PCOM Digest 1 2020

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in Healthcare Education in South Georgia

F EATURE VOL. 81, NO. 1, USPS, 413-060 Digest Magazine is produced by the Office of Marketing and Communications under the direction of Wendy W. Romano, chief marketing and communications officer. EDITOR Jennifer Schaffer Leone, MA PUBLICATION DESIGN Abigail Harmon CONTRIBUTORS – FEATURES Janice Fisher Jennifer Schaffer Leone, MA David McKay Wilson CONTRIBUTORS – UPDATES Renee Cree Barbara Myers CONTRIBUTORS – CLASS NOTES Institutional Advancement Staff Meghan McCall PHOTOGRAPHY Daniel Shippey Photography Bruce Fairfield Melissa Kelly Photography Moultrie–Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce (courtesy of Tommie Beth Willis) 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.

Dear Alumni and Friends, Planning and construction of PCOM South Georgia took more than three years and the dedication of the entire College community. It also took the commitment of the South Georgia Medical Education and Research Consortium and all partners in the South Georgia region who joined forces to bring this initiative to fruition. I firmly believe that PCOM South Georgia will bring changes in primary (and specialty) health care, especially in rural areas throughout the Southwest region. Educating medical students and training residents in rural Georgia increases the likelihood that these physicians will practice in the region, making a significant impact on the growing and systemic disparities in health and health care. At the same time, PCOM South Georgia brings changes to the landscape, both literally and figuratively. PCOM South Georgia will increase the area’s competitiveness and have a positive effect on the region’s economy. This special issue of Digest Magazine commemorates the story of the early beginnings of our newest teaching site. It relates, too, how we are, indeed, marking a new era of healthcare education in South Georgia.

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


© 2020 Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. All rights reserved. 2


C O NT E N TS 2 Updates 10 Institutional Heritage: Founders’ Day 2020

12 Marking a New Era of

Healthcare Education in South Georgia



20 Southwest Georgia: A Sense of Place

24 Health Care in Rural Georgia

28 Class Notes







WHITE COAT SEASON It was a significant rite of passage for PCOM’s DO, pharmacy, physical therapy and physician assistant studies students in August and October, as more than 670 participated in their programs’ respective White Coat ceremonies. At events at all three locations (including the inaugural DO White Coat Ceremony at PCOM South Georgia), students took their first steps toward becoming healthcare professionals.

THE POWER OF KINDNESS This past fall, the Office of Student Affairs, the Mind and Body Club, and A Happier You, in conjunction with Kindness.org, hosted a “kindness exchange” on the Philadelphia campus. In Evans Hall, boards were set up so that students, faculty and staff could write kind thoughts on specially designed cards. They could then take another card or simply leave theirs for someone else. Research has shown that these “random acts of kindness” can have significant benefits for health, including reducing pain, stress, depression and anxiety.



TWO BOARD MEMBERS JOIN PCOM The College recently appointed Timothy Burgess and Julie Fox to its Boards of Trustees. Mr. Burgess formerly served as the senior vice president for finance and administration at the University of Georgia and as the commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health. He also served as the director and state budget officer of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget for Georgia Governors Zell Miller and Roy Barnes. Ms. Fox is the market head of the Mid-Atlantic Private Wealth Market business for UBS, a global financial services firm which she has served for more than 17 years. “Mr. Burgess’ and Ms. Fox’s extensive experience in their fields, coupled with their drive to serve their communities, makes them excellent additions to our boards, and we are excited to have them join,” says Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and CEO.








This fall, the College celebrated its second annual Wellness Fest, title sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. Nearly 900 people were welcomed to the PCOM campus to participate in free health screenings, fitness classes, cooking demonstrations, wellness sessions, and kids’ activities. PCOM Wellness Fest was a perfect opportunity for the College to share its osteopathic philosophy of whole-person health with the local community. Proceeds raised benefit the PCOM Healthcare Centers and enable them to provide innovative programs and wellness groups focused on diabetes support, nutrition, medical yoga, exercise and stress management. Save the date for next year’s Wellness Fest to be held on September 26, 2020. General questions may be directed to wellnessfest@pcom.edu. Sponsorship inquiries may be directed to WFsponsorship@pcom.edu.








INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR PT PROFESSOR A pair of shorts co-created by Ruth Maher, PT, PhD, DPT, professor, physical therapy, that are designed to help women suffering from stress urinary incontinence recently received the Innovation of the Year award from the Irish Times. Additionally, Atlantic Therapeutics—which produces the shorts and for which Dr. Maher serves as clinical advisor—was recognized as the European MedTech Company of the Year, and also received the License2Impact award for its collaboration with University College Dublin, Ireland, where Dr. Maher co-developed the shorts. Dr. Maher designed the prototype of what is now known as INNOVO using pelvic floor stimulating technology housed in customized shorts. The shorts, which come in a wide variety of sizes, enable the electrical stimulation to be spread over a wide area, increasing comfort. “The device replicates the brisk coordinated pelvic floor contraction that maintains continence during laughing, coughing, sneezing and exercise, thus preventing urinary leakage,” she says. “This coordinated contraction is vital to those suffering from stress urinary incontinence, maybe even more so than strength and endurance of the muscles.” Improvements continue to be made to the shorts, which, having gained FDA clearance, are now available over the counter. Data used to garner FDA clearance show that 80 percent of users saw significant improvement in symptoms after four weeks of use and 87 percent of users were dry or considered near-dry after three months of use.

According to the World Health Organization, between 10 and 36 percent of individuals suffer from urinary incontinence, and the rate is twice as high in older women versus older men. Urinary incontinence can have a serious impact on quality of life, need for care and even mental health.

TEAMING UP FOR BETTER PATIENT CARE alongside students in Villanova’s graduate program in nursing anesthesia and undergraduate program in nursing to practice their respective roles while a “patient” experiences cardiopulmonary arrest due to missed medication. A simulated debrief, led by a PsyD student, follows the exercise. “PCOM was more than happy to collaborate with Villanova and its nursing students on this important initiative addressing a high-risk population, while also learning how to work together to put the patient’s needs first,” says Michael Becker, DO ’87, MS, assistant dean of clerkship education. “This person-centric thinking has been a main tenet of the osteopathic profession since its founding.”

Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing The healthcare industry’s move toward a more collaborative, patient-centered approach to care is driving the trend of interprofessional education (IPE), which provides learning opportunities for students from across healthcare disciplines to learn from and alongside each other. Research has shown that better patient care results from healthcare professionals collaborating and communicating effectively. To that end, PCOM has partnered with the Villanova University M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing on a series of mockcode simulations, during which DO and PsyD students work

“Clinical psychologists are broadening their roles to be included as health service providers,” says Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, associate dean, academic integration, and Clinical PsyD program director. That program, she says, has “traditionally focused on holistic care alongside of the osteopathic medical school, and this new initiative further enhances the IPE at PCOM by having students learning from, with and about nurses’ education.” In addition to collaborating with Villanova, Dr. Becker notes, PCOM continues to explore ways to expand its own IPE offerings. “IPE is woven into the curricula of many of our academic programs, and working with Villanova provides our medical and psychology students with a unique, real-world opportunity to work alongside future nurses and nurse anesthetists,” he says. “That experience will be invaluable to all of the students once they begin clinical practice.”




STALKING KILLERS IN THE PAST For Greg McDonald, DO ’89, dean of the School of Health Sciences, and director, forensic medicine, his relationship to crime in Philadelphia is familial; his maternal and paternal grandfathers both served at the city’s storied Eastern State Penitentiary—one as an inmate, the other as a guard—at the same time as notorious gangster Al Capone. Dr. McDonald would go on to serve as Philadelphia’s assistant medical examiner, using his medical knowledge to understand how people had died and, in some cases, help give them a voice when they could no longer speak. In a recent article on the news site Billy Penn, Dr. McDonald says he considers accurately identifying a cause of death a victory in his field, which can help restore justice and ease the healing process for loved ones. Over the years, he has helped identify plenty of murderers—even serial killers—in Philadelphia, all the while observing their impact on the field of medical examination. He recently took a reporter from Billy Penn on a tour of sorts, of true crime in Philadelphia:


Marie Noe was a Kensington woman whose 10 children all died, eight of the deaths being attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. When she eventually confessed to smothering her children, Dr. McDonald says, that changed the way medical examiners looked at childhood deaths. Now, if a cause can’t be immediately found, the cause is listed as “undetermined,” leaving the door open for future investigations. “If someone calls it undetermined at the beginning, it sends a red flag to other investigators who may be involved somewhere else,” Dr. McDonald says.

Gary Heidnik was a man in North Philadelphia who kidnapped and tortured eight women, killing two of them. He was finally apprehended when one of his victims was able to call 911. Dr. McDonald says this is a case that proves the need to take prior claims and criminal history seriously— Heidnik had previously been arrested several times. In so many cases, “there’s something leading up to the ultimate [killing],” says Dr. McDonald. “They don’t just wake up one day and say, ‘I’m going to do this.’ ”

Troy Graves perpetrated several rapes between 1997 and 1999 and came to be known as the “Center City rapist.” He murdered one woman, whose death Dr. McDonald calls especially tragic: A neighbor reported hearing sounds of a struggle and called the police. Arriving at the scene, they knocked at the door, didn’t hear anything and left. “He was in the process of strangling her, and they didn’t break down the door,” Dr. McDonald says.

