical education and research at PCOM. “Dr. Kriebel was a significant influence on my interest in the neurosciences,” says Dr. Mangano. “I was able to serve a two-month rotation and complete research at the Cleveland Clinic with mentorship from Dr. Kriebel and others. After returning from that rotation, I felt focused and looked for other opportunities to further explore neurosurgery. It was probably the turning point in my interest in neurosurgery.” After PCOM, Dr. Mangano completed a neurological surgery residency at NYCOM–Long Island Jewish Medical Center, where his interest turned from general neurosurgery to pediatric neurosurgery. “I noted that children were very resilient in their recovery from neurosurgical pathology,” says Dr. Mangano. “There is an interesting humanistic aspect of working with children that I enjoy. You get to not only manage the child, but also the parents and sometimes the extended family.” Today, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, he describes a typical week as challenging and varied. In addition to serving as chief of the Pediatric Neurosurgery Division, he is the director of the hospital’s pediatric epilepsy surgery program, a professor of neurosurgery and pediatrics for the University of Cincinnati, and director of the neurosurgery residency site and pediatric neurosurgery fellowship. He also leads research on congenital hydrocephalus, one of the most common conditions he sees and treats in pediatric neurosurgery. Partnering with a physicist, Dr. Mangano has established that diffusion tensor imaging is a non-invasive biomarker for congenital hydrocephalus. Now the team is focusing on bringing this technology to clinics for use and is studying other conditions where it may be applied. “Medicine is a wonderfully rich field with almost innumerable opportunities for one to make a significant impact,” he says. “Once you find your passion, that passion is imperative not only to our patients’ health and well-being, but also to our own.”



Valley’s first direct primary care (DPC) family practice, in 2016. Dr. Corba is the founder of the Mid-Atlantic Direct Primary Care Alliance and authored a resolution outlining support of DPC by the Pennsylvania Medical Society that was passed at their House of Delegates meeting in October 2017. Dr. Corba has served on panels at the Docs4PatientCare Foundation’s Annual Direct Primary Care Conferences in 2016 and 2017 and at the Free Market Medical Association’s Annual Meeting in August 2017. Dr. Corba has published 15 articles on DPC and has authored the Manual of Policies and Procedures for Direct Primary Care, a digital download to help new practices stay in compliance. Dr. Corba’s advocacy for DPC was the subject of an article for medium.com titled “Her Last Straw: What Led This Physician to Ask Legislators to Support Direct Primary Care” (December 22, 2017). Michael Gasparovich, DO, Centreville, MD, joined University of Maryland Community Medical Group as a family physician in Denton. Joseph W. Stauffer, DO, Skillman, NJ, serves as chief medical officer for Cara Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing proprietary firstin-class compounds to treat pain, inflammation and pruritus without inducing many side effects associated with current therapies. Dr. Stauffer has been with Cara Therapeutics since 2014. Kenneth A. Thompson, DO, Myrtle Beach, SC, was named a Leading Physician of the World by the International Association of HealthCare Professionals. Dr. Thompson has been in practice for more than two decades and serves patients at Conway Medical Center in Myrtle Beach. He is known for his expertise in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. Michael J. Tozzi, DO, South Hill, VA, joined VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, where he specializes in general surgery.


Jeffrey P. Fraser, DO, Venice, FL, joined the board of directors of SKY Family YMCA in Sarasota.

Fred W. Lindsay, DO, Newport News, VA, has been appointed to the board of visitors for Eastern Virginia Medical School. The Honorable William Howell, speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, designated him to serve for three years. Dr. Lindsay, of Hampton Roads ENT and Allergy, is board-certified in otolaryngology and sleep medicine. Marianne T. Longacre, DO, Charlestown, RI, joined Northeast Medical Group in Westerly as a primary care physician. Christine N. McGinn, DO, New Hope, PA, was featured on CNN in August 2017 for promising to waive the costs of gender confirmation surgery for service members that are already on her list to undergo the procedure. Suanne Schafer, DO, San Antonio, TX, retired from family practice and has completed the Stanford University Creative Writing Program. Her first novel, A Different Kind of Fire, was published in early 2018, with another to follow in 2019. Juk L. Ting, DO, Walnut, CA, was the subject of an article in the Star Exponent titled “From Germanna to the Dodgers to the Sky: Dr. Juk Ting Keeps Soaring” (February 24, 2018). The article focused on Dr. Ting’s path from being an immigrant from Taiwan, to becoming a doctor, to becoming a commercial pilot for United Express.


