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VOL. 78, NO. 2, 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 David McKay Wilson CONTRIBUTORS – UPDATES Renee Cree Alyssa D’Addieco Barbara Myers CONTRIBUTORS – CLASS NOTES Institutional Advancement Staff Meghan McLaughlin CONTRIBUTORS – MY TURN Danielle M. Ward, MS (DO ’18) PHOTOGRAPHY Jim Eisele Michelle Elliot Bruce Fairfield Melissa Kelly Howard Korn Photography Drew McGill Chris Pietsch Anthony Stalcup Jennifer Stalcup Lynsey Strader Paige Thatcher 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 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

Dear Alumni and Friends: I’m sure you’ve heard about or visited the popular “Humans of New York” blog and the related books that interview and photograph everyday people. To date, the blog has more than 22.5 million followers on social media—an incredible fan base. As president of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, I often think about the most meaningful ways to tell the story of our College to our followers and potential followers. Marketing and Communications works tirelessly to uphold the College’s premier quality and to advocate for the College’s brand, core values and strategic plans—a vital endeavor. But I also personally love the conversations, the testimonials, the quips and profound truths about practicing health care that I hear when I meet alumni. I imagine that the narrative about our College rests—at least in part—with this accomplished, passionate and (often) outspoken group. They are a manifestation of the College’s impact on a local, regional and global scale. I am pleased that Digest Magazine engages in such storytelling for this special expanded issue. I enjoy the 16 vignettes that compose the feature. They are rich and complex and show the nuanced nature of the human experience. I believe they enhance the overall story of what makes PCOM unique and who we are.

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.


© 2017 Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. All rights reserved. 2

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


CONTENTS 2 Updates 10 Feature: Health Care on

a Small Scale: One Story at a Time


Class Notes

40 My Turn 6







WALKING ON: PCOM CELEBRATES THE CLASS OF 2017 Nearly 750 students began the next phase of their professional lives as they graduated from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. In ceremonies held in Philadelphia and Georgia, the tone was aspirational, congratulatory and, most of all, hopeful. Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer, urged graduates to consider what kind of healthcare professionals they wanted to be—both for themselves, and for their patients. “How will they remember you? Were you kind, thoughtful, compassionate and trustworthy?” he asked. “During your academic studies, did you simultaneously engage in self-study? Today, do you have a better understanding of yourselves?” At the Philadelphia Graduate Programs ceremony, Rosemary B. Mennuti, EdD, professor emerita and the former founding director of PCOM’s graduate degree programs in school psychology, asked the graduates to consider their connections with others, and the need to be present in the moment, as keys to success. She also urged them to have deep courage in all that they do. “Take your authentic self to work,” she said. “Stand up for what you believe in.”


MARK CASSANO, MS/PSY’12, PSYD ’17 Hopes to help as many people as possible. “I’ve always been fascinated with understanding people and helping them work through challenges.”



Aspires to improve the lives of her future patients (after receiving her DO degree) through education and preventive medicine: “I believe that increasing patient education will help stop or delay preventable diseases.”



Is drawn to both the science of medicine and the creativity of solving big-picture problems: “I am so interested in not only knowing the science behind medicine, but making sure patients have access to treatments.”


Desires a direct impact on patient care as a versatile clinical pharmacist: “I want to help improve the management of acute and chronic illnesses.”


Combines his love of science with his love of working with children: “I want to be a positive role model for children, particularly those of minority and underprivileged backgrounds, and to inspire and empower a future generation of physicians.”


Believes exercise and nutrition are the cornerstones of health care: “The industry is moving toward focusing on wellness rather than medication, and I’m really appreciative of the practices that focus on that.”





ADDRESSING PHYSICIAN BURNOUT One of the tenets of osteopathic medicine is to consider the patient as a whole, comprising mind, body and spirit. A paper published recently in NAM Perspectives and co-authored by John Becher, DO ’70, chair, emergency medicine, noted that this perspective should also be applied to physician wellness. “We want students and young physicians to look in the mirror and see themselves as they see their patients,” says Dr. Becher, who is a former president of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). As physicians face increasing pressures both in and out of the office, the rates of physician burnout, depression and suicide ideation have increased. Roughly 400 physicians commit suicide each year. The authors of the paper suggest that key stakeholders play a role in facilitating physician wellness by considering all of those pressures in a holistic fashion, the same way osteopathic medicine physicians are trained to understand their patients. Dr. Becher says that he and his fellow authors found that the physicians who were least likely to experience burnout generally had more well-rounded lives. “They had other factors to essen-

COFFEE TALK Once a month, a group of first- and second-year medical students head to the Philadelphia campus in the early hours of the morning for Coffee and Cases, a voluntary program hosted by the Student Association of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (SAACOFP) to blend classroom lectures with clinical skills. During each session, Peter Bidey, DO ’08, assistant professor, family medicine, presents a medical case to the students, who create a list of questions they would ask the patient, and a diagnosis that they present to Dr. Bidey. Other programs hold similar morning reports; however, Morgan McCoy (DO ’19), president of SAACOFP, says that Coffee and Cases differs in that it is a more relaxed environment, and focuses its clinical concepts mainly on primary care. It is hoped that this focus on primary care may help spark interest among students and increase their desire to enter that field; a 2016 report by the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates a shortage of up to 35,600 primary care physicians by 2025. “Some students might not realize the range of primary care,” notes Dr. Bidey. “We’re qualified to see people from birth to death, inside and outside the hospital. Family physicians can care for one family over generations. Our term is ‘family medicine.’ ‘Family’ is a big part of that.”



tially take their mind off of medicine,” he says. “The more you don’t do outside of medicine, the worse it can be.” The authors propose that the AOA use their findings to develop programs that address the issue of depression and burnout among physicians. “This is a public health problem, in that it affects the ability of doctors to provide the best care to their patients,” notes Dr. Becher.

NEW CHIEF DIVERSITY OFFICER NAMED Marcine Pickron-Davis, PhD, is the College’s new chief diversity and community relations officer. She began her duties on May 1 and is charged with advancing diversity, inclusion and community partnerships for the Philadelphia and Georgia campuses. Most recently, Dr. Pickron-Davis served as the inaugural chief community engagement and diversity officer at Widener University, where she served as a strategic leader to advance the university’s commitment to access, equity, diversity and inclusion.


During Founders’ Day 2017, Dana C. Shaffer, DO ’85, FACOFP dist., received the PCOM Alumni Association’s Certificate of Honor for his leadership and guidance during the process to approve the dissolution of the Alumni Association and integration as a department of the College on July 1, 2016. This integration seeks to improve the association’s role of engagement and support of both alumni and students and to better fulfill its mission. Dr. Shaffer spearheaded new bylaws that created a set of alumni councils to support alumni and students from all graduate degree programs on both campuses. This new structure also increases board outreach to alumni and students, creating better programs and services for all. Dr. Shaffer has served on the PCOM Alumni Association Board since 1998 in a variety of positions. Through his work on numerous committees, boards and task forces across the nation, he tirelessly advocates for issues including access to care and medical education, and for the osteopathic profession. He is board certified and recertified by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians and is a distinguished fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians Conclave of Fellows.

INTERIM DEAN FOR PCOM SCHOOL OF PHARMACY APPOINTED Michael Lee, PhD, has been appointed interim dean of the PCOM School of Pharmacy, effective June 2017. Dr. Lee, who additionally holds the titles of assistant dean for professional and student affairs and associate professor, pharmaceutical sciences, has been a faculty member at GA–PCOM since 2011. Dr. Lee is filling the position following the departure of Mark Okamoto, PharmD, founding dean and chief academic officer, who was instrumental in establishing and growing the PCOM School of Pharmacy, including obtaining its initial accreditation. A national search to permanently fill this post has commenced.

PCOM SCHOOL OF PHARMACY RESIDENCY PROGRAM GRANTED FULL ACCREDITATION The PCOM School of Pharmacy Residency Program was recently granted full accreditation through 2023. According to Samuel John, PharmD, BCPS, PGY-1 residency program director, this is a noteworthy achievement; 99 new programs underwent American Society of Health-System Pharmacists site surveys last year, and only 44 were granted the maximum number of years of accreditation.

PHARMACY STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN DRUG TAKE BACK DAY PCOM School of Pharmacy – Georgia Campus students partnered with the Snellville Police Department this spring to collect 300 pounds of unwanted prescription medications to support National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Gwinnett residents drove by the police department’s headquarters to drop off their unwanted prescription drugs. Initiated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Take Back Day helps provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse. “The partnership with GA–PCOM has allowed the pharmacy students to interact with and provide information to participants on proper disposal,” says Snellville Police Department Lt. Andre Sullivan.





Employing the theme, “Together we are building a stronger, healthier community,” students, faculty, staff and community members ceremonially broke ground and cut the ribbon on two separate additions equaling an investment of more than $8 million at Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in February. The first addition celebrated is a physical therapy education center with research space. Construction of this 20,000-squarefoot addition to the main campus is expected to be completed in spring 2018. The second celebration was for a newly expanded and equipped Simulation Center.

Bryan Ginn, chief campus officer, GA–PCOM, says, “The College continues to grow its health science programs in Gwinnett in response to a demonstrated educational need in our region and our state. These capital investments will pay dividends toward our students’ educational outcomes in both existing and new programs, and enhance GA–PCOM’s role in educating future healthcare providers.” Dan Kaufman, PhD, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, recalls that he was present for the ribbon-cutting ceremony 11 years ago when GA–PCOM first opened. “The promise of that day has not only been realized; I would argue it has been vastly exceeded,” he says.

FAMILY MEDICINE TO UPGRADE DISABILITY SERVICES Family Medicine at PCOM will soon be able to upgrade the services it provides to individuals with severe physical disabilities, thanks to a grant from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. The funds, which totaled $12,500, will go toward purchasing new equipment such as a wheelchair scale and a Hoyer lift with a weight scale for the practice, which sees 75 patients in-office with mobility issues that stem from physical disability. “Patients with severe disabilities are an underserved population and require different levels of care,” says Michael Becker, DO ’87, MS, professor and vice-chair, family medicine. “The funds will allow us to gain specialized equipment to provide better, more effective care to these patients.”



At a recent public workshop held by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), several health professionals discussed issues and challenges associated with federal efforts to train prescribers on pain management and the safe use of opioids. Katherine Galluzzi, DO, professor and chair, geriatrics, attended the workshop representing the American Osteopathic Association, and spoke about training and education related to prescribing opioids for chronic pain. She noted that many doctors no longer want to prescribe schedule II medications because of a higher potential for abuse. As a geriatrician, she lamented the possible effect of this reluctance on her patient base. “Instead of limiting the conversation on prescriber education to only opioids, education efforts should also inform providers and patients alike of the non-opioid and non-pharmacological modalities available to help alleviate pain, whether prescribed as an opioid alternative, or in concert with it,” she says. “This is especially urgent as the population of senior citizens is the largest, most rapidly growing population. Seniors are the ones who will be having significant, chronic, high-impact pain.”

