Digest 2, 2021

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VOL. 82, 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 David McKay Wilson CONTRIBUTORS – UPDATES Daniel McCunney Orla Moloney Barbara Myers Jordan Roberts CONTRIBUTORS – CLASS NOTES Institutional Advancement Staff Mel Daley Meghan McCall PHOTOGRAPHY Daniel Shippey Photography Bruce Fairfield Melissa Kelly Photography Anthony Stalcup SEND QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT DIGEST MAGAZINE TO: Marketing and Communications, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 4180 City Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19131-1695 215-871-6300 communications@pcom.edu SEND INFORMATION FOR CLASS NOTES AND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: Institutional Advancement, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine 4180 City Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19131-1695 215-871-6120 alumni@pcom.edu Periodical postage is paid at Upper Darby, PA, and at additional mailing offices. Opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by the College or the editor.

Dear Alumni and Friends, It seems we are all, at present, engaged in envisioning life in a world without restriction. After more than a year of quarantine, of isolation, of social distancing, each step toward normalcy brings a taste of joy. As President and Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, I personally look forward to a vibrant fall semester, with a full resumption of in-person teaching, research and College operations, while maintaining a safe and healthy environment for the entire PCOM community. COVID-19 has proven to be not just a health crisis, but also a human, economic and social crisis. We need to learn from it, and to significantly invest—moving forward—in science, medicine and public health. We need to reflect on the shortand long-term implications of the pandemic and to promote constructive responses to mental health and well-being. We need to work to address racial inequities laid bare and take concrete actions to advance the work of improving health equity and combating disparities. In this issue of Digest Magazine, College alumni reimagine our world as we begin to pivot from pandemic response to future prevention and recovery. They share hard lessons learned. And the very questions they raise may reshape both health care and society as a whole as we make choices for our “new normal.”

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


© 2021 Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. All rights reserved. 2


C O NT E N TS 2 Updates 8 Advancing Alumni 1 0 Reimagining Public

Health: Pivoting from Pandemic Response to Future Prevention



1 6 Rethinking Burnout, Mental Health and Well-being

2 0 A Pandemic Within a

Pandemic: Addressing Marginalized and Minoritized Communities to Foster Recovery

24 Class Notes






SPRING COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES SIGNAL “RETURN TO NORMAL” On May 24, at the Mann Center in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, and on May 27, at the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, Georgia, PCOM and PCOM Georgia graduated 270 and 130 DOs, respectively, in the College’s 130th Commencement. The ceremonies were once again held as in-person events after moving to virtual programs in the midst of the pandemic last year. These graduates will go on to join the more than 100,000 osteopathic physicians currently in practice in the United States. At the same time, PCOM Georgia held a combined Commencement ceremony for 83 Doctor of Pharmacy graduates and 33 Doctor of Physical Therapy graduates. The DPT Class of 2021 is the first class to graduate from PCOM’s physical therapy program. In Philadelphia, the graduates were addressed by Commencement keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient Daniel R. Taylor, DO ’97, FAAP, FACOP, associate professor of pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine and general pediatrician at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Burton T. Mark, DO, FACN; Theodore Paul Mauer, DO ’62, FAOCOO–HNS; and Abraham Zellis, DO ’56, were honored as professors emeriti. Also included in the program was a recognition of the generous $1 million bequest from David A. Bitonte, DO ’80, MBA, MPH, FAOCA, to establish the annual Commencement Speaker Series. Funds generated from the endowment go toward supporting the cost of a distinguished speaker at the College’s DO Commencement ceremony in Philadelphia. At PCOM Georgia, Commencement speakers, who all were awarded honorary degrees, included Richard H. Jadick, DO, who is considered the Iraq War’s most decorated physician. Christy M. Norman, PharmD, MS, BCPS, president-elect of the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists, also spoke to the graduates. Addressing the inaugural physical therapy graduating class was Phillip B. Palmer, PT, PhD, the founding program chair, who retired at the end of the academic year. Mary P. Owen, JD, MS, PhD, was honored as professor emerita. “You were—and will continue to be—on the front lines: treating and caring for patients in the holistic manner that is part of your osteopathic heritage,” said Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer, in his address to the graduates. “Your dedication to healing will ensure that our healthcare system, as we begin to move into a post-pandemic world, will deliver on the unmet health and wellness needs of our society as a whole.” The events were also livestreamed on the College’s Facebook and YouTube pages.







On April 15, PCOM leaders hosted a ribbon-cutting celebration for the newly renovated and named Meta Christy House. Several prominent community members spoke during the ceremony, including State Senator Vincent Hughes and PCOM President and Chief Executive Officer Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81.

pathic profession. This year marks the 100th anniversary of her gradation. During the ceremony, PCOM leaders unveiled a portrait of Dr. Christy that will hang in the front entrance of the building. Portraits of Dr. Christy were also unveiled at PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia.

The building is named in honor of Meta L. Christy, DO 1921, the College’s first African American student and the first African American doctor of osteopathic medicine in the nation, as recognized by the American Osteopathic Association, whose achievement brings profound pride to PCOM and to the osteo-

Meta Christy House, previously Overmont House, is located adjacent to the PCOM campus and includes 224 apartments on 12 floors. PCOM students will be given priority application for the apartment complex.

PRESIDENT’S COMMUNITY WELLNESS INITIATIVE FORMED This spring, Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer, formed the President’s Community Wellness Initiative (CWI) to create educational and health services programming and resources that improve and sustain the physical, mental and nutritional wellness of the College’s surrounding communities. The CWI supports existing projects and collaborative efforts to create, plan and execute new opportunities to serve the community. CWI initiatives at PCOM are generously sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. Under the auspices of the CWI, and in partnership with Bebashi – Transition to Hope, PCOM has opened food pantries at two of its Healthcare Centers. And recently, as part of the CWI, PCOM Georgia partnered with an independent pharmacy in Cumming (with ties to alumnus Kaleb Zhang, PharmD ’20) to host two COVID-19 vaccination events. At PCOM South Georgia, second-year DO students assisted with screening patients, administering vaccines and documenting doses.



“PCOM has long valued the role of community outreach in healthcare education and has emphasized care for underserved populations,” affirmed Dr. Feldstein. “Community outreach is what drives us all beyond the classroom, the office, the clinic. It allows us to see health care as an intricate system that reaches into patients’ lives: their homes, finances, grocery bags. It cultivates a culture of holistic health and well-being as a core value of community; it is a manifestation of the whole person approach to health care.”

STRICKLANDS ENDOW SCHOLARSHIP FOR PCOM GEORGIA DOCTORAL STUDENTS Merging their faith with their passion for medicine and education, Gwinnett County philanthropists, entrepreneurs and business owners Clyde and Sandra Strickland recently established an endowed doctoral scholarship fund at PCOM Georgia. Through the fund, $5,000 scholarships will be awarded annually to three students, one from each doctoral program at PCOM Georgia to include those earning degrees in osteopathic medicine, pharmacy and physical therapy. North Carolina natives, the Stricklands have been residents of Gwinnett since 1969. With a belief in caring for their community, the couple will provide the yearly scholarships to PCOM Georgia students who are graduates of Gwinnett County Public Schools. “We want to help our neighbors here,” Mrs. Strickland said. “We can surely do something right here in our own community.” The Stricklands have been long-time supporters of health care, and especially Northside Hospital Gwinnett (formerly Gwinnett Medical Center), where Mrs. Strickland is a member of the Women’s Advisory Council. Mr. Strickland serves on the Board of Directors for the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation. They provided funding to build the hospital’s chapel, spearheaded a capital campaign for the Strickland Heart Center, funded the Sandra J.

Strickland Diagnostic Center, and helped build the Strickland Family Medicine Center, a teaching facility for Northside Hospital Gwinnett’s family medicine residency program.



Andrea Pax Mann, DO, FAAP, has been named dean and chief academic officer of the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program at PCOM Georgia.

The College has named Brian Gerard Mann, EdD, MS, PA-C, as its new chief of simulation operations, to assume broad responsibility for the day-to-day management of the simulation centers and standardized patient operations across all three PCOM locations.

Dr. Mann most recently served as the assistant dean for clinical education, chair of pediatrics, and associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine at the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine at Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine. She has 20 years of experience in academic medicine, including close to five years at the dean’s level, with a record of accomplishment as a leader, administrator, educator, innovator, mentor and advisor. Dr. Mann describes herself as “a solid, flexible, optimistic, and introspective leader who is approachable and never backs down from a challenge.” Her style is to “empower and encourage people to become the very best versions of themselves.” Dr. Mann earned a bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College and a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed an internal medicine and pediatrics residency at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

“We are pleased that Dr. Mann has joined PCOM to lead the coordination of simulation center educational opportunities across the College’s three locations. It has become more important than ever that PCOM use best practices from each campus to more efficiently deliver curriculum to all of our students,” said Kenneth J. Veit, DO ’76, MBA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean. Most recently, Dr. Mann served as the director of simulation education at the Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine at Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine. In this position, he managed the simulation center’s day-to-day operations and created an integrated simulation curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate medical education.




PCOM MARKS A 99.6 PERCENT DO MATCH RATE This year, the College’s DO Class of 2021 (PCOM and PCOM Georgia) achieved a 99.6 percent match rate in the National Resident Matching Program. Matching alongside their allopathic counterparts for the second time since the single graduate medical education accreditation system has been fully implemented, DO graduates from both campuses will continue their education and training at healthcare facilities across the United States. More than 220 DO graduates plan to enter primary care specialties, including internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics and OB/GYN. Forty-one will enter emergency medicine. Twenty-one graduates matched into military residencies, representing the Air Force, Army and Navy. Twenty-eight PCOM Georgia DO graduates will stay in state to complete residency programs in Georgia, while 121 PCOM graduates matched into residencies in Pennsylvania. In addition, 13 PCOM DO graduates matched into residencies in Delaware.

STUDENTS ADVANCE VACCINATION SKILLS TO HELP PROTECT COMMUNITIES FROM COVID-19 A permanent curriculum change in the DO program has recently taken place at all three College locations. First- and second-year DO students will now receive training in giving inoculations/ intramuscular injections as part of their primary skills course. Third- and fourth-year pharmacy students are also a great resource in the mixing and administering of vaccines, while physician assistant students are trained to administer vaccinations during their first year. “Nothing, at this point in the COVID-19 crisis, is more important than getting as many people vaccinated as possible. The students of PCOM and other area health professional schools can and should, under direct medical supervision, play a critical role in our inoculation efforts to provide a vaccine to all who want one,” said Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer. To date, PCOM student volunteers have administered thousands of vaccines to their local communities and have assisted with registration and both pre- and post-vaccine evaluation.