Daniel C. Cochran, DO, Chincoteague Island, VA, joined Riverside Shore Medical Center at Metompkin as a family physician. Pamela R. Gardner, DO, Lima, OH, wrote a post for Lima Memorial Health System’s blog titled “Taking Care of Your ‘House,’ ” (October 23, 2017), which discussed how to take care of your cardiovascular system. Gretta A. Gross, DO, York Haven, PA, joined the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners as the vice president for clinical skills testing. In this role, Dr. Gross leads and directs the development, administration and staff of the National Center for Clinical Skills Testing, the COMLEX-USA Level 2 Performance Evaluation, client clinical skills examinations and studies supporting the develop-

ment of emerging technologies in clinical skills testing. Joanne M. Kakaty-Monzo, DO, Malvern, PA, clinical associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PCOM, wrote two articles for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Q&A: How to Prevent Chronic Vaginal Yeast Infections” (July 23, 2017) and “Q&A: Is It Safe to Make My Period Stop Temporarily?” (July 30, 2017). Stephen D. Moyer, DO, Manchester, NH, joined Dermatology and Skin Health in Dover on August 1, 2017. B. Lee Peterlin, DO, Lutherville Timonium, MD, joined Lancaster General Health Physicians Neurology. Dr. Peterlin is board-certified in neurology and headache medicine and most recently practiced at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Daniel R. Taylor, DO, Philadelphia, PA, wrote an article for philly.com titled “A Philly Pediatrician Looks at Why Too Many Babies Die Suddenly” (July 20, 2017).


Karen Agersborg, DO, Reading, PA, was appointed as a non-executive member of Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals’ board of directors. Dr. Agersborg is a clinical endocrinologist at Reading Hospital, where she specializes in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. Dr. Agersborg’s late father was a co-founder of Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals. Christopher D. Brabazon, DO, Ephrata, PA, is practicing at WellSpan Family Medicine. His father, John Brabazon, DO ’79, also practices at WellSpan Family Medicine. Simona C. Eng, DO, Salisbury, MD, was elected president of the medical staff at Peninsula Regional Medical Center. Dr. Eng is a hospitalist who joined Peninsula Regional Medical Center in 2001. Jonathan M. Gusdorff, DO, Bryn Mawr, PA, has entered the medical marijuana industry two years after selling his urgent care centers. Dr. Gusdorff now serves as managing partner and medical director of KW Ventures, a limited liability company doing business as

FireFly Dispensaries. KW Ventures was awarded one of the 27 permits issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to operate medical marijuana dispensaries.


Michael Campenni, RES, Pittston, PA, joined Commonwealth Health Tyler Memorial Hospital as a urologist. Paul T. Cowan, Jr., DO, Lewes, DE, spoke at the 11th Annual Go Red for Women Luncheon and Fashion Show in Long Neck on September 20, 2017. Dr. Cowan is chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Beebe Healthcare. He discussed heart disease and how it often presents differently in women. Matthew R. Kulka, DO, Newtown, PA, opened an MDVIP-affiliated primary care practice in Langhorne. MDVIPaffiliated physicians have significantly smaller practices and provide highly personalized primary care to patients. Vietnhan H. Nguyen, DO, Fayetteville, NC, was promoted to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army. He is a gastroenterologist and serves as chief of the Division of Medicine at Womack Army Medical Center in Fort Bragg. Renita Oglesby, MS/Biomed, Nutley, NJ, and her practice, Montclair Medical Associates, LLC, were profiled by the website Tap into Livingston for being a new member of the Livingston Area Chamber of Commerce (December 4, 2017).


R. Lee Biggs, DO, Idaho Falls, ID, was appointed chief medical officer at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center after a 26-year career as a captain and physician in the U.S. Navy. John Chovanes, DO, Sewell, NJ, is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps. He completed three tours of duty at combat support hospitals in Tikrit, Iraq and Khost, Afghanistan. Dr. Chovanes also serves as an expert to the U.S. State Department on high-risk and high-threat combat posts. Sean K. George, DO, Fogelsville, PA, joined Geisinger Cardiology Scranton.

John M. Matsinger, Jr., DO, Huntington Valley, PA, was named one of the 100 Hospital and Health System CMOs to Know in 2018 by Becker’s Healthcare. Dr. Matsinger serves as executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Virtua, one of New Jersey’s largest nonprofit health systems. Italo A. Subbarao, MBA/DO, Hattiesburg, MS, is the co-developer of a drone prototype designed to help treat patients in disasters where it may be challenging for emergency personnel to get to the scene fast enough. The drone is equipped with a medical kit and a wireless headset so civilians at disaster sites can receive instructions from medical personnel. Dr. Subbarao presented the prototype at the Osteopathic Medical Education Conference in October 2017.


Shane B. Banks, DO, Ogallala, NE, joined Perkins County Health Services as a general surgeon on August 1, 2017. Amanda J. Vaglia, DO, Clymer, PA, participated in a panel on October 18, 2017, at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The panel focused on the health needs of women in rural communities and the barriers that they often face in receiving health care. Dr. Vaglia is a family medicine physician at Clymer Medical Associates.


Ryan Dean Clouser, DO, Jericho, VT, began a new role as network medical officer for the University of Vermont Medical Center’s Regional Transport System on November 6, 2017. Steven M. DeLuca, MS/Biomed ’98, DO, Mechanicsburg, PA, was welcomed by the International Association of HealthCare Professionals to the Leading Physicians of the World. Dr. DeLuca is an orthopedic surgeon who serves patients at the Orthopedic Institute of Pennsylvania in Camp Hill. He is also affiliated with Holy Spirit Hospital and the PinnacleHealth System. Alan Forrest Helmbold, DO, Topeka, KS, joined Cotton O’Neil Heart Center as a cardiac electrophysiologist.