Antonio Rodriguez, dubbed the “Kensington Strangler,” struck in 2010, killing three women in just two months. At first, his defense was that the strangulations happened by accident; however, that was quickly debunked. Dr. McDonald says it can take several minutes for someone to die in this manner. “So for someone to say, ‘I didn’t mean to do it,’ that doesn’t fly.”


* Parts of this story were reprinted with permission from Billy Penn. Read the full story at bit.ly/PhillyTrueCrime.

Over the years, Dr. McDonald has helped identify plenty of murderers—even serial killers—in Philadelphia, all the while observing their impact on the field of medical examination.

BEHAVIORAL STRATEGIES FOR FIGHTING AN EPIDEMIC Researchers David Festinger, PhD, director of substance abuse research and education at PCOM, and Michelle Lent, PhD, associate professor, clinical psychology, were awarded a $5.5 million contract from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study the effectiveness of psychosocial treatments for individuals receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. The study will examine the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and peer recovery support individually and in combination. While these have shown promise in treating addictive disorders, they have not been extensively studied in conjunction with MAT, says Dr. Festinger. “Moreover, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating opioid addiction, just as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating any other disease,” he says. “This study will help to determine which psychosocial approach works best for different types of patients, allowing us to tailor treatment more effectively.”

The project will follow 440 patients receiving buprenorphine/ naloxone, randomized into one of four conditions: (1) medication alone, (2) medication with CBT, (3) medication with peer support, or (4) medication with CBT and peer support. Study outcomes will include opioid abstinence, treatment retention, quality of life and emergency hospitalizations. “This program of research will examine the utility of a multidisciplinary approach to treating this major public health crisis,” says Dr. Lent. “We are finding that even the most promising pharmaceutical treatments benefit from behavioral strategies to promote adherence and sustain positive health outcomes.” The study, expected to begin enrollment in spring 2020, was selected through a highly competitive review process in which patients, caregivers and other stakeholders joined scientists to evaluate the proposals.




SAVING STUDENT PHARMACISTS TIME AND MONEY The PCOM School of Pharmacy recently signed articulation agreements with four University System of Georgia colleges and universities. Students from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Middle Georgia State University in Macon, and Valdosta State University in Valdosta will benefit. Those eligible will enter pharmacy school after completing their junior year of college and will have the opportunity to earn their bachelor’s and doctorate degrees while at PCOM Georgia. By finishing their education a year early, students will be able to achieve their career goals more quickly and affordably, says Shawn Spencer, PhD, RPh, dean of the PCOM School of Pharmacy. “Our articulation agreements exemplify how the PCOM School of Pharmacy is working hard to help our students achieve their goals of becoming pharmacists. We applaud these institutions for partnering with us as we support Georgia students who wish to enter the healthcare workforce,” Dr. Spencer says. In addition, students enrolled in the Doctor of Pharmacy program at PCOM Georgia have the option of enhancing their credentials by pursuing concentrations in the pharmacy practice areas of acute, ambulatory and managed care. Students may also pursue one of three graduate business programs offered in partnership with Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

PAVING THE WAY IN STEM During summer 2019, researchers at PCOM opened up their labs to undergraduate students at Cabrini University as part of a summer mentoring program designed to educate college-age African American and Latino men about the process of research and what it’s like to work in a professional laboratory. For eight weeks, the Cabrini students served as integral parts of the researchers’ teams, learning how to formulate research hypotheses, design experiments and interpret their findings. Lack of diversity in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields persists. A 2018 study by the Pew Research Center found that African Americans and Latinos make up just 11 percent and 8 percent, respectively, of health-related fields. In the life sciences, those numbers drop to 4 percent and 7 percent. Mark Martin, a biology student at Cabrini who worked alongside Jacquelyn Gerhart, MS, coordinator of PCOM’s research support 8


staff and bio-imaging facility, says he was excited by the opportunity to work in a functioning lab and found the experience beneficial. “Jackie not only taught me how to do research but also helped me learn how to market myself so that I can have a better chance of getting a job,” says Mr. Martin. “She was an amazing mentor and made this experience truly memorable for me.” “There is a real, noticeable absence of black and Latino men in the STEM fields, particularly in the basic sciences, and we want to do everything we can to address that gap by breaking down barriers and showing these men that there are viable careers in these fields for them,” notes Marcine Pickron-Davis, PhD, chief diversity and community relations officer at PCOM.

MEDICAL SIMULATION ASSUMES A FRONT ROW SEAT IN TRAINING STUDENTS At PCOM, students enrolled in the Biomedical Sciences program can now take part in a new Medical Simulation concentration, which teaches students how to manage and effectively run a simulation center. As part of the program, students train in basic life support and advanced cardiac life support, complete emergency medical technician (EMT) training, and have the opportunity to run more than 2,000 simulations in the College’s simulation centers in Philadelphia and Suwanee. In addition, a certificate of graduate study and a certificate of advanced graduate study in Medical Simulation are offered, with plans to add a master’s degree in Medical Simulation to PCOM’s academic programs. In August, PCOM Georgia unveiled its Mobile Medical Simulation Lab, an ambulance-like vehicle through which emergency simulations are run to train PCOM students and paramedics, EMTs and other healthcare professionals across the state. James Hogue, DO, clinical assistant professor, emergency medicine and faculty advisor to the Emergency Medicine Club, says, “Having our own ambulance allows us many opportunities to get a sense of how pre-hospital care operates.” Additionally, DO students at PCOM Georgia participate in “Sim Battles,” which provide fun and unique learning opportunities. Teams of six individuals are presented with trauma cases and work together to save the lives of patients—represented by lifelike mannequins or standardized patients. The winners participate in PCOM Georgia’s annual Trauma Day, during which DO students work with EMT, nursing and other student healthcare professionals on customized clinical scenarios.

PCOM GEORGIA STUDENT NAMED STATE’S MEDICAL STUDENT OF THE YEAR Akila Raja (DO ’21) was named the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Student of the Year. Each year, the award is presented to one student enrolled in Georgia’s medical schools. The association honors students, residents and faculty who practice patient-centered care and exhibit compassion, integrity, excellence and empathy. “We were deeply impressed by your dedication to your community. You are collaborative, thoughtful and selfless in your endeavors,” said MAG’s Renai Lilly, manager, membership outreach and meeting planning. At PCOM Georgia, Ms. Raja organized a Road to Recovery panel, through which students and faculty discussed the struggles of dealing with addiction. She also worked to bring a chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society to the Suwanee campus. “Any project or program I did over the past few years served as a constant reminder as to why I want to become a physician and of the impact I want to make in my community and career,” said Ms. Raja.





by David McKay Wilson

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


O. J. SNYDER MEMORIAL MEDAL RECIPIENT ARTHUR J. SESSO, DO ’81 This year, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine proudly bestowed its highest honor, the O. J. Snyder Memorial Medal, upon Arthur J. Sesso, DO ’81, for his leadership and service to the osteopathic profession and to the institution that he has been affiliated with since 1977.

was developed to address complaints from former medical students that the basic science courses they took during the first two years of medical school were not connected to the practice of medicine. His course bridges that gap by integrating classroom learning with clinical case studies—and it has proven to be a great success.

Dr. Sesso, who was in private surgical practice from 1990 to 2004, has taught at the College since 1986 and has chaired PCOM’s Department of Surgery for 15 years. His myriad duties include senior associate dean of osteopathic curricular innovation and oversight; program director, General Surgery; director of graduate medical education, Surgical Services; medical director, Clinical Learning and Assessment Center; chairman, PCOM Curriculum Committee; and course director for SEENT, CRIBS, and I2C.

A second course, titled Introduction to Clerkship (I2C), prepares students for their residencies through a month-long protocol of 16 exercises on topics that range from patient interviews and medical ethics to trauma care and surgical techniques.

“PCOM has been a tremendously large part of my life,” says Dr. Sesso, who grew up in South Philadelphia and now commutes daily from his home in Ocean City, New Jersey. “My time spent at PCOM has been such an honor and privilege. I’ve met best friends here. And I met my wife, Eva, here too.”

Dr. Sesso says successful surgeons need to be prepared, confident and able to withstand the emotional rollercoaster that comes with the profession. To withstand the stress, he says surgeons need to develop “mental stability” in the operating room.

The latter meeting occurred in 1978 during a practice session on osteopathic manual manipulation. At the adjacent table was his wife-to-be, Eva Placentra, DO ’82, then in her first year, now a cardiologist. As Eva practiced a treatment with a partner, her arm became entangled under him, and she fell to the floor. “I laughed, and she yelled at me,” Dr. Sesso says. “I ended up cutting class and took her out to lunch.” Dr. Sesso’s studies at PCOM launched a 40-year (and still counting) career dedicated largely to medical education and mentorship at PCOM. He heads the College’s committee focused on transforming physician training with more hands-on learning and less classroom time—and with more focus on wellness, communication and understanding how to run a system-based practice. He teaches medical students at all levels. He lectures in general surgery to some 300 first- and second-year students each year. He is involved in clerkship preparations for those readying for their residencies, and he oversees those students who do fulfill their surgical residencies at PCOM. Dr. Sesso has developed two courses that remain part of PCOM’s medical education. Clinical Reasoning in Basic Science, or CRIBS,

“These courses give our students a step up,” Dr. Sesso says. “The competition starts early. When you go on rotation, you have to look good because the people you are working under could be your future bosses. It’s best if you know what you are doing from day one.”