ACADEMIC PROGRAMS GRANTED ACCREDITATION PCOM’s three-year Education Specialist Degree program has been granted accreditation by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP). “NASP accreditation confirms that the training and support we provide our students has been recognized to meet the highest standards in school psychology. This program also presents a huge benefit to our students, allowing them to graduate in three years instead of four and begin their careers sooner with less debt burden,” said Richard Allen, PsyD, director of the educational specialist program at PCOM. In addition, PCOM’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program was granted initial accreditation effective through fall 2025 by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). Under the leadership of Phillip B. Palmer, PT, PhD, retired professor and department chair, administrators and faculty members submitted a self-study report to CAPTE before the physical therapy program underwent a site visit. “It’s a credit to Dr. Palmer and his staff for achieving this significant goal for our PT program,” noted Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer.



PCOM FACULTY PRESENT COVID RESEARCH College faculty presented the capstone seminar “COVID-19: From Virus to Vaccine” at the 2021 Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association Virtual Clinical Assembly and Scientific Seminar. Mindy George-Weinstein, PhD, chief research and science officer, PCOM, led an interdisciplinary team of faculty and staff who addressed common questions raised during the pandemic and provided a deep dive into the mechanisms and impact of the virus. Susan Hingley, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, PCOM, reviewed the biology of the SARS-CoV2 virus and its proposed origins and method of entry into human cells. Katherine Galluzzi, DO, CMD, FACOFP dist., professor of geriatric and palliative medicine, PCOM, provided an overview of the pathophysiology of COVID-19 and discussed the emergence of sequelae and “long-haul COVID.” Patrick Wolf, MBA, chief occupational and safety officer, PCOM, spoke about current CDC policies on quarantining and contact tracing. Shashidharamurthy Taval, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology, PCOM Georgia, went over established and emerging pharmacologic approaches to inhibiting SARS-CoV2 and discussed his own COVID-related research. Valerie Cadet, PhD, associate professor of microbiology and immunology, PCOM Georgia, described the mechanisms of action of the different vaccine types and reviewed the latest data on their effectiveness. And Harry Morris, DO, MPH, professor of family medicine, PCOM, discussed the important role of primary care providers in helping to overcome vaccine hesitancy.

KRISTIE PETREE, DO ’13, APPOINTED MEMBER OF THE NBOME NATIONAL FACULTY Kristie Petree, DO ‘13, OMM site director, PCOM South Georgia, was recently named a member of the National Faculty in the Clinical Department of Osteopathic Principles and Practice/ Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine on the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners. In this role, she will participate in the item writing process for the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States.

“DR. E” HONORED WITH FAAO DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD Walter C. Ehrenfeuchter, DO ’79, FAAO, retired professor of neuromusculoskeletal medicine and osteopathic manipulative medicine, PCOM Georgia, recently received the 2021 Fellow of American Academy of Osteopathy Distinguished Service Award. The award is presented annually to one recipient by the Committee on Fellowship of the American Academy of Osteopathy. Dr. Ehrenfeuchter, affectionately known as Dr. E, served as chair of the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at PCOM Georgia prior to his retirement on June 30, 2021. A 1975 graduate of Drexel University, he earned a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from PCOM in 1979. He completed an internship at the Hospital of PCOM, and then served as the first resident in the history of the osteopathic manipulative medicine profession in 1980. Dr. E has had a distinguished career in medicine and medical education, serving at both the PCOM and PCOM Georgia campuses for more than 40 years. He achieved the status of Fellow of the AAO in 1990, and was board certified the same year. Elected to the Board of Governors in 1995, he became a member of the Committee on Fellowship in 2012, where he continues to serve. Dr. E is known for authoring six chapters of Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine, the standard text for teaching the osteopathic profession, now in its fourth edition.

$1.5 MILLION ALLOCATED TO GROWTH AT PCOM SOUTH GEORGIA On June 2, the Moultrie-Colquitt County Development Authority voted to allocate $1.5 million to support the growth of PCOM South Georgia. The development authority, chaired by James L. Matney, who also serves as president and chief executive officer of Colquitt Regional Medical Center, has been a long-time supporter of the College. Daniel Dunn, a current authority board member who was chairman of the authority when PCOM South Georgia opened its doors in 2019, told state legislators at the time that “Colquitt County is known for its agriculture. We’ve planted seeds that have grown to feed and clothe the nation—the world, actually. No more important seed has been planted in Colquitt County than the one we planted today.” After the recent vote, he added, “That seed has now matured and is bearing fruit.”

Plans for PCOM South Georgia expansion are still to come but may include new academic programs and facility development.





Institutional Advancement is thrilled to announce the newly redesigned PCOM Alumni Job Board. This web-based resource allows employers to post positions of interest to graduates of all of PCOM’s programs and shares job listings in a streamlined and organized way. The board features openings at organizations across the country, and jobs that are posted by PCOM alumni-owned enterprises have a special notation. The job opportunities are varied and include traditional positions in health and behavioral health, as well as several that provide unique ways to utilize the training and education received at PCOM. Institutional Advancement is partnering with several leading healthcare organizations, including Havas Health & You, a unified healthcare communications agency specializing in digital marketing and advertising, and Oxeon Partners, a healthcare growth services firm. About working with PCOM, Cheryl Fielding, group president of Havas Health & You, said, “As competition increases for certain skillsets, employers must get more creative about searching for talent. Forming direct relationships with fantastic institutions like PCOM is a win-win for companies and alumni. PCOM is a welcome partner for Havas Health, given its rich collection of programs, and its geographical reach.” Submit a job opening or search the current listings today at alumni.pcom.edu/jobboard.

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AWARDS COMMUNITY RESEARCH GRANTS The PCOM Alumni Association has dedicated financial resources to supporting research for students and faculty. Through a highly competitive process, the following projects were awarded Community Research Grant Stipends: • Exploring Barriers to Receiving Medical and Mental Health Services in Rural Environments in partnership with Turning Point Care Center,

a behavioral health hospital in Moultrie, Georgia

» Led by Shari Allen, PharmD, associate professor, pharmacy practice, and Marcella Rolle, MEd, assistant professor, counseling,

with six students from all three PCOM locations

• PCOM Partners: Empowering Community Members to Reduce COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in partnership with Nothing but the

Truth, a community ministry offering a variety of services, and Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry, a community food bank ministry, both located in Lawrenceville, Georgia » Led by Brian Matayoshi, PhD, professor, physiology, with nine students from various programs

• Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Within the BIPOC Population Through Direct Grassroots Engagement with Local Churches in

partnership with Hope and Life Church, Lawrenceville, Georgia

» Led by Valerie Cadet, PhD, associate professor, microbiology and immunology, and Edo-abasi McGee, PharmD, assistant

professor, pharmacy practice, with four students in Pharmacy and DO programs

Grantees will submit reports of their results to the Alumni Association upon completion. For more information about the PCOM Alumni Association, visit alumni.pcom.edu/alumniassociation. 8



JOHNNY LOPS, DO ’06 – PSYCHIATRIST AND PRODUCER OF OSCAR-NOMINATED FILM As a psychiatrist with an active private practice in New York City, Johnny Lops, DO ’06, has always been fascinated by people and the motives behind their behavior. This same fascination serves as the driving force for Dr. Lops’ second career as a film producer. With past projects including Who Took Johnny (2014), All the Rage: Saved by Sarno (2016) and Spelling the Dream (2017), Dr. Lops considers himself to be a social impact producer, creating films that bring justice and equity to the forefront. Feeling Through (2020), the latest project on which he was an associate producer, was nominated for a 2021 Oscar for Best Short Film (Live Action). Chronicling a late-night encounter between a homeless teen and a deafblind man, Feeling Through is the first-ever movie to feature a deafblind actor in a lead role. PCOM sat down with this psychiatrist-producer for some Q&A. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING A PRODUCER? “The producer role gives you a more holistic view. You see the script, give feedback, be on set and make observations. I like to tell stories about people, which I think ties into my career in psychiatry. A lot of my work is in documentaries, and I like how they give you a bird’s-eye view of other people’s lives and stories.” HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH FEELING THROUGH? “I met the director, Doug, through a friend I made while acting in a show called From Date to Mate. When Doug said he wanted to make a film with the first deafblind actor, I knew I had to be a part of it. We don’t like to think about someone being deaf or blind, let alone deaf and blind. How do you do something so simple as getting across the street?” WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE NOMINATED FOR AN OSCAR? “Having Nick Jonas call our film for an Oscar nomination didn’t feel real. It was bananas. While we did not win the Oscar, we are incredibly grateful to have been nominated. The film is now at 3.6 million views on YouTube, which I think highlights the interest and importance of this film. Studios are also interested in creating a feature of it. So despite the loss, the momentum built by the nomination has created the relationships to possibly take the short to a feature form and provide more exploration into the deafblind community.” WHAT IMPACT DO YOU HOPE YOUR FILMS HAVE? “I hope viewers walk away with inspiration, education and acceptance. We’re at a time right now in the world where we are finally starting to focus on those who are different than us. I think these films are an opportunity to educate and gain introspection about those who are different from us. Film is one of the most powerful ways to introduce people to challenging topics. Film is also healing, and it’s magical in that ability.”







The broad landscape of public health, and the specific domain of clinical trials, resonate with once-ina-lifetime force in year 2 of COVID-19. Here, four PCOM alumni describe how their work and their workplaces are drawing on and pivoting from a pre-pandemic baseline to prepare themselves and those they serve for what may be next.

“In public health, the population is our patient,” says Lauren B. Ball, DO ’95, MPH, FAOCOPM, assistant professor, PCOM Georgia, and course director for the Preventive and Community-Based Medicine course required for all DO candidates. In that role, Dr. Ball’s mission is to “make public health concepts relevant to students in whatever specialty of medicine they plan to pursue.” From that perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic was an extraordinary teaching opportunity. “The concepts were playing out in real life, affecting the students and their families. We saw different approaches to the pandemic in different parts of the country, and still other approaches internationally. Disease control efforts involve elements of individual and social responsibility, which at times can conflict with personal freedoms.”

A BALANCING ACT Dr. Ball describes public health as a balancing act, with science overlain by politics and economics, noting that “the public health response to an outbreak or pandemic continually evolves as we gather more information and allocate funding.” Dr. Ball has herself been part of such responses. At the CDC, she was in the Epidemic Intelligence Service, and her work as a staff member was supported by the beginning of the funding of public health preparedness. “Under the umbrella category of bioterrorism, we worked to bolster




the essential activities that public health departments do every day: surveillance, lab testing, finding cases, tracing contacts, and recommending non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, quarantine and isolation.”

“On March 13, 2020,” recalls Jeffrey Kingsley, DO ’01, MBA, CPI, FACRP, founder and CEO, “we got our first email saying, ‘Stop immediately. This trial is on hold until further notice.’ Within four weeks, 60 percent of our business had been suspended.”

At the Florida Department of Health, Dr. Ball was involved in the mass vaccination response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009. Later, as the deputy state epidemiologist for the Maine Center for Disease Control, she worked on a response to a novel variant of swine influenza.