CLASS NOTES Sanjay Kamat, RES, Washington Crossing, PA, and his practice, Bucks Eye Specialists, were profiled in Suburban Life Magazine’s “Business Profiles” section (March 2018). Stephanie Sargent, DO, Cherry Hill, NJ, was elected to the American Health Council’s board of physicians. Dr. Sargent is the associate medical director at VITAS Healthcare in Cherry Hill.


Willie D. Epps, Jr., DO, Savannah, GA, opened Epps Medical Family Practice and Wellness Spa in Richmond Hill on October 10, 2017. Alan J. Kanouff, DO, Hollidaysburg, PA, spoke at the Lung Disease Center of Central Pennsylvania’s 13th annual Healthorama Health and Wellness Expo at Logan Valley Mall in August 2017. Dr. Kanouff’s lecture focused on sleep deprivation, its effects on the body and other disorders that may worsen it. Keith L. Leaphart, MBA/DO, Philadelphia, PA, received the 2018 Distinguished Performance in Management Award from Widener University’s School of Business Administration—the highest award it bestows—for his innovative work and exemplary leadership in medicine and entrepreneurship. Dr. Leaphart started two graphics businesses in addition to practicing medicine. Creative Cafe@Replica is the first cafe-design firm hybrid in the country. Wallsome is an alternative design firm specializing in creative wall graphics. Dr. Leaphart also serves as the chair of the board of the Lenfest Foundation. Crystal Ann Maksimik, DO, Orwigsburg, PA, joined PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute in Harrisburg as a cardiologist. She has an interest in preventative cardiology and heart disease in women. Ann Marie Stephenson, MBA/ DO, Silver Spring, MD, was named a 2017 Top Doctor by Washingtonian Magazine. Dr. Stephenson is a gastroenterologist with Capital Digestive Care in Rockville. Jordan K. Weisman, PsyD, Philadelphia, PA, joined AmeriHealth Caritas Delaware as 32

behavioral health chief medical officer. In this role, Dr. Weisman is responsible for the health plan’s behavioral health program, including clinical affairs and provider relations. Dr. Weisman also plays a key role in AmeriHealth Caritas Delaware’s integration of physical and behavioral health.


Sean Paul Claeys, DO, Silver Springs, FL, was the subject of an article in the Florida Oracle titled “Fascination Leads to Medical Career” (September 18, 2017). Dr. Claeys is a hospital-based physician working primarily at Viera Hospital and Holmes Regional Medical Center. Michelle K. Dilks, DO, Greeneville, TN, opened her own practice, Greenville Integrative Medicine. Dr. Dilks’ practice offers osteopathic manipulative therapy, a lifestyle-medicine program for weight loss, specialized laboratory testing, personalized genomics and hormone testing, and it strives to help those with chronic illnesses become functionally healthier instead of covering symptoms with prescription medications. Janice C. Puccio, MS/PA, Drums, PA, joined Presbyterian Healthcare Services as a certified physician assistant.


Heather L. Davis, DO, Wilmington, NC, received the 2017 T. Reginald Harris, MD, Memorial Award presented by the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence. Dr. Davis, a family physician, was selected for her outstanding service to the southeastern North Carolina medical community, tireless advocacy for the underserved community in rural areas and her commitment to patient-centered care. Marcin A. Jankowski, Jr., DO, Chester, PA, is the chair of the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Hahnemann University Hospital. Megan L. Kolter, DO, Chester Springs, PA, joined the board of The Kolbe Fund, a non-profit that provides lodging and other needs to families who must travel to receive medical treatment for


a sick child. Dr. Kolter is a medical director at Executive Health Resources and is an urgent care physician for Main Line Health. Jenni Elizabeth M. Petrella, DO, Hanover, MA, joined Southcoast Physicians Group and is practicing at Southcoast Health Pediatrics in Dartmouth. Kevin D. Richardson, DO, San Antonio, TX, joined Central Texas Medical Center as an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Richardson has advanced training in spine surgery.


Elias E. Ayli, DO, Mountain Lakes, NJ, joined Cary Skin Center in January. Dr. Ayli is a fellowship-trained Mohs surgery and reconstructive surgeon. Natasha Benita-Nicole Brown, MS/ODL, Philadelphia, PA, is the associate director of the Office of the Master’s Programs at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Michael E. Goldberg, DO, Rockville, MD, joined CrozerKeystone Gastroenterology Associates. R. Jason Hartman, DO, Philadelphia, PA, offered advice on the dangers of intravenous vitamin therapy in an article titled “IV Vitamin Therapy: Are Vitamin Infusions the Key to Good Health?” on the blog Abbey’s Kitchen (November 7, 2017). Christopher M. Malozzi, DO, Spanish Fort, AL, presented a lecture titled “Understanding a Woman’s Heart” as part of the University of South Alabama College of Medicine’s February Med School Café. Dr. Malozzi is an assistant professor of internal medicine at the college and a cardiologist with USA Physicians Group. Megan M. Merrill, DO, Columbus, OH, has been named a 2017 Top Doctor in Columbus. She is a urologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the James Comprehensive Cancer Center. Meredith L. Perry, DO, Margate City, NJ, joined Shore Physicians Group in Somers Point as a urologist. Tiffany L. Reed, DO, Jamestown, NC, was featured in a segment on My Fox 8 titled