“The specialty requires both preparation and confidence,” Dr. Sesso, who did both his internship and residency at PCOM in the early 1980s, affirms. “You are leading a surgical team. If a patient starts bleeding, and something goes wrong, you’ve got to remain calm—and reset. It takes mental toughness, and you’ve got to relish making rapid decisions.” Dr. Sesso’s handiwork with the surgical scalpel is matched by his prowess with a mechanic’s wrench. He has restored a classic airplane and several classic cars. His collection includes a Ferrari, two Lamborghinis, a Corvette, and a 2019 McLaren. Over the years, his collection included a Shelby race car and a US Army tank. The cars need attention, which means Dr. Sesso has to drive his cars each week around the streets of Ocean City. But now he’s winnowing the Sesso fleet. “As I get older, I don’t have the time to give the cars the attention they deserve, so I’m selling some of them,” he says. “It’s helping me build a nest egg to retire.” Still, there’s no date certain for Dr. Sesso to put in his retirement papers. There are still so many PCOM projects in motion, and his love for teaching is still so deep.

Read more about the honorees and view photos from the College’s 121st Founders’ Day at pcom.edu. Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal Recipient – PCOM Kathleen E. Ackert (DO ’20)

Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal Recipient – PCOM Georgia Abdul A. Walters, MS/Biomed ’16 (DO ’20)

PCOM Alumni Association Certificate of Honor Recipient Monique A. Gary, DO ’09, MSc ’05, FACS






MARKING A NEW ERA of Healthcare Education in South Georgia

by Jennifer Schaffer Leone

“Through the establishment of PCOM South Georgia, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine proudly extends its commitment to the state of Georgia— an assurance to educate students and to retain graduates to serve on the front lines of community health.” ___________ Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, President and Chief Executive Officer

The College’s first reach into the South PCOM’s commitment to the South began nearly two decades ago. An assessment of growing health disparities in the southern United States substantiated an infrastructure for support of new osteopathic and graduate healthcare–focused education programs. Expansion was naturally aligned with the College’s strategic direction at the time—a desire to be less reliant on nonpreferred state appropriations and a design to help control the need for tuition increases. The College was also cognizant of its position in the Northeast. Philadelphia, in particular, had become among the most saturated healthcare markets in the nation. A unique growth opportunity arose in the early 2000s when the Osteopathic Institute of the South (OIS) sought a partnership. As a result of the sale of a nonprofit hospital, the OIS had a viable commodity: a network of third- and fourth-year clinical rotations, internships, residencies and postgraduate training opportunities. But the closest medical school was nearly 350 miles away. DIGEST 2020



The establishment and mission of PCOM South Georgia Over the years, the success of PCOM Georgia reinforced the rationale to expand the College’s reach, driving greater impact, particularly into South Georgia. H. William Craver III, DO ’87, FACOS, vice provost and dean, and other PCOM Georgia administrators recognized the need to grow graduate medical education beyond North Georgia and to partner with government, philanthropic and community entities to invest in the next generation of osteopathic physicians and healthcare professionals. Considerable support from legislators, local and regional businesses, healthcare and education stakeholders, and community members in South Georgia underpinned this idea as well.

PCOM Georgia circa 2004

Seeking to open an osteopathic medical school with the mission of recruitment and retention of medical students from the South for the South, the OIS targeted and approached PCOM leadership. The College’s reach into the South officially ensued in 2004 under the leadership of Matthew Schure, PhD, then president and chief executive officer. PCOM chose suburban Atlanta for its first branch campus. By 2005, PCOM Georgia, located in Suwanee, Gwinnett County, welcomed its first class of 80 doctor of osteopathic medicine students. PCOM Georgia quickly became part of the unique and sustainable story that resonates the College’s osteopathic tradition and teaching mission to prospective and current students, employees, alumni and stakeholders. To date, the College has conferred nearly 1,950 degrees upon graduates of PCOM Georgia: osteopathic physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists and biomedical scientists. Many graduates hailed originally from Georgia, and many more continue to live and practice in underserved areas of the state and the surrounding region. Presently, over 800 PCOM alumni practice in the state, their healthcare services impacting 107 counties (most in Gwinnett and surrounding North Georgia areas). In addition, PCOM Georgia directly and indirectly generates nearly $108 million of economic impact each year in the state of Georgia. PCOM Georgia provides employment for 189 faculty and staff members. An additional 800 jobs are created or supported indirectly as a result of PCOM Georgia’s operational, employee and student spending across the state. PCOM Georgia was—and remains—a critical development in the face of Georgia’s extreme physician and healthcare provider shortages.



“ As PCOM Georgia continued to expand both its osteopathic and other healthcare related degree programs it became apparent that the South Georgia region did not have the same local access and attention for similar opportunities. With community support already in place, the next phases became obvious.” — H. William Craver, DO ’87, FACOS, vice provost – Georgia; dean, Georgia osteopathic medicine program; and chief academic officer, PCOM Georgia

Building a leading regional site for rural medical education had been a long-term goal for Jim Matney, president and chief executive officer, Colquitt Regional Medical Center. He envisioned a four-year teaching site that would be buoyed by partnerships with several hospital systems. In addition, regional academic institutions, including Valdosta State University, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Thomas University, would enhance the medical education pipeline. Pursuits began to take shape when Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer, PCOM, and representatives from the South Georgia Medical Education and Research Consortium, a partnership of five independent healthcare systems in South Georgia including Colquitt Regional Medical Center, signed a memorandum of agreement on October 31, 2016. The agreement was to develop a feasibility plan to establish an additional location of PCOM in South Georgia. Building on the initial framework of the South Georgia Medical Education and Research Consortium and identifying multiple hospitals in the region, PCOM followed the recommendation of Sasaki Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm tasked with choosing the best location in the Southwest Georgia region for a new medical program. With its availability of clerkship opportunities for third- and fourth-year medical students, central location, affordable housing and convenience to student services and facilities, Moultrie was a sound choice. On December 5, 2017, the College received initial approval from its accrediting agency—the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOACOCA)—to move forward with the development of PCOM South Georgia. Securing accreditation would require a labor-intensive

joint effort from College trustees, administrators, faculty, staff and students—from both established campuses. The new location would have to meet all accrediting standards for the institution, undergoing a rigorous and thorough process that would stretch through the summer of 2019 and beyond.

“ The accreditation process for PCOM South Georgia proved to be a significant undertaking, as it coincided with the comprehensive AOA-COCA comprehensive review of all three campuses. The review covered all areas of College functioning— from admissions and student services to finances, organization, faculty, research and graduate medical education. The PCOM community responded admirably, providing detailed data that documented PCOM’s high level of excellence in all areas. I am personally grateful to the many faculty, staff, students and board members who contributed to the accreditation effort. As PCOM South Georgia is a new teaching location, the reviews by AOA-COCA will continue through the early years of operations.” — Robert G. Cuzzolino, EdD, retired vice president for graduate programs and planning



FEATURE “ Any time a new physician moves into a community, his or her presence generates not only his or her job but an additional five jobs, a $1.6 million economic impact on the region, and $1.4 million in healthcare savings. So to be able to produce physicians, and to have them here in Georgia and stay here in our state, is exciting for us and will have a tremendous economic impact.”

In April 2018, Jeter Partners, LLC, a company owned and operated by brothers Jimmy and Dan Jeter, generously donated a portion of a tract of land, some 31 acres, located in the 2100 block of Tallokas Road near the intersection of Veterans Parkway. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on the site of the new facility on April 26. The start of construction followed. The 75,000-square-foot facility, which represents an investment of $30 million, was completed in the summer of 2019. The studentcentric facility includes expansive classrooms, osteopathic manipulative medicine and anatomy labs, a simulation center, exam and practice rooms, an information commons, study porches and a café. Sasaki Associates, Inc., served as the principal architectural firm, and JCI Contractors of Moultrie served as construction manager.

— Bert Brantley, Chief Operating Officer, Georgia Department of Economic Development On August 12, a diverse group of 59 DO students began classes at PCOM South Georgia. The inaugural class is made up of approximately half women and half men. Eighteen hail from the state of Georgia. Class members were selected from an applicant pool of over 3,000.

On June 25, evaluators from the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation visited PCOM South Georgia. The College was notified on July 12 that all accreditation requirements had been met to begin operations. Nearly 700 people attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on August 6. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and other dignitaries proclaimed their support of PCOM South Georgia and of the College’s commitment to help grow medical education in Southwest Georgia and to meet the long-term healthcare needs of the region.



• Establish a brand new location

• Create a clinical education pipeline

• Create rural scholarships

• Create a network of teaching hospitals

• Bolster economic impact

• Offer innovative programs to build the PCOM pipeline



HAIL FROM GEORGIA (counties including Bibb, Cobb, Colquitt, Columbia, Fulton, Gwinnett, Jeff Davis, Lee, Lowndes, Muscogee, Pickens and Tift)





“DEAL OF THE YEAR” AWARD FOR PCOM A partnership with PCOM to build PCOM South Georgia garnered the Moultrie–Colquitt County Development Authority a regional “Deal of the Year” award from the Georgia Economic Developers Association in November 2019. The award was presented to Daniel Dunn, past chair, Moultrie–Colquitt County Development Authority, and Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer, PCOM. According to the award nomination form submitted by Darrell Moore, former president of the Colquitt County Development Authority and currently the executive director of the Valdosta State University Center for South Georgia Regional Impact, PCOM South Georgia “will have a transformational impact on medical education and health care throughout South and rural Georgia.”










by David McKay Wilson

The heartland of South Georgia’s thriving agricultural sector, Colquitt County is a place known for its natural beauty and the traditions that have endured for generations. You might fish for largemouth bass at Indian Lake, hunt bobwhite quail at the Quailridge Plantation, or tee off to play 18 holes at the Sunset Country Club. On Friday nights each fall, you can watch the perennial powerhouse Colquitt County High School Packers at Mack Tharpe Stadium in Moultrie take on opponents from across the region. When Thanksgiving dinner is done each year, you can join an estimated 15,000 county residents who descend on The Square in downtown Moultrie for the annual Canopy of Lights, which starts with an outdoor festival with live reindeer, live bands and an appearance by Saint Nick. It began in the 1940s with a few strands of lights from the cupola of the Colquitt County Courthouse; today, the thousands of multicolored holiday lights illuminate nine downtown blocks.