The company invested in lab equipment and hired a new “swab squad” to do free COVID testing in their redesigned parking lot. In the process, they pivoted into new research areas and subsequently built out a new division around vaccine research and medical device research. They invested in doing more gastroenterology research to leverage the success of the COVID work.


Today, the company has over 120 concurrently enrolling trials and manages about 400 concurrent trials. But “our passionate cause,” says Dr. Kingsley, “is revolutionizing research. How do we get more physicians involved, more patients? How do we make research happen faster?”

“I remind students,” Dr. Ball says, “that they are required to work with the public health department, as mandated by law, in managing cases of communicable disease. The health department is a resource for clinicians, providing important information in the form of health alerts and guidance documents that support communicating with patients about prevention measures that will impact personal health as well as the health of the community. “Public health also deals with chronic disease,” she adds, “and it’s up to clinicians to help communicate with their patients about lifestyle changes that would impact their health.” Chronic disease and infectious disease can intersect; the morbidity and mortality related to COVID demonstrated the “disproportionate impact on those segments of the population that suffer from certain chronic diseases. The burden of disease was not spread equally, which also illustrated the impact of the social determinants of health, including access to care.” Vaccine hesitancy has been widely discussed during the COVID pandemic. “Who better to give someone sciencebased information than their personal clinician?” Dr. Ball asks. She introduced her students to apps and websites that help clinicians frame such conversations, pointing out that evidence-based practices exist not only in medicine, but also in public and community health. “Yes, we are in unprecedented times,” says Dr. Ball, “but we constantly learn from our past responses about what worked and what didn’t. What we will learn from COVID will help us plan for future events to be able to implement successful, timely interventions.” -----In February 2020, the 15-year-old clinical trial research company IACT Health had 69 concurrently enrolling research trials in over 30 different medical therapeutic areas— oncology, nephrology, cardiology and more—but very little vaccine work or medical device work, and virtually no prescreening activities, like community health fairs. 12


THE FUTURE OF RESEARCH: DIRECT TO PATIENT COVID has dramatically accelerated industry interest in direct to patient clinical trials, also called decentralized or virtual clinical trials. Dr. Kingsley—despite having built a brick and mortar business—has long believed they are the future of research. “Why should I make you come to my building to be able to participate? The vast majority of patients who enter trials are within a five-mile radius of an office.” As a result of the pandemic, “All of a sudden, we see home health nursing being able to facilitate getting patient bloodwork. All of a sudden, couriers can deliver a drug to a patient’s home and bring the labs back to us, we process the labs, and the courier does the shipping for us.” In two vaccine projects currently enrolling throughout the United States, “patients will never have to meet me in person,” says Dr. Kingsley, “but I can jump on a call with them, or a telemedicine visit—for example, to help them understand the informed consent process. This dramatically enhances our ability to enroll those projects, and now patients in remote areas can participate, whereas they wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise.”

SOLVING THE PROGRAM OF TOO FEW PIs Patient availability isn’t the only challenge in clinical trial research. “Today there are too few experienced principal investigators,” says Dr. Kingsley. “The churn rate of physicians in clinical research is 51 percent—almost the same as

waitstaff in a restaurant. Most sites are very small, poorly run businesses, with doctors still trying to do this as a hobby. “The solution is to design a system that allows physicians to thrive doing research long-term as part of their career trajectory. Doing direct to patient work effectively means you need fewer PIs, because now one PI can serve an entire state. And so direct to patient enables us to more effectively access the greatest, most experienced PIs. “‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ is not quite true,” Dr. Kingsley observes. “Pain is the mother of invention. COVID was painful enough that it made the industry adopt direct to patient methods. And ultimately that’s the silver lining.” -----Jacky So, MS/Biomed ’16, works at a company that didn’t exist before the pandemic. Mrs. So is director of technical program managers at Primary.Health in San Francisco, a cloud-based data platform startup focused on software solutions for testing and vaccination programs. Begun by a group of volunteers initially seeking to increase COVID-19 testing and tracing efforts in Northern California, the company has grown from eight people to over one hundred. Mrs. So describes the platform as “lab agnostic, requisitioning physician agnostic, test agnostic—we enable any size group, organization, business, school, community, research lab, you name it, to use our platform. Our platform is modular and flexible, which allows us to adapt and customize the end-to-end process to their needs.” Primary.Health is committed to inclusivity and social determinants of health, both through their platform’s design and functionality and through their focus on providing services to areas of greatest need, including communities of color.




SEATS AT THE TABLE “How do we collect data not merely for the sake of collecting it,” asks Mrs. So, “but to actually bridge gaps in health equity resources?” For Mrs. So, it’s about providing seats at the table, in multiple ways. Primary.Health thinks about the experience for both the administrator providing services and the end participant. For example, administrators might want updated insurance information if it exists, so they can enable a feature that allows collecting such information at the point of service. But Primary.Health “doesn’t prioritize insurance as a gatekeeping mechanism to deny somebody access to services they need. People move. People have lost their jobs during the pandemic, and their insurance is tied to their jobs. By allowing insurance to be secondary to what we do, we are able to prioritize the right things and serve as a conduit for groups to reach their populations of interest. “Our research partners are doing multiyear longitudinal studies of communities that might not have great Wi-Fi or access to internet. “Many research tools were built decades ago; everything’s just text. And if that text is English-only, it’s already excluded people before a study ever started. It also excludes people on the patient end, who might have to call a helpline, resulting in a backlog of calls—it’s a broken system, but it just keeps being done that way. And so that’s where we enter.”

CUSTOMIZING AND MOVING FORWARD The company can visualize data of interest and generate highly customized reports—maybe one way for a study, a different way for a lab, for a board of directors, to meet federal reporting requirements. “We support multiple languages and translations, and every group, every study, has custom needs,” says Mrs. So. During the winter holiday season, Mrs. So saw a support ticket for an airline passenger trying to fly home to Hong Kong. The airline wanted a lab report PDF, which the lab needed to generate ad hoc but wasn’t permitted to send by email. Mrs. So “coded something up and got the signoff from the lab”—transitioning the manual lab report generation into an automated custom report on the patient’s secured results page that even included specific terms the airline wanted. “I learned later that everyone else was stuck at the airport because their lab reports did not show the specific items we were able to include, but we helped that person get home. Thanks to this collaboration during peak travel and varying country restrictions, the auto-generated lab reports during this time have been self-sustaining to help others as well.” As the US emerges from the pandemic, Primary.Health “can package what we’ve done to support other research efforts and countries,” says Mrs. So. “If we look around the world, it’s going to take all of us to move the future of data, science and equity forward.”

FIVE QUESTIONS FOR Lauri A. Hicks, DO ’99, Captain, US Public Health Service; Director, Office of Antibiotic Stewardship, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention How did you become interested in epidemiology as a career? What propelled you from the University of Connecticut and PCOM to the CDC? “I always was very interested in disease prevention and health promotion, even while in college. I really liked the osteopathic approach and philosophy, especially the emphasis on disease prevention, and PCOM was not far from my family in Pennsylvania. PCOM was the only medical school I applied to. During my clinical years, I enjoyed the process of thinking through challenging cases, which led me to internal medicine. It wasn’t until I arrived in my internal medicine residency at UConn that I seriously considered public health as a career path. I had several excellent mentors,



including Drs. Richard Garibaldi (chairman of Internal Medicine at the time) and Jack Ross, both infectious diseases physicians who told me I should look into the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) program, a two-year applied epidemiology and disease detective training program at CDC. This was an opportunity to apply my interests in disease prevention at a population level. I applied to the EIS program during my chief residency year. I subsequently did an infectious diseases fellowship at Brown University, but I returned to CDC permanently in 2007 to work for the Respiratory Diseases Branch. I now lead the Office of Antibiotic Stewardship in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. It’s hard to believe that I have now been at CDC for nearly 16 years!”

What is your role now in your COVID deployment? “I have been working almost continuously on CDC’s COVID-19 pandemic response since March 2020. I deployed initially to lead CDC’s Deployment Assessment and Monitoring Team for nearly 10 months. In that role, I was responsible for monitoring for COVID-19 among CDC staff and protecting the health of CDC’s workforce. I also provided consultation to several other federal partners, including FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. In the months after that deployment, I served in a clearance role reviewing content pertaining to healthcare infection prevention and control and COVID-19. I just started in a new role as the Chief Medical Officer for the Vaccine Task Force. My team is responsible for monitoring the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, responding to clinical inquiries, and developing guidance and policy on vaccine administration with input from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. This is both a daunting and exciting role, and I feel honored to have the opportunity to work with so many passionate colleagues on the response.” How do the core elements of the CDC’s antibiotic stewardship in various healthcare settings play out in dealing with the “just in case” overuse of antibiotics in COVID treatment? “Antibiotics are frequently prescribed for respiratory conditions for which they provide no benefit and can cause harm. Although overall antibiotic prescribing decreased during the pandemic, prescribing of specific antibiotics, including azithromycin, was higher than expected. Patients who develop secondary bacterial infections after COVID-19 infection may require antibiotic treatment, but current data suggest this occurs in only 5.9 percent of patients presenting to hospitals with a current or recent COVID-19 diagnosis. CDC’s Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship offers healthcare professionals and antibiotic stewardship leaders a set of key principles to guide efforts to improve antibiotic use. Tracking and Reporting are CDC core elements. In places where these core elements are being actively implemented, we haven’t seen the same kinds of increases in azithromycin use. For example, one of our partners, Intermountain Healthcare, instituted a multifaceted intervention from July 2019 to June 2020, including robust tracking of antibiotic prescribing and

feedback of prescribing practices to clinicians. While an increase in azithromycin use was seen nationally, their network of urgent care centers saw a decrease in azithromycin for respiratory visits from 9.7 percent of visits down to just 3.3 percent of visits during the pandemic.” How will US Antibiotic Awareness Week at the end of November be shaped by the pandemic? “The pandemic has had a significant impact on antibiotic prescribing, and we plan to communicate about what we have learned about prescribing during this time. During 2020, outpatient antibiotic use was much lower than it has been in previous years, which we believe is due to decreases in healthcare utilization, decreased transmission of non-COVID-19 illnesses, and increased awareness that viruses aren’t treated by antibiotics. In hospitals, we have seen increases in use of antibiotics that are normally prescribed for treatment of community-acquired pneumonia. This is not surprising given the high frequency of COVID-19 admissions and associated respiratory illness. Since most patients with COVID-19 don’t have bacterial co-infections, there are likely opportunities for antibiotic stewardship programs to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use. We are hopeful that some of the knowledge gained related to managing viral infections will ultimately lead to improvements in antibiotic use.” How might the experience and lessons of COVID be manifested in the work and mission of the Office of Antibiotic Stewardship post-pandemic? “The pandemic has changed so much about healthcare delivery in such a short time, and we must both adjust to this new normal and take lessons learned to move forward. Telehealth is a growing and important part of our healthcare delivery system, and my team is working to identify the best approaches to optimizing antibiotic use in telehealth. At the same time, the pandemic has made health disparities that exist in our country even more apparent, and one of our priorities is to identify and address health disparities that may lead to differences in the quality of antibiotic prescribing in different populations. We also know that we must work with our partners to build more resilience into our antibiotic stewardship programs and activities, especially at the local level, so that this important work can continue even when there is a public health emergency.”





Physician burnout was at epidemic levels before COVID hit with a vengeance in 2020. More than a year later, the pandemic has added to the pressures faced by a broad range of healthcare professionals and those studying to enter the professions. What they experience on the job and in the classroom can bring on the classic symptoms of burnout: emotional exhaustion, a loss of identity and feelings of inadequacy related to chronic work-related stress. Clinicians say caregivers, who dedicate their professional lives to the service of others, often tend to forget about what they can do to care for themselves. At a time when job demands have intensified, mental health professionals and university and hospital administrators are exploring ways to address the issue.

A heavy toll on healthcare workers Among those on the front lines as a health psychologist is Angela L. Kurzyna, MA, PsyD ’13, BCB, executive



director of Moorestown Integrative Wellness in Moorestown, New Jersey, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. She was one of four medical professionals who spoke to Digest Magazine about what they’ve seen in the field, and what interventions they have developed to address the issues. “Healthcare workers are burned out, beyond a shadow of a doubt,” says Dr. Kurzyna, who supports a range of health practitioners in the Delaware Valley: physicians, physician assistants, nurses, fellow psychologists, pharmacists. “Burnout and compassion fatigue had been increasing over the past few years, but COVID was the tipping point for so many. There was a baseline of burnout going on, and then the advent of COVID made things significantly worse. Fatigued, highly anxious, experiencing sleep disturbances—so many healthcare professionals just couldn’t turn the pandemic off.” The efforts by healthcare professionals to respond to the clinical struggles of the pandemic have taken a toll,

affirms Jennifer Collins, MS ‘08, PsyD ‘10, MSCP, clinical psychologist and chief well-being officer at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She pointed to a September 2020 study by the National Institute of Health Care Management that found 71 percent of physicians were reporting burnout and exhaustion, while 8 percent of physicians had outright shuttered their offices. “There was a higher intensity of work, a rationing of supplies, mounting death totals, and feelings of inadequacy because they couldn’t cure their patients,” she says. “Even the best of healthcare professionals were falling short of the fix-it strategy. This affected those in the wards and those on the front lines; no one was immune.” Not helping were the indifferent attitudes of many Americans toward infection-control precautions such as social distancing and masking. Masking even became politicized. Then came resistance to the COVID vaccine. “Seeing those things in the media was particularly distressing,” Dr. Collins says. “It felt like the community wasn’t supporting healthcare workers by doing their part.” Healthcare workers were scared, too, that they might contract the novel coronavirus. “At the beginning there was so much fear and uncertainty,” she says. “Would they contract the virus? Would they take it home to their loved ones? There was frustration that things weren’t getting better. There was a blip of optimism when the vaccine rolled out, but that quickly halted when so many people were not accepting of the vaccine and patient cases continued to rise.” Also troubling was the resistance among some fellow healthcare workers to getting vaccinated and skepticism about reaching herd immunity. “We’ve experienced that resistance and skepticism in our own health system,” Dr. Collins says. Dr. Kurzyna suggests the reaction by healthcare workers to their stressful work conditions can be better understood if viewed through the lens of researcher Hans Selye’s three-stage General Adaptation Syndrome. The first stage begins with the alarm response to stress, when one’s adrenalin kicks in. Later, the reaction turns to resistance, as one’s body remains on high alert but returns somewhat to normal. The final stage is exhaustion, in the face of unrelenting chronic stress. Many healthcare professionals find themselves exhausted, in Selye’s final stage. For some, it has ultimately meant retirement or a career change.

“There was a baseline of burnout going on, and then the advent of COVID made things significantly worse. Fatigued, highly anxious, experiencing sleep disturbances— so many healthcare professionals just couldn’t turn the pandemic off.” – Dr. Kurzyna

“It can look like depression,” says Dr. Kurzyna. “People can’t get out of bed. They don’t have the energy for things they used to do. There is nothing left in the tank. I see people leaving jobs, leaving their specialties. They are spent. They are done.” She says programs to combat burnout need to strengthen resiliency among healthcare professionals by building a more collegial environment in the workplace. She recalls how a decade ago, physicians, PAs, nurses would gather in lounges at hospitals to talk about cases on the floor, and their lives. “They kept up with one another,” she says. “There was time for small talk, or case consultation. These lounges still exist, but there’s nobody in them. And if they are there, everyone is on their devices.” She encourages healthcare centers to reinvigorate these spaces. “They need to bring back the incentive for lounges and places built in the work milieu, where professionals have the time, space and expectation to socialize,” she says.

Strategies to combat burnout during training For Jerry R. Balentine, DO ’83, FACEP, executive vice president and chief operating officer at New York Institute of Technology, the work to address the issues of burnout must begin in medical school, where he believes students need to develop strategies that they can take with them into clinical practice. Dr. Balentine, who was dean at NYIT’s College of Osteopathic Medicine from 2018 to 2020, says he launched




a program several years ago with medical students who he observed took too little time away from the books.

the dinner table, checking your mail on your phone. Let there be a barrier between your work and your life.”

“I saw them studying like crazy,” he recalls. “They felt that if they weren’t, they were doing something wrong.”

At Penn Medicine, Dr. Collins has created a work group to address burnout. At a downtown hospital and community COVID test site, the health network set up self-care locations for gentle stretching classes, meditation or instruction in self-massage. At one testing site, there was a separate room in the back—away from the testing tents—where doctors and nurses could remove their PPE and relax before heading back out to swab new patients.

Dr. Balentine’s program was a no-cost, low-pressure initiative, which took place one morning a week. He’d show up in running shoes to lead a group in a 30-minute jog around NYIT’s Old Westbury campus. When the joggers arrived back, there was another half-hour when students could ask questions unrelated to their course material: How did you pick your specialty? How did you approach the body the first time you entered the anatomy lab? Do you recommend dating during medical school? Where’s the best café to grab a sandwich? Years later, the morning runs Dr. Balentine initiated have gained popularity. Now, several faculty members participate, and as many as 50 students show up for exercise and conversation. Guests, such as the college president and Bob Nystrom, retired right-winger of the NHL’s New York Islanders, have joined in as well. The concept has expanded, with one faculty member leading a tennis group and another playing basketball with students, while students have gathered for cooking lessons at the college’s catering hall.

“We are hoping as the COVID numbers continue to decrease that we’ll be able to build support for people so they can process all that they have encountered, and find meaning and fulfillment in their work again.” Deneen M. Hendrick, DO ’90, member of PCOM’s DO Faculty Committee on Admissions, who just finished a five-year stint as coordinator for pre-health/accelerated medical programs at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, says COVID-19 has made some students reconsider their choice of a career in the health field.

“To fight burnout, you need to include fun in your life,” says Dr. Balentine. “People go to medical school because they want to help people. To keep that passion going, you need to keep enjoying your life, no matter where you work.”

“Many go into medicine with the idea that ‘I’m going to fix it, I’m going to save the day,’ ” she explains. “But what if you cannot make the patient better? What is your role when you can’t save everyone? You multiply that with COVID, and everybody around you is dying, no matter what you do. You have to recognize what that means and reassess your role as a healthcare professional. That’s the challenge.”

“ To fight burnout, you need to include fun in your life.”

Dr. Hendrick says that the COVID pandemic has highlighted the need for healthcare professionals—and students—to give themselves time for self-care. That’s crucial, in the face of grim statistics from a range of studies that indicate that the suicide rate for physicians is far higher than it is for the general public.

– Dr. Balentine He notes that may have been easier to do in earlier days when physicians left work at week’s end and were only available via pagers if an emergency arose. Today, physicians are available anytime on their smartphones, with texts and emails coming in at all hours, seeking their response. And Zoom fatigue is truly taxing. In the past, there was much talk about creating a balance between your work and your life. Dr. Balentine says he likes to view that issue in terms of putting up barriers between your professional work and your outside personal life. “We’re teaching our students that it’s OK to put your phone down and have some time for yourself,” he says. “Listen to music, read a book, go out dancing. Don’t sit at



She says that self-care includes being willing to acknowledge that, at times, you are overwhelmed, and that speaking with an advisor or mental health professional could help you work through those feelings. But first, you must overcome the stigma some feel to seek help. “Knowing you need help is a sign of maturity,” she says. “It’s a sign of self-awareness.” Dr. Hendrick often counsels students considering a career in medicine, pharmacy or allied health. In the past year, she witnessed how COVID increased pressures in the highstakes atmosphere involved in the process of applying for admission. It became more difficult, as COVID caused the postponement of the MCAT and other exams, and students scrambled to reschedule their test. Dr. Hendrick told the students to realize that there are things in the

world that are out of your control, and you need to figure out how to go with the flow. “Why have stress over things you can’t control?” she says. “I tell them that the bend in the road doesn’t have to be the end of the road—unless you fail to make the turn. If you turn with the curve, you will stay on the road.”

That lesson was highlighted early in the pandemic, when physicians scrambled to treat the flood of patients into local emergency rooms. At that time, there were protocols in place that put many patients suffering from COVID on ventilators. Protocols were later changed after so many patients failed to survive the ventilator treatment.

The changes to life caused by COVID were also a challenge for those individuals with a Type A personality, who have a tendency to multitask, are ambitious, competitive and highly organized, and are driven to excel at school or work.

“The doctors would put people on respirators, and the patients would die, despite their best efforts,” Dr. Hendrick says. “Some doctors internalized that failure.”

“COVID taught us that you don’t control as much as you thought you did,” Dr. Hendrick says. “You can’t control all of the stressors around you.”

“They have to realize that they don’t own all the world’s problems,” she says. “There are so many things that are so much bigger than all of us.”

She says healthcare professionals need to step back, and give themselves a break.

“ COVID taught us that you don’t control as much as you thought you did. You can’t control all of the stressors around you.” – Dr. Hendrick






In six sketches that follow, College alumni share—personally and professionally— how long-standing disparities in marginalized and minoritized communities have exacerbated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They expose the pandemic not just as a health crisis, but also a human, economic and social crisis. And they suggest approaches for healing.

ANNE KATHRYNE BELOCURA, MS/BIOMED ’20 (DO ’25) (PCOM GEORGIA) Community Organizer, ANSWER Coalition; Medical Assistant, Viral Solutions, Decatur, Georgia “There’s an idea that’s pervasive in American culture that Asians are a monolith. That’s what has helped my healing [as a Filipina whose family emigrated to Albany, Georgia, when I was 8]—helping to organize protests and mass demonstrations that spread awareness about the upsurge in anti-Asian violence. Anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 150 percent, as Asians have been scapegoated in the pandemic . . . . At these demonstrations, community activists from grassroots organizations are building coalitions, working across racial lines and nationalities because we understand that we are stronger when we’re united. Recently, I’ve helped to organize a pan-Asian cultural festival in Decatur, Georgia, where we featured speakers and performances from different Asian communities. What’s been really important for everyone to acknowledge is that it isn’t just Asian people who attend these events. It’s always a diverse group of people who come out to support us. It has been so inspiring to have been able to connect with people,



to talk about our unspoken truths—and the discrimination that so many minorities face. . . . I plan to return to PCOM in the fall to begin classes toward my osteopathic medical degree. I’ve worked this year at a COVID testing site where I’ve seen that the virus doesn’t discriminate. At my work, I’ve observed that there are patients—often immigrants and Black people—who are more distrustful of medical doctors, which is understandable. Sadly, the medical field has done people of color a disservice with a history of discriminatory practices and unethical research practices. . . . I’m considering a career in primary care/internal medicine. I want to be on the first line of defense for patients, to be able to form relationships with them and help educate the community. I would like the opportunity to help bridge the gap between the medical profession and marginalized communities who have been hurt. Acknowledging the racist history in the medical field is the first step toward that healing. What would follow would require us to listen to our communities and ask the people how we can serve them, which would entail a greater degree of humility from healthcare providers. . . . One initiative that my organization has been doing is registering people in the West End Atlanta neighborhood, which is predominantly Black, to get vaccinated. As expected, we’re getting some pushback because of misinformation, but it’s essential to do this

work because mass education has been so lacking during the pandemic. It’s important to have these one-on-one conversations, because as much as they might be learning from me, I’m learning so much more from them.”

ROBERT EVANS, DO ’98 Osteopathic Physician; Community Activist; Motivational Speaker and Author; Television/ Radio Personality; Healthcare Consultant; and Founder, Community Wellness Centers of America, Queens, New York “There has been hesitancy for African Americans to take the COVID vaccine and that’s related to the way Black and Brown people have been treated historically. There was the incident in Nigeria in the mid-1990s during a meningitis outbreak when children were treated with an experimental drug without informed consent. Many of the Black children died. There was the collection of thousands of blood samples by the United States, the United Kingdom and France—without informed consent—during the Ebola outbreak in Africa. When the Africans inquired about the samples, they were told it was an issue of national security and could not be discussed. And there was the Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis in Black men in the 1930s. . . . For Black Americans, there has been hesitancy about the COVID vaccine because systemic medical racism and predatory experimentation have generated distrust of a healthcare system that was never built to serve us. . . . African Americans died and are still dying from COVID at disproportionately higher rates than their white counterparts. Disparities in the healthcare system

“ Dr. Andrew Taylor Still took up arms against slavery during the Civil War and, as a physician, was active in the abolition movement and an ally of Free State leaders. . . . We, as his successors, should entrench ourselves in the fight against racism especially in health care.”

contributed to comorbidities that made us more vulnerable to the virus: diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity. Public health advocates cannot simply ask Black people to believe in a healthcare system that, in so many ways, has failed to care for us at a fundamental level. They need to do more than supply inoculations; they must work to build trust through education and disease management, through discounted or free medication, by helping people build up their bodies and make them less susceptible to serious illness. . . . In my professional experience, healing comes from accessibility to quality care. I can take care of a hundred patients a day, but without the hospitals’ dedication to both my practice and the community, without legislators holding hospitals accountable, it will not change patients’ outcomes. I realized that a long time ago. That’s why I’m building infrastructure in areas where others will not go—in the heart of Black and Brown communities. That’s the healing that will last. . . . I am passionate about my role as an osteopathic physician. Our profession’s founder, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, took up arms against slavery during the Civil War and, as a physician, was active in the abolition movement and an ally of Free State leaders John Brown and James H. Lane. We, as his successors, should entrench ourselves in the fight against racism especially in health care. For the osteopathic philosophy was built on healing those who need it the most.”

SHAREE L. LIVINGSTON, DO ’01 Chair, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Chair, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UPMC Lititz; Co-Founder, Diversifying Doulas Initiative, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania “When I began practicing as an obstetrician/gynecologist in 2006, I took care of women through all phases of their lives, including childbirth. While most outcomes in obstetrics are happy events, bad things unfortunately occur during childbirth. I saw maternal death upfront and this shook me to my core. But I have learned to convert experiencing emotion into being empirical. And during COVID, I especially converted that emotion into action. . . . I obtained Lancaster Cares Response Fund support through Lancaster County Community Foundation and the United Way to lessen the impact of COVID on communities of color. I co-founded a program that aimed to decrease maternal morbidity and mortality with free care to pregnant women of color from doulas, who are non-medical birth companions. Black women are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth than white women. And affluent white




women have traditionally gained the benefits of doula care, at a cost of $1,000 to $1,400 for the entire experience, which includes seeing women twice before delivery, being present during labor, and then twice postpartum. Studies show women who have doula care are less likely to have preterm labor and postpartum depression, and more likely to have vaginal births and to be breastfeeding after four weeks. . . . Our program also trained 36 Black and Brown doulas who have developed independent businesses. So far, we’ve provided free doula care to 60 pregnant women of color. Now we are fundraising and continuing to fill the tank to provide more free care and train more doulas of color. Doulas can save hospitals money too. If the C-section rate drops, that helps everybody. . . . COVID was undoubtedly difficult, but my organizations were able to take advantage of the federal pandemic funding to address the needs of women of color, who are typically on the front lines, who can’t work from home, and who often lack access to preventative health care. Everybody wants babies to be safe. And everybody wants pregnant women to be safe. For those most impacted by maternal morbidity and mortality, we found one thing during the pandemic that can help.”

A. SCOTT MCNEAL, DO ’88 President and Chief Executive Officer, Delaware Valley Community Health, and Member, PCOM Board of Trustees, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania “As I witnessed the devastating effects that COVID was having on low-income, underserved people of color, it reinforced all of the reasons why I chose a career in public health. As president and chief executive officer of Delaware Valley Community Health (DVCH), a multidisciplinary primary care organization and one of Pennsylvania’s largest Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), I’m extremely proud of the integral role my organization played in the region’s public health response to the pandemic. With a patient base of over 45,000, we ensured that our highrisk communities received an even higher level of care by keeping them from contracting or spreading the virus, while continuing to manage their acute and chronic diseases. . . . We pivoted to a telehealth model over a single weekend, opened outdoor/walk-up COVID testing stations at four of our eight sites and kept most of our offices open for those patients that needed to be seen in-person. These efforts kept emergency rooms from being overloaded and preventing risky or unnecessary hospitalizations. When vaccines became available, FQHCs led the way for distribution to at-risk communities. My organization has distributed over 15,000 vaccines utilizing all three approved



manufacturers; we received both state and federal vaccine supply. . . . FQHCs are in every state and US territory. This country has long relied on FQHCs to be the safety net for primary care and public health strategy. History has shown that certain communities are always harder hit by epidemics/pandemics because of cultural and linguistic barriers; low levels of education; high rates of poverty; and other contributing factors, such as housing issues, unemployment and poor nutrition. This pandemic has demonstrated how reliable the FQHC safety net is, and despite the devastating toll that the pandemic has taken, it would have been much worse without the work FQHCs do every day in caring for our communities. . . . As demand for the vaccine has now dropped, DVCH continues to provide educational events and other tactics to improve vaccination rates. Although we share information through social media and our website, we have many patients that can’t or won’t access the information, so we also make phone calls and perform community outreach. We’re using a low-volume, higher-touch approach to reach vulnerable patients. It’s very labor intensive, but most FQHCs already have this infrastructure in place. We use the same strategies for chronic disease management. We’re also going to church groups, nursing homes, daycare centers and senior centers. Just as we were prepared for this pandemic, we will be prepared for any future threats.”

JANINE MILLER, PHARMD ’20 Pharmacy Practice Resident, Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania “Racial and ethnic disparities permeate much of the healthcare system in the United States. Numerous studies have shown that African Americans and other people of color have less access to health care and receive poorerquality care when compared with white people. In my experience, pharmacists are among the most accessible of healthcare professionals. They were on the front lines during the pandemic, and they really can be part of the fight against racial disparities in health care. . . . As an African American pharmacist, I have a special interest in unraveling the racial disparities associated with the treatment of chronic kidney disease, a disease that disproportionally affects minority persons and a disease that puts patients at increased risk of serious illness from COVID. . . . There are two race-based tracks employed to decide proper medication dosages. Many clinicians use an equation to estimate renal function that’s called CKD-EPI, which is based on serum creatine levels. When you are trying to dose-adjust a medication for someone with kidney disease,

you go to the electronic medical record, where there’s an entry for Black patients or non-Black patients. Using this process, Black patients receive different dosages, based on a coefficient for African Americans that’s associated with increased muscle mass, a major determination of creatine generation. This coefficient is based on the notion that Black patients should have their race accounted for in the equation, due to previous genetic ideologies. But researchers have found that the coefficient has caused the renal function of Black patients to be misstated. And that has caused Black patients to not receive the appropriate treatment, at the appropriate times. . . . At times they didn’t get enough medication. At other times, they got too much medication because their actual renal function was not what the equation estimated it to be. It has ramifications, with some Black patients with chronic kidney disease wait-listed longer for organ transplants, or not staged appropriately for future treatment. . . . This topic has become the talk of professional circles in recent years. Some clinicians have suggested that the equation should no longer be used. I practice in North Philadelphia, where our patients are predominantly Black and Brown. To delve further into the issue, a colleague and I at Albert Einstein conducted a study [in 2019] of 210 patients hospitalized with chronic kidney disease; 177 were Black and 33 were white. Our review of their medical records found that there was a difference of 18 percent in dosage levels when using the race coefficient, compared to the Cockcroft-Gault equation, which did not account for racial characteristics. . . . Based on our research, we now select ‘non-Black’ on the electronic medical record for all of our patients. That way we ensure that racial bias does not play into how we dose that medication.”

JANIE L. ORRINGTON-MYERS, DO ’99, FACOS, FACS Coroner, Vigo County, and General Surgeon, Terre Haute Regional Hospital, Terre Haute, Indiana “I’d only been practicing for a year in Vigo County when a retired county coroner asked me to run for the upcoming open seat. I turned him down. After all, I was new to the county and starting up my general surgery practice. But then others started asking. So I researched what it entailed. It’s a full-time job, overseeing a staff of five, in a county with a forensic pathologist. . . . The coroner rules on the cause of death—it’s either homicide, suicide, natural or unknown. Being a surgeon, I’m very comfortable with body anatomy. I investigate what the patient tells me, what I see in labs and imaging to decide

“ I believe that medical people should make medical decisions. It’s a process that involves the living and the dead. We want to get things right for the people who died and for their loved ones. ” how best to care for them. The coroner investigates the body while the police investigate the scene. We put all that together to get the right cause and manner of death. . . . I was the only physician, the only African American in a June primary against two funeral directors and a deputy coroner. I won that race and then faced a Republican police sergeant in November. . . . I believe that medical people should make medical decisions. It’s a process that involves the living and the dead. We want to get things right for the people who died and for their loved ones. You need someone with medical knowledge so no one gets away with murder. . . . I also believe you need someone who understands those who are vulnerable, who are marginalized. Working with marginalized groups demands time and respect. It is critical to understand the long-term impacts of disparities and what they can do to society. Too often, healing is an afterthought to harm. . . . The campaign began before the pandemic hit, so I did some meet-and-greets. During COVID, you couldn’t talk to people or press the flesh. It actually worked for me because I had my surgical practice and campaigned at night. We went on Zoom and social media; we did ads and yard signs. My slogan was, ‘The doctor is in your corner: Vote Dr. Myers for coroner.’ . . . The November 2020 vote was close: I won by just 191 votes out of 42,000 votes cast. I became the first African American to serve in a countywide elected position in Vigo County. I’ve kept my surgical practice, too. When my patients ask about my other job, I say: ‘Don’t worry, I’m the coroner, not the undertaker. My job to keep you alive on the operating table, not to help my other business.’ ”





Barry L. Getzoff, DO, Dresher, PA, is serving as the vice-chair of POMA District 14.


John S. Stevens, Jr., DO, Allentown, PA, retired from practice on October 30, 2020.


Aaron J. Listopad, DO, Hermitage, PA, recently retired after 42 years of practice in family medicine.


George T. Zahorian, III, DO, Hershey, PA, was recognized by Continental Who’s Who (January 2021) as a top urologist for his work at Cocoa Urology Associates in Hershey.


Theodore S. Eisenberg, DO, Philadelphia, PA, recently published a Level 3 study titled “Does Overfilling Smooth Inflatable Saline-Filled Breast Implants Decrease the Deflation Rate? Experience with 4761 Augmentation Mammoplasty Patients,” in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (March 2021). William R. Henwood, DO, Hermitage, PA, was inducted into the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons as a distinguished fellow in November 2020. Kenneth J. Veit, DO, MBA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean, PCOM, Lafayette Hill, PA, was honored as a 2021 inductee into the Upper Dublin High School Alumni Hall of Fame. Jared S. Videll, DO, Ventnor City, NJ, was featured in Who’s Who in the World, a biographical volume published by Marquis Who’s Who (February 2021). Dr. Videll is a cardiologist with Girard Medical Center in Philadelphia.


Richard P. Simons, DO, Seaford, DE, was named chief medical officer of Nanticoke Hospital.



Jay S. Feldstein, DO, president and chief executive officer, PCOM, Gladwyne, PA, wrote an article for the Philadelphia Citizen titled “Med Students to the Rescue!” (February 2, 2021). The article focused on why medical students should be mobilized to jumpstart the vaccination rollout. Susan I. Kaufman, DO, Cherry Hill, NJ, is currently serving as treasurer of the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, as a reviewer for the Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, and as a member of the Council of the Obstetrical Society of Philadelphia. Additionally, Dr. Kaufman recently obtained a focused practice designation in pediatric and adolescent gynecology from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


Janice A. Knebl, DO, Fort Worth, TX, graduated from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship in December 2020. Kathleen C. Lewis, DO, Providence, RI, joined the team at ResusciTech, in Providence, as chief medical officer.


Ronald M. Bishop, DO, East Lansing, MI, began his term as a member of the Michigan Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in January 2021. Dr. Bishop was appointed to this role by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and will serve through December 2024. Thomas A. Boyle, DO, Oswego, IL, is serving as hub leader for the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) competency-based medical education faculty development course. This course presents a shorter version of the ACGME long course. CCOM is one of two osteopathic hubs in this 15-hub international program. Dr. Boyle was also


appointed to the ACGME Milestones 2.0 Clinical Educator Working Group. In this group, Dr. Boyle oversees the development of Milestones, which charts the demonstration of the level of mastery and the competencies/ sub-competencies of the clinical educator. Additionally, Dr. Boyle recently earned an executive MBA with an emphasis in health care from Saint Joseph’s University. Mark E. Delowery, DO, MPH, Gulph Mills, PA, was elected chair of the US Technical Advisory Group to the International Organization for Standardization, healthcare organization management. Additionally, Dr. Delowery was elected chair of the board of directors of The Clinic, a nonprofit that provides free healthcare to the uninsured in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Bart K. Gershenbaum, DO, Davie, FL, recently retired from his career in emergency medicine after 36 years. Carol L. Henwood, DO, Pottstown, PA, received the Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians at their annual convention in March 2021.


Ellen D. Conroy, DO, Wallingford, PA, is currently serving on the executive committees for both the Pennsylvania Society of Addiction Medicine and the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society.


Scott J. M. Lim, DO, Erie, PA, was the recipient of the 2020 Dermatologist of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology & Dermatologic Surgery (PAD) at its annual meeting in November 2020. Dr. Lim was presented with this award by his son and daughterin-law, Geoffrey Lim, MD, and Mona Sadeghpour, MD, who are also members of PAD. Dr. Lim runs his practice with his daughter, Lauren (Lim) Senita, CRNP, and his wife, Jessica. The National Psoriasis Foundation featured Dr. Lim’s practice in

their publication, Advance, in an article titled “Caring for Patients During the Pandemic Shutdown” (September 30, 2020).


Steven L. Davis, DO, Cherry Hill, NJ, was featured in a business profile by Suburban Life Philadelphia for his work at his practice, Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery (October 30, 2020). Larry N. Finkelstein, DO, professor, Department of Family Medicine, PCOM, Lafayette Hill, PA, was featured in a Philadelphia 6ABC report titled “Some Families Gear Up for Return to In-Person Schooling as Early as Next Week” (September 23, 2020). John F. Perri, DO, Ephrata, PA, joined the staff at Wellspan Ephrata Community Hospital and Wellspan Ephrata Pulmonary Sleep as a pulmonary care sleep medicine specialist. Frances Sirico-Kelly, DO, Philadelphia, PA, has retired from medical practice.


Derek I. Grossman, DO, Traverse City, MI, has shifted his practice from internal medicine to chronic pain management using osteopathic manipulative treatment. Eric M. Lipnack, DO, Fort Lauderdale, FL, passed his board certification from the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine.


Catherine C.N. Dowling, DO, Winchester, VA, was elected treasurer of the Virginia Society of Anesthesiologists. Gary A. Erbstoesser, DO, Phoenix, AZ, will serve as president of the Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners in Medicine and Surgery for the 2021 term. George J. Papanicolaou, DO, Byfield, MA, made guest appearances on the podcast The Doctor’s Farmacy with Mark Hyman, MD. In one episode, he discussed the common drivers of ADHD and why it is so important to identify and treat its causes, rather than

its symptoms (November 2, 2020). In another episode of the podcast, Dr. Papanicolaou discussed the functional medicine approach to diagnosing and treating yeast imbalance (December 7, 2020).


Francis R. Lamy, Jr., DO, Durham, NH, is proud of his daughter, Rachel Frances Lamy, who joined the PCOM family as a member of the class of 2024. Louis J. O’Boyle, DO, Honesdale, PA, wrote a guest column for the Citizen’s Voice titled “Good and Bad News of COVID Round 2” (November 25, 2020).


Robert C. Albright, Jr., DO, Rochester, MN, has been appointed as Mayo Clinic Health System’s regional vice president for the southwest region of Minnesota. Emily J. Williams, DO, Reading, PA, joined the staff at Berks Community Health Center Rockland.


Tasos Aslanidis, DO, Easton, MD, joined the University of Maryland Shore Medical Group in Easton as an ENT specialist. Gene M. Battistella, DO, Moon Township, PA, received the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association’s 2021 Distinguished Award. J. Paul Burkhart, DO, Columbus, OH, was featured by ENTtoday in an article titled “Otolaryngologist Leverages His Love of Pinball into Second Business.” In the article, Dr. Burkhart discussed how his pinball passion and second business, Level One Bar and Arcade, help him avoid burnout (February 16, 2021). Paul E. Gourley, DO, FACEP, Fort Belvoir, VA, retired from the military in September 2019 after 27 years of service. Dr. Gourley was awarded his MBA from the University of Florida in May 2020 and began a new position with International SOS in June 2020.

JAIME MOLDOVAN FRIEDMAN, PSYD ’11 Personal Experience Fuels Passion for Helping Children with Autism by Meghan McCall In 2017, Jaime Moldovan Friedman, PsyD ’11, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, was raising two-year-old twins and was hiring therapists to expand her private practice, Aspire Child & Family Services, when she received unexpected news. One of her twins was diagnosed with autism. With a background in school psychology and experience working with children with autism, Dr. Friedman nonetheless found herself exhausted and overwhelmed as she struggled to find information and appropriate services for her son. “If it was hard for me, I could only imagine how it must be for a family who is new to all of this,” says Dr. Friedman. At the time, Aspire Child & Family Services was a traditional counseling center that also specialized in educational testing and educational consulting. After her son’s diagnosis, Dr. Friedman expanded the scope and mission of the practice to include autism services. By spring 2020, Aspire Child & Family Services shifted its primary focus to utilizing applied behavior analysis (ABA) to assist children with autism and other developmental/behavioral disorders. Working with a behavior technician and a behavior analyst in home, school and community settings, children learn skills to decrease maladaptive behaviors. Each child has an individualized plan and a team to help them work on targeted goals to improve the quality of life for the child and their families. “The diagnosis of autism is the first step in a family’s lifelong journey of supporting a special needs child. Then the hardest task is finding high-quality services and knowing what services to seek out. Whereas before I could sympathize, now I can empathize with a parent wondering if they are doing the right thing for their child,” explains Dr. Friedman. Dr. Friedman has no plans to slow the growth of Aspire Child & Family Services. She hopes to have the practice become a training site for professionals who want to be registered behavior technicians and board-certified behavior analysts. “We have a world-class ABA leadership team in place who love to train, mentor and develop new talent. In the next few years, my hope is that our reputation continues to grow among industry professionals and within the community as a resource for parents who need to obtain services for their children but do not know where to start,” says Dr. Friedman.


Stephen J. Matse, DO, Johnstown, PA, joined the Richland Family Health Center in Johnstown as an internal medicine specialist.


Michael E. Fiorina, DO, Butler, PA, was recently named vice president of medical education for the Butler Health Systems.


Francisco Jaume, DO, RES ’97, Prescott, AZ, was appointed lead orthopedist for Yavapai Regional Medical Group, Orthopedic Surgical Services in Prescott Valley. Daniel R. Taylor, DO, Philadelphia, PA, was honored with the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians

Community Pediatrician of the Year Award at their spring 2021 conference.

cast, You Must Be Out Of Your Damn Mind, can be heard on iHeart Radio.



Robert Evans, DO, Jamaica, NY, serves as a consultant for several healthcare providers and think tanks. His latest project is working closely with the Mental Wealth Alliance Foundation in its pursuit to destigmatize and accelerate state-of-the-art mental health outreach to the Black community in the United States. In April, he appeared as a guest on the Dr. Oz Show discussing Black vaccine hesitancy. Dr. Evans has partnered with Lenard McKelvey (known professionally as Charlamagne tha God) to build Diabetes Centers of Excellence in the heart of Black impoverished communities throughout the country. His pod-

Livia E. Bratis, DO, Center Valley, PA, was appointed co-director of New Eastwood’s Pulmonary Rehab Program, a new partnership between St. Luke’s University Health Network and New Eastwood Rehabilitations & Healthcare Center. Sharon Liu, DO, Newark, DE, has joined the staff at Chesapeake Health Care in Newark as a gynecological specialist. Janie L. Orrington-Myers, DO, Terre Haute, IN, was elected to serve as Vigo County coroner, becoming the first African American woman elected to




BARBARA JOY JONES-PARKS, DO ’14 Balancing Medicine, Media and Modeling by Meghan McCall When Barbara Joy Jones-Parks, DO ’14, Duluth, Georgia, describes her career, she says she does the three “Ms”—medicine, media and modeling. She serves as lead physician for Northside Hospital’s Peachtree Corners Primary Care Center in Peachtree Corners, Georgia; as an on-air medical expert for CNN Headline News and local Atlanta news stations; and as a runway and print model. Taking the “scenic route to medicine,” Dr. Jones originally pursued a modeling and acting career in Los Angeles without much luck, saying, “The modeling world didn’t know where to put me. I’m ethnically ambiguous, I weighed too much according to the industry at 5’11” and only 163 pounds, and I was considered too old to start a modeling career at the age of 21. “I wanted to be a physician since I was a child, but I didn’t know or think that I could accomplish such a goal. My mother was an orphan from Thailand with a second-grade education. No one in my family was a doctor, so there was no blueprint for me to follow,” recalls Dr. Jones. Lacking a blueprint or the guidance of a mentor, Dr. Jones received rejections from all 22 medical schools to which she initially applied. Not giving up, she took the next year to improve her application, personal statement and interview skills. She applied only to PCOM Georgia and was accepted. After PCOM Georgia, Dr. Jones completed a family medicine residency at Gwinnett Medical Center (now Northside Hospital Gwinnett) and was hired by Gwinnett to join a small, four-physician practice in Snellville. Eight months later, she was promoted to her current role. Unbeknownst to Dr. Jones, one of her patients was a lead producer for CNN and Headline News. The producer had observed Dr. Jones on previous visits and thought that her ability to explain complex medical issues in a simple and digestible way would make her perfect for TV. “She asked me on a Thursday if I was interested, and by Saturday morning I was on live national TV,” says Dr. Jones. Her appearance on Headline News enticed local news stations to contact her. Now, Dr. Jones appears on national news outlets every couple of months and on local Atlanta news several times a month. In recent years, Dr. Jones has also returned to modeling, doing print work for designers based in the Atlanta area and serving as the only plus-size model for the 2021 Georgia Bridal Runway Show Tour. Speaking to her experience in both modeling and working with the media, Dr. Jones says, “The market has become much more inclusive. People want to see a reflection of themselves on TV and in advertisements. My ambiguous look, healthy weight, and being a mature woman in my 30s has become a good thing.” While it may be a balancing act at times, Dr. Jones strongly advocates for pursuing all of your dreams. “We’re taught that once we go into a career that takes this much effort, loan debt and time, we are restricted to this one-dimensional box of what a physician looks like,” she says. “You only have this one life to live. Explore new interests and hobbies. You may discover new talents, and it keeps life interesting!” a countywide office in Vigo County. John R. Spitalieri, DO, MS/ Biomed ‘95, Prescott, AZ, was recognized by Continental Who’s Who as a Top Neurosurgeon for his outstanding achievements in the field and his professional excellence at the Arizona Neurosurgery & Spine Center.


Michael G. Benninghoff, DO, MS/Biomed ’98, Newark, DE, was featured by CBS Philly in an article titled “COVID in Delaware: ChristianaCare Joins National Campaign Sending Simple but Powerful


Message About Mask-Wearing” (November 19, 2020). Raymond Scott Cook, DO, Chincoteague, VA, joined La Salle University as director of the Student Health Center and team physician for La Salle Athletics. Carl R. Hoegerl, DO, Forest, VA, graduated from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship on December 6, 2020. Sharee L. Livingston, DO, Lancaster, PA, wrote an article for the website of the Pennsylvania Medical Society titled “Member Voice: Addressing Health Care


Disparities in the World of Obstetrics and Gynecology” (November 2, 2020).


Robert Louis Belluso, DO, Point Pleasant, WV, joined the staff at Pleasant Valley Hospital’s Regional Health Center, in Point Pleasant, as a family physician. Dhira Khosla, DO, Piedmont, CA, was named vice president of Strategic Clinical Partnerships at Adaptive Research Inc. Catherine Negron, MS/CCHP, Sarasota, FL, was appointed as principal of Dreamers Academy in Sarasota. Dreamers Academy

is the first bilingual K-5 charter school in Sarasota.


Willie D. Epps, Jr., DO, Richmond Hill, GA, celebrated the 11-year anniversary of his private practice, Epps Medical Associates, located in Savannah. Accamma Joy, DO, Mohnton, PA, joined Berks Community Health Center Rockland as the physician site director. Nilesh Narendra Patel, DO, North Caldwell, NJ, was appointed chairman of emergency medicine at St. Joseph’s Health. In his role, Dr. Patel oversees the emergency departments at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center, in Paterson, and St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center, in Wayne.


Anthony C. Falvello, DO, Seaford, DE, joined the team of physicians at Peninsula Orthopaedic Associates in Seaford.


Lori M. Brown, DO, Venetia, PA, opened her own direct primary care practice, Simplicity Direct Primary Care, in Peters Township. Dr. Brown and her practice were featured in an article by the Almanac Community News titled “Peters Township Physician Ready to Embark on Direct Primary Care Practice” (February 28, 2021). Kelly R. Yanek, PsyD, Mullica Hill, NJ, co-founded Wellness Outside the Box – Therapy Redefined in 2019. Wellness Outside the Box brings health, healing and wellness to individuals by combining psychotherapy theories, tools and techniques with hands-on, outdoor-based experiences and challenges.


Robert Carman, Jr., DO, Harrisburg, PA, a member of Central PA Surgical Associates Ltd., joined the staff at Fulton County Medical Center in McConnellsburg as a general surgeon.

Erik G. Polan, DO, assistant professor, Department of Internal Medicine, PCOM, Moorestown, NJ, was interviewed by 6ABC Philadelphia for a piece titled “Delaware Takes Action After Crowded Food Court Photos Surface” (November 28, 2020). Preston Landon Williams, MS/ PA, Palm Desert, CA, wrote an article published in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine titled “The Fine Line of Defensive Medicine” (April 14, 2021).


Peter F. Bidey, DO, MSED, FACOFP, assistant professor and vice-chair, Department of Family Medicine and director, Family Medicine Residency Program, PCOM, Haddonfield, NJ, was featured in a Livestrong.com article titled “Always Sweating in Your Sleep? Here’s What Your Body’s Trying to Tell You” (January 29, 2021). He was also a guest on an episode of Your Radio Doctor titled “Wellness Through Osteopathic Medicine” (January 31, 2021). Additionally, Dr. Bidey was named the Osteopathic Family Medicine Educator of the Year by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians at their annual convention in March 2021. Ryan H. Devine, DO, North Palm Beach, FL, joined the staff at Hematology/Oncology Associates of the Palm Beaches in Lake Worth. William H. Greenhut, DO, New City, NY, was named medical director of emergency medicine at Montefiore Nyack Hospital in Nyack.


Bernard C. Ciongoli, DO, Moorestown, NJ, was appointed chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology and medical director of surgical services at Virtua Memorial Hospital and Virtua Willingboro Hospital. Shaka M. Johnson, MS/FM, Philadelphia, PA, was featured in an article in the Philadelphia Tribune titled “Local Black Lawyer Takes on Walter Wallace

Jr. Case” (October 30, 2020). Mr. Johnson, who also holds a law degree from Rutgers Camden School of Law, discussed how his personal experiences motivated him to represent the Wallace family.



Jessica A. Ayres, DO, Clearfield, PA, joined the staff at the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic in Frenchville.


Jennifer N. David, DO/MBA, Bensalem, PA, has joined Pennsylvania Dermatology Partners in Yardley. Dustin D. Flannery, DO, Philadelphia, PA, conducted a study of more than 1,400 newborns and mothers, finding that antibodies that protect against the coronavirus often get transferred from mother to infant during pregnancy. Dr. Flannery’s findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Pediatrics and featured on CNN Health (January 30, 2021). Roseanne Wambui Gichuru, DO/MBA, Glen Mills, PA, joined the women’s health team at Beebe Medical Group in Georgetown and Rehoboth Beach, DE. Jane C. W. Teng, DO, MS/ Biomed ’06, Lincoln, CA, has enrolled in Concierge Choice Physicians Hybrid Choice program — an enhanced service that gives patients peace of mind with greater connectivity between doctor and patient.


Zachary C. Booms, DO, Fort Campbell, KY, completed three years of service with the US Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) as a special forces flight surgeon and emergency medicine physician. Julia M. Loiacono, DO, Dover, DE, was recognized as the 2019 Emergency Physician of the Year by Sussex County Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Dr. Loiacono is the assistant medical director at Bayhealth Emergency and Trauma Center, Sussex Campus.

Dennis/Perkins wedding

Falconiero grandbaby

Haas children Jamila T. Dennis, MS/ODL ’06, Upper Darby, PA, married Issac Perkins, MS/ODL ’08, on August 4, 2020. Willie D. Epps, Jr., DO ’03, Richmond Hill, GA, was proud to welcome granddaughter Madelyn Sophia, born in September 2020. Robert P. Falconiero, DO ’84, Moorestown, NJ, is pleased to share the news of the birth of his granddaughter, Vanessa Love Falconiero, on August 19, 2020. Eugene G. Haas, DO ’09, Blue Bell, PA, is happy to announce the birth of his second child, Xavier, born on August 14, 2020.

Chelsea E. Marks, DO, Gettysburg, PA, has joined Berks Community Health Center in Reading as an OB/GYN physician. Jonathan D. Castle White, DO/MBA, Huntingdon Valley, PA, joined the team at St. Mary Friedmann Family Practice in Langhorne, PA.


Kristie M. Petree, DO, assistant professor of neuromusculoskeletal and osteopathic manipulative medicine, PCOM, Moultrie, GA, has been appointed as

a member of the National Faculty of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.


Jordon G. Grube, DO, Caldwell, NJ, was a featured guest on WAMC’s radio show Medical Monday with Ray Graf (April 19, 2021). Dane R. Scantling, DO, Philadelphia, PA, was named the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s Everyday Hero in July 2020. The PAMED Society published an article about Dr. Scantling




titled “Philadelphia Surgeon and PAMED Everyday Hero Is Driven by a Sense of Service” (July 14, 2020). Saquib A. Siddiqi, DO, MS/ Biomed ’10, Danville, PA, was appointed director of cardiac rehabilitation at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg. Spencer T. Whealon, DO, Malvern, PA, completed a pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship at Lankenau Medical Center in June 2020. He joined the team at Lankenau and Paoli Hospitals in July 2020 and provides pulmonary, ICU and advanced diagnostic and interventional bronchoscopy services to both hospitals.


Tara L. McGraw, DO, South Abington Township, PA, joined the Commonwealth Health Physician Network in Scranton as a surgical specialist. Sean P. McGregor, DO, Vero Beach, FL, joined the staff at


Robert H. Brehouse, DO ’79, Philadelphia, PA, January 18, 2021 Joel P. Chack, DO ’81, Voorhees, NJ, May 11, 2021 Emmanuel Decade, DO ’91, Merrick, NY, February 12, 2021 N. Charles Diakon, DO ’76, Napa, CA, April 25, 2021 Sheldon Dubinett, DO ’59, Sligo, PA, October 26, 2020 David J. Ferner, DO ’87, Etters, PA, April 12, 2021 Robinson G. Fry, DO ’56, Bar Harbor, ME, January 10, 2021 Paul R. Galutia, DO ’52, Sun Lakes, AZ, May 7, 2021 John M. Gooding, DO ’71, Panama City, FL, August 20, 2020 George H. Harhigh, DO ’64, Harrisburg, PA, December 21, 2020


the Scully-Welsh Cancer Center at Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital in Vero Beach.


Steven Cetel, DO, Cherry Hill, NJ, joined the orthopedic and primary care divisions at Shore Physicians Group in Somers Point. Alexander Reza Manteghi, DO, RES ’16, South Lake Tahoe, CA, joined Barton Health in South Lake Tahoe as an ENT physician. Heron C. Moschberger, MS/ MHC, Lawrenceville, NJ, founded her own private practice, Mercer Counseling Services, in Lawrenceville. Jonathan J. Paly, DO, Glenside, PA, was appointed instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and joined the Department of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Michael Tecce, DO, Chalfont, PA, had results from his case study on the connected approach to recovery (CARe)

Frederick W. Heggan, DO ’71, Cape Coral, FL, July 11, 2016 Ralph E. Inabnit, DO ’81, New Carlisle, IN, December 11, 2020 Elias J. Isaac, DO ’64, Allentown, PA, April 23, 2021 Thelma Jamison, DO ’86, West Palm Beach, FL, January 27, 2021 Wonsuck Kim, DO ’87, Huntsville, AL, January 25, 2021 Norman M. Kopman, DO ’68, Waxahachie, TX, November 29, 2020 Antoinette C. Kruc, DO ’77, Havertown, PA, April 24, 2021 Clayton C. Lindemuth, Sr., DO ’66, Edinboro, PA, December 21, 2020 David M. Loss, DO ’78, Lancaster, PA, May 23, 2021 Dorothy Maglieri, RN ’53, Kingston, NY, February 26, 2021


program published in NEJM Catalyst Innovations in Healthcare Delivery (March 10, 2021).


Kirsten Custis, MS/MHC, Huntingdon Valley, PA, works for the state of Pennsylvania as a drug and alcohol treatment specialist at a state correctional institution. Terrance Weeden, DO, Phenix City, AL, wrote an opinion piece for the Alabama Local News titled “Proposed Alabama Transgender Law: I’m a Pediatrician and I’m Gravely Concerned” (March 18, 2021).


Thulisile Buthelezi, MS/Psy, Malvern, PA, opened an applied behavior analysis agency, Pillar ABA, in Paoli. Hyder A. Naqvi, DO, McDonough, GA, was profiled by the Moultrie Observer for their Resident Spotlight series. William J. Seemer, DO, Moultrie, GA, was the subject of the Moultrie Observer’s Resident Spotlight (December 4, 2020).


Molly C. Martin, MS/Psy, Erie, PA, was featured by GoErie in an article titled “Couple Demonstrates ‘Right Stuff’ in Difficult Times” (December 27, 2020).

Ronald T. Meltzer, DO ’67, Bala Cynwyd, PA, January 19, 2021 Nancy Nielsen-Conroy, RN ’58, Norristown, PA, February 26, 2021 Michael T. O’Gara, DO ’71, Gold Beach, OR, February 11, 2017 Joseph P. Olekszyk, DO ’85, Seaford, DE, March 9, 2021 Frank J. Perrone, DO ’82, Philadelphia, PA, April 28, 2021 Joseph J. Riley, DO ’62, Greenwich, NJ, December 10, 2020 Mary L. Rosenberger, MS/ CCHP ’09, Sellersville, PA, February 17, 2021 Benjamin C. Scharf, DO ’53, New York, NY, February 13, 2017

Donald J. Schnapf, DO ’73, Lancaster, PA, January 16, 2021 David J. Shingles, DO ’75, Allentown, PA, March 16, 2021 Maureen Agnes Sestito, DO ’02, Lansdale, PA, April 21, 2021 Richard C. Simmers, Jr., DO ’69, Cherry Hill, NJ, October 12, 2020 Paul S. Snoke, DO ‘56, Seminole, FL, June 23, 2019 Mary E. J. Terrels, DO ’84, Ocean City, NJ, February 15, 2021 John Yardumian, DO ’71, Doylestown, PA, May 14, 2016 Jennifer L. Zannini-Cipriani, DO, East Greenwich, RI, February 3, 2021 Warren C. Young, Jr., DO ’56, Monroe, OH, August 30, 2019 Victor J. Zuckerman, DO ’80, Monroe, LA, April 30, 2021

REMEMBERING TWO PAST PRESIDENTS OF THE PCOM ALUMNI ASSOCIATION Joseph J. Kuchinski, DO ’86, FACOEP-D It is with great sadness that Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine acknowledges the passing of Joseph J. Kuchinski, DO ’86, FACOEP-D, Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, on May 28, 2021. A dedicated alumnus, Dr. Kuchinski served his alma mater as president of the PCOM Alumni Association (2009–2010) and longtime member of the PCOM Alumni Association Board of Directors, as alumni representative to the PCOM Board of Trustees (2011–2016), and as an esteemed physician, educator and mentor. “Joe was a tireless advocate for the osteopathic profession and a stalwart pillar of our College,” stated Kenneth J. Veit, DO ’76, MBA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean. “We mourn his loss and pray for strength and comfort for his wife, Andrea; his son, Michael; and all who knew and loved him.” Dr. Kuchinski earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University and a doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from PCOM. He completed his internship and emergency medicine residency at the Hospital of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and at Albert Einstein Medical Center. In addition to the clinical practice of emergency medicine, Dr. Kuchinski was involved in postgraduate education, first serving as associate program director for the emergency medicine residency at St. Barnabas Medical Center in the Bronx. He subsequently served as co-director for the combined programs in emergency medicine/ family practice and emergency medicine/internal medicine. He also acted as director of medical education at St. Barnabas and at New York United Hospital Medical Center in Port Chester as well as emergency medicine program director at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey. A longtime member of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Medicine (ACOEP), Dr. Kuchinski served on its Board of Directors from 1994 to 2004, acting as its president from 2000 to 2002. He also served as president of the ACOEP’s Foundation

H. Sprague Taveau, IV, DO ‘77, MBA (LTC Ret.) With a heavy heart, the College records the passing of H. Sprague Taveau, IV, DO ‘77, MBA (LTC Ret.), Belton, Texas, on April 19, 2021. Dr. Taveau served as president of the PCOM Alumni Association from 2010 to 2011, and was a longtime member of its Board of Directors. A generous donor, he often led the charge for Reunion giving, and he supported and championed—in myriad ways—PCOM’s chapter of the Student Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons. Even as a child, Dr. Taveau dreamed of becoming a small-town family doctor. His dreams were delayed by the Vietnam conflict, as he enlisted in the U.S. Army as an 11C mortar crewman in 1962. He rose quickly through the ranks, attaining the rank of staff sergeant in 1965, and becoming a drill sergeant, assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia. Dr. Taveau served two tours in Vietnam, earning a Silver Star, multiple Bronze stars for Valor, a Combat Infantryman badge, a Purple Heart and a battlefield commission, among other decorations and awards. Following his second tour in Vietnam, Dr. Taveau was accepted to PCOM and later completed a family practice residency at Madigan Army Medical Center in Fort Lewis, Washington. He served as deputy commander for clinical services at Fox Army Health Center at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama; as chief of family practice at Madigan Army Medical Center; and as division surgeon, 9th Infantry Division.

for Osteopathic Emergency Medicine, establishing during his tenure the David A. Kuchinski Memorial Research Grant, which supports research in emergency medicine. A talented educator, Dr. Kuchinski was fundamental in the creation of the ACOEP’s highly successful Emergency Medicine: An Intense Review training program, and he was a frequent lecturer at other venues on the national emergency medicine level. Professionally, politics and osteopathic medicine were passions for Dr. Kuchinski. He was able to combine the two when the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) established its Osteopathic Political Action Committee. Here he was a national spokesperson promoting political action among his peers, training them on grassroots lobbying and advocating for the profession. Dr. Kuchinski served in many roles in the organization, including assistant treasurer. In 2016, Dr. Kuchinski was recognized with the AOA’s Distinguished Service Award, the association’s highest honor. Dr. Kuchinski’s final professional endeavor took him to Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was integral in the opening of the Culinary Health Center Urgent Care for the Culinary Workers Union, and was an attending emergency physician at University Medical Center of Las Vegas. A sports enthusiast, Dr. Kuchinski was a three-sport athlete in high school and played football in college, rugby at PCOM, and golf. He coached CYO basketball and was a Cubmaster happily spending time with his beloved son.

The Army then decided to send him to Korea, where he served as the division surgeon, 2nd Infantry Division, at Camp Casey. Upon returning to the States, Dr. Taveau served as deputy hospital commander at Reynolds Army Community Medical Center, and as III Corps artillery surgeon at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He was awarded the Legion of Merit. After he retired from the Army in 1987, Dr. Taveau practiced family medicine throughout the Midwest. He discovered a passion for emergency medicine and served as a doctor and director in Corpus Christi, Abilene and Amarillo, Texas. He worked with National Wound Care and was their national medical director. He ended his career in the Greater Fort Hood/Killeen area, having run clinics there for 11 years. “I join the chorus of condolences offered to Sprague’s wife, Jean; four children [including PCOM alumnus Jon W. Taveau, DO ’02, FACOS]; grandchildren, colleagues and friends,” said Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and chief executive officer, PCOM.



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