“Aging and the Holidays: Gift Ideas for the Elderly” (December 18, 2017), making gift suggestions for the elderly based on their health and activity levels. Dr. Reed is a geriatric specialist at Piedmont Senior Care. Paul M. Rutkowski, DO, Dickson City, PA, was honorably mentioned in the Leading Physicians of the World. Dr. Rutkowski is an internist and serves patients at Advanced Inpatient Medicine in Wilkes-Barre. Kamran Shayesteh, RES, Johnstown, PA, is the program director of general surgery at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. Christopher A. Verioti, DO, Hanford, CA, is a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon at Adventist Health Physicians Network. Dr. Verioti was featured in an article in the Hanford Sentinel titled “Adventist and HJUHSD Team Up” (October 20, 2017) for the work that Adventist Health Physicians Network is doing with Hanford Joint Union High School District to both screen and treat injuries in the school district’s athletes.


Timothy E. Borden, DO, Esko, MN, joined the supportive and palliative care department at Essentia Health–St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. Melissa A. DeWolfe, DO, Crozet, VA, joined Augusta Health as a general surgeon. She was also the subject of an article in the Daily Progress titled “Surgeon Returns to Family Roots at Augusta Health” (October 30, 2017). Joshua P. Hazelton, DO, Wenonah, NJ, is the director of trauma research at Cooper Medical Center. HaiDang Hoang, DO, Orlando, FL, joined BayCare Medical Group as a primary care physician at the Auburndale Primary Care Center. Theresa Havel Kovacs, PsyD, Wilkes-Barre, PA, led a community meditation and healing program in Kingston on October 9, 2017. Dr. Kovacs is a Shamanic healing practitioner and certified Reiki II Master. Rajen A. Mehta, DO, New Rochelle, NY, joined Westmed


Fitz-Gerald wedding

Foster wedding

Matz wedding

Sabatino wedding

Samantha L. Fitz-Gerald, PsyD ’17, Clarks Summit, PA, married Matthew Molitoris on October 7, 2017, at Constantino’s Catering in Clarks Summit. Leann A. Foster, MS/MHC ’16, Philadelphia, PA, wed Michael E. Hanisco on December 16, 2017, at Magnolia Garden in Philadelphia. Ashley N. Matz, MS/Psy ’12, EdS/Psy ’15, Bethlehem, PA, married Patrick J. O’Brien on June 23, 2017, at Congress Hall in Cape May, New Jersey. Michelle Noreski, DO ’10, Voorhees, NJ, and her husband, John, welcomed Colin Thomas Cassidy into the world on April 4, 2017. Sara M. Sabatino, MS/FM ’16, Philadelphia, PA, anatomy lab manager, PCOM, married William Cooney on September 2, 2017, at the East Mountain Inn in Wilkes-Barre. Medical Group in White Plains as an internist. Erik G. Polan, DO, Cherry Hill, NJ, instructor, Department of Internal Medicine, PCOM, wrote two articles for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Q&A: Screening for Colorectal Cancer” (August 19, 2017) and “Q&A: Is Ibuprofen Safe to Use Every Day?” (November 17, 2017). Sonela Skenderi, DO, Huntingdon Valley, PA, joined Mercy Cardiology at Nazareth Hospital as a medical cardiologist. Anthony J. Wehbe, DO, Mickleton, NJ, received a Saint Luke Award for Leadership during the annual White Mass for Healthcare Workers on October 22, 2017. Dr. Wehbe serves as chair of the American College of Osteopathic Internists’ IT committee and is on multiple committees at Kennedy Health, including the Ethics Committee and Patient Safety Committee.


Maria B. Allyn, MS/ODL, Germantown, MD, was interviewed by the So What to Twenty! blog about her work as a midlife fulfillment coach. She helps women who have reached midlife and devoted countless years of their lives serving others

learn how to make themselves a priority. Jay D. Bhatt, DO, MPH, Chicago, IL, discussed the importance of osteopathic medicine in an article in Hospitals and Health Networks titled “Now Is the Time for Osteopathy” (July 19, 2017). Peter F. Bidey, DO, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor of family medicine, PCOM, authored two articles for philly.com titled “Flu Season: What You Need to Know About Vaccination and Antiviral Treatment” (September 15, 2017) and “As the Flu Season Gets Worse, Is There Anything We Can Do?” (January 16, 2018). Dr. Bidey was interviewed by KYW Newsradio for a segment titled “Good Eating Habits Can Help Fight Off Flu Season, Expert Says” (January 9, 2018) and for a WHYY segment titled “How to Avoid the Flu, Besides Getting Vaccinated” (January 23, 2018). Israel K. Brown, RES, Clovis, CA, was honorably mentioned as a Leading Physician of the World by the International Association of HealthCare Professionals. Selected for his experience, forward thinking and high quality of care, Dr. Brown is an OB/