“It’s a great event, where you can meet up with old friends, go shopping and drink a cup of hot chocolate,” says Tommie Beth Willis, president of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Chamber of Commerce. Joanne M. Jones, MBA, campus officer, PCOM South Georgia, moved from Hoschton, Georgia, with her husband, Don Howell, Jr., in the spring of 2018 while PCOM South Georgia was under construction. “During the holidays, they string thousands of lights from historic Colquitt Courthouse Square and hold a lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving night. It’s like a Hallmark movie when they turn on the lights—a tradition that dates back some 70 years,” she says. “My husband and I were invited to serve as masters of ceremonies for the Christmas parade this year; it was so much fun—and such a tremendous honor!” That hospitality has welcomed PCOM South Georgia, Ms. Jones contends. The local YMCA has offered free gym memberships to PCOM students, staff and faculty. When PCOM learned that two local high school marching bands would be participating in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, the College helped defray the costs incurred for the students to travel north. “Everybody is so welcoming,” says Ms. Jones. “They have been behind us every step of the way. We are so excited to partner with philanthropic and community entities and the State to invest in the next generation of South Georgia physicians and healthcare professionals.” PCOM’s new $30 million site, located about 2.5 miles southeast of downtown Moultrie, was built on land donated by local real estate developers Jimmy and Dan Jeter. The Jeters plan to break ground in 2020 on a development of two-bedroom, two-bath “southern cottages” adjacent to the campus that could serve as rental housing for PCOM South Georgia students. Jimmy Jeter, who grew up in Colquitt County (pronounced CALLquit), says that PCOM’s arrival in Moultrie will provide a boost to the sprawling county, which has some 48,000 residents. “It’s a warm, sharing community, with a lot of wonderful folks,” he says. “It’s the rural life, a slow way of living, and everybody is close to everybody. Seems like half my graduating high school class has moved back, and a new group of young people in their 30s are doing the same thing.” Agriculture is the county’s biggest industry. Crops here include cotton, peanuts, peaches, strawberries and pecans. There’s a year-round growing season, with hardy crops like collard greens and cabbage growing during the winter months. Moultrie’s farm industry attracts thousands to town each October for the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo, a three-day extravaganza at Spence Field that features 1,200 vendors who set up tents at the former US Air Force Base to showcase the latest in farm equipment.



PCOM South Georgia will continue to expand and support the local economy with jobs, human capital reinvestment and community development. Already, the College is providing a boost for the 12-resident family medicine residency at Colquitt Regional Medical Center, located about a mile from campus. About 70 percent of the program’s residents this year come from PCOM Georgia, the College’s Suwanee campus north of Atlanta, says Jim Matney, chief executive officer, Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Mr. Matney says two of the 2019 residents have already committed to staying in the area. In the future, graduates of PCOM South Georgia will contribute to this resident pool—at Colquitt Regional Medical Center and at other regional hospital systems. “If we can get them down here, there’s a bigger chance they will stay in the South Georgia region,” he says. “They’ll realize that the rural life is good too.” Ethan McBrayer, DO ’19, a graduate of PCOM Georgia, and Julia Patterson (DO ’23), a first-year student at PCOM South Georgia, both hail from Southwest Georgia. Dr. McBrayer, from Tifton, just 27 miles north of Moultrie, is among those in the Georgia South Family Medicine Residency program (launched in 2016) at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. After completing medical clerkships with adjunct faculty from the Southwest Georgia region, he selected the program because of the rigorous curriculum, the camaraderie and the program’s commitment to train family physicians to serve rural communities. “This area is just home to me,” says Dr. McBrayer. “Why would I go somewhere else to train when I could do it near to where I want to work and practice? Being born and raised in Southwest Georgia, I know firsthand what it’s like living in a medically underserved area. A personal goal of mine has been to, one day, offer quality health care to the community that helped raise me.” Ms. Patterson, from Doerun, is one of six “locals” among the PCOM South Georgia inaugural class of 59. As a college senior at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, she won an essay contest launched by the Southwest Georgia Area Health Education Center in coordination with the campus’s groundbreaking, which asked students how their generation could help shape the future of health in South Georgia. Ms. Patterson used the $500 scholarship check to pay for her medical school application. “I am committed to serving my community long-term,” she says. “I believe the satisfaction of serving one’s own rural community must outweigh the conveniences and amenities that could be found in a big city. By working here, I believe that I will actually be able to make a difference.”





in by Janice Fisher

The term “two Georgias” originated as an economic distinction, contrasting the state’s metropolitan areas and its rural communities (108 of Georgia’s 159 counties are defined as rural). But today, it also describes growing and systemic disparities in health and health care. Data from a wide array of sources sketch the picture in numbers; discussions with four PCOM alumni physicians who work in Georgia [see sidebars] add shading and texture to a complicated landscape.



Rural Georgia: A “health penalty” Rural Georgians disproportionately experience poor health outcomes—“higher death rates due to heart disease, stroke, cancer and motor vehicle accidents; higher rates of smoking; increased prevalence of chronic conditions such as diabetes; and an epidemic of adverse maternal and child health outcomes, including teen births and low birthweight babies,” according to Gary Nelson, PhD, president of the Healthcare Georgia Foundation. In a 2016 invited editorial in the Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, Dr. Nelson declared, “There is a significant health penalty for living in rural Georgia.” Many rural Georgians have limited access to affordable, quality health care. Increasing numbers lack insurance, with an estimated 55 rural counties having uninsured rates above the state average. Aging populations face increased difficulty in traveling for their medical care. Reinforcing these trends: shortages in the healthcare workforce across multiple disciplines.

The need for physicians The Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce, which tracks physician supply and demand, found 22,471 physicians licensed and actively practicing in Georgia during the period from January 2017 to December 2018. The overall statewide rate of 213.6 physicians per 100,000 population lagged the national average of 301.1. But more critically, the distribution of Georgia’s physicians was profoundly lopsided, with almost half of them taking care of

a quarter of the population. Specifically, almost half worked in the top 10 of the state’s 96 Primary Care Service Areas (PCSAs)— self-sufficient markets of primary care—which together accounted for 27 percent of Georgia’s population. The most dramatic shortfalls resulted in areas with no physicians whatsoever. For the 2017–18 period examined, nine counties— encompassing a population of almost 40,000—had no physicians at all. With a focus on specialties, the numbers are as daunting. Eighteen counties (with a combined population of over 120,000) had no family medical physicians; 32 counties (combined population over 350,000), no internal medicine physicians; 60 counties (population over 800,000), no pediatricians; 76 counties (population over 1 million), no OB/GYNs; and 77 counties (population over 1.2 million), no psychiatrists. Trends showed similar patterns for primary care physicians, nurses and physician assistants, according to a 2016 report from the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. In the PCSAs ranked by the Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce at the bottom for physician coverage, Jenkins County in Southeast Georgia and Hancock County in Central Georgia each had a single physician per 100,000 population, and Brooks County in Southern Georgia had three. Their physician rates per 100,000 were about 19, 19, and 12, respectively. By way of comparison, the number one and number two ranked PCSAs in the state, Fulton County (Atlanta Metro) and Lincoln-ColumbiaRichmond County (Augusta), both had physician rates of about 460 per 100,000. DIGEST 2020



Physician shortages are shaped in part by trends in the percentage of doctors nearing retirement age and the proportion of medical residents nearing the end of their education. The Senior List, an online resource of senior care-related information, ranks each state according to its likelihood of experiencing a physician shortfall, in light of these patterns and the current physician workforce in each state. Based primarily on 2016 data, Georgia was ranked the 14th most likely state to see a doctor shortage in the coming years.

The Commonwealth Fund, a private U.S. foundation that supports independent research on healthcare issues, ranked Georgia 42nd in state healthcare system performance in 2019, measured through standardized scores on more than 40 performance indicators in four categories: access and affordability, prevention and treatment, potentially avoidable hospital use and health habits of residents. The report noted that healthcare prices across the state are high and that almost two in five Georgians are considered low income.

In 2017, Georgia’s State Office of Rural Health (SORH), a division of the Georgia Department of Community Health, found that 89 counties did not have enough doctors to treat people living in those areas. Rural Georgians were described as less healthy than those living in urban areas, more likely to be underinsured or uninsured, and more likely to suffer from heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.

Also in 2019, America’s Health Rankings, a project of the United Health Foundation in partnership with the American Public Health Association, ranked Georgia 40th among states, based on a historical and comprehensive set of health, environmental and socioeconomic data. (The five lowest-ranked states were Nevada, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi.)