American Osteopathic Association


Dr. Galluzzi is a member of the content development team for the Collaboration for REMS Education (CO*RE), which creates curriculum modules that address the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) for extended-release and long-acting opioid pain medication.


PCOM recently kicked off the second year of its summer program aimed at improving diversity in STEM+M (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) by raising interest in, and awareness of, careers in those fields among 10th graders at Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia. The PCOM Science and Math Summer Academy spanned twoweeks and the rigorous curriculum is designed to give students hand-selected by partner institutions ASPIRA, Inc. of Pennsylvania Schools (which oversees Olney) and Esperanza College the

opportunity to augment and accelerate their STEM+M skills. They also learn about the college and medical school admissions process, explore career possibilities, and learn interactively in Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s clinical simulation and anatomy labs and on field trips. The Summer Academy marks the cornerstone of a partnership that spans the academic year, with PCOM faculty collaborating with faculty from ASPIRA Schools and Esperanza College on professional and curriculum development and the establishment of practicum and research opportunities. Surveys from last year’s participants indicated that 57 percent said their plans after high school had changed since taking part, and 62 percent said they were now considering going to medical school. This year also marked the launch of a similar summer program in Georgia, called GA-PCOM Opportunities Academy, in partnership with Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Berkmar and Meadowcreek high schools. “We want to raise the level of interest in all STEM+M fields among students of color,” says Marcine Pickron-Davis, PhD, chief diversity and community relations officer. “Our overall goal is to increase diversity in those fields, but we would love to see them applying to PCOM for medical school.” Funding for the Academies was provided by the 3M Foundation, AstraZeneca, CSL Behring, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and the VWR Foundation.





Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine is the beneficiary of a $1 million bequest from alumnus David A. Bitonte, DO ’80, MBA, MPH, to establish the David A. Bitonte, DO ’80 Endowed Annual Commencement Speaker Fund. Funds generated from the endowment will go toward supporting the cost of a distinguished speaker at the College’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Commencement ceremony in Philadelphia. Individuals who are nationally recognized in the fields of science and/or medicine will be considered as speakers, with special consideration for PCOM alumni. “I wanted to set up the speaker fund for a few reasons,” says Dr. Bitonte. “When the graduating students arrive on Commencement Day, I want them to be inspired and excited about their future, and to recognize what they have earned and cherish it. I also wanted to give back to the school that gave me so much, by bringing honor and recognition to the College with a nationally known and respected leader at the ceremony.”

GA–PCOM HOSTS SOUTHEAST REGIONAL LATINO CONFERENCE “Unidos por un future; together we all rise,” was the unifying theme of this year’s Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) Southeast Regional Conference. The Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine chapter of the LMSA, founded last year with the assistance of Valerie E. Cadet, PhD, assistant professor of pathology, microbiology, immunology and forensic medicine, hosted the 2017 regional conference on campus in February. Two of the founding student members, Ismael Cotto, MS/Biomed ’17, and Ivette Moreno, MS/Biomed ’17, served as conference co-chairs. The three-day conference provided workshops, panel discussions, and learning and networking opportunities for high school, undergraduate and professional Latino/a students interested in pursuing a career in health care. The event featured keynote speaker Kenneth L. Dominguez, MD, MPH, a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.





Ashruta Patel (DO ’18) was recently named a member of the 2017 Class of Paul Ambrose Scholars. This prestigious program, sponsored by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, selects up to 40 health professional students who desire to learn and integrate public health into their future clinical practices. As part of the program, Ms. Patel is planning, implementing and evaluating a project to provide educational interventions for patients with chronic health conditions. The project addresses patients who are uninsured or underinsured and seek care at free and sliding-scale clinics in Metro Atlanta.

Several current students at Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine have earned the rank of Eagle Scout. The students recently attended the American Values Dinner hosted by the Northeast Georgia Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Do the hard work and leadership skills it takes to become an Eagle Scout bode well for being a successful osteopathic medical school student? It appears so. GA–PCOM has identified at least eight DO students who have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Coston Rowe (DO ’19) from Gadsden, Alabama, says, “Medical school is certainly the most demanding task I’ve ever agreed to, but scouting—and my Eagle Scout service project in particular— taught me that some of the best rewards and achievements come through working hard and persevering through difficult tasks.” Christopher Kim (DO ’19) from Los Angeles, California, notes, “Scouting helped me get my first glimpse of health care after earning merit badges in lifesaving and emergency preparedness.” Brant Barron (DO ’20), who hails from Thomaston, Georgia, is also using lessons learned from his days in scouting. “The trait of ‘stickability’ that I gained through my experience in Boy Scouts benefits me the most in the particularly arduous challenge of medical school,” he says. Other Eagle Scouts on campus include Ryan Andrew (MS/Biomed ’18), Christopher Duke (DO ’20), Soren Jensen (DO ’20), Lynch Major (MS ’18) and Matt Rose (DO ’20).



The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce recently recognized Georgia Campus – Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine as the leading organization in the Education Category at the IMPACT Regional Business Awards. The awards program pays tribute to premier organizations in top industries that drive economic development and job creation, while enhancing the community’s quality of life. The annual economic impact of GA–PCOM is estimated to be more than $110 million in Georgia. Students engage in 9,000 hours of volunteerism each year, and, most importantly, the campus educates and trains healthcare providers for the future, making a proven impact in the Gwinnett County community and across the South. “The winners of the IMPACT Awards represent the creativity, determination and engagement of our business community,” says Dan Kaufman, PhD, president and chief executive officer, Gwinnett Chamber. “These risk-takers and innovators are the ones laying the foundation for a bright future of opportunity that we all enjoy.”

Researchers at PCOM are attempting to create an early-warning system to identify students at risk of failing the COMLEX-1, the first level of the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States. In an earlier pilot study, Robert DiTomasso, PhD, professor and chair, psychology, and chair of the College’s Student Learning Outcomes Committee; Robert Cuzzolino, EdD, vice president, graduate programs and planning; and Stephen Poteau, PhD, assistant professor, psychology and assistant director of the Outcomes Committee, identified a number of pre- and post-admission factors which differed between students who passed the test the first time, and those who failed. Now, thanks to a 2017 research grant from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, the researchers are working to determine which of those factors holds the most impact on risk of failing. To determine that, the team will compare risk factors to COMLEX performance on the first try, with a goal of creating a predictive, statistical model that will help identify students at risk of failing, prior to ever taking the test.








Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine boasts more than 15,400 living alumni. Each has a story—complex, multilayered, variegated. Deeply personal. At times, emotionally charged. A la “Humans of New York,” the popular book and social media blog that provides a glimpse into the lives of strangers, the ensuing vignettes are bite-sized snippets of raw impressions from humanistic practitioners and holistic healers, committed researchers and consummate scholars, staunch advocates and inspired community activists. Sixteen stories to be devoured one at a time . . . DIGEST 2017



COLONEL MARY VIRGINIA KRUEGER, DO ’95, MPH, MMAS Assistant Deputy Health Affairs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Army Pentagon, Washington, D.C. Arlington, Virginia [as told to Jennifer Schaffer Leone]

Howard Korn Photography

“Upon graduation from college, I had an acceptance letter to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in hand, but no money to pay for school. Although no one in my family had served in the military since the Civil War, the U.S. Army offered a pathway to my dream, so I took the chance. I was commissioned for what I presumed would be a four-year scholarship repayment; but 22 years later I am privileged to enjoy a military medical career that has encompassed direct patient care, Command, resident training and senior health advisement. I have served as an osteopathic physician on four continents—in times of peace and times of peril, in tents, in tanks and in helicopters. I advise senior military leaders on health policy and legislation, some addressing breastfeeding and maternity leave, thus supporting female Soldiers in their ability to balance motherhood and service. The Army has taught me about servant leadership, about what it means to provide the best medicine in the world in the most austere conditions. The Army ignited in me a passion for global health engagement; among my deployments, I have been on humanitarian assistance missions, working side by side with local providers in Africa and in Afghanistan, teaching primary care, obstetric and pediatric skills. The Army compensates me at the same rate as my male colleagues, while many of my female peers in the private sector make 74 cents on the dollar. I have been promoted, and I have advanced to a senior rank. But these achievements come at a price. I have had to manage an intense work/life balance—for the Army will demand all, and take even more if you allow. I’ve come to comprehend that work/life ‘balance’ is really more about tradeoffs. It is about prioritizing competing interests, realizing that at times, someone else can sit in a meeting or see a patient in a clinic, but they can’t be at my son’s graduation or at my friend’s wedding. Those are obligations only I can fulfill. Some days the Army wins; other days, my family wins. Knowing which days are which is where the success lies.”



Jennifer Stalcup

BENJAMIN ABRAHAM, DO ’80 Owner, Abraham Family & Geriatric Medicine; and Associate Clinical Professor, Georgia Campus – PCOM Snellville, Georgia [as told to David McKay Wilson]

“Since the 1990s, I’ve led medical mission trips to remote places where health care is lacking—to Africa, South America, China, Eastern Europe and Russia. I feel that God has given me the ability to practice medicine, and I genuinely believe in helping others. My osteopathic training, paired with my seminary studies, encourages me to embrace the needs of both the body and of the spirit. . . . Nine years ago, I took my daughter and her husband to Jakarta, Indonesia. There we visited my father’s church, which he established in our home when I was growing up. Christians are very much a minority in Indonesia; my daughter and I were in awe about how the little church collaborated with other church branches throughout the country. I was inspired by the ministry;

I told the pastors I wanted to work with them. . . . My father, one of 11 children, was orphaned as a young boy. Stories of his early hardships influenced me to start a nonprofit, the 127 Legacy Foundation, whose purpose is to care for widows and orphans across Indonesia. Since our foundation began in 2014, it has supported two orphanages and has spared many from lives of homelessness, poverty, neglect and abuse. Three years ago, four acres of land next to our orphanage in Kupang came up for sale. The foundation bought it for $15,000, with the plan of building a health clinic in this underserved region of 400,000. . . . Just this June, I traveled to Kupang to witness the opening of the 4,000-square-foot facility. It is staffed by personnel from a Baptist hospital in Java; the hospital supports a doctor and dentist at the clinic. I never thought the clinic would come to fruition, but it did with the dedicated support, resources and prayers of so many people. The World Health Organization has recommended that a hospital be built in the region; our second planned phase will be a 10-bed mini-hospital, which will cost about $300,000. But we need to hold off on that until we get the clinic fully off the ground.”




CONSTANCE GASDA ANDREJKO, DO ’01, IBCLC, FAAP Vice President of Medical Affairs, Onsite Neonatal Partners Bethlehem, Pennsylvania [as told to David McKay Wilson]

Melissa Kelly

“My practice covers neonatal intensive care units in 24 hospitals in nine states, providing 24/7 coverage with an attending neonatologist. As vice president of medical affairs, I supervise our directors and develop best practice standards to improve quality. It’s an incredible responsibility to develop clinical practice guidelines that can impact thousands of babies. . . . I primarily work clinically at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Lancaster County. Our population includes members of the Plain Community, as well as many mothers addicted to heroin and opioid medications. I love working with the Amish, learning and understanding their culture, and how they do things differently. They practice homeopathy, use herbal supplements and value osteopathic manipulative treatment. We see many undiagnosed congenital anomalies in the Amish. They are always very accepting of whatever their baby is like because they have such a strong faith. It is amazing to witness their fortitude, especially when we need to deliver difficult news about a lethal diagnosis for their baby. . . . The opioid epidemic has also hit here. There are a growing number of moms hooked on prescription pills and heroin, who get pregnant, and feel helpless—and then their newborns end up in the NICU, often dependent on opioids themselves. We show respect for all mothers, regardless of why their baby is in the NICU. We do all we can to support the mother because her baby will likely go home with her. We build up her confidence instead of being judgmental. If she is successful as a mother, she will be less likely to use drugs again. . . . My own twins, born at 34 weeks, were in the NICU. I think every healthcare professional needs to experience what it is like to be a patient or a parent of a patient. It should be a mandatory part of medical training—especially in pediatrics. I believe interns and residents should pair up with pediatric patients and stay overnight in a hospital to see what a parent sees. You should have seen me when my twins were in the NICU; I was a crazy mom. But you are allowed to be crazy if your babies are separated from you.”



STEVEN G. EISENBERG, DO ’96 Co-founder and Staff Oncologist, California Cancer Associates for Research and Excellence; and San Diego, California [as told to David McKay Wilson]

Drew McGill

“My dad [Barry Eisenberg, DO ’71] believed in the connection between artistic expression and healing. During medical school, I found my dad’s old guitar and taught myself to play. After I moved to San Diego, and the practice I’d joined broke up in a contentious divorce, I was feeling down. I entered a contest held by one of my favorite musicians in which I wrote about how his song, ‘Mission of My Soul,’ had influenced me. That song helped get me through the long, arduous days and nights of work. When I’d get paged in the hospital at 3:00 a.m., I’d recall the mission of my soul—to bring empathy and compassion, the very reason I chose medicine. . . . Well, I won the contest. The prize was having the musician write a song about me. I listened to it, and the more I listened, the fog around me started to lift. I could hear my own life reflected back to me. I heard what moved me, what inspired me. I could see the light at the end of my tunnel. I decided to do this for my patients. . . . I’ve co-written more than 100 songs for my patients. In my office, I ask each patient: ‘What inspires you? What is your legacy? What makes your heart sing?’ I let the answers marinate in my head for a week or two, and then I write my patient’s song. I share it with my patient and his or her family and friends in a celebration of life. . . . The whole idea is to nudge my patients back to who they are. These songs are my patients’ stories, the ones that push them towards love, urge them to let go of their fear. . . . This has become the mission of my oncology practice: one patient at a time, transforming the way doctors and patients can create a healing environment. I give them a little piece of art that lives on forever.”



Melissa Kelly


THOMAS C. SCOTT, DO ’54 Retired Family Physician New Castle, Delaware [as told to David McKay Wilson]

“When I retired at age 75 in September 2001, I recalled a saying in the theater: ‘Always leave the stage while the audience is still applauding.’ You don’t wait for the last clap. . . . I’m 90 now, and still go back to the small town of Delaware City, Delaware, about 20 miles south of Wilmington, where I was the only physician in practice for 33 years. I delivered babies back then, and now I’m officiating at funerals for some of my former patients who make the request. It is very moving for me to make a eulogy for a patient I’d known and treated. I’ve faithfully taken care of my patients from the womb to the tomb. . . . When I arrived in 1955 to that town of 1,300, the residents welcomed me. We became family. I made house calls at all hours of the day and night—and once even to a farm, on the back of a tractor, in the



snow. I’ve practiced dermatology, psychiatry, whatever was needed. I had patients travel to my office from miles away. Being a doctor of osteopathic medicine, I embraced the philosophy of treating the body, mind and spirit—the philosophy of holistic medicine. As their physician, I was there to help them, in every possible way. I helped people through tough situations. I often prayed with my patients. People still call me if they get a bad diagnosis or need advice. They say they want ‘sage or spiritual guidance and sustenance.’ I’m very happy to give it to them. . . . After I retired from my practice, I went to Wilmington and helped to start St. Clare Medical Outreach. I essentially set up a full-service doctor’s office on wheels (a 35-foot mobile van funded through donations and the help of St. Francis Hospital) so I could travel to and treat the homeless, the poor, the uninsured. Along the way, I engaged a few Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine students to help and learn from the endeavor. I served the community, a ministry of love, five days a week for over a decade. The experience was a joy.”

KATHLEEN M. HEINTZ, DO ’92, FACC Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Disease, Cooper University Health Care Camden, New Jersey [as told to Janice Fisher]

Melissa Kelly

“I am fortunate enough to love what I do every day. I work in a tertiary care facility in an urban setting, with a wide variety of patients. I take care of both inpatients and outpatients, with cardiac disease, including heart attack, arrhythmias, heart bypass and heart valve surgery. I get to piece together the puzzle and figure out the next steps. . . . The variety is great. Physicians who get burned out may be in specialties where they don’t develop a long-term relationship with their patients and families. Everything aside—trying to do the computer work at the end of the day, trying to make sure someone is taking care of the billing—the most important thing is still my doctorpatient relationship. It’s extremely rewarding work, because you can make a difference in a person’s life. If you can build that trust, there’s probably nothing better in medicine. . . . When I started in cardiology more than 20 years ago, women were underrepresented in cardiovascular clinical trials, with much less evidence-based medicine for women. We have more research on women and coronary disease. We also now see more women than men enrolled in medical school. Women are trickling up. We are beginning to see more women as chiefs and deans. In the 21 years that I have been practicing medicine, I’ve seen a sizeable shift. . . . Medicine has changed for men and women alike. We are not your father’s doctors! We must embrace the changes in medicine, continue to learn and mentor our next generation of physicians.”




RENZO GONZALEZ, PHARMD ’16 (PCOM SCHOOL OF PHARMACY – GEORGIA CAMPUS) Community Pharmacy Resident, DeKalb Medical Center Norcross, Georgia

Jennifer Stalcup

[as told to Janice Fisher]



“In my pharmacy work, I want to exploit the fact that I’m bilingual. In areas with large Hispanic communities, it’s an injustice when local pharmacies don’t have bilingual personnel. Sometimes patients will go up to the counter and, if they don’t see anybody who looks Hispanic, they’ll just walk away. There is a significant cultural component when delivering health care. This is where I feel like I can make a significant impact, especially in underserved Hispanic areas. . . . Many patients require education about the disease they have. I try to give them the whole picture—exercise tips, diet, lifestyle modifications. . . . I see patients who come into the pharmacy who’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, and their doctor wants them to get a glucose meter, and they have no idea how to operate it or what the numbers mean. . . . I’m doing a PGY1 Community Pharmacy Residency in a joint program offered by Mercer University and Walgreens Specialty Pharmacy at DeKalb Medical Center. We’re dealing with patients who have HIV, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease—isolated diseases with medications that are very expensive. . . . Pharmacists partner with doctors to work together on prior authorizations and appeals, if necessary. But that’s only half the battle. Sometimes the associated copay is extremely high and may still be unaffordable. For example, a class of medications called PCSK9 inhibitors, injectables for patients with very high cholesterol levels, works wonderfully in dropping LDL-C, or bad cholesterol. But even if the medication is covered, the patient can still end up with a $300 or $400 copay. Assistance programs help cover high copays, and pharmacists are involved in that process as well. . . . It’s very gratifying when I call to tell a patient that I was able to get a medication approved. And I hear the surprise in their voice, because sometimes their experience with an insurance company, with health care, has been denial after denial.”

RAELEA LYNN WEBSTER, MS/MHC ’17 Mental Health Counselor Cherry Hill, New Jersey [as told to Jennifer Schaffer Leone]

Melissa Kelly

“Last April, I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia—a disease of the very young and the very old—not a common diagnosis for a health-conscious, gym-going 26-year-old who held two jobs and was working to complete her graduate studies internship. But swollen lymph nodes—the size of golf balls—infiltrated my neck and signaled that I would need to confront my mortality before I planned on it. I was forced to put all activities on hold as I was admitted to Hackensack University Medical Center. The Center became my new home. From my hospital room window, I had a breathtaking view of the New York City skyline. Outside seemed so close, but so far away. . . . I underwent batteries of tests and procedures—lumbar punctures, bone marrow aspirates and biopsies—and treatments, including chemotherapy. I suffered through the adverse effects of treatment: infections, nausea, insomnia, peripheral neuropathy, hair loss. The worst part was the constant frustration; I just wanted to be normal again. But my lymph nodes shrunk, and for that I am grateful. At present, I am in remission. . . . Because of cancer, my life’s trajectory has changed. I live in the moment. I prioritize better, and I spend quality time with people I love. I am even more spiritual. I meditate. My professional ambitions have shifted. I now intend to practice mental health counseling in a hospital setting, offering group therapy, working with cancer patients post-treatment. I have a profound understanding of what they face. I know the exhaustion of fighting every day—through intense pain, through anxiety, through depression—and that the key is to fight some of the time and then to thrive off of the fight. At the same time, I know what it is like to surrender independence, to become dependent on others for personal and professional needs. I have discovered that family, friends, my healthcare team want to help me, need to help me. I have come to realize that the therapeutic effects of this dependency are bidirectional. This is something I never grasped. But it is, after all, the core of mental health treatment. How can I ever help my clients if I don’t understand how to accept help myself?”




JOSEPH M. FLYNN, DO ’96, MPH, FACP Executive Director and Physician-in-Chief, Norton Cancer Institute Prospect, Kentucky [as told to David McKay Wilson]

Michelle Elliot

“After finishing my undergraduate studies, I worked as a pharmaceutical representative while studying for my MBA. I’d been dissuaded from pursuing a career in medicine, but many of the physicians I would meet affirmed that medicine was the best job. Then I met a DO who explained his philosophy about holistic care—that it’s important to treat the disease, but there is so much more: the body, the mind, the spirit. . . . I’ve come to understand that you don’t pick oncology. It picks you. In 1991, my mother, who had chronic leukemia, went on a clinical trial of a new drug that later became the standard of treatment. Sadly, she died pretty quickly. These days, I’ve had many patients in hospice whom I’ve put on a novel compound; they go into remission, and are still slugging away years later, fully living life. It’s incredible what modern drugs are able to do, and do it safely. It’s never a good time to get cancer, but there has never been a better time, because of all of the discoveries. I tell my patients: ‘You don’t know what new treatment is right around the corner. You don’t know what the next discovery is going to be.’ . . . The discipline is changing fast, with extensive research underway. There are 60 articles a week published on breast cancer. And there are more than 100 cancers. So you have to read the studies, synthesize the data, put the findings into perspective, and figure out where and how to put it in practice. To do this work every day has great rewards. I don’t go to bed at night without being grateful for doing what I’m doing. I have a patient who just texted me: ‘You treated my mom and she is cured.’ I never lose sight of the fact that Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine gave me this gift to be able to do this.”



Melissa Kelly

DAVID HOLLOMAN, MS/ODL ’09 Director of External Affairs, City of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [as told to David McKay Wilson]

“The number of unsheltered homeless continues to rise in Philadelphia. We average about 5,500 people in shelters each night, and there’s another 900 living on the streets. But we are fortunate when compared to cities like Seattle or New York City. I give kudos to our nonprofits, especially the religious-based organizations that provide emergency temporary housing. We coordinate the city’s effort to find housing for the homeless. We contract with 63 nonprofit agencies for rapid rehousing, transitional housing, emergency shelters. What we strive for is housing first. The old way of thinking was to wrap services around people before they got housing. Now we house people first, give them a foundation and then wrap services around them. . . . I’ve been work-

ing in city government for 13 years. It’s a passion. I try to understand the lives of those we serve, and tell the story through their lens, not ours. I work as a liaison between the administration and the public and private agencies. I deal with the media. Generally speaking, it is positive work. I educate the press and the public about the issues at hand. People want to see the good, and the work that you do, but sometimes they don’t understand the magnitude of the problems and the scarce resources. The supply of housing doesn’t always meet the demand at the price you can pay. . . . The opioid crisis has elevated the problem with those aged 18 to 25. Those panhandling on the streets self-report that they use the donations for food and to supplement what they need for their addiction. . . . We’re worried about the president’s proposed federal budget. If the proposed cuts to housing programs come about, it will be devastating to many communities. Our hope is that advocacy will push back against the budget. There really needs to be a partnership between federal, state and local government, to have effective change in the lives of people seeking help.” DIGEST 2017


Jennifer Stalcup


ANTONIO GRAHAM, DO ’11 (GA–PCOM) Assistant Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, Georgia [as told to Janice Fisher]

“I come from a working-class family. My father was an electrician, and my mother was a secretary. I feel like I’m the American dream, honestly: I had two hardworking parents who pushed education, and here I am. . . . My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the second year of my residency, and he died a few months before I graduated. He said, ‘Please, if you do anything for me, keep going.’ . . . Why did I choose geriatrics? I really enjoy older adults—their wisdom, their perspective on life; sometimes I feel I’m getting more from them than they’re getting from me. . . . One of the best tools 22


we have as geriatricians is our ability to communicate. We do pay attention to the details, we do tend to memorize the history of the family. If you build trust, your patients will do what you want medically. And the truth is, it’s not a ploy—I really am invested in them. . . . I have some of the most fascinating patients at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where geriatrics is age 75 and older. I take care of a ton of World War II vets, and I’m a history buff, so it’s like heaven for me. One patient was at the Battle of the Bulge; I have a Normandy survivor. It’s quite an honor to serve them. . . . It bothers me sometimes that I can’t really do much to change most people’s situations. A great mentor at Johns Hopkins, Thomas Finucane, MD, said, ‘You have to know a lot to do very little.’ Sometimes I struggle with accepting that. Some patients are so socially and medically complicated that I can’t fix any of it. . . . Then I have a patient who’s 89, and he just ran a marathon. So it’s a tremendous spectrum of ability and frailty.”

REBEKAH L. GINGRAS, MS/PSY ’14, PSYD ’16 Psychology Resident, Brooke Army Medical Center Fort Sam Houston, Texas [as told to David McKay Wilson]

Lynsey Strader

“My family has an extensive military service history. My dad, uncle and brother are retired Air Force; my grandfather was in the Army; and my great-grandmother was among the first women to serve in the Navy. . . . In 2006, while I was working to complete my master’s degree in athletic counseling, I met a soldier who had just returned from Iraq. He told me about his problems reintegrating back home. I decided I wanted to help servicemembers who are at risk for mental health disorders. I eventually decided to return to school to study clinical psychology. . . . I enjoy the challenge of my career. I find satisfaction in helping people, many of whom have had to do and see things that no human beings should have to experience. Many servicemembers who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder have a hard time readjusting when they return home from a conflict; some find it challenging to live their lives the way they would like and have difficulty reintegrating with their families. Through the use of evidence-based treatments, I’ve been able to help reduce and even eliminate my patients’ symptoms. . . . I’ve made a commitment to five years in the U.S. Army as a commissioned officer. On my first day, I was awarded the rank of Captain. It was a little nerve-wracking to start out with such a rank—without knowing all the military customs and courtesies. . . . I am currently completing my training at Brooke Army Medical Center. When my training is finished, I will be a behavioral health officer, which means I’ll be attached to a unit. If that unit deploys, I’ll deploy with them. . . . I’ve been able to complete a variety of trainings within the Army, one being with the aviation community. I also attended training on the reintegration of both military and civilian isolated personnel. I learned about the psychology of captivity and the reintegration process. It is a privilege and honor to be counted among the few who have been able to complete such training and be qualified to help others during a great time of need.”




ORESTES GUTIERREZ, DO ’03 Owner, Gutierrez Holistic Family Medicine, LLC; Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences; and Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Regional Assistant Dean, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences Eugene, Oregon [as told to David McKay Wilson]



Chris Pietsch

“I came to Florida from Cuba with my parents in 1980 during the Mariel boatlift. I was four years old. I remember being proud that I was the only one on our ship who didn’t get seasick. There were sharks circling our vessel. It was a perilous trip. Several drowned during the 90-mile journey. . . . I guess you can say I have spent my life overcoming odds. I survived the streets of North Miami, innercity schools, a broken home. But my brother and I knew my mother’s love, and we wanted for nothing. . . . I have always believed that in America, everything is possible. I stayed out of trouble, and I seized every opportunity I could. For several years, I served in the U.S. Navy, believing in the importance of giving back to the country that made it possible for a poor refugee to become a doctor. . . . After completing my family practice residency at the Mayo Clinic, I moved my family to Eugene, Oregon. There I started a solo practice—what they call a micro-practice or ideal medical practice. It’s part of a new wave in medicine. . . . It’s just me and my wife, Pam, who greets the patients when they arrive, collects the co-pays and does the billing. Our office is in a healing center with other practitioners. I don’t have a nurse, so that helps keep our overhead low. With a bigger group practice, you might have to see 30 patients a day to pay your bills. I see eight to ten patients, four days a week. During appointments, I spend 30 minutes or more with each patient. I drink coffee or tea with them, in a relaxed office setting, overseeing Eugene’s South Hills. I love forming lifelong relationships with my patients. . . . My practice has allowed me to craft the life of my dreams. I have full control of my schedule, which lets me do what I’m passionate about, including yoga and teaching. My wife and I decide our future.”

HAROLD KIRSH, DO ’46 Retired Proctologist and General Practitioner Palm Beach Gardens, Florida [as told to David McKay Wilson]

Jim Eisele

“I’m 94 years old, and my mentality is intact. I’m as sharp as I was when I was 25. . . . In medical school, you’re taught there is nothing in the field you can’t accomplish if you want to do it. When it’s a new procedure, you observe it, you do it, then you teach it, and that’s when you really learn. I’ve accomplished so much; I had a great career, practicing first in New Jersey and then in Palm Beach. I sold my medical practice in 1988, and remained for a few years as director of medical education and chairman of the board at Wellington Regional Medical Center, a progressive acute care facility and medical center in Florida that I helped to found in the mid-1980s. . . . Yet, while I was practicing medicine, I found that what I read was very narrow and concentrated. After I retired, a whole new horizon opened up. That’s when I became enamored with American history. In 2007, I decided to visit the birthplace and burial site of every American president. Over two and a half months, my wife, Daras, and I drove over 14,000 miles—from Key West to Campobello on the border of Maine and Canada, and then all the way out to California. I came back with 3,000 photos and a laptop full of information. I had no plan to write a book. But then I started writing, from my doctor’s perspective, looking for the root cause, the root purpose, to understand where American history began. We self-published the book. There’s a story of every president, up through President Obama—and excerpts from every inaugural address. My mother and father and in-laws came to this country from Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania. They made their way. They became citizens. They were advocates of education and provided great support for their children. That’s why I called the book Thank You, America. I wanted to thank America because America allows you to be free, to have faith in any religion, and it provides so much opportunity. America gave me my personal dream of becoming a physician.”




SHANA MICHELLE PERMAN, MS/PA-C ’05 Physician Assistant, Shady Grove Fertility, Washington, D.C. Columbia, Maryland

Howard Korn Photography

[as told to Jennifer Schaffer Leone]



“When I started my job as a physician assistant at Shady Grove Fertility, I was 13 weeks pregnant with my son. I was blissful, nervous, nauseated and ever cognizant of my growing baby bump. The truth is, it is somewhat awkward to be pregnant when you work in the field of infertility. When I first meet patients, many have endured countless negative pregnancy tests, miscarriages or failed treatment cycles. Many are struggling with feelings of isolation, battling their biological clocks, believing that they arrived late to the fertility party or that they were forced into infertility for reasons beyond their control. Some are single women, same-sex couples, couples with cancer or genetic abnormalities. The last person they want to meet is a healthcare provider whose round belly represents that which seems unreachable. . . . But, like my patients, I personally have a profound understanding of the crazy human experience that is fertility treatment. Professionally, I have in-depth knowledge about what actually happens in a fertility practice to make it work— from the office to the embryology lab, to all the amazing staff behind the scenes who help make each patient’s journey come to life. I am part of the one in eight [couples]—or more than seven million people—affected by infertility. . . . My husband and I faced various unexpected struggles in our journey to build a family, but finally met success (twice) with IVF. IVF was life-altering for us; it made us parents and it led me to change professional specialties—from neonatal intensive care to infertility. I love being part of a collaborative healthcare team that provides personalized medical care to those facing infertility. Daily, I perform baseline ultrasound monitoring, early OB ultrasounds, intrauterine inseminations and mock embryo transfers, among other services. I counsel and care for patients. I share my story with my patients, offering hope and possibility. Modern medicine has made possible treatments to help most people achieve their goal of parenthood.”

Melissa Kelly

JEFFREY C. NORTHUP, DO ’72, FACOOG, CPE, FAAPL Chief Medical Officer, Knox Community Hospital Mount Vernon, Ohio [as told to Janice Fisher]

“For 11 years, beginning in 1996, I provided contract OB/GYN services to a native American community in rural Arizona. Despite a 70 percent unemployment rate, widespread drug and alcohol abuse, and a high teen suicide rate, my Native American patients were some of the nicest I had in a career that spans over 40 years. . . . It’s such a small community, only 16,000 people. You got to know people very quickly, and they got to know us. . . Here’s the way their language preferences were explained to me: People age 60 and above thought and dreamed in their native tongue. People from about 25 to 60 were bilingual, and mostly thought and dreamed in English. For

anybody under 25, it was almost all English. And even the elders who spoke in their native language most of the time—they wouldn’t let on, but they understood and could speak English. . . . This tribe is a matriarchal society. When a girl delivered, there’d be four, five, six women in the room with her, though rarely a man. My record was 22 women — you’d have multigenerations. The grandmother would always be in the corner, and she expected to be acknowledged, as a sign of respect, but not spoken to, because it wasn’t about her. . . . We observed their customs, and we worked hand in hand with the Indian Health Service to get as much medical access as possible for tribal members. . . . In 2002, there was a forest fire. I went down to the reservation and lived there, and we turned their hospital into a level 1 hospital with surgical capability. Our town had been evacuated, and because people knew me and my wife, they were worried about us, worried about our house. . . . They cared about people. If they liked you, you had a friend for life.”



CLASS NOTES Sherman N. Leis, DO, Bala Cynwyd, PA, professor, Department of Surgery, and chair, Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, PCOM, served as the keynote speaker at the 2017 commencement ceremonies for the Graduate School at Rutgers University – Camden.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY On June 3, 2017, Arnold Melnick, DO ‘45, Rydal, PA, turned 97 years old. He is among the College’s oldest living alumni.


Vincent Lobo, Jr., DO, Bethany Beach, DE, was recognized by Delaware State Representatives Ronald Gray and Bobby Outten for his longstanding and distinguished career as a doctor of optometry and doctor of osteopathic medicine. As a longtime physician in Delaware, Dr. Lobo has played a vital role in expanding opportunities for osteopathic physicians and ensuring that the state continues to have competent, caring health professionals.


Thomas A. Quinn, DO, Weston, FL, authored a book titled The Feminine Touch: The Struggle for Equality in Medicine. The book showcases women who overcame adversity to become osteopathic physicians in the profession’s early years and prominent female DOs of today who continue the legacy.


Ronald R. Blanck, DO, Fenwick Island, DE, and Pam Ruoff, executive director of alumni engagement, PCOM, continued their journey on the Appalachian Trail toward Maine. Their latest trip centered on hiking the trail from the Allentown, Pennsylvania, section to New Jersey.

Pat A. Lannutti, DO, Drexel Hill, PA, co-chair, Division of General Internal Medicine, and course director, system- based medicine, PCOM, was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award at “The Dream Meets Tomorrow’s Leaders” event hosted by the PCOM Office of Diversity and Community Relations and the PCOM Student National Medical Association. The event honors the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the late William M. King, DO ’62.


Richard M. Purse, DO, Yardley, PA, was elected to serve on the board of trustees of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association.


Robert C. Luderer, DO, Clarion, PA, joined the team of physicians at The Cancer Center at Clarion Hospital as the medical director of the medical oncology unit. He has more than 41 years of experience in internal medicine and medical oncology.


George D. Vermeire, DO, Oreland, PA, was installed as the 106th president of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA) during POMA’s Annual Clinical Assembly held in April.


David V. Condoluci, DO, Voorhees, NJ, was named senior vice president and chief patient safety and quality officer at Kennedy Health. He will oversee quality and safety issues throughout the South Jersey– based healthcare system, including regulatory inspections and clinical improvement initiatives. Francis Sutter, DO, Conshohocken, PA, chief of cardiac surgery at Lankenau Medical Center, was a recent speaker for PCOM’s Surgery Club. He addressed the group



about the evolution of coronary revascularization.


Robert A. Eslinger, DO, Reno, NV, published a book, Outmaneuver Cancer: An Integrative Doctor’s Journey. The book shares in-depth insight into effective state-of-the-art integrative cancer treatment. Dr. Eslinger is the medical director at Reno Integrative Medical Center. H. Sprague Taveau, IV, DO, MBA, Belton, TX, was installed as the Texas American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians president on June 10, 2017.


Harry J. Morris, III, DO, West Chester, PA, professor and chair, Department of Family Medicine, PCOM, received the Family Physician of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Society of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians for his outstanding service to his profession and community. David R. Tomazic, DO, Clifford Township, PA, has merged his Forest City medical practice with Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers after 35 years as a solo practitioner.


Gordon R. Eck, DO, Honey Brook, PA, was elected the Republican incumbent candidate for Chester County coroner during the May primary elections. Lynwood W. Hammers, DO, Trumbull, CT, was named a 2017 Top Doctor by Connecticut Magazine. He is a clinical associate professor of radiology at Yale University School of Medicine and runs a private practice, Hammer Healthcare Imaging, in New Haven. William A. Wewer, DO, Harrisburg, PA, was re-elected as secretary/treasurer of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association (POMA) during POMA’s Annual Clinical Assembly held in April.


Benjamin Abraham, DO, CMD, Snellville, GA, was awarded the 2017 Frist Humanitarian Award at Eastside Medical Center; Frist awards, presented nationally by the Hospital Corporation of America, honor outstanding individuals for their humanitarian and

volunteer activities. In 2015, Dr. Abraham was the recipient of the first annual Mary H. Horder, MD, Physician of the Year Award, and in 2014, he was named the 2014 Family Practice Physician of the Year by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Abraham specializes in family and geriatric medicine. He has led numerous mission trips around the world and started the 127 Legacy Foundation, designed to minister to orphans and orphanages in Southeast Asia. Bernyce Peplowski, DO, Honolulu, HI, is serving as conference chair for the Western Occupational Health Conference being held by the Western Occupational and Environmental Medical Association in Hawaii. Saul E. Schreiber, DO, Las Vegas, NV, was named a 2017 Top Doctor by Vegas Inc.’s Health Care Quarterly. Michael F. Shank, DO, Thornton, PA, has stepped down as campus chief for the Department of Family Practice at Riddle Hospital after eight years. He continues to work as a physician with Rose Tree Medical Associates, LLC.


Dennis W. Dobritt, DO, West Bloomfield, MI, was named a 2017 Top Doctor in Novi by Top Doctor Awards. Jay S. Feldstein, DO, Conshohocken, PA, president and chief executive officer, PCOM, was featured as an emerging leader in Philly Biz’s “Best of Health Care” issue (March 2017). He also wrote an article featured in Health System Management Magazine titled, “How-To Guide: Becoming the President and CEO of a Medical College” (October 2016).


Ronald M. Bishop, DO, East Lansing, MI, was appointed to the board of trustees at Memorial Healthcare in Owosso. Dr. Bishop also serves as chair and medical director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Memorial Healthcare, where a $1.2 million renovation of the department was just completed.


Robert A. Donato, DO, Williamsport, PA, joined the staff at Geisinger Lycoming in Montoursville as an OB/GYN.



Robert O. Detweiler, DO, Gwynedd Valley, PA, and his practice, Detweiler Family Medicine and Associates, received the NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long-term participative relationships. Steven L. Zelenkofske, DO, Center Valley, PA, was appointed as chief medical officer for uniQuire, a leader in human gene therapy. In this role, Dr. Zelenkofske is responsible for leading all clinical research and development, medical affairs and related functions.


Joseph J. Kuchinski, DO, Las Vegas, NV, was awarded the American Osteopathic Association’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Certificate, during the Osteopathic Medical Education Conference opening session in September. Dr. Kuchinski is the medical director of Culinary Health Center Urgent Care. Gayle B. Sisbarro, DO, Lititz, PA, joined PinnacleHealth Annville Family Medicine as a physician in May.


Michael A. Becker, DO, Blue Bell, PA, professor and vice chair, Department of Family Medicine, PCOM, presented “Building an Interprofessional Curriculum” at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s Joint Annual Conference in Baltimore. Dr. Becker presented with Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP, vice chair of psychology at PCOM, and Ashley Poole (PsyD ’22). Vicki L. Bralow, DO, Philadelphia, PA, opened an MDVIP-affiliated primary care practice in Philadelphia. MDVIP-affiliated physicians offer affordable personalized healthcare that focuses on prevention. Lisa J. Finkelstein, DO, Jackson, WY, was elected to serve as vice president of the Wyoming Medical Society. She previously served as the society’s secretary/treasurer. Joan M. Grzybowski, DO, Conshohocken, PA, assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, PCOM, was selected as the 2016 Multicultural Leadership Award recipient by the National

SAUL E. SCHREIBER, DO ’80 Dermatologist shapes future medical professionals through robust student program by Meghan McLaughlin Las Vegas is often thought of as a land of gambling, nightlife and bright lights. But for Saul Schreiber, DO ’80, Las Vegas, NV, it has served as the perfect place to shape future medical professionals. Located just one mile off the Las Vegas Strip, Dr. Schreiber’s practice, Advanced Dermatology, offers opportunities for high school, pre-med, medical assistant, medical and physician assistant students to gain experience in a medical setting. In practice for 31 years, Dr. Schreiber has valued helping students from the beginning. “There are maybe 10,000 dermatologists in the United States, and only 250 are entering the field each year,” says Dr. Schreiber. “Real knowledge of dermatology is essentially esoteric and something that only a small group of people have. Why wouldn’t I want to share that?” Today, Dr. Schreiber’s student program has grown to become an essential part of his practice, with anywhere from five to ten students in the office on a given day. High school students often assist with front- and back-office responsibilities, while pre-med students often help set up for surgeries. Medical students are given a high level of responsibility as they assist with surgeries, provide on-the-spot medical research during appointments, and gain extensive documentation training. Additionally, Dr. Schreiber has didactic sessions and delivers lectures to medical students whenever there is a spare moment in the busy day. “I feel honored and privileged if a student wants to be in my office,” says Dr. Schreiber. “I definitely notice the days when there are fewer students.” Dr. Schreiber and his staff are not the only ones who appreciate having students in the office. His patients do, too. Because Las Vegas has a very large Hispanic population, Dr. Schreiber often sees patients who speak little English. And typically, students who come to Dr. Schreiber from the Vegas area are bilingual. “We speak Spanish in the office a good portion of the day so that we can provide a quality experience to all patients,” says Dr. Schreiber. “I really need to have bilingual employees and students in the office to make sure that happens.” Providing hands-on experiences to students is not the only way that Dr. Schreiber is giving back to the medical community. He recently went on a medical mission with the WE Charity to Maasai Mara, Kenya. While there, he and 17 other practitioners treated over 400 patients at a clinic and screened over 700 children from two schools. “I think I’ve had an amazing career in medicine,” says Dr. Schreiber. “It gives you a really good feeling to do good with the knowledge and skills that you have. And when you’re at a point in your life when you have more yesterdays than tomorrows, what’s the point in keeping that knowledge to yourself?”

Diversity Council during the Diversity & Leadership Conference held in September. Scott Naftulin, DO, Orefield, PA, clinical professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, PCOM, served as course director for the Spine Intervention Society’s Radiofrequency Neurotomy BioSkills Workshop in June. Brian C. Parsells, DO, Warrensburg, MO, is working on the frontlines of the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic. Under a Health Resources & Services Administration grant, he works in an integrated federally qualified health center bringing buprenorphine/naloxone and naltrexone to the underserved population in rural Missouri.


Ronald A. Lutes, DO, Monongahela, PA, is leading the newly formed MonVale Nephrology practice in Monongahela. Allan M. McLeod, DO, JD, MBA, Devon, PA, former chief compliance officer and assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, PCOM, spoke to Penn State students enrolled in an inclusive leisure services course on how persons with disabilities can lead meaningful, productive and satisfying professional and personal lives. Dr. McLeod has spoken to Penn State students about his experiences using a motorized wheelchair for more than a decade. His recent speaking engagement was his final visit before his retirement (June).

Gregory G. Papadeas, DO, Greenwood Village, CO, was selected as one of Denver’s Top Dermatologists by 5280 Magazine.


Gregory McDonald, DO, Philadelphia, PA, professor and chair, Department of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, PCOM, authored an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer titled, “How Your Body — and Brain — Can React to Binge Drinking” (February 26, 2017). He was also appointed chairman of the American Osteopathic Board of Pathology for 2017.


Henry R. Schuitema, DO, Medford, NJ, was elected chief of staff at Kennedy University DIGEST 2017


CLASS NOTES Hospital. He is also the system-wide chief of emergency medicine for Kennedy Health and has served as medical director of the hospital’s Stratford Emergency Department since 1996.


Dina F. Capalongo, DO, Exton, PA, was elected president of Crozer-Chester Medical Center’s medical and dental staff on July 1, 2016. In this role, she is the chief administrative officer of the combined medical staffs of CrozerChester Medical Center, Taylor Hospital and Springfield Hospital.

Susquehanna Valley Medical Specialties (SVMS), celebrated 20 years in practice. SVMS has grown from a one-doctor, two-employee orthopedic practice to a nine-provider multi-specialty practice consisting of family medicine, internal medicine, orthopedics and physical and occupational therapy. Dr. Williams is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon.


Joseph N. Ranieri, DO, Sewell, NJ, was named a 2017 Who’s Who in Health Care by SouthJersey. com. He is the medical director of Seabrook House, Inc.

Juk L. Ting, DO, Irvine, CA, joined United Airlines Express as a passenger jet pilot. Licensed as a commercial pilot just after graduating from PCOM, Dr. Ting is also licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a flight instructor in Southern California. Each year he prepares 10 student pilots for the FAA licensing exam. He is also the president of MD120. net, an organization that provides telemedicine services and medical advice services in China.



David A. Doyle, DO, Center Valley, PA, retired from St. Luke’s University Health Network, where he served as chairman of the Department of Psychiatry.

Brenda T. Goodrich, DO, Nicholson, PA, was profiled in an article in the Scranton TimesTribune titled, “Talk of the Times” (June 25, 2017) that focused on her work as chairperson and board member for Equines for Freedom.

Hossein Borghaei, DO, King of Prussia, PA, has been appointed chief of thoracic medical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Mark S. Williams, DO, Bloomsburg, PA, founder of

David L. Cute, DO, Wilmington, DE, joined University of Pittsburgh

Christopher C. Clark, DO, Erie, PA, was appointed president of Saint Vincent Hospital.

Medical Center Susquehanna as an ophthalmologist. Steven G. Eisenberg, DO, San Diego, CA, was featured in the Union-Tribune in the article, “Music as Medicine: Doctors Sing Praises of the Healing Powers of Song” (February 17, 2017) for writing and singing songs to chemo patients who are struggling with depression and anxiety. He practices at California Cancer Associates for Research and Excellence. Joseph M. Flynn, DO, Titusville, FL, was featured in an article in Louisville Business First titled “Three Questions with Norton Cancer Institute’s Executive Director” (February 3, 2017). Jason E. Henninger, DO, Tyrone, PA, has joined Blair Medical Associates, an affiliate of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Altoona, as a family medicine practitioner.


David A. Broyles, DO, Glen Mills, PA, was one of 37 CrozerKeystone Health System physicians to be honored in Philadelphia Magazine’s 2017 “Top Doctors” issue. Dr. Broyles was the only DO from Crozer-Keystone Health System to receive this honor. Joanne M. Kakaty-Monzo, DO, Malvern, PA, clinical associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, PCOM, was featured in a Reader’s Digest article titled, “Your PMS Survival Guide: 11 Ways to Ease the Misery” (March 2017). Daniel R. Taylor, DO, Philadelphia, PA, authored an article for titled “The Secret Ingredient that Helps Kids Overcome the Toxic Stress of Poverty” (April 11, 2017), in which he discussed how to build resilience to help reduce stress among children who live in poverty.


SAVE THE DATE: PRESIDENT’S APPRECIATION RECEPTION Saturday, October 21, 2017 Courtyard Marriott, City Avenue Join the College community for its annual gathering of alumni and friends with an evening of food, beverages and music. We will celebrate and recognize those who have contributed both consistently and generously to PCOM and converse about the College’s future.



Michele L. Boornazian, DO, Lansdowne, PA, became the campus chief for the Department of Family Practice at Riddle Hospital. Carl E. Petersen, DO, Kings Park, NY, was selected for the rank of captain in the U.S/ Navy Medical Corps. Dr. Petersen also serves as the associate director of mental health at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. He works with PCOM alumnus J. Andrew VanSlyke, DO ’98.

Chad E. Potteiger, DO, Maryville, TN, joined Dickson Medical Associates as a gastroenterologist. Christopher L. Snyder, DO, La Quinta, CA, joined Cedars-Sinai Medical Group, Beverly Hills. Mary Katherine Stailey-Sims, DO, Glassboro, NJ, joined the International Association of HealthCare Professionals. Dr. Stailey-Sims serves patients at Advocare Woolwich Pediatrics and is affiliated with Kennedy Health. With over 14 years of medical experience, she specializes in asthma, allergies and pediatric emergency medicine. J. Andrew VanSlyke, DO, Virginia Beach, VA, was selected for the rank of captain in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. Dr. VanSlyke is department head and psychiatry chair at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth. He works with PCOM alumnus Carl E. Petersen, DO ’98.


Jennifer L. Sobol, DO, West Bloomfield, MI, received the Sylia Simon Greenberg Award from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit for “going above and beyond to improve the lives of others and build a strong Jewish future.”


John M. Matsinger, Jr., DO, Huntingdon Valley, PA, was named a 2017 Who’s Who in Health Care by He is the executive vice president and system chief clinical officer at Virtua Health, Inc. Under his leadership, Virtua has been recognized many times as a national leader in quality and safety.


Sherri L. Fair, RES, Merritt Island, FL, was featured in an article in Florida Today titled “Delivering Babies Caplan’s Labor of Love” (June 15, 2017). Dr. Fair is an OB-GYN at Health First’s Cape Canaveral Hospital. Nicholas A. Grimaldi, DO, Talbott, TN, was named a 2017 Top Doctor in Morristown by Top Doctor Awards. He is an orthopedic surgeon at East Tennessee Spine and Orthopaedic Specialists and is affiliated with Lakeway Regional Hospital, Tennova Jefferson Memorial Hospital, and the Physician’s Regional Medical Center.


CE/CME PROGRAMS PCOM’s Department of Professional Development and Online Learning provides alumni and friends of the College with online credit and non-credit programs that support professional and personal advancement. CE/ CME allows a practitioner to learn and discover viable ways to effectively manage a career in the ever-changing environment of the medical industry. To receive notifications about upcoming webinars and other learning programs, please sign up at: continuing-education/.


Robert Earl Davis, Jr., DO, Paxinos, PA, became board certified in internal medicine and cardiology through the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons.


Annette M. Farrell, MS/ODL, Downingtown, PA, was promoted to director of Medicaid regulations and integrity at TMG Health. She is responsible for the direction and oversight of government programs, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Brian S. Jacobs, MBA/DO, Port Matilda, PA, joined Tyrone Regional Health Network (TRHN) and the Tyrone Hospital medical staff, providing primary care services at TRHN’s Pinecroft Medical Center. Mark A. Matta, DO, New Castle, PA, was named a Physician 40 Under 40 by the Pennsylvania Medical Society in September 2016 for outstanding contributions to the practice of medicine and the delivery of patient care, despite being early in his medical careers. Dr. Matta is a psychiatrist affiliated with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Jameson.


Joseph David Love, DO, Missouri City, TX, is the Air Force liaison to the University of Texas – Houston. Dr. Love’s goal is to establish a foothold for military medicine that will allow personnel to maintain their professional skills at a level appropriate for deployment anywhere in the world. He was

FRANCINE R. BRODER, PSYD ’13 Working alongside the father of cognitive behavioral therapy by Meghan McLaughlin Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Clinical Psychology program provides students with a solid foundation in cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). For Francine Broder, PsyD ’13, Haddonfield, NJ, that foundation sparked a passion that led her to work at the prestigious Beck Institute alongside the “father of CBT” himself, Aaron Beck, MD. Developed by Dr. Beck in the 1960s, CBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy that is both time-sensitive and goal-oriented. It aims to help patients alter maladaptive patterns in their thinking and behavior to change the way they feel. Today, the Beck Institute, founded by Dr. Beck and his daughter, Judith Beck, PhD, provides state-of-the-art psychotherapy and training in CBT for professionals worldwide. Dr. Broder began at the Beck Institute as a post-doctoral resident. Once her residency was complete, she stayed on as a clinical psychologist, providing CBT to patients seeking help for a wide variety of issues. Besides seeing patients, Dr. Broder provides training in CBT to health and mental health professionals from all over the world through live and online trainings. “Teaching graduate students and clinicians who, like me, want to continue learning is truly exciting,” says Dr. Broder. “Through our online trainings, I am in contact with clinicians from over 20 countries on any given day.” Besides connecting with professionals from all over the world, Dr. Broder says that working in Beck Institute’s “extremely collegial” environment is very rewarding. “Drs. Aaron and Judith Beck are role models in so many ways. They are constantly working to improve how we treat and teach every day.” Through her work at the Beck Institute, Dr. Broder is becoming an expert in CBT herself. The Academy of Cognitive Therapy awarded her with the certification of diplomate for demonstrating an advanced level of competency in CBT. Dr. Broder credits much of her success to her studies at PCOM. She says that the Clinical Psychology program provided her with both a solid theoretical foundation and a competence in CBT that helps her deliver high-quality training in CBT to professionals and create meaningful treatment plans for her patients. “To know that I helped someone conquer their fears, lift their depression or not be afraid of their own thoughts is incredibly rewarding,” says Dr. Broder.

also named program director for surgery at the McGovern Medical School at University of Texas – Houston. Beverly A. White, PsyD, Philadelphia, PA, clinical associate professor, Department of Psychology, PCOM, was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award at “The Dream Meets Tomorrow’s Leaders” event hosted by the PCOM Office of Diversity and Compliance and the PCOM Student National Medical Association. The event honors the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the late William M. King, DO ’62.


Jocelyn R. Idema, DO, Frederick, MD, became the first spine surgeon in Pennsylvania to perform artificial spinal disc replacement surgery using activL® Artificial Disc. Cory J. Keller, DO, Blue Bell, PA, was featured in an article in

Temple Health Magazine titled “The Aging Athlete: Sports Medicine for the Seasoned Competitor” (Fall 2016). Dr. Keller is Temple University Hospital’s director of sports medicine outreach. Amy Vogia, DO, Baltimore, MD, has joined the Tyanna O’Brien Center for Women’s Imaging at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore as a radiologist.


Megan M. Merrill, DO, Columbus, OH, has been named a 2017 Top Doctor in Columbus by Top Doctor Awards. She serves as a urologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and the James Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Tara H. Budinetz, DO, Lansdale, PA, is leading the team at Wyoming Valley Fertility, a divi-

sion of Abington Reproductive Medicine that opened in WilkesBarre in February. Kelly A. Curtin, DO, Hummelstown, PA, began working as a physician at WellSpan Pediatric Medicine-East Market Street in York. Jessica Lynn Masser, MS/ Biomed, DO, Johnstown, PA, was appointed to the board of directors for The Frostburg State University Foundation, Inc. Jonathan C. Nachtigall, DO, Lititz, PA, has joined The Heart Group of Lancaster General Health. Erik G. Polan, DO, Cherry Hill, NJ, assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine, PCOM, was featured as an expert opinion in several articles on “HIV/ AIDS Is Still a Concern for Our Health” (October 30, 2016), “How to Determine Whether You Have a Drinking Problem” (March 5, 2017) DIGEST 2017


CLASS NOTES Monique A. Gary, MS/Biomed ’05, DO, Wyncote, PA, was named a Rising Star Semi-Finalist for KYW Newsradio 1060’s 2017 Women’s Achievement Awards. Dr. Gary is a breast surgical oncologist at Grand View Health in Sellersville, where she specializes in minimally invasive breast surgery.

SAVE THE DATE: OMED 2017 ALUMNI RECEPTION Sunday, October 8, 2017 The Mutter Museum, 19 S. 22nd Street, Philadelphia Join the PCOM Alumni Association for an evening reception at the Mutter Museum in conjunction with the American Osteopathic Association’s annual OMED Conference being held in Philadelphia from October 7-10. For more information or to register, visit alumni. and “Why Is Stomach Flu So Bad in Winter?” (January 21, 2017). He was also featured in a livescience. com article, “Heat Stroke: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment” (May 23, 2017). Anthony J. Wehbe, DO, Mickleton, NJ, was named a Top 40 Under 40 by Philadelphia Business Journal. He serves as chief population health executive for Kennedy Health.


Jay D. Bhatt, DO, MPH, Chicago, IL, was awarded the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) 2017 40 Under 40 Leaders in Minority Health Award at the NMQF leadership Summit on Health Disparities and CBC Spring Health Braintrust Gala Dinner held in April. Peter F. Bidey, DO, Philadelphia, PA, assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, PCOM, authored an article for titled “Can Herbal Remedies Help Kids’ GI Problems?” (May 4, 2017). Michael I. Hanzly, Jr., DO, Blasdell, NY, was granted provider privileges from Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. Dr. Hanzly is part of the Buffalo Medical Group, where he treats general urological conditions and specializes in prostate, kidney and bladder cancers.



Diedra E. Amendola, DO, Scranton, PA, joined Geisinger Community Medical Center as a wound care specialist. James F. Baird, IV, DO, Mullica Hill, NJ, was named a 2017 Who’s Who in Health Care by He is the assistant medical director at Kennedy University Hospital and has dedicated much of his career to fighting the opioid epidemic. Carolyn Green Bernacki, DO, Delran, NJ, was named associate medical director for child and adolescent psychiatry at Princeton House Behavioral Health in Moorestown. Johnny A. Dias, DO, Simpsonville, SC, was the focus of an article in The DO titled, “Physician Dads’ Group: Where Dr. Dad Turns for Help” (June 14, 2017). Dr. Dias is the founder of Physician Dads’ Group, a Facebook group with over 3,200 members where physician dads can seek advice from their peers about fatherhood and career goals. Daniel S. Fabius, DO, Newtown Square, PA, has been appointed vice president of clinical informatics at Continuum Health Alliance, LLC.


Matthew H. Montgomery, MBA/ DO, Jersey City, NJ, was awarded the Meta L. Christy Award at “The Dream Meets Tomorrow’s Leaders” event hosted by the PCOM Office of Diversity and Compliance and the PCOM Student National Medical Association. The event honors the legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the late William M. King, DO ’62. Amanda M. Schell, DO, Boalsburg, PA, joined Geisinger Health System in Philipsburg. Lauren E. Strohm, DO, Easton, PA, joined St. Luke’s Palmer Family Medicine as a physician in August 2016.


Janelle R. Bludorn, MS/PA, Carrboro, NC, accepted a position as assistant professor at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in the physician assistant program. She is relocating from Boston, where she had been practicing emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. Heidi Lorraine Long, DO, Dillsburg, PA, is celebrating her three-year anniversary with PinnacleHealth. Alicia Renee Meadows, DO, Williamsport, PA, joined University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Susquehanna as a rheumatologist. Kathryn M. Nickischer, MS/Psy, Walnutport, PA, was named a 40 Under 40 award winner by Lehigh Valley Business for her contributions to the community and her dedication to ethical business. Ms. Nickischer runs a private psychotherapy practice with offices in Lehigh and Carbon counties. Mark Perenich, MS/Biomed ’06, DO, Tarpon Springs, FL, joined the BioSpine Institute in Tampa as an orthopedic spine surgeon. Laurie Gwen Waldron, DO, Scranton, PA, joined Geisinger Health System Mt. Pleasant as a pediatrician.


Jenna Ann Brown, DO, West Milton, PA, authored an article

STAY CONNECTED Explore the many options to stay connected with PCOM and the College’s nearly 15,000 alumni. Stay up to date on news, find old friends, make new contacts, update your contact information, or submit a class note. Register at stayconnected today to get started!

for The Express in Lock Haven titled “Effective Prostate Cancer Screening Must Begin with a Conversation” (June 2, 2017). Urmi B. Jani, PsyD, Little Rock, AK, oversees psychology services at The Bariatric and Metabolic Institute at Arkansas Heart Hospital. Andrea M. Sasin, MS/PA-C, West Chester, PA, is one of only five certified physician assistants in New Jersey to earn a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Emergency Medicine from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants since the program’s inception in 2011. She works for Inspira Medical Center in Woodbury, New Jersey.


Andrew P. Burns, MS/Psy, Conshohocken, PA, developed a specialized yoga teacher training for mental health and healthcare professionals as co-founder and managing director of Well-Being Center, LLP, in Ardmore. The program addresses mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, trauma, eating disorders and chronic medical conditions through yoga and prepares trainees to lead classes with clinical populations. Aaron E. George, DO, Chambersburg, PA, was named a Physician 40 Under 40 by the Pennsylvania Medical Society in September 2016 for outstanding contributions to the practice of



Clark baby

Leone baby

Ridgeway wedding

Seeley baby

Strohm wedding

John M. Clark, DO ’11, Narberth, PA, and his wife, Caroline, welcomed a daughter, Emma, on July 9, 2016. Timothy A. Leone, DO ’02, and his wife, Jennifer Schaffer Leone, associate director of communications and editor of Digest Magazine, PCOM, announce the birth of their son, Anthony Joseph, born on January 20, 2017. Little Anthony joins big brother Nicholas. Dana M. Marchetto, DO ’15, Villanova, PA, married Nicholas Beeson on May 13, 2017, at St. Thomas of Villanova Church. Margaret V. Ridgeway, DO ’11, Manning, SC, wed Richard Anthony Pollard on September 10, 2016, at First Baptist Church in Manning. Brian Seeley, DO ’12, and Rouenne Seeley, DO ’12, Marlton, NJ, welcomed a baby girl, Mila Harper, on April 9, 2017. Lauren Strohm, DO ’09, Easton, PA, married Tommaso Marsella on April 29, 2017. medicine and the delivery of patient care, despite being early in his medical careers. Dr. George is a primary care physician with Summit Health Primary Care and an assistant clinical professor at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Megan R. Joint, DO, Erie, PA, was featured in the “DocTalk” column of the Observer-Reporter (Washington, PA), where she spoke about the causes and treatment of acne. Christopher M. Minello, DO, Milan, PA, joined the internal medicine team at Guthrie Healthcare System in Towanda. His clinical interests include cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Francine R. Broder, PsyD, Haddonfield, NJ, led an experiential workshop at Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy that covered the essentials of cognitive behavior therapy for mental health professionals who have clients with depression. John Raymond Dahdah, DO, Cleveland, OH, began a two-year critical care medicine fellowship at Cleveland Clinic in July. Scott D. Glassman, PsyD, Cherry Hill, NJ, clinical associate professor, Department of Psychology, PCOM, was featured in an article in The DO titled “Caring for Patients with Chronic

Illness Through Shared Medical Appointments” (March 3, 2017). Valentine T. Nduku, DO, RES, Corpus Christi, TX, joined the Driscoll Children’s Hospital in McAllen as a pediatric neurosurgeon. Joseph P. Quintiliani, Jr., DO, Havertown, PA, won the Resident of the Year Award for Crozer Keystone Family Medicine’s Residency Program in 2016. He also received the City Avenue Physicians Award from PCOM in 2016.


Thea Gallagher, PsyD, Langhorne, PA, appeared on NBC10 Philadelphia on April 10 discussing a recent survey from the American Psychological Association that found people are stressed about the future of the nation regardless of their political party. Dr. Gallagher discussed this in an article for Newsworks titled “U.S. Political Climate Stressful for Many, Poll Finds and Philly-area Therapists Confirm” (February 24, 2017). She was also featured in an article for titled “5 Daily Habits That Are Making Your Anxiety Worse” (April 28, 2017). Barbara J. Jones, DO, Warner Robins, GA, will join a private practice, Gwinnett Family Medical Care, in September in Snellville. Elyse K. Parcher, MS/Psy, Philadelphia, PA, with Ling A. Beisecker, MS/MHC ’16, led a specialized yoga teacher training

for mental health and healthcare professionals at the Well-Being Center, LLP, in Ardmore in January. Dane R. Scantling, DO, Philadelphia, PA, was named a Physician 40 Under 40 by the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) in September 2016 for outstanding contributions to the practice of medicine and the delivery of patient care, despite being early in his medical career. Dr. Scantling is the resident chair of the Philadelphia County Medical Society and the resident alternate delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA). He has co-authored three PAMED resolutions and one AMA resolution. Dr. Scantling is an active clinical researcher with more than a dozen peer-reviewed publications, a dozen national presentations and multiple international presentations. He remains committed to community service, public health and clinical practice as a general surgery resident at Drexel University and Hahnemann University Hospitals.


Byung H. Ban, DO, Fairfax, VA, authored a case report titled “Immune-Related Aortitis Associated with Ipilimumab” that was published in the May 2017 issue of The Rheumatologist, the official news magazine of the American College of Rheumatology.

ENDOWED RESIDENTS’ RESOURCE FUND ANNOUNCED In honor of the retirement of Richard A. Pascucci, DO ‘75, former vice dean for clinical education, chief academic officer of PCOM MEDNet, and professor of medicine, the Residents’ Resource Fund has been renamed and endowed by Dr. Pascucci’s children. The fund will be used solely for programs, activities, initiatives, and/or awards for residents who are receiving their GME training at and through PCOM. To support this fund, visit:




ALUMNI WEEKEND 2017 Alumni Weekend 2017 was an exciting time of celebrating, reconnecting and reminiscing as hundreds of alumni returned to campus. Alumni Weekend featured annual favorites like the 50th Reunion Luncheon honoring the class of 1967 and the Alumni Cocktail Reception, as well as new events for 2017, which included a night with a Neil Diamond Tribute Band, Navigating Medical School Admissions, PCOM at the Philadelphia Zoo, CSI: PCOM Edition, and coffee and conversation for PCOM Legacy families. It was a delightful weekend that is sure to be remembered.




TWENTY-ONE PCOM ALUMNI NAMED TOP DOCS BY PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE Congratulations to the following PCOM alumni who were named Top Doctors by Philadelphia Magazine in its May 2017 issue: CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE Christopher J. Droogan, DO ’90, West Chester, PA ENDOCRINOLOGY, DIABETES AND METABOLISM Deebeanne M. Tavani, DO ’86, PhD, Garnet Valley, PA FAMILY MEDICINE David A. Broyles, DO ’97, Glen Mills, PA Evan Kessler, DO ’85, Lansdale, PA Scott W. Kuptsow, DO ’93, Voorhees, NJ Kevin R. Melnick, DO ’83, Blue Bell, PA John C. Munshower, DO ’91, Wayne, PA Becky A. Souder, DO ’99, Malvern, PA


Over the past two years, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) has been running a national “Doctors that DO” campaign to raise awareness of the osteopathic medical profession and the unique whole-person care DOs provide in all specialties. Two PCOM alumni are among the most recent DOs to be featured in AOA marketing and advertising (see their ads below). The campaign runs through 2018. Johnny Dias, DO ’09 [GA–PCOM], Greenville, South Carolina internal medicine Ajay Sharma, DO ‘00, Chicago, IL - emergency medicine/ osteopathic manipulative medicine

RHEUMATOLOGY Thomas J. Whalen, DO ’79, Havertown, PA PEDIATRICS Andrea R. Thorp, DO ’95, Shamong, NJ PHYSICAL MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION Michael M. Weinik, DO ’85, Philadelphia, PA PULMONARY DISEASE Gary A. Aaronson, DO ’83, New Hope, PA Gilbert E. D’Alonzo, Jr., DO ’77, Philadelphia, PA Paul S. Karlin, DO ’80, Huntingdon Valley, PA HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE MEDICINE Stanley J. Savinese, DO ’87, Ridley Park, PA INTERNAL MEDICINE Joseph A. Rigotti, DO ’84, Horsham, PA Paul J. Zakrzewski, DO ’96, Warrington, PA MATERNAL AND FETAL MEDICINE Robert H. Debbs, DO ’89, Voorhees, NJ MEDICAL ONCOLOGY Anthony J. Magdalinski, DO ’85, Blue Bell, PA UROLOGY Jamison S. Jaffe, DO ’00, Ambler, PA Brian D. Rosenthal, DO ’98, Blue Bell, PA

Ling A. Beisecker, MS/Psy, Philadelphia, PA, with Elyse K. Parcher, MS/Psy ’14, led a yoga teacher training for mental health and healthcare professionals at Well-Being Center, LLP in Ardmore in January. Alicia N. Murray, PsyD, Portsmouth, VA, has been commissioned in the Navy and is completing her post-doctoral training at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth.

Jeremy M. Tyler, MS/Psy ’14, PsyD, Philadelphia, PA, was interviewed in an article for titled “How the 2016 Presidential Campaign Impacts Survivors of Sexual Assault,” (June 9, 2017) and in an article for psychiatryadvisor. com titled “Expert Interview: Sex Assault Survivors Troubled by Political Climate” (June 5, 2017). Dr. Tyler also appeared on NBC10 Philadelphia on June 7 discussing how the Bill Cosby trial could have a negative impact on sexual assault survivors.

* Ads reproduced with permission from the AOA.

Aaron M. Weaver, DO, Wilmington, DE, had his article “Developing a Clinical Protocol for Habitual Physical Activity Monitoring in Youth with Cerebral Palsy” published in Pediatric Physical Therapy (January 2017).


Alexander J. King, DO, Great Falls, VA, was a guest on The Happy Doc podcast (June 25, 2017), where he discussed how his passion of art has worked synergistically with his work healing patients utilizing OMM.




WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST CLASS OF ALUMNI! The PCOM Alumni Association is excited to officially welcome the class of 2017 as members of the Alumni Association. These recent graduates join a network of over 15,000 from all PCOM programs that spans across the country. Before commencement, the class of 2017 shared their post-graduation plans, aspirations and goals, highlighting their bright futures ahead.

IN MEMORIAM James Batcheller, DO ’84, Henderson, NV, February 20, 2017

John Lesniewski, DO, RES ’83, Mechanicsburg, PA, May 3, 2016

John A. DeMaria, DPM, RES ’75, West Chester, PA, May 1, 2017

Bernard Levine, DO ’64, Boca Raton, FL, April 10, 2017

Frederick W. Eframo, DO ’64, Castle Rock, CO, November 19, 2011 Jerry Ginsberg, DO ’65, Philadelphia, PA, March 16, 2017 Mark A. Gonsky, DO ’82, Delray Beach, FL, January 10, 2017 Ronald E. Johnson, DO ’78, Shawnee Mission, KS, February 18, 2017 Jon M. Keller, DO ’75, Ephrata, PA, December 22, 2016 Ross W. Kingsley, DO ’60, Durham, NC, April 3, 2017 Nelson H. Kohl, DO ’63, Plant City, FL, December 14, 2016 Kenneth E. Kratzer, DO ’71, Fennville, MI, March 18, 2017 Samuel L. Kushner, DO ’69, Somerset, NJ, January 10, 2017 Gordon L. Lerch, DO ’53, Clearwater, FL, September 11, 2016

email your news and photos to 36


Richard N. Levrault, DO ’80, Canton, MA, May 3, 2017 Patricia Bigley Liebert, RN ’55, Richmond, VA, February 25, 2017 Kevin Martin, DO, INT ’94, Frankford, MO, August 4, 2016 Alfred J. Poggi, DO ’68, Somerset, PA, April 10, 2017 Brandon D. Rogers, DO ’15, Portsmouth, VA, June 11, 2017 Harvey A. Salem, DO ’64, Chadds Ford, PA, June 15, 2017 Betty Hoffman Shultz, DO ’40, Hanover Township, PA, January 13, 2017 Paul M. Steingard, DO ’54, Phoenix, AZ, February 27, 2017 Geraldine Terry, RN ’45, Hollywood, FL, February 20, 2017 Catherine Woodfield, RN ’58, Media, PA, August 9, 2016

David Kuo, DO ’96, RES ’99

BECOME A PILLAR OF OUR STUDENTS’ SUCCESS At Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, you learned as a student from the invaluable experience of a host of faculty, fellow students, and alumni. Now, as an alum, we ask you to pass that learning on to the next generation. The PCOM Pillars program is your opportunity to give back by sharing your practical knowledge and mentorship with current PCOM students.

To learn more, visit:



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

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


DANIELLE M. WARD, MS (DO ’18) [GA–PCOM] President, Student National Medical Association Suwanee, Georgia “I have always sought to be a source of inspiration for young minority students considering a career in medicine, and I am dedicated to actively breaking down as many barriers as possible. I want to make the path a bit easier for those who come after me. . . . If someone would have told me a decade ago that I would be the first osteopathic student to become president of the Student National Medical Association, I would have thought they had lost their mind. At that time, I was struggling to make it through college while raising a baby daughter in a rocky marriage that eventually resulted in divorce. So my SNMA position today is indeed remarkable. It is both proof of the power of persistence and a profound honor and privilege. I am thankful for the opportunity to use my platform as a voice for the under-represented. . . . Sadly, in 2017, there still remains a lack of diversity in healthcare professionals. At the same time, there is still a need to raise awareness of and pride in osteopathic medicine. So as to deliver the best culturally competent care to patients, healthcare professionals must be compassionate and empathetic; they must represent those of various ethnic and social backgrounds and understand the issues faced by different cultural backgrounds.” •

PCOM Digest No2 2017  

For alumni and friends of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

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