GYN with his own private practice, Pineridge Obstetrix and Gynecology, Inc. in Fresno. David M. Chambers, DO, State College, PA, joined Mount Nittany Physician Group General Surgery. Jason M. Duff, PsyD, Alexandria, VA, organized Mission: Possible, a day-long live-music event at Xfinity Live in Philadelphia that raised money for Cancer Support Community Greater Philadelphia (CSCGP). CSCGP provides professional programs of social and emotional support and education to enhance the mind, body and spirit of people affected by cancer. Dr. Duff was inspired to organize the event after overcoming lymphoma in 2017. Richard A. Lopez, DO, Old Forge, PA, is the director of trauma critical care services at Geisinger Medical Center. Cayce A. Onks, DO, Palmyra, PA, was named medical director of Lebanon Valley College’s master of athletic training program. In this role, Dr. Onks coordinates an inter-professional learning experience that brings students from Penn State’s School of Medicine and Lebanon Valley College together to treat the college’s student athletes.

Phillip J. Prest, DO, Irmo, SC, is an assistant professor of clinical surgery at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.


James F. Baird, IV, DO, Mullica Hill, NJ, was one of six physicians honored as a 2017 Extraordinary Doctor by the Philadelphia Business Journal. An emergency medicine physician at Kennedy Health System, Dr. Baird won the Humanitarian Award for his tireless work to tackle South Jersey’s opioid addiction crisis through both community outreach and a tracking program launched at Kennedy University Hospital’s Emergency Departments. Jessica Lee Balkema, DO, Pensacola, FL, joined the Coyle Institute in Pensacola. She is one of the only fellowship-trained urogynecologist female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeons in the region. Christian C. Glaser, DO, Alexandria, VA, discussed preventing and treating common sports injuries with parents and students at Leonardtown High School in January. Dr. Glaser is a board-certified internal and sports medicine specialist with MedStar Medical Group at Charlotte Hall and is a team doctor for the DC United and the Maryland Jockey Club. DIGEST 2018



Bryan K. Harrell, DO, Douglasville, GA, published “A Heart Reborn,” the third book in his series, The Doctors of Atlanta. Robert Qi Luo, DO, Birdsboro, PA, is the director of the vascular laboratory at Reading Hospital. Diana M. Tyler Rocks, DO, Philadelphia, PA, opened an MDVIP-affiliated primary care practice in Willow Grove. MDVIP-affiliated practices aim to deliver a better healthcare experience by placing an emphasis on health prevention instead of just treatment of illness.


Jessica A. Ayres, DO, Clearfield, PA, joined Penn Highlands Family Medicine in Curwensville as a family practice physician. Janelle R. Bludorn, MS/PA, Carrboro, NC, was elected to a two-year term as director at large of the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants. As a member of the board of directors, Ms. Bludorn will provide representation, advocacy and educational guidance to physician assistants who practice emergency medicine.


Tiffany Michelle Feltman, DO, Nashville, TN, was profiled by Nashville Medical News in an article titled “Making a Difference One Case at a Time” (October 5, 2017). The article focused on Dr. Feltman’s one-year anniversary at Hughston Clinic Orthopaedics, where she specializes in joint revision, joint replacement, adult reconstruction and working with younger dysplasia patients. Daria Lin Guelig, DO, Lewisburg, PA, joined Surgical Specialists of Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg as a general surgeon. Benjamin Mathew Keyser, DO, Lititz, PA, joined the Heart and Vascular Center of Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg as a vascular surgeon. Joseph William Kusick, DO, Chicora, PA, joined Butler Health System Cardiovascular Consultants in August 2017. Jennifer Anne Lorine, DO, North Wales, PA, clinical instructor, Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, PCOM, was honored as one of the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Top Physicians Under 40. She practices family medicine in Gwynedd.


Nicole Lynn Merritt, DO, Girdletree, MD, joined Chesapeake Pediatrics and Adolescent Associates P.A.’s new office in Berlin.


Amber Batool, DO, Lancaster, PA, joined Lancaster General Health Physicians Trauma & Acute Care Surgery. Brian J. Blair, DO, Voorhees, NJ, completed his gastroenterology fellowship at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine/Kennedy Health System in Cherry Hill. He joined Kennedy Health Alliance Gastroenterology in Cherry Hill and has been appointed the assistant program director of the gastroenterology fellowship at Rowan School of Medicine. Christopher S. Blanchard, DO, Cumming, GA, joined Resurgens Orthopaedics in Cumming. Dr. Blanchard specializes in treating surgical and non-surgical spine conditions. Resurgens Orthopaedics is the largest practice of its kind in Georgia and ranks among the top 10 largest orthopedic practices in the country.

Veronica E. Ferencz, MBA/DO, Newburgh, NY, joined Crystal Run Healthcare as a breast surgeon. She practices from offices in Monroe and Newburgh and performs all procedures for diseases of the breast. Urmi B. Jani, PsyD, Little Rock, AR, appeared on Little Rock’s Fox 16 to discuss how to keep New Year’s resolutions. Rachael L. Polis, DO, Narberth, PA, has joined Crozer-Keystone Health System Women’s Health as a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist. In this position, Dr. Polis sees patients ranging in age from newborn to 25 years old as a part of Crozer-Keystone’s Tots to Teens program. Hithem Abdelkarim Rahmi, DO, Wynnewood, PA, has joined Geisinger Gray’s Woods in Port Matilda as an orthopedic surgeon. Lina M. Rico, DO, Whitehouse Station, NJ, presented the results of her research at the Society of Surgical Oncology annual symposium in March 2017. Dr. Rico presented a second paper at the American Society of Breast Surgeons in Las Vegas in April 2017.