ALUMNI IN THE TRENCHES VALERIE SHERRER, MS ’13/BIOMED, DO ’17, is completing her residency at Georgia South Family Medicine in Moultrie, Georgia. In June, she’ll join a family practice in Enterprise, Georgia, and care for families she grew up with. “Enterprise and Moultrie both need more doctors, especially family physicians,” says Dr. Sherrer. Moultrie “is fortunate to have a variety of specialists,” she says, “but for super-specialists, we refer patients to Tallahassee or Macon.” Macon is 2.5–3 hours away and Tallahassee 1.5 hours—but, Dr. Sherrer points out, with the travel time there and back, plus the appointment, “you’re not going to work that day.” Dr. Sherrer’s Moultrie patients are “hardworking people— migrant workers, farmers, small factory workers. . . . We often hear, ‘I can’t get that done because I’d have to take a day off from work and then I can’t feed my family.’ Or they come in with what they think is a cold or a stomach bug, but their blood pressure is 200/120 or their blood sugar is 500. When they leave, we have to make sure they’re set to receive continued care for problems they were not even aware of.” For most patients in both Moultrie and Enterprise, says Dr. Sherrer, “Paying hundreds of dollars in copays for medicine is not doable.” A truck driver with poorly controlled diabetes “can’t be on insulin, because of his job. He’s trying hard, working with the medications he can afford.” As a resident, Dr. Sherrer “takes care of moms and their obstetric care and then delivers babies and may take care of them, too, and the baby’s siblings. . . . I won’t be doing OB in Enterprise, and I’ll miss it.” But, she says, “I will be taking care of people who knew me as a little girl.”



When STEPHANIE T. REESE, MS/BIOMED ’05, DO ’10, was looking for her first postresidency job, the Mayo Clinic Health System had just opened a campus in Waycross, a Southeast Georgia town. Only one of her colleagues had ever heard of Waycross. “There’s one road in and one road out,” he told her. Dr. Reese worked there in the Division of Primary Care for two years. “The area didn’t have a lot of coverage,” she recalls. “We were isolated. . . . We took on a lot of the indigent care in the area, and most people didn’t have insurance. Or their Medicare insurance might tie them to care in Florida.” When the Mayo Clinic left Waycross, Dr. Reese relocated to Effingham County, practicing outpatient family medicine in the Effingham Health System in Rincon. “Effingham’s easternmost area includes Savannah,” Dr. Reese notes, “but the farther west you go, the more rural it is. The hospital where I am on call has 25 beds and a nursing home attached—no ICU. We have limited resources, and very few specialists. . . . Some folks with diabetes have to go to Waycross for hematology—that’s a three-hour drive.” Because parents face challenges in getting their children to physicians, “they might work an hour away from where their kids go to school, and they can’t take off.” Dr. Reese helped start Effingham Health TELEMED, the first such program in the Greater Savannah region, which allows elementary school students to be seen by a doctor via a live camera. “We did PR in the schools,” says Dr. Reese. “We got teachers and staff involved; we plan to move on to junior high.”

The care of women and children America’s Health Ranking’s 2019 Health of Women and Children Report found that Georgia was one of eight states that saw significant increases in child mortality since 2016. Georgia’s 12 percent increase was double the nationwide increase of six percent. A 2018 report from the March of Dimes categorized 37 percent of Georgia counties as “maternity care deserts”—areas that lack options for pregnant women. Fifty-eight counties, according to the report, had no obstetric providers or hospitals offering obstetric care. “About 60 percent of all the cases of maternal mortality, meaning women that die as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, are avoidable,” said March of Dimes president Stacey Stewart, because they stem from chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes that could be managed with proper health care during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for the period 2011–2015, 17.2 women per 100,000 nationwide died of pregnancy-related problems. Georgia’s rate was the highest in the nation, at 46.2 per 100,000. For black women in Georgia, that rate was 66.6, vs. 27.3 for white women.

ANDREW C. BOWE, MS/BIOMED ’03, DO ’07, spent five years as a neonatologist with the Pediatrix Medical Group of Georgia in Macon. In a high-acuity, level 3 neonatal ICU, he cared for babies “with extreme prematurity—22-23 weeks’ gestation—up to full-term infants and those who need mechanical ventilation, nitrous oxide, total body cooling or any type of pediatric surgery. “The variety and acuity of presentations,” he says, “were similar to what I’d seen before. The biggest difference is that the lack of resources in Central and South Georgia tends to create sicker and more premature babies.” Dr. Bowe notes that “with premature births, worse outcomes can be related to where you’re born. In an area with poor access to an OB, poor financial resources, we see a lot of families that have difficulties with transportation. Some families have significant language barriers, which tend to play a role in how well a baby does.” The NICU provided coverage from Valdosta to Milledgeville—“pretty much from the very bottom of Georgia all the way up past the center of the state,” Dr. Bowe explains. There might be a call about a baby born at a hospital with no delivery services. Or a baby needing subspecialist care might arrive from a level 2 NICU. One South Georgia region has no pediatric surgeon, and Dr. Bowe’s group covered a number of their pediatric surgery cases. At the end of 2019, Dr. Bowe joined Spartanburg Regional Health in South Carolina. In his years in Macon, he saw several families and mothers “a second or third time in the neonatal ICU. So it was extremely rewarding work, but extremely draining. You have to love what you do.”

WILLIAM D. STEMBRIDGE, DO ’12, FACOS, who grew up not far from PCOM Georgia (Suwanee), is a general surgeon at Sterling Physician Group/Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie, Georgia. He is a vascular and bariatric specialist, but “it feels nice to do a little bit of everything,” he says of his work. “I might be on call on the weekend and take care of a pediatric surgical patient or a trauma evaluation. It keeps me well rounded. . . . We feel like we’re taking care of our community. I know the patients and families; I know all the family physicians who refer to me. “Our patients want to receive their care here,” says Dr. Stembridge, “and that drives us to expand our services. For example, we’re adding radiation oncology to our hospital, because patients with cancer don’t want to have to drive somewhere else or move out of town for six months. They want to stay at home.” About 15 months into his practice, Dr. Stembridge has seen “just about everything that you’d see at a university medical center.” What’s more, he adds, “We take care of a lot of patients who are uninsured or have the most baseline insurance, or don’t know they should have been taking care of something regularly, so they may come in with more advanced stages of disease. “Lots of my colleagues,” says Dr. Stembridge, whose residency and fellowship were in New Jersey and Maryland, respectively, “got trained somewhere else, like me, and then came back. We had ties to this town. It’s personal.”





Ronald R. Blanck, DO, Fenwick Island, DE, and Pam Ruoff, PCOM senior manager of alumni special services, continued their journey on the Appalachian Trail toward Maine. Their latest trip centered on hiking the trail in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.


James C. Giudice, DO, Haddonfield, NJ, was honored by Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) with an endowed scholarship in his name. Dr. Giudice is one of RowanSOM’s founding faculty members. The scholarship will be awarded to a RowanSOM fourth-year medical student who is in the top quarter of the class, has financial need and intends to pursue internal medicine or a specialty within the field.


David H. Ahner, DO, Hazleton, PA, is happily retired after a varied career in psychiatry that included clinical leadership and psychiatric supervision at a medical center, private practice, psychiatric consultations at multiple hospitals, psychiatric work in a community mental health center and state mental hospital, and psychiatric work in a state correctional institution. Dr. Ahner also received lifetime membership to the American Psychiatric Association, the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society and the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association.


Matthew F. Gutowicz, Jr., DO, La Quinta, CA, has been semiretired since 2014. Dr. Gutowicz serves on the advisory committee of Radiology International, an organization that conducts CME conferences for radiologists twice a year all over the world. Dr. Gutowicz is also a partner in two restaurants, Pacifica Seafood in Palm Desert and La Quinta Cliffhouse, both of which were named to Open Table’s list of 100 Best Al Fresco Restaurants in America 2019.



Kenneth J. Veit, DO, MBA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs, dean, PCOM, Lafayette Hill, PA, traveled with his wife, Cindy, and Pam Ruoff, PCOM senior manager of alumni special services, to Sicily, where they bicycled across the island. Dr. Veit is an avid bike rider, enjoying many different trails in the United States and abroad.


career-long commitment to hyperbaric medicine through excellence in education, application of therapy, research, forward-thinking and leadership. David F. Scaccia, DO, Kittery, ME, was inaugurated as president of the Maine Osteopathic Association for 2019–2021 at the association’s annual convention in June 2019. Dr. Scaccia currently practices as a private occupational medicine consultant in Kittery.

Linda P. Augelli-Hodor, DO, Bethlehem, PA, was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Everyday Hero Award for October 2019. As the award recipient, Dr. Augelli-Hodor was the subject of an article on the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s website titled “Appreciation from Patients Makes Medicine Worthwhile for This Bethlehem, Pa. Physician” (October 3, 2019). Dr. Augelli-Hodor is an internist with Lehigh Valley Physician Group.




Mark Rosenberg, DO, Denville, NJ, was named the 2020 president of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Dr. Rosenberg is chair of emergency medicine at St. Joseph’s Health in Patterson where he also serves as the hospital’s chief innovation officer.


Gordon R. Eck, DO, Honey Brook, PA, was granted the title of fellow from the Center for Christian Leadership on April 12, 2019. Dr. Eck also received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Evangelical Seminary on May 4, 2019. Currently, Dr. Eck serves as medical director of Abraxas Academy, a juvenile detention center in Berks County.


Albert J. Belli, Jr., DO, Voorhees, NJ, was named Inspira Health’s Physician of the Year. Thomas M. Bozzuto, DO, Albany, GA, was awarded the 2019 Eric P. Kindwall Award of Excellence in Hyperbaric Medicine. The award is given to an individual who demonstrates


Richard Gonzalez, DO, Clermont, FL, was the subject of an article in the West Orange Times and Observer titled “Answering the Call: Rev. Dr. Richard Gonzalez Tends to Both the Spiritual and Physical Needs of the Community” (September 5, 2019). Dr. Gonzalez was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida. Gregory S. Gelburd, DO, Charlottesville, VA, wrote an article for the Daily Progress titled “Washington Must Block Prescription Price-Gouging” (March 24, 2019). Janice A. Knebl, DO, MBA, Fort Worth, TX, was admitted to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine 2019–2020 Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship.


Thomas A. Boyle, DO, Elmhurst, IL, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. Howard A. Hassman, DO, Berlin, NJ, merged his company, Hassman Research Institute, with CNS Network to form Apex Innovative Sciences, Inc. The combination allows both companies to coordinate best practices in research and clinical quality, compliance and participant coordination while benefiting from bi-coastal operations. Dr. Hassman serves as chief executive officer of the company.


Mark G. Odorizzi, DO, Williamsport, PA, wrote an article for the Express titled “Limit Screen Time to Get Kids Moving This Summer” (June 2019). Dr. Odorizzi practices at Susquehanna Pediatrics in South Williamsport.


Thomas Costello, Jr., DO, New Hope, PA, was elected to serve as president of the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists. Kenneth B. Pugar, DO, Spring Valley, OH, joined Clinton Memorial Hospital’s Clinton Neurological Services as a neurologist.


Charles J. Harvey, Jr., DO, Hollidaysburg, PA, earned the Certified Physician Executive certification through the American Association for Physician Leadership. The certification indicates that Dr. Harvey has achieved superior levels of professional excellence and management dedication while also demonstrating effective health care industry knowledge and leadership skills. Dr. Harvey is the medical director of UPMCElite Orthopedics. John M. Kauffman, Jr., DO, Buies Creek, NC, assumed his new role as founding dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Duquesne University. Scott J. M. Lim, DO, Erie, PA, is serving as the president of the Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery. Dr. Lim remains in private solo dermatology practice in Erie and is proud of his son, Geoffrey, who completed a fellowship in Mohs surgery, and his daughter, Lauren, who is a nurse practitioner in dermatology. Dr. Lim volunteers time educating medical students, interns and residents and remains a clinical adjunct professor of dermatology at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Joan M. Grzybowski, DO, assistant professor, family medicine, PCOM, Conshohocken,

PA, accepted an invitation to sit on the American Osteopathic Association’s Standards Review Committee.


Marla DePolo Golden, DO, Jacksonville, FL, chair, clinical education, PCOM South Georgia, discussed the relationship between pain and the weather for a segment on the Weather Channel (November 2019). Martin C. Penetar, DO, Scranton, PA, was honored as Man of the Year at the annual Columbus Day Association Dinner in Peckville.


Dwight T. Kemp, DO, Winchester, VA, joined West Virginia University Medicine Orthopedics at Spring Mills as a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. Mary F. Pascucci, DO, Sugarloaf, PA, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University.


Dina F. Capalongo, DO, Exton, PA, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. Michael R. Diaz, DO, Oneonta, NY, joined Oswego Health as an orthopedic surgeon. Steven T. Puccio, DO, Walnutport, PA, joined Lehigh Valley Physician Group–Hazleton where he will practice at LVPG Orthopedics and Sports Medicine–Health & Wellness Center as an orthopedic surgeon.


Kenan Aksu, DO, Exton, PA, was awarded a U.S. patent for sacroiliac joint implants and implantation methods. Dr. Aksu is an orthopedic spine surgeon in Exton. Janice Omlor, DO, Lewisburg, PA, was named medical director of anesthesia at Evangelical Community Hospital. Keith P. Radbill, DO, Marlton, NJ, was named a 2019 Top Doctor by South Jersey Magazine. Joseph W. Stauffer, DO, Skillman, NJ, was appointed chief medical officer of Inheris Biopharma, Inc., a wholly

owned subsidiary of Nektar Therapeutics. Michelle L. Stoudt, DO, State College, PA, joined Tyrone Regional Health Network as a cardiologist.


Christine M. Cicco-Brown, DO, Parrish, FL, joined Intercoastal Medical Group–Lakewood Ranch II, in Bradenton. Christine N. McGinn, DO, New Hope, PA, was featured in an article for NBC News titled “ ‘I Just Had to Suppress Everything’: What It’s Like to Be Transgender in a MaleDominated Field” (June 21, 2019). In addition to being on the staff at two Philadelphia hospitals, Dr. McGinn runs the Papillon Gender Wellness Center in New Hope. Juk L. Ting, DO, ATP, CFII-MEI, Walnut, CA, accepted a position as an assistant clinical professor and attending physician at City of Hope California. Dr. Ting continues to fly Boeing 747s as a pilot for Kalitta Air.


Daniel R. Taylor, DO, Philadelphia, PA, wrote an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Doctors’ Words Can Be Wounding—or Healing” (September 17, 2019).


Caitlin S. Clark, DO, Erie, PA, was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Everyday Hero Award for September 2019. As the recipient of this award, Dr. Clark was the subject of an article on the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s website titled “Erie, Pa. Doctor Is Paving the Way for the Next Generation of Family Physicians” (September 25, 2019). Dr. Clark is a family medicine physician with Allegheny Health Network and serves as program director for the Saint Vincent Family Practice Residency Program. Deborah Ann Gondek, DO, Penn Valley, PA, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. William J. Strimel, DO, Chesterbrook, PA, earned an

executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University.


Ronda L. Broady, DO, Glen Mills, PA, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. Erik I. Soiferman, DO, Horsham, PA, and his practice, Liberty Urgent Care, were awarded the 2019 Best of Philly Urgent Care–’Burbs award. Liberty Urgent Care was also awarded a Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s 100 Best Urgent Care Facilities for the second year in a row.


R. Lee Biggs, DO, Idaho Falls, ID, joined Trident Health Systems as chief medical officer. William J. Dahms, Jr., DO, Avondale, PA, was named a 2019 Top Doctor in Nephrology by Delaware Today Magazine. T. Daniel Harrison, DO, Allentown, PA, was appointed vice chairman of the Department of Surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital in May 2019.


Leo A. Carney, III, DO, Aldie, VA, was promoted to captain in the U.S. Navy on September 13, 2019. Dr. Carney currently serves as the director of clinical programs at Headquarters Marine Corps Health Services. Thomas S. Dardarian, RES, Silver Spring, MD, was inaugurated as the 2019–2020 president of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians & Gynecologists in March 2019. James J. Flaig, DO, Effingham, IL, joined Sarah Bush Lincoln Evergreen Clinic as a surgeon. Carl R. Hoegerl, DO, Forest, VA, was admitted to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine 2019– 2020 Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship. Dr. Hoegerl was also promoted to assistant dean for Clinical Education at Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine on September 1, 2019.


Peter Ojuro, DO, Utica, NY, joined Tanner Health System as a gastroenterologist.

PCOM Alumni Association Introduces New President William Swallow, DO ’79, began

his term as president of the PCOM Alumni Association in January 2020. Dr. Swallow is the sole physician at a community-based outpatient clinic in Mount Union, PA, for the Altoona VA Medical Center. He will serve as the president of the Alumni Association for two years. “I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to serve the College in this capacity and to increase my involvement with the College,” says Dr. Swallow. A loyal donor to PCOM for many years, Dr. Swallow has maintained connections with his classmates, fellow alumni, faculty and staff through events hosted by the Alumni Association. Additionally, Dr. Swallow is in the process of completing his second PCOM degree in forensic medicine, giving him a unique perspective as an alumnus. Having experienced classes that utilize technology and video, Dr. Swallow feels he is able to relate to both current students and young alumni as well as his DO classmates from 1979. “I’m very appreciative of the education and experiences I found at PCOM,” says Dr. Swallow. “Serving as president will allow me to give back and serve our thousands of alumni. It’s a pleasure to continue maintaining ties with the College.”



CLASS NOTES Tosha L. Rogers, DO, Atlanta, GA, developed a laundry detergent specifically for women’s underwear called Clean and Cute Panty Wash. Dr. Rogers was also interviewed by the blog Bombshell by Bleu in an article titled “Sexual Health with Dr. Rogers” (May 29, 2019).

Carmen Anita Sandridge, DO, East Norriton, PA, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. Bret Smith, MS/Biomed ’98, DO, Lexington, SC, joined Mercy Orthopedic Associates’ Foot & Ankle Center as an orthopedic surgeon.


Mark B. Abraham, JD, DO, Lafayette Hill, PA, became medical director of Temple ReadyCare, comprising four urgent care centers within the Temple University Health System.

Kelly Lee Ecker, DO, Chester, PA, was named NICU director at Delaware County Memorial Hospital in April 2018. Meg Ann Grigalonis, DO, Glen Mills, PA, was named interim chair of pediatrics at both Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and the


Abasolo/Seeley baby

Broady wedding

DiRoma wedding

Krome wedding

Moriarty wedding

Mundorff/Verdetti family

Ecker baby

Panuganti baby

Rouenne Joie S.J. Abasolo, MS/Biomed ’08, DO ’12, and Brian Seeley, DO ’12, Lewisburg, PA, welcomed a baby boy, Elliott Cruz, on February 25, 2019. Ronda L. Broady, DO ’99, Glen Mills, PA, married Patrick E. Sheppard in Wilmington, Delaware, on April 12, 2019. Frank J. DiRoma, DO ’14, Hazlet, NJ, married Kimberly Cantoni on May 11, 2019, at the Church of St. Rita in Staten Island, New York. Kelly Lee Ecker, DO ’03, Chester, PA, gave birth to a daughter, Lila, on January 30, 2019. Charles N. Krome, DO ’99, Somers Point, NJ, married Shemanski wedding Shoemaker wedding Jacqueline Vanikiotis on October 14, 2018. Arnold S. Lincow, DO ’76, DAAPM, Philadelphia, PA, is happy to be a grandfather of 10. Michael J. Moriarty, Jr., DO ’15, West Hartford, CT, married Kristen Kelly on April 27, 2019, in Philadelphia. Their wedding was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer (June 21, 2019). Joshua R. Mundorff, DO ’11, and Gina Verdetti, DO ’11, Wyomissing, PA, welcomed a daughter, Lyla Grace, on May 21, 2019. Lyla joins big brother Xander, born on March 3, 2017. Sravan Panuganti, DO ’15, Cherry Hill, NJ, and his wife, Praneeta Bremjit, gave birth to a son, Rishan Koti, on September 4, 2019. Kathleen Shemanski, PsyD ‘16, Carbondale, PA, married James Moro on June 8, 2019, at the Inn at Woodloch in Hawley. Whitney E. Shoemaker, DO ’99, Ormond Beach, FL, married Sean D. Ryan on September 23, 2018, in the backyard of their home overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway in Ormond Beach. Dr. Shoemaker was escorted down the aisle by her sons, Gunnar and Tay. John S. Stevens, Jr., DO ’73, Allentown, PA, celebrated his 51st wedding anniversary with his wife, Anita. Dr. Stevens credits his wife’s love and support for helping him through his time as a student at PCOM. 30


Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Grigalonis is the first DO and the first woman named to the chair of pediatrics position at either institution. Keith L. Leaphart, MBA/DO, Philadelphia, PA, was named one of Philadelphia’s Most Influential African Americans of 2019 by the Philadelphia Tribune (September 22, 2019). Dr. Leaphart is president and CEO of Replica Creative, one of the city’s leading design and print firms. Dr. Leaphart also serves as chair of the Lenfest Foundation and sits on the boards of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, Boys Latin Charter School, Philadelphia Media Network, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Science Center and the Lenfest Scholars Foundation. Corey Richard Troxell, DO, Lititz, PA, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University.


Luis R. Cortes, DO, Fort Myers, FL, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. Kevin Cullen, DO, Myrtle Beach, SC, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. Scott Lionel Girard, DO, Charlotte, NC, joined Novant Health Family Medicine Pine Forest in Oak Island. Sean Thomas Guinane, MS/ PA, DHSc, associate professor, assistant program director and Philadelphia campus site director, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, PCOM, Mays Landing, NJ, was recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Dr. Guinane earned this recognition for his outstanding contributions to the profession and patient care during his 15 years as a PA. Lisa D. Held, DO, Radnor, PA, was named chief of anesthesiology at Bryn Mawr Hospital. Dr. Held also continues in her role as system chief of pediatric anesthesiology for Main Line Health and serves on the board of directors for United Anesthesia Services.

JENNIFER KING, DO ’02 Developing Hawaii’s Pediatric Sports Medicine Program by Meghan McCall “You should always feel nervous about things you care about,” says Jennifer King, DO ’02, recalling her 2008 move to Hawaii—a state that, at the time, had no physicians in her specialty of pediatric sports medicine. In 2008, Dr. King’s husband, Jeremy, DO ’02, was interviewing for a pediatric gastroenterologist position at Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children. When asked about his ties to the mainland, Dr. Jeremy King mentioned that his wife would need a job as a pediatric sports medicine physician if he were to accept the position. “One of my future partners was far-sighted enough to see the value of adding a pediatric sports medicine physician to his division, and my husband and I were both offered jobs at Kapi’olani,” explains Dr. King. Today, as Kapi’olani Medical Center’s section chief of pediatric orthopedics and pediatric and adolescent sports and dance medicine physician, Dr. King has led the development of a formal pediatric sports medicine program for the state, now working alongside two other pediatric sports medicine physicians. “I’m most proud of developing this program in Hawaii so that we can serve our community and keep our population active,” says Dr. King. In addition to treating dancers and traditional athletes, Dr. King often treats surfers, paddlers and hula dancers, who present their own unique types of overuse injuries. Beyond working traditional clinic hours five days a week, Dr. King dedicates her weekends to sideline coverage for football, serves on the Sports Medicine Advisory Council for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, and conducts in-services for dance programs in the community. Recently, she was involved in implementing the statewide Hawaii Concussion Assessment and Management Program for high school athletes. As Dr. King balances everything, she values the most important thing that PCOM taught her. “In a world where there is so much physician burnout, I am thankful to PCOM for always valuing the whole person—whether it’s your patients, colleagues, staff, family or yourself. I’m grateful to be surrounded by a supportive family, colleagues and staff that keep me loving what I do. To this day, my friends from PCOM have been my source of strength and encouragement,” says Dr. King.

Alisa Beth Schiffman, DO, Mount Laurel, NJ, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. Jason Alan Smith, DO, Berlin, MD, joined Atlantic General Health System as a urologist, providing care to patients in Berlin.

“Immunizations Stop Deadly Disease” (April 2019). Dr. Osman also wrote an article for NorthcentralPA.com titled “Beating Back-to-School Stress” (August 15, 2019). Dr. Osman practices at Susquehanna Pediatrics in South Williamsport.



Mark A. Gardner, DO, Hermitage, PA, is an orthopaedic surgeon and chairman of orthopaedics at UPMC Horizon and UPMC Jameson. Marcin A. Jankowski, DO, Philadelphia, PA, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. Trina L. Michael, DO, Reading, PA, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University. Jessica M. Osman, DO, Montoursville, PA, wrote an article for the Express titled

Denise Boggs-Wilkerson, DO, East Orange, NJ, assumed the officer-in-charge duties of Naval Branch Health Clinic Jacksonville on August 30, 2019.


David Wesley Brock, MS/PA, Lehi, UT, was recently named advanced practice provider director of pediatric cardiovascular services at Intermountain Healthcare. In September 2019, he traveled to the Middle East with a team of pediatric cardiovascular specialists to operate and care for underserved children suffering

from congenital cardiac deformities. During the trip, the team crossed into Gaza and provided pediatric cardiothoracic surgical care where none formally exists. Mackenzie A. Mady, DO, Orwigsburg, PA, joined Lehigh Valley Physician Group–Family Medicine in St. Clair. Erik G. Polan, DO, Moorestown, NJ, wrote an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Q&A: What Is the Latest on Superbug Candida Auris, and How Can I Protect Myself?” (May 31, 2019).


Jay D. Bhatt, DO, MPH, Chicago, IL, was one of 21 senior health care leaders chosen to join the Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship’s fifth class and the program’s network of healthcare entrepreneurs and innovators from across the United States. Dr. DIGEST 2020


CLASS NOTES Bhatt will embark on a two-year fellowship that will strengthen his leadership and challenge him to develop new approaches to improve the health and well-being of Americans. On June 27, 2019, Dr. Bhatt joined former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton on stage at the Presidential Leadership Scholars graduation, where they discussed the work they are doing to address veterans’ issues and challenges in health care. Dr. Bhatt serves as senior vice president and chief medical officer for the American Hospital Association in Chicago. Peter F. Bidey, DO, MSEd, FACOFP, assistant professor of family medicine, PCOM, Haddonfield, NJ, wrote an article for Runner’s World titled “Help! Why Do I Sweat So Much?” (July 22, 2019).


Holly S. Blankenship, DO, Murfreesboro, TN, joined the Tennessee Family Solutions Kennedy Clinic in Smyrna. The primary care clinic specializes in serving adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Daniel S. Fabius, DO, Newtown Square, PA, was named to the Who’s Who in Health Care list by SouthJersey.com. Dr. Fabius is the vice president of clinical informatics at Continuum Health. Monique A. Gary, MS/ Biomed ’05, DO, Wyncote, PA, was featured in an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “What’s Next for LGBTQ Equality? Trans Rights, Coalitions with Allies and Political Power” (June 7, 2019) in which she discussed the need to create equity in health care. Dr. Gary is a breast surgical oncologist and medical director of the Grand View Health/Penn Cancer Network Cancer Program in Sellersville. Erin Riley Narewski, DO, Philadelphia, PA, won first prize in Temple Health’s first annual writing contest for her piece titled “Room 201.” Dr. Narewski is an assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.


Dr. Narewski’s essay was published on philly.com as part of an article titled “3 Philadelphia Doctors Reflect on the Patients They’ve Lost and the Moments that Stay with Them” (May 16, 2019). Kelly E. Williams, DO, Waverly, PA, was named a 2019 Top Physician Under 40 by the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Christopher D. Young, DO, Cary, NC, completed five years of active duty in the U.S. Air Force and started a fellowship in comprehensive endocrine surgery at Duke University.


Nicole Burgio, MS/CCHP, Manalapan, NJ, performed “XOXO Moongirl,” an autobiographical solo aerial and aerobatics show, in June 2019 with Almanac Dance Circus Theatre. The show originally premiered in June 2018 and toured in Mexico. Nicholas Wayne Ligato, DO, West Chester, PA, joined the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater Philadelphia as the medical director of hospice and palliative care in September 2019. David M. Mahon, DO, West Chester, PA, earned an executive MBA in healthcare from Saint Joseph’s University.