Alicia Y. Huff Vinyard, DO, Augusta, GA, appeared on The Dish, an Augusta-area television program, where she discussed her own breast cancer story and how it shapes how she treats her patients. Dr. Vinyard is a board-certified general surgeon and fellowship-trained breast surgical oncologist at Georgia Cancer Center in Augusta.


Michel A. Evans, DO, Danville, VA, joined Danville Regional Medical Center as an otolaryngologist. He specializes in sinus disease, hearing loss, balance disorders, voice and swallowing disorders and environmental allergies. Christie M. Hirsch, DO, Wilkesboro, NC, joined Wilkes Medical Center as a general surgeon. Dr. Hirsch is the hospital’s first female general surgeon. Robert Holzshu, DO, Chambersburg, PA, has joined Richards Orthopaedic Center and Sports Medicine in Chambersburg. Nicholas J. Madden, DO, Hollidaysburg, PA, was a 2017 recipient of the America College of Osteopathic Surgeons’ Resident Achievement Award. Kevin M. Miller, DO, Ambler, PA, joined the emergency service line specializing in emergency medicine at Doylestown Health. George J. Myers, DO, Bainbridge, GA, joined Memorial Hospital & Manor in Bainbridge as a surgeon. Melanie N. Schwer, MS/ PA, Riva, MD, was awarded the Certificate of Added Qualifications in Emergency Medicine from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. She works at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore. Kena K. Shah, DO, Harrisburg, NC, was one of several female physicians who wrote Chronicles of Women in White Coats, a book that aims to give readers a peek into the personal and professional lives of female doctors and how they balance their careers with being mothers, wives, caregivers, daughters and more. Carly P. Whitehead, DO, Conshohocken, PA, joined the medical service line specializing in neurology in association with Doylestown Health Neurology.

THEA GALLAGHER, PSYD ’14 Finding a Meaningful Career in ExposureBased Therapy by Meghan McLaughlin

After dropping out of high school to become a professional ballet dancer, Thea Gallagher, PsyD ’14, Langhorne, PA, eventually exited the stage and returned to school to pursue a career with more longevity. “I’ve always loved talking to people and coming to understand their perspectives on life,” she says. “A career in clinical psychology seemed like the way to do that while also being challenging and rewarding.” In her current role as clinic director for the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety (CTSA) at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Gallagher has found the role she longed for. One aspect she was not anticipating, however, was being recognized as an expert in anxiety disorders, OCD and PTSD — something that puts her on television a few times each year. “I never expected that I’d have a career where I’m on the news, but I’m happy that I have those opportunities to spread awareness of anxiety disorders and to answer questions that may help people,” says Dr. Gallagher. Dr. Gallagher works closely with CTSA Director Edna Foa, PhD, named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2010 for her work treating PTSD using prolonged exposure therapy. Dr. Gallagher serves as a project coordinator under Dr. Foa’s supervision on a multi-site collaboration examining whether and how cognitive behavior therapy of exposure and response therapy can help patients with OCD. “Working closely with Dr. Foa every day has been the most influential experience of my career,” says Dr. Gallagher. “She is brilliant and has taught me so much.” Dr. Gallagher’s work with Dr. Foa is just one aspect of her role at the CTSA. An average day or week for Dr. Gallagher balances many different responsibilities, including seeing patients; supervising the CTSA’s practicum students and post-doctoral fellows and Perelman School of Medicine residents; writing journal articles and chapters; facilitating an OCD support group; and managing the clinic’s waitlist and budget. When she’s not at the CTSA, Dr. Gallagher sees patients in her private practice, The Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health LLC. “I enjoy that I have such diversity in what I do,” says Dr. Gallagher. “The balance of clinical, teaching, research, supervisory and administrative work is something that keeps me excited and motivated.” More importantly, Dr. Gallagher loves seeing the differences that the CTSA makes in the lives of its patients. “I love doing exposure-based therapy at the CTSA because it is creative, active and very effective in a short period of time,” Dr. Gallagher explains. “Many of our patients are highly motivated and brave. They allow themselves to be exposed to situations that make them anxious or fearful so that we can fight their anxiety, OCD and PTSD together.” With a curriculum rooted in cognitive behavior therapy and research, PCOM’s Clinical PsyD program provided Dr. Gallagher with the foundation to make such a difference in the treatment of anxiety disorders. “I’m most grateful for the emphasis that PCOM placed on scientific research and evidence-based practice,” she says. Kristen G. Dixon Yost, DO, Camp Hill, PA, joined the staff of Geisinger Holy Spirit Behavioral Health as a board-certified psychiatrist.


Christine H. Cho, RES, Reading, PA, is a clinical instructor on staff at Reading Hospital. Adriana DiStanislao, MS/PA, Philadelphia, PA, joined Mount Nittany Physician Group Dermatology as a physician assistant. Lauren E. Giangiordano, MS/ Psy, Philadelphia, PA, joined Community Behavioral Health as a clinical care manager.

Scott D. Glassman, PsyD, Cherry Hill, NJ, associate director, MS in Mental Health Counseling, clinical associate professor, PCOM, started A Happier You, a six-week program at PCOM that teaches participants how to grow and maintain positive feelings. WHYY featured the program in a segment titled “Can a Class Teach Someone to Be Happier?” (November 27, 2017). Dr. Glassman also authored an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Q&A: How to Shake the Winter Blues” (December 19, 2017) and a segment for WHYY titled “What’s the Harm in Bleeding Green” (December 27, 2017).

Evan L. McClennen, DO, Mountain Top, PA, joined Geisinger Health System’s Wyoming Valley Medical Center as an obstetrician/gynecologist. Biagio Pacifico, RES, Bronx, NY, runs Pacifico Plastic Surgery, with offices in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Iselin, NJ, and Old Bridge, NJ. The practice was featured in an article in Digital Journal titled “Pacifico Plastic Surgery Continuing to Book Consultations for Breast Enhancement Procedures” (November 9, 2017). Richard J. Pearson, Jr., DO, Moultrie, GA, joined Colquitt DIGEST 2018



IN MEMORIAM Thomas T. Allen, DO ’51, Topsham, ME, October 14, 2017 V. Paul Bertrand, DO ’68, Frankfort, IL, June 24, 2017 Lynn F. Brumm, DO ’53, Ada, Michigan, February 16, 2018 Mary Keith Butler, RN ’47, Martinsburg, PA, June 9, 2017 Toni San Marie P. Casale, DO ’84, Lancaster, PA, September 28, 2017 Francis A. Cerra, DO ’56, Norristown, PA, May 19, 2017 Gerald M. Creed, DO ’76, Langhorne, PA, July 23, 2017 Sharon M. Curlik, DO ’79, Philadelphia, PA, September 3, 2017 Marcia C. Dietrich, DO ’80, Douglassville, PA, August 6, 2017 Joseph M. DiMino, DO ’66, Plymouth Meeting, PA, December 19, 2017

Hubert H. Garnsey, DO ’58, Windermere, FL, April 12, 2017 Henry M. Glover, DO ’82, Smithfield, ME, January 13, 2018 Cecil Harris, DO ’43, Wynnewood, PA, June 8, 2011 Justice James, RES ’93, Richmond Hill, GA, December 27, 2006 Charles J. Kaczey, DO ’70, Johnstown, PA, July 14, 2017 Barry J. Kaplan, DO ’76, Sorrento, FL, December 29, 2017 James M. Kauffman, DO ’77, Egg Harbor Township, NJ, January 26, 2018 Bernard Kazdan, DO ’65, Penn Valley, PA, November 28, 2017 David A. Kellam, DO ’56, Sanford, FL, January 9, 2018 Robert T. Kellam, DO ’52, Mount Hope, WV, December 21, 2017

Regional Medical Center’s expanded hospitalist program. Hayley W. Ryan, DO, South Pasadena, CA, was named a family practice physician and clinical director of Maternal Child Health at SouthEast Lancaster Health Services. Christopher W. Urbanek, DO, Canonsburg, PA, joined East Carolina University Physicians’ Family Medicine Center’s Sports Medicine Clinic.

Dr. Kerzer focuses on helping his patients prevent and manage chronic disease. John W. Lindsay, DO, Pawcatuck, CT, joined Northeast Medical Group in Westerly, Rhode Island, as a primary care physician. Richard M. Pescatore, II, DO, Sicklerville, NJ, wrote an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “An E.R. Doctor’s Call to Action: Treat Gun Violence as an Epidemic We Can Conquer” (October 5, 2017). Gregory R. Spisak, Jr., DO, Elizabethtown, PA, joined Lancaster General Health Physicians Hospitalists. Jonathan A. Youngwirth, DO, Lancaster, PA, joined WellSpan Family Health–Georgetown as a physician. He completed his residency at WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital.


Bethany L. Claar, DO, Claysburg, PA, joined Conemaugh Nason Physician Group’s Claysburg Family Medicine. Peaesha L. Houston, DO, Lawrenceville, GA, was one of several female physicians who wrote Chronicles of Women in White Coats, a book that aims to give readers a peek into the personal and professional lives of female doctors and how they balance their careers with being mothers, wives, caregivers, daughters and more. Jason B. Kerzer, DO, Providence, RI, joined the CharterCARE Health Partners primary care practice in Cranston. 36


Eleazar C. Eusebio, PsyD, NCSP, Washington, DC, was appointed chair of the School Psychology Department at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington, DC. Prior to joining the DC campus, Dr. Eusebio was an associate