Brian J. Blair, DO, Voorhees, NJ, was named a 2019 Top Doctor by South Jersey Magazine. Dr. Blair practices at Jefferson Health Gastroenterology in Cherry Hill. Andra L. Fee-Mulhearn, DO, Meadville, PA, was named a 2019 Top Physician Under 40 by the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Nicholas J. Mulhearn, DO, Hilliard, OH, was named a 2019 Top Physician Under 40 by the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Umang Patel, DO, Levittown, PA, was named a 2019 Top Physician Under 40 by the Pennsylvania Medical Society. Rachael L. Polis, DO, Narberth, PA, was named a 2019 40 Under 40 by the Philadelphia Business Journal.



Maurice A. Alston, DO, Galloway, OH, joined Parkridge Medical Group as an interventional cardiologist. Karly R. Bishop, DO, Valdosta, GA, joined Franklin Health Farmington Family Practice. Robert C. Greer, V, DO, Lake Park, FL, assisted with relief efforts in the Abaco Islands after Hurricane Dorian ravaged the Bahamas in September. Dr. Greer was interviewed about his experience in an article for the Palm Beach Post titled “Hurricane Dorian: As Some Bahamians Struggle in the Storm’s Wake, Experts Suggest How to Help Now” (September 11, 2019). Ratnesh N. Mehra, DO, Fairfax Station, VA, joined Michigan Head & Spine Institute, where he specializes in minimally invasive robotic and endoscopic neurosurgery. Christopher J. Zambrano, MS/ Biomed ’08, DO, Whitestone, NY, joined Southcoast Physicians Group Cardiovascular Surgery, practicing out of their locations in Fairhaven, Fall River and Providence, MA.


Melissa M. Bertha, DO, Scranton, PA, joined Commonwealth Health’s primary care team, through which she is a member of the medical staff at Commonwealth Health Moses Taylor Hospital. Robert L. Bowers, DO, PhD, Brookhaven, GA, coauthored a paper in Stem Cells Translational Medicine titled “Functional Outcomes Following Microfragmented Adipose Tissue Versus Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate Injections for Symptomatic Knee Osteoarthritis” (July 21, 2019). Christine H. Cho, RES, Reading, PA, was named medical director of Tower Health Plastic Surgery and MedSpa. James E. Huang, MS/PA, Honolulu, HI, was promoted to the rank of major in the U.S. Army on June 1, 2019. Dr. Huang currently serves on active duty as a physician assistant in the Department of

Surgery at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. Lindsey L. Perea, DO, Wilmington, DE, joined Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health Physicians Trauma & Acute Care Surgery. Nicole L. Thompson, MS/Psy ’10, EdS/Psy, Philadelphia, PA, was featured in an article on ideamensch.com titled “Nicole Thompson: Creator of The Urban School Psychologist” (July 10, 2019). Ms. Thompson started Reverse the Adverse, a trauma-informed care training designed for educators and mental health professionals that work with schoolaged urban students in grades K-12. The goal of the training is to raise awareness of the impact that adverse childhood experiences and trauma can have on urban students and to teach strategies to better serve this vulnerable population. Sarah E. Werner, MS/PA, Conshohocken, PA, wrote an article for Contemporary Pediatrics titled “The Power of Shared Decision-Making” (April 29, 2019).


James W. Cutcliffe, DO, Opelika, AL, joined the Surgical Clinic in Opelika as a surgeon. Thea Gallagher, PsyD, Langhorne, PA, was featured in an article on philly.com titled “Artificial Intelligence Tool Can Detect PTSD from Patient Voices, Study Suggests” (April 22, 2019). Jason Milton, DO, New Albany, OH, wrote an article for the DO titled “How I Lost 90 Pounds in Under a Year in Residency” (April 10, 2019). Paul D. Minkovich, DO, Philadelphia, PA, joined St. Mary Surgical Associates in Langhorne, where he specializes in laparoscopic surgery.


Alicja K. Ignatowicz, DO, Langhorne, PA, started Holy Redeemer’s osteopathic manipulative treatment program. Dr. Ignatowicz divides her time between practicing family medicine and OMT.

Lauren E. Kramer, DO, Warminster, PA, was featured in an article for Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Pennsylvania Physician Magazine titled “What Does the Next Generation of Women Need to Know About the Practice of Medicine?” (Spring 2019). Jillian M. Ventuzelo, DO, Shillington, PA, was named a 2019 Top Physician Under 40 by the Pennsylvania Medical Society.


Jenna DiLossi, PsyD, Philadelphia, PA, wrote an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “When a ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ Becomes a Problem” (May 30, 2019). Dr. DiLossi is the cofounder of the Center for Hope & Health, a treatment center that offers specialized evidence-based treatments for eating disorders and anxiety disorders. Elvira Jasarevic, DO, Dacula, GA, is a family medicine physician with Northeast Physician Group Hamilton Mill in Dacula. Aaron M. Weaver, DO, Wilmington, DE, joined St. Francis Healthcare as a family medicine physician.


Gregory B. Giles, DO, McKinney, TX, was named the 2019 Osteopathic Resident of the Year in Military Medicine by the American Osteopathic Foundation and Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians. Dr. Giles is currently completing an ophthalmology residency at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio.


Andrew G. Canakis, DO, Boston, MA, is a resident physician at Boston University Medical Center. Dr. Canakis presented results from a randomized clinical trial at the Digestive Disease Week Conference in San Diego, CA. The presentation centered around improving preventative health measures in individuals with inflamma-

tory bowel disease by using an electronic health record patient portal to remind patients to receive vaccines. Dr. Canakis’s research was also profiled in Gastroenterology Consultant in an article titled “4 Questions About Improving Vaccination Rates in IBD” (June 2019). Giselle I. Pineiro, DO, Plantation, FL, was the subject of the Moultrie Observer’s “Resident Spotlight” (June 18, 2019). Dr. Pineiro is in her second year of residency in Colquitt Regional Medical Center’s Georgia South Family Medicine Residency Program. Nima Yazdanpanah, DO, Lawrenceville, GA, won the American Academy of Pain Medicine Prize in the 2019 MIT Grand Hack for Best Assistive Tech & Rehab Hack to Improve Lives of Patients with Chronic Pain. Dr. Yazdanpanah is currently taking a gap year and has secured a full-time research position through a New York University anesthesiology pain fellowship at NYU Langone Center for Treatment and Study of Pain through which he will participate in regular clinical rotation and observerships through NYU Sports Medicine. Dr. Yazdanpanah was also hired as a special fellow and practicing physician with NYU Langone Health at NYU School of Medicine Emergency Department and City of New York affiliated hospitals, a position historically offered to PGY4 level fellows, while Dr. Yazdanpanah has had only one year of training.

IN MEMORIAM Roland H. Allard, DO ’76, York, PA, September 28, 2019 Stuart C. Baer, DO ’63, Philadelphia, PA, June 10, 2019 Patrick J. Burns, DO ’80, Kalispell, MT, November 4, 2019 Mark S. Cooperstein, DO ’72, Orlando, FL, September 8, 2019 Mary DiBiagio, DO ’83, Ellwood City, PA, October 13, 2019 Urban DiPasquale, DO ’66, Conshohocken, PA, January 12, 2020 Michael Jon Feinstein, DO ’74, Coronado, CA, March 22, 2019 Allan N. Fields, DO ’67, Sunny Isles Beach, FL, June 9, 2019 John J. Fleitz, DO ’52, Cherry Hill, NJ, June 2, 2019 James J. Giliberto, DO ’47, Ocean City, NJ, June 11, 2019 Michael J. Holt, DO ’58, Kentwood, MI, June 24, 2019 Kenneth P. Heist, DO ’64, Haddon Heights, NJ, October 20, 2018 Robert K. Hippert, DO ’76, Fleetwood, PA, September 24, 2019 Edward E. James, DO ’58, Coraopolis, PA, October 7, 2019

William J. King, DO ’63, Deptford, NJ, July 16, 2019 Paul F. Maranzini, DO ’80, Springfield, PA, October 1, 2019 Alan J. Miller, DO ’62, Boca Raton, FL, September 23, 2019 Harry E Murtiff, DO ’70, Waterville, OH, November 5, 2019 Martin S. Neifield, DO ’46, Audubon, PA, August 14, 2019 Willard Leo Noyes, DO ’59, Thompson, PA, July 22, 2019 John F. Quigley, DO ’62, Ambler, PA, June 19, 2019 Harry G. Rae, DO ’80, Wellfleet, MA, August 28, 2019 William J. Saks, Jr., DO ’69, Burdett, NY, August 6, 2019 Melvyn Sarnow, DO ’66, Palm City, FL, July 26, 2019 Robert J. Shields, III, DO ’78, Jacksonville, FL, September 30, 2019 James P. Soulges, DO ’55, Wyndmoor, PA, September 8, 2019 Robert Stull, DO ’78, Bethlehem, PA, November 30, 2019 Gilbert B. Tabby, DO ’58, Rydal, PA, December 22, 2019 William F. Trakat, DO ’77, Chestertown, MD, September 23, 2019 Alex D. Wargo, DO ’78, Plantation, FL, July 6, 2019

IN MEMORIAM DONALD H. THOME, DO ’59, Mifflin, PA, January 9, 2019 A graduate of the Class of 1959, Dr. Thome went on to a distinguished 43-year career, first as a general practitioner, then as an eye, ear, nose and throat specialist. From 1975-1990, Dr. Thome served as chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and assistant dean at PCOM. In 1990, he and his wife moved to their hunting cabin on Shade Mountain in Juniata County where Dr. Thome had ophthalmology practices at Mountain View Medical Center and Henry Optical, both in Mifflintown. DIGEST 2020


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