Harold Kirsh, DO ‘46, Tabernacle, NJ, February 26, 2018 Philip V. Krick, MBA/DO ’09, New York, NY, July 5, 2017 Natalie Z. Kwoka, DO ’52, San Diego, CA, December 6, 2017 Martin L. Lasky, DO ’65, York, PA, August 27, 2017 Timothy Lavin, DO ’88, Cincinnati, OH, December 29, 2017 Paul McCaffrey, DO ’75, Pueblo, CO, May 31, 2015 James E. McHugh, DO ’68, Strafford, PA, August 6, 2017 Robert J. McNulty, DO ’63, Egg Harbor City, NJ, August 24, 2017 Linda R. Neale, DO ’95, Fayetteville, GA, August 23, 2017 John H. Nipple, DO ’71, Harrisburg, PA, October 8, 2017 professor for seven years at the university’s Chicago campus, where he was recognized in 2016 with the Distinguished Teaching Award in Public Service Teaching, the Faculty of the Year Award for Service Learning and the Ted Rubenstein Inspired Teaching Award. Justin M. Karush, RES, New York, NY, is an assistant professor of surgery in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Kaitlin A. McGrogan, DO, Huntington, WV, was the December Resident of the Month at Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. Carmen M. Piccolo, III, RES, Madison, NJ, is practicing at a tertiary vascular center in South Carolina. Within the last three years, she has published five papers and presented at 18 national conferences. Payam B. Pourhassani, DO, Huntsville, AL, had a case published in the Rheumatologist titled “Hemoptysis in a Young Indian Male” (September 19, 2017).

John J. Peditto, DO ’69, Jenkintown, PA, December 8, 2016 John C. Pellosie, DO ’53, Orlando, FL, June 30, 2017 A. Joseph Piccola, DO ’61, Fort Myers, FL, September 2, 2017 John A. Pino, DO ’73, Toms River, NJ, December 21, 2017 David C. Rabinowitz, DO ’64, Santa Cruz, CA, April 21, 2017 Calvin T. Richardson, DO ’47, Bellefontaine, OH, June 6, 2016 Sidney Russak, DO ’54, Altadena, CA, May 29, 2017 Lenwood B. Wert, DO ’59, Lansdowne, PA, December 10, 2015 John W. Whitenight, DO ’53, Charlotte, NC, September 7, 2011 Edward Wozniak, DO ‘60, Baden, PA, February 28, 2018


Donald R. Fridley, II, RES, Tarpon Springs, FL, is the medical director of Bartow Bariatric Center in Bartow.


Taylor Brana, DO, Philadelphia, PA, was a guest on the Admissions Straight Talk podcast, where he spoke about his experience at PCOM and how he started his own podcast, the Happy Doc Podcast, which focuses on how doctors can maintain their happiness. Stephanie Carnes, MS/PA, Fremont, CA, is a physician assistant at Washington Hospital, the same hospital where she was born. Ms. Carnes works in the hospital’s Institute for Joint Restoration and Research. Zachary Einhorn, MS/Psy, Middletown, PA, was featured in an article in the Press & Journal titled “Hunger for Power: Trio Makes a Strong Statement, Each in Their Own Way” (August 2, 2017). The article focused on how he balanced his passion for powerlifting with his coursework while a student at PCOM.

Angela Kapalko, MS/PA-C ’07

MORE PILLARS MEAN GREATER SUPPORT At Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, you learned that a mentor’s guidance can help launch a career. Now, as an alum yourself, PCOM invites you to share your time with the next generation of medical professionals in any way you can— as a mentor, speaker, recruiter, council member or event organizer— and allow current PCOM students to benefit from your success.

To learn more, visit: Alumni.PCOM.edu/Pillars



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

Peter Tobia




“The Eagles’ Super Bowl win and parade made my swan song that much sweeter, and I’m so fortunate that I was able to end my cheerleading career on the highest note. . . . The game itself felt like a blur. From the anticipation the morning of, to the ‘Philly Special’ unfolding right before my eyes, to the zealous fans and the endless green confetti falling from the sky, it was like a dream. Being an Eagles cheerleader gave me a chance to be part of something greater than myself. . . . The Eagles organization values athletes who are well-rounded, who have established careers and who have a passion for community activism. They encouraged my aspiration to be a role model for young women—showing them that athletic performers can be educated, talented and recognized for what they do, on and off the field. . . .Through creative scheduling and management support, I was able to work as a physician assistant three to four days per week, 12-hour shifts, at a Philadelphia urgent care center. That freed time for rehearsals and public appearances with the Eagles. . . . You really have to be smart to do either job. At cheerleading practice, we had to memorize and execute new choreography, sometimes in as little as 30 minutes. The task uses your brain in a different way; I enjoyed the challenge just as I enjoy the clinical task of treating patients. Being able to balance two different ways of thinking has always been my thing. As a child, I was a competitive figure skater who loved math and science (an oddity); I never thought I’d be able to pursue art and medicine until I learned about the physician assistant profession. It gave me flexibility. And now, it gives me the opportunity to transition again. In the coming months, I intend to pursue work in a hospital setting with a focus on surgical specialties.”

Jay Baccile

The Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl win served as a fitting end to Ms. Feng’s four-year tenure on the professional cheerleading squad. For four years, she balanced a double life—as a physician assistant and performer—caring for patients at an urgent care center during the week and cheering on the sidelines of Lincoln Financial Field on Sundays.

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Profile for Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

PCOM Digest Number 1 2018  

For alumni and friends of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

PCOM Digest Number 1 2018  

For alumni and friends of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine