Award Winning Newsletter
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July 2018 Newsletter
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High Stress and Disaster Drills at Cut Suit Week Page 12 Inside: Congratulations, Class of 2018 Graduates!
Vista ViewPage 6
Countdown to RVU's PA Program
Learning About Patient Care in the Andes
Graduates of the Class of 2018 exit the theater following the close of the Commencement Ceremony
Table of Contents 6 10
Congratulations, Class of 2018! Graduates of RVUCOM and MSBS celebrate with awards ceremony, party, and military cake ceremony.
Admissions Hosts Second Look Day
Get to Know RVU Staff
Countdown to RVU's Physician Assistant Program
Raising Questions and Awareness During Public Health Week
High Stress and Disaster Drills at Cut Suit Week
Learning About Patient Care in the Andes
Achieving New Heights
Pushing the Limits of Treatment in Rural America
OPP Fellows Open New Clinics in CO
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff
Sky Ridge Residency Programs Celebrates Graduates
Letter from RVU Alumni Association President
RVUCOM-SU Arbor Day Tree Ceremony
Meet the New Alumni Association President
V-Day 2018: The Vagina Monologues
Want to see even more photos from each RVU event? Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RockyVistaUniversity!
Moments of Recognition by Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO
Do you remember a time in your youth or adolescence that you were recognized for an achievement that you worked so hard for? A time when family and friends gathered to celebrate your accomplishment? Or maybe just a quiet moment when one of your teachers whom you revered, respected, and probably feared a little, said something kind? For me, it was the scouting program, whether it was an attendance award, achieving the next rank, or the Eagle Scout ceremony. Ceremony and moments of recognition remain so important as we connect threads of the fabric of time from generations past to the future. The RVU family has embraced a series of ceremonies and opportunities for recognition during the past several months. The most daunting was the celebration of life for Dr. Michael Martin. Please take the opportunity to review the article within this publication on the life and treasures he left for us. Additionally, we recognized our winners of the Staff Innovator award—Ms. Francine Lata and Ms. Sarah Chavez—and the Administrative Personnel Support Award for Excellence—Ms. Justine Holck. Dr. Walter Buck received the Presidential Award for Excellence and, on a na-
tional level, RVU was singled out to receive the American Osteopathic Association's Team Award. The Faculty Innovator award and the innovation awards for RVUCOM-SU will be presented at the upcoming White Coat Ceremonies. All of these awards were done ceremonially, but how many times did you and I stop to "catch" a teammate doing something great and say, "Wow, thank you for what you just did"? It may simply be picking up a discarded item in the hallway or sensing your need for a kind word. We all need reinforcement and a positive environment to prosper in. I frequently respond to a kind word by saying, "Thank you, even presidents need positive reinforcement!" So, make it a point to give someone a compliment every day and it will even make you feel better! "The world is full of good! When you believe it, you see it. Keep doing that!" #pinksocks
The Honors/Pass/Fail Grading System: Does it Earn an A...or an F? by Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP, dist., Dean and CAO
Stop any person on the street and ask them if they think that medical school is stressful and I bet you get a quick and resounding 'yes' from nearly everyone. In fact, you can waste a perfectly good evening by asking old doctors to opine on just how hard things were when they went to medical school. Things have not changed much in that regard since the first Greek physician chiseled out that first prescription on a chunk of marble over a thousand years ago. The fact of the matter is that medical school is indeed hard and stressful and always has been. Medical educators have long understood this fact and only recently have been actively exploring solutions to ease the triggers that aggravate stress—even as suicide rates among medical students continue to rise. One of the obvious offenders recognized early in their evaluation was the myriad types of medical school grading systems and the pressures they exerted on students. A study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in 20092010 focusing on the grading systems from 123 U.S. medical schools showed systems ranging from two levels (Pass/Fail) of scoring to cumbersome 11-level scoring systems. Project this finding into today’s reality of a single accreditation system for residency training looming on the horizon in the
year 2020 which creates new factors for added stress. In this new system, residency program directors are supposed to divine who are the best students out of the many grading systems and to make sense of terms such as, "near honors," "high satisfactory," "low satisfactory," or "satisfactory plus." The end result is many very capable and qualified students don’t make the first cut for consideration due to the subjective nature of the system and confusion over terms. A growing number of medical and osteopathic schools are transitioning to a pure Pass/Fail system, because data now shows that for relieving stress this system would rate a solid “A”. Schools with the Pass/Fail system also say that students are happier and less stressed according to their surveys. Students confirm that in this system they share study strategies along with helpful academic charts and graphs geared for examination success with all their classmates. Collaboration is up and student stress is down which sounds like Continued on page 30
Celebrating the Life of
Michael W. Martin, PhD
A member of the inaugural faculty at Rocky Vista University, Michael W. Martin, PhD, has been a source of wisdom, compassion, and innovation from the beginning. He began his RVU career as the Assistant Dean for Student Services, where the students’ welfare was his top priority: "He truly cared about the students and enjoyed seeing them become successful," said Joseph Stasio, DO, FACOFP, Chair of Primary Care Medicine. As the Assistant Dean, he always had time for the students, had their best interests at heart, and was a ceaseless advocate for them. He was not afraid to be honest with them, yet never failed to encourage them through hard times. In 2015, Dr. Martin was named the Associate Dean for Integrated Curriculum. In this role, he championed the development of RVU’s Integrated Systems-Based Curriculum, then shepherded it though the early years, achieving acclaim for the school throughout the osteopathic medical education system. Thomas Told, DO, FACOFP dist, Dean of RVUCOM, said of his work, "He was one of the principal architects and champions of our curriculum. We have validated [this] each year through performance on national board examinations and residency placement, thereby highlighting the great value of this curriculum." He also loved teaching pharmacology and took great pride in the success of the students he taught. Yet it wasn't only students who benefitted from his insight. He led by example and garnered the admiration and respect of both faculty and administration. "[He was] a role model for the students, faculty, staff, and administration and we should all strive to emulate his level of professionalism," said Dr. Stasio. Linda Cairns, who served as Special Assistant to Dr. Martin, worked with him since the early days of RVU: "His door was always open to everyone. He saw the best in people, was an encourager, a man of absolute integrity—a man who was easy to respect." Dr. Told continued, "As Dean, I often sought his advice and counsel on how to handle those perplexing problems that had no great solutions. There seems to be a never-ending supply of those in medical education so we met regularly." His life of service has not only touched our lives, but the lives of countless thousands through the hands and minds of the many young physicians he helped train through the years. To the entire RVU family, he was a trusted friend, an esteemed colleague, and a great mentor. His passing, without question, will leave a huge hole in the hearts of all of us here at RVU.
Michael Martin was born in April 6, 1949. He was a native of Colorado and a graduate of Golden High School. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from Colorado State University, then a doctorate in Biomedical Sciences (Pharmacology) from University of Texas at Houston. During his career, he served as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs at University of North Texas Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (TCOM). During his eighteen years at TCOM, he received the Educator of the Year Award and the Exceptional Faculty Award from the PA Studies program. He also taught medical pharmacology at Texas Wesleyan and Texas Christian University Schools of Nursing. He was a founding member of the RVU faculty, starting as the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Pharmacology. Dr. Martin married his wife, Dr. Charlie Lippolis, in 2004. He had one son, Cody, and a grandson, Cason. He passed away peacefully after losing his battle with cancer on May 7, 2018. In the days following his passing, a scholarship was created in his memory: the Michael W. Martin Fighting Prairie Dog Student Scholarship. This scholarship is a need-based award for the students at Rocky Vista University. It provides financial relief to the selected student who has worked hard to overcome great obstacles. Dr. Martin had a special heart for students who faced challenges in their lives. One of his most well-known phrases was, "Life happens." To donate to this scholarship in his memory, visit www.rvu.edu/martin.
Congratulations, Class of 2018! At the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and before thousands of guests, RVU celebrated the graduation of 176 students. This was the seventh graduating class of RVUCOM students and the second graduating class of MSBS students. Following a rendition of the National Anthem by graduate Monica Mills, the ceremony began with an invocation by Very Reverend Archimandrite Christopoulos G. Papadeas. Next, Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO, welcomed the audience and graduates, then introduced the platform party, which included members of the Board of Trustees, the leadership team, and special guest speakers. Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, President of the American Osteopathic Association, presented the keynote address to the gathered students. "I believe that the future of medicine is sitting before me today and that future is brighter for the unique outlook each of you will bring to your patients, your colleagues, and your communities," he said. Following the keynote, Francina Towne, PhD, Program Director for the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program, spoke to the twenty-six graduates. "This chapter is closing, but itâ€™s not the end of your story," she said. The graduates filed on stage where they were hooded by faculty members and given their diplomas.
Dr. Joseph Stasio, recipient of the 2017 Presidential Award, presents the 2018 award to Dr. Walter Buck as Dr. Adams looks on
On the heels of the MSBS students, the graduates of RVUCOM began taking the stage one at a time, alongside a loved one or mentor who performed the traditional doctoral hooding for them. Once all graduates were hooded, Alumni Association President, AJ Ryan, DO '14, took the stage to offer advice to the students as they begin their residencies. He then led the graduates in reciting the Osteopathic Oath.
While the ceremony was a time of celebrating, it was also a time to honor the dedicated faculty that made this graduation possible. Dr. Adams bestowed the Presidential Award of Excellence upon two deserving professors: Walter Buck, PhD, Chair of Structural Medicine, and the late Michael Martin, PhD, Associate Dean for Integrated Curriculum, who passed away shortly after Commencement. Both members of the inaugural faculty at RVU, Drs. Buck and Martin were crucial to the success of RVU in their own ways. Dr. Buck helped design and establish both the Anatomy Lab and the structural medicine curriculum. "He holds both his students and his faculty to a high standard, ensuring the continued excellence of a difficult curriculumâ€”yet doing so with compassion and patience," said Dr. Adams. For Dr. Martin, it was his integrity, wisdom, and development of RVU's Integrated Systems-Based Curriculum that led to his nomination. "He is an educator who leads by example and garners the admiration and respect of both faculty and administration," said Dr. Adams. Dr. Martin's wife, Dr. Charlie Lippolis, accepted the award on his behalf. The final segment of the ceremony was dedicated to the commissioning of graduates who were to become officers in various branches of the military. The commissioning was led by General James P. McCarthy (retired), who offered words of wisdom to the graduates earlier in the week.
Alexandra Wilson, Tanner McClure, and Katherine Corwin
Bryan Le, Aishah Najam, Cecilia Nguyen, and Steven Le
Jeffrey Wake is commissioned by General James P. McCarthy
MSBS graduates exit the theater
Dr. Adams presents the Presidential Award of Excellence to Dr. Martin's wife, Dr. Lippolis
Dr. AJ Ryan leads the Oath
MSBS graduates: Toni Nicastro, Andrew Warren, Daniel Hansen, and Michelle Militello
Robert Nieland, Cynthia Dickerson, Clementine Stowe-Daniel, Yasmine Mourad, Rebekka Lee, and Chantal Yousif
Dr. Duane Brandau presents the Research Award to Tyler Gallo
Emcees Jack Thompson and Matthew Moynihan
General James P. McCarthy and Dr. Anthony LaPorta present the Military Service Award to Laurie Wallace
Graduates Honored at Awards Ceremony
Every year, RVU holds a special awards ceremony for its graduating class, where faculty and staff can honor the students one last time. This event also provides an opportunity for students to recognize the classmates who made their time at RVU just a little bit easier, such as members of the Student Government Association or the Fellows. Jack Thompson and Matthew Moynihan served as the ceremony's emcees, entertaining the audience with their wry sense of humor and gag awards. Whether they were lambasting a fellow classmate whose efforts make the rest of them look bad (Katie Corwin), bringing much-needed attention to a drastic haircut (Jay Thompson), pointing out the shortcomings of a vertically-challenged classmate (Abigail Zinn), or pointing out the supernatural energy of another (Afia Ukor), they livened up what could have been a bland, humorless ceremony. Next, professors and administrators took the stage to present awards to the students who went above and beyond the already-high achievements of the other medical students. Some of the awards—such as the Excellence in Clinical Years awards—were granted based on the work of students during their rotations; other awards took the student's entire medical school career into consideration.
The OPP Fellows—Phillip Miller, Brandon Hoy, Laura Gibbons, and Sarah Housman—receive their graduation stoles
Dr. Jacquelyn Waller presents an award to Maeveen Riordan
Members of the Global Medicine Track: Chase Hamilton, Yenly Nguyen, Robert Nieland, and Clementine Stowe-Daniel.
Dr. Clint Adams presents the President's Award to Joseph LaPorta
Dr. Thomas Told presents the Dean's MSBS Academic Excellence Award to Onilia Zorio
The SGA for the Class of 2018: (l-r) Cory Carroll, Monica Mills, Olivia Klinkhammer, Jay Thompson, Sarah Edgerton, Patrick Wallace, and Laurie Bezjian Wallace
Class of '18
Award Recipients Dean's Award: Wesley Hunter Dean's Award (MSBS): Onilia Zorio President's Award: Joseph LaPorta President's Award (MSBS): Mukanya Tchombela Brandon Trusell Community Service Award: Sarah Edgerton Excellence in Academic Achievement: Biomedical Sciences: Maeveen Riordan Excellence in the Basic Sciences: • Osteopathic Principles and Practice: Sindi Diko • Principles of Clinical Medicine: Katharine Loob • Medical Humanities: Robert Nieland • Structural Medicine: Joseph LaPorta Excellence in the Clinical Years: • Anesthesiology: Luke Mosel • Diagnostic Radiology: Wesley Hunter • Emergency Medicine: Kashyap Kaul • Family Medicine: Luke Sugden • General Surgery: Jared Stucki • Internal Medicine: Elizabeth Lees • Obstetrics/Gynecology: Sarah Edgerton • Pediatrics: Charles Simpkin • Psychiatry: Marshal Ash • Psychiatry: Jennifer Wygant • Subspecialty Medicine: Joseph LaPorta • Subspecialty Surgery: Robert Powers Excellence in Clinical Medicine: Katherine Corwin Global Medicine Award for Excellence: • Robert Nieland • Chase Hamilton Military Service Award: Laurie Wallace Outstanding Academic Excellence (R&W Track): • Wesley Hunter • Luke Sugden Outstanding Clinical Excellence (R&W Track): • Rebekka Lee • Eddie McDonald Special Recognition Award (R&W Track): Marshal Ash Research Award: Tyler Gallo Humanitarian Award (MSBS): Elizabeth Chenard Denver Osteopathic Foundation Award: Charles Simpkin
In the days leading up to the Commencement Ceremony, the Colorado campus was buzzing with excitement (and just a bit of chaos). Graduates filled the hallways, picking up their regalia, standing in line for headshots, rehearsing the ceremony choreography, and chatting with friends they hadn't seen in two years. The military students were treated to a special lunch and cake ceremony, featuring a special guest: General James P. McCarthy (ret.), who would be their commissioning officer at the graduation ceremony. Over lunch, he spoke to them about military medicine and life in the service. They then participated in the traditional cake ceremony, in which members of each branch of military (typically the oldest and youngest members present) cut a piece of cake to commemorate their upcoming commissioning. In the midst of the excitement, the graduating students gathered at Denver's Punchbowl Social—a combination bar, restaurant, and amusement center for the graduation party. Scattered around the immense building and surrounded by their classmates and friends, the graduates bowled, threw darts, and played pinball, bean bag toss, and arcade games. This was the perfect way for the graduates to relax and enjoy time with their loved ones before the ceremony—and, ultimately, before embarking on their next adventure: residency.
Countdown to RVU's Physician Assistant Program With its new accreditation-provisional status granted by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), the PA Program is now charging forward, kicking up dust in its wake. The inaugural Class of 2020 will begin in September with a class of over 30 students; upon completion of this 27-month-long program, the students will graduate with a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree.
An Innovative Curriculum
The PA student will be taught using a truly innovative curriculum, utilizing the competency-based medical education (CBME) model. CBME is an outcome-based approach to the design, implementation, assessment, and evaluation of the program, with its learners using an organizing framework of competencies. This model takes learning from knowledge acquisition to application, allows for multiple measures of performance, and assesses performance against a fixed set of predetermined criteria. There are three major components of CBME: competencies, milestones, and entrustable professional activities (EPAs), which are tasks or responsibilities performed while unsupervised once competence is attained. No other PA program in the United States utilizes these components as part of its student assessment and program evaluation. With this curriculum, the students' progress will be marked by milestones and other practical means. They will have to demonstrate functional knowledge and pass a series of assessments in order to progress to the next lesson. With these academic provisions, the program will turn out more qualified graduates. "We are fortunate to have experienced faculty, whose vision for the curriculum is not only highly innovative, but has the potential to lead other programs in the move toward competency-based medical education," said Cathy C. Ruff, MS, PAC, Program Director. "The program is another example of how RVU is achieving new heights in medical education." In August, Ms. Ruff will be presenting on this curriculum design at the 2nd World Summit on Competency-Based Medical Education in Switzerland.
The Guidance of a Community The Ron Taylor Memorial PA Scholarship In a year marked by wins, there was one devastating loss: the death of our friend, Ron Taylor. Mr. Taylor was a member of the Advisory Council, offering his years of experience as a rural-based physician assistant for an informed perspective. He was also the organizer of the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track's annual visit to Baggs, Wyoming where students participated in disaster scenarios alongside first responders. To memorialize Mr. Taylor and his contributions, there will be a scholarship created in his name. This scholarship will be available for the PA students prior to the clinical phase of their education. Look for upcoming announcements about the development of this award.
The creation and design of the PA Program began with— and has continued to be—a collective effort. Long before the first PA Program employee was hired, there was a steering committee, which guided many of the initial plans and decisions. As RVU began to hire the program's employees, the steering committee evolved into an advisory council. The council—comprised of physicians, PAs, a legislator, and members of Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and Colorado Rural Health—advise on issues related to community medicine and ways to better meet the medical needs of the community. They also offer information on the "pulse" of medicine and how the RVU PA Program can ensure students are poised to meet the evolving needs of the community.
Meet the PA Team Creating Interprofessional Teamwork
One of the benefits of starting a PA program at an existing medical school is the use of the latter's many resources. One of RVU's resources is its state-of-the-art Standardized Patient program, in which PA students will interact in a monitored clinical setting with standardized patients (actors who portray realistic scenarios or symptoms test and improve the skills of students). Along with its own dedicated faculty, the PA Program will also benefit from the experience and collaboration of RVU's College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) faculty. Through the program duration, students will have guest speakers from the Departments of Biomedical Sciences, Primary Care Medicine, and Research, as well as the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track (in addition to adjunct faculty members). They will also work closely with the Department of Medical Humanities to implement the Interprofessional Education curriculum, including the Humanities for Evidence-Based Medicine course that RVUCOM students take. Additionally, PAs will be rotating with students of RVUCOM throughout the Mountain West region. This creates an opportunity for the students to work on interprofessional teams, while decreasing competition for clinical placements. "This is a very forward-thinking approach to dealing with the challenges associated with identifying and placing students in safe, effective training environments," said Ms. Ruff. The PA Program will be teaming up with the Department of Clinical Affairs, using the same clinical tracking software to schedule rotations. Preceptors will work with a single point of contact for the different programs. "The Physician Assistant program will greatly augment our team-based medical education experience which is essential for preparing our graduates to practice in today's health care delivery system," said Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO.
Changing the Future of Health Care
Physician assistants are expected to change the state of health care in America. Presently, many communities are medically underserved throughout the country and this is expected to worsen as more and more physicians of the Baby Boomer generation retire. The Health Resources and Services Administration estimates a shortage of 20,400 primary care physicians by 2020. Enter the physician assistant. They are academically and clinically prepared to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. Their shared team relationship is fundamental to the profession and enhances the delivery of high-quality health care. They also make clinical decisions and provide a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and health maintenance services. The lower cost of training and education, paired with a shorter time frame to completion, means a quicker route to providing health care to the necessary areas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for PAs is expected to grow at a rate of 37% between now and 2026, with nearly 40,000 new jobs being created.
Faculty: • Cathy C. Ruff, MS, PA-C: Program Director and Associate Professor • David Eckhardt, MS, PA-C: Associate Program Director, Director of Assessment, and Associate Professor • Debra Nickell, PhD, PA-C, MBA: Founding Program Director • Joseph Stasio, DO, FACOFP: Medical Director • Darcy Solanyk, MS, PA-C: Director of Curriculum • Sarah Neguse MS, PA-C: Assistant Professor • Julie Kasperski, MSc, MAT, BHSc-PA: Assistant Professor • Joel Roberts, MD: Instructor of Physiology Staff: • Teri Coe: Administrative Assistant • Mandy Jameson, MA: Clinical Rotations Coordinator • Jenny Smidt: Clinical Rotations Coordinator
Moreover, due to recent legislative changes in the supervisory requirements for new PA graduates, onsite physician supervision hours decreased to 160 from 1000. This provides a positive impact on rural and medically underserved communities, which had not been able to satisfy the 1000-hour requirement.
Andrew Mason, OMS II, and a COMP student treat Christopher Wilkinson, OMS II
Nolan Andres, OMS II, assesses Parker Spriggs, OMS II
High Stress and Disaster Drills at Cut Suit Week
Nestled in the outskirts of San Diego, there is a village with telltale signs of chaos: blown-up cars, blood stains, smears of black smoke on walls, and spent bullet shells wherever you look. Every year, a fresh crop of second-year military students come to this place to build upon their emergency medicine and trauma skills at what has become known as "Cut Suit Week." The village, built on the Stu Segall Productions lot, allows for a myriad of emergency scenarios: a stabbing in an apartment complex, a car accident, a terrorist with a bomb, and more. In one of the warehouse-style buildings, there is a realistic emergency room and several operating rooms, which allows students to receive and treat patients. Cut Suit Week (more formally titled the Intensive Surgical and Trauma Skills Course) is a week-long event that simultaneously provides training to the students and various law enforcement agencies, such as the Border Patrol, the California Highway Patrol, and Chula Vista Police Department. The event is hosted by Strategic Operations (STOPS), makers of the cut suit, in collaboration with RVU's Military Medicine Track team (and several faculty members along for the wild ride). Every day, students were thrust into back-to-back scenarios (for a total of 45) in which they rotated their roles: as patients, as ER physicians, as trauma surgeons, or simply as observers, standing in the catwalks above where they could watch the action unfold below.
Major General Philip Volpe (retired) of the Battle of Mogadishu talks to students
In the OR, thirty-five surgeries were performed by students on the cut suit, a human-worn surgical simulator. Despite the realism of the situation, teaching moments were offered at every turn. While performing a surgery, the simulator was able to be paused in order for the training surgeon to provide instruction to the student. Uniquely, though, students were also allowed to fail: "Students are allowed to make mistakes so that they learn how to recover from them," said Kit Lavell, Executive Vice President of STOPS. "It is truly a return to the [concept] of 'See one. Do one. Teach one.'" Along with RVU, other schools participated in the course: Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific at Western University of Health Sciences. "Going into the week, I really didn't have any expectations," said one KCUMB student. "It had been a long time since I was excited about anything school-related. From Day 3, I absolutely loved it. I loved learning in that environment and...the faculty was amazing. That week in San Diego helped me to re-find my 'why' as in 'why do you study medicine?' I can honestly say I am excited about medicine again."
Holly Spitzer, OMS II, is carried on a stretcher
Molly McLellan, OMS II, and Joshua Smith, OMS II, debate patient triage
Will Robinson, OMS II, helps transport patients onto a helicopter
Andrew Mason, OMS II, struggles with law enforcement as a patient
Cameron Lindemann, OMS II, takes a moment before surgery
Hayden Springer, OMS II, assesses a victim with Deidre McGee, Coordinator for Military Track
Vince Jiao, OMS II, checks Tina Wilson, OMS II, for injuries
Students debrief at the end of the first scenario
Learning About Patient Care in the Andes
Since the opening of the RVUCOM-SU campus last year, there haven't been many opportunities for students of each campus to meet and work together. In February, though, students of both campuses finally came together...across the equator. Traveling to Quito, Ecuador in February, a group of 23 students prepared for a 10-day outreach mission. They were led by Camille Bentley, DO, MPH, FACOFP, Chair of Tracks and Special Programs, and Jing Gao, MD, Assistant Professor of Ultrasound, and joined by several other health care providers. The excursion was sponsored partly by Hands for Health, which was co-founded by Dr. Bentley. After an evening spent in Quito, they journeyed five hours south to Guaranda, an isolated city located in the high Andes and home to 55,000 citizens, which served as their base over the length of the visit. Located in central Ecuador—and without the benefit of an airport or train station—one of the few ways to arrive in Guaranda is by taking a camioneta (or "chicken bus" due to the live, squawking chickens often taken on-board). Each day, they traveled 2-3 hours to one of four different towns, setting up operations in schools. The students worked in pairs: one first-year student and one clinical student serving as the former's mentor. The students rotated throughout the pharmacy and worked on different medical teams, taking patient histories, performing exams, providing clinical treatment and ultrasound imaging (read more about the use of ultrasound in treatment on the following page), and presenting cases. "Witnessing the villagers walk to our clinics for simple treatment was very humbling. Their access to basic healthcare is truly limited and they deserve more than we can give them," said Boris Joutovsky, OMS I. The trip was cold and rainy each day which led to many people coming down with respiratory symptoms, but they continued to work hard. The trip wasn’t without its perks, however. Because this was the first joint expedition with the Colorado and Utah campuses, the students also spent a great deal of time getting to know one another. "My favorite part of the trip has been strengthening the relationships I already have with friends from Utah, as well as creating new friendships with the amazing people from the Colorado campus," said Taylor Sirrine, OMS I, from RVU-SU. The students also got a day off to rejuvenate. The group traveled to Mount Chimborazo, the highest dormant volcano in the country (and Earth's closest point to the sun), where they climbed to an elevation of 16,000 feet! They also attended traditional shaman rituals. On the final day in Guaranda, they attended a formal ceremony hosted by the city as a thank-you to the group. "The Ministry of Health was very pleased and asked that we return again in the future," said Dr. Bentley. Photos provided by Julia Craig, OMS I, and Dr. Jacqueline Woodrum.
The Impact of Ultrasound in Isolated Regions
First-year students Boris Joutovsky and Alexander Ortiz describe the use of ultrasound in treating patients in rural Ecuadorian villages. Triage, a makeshift pharmacy, individual patient rooms, and an imaging station for the two ultrasound machines were established on arrival as patients began lining up. Having many years of experience leading ultrasound research, Dr. Jing Gao helped the students use the ultrasound as a diagnostic and screening tool for their patients. Given the limited access to diagnostic centers, the ultrasound machines were helpful in successfully verifying cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, and musculoskeletal diagnoses. Austen Anderson, OMS I, [used] ultrasound to guide the surgical removal of an abscess located on the back of a young girl’s head. Adrian Olson, OMS I, used his skills to confirm an ovarian cyst that he had palpated on one of his patients. Ultrasound was further used by Alexander Ortiz, OMS I, to identify a calcified thyroid in a female patient to successfully differentiate the final diagnosis from a similar clinical presentation of a submandibular cyst in the patient’s daughter. This medical mission, in addition to its primary purpose of providing care to local Ecuadorians who have been underserved, was an opportunity for first-year students to use their new clinical skills in a practical setting and underlined the importance of ultrasound imaging in rural practice. Photos provided by SD Joutovsky and SD Ortiz.
RVU Father/Daughter Team Volunteers in Kenya
Fourth-year student Nicole Tucker and her father, Dr. Andy Tucker, recently spent a month in Ngoswani, Kenya, working in the Ngoswani Community Health Center. Dr. Tucker is a general pediatrician at Southeast Denver Pediatrics, as well as a member of the RVU community himself. He precepts RVU students at his practice and gives clinical pediatric lectures to second- and third-year students. (Read more about him in the April 2016 issue of the Vista View.) The Ngoswani Community Health Center is a rural primary care clinic that is run by New Frontiers Health Force and Dr. Tonya Hawthorne. It provides 24-hour medical care including primary/family practice care, trauma stabilization, antenatal care, labor and delivery, immunizations, pharmacy, lab services, essential oil therapy, and x-ray. While in this village, Dr. Tucker treated over 150 children, while seeing and offering home visits to the families. SD Tucker helped deliver many babies, provided patient care, and aided in emergency calls. In addition to medical care in the clinic, the Tuckers helped out at Linda’s Kids Academy which provides education to over 60 children in the Ngoswani area. They painted new chalkboards for the children, played games, read, and provided free school physicals to all those enrolled at the school. "Ngoswani is an incredible Maasai village with beautiful people and culture," said SD Tucker. "We loved our month helping others and experiencing Kenya!"
RVU and Hands for Health Return to Guatemala Nineteen RVU upperclassmen traveled to the Guatemalan highlands in March to treat the underserved local population, while honing skills such as patient examinations and histories, presenting patients to attendings, and patient treatments. Over the course of eight days, the students (under the supervision of five physicians and a paramedic) treated 550 patients in various villages. The mission was sponsored by RVU and Hands for Health, a foundation that was co-founded by Camille Bentley, DO, MPH, FACOFP, Chair of Tracks and Special Programs, to help the indigenous and poor around the world. "Medical students may see illnesses not normally seen in the U.S. or they may have to handle diseases in more advanced stages as compared to here," said Dr. Bentley. "With the lack of high tech and expensive diagnostic equipment, we are forced to rely on our hands, senses, medical knowledge, and past experiences...in order to help others. Everyone must work as part of a team and work with others from different health care disciples and/or specialties." The group was able to bring along some equipment in order to better serve the Guatemalans. In one situation, a nervous, pregnant woman arrived at the clinic, suffering from vaginal bleeding. The physician and medical student treating her were able to use their ultrasound machine to verify and reassure her that the fetus was just fine. It wasn't just a lack of technology that created problems; the language difference also was a learning experience for the students. "Communicating in Spanish was a challenge at times, but I quickly learned to communicate in other ways. Even without a common language, I was able to connect with the patients. It was a privilege to be able to care for the local people." Hannah Douglas, OMS IV
A Month in Panama Fourth-year students Noelani Arango and Katie Loob volunteered for a month in Panama with Floating Doctors, an organization that helps bring physicians and clinicians to remote and impoverished areas of the world. They deploy medical workers by boat, packhorse, or even on foot to these areas, where they conduct health services and community development projects. During their time in Panama, SDs Arango and Loob saw patients regularly (including a case of Leishmaniosis scars). They also held charlas on different health education topics such as menstrual cycles and fertility.
Prepping for Emergency Medicine Rotations at Bootcamp In an otherwise empty building on a Saturday in April, twenty-five students learned about the ins and outs of emergency medicine at the Colorado campus. This annual bootcamp was created to prep students for their emergency medicine rotations or residency auditions and to hone their ultrasound and suturing techniques. Students were paired together with an ultrasound machine and either a physician or fourth-year student to walk them through the techniques (practicing on a first-year student, of course). Next, the students presented their "cases" to attendings, which offered a valuable experience (and feedback!) they might not have otherwise had. "The students thought this was very high-quality and helpful for their future audition rotations," said Joshua Smith, OMS II, who helped organize the event this year. Over the lunch break, students participated in a Q&A session with fourth-year students who had recently matched into emergency medicine residencies: Danika Evans, Kashyap Kaul, Garret Baker, Rebekka Lee, and Clementine Stowe-Daniel. Students also received valuable information from Dr. Tim Vo, a fourth-year resident at Denver Health Medical Center, on what programs are looking for during audition rotations. "Each student got a great perspective into life in emergency medicine," said SD Smith.
RVUCOM-SU Encourages s.t.e.a.m. careers RVUCOM-SU participated in Red Mountain Elementary School's STEAM Fair on March 6th. STEAMâ€”which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematicsâ€”is a movement that emphasizes the importance of science- and math-based careers for children (and, oftentimes, girls in particular due to the lack of female representation in these fields). STEAM careers are currently growing at 17% compared to other careers which are growing at 9.8%, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, due to increasing scientific and technological innovations. During the STEAM Fair, Jing Gao, MD, Assistant Professor of Ultrasound, demonstrated to the students the veins, muscles and blood flow using the ultrasound machine. First-year students Ben Memmott and Chris Stewart assisted her with demonstrations, such as by using a teaching scope to let the children hear hearts and lungs. "The students were very excited to learn about the different anatomy of the bicep, forearm, wrist, and neck using the ultrasound machine. It was very enjoyable!" said SD Memmott. Following RVU's visit to Red Mountain Elementary School, the school's committee sent a letter expressing their gratitude: "We wanted to offer a wide variety of things to do and see. You helped us to accomplish that goal. We appreciate your time and willingness to be here and help make the evening a success."
Pushing the Limits of Treatment in Rural America "We were immersed in smoke, the fire alarms were blaring, the adrenaline was pumping, people were screaming for help. We walked through dark classrooms, looking for victims." First-year student Jordan Wilkes described the scene he encountered while at an elementary school in Baggs, Wyoming. Despite knowing that this scenario was not real, it didn't stop students from feeling tense, panicked, and more than a little emotional. With the rise of school shootings in our country, this scene is becoming terrifyingly common. With victims being portrayed by both adults and children with realistic wounds, the situation felt very real to the students: "The school shooting scene was close to home and it made me truly imagine that this could be a very real situation for any of us. The acting and moulage made the experiences that much more real, as well. I couldnâ€™t believe I saw blood squirting out of limbs, but it could very well be what we see during a mass casualty incident." The shooting scenario was one of three scenes created for students during the weekend in Baggs. This annual training exercise is offered to students in the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track to introduce them to the concept of physician-as-first-responder. While many physicians will never experience being a first responder on a scene, that is not the case for rural physicians. Oftentimes, they are one of the first (and maybe the only) medical personnel at the scene of an accident or disaster. The students worked closely with EMTs from Little Snake River EMS, firefighters, and law enforcement, similar to a real-life rural emergency. During the shooting scenario, students unexpectedly grappled with an ethical issue: prioritizing and treating the shooter. "As we moved patients out of the school," described SD Wilkes, "the wounded and handcuffed shooter was lying next to the treatment area. Most of us passed by [him] as we transported patients. It took us a while to want to help the shooter because we felt more of an obligation to help [the] victims...even though some of their wounds were not as serious. By the end of the scenario, though, we realized that the shooter was still a patient that needed our attention." Multiple students reflected later on having to come to terms with "treating the bad guy." During another scenario, students were informed that an explosion had taken place at an oil and gas facility. Upon arriving in an ambulance, they found victims with burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, broken arms, disorientation, and more. Students learned to triage and prioritize patients, determine the mode of transport (ambulance or helicopter), and to work on a medical team, all while factoring in environmental hazards, working in tight or potentially dangerous spaces, dealing with distractions, and more. "I learned how difficult it is [to] arrive on a scene and take a minute to check if the environment is safe," said Rebecca Grenvik, OMS I, who was chosen as the incident commander for the first scenario. "I wanted to run and find a patient to care for but had to stay back and strategize how to communicate with each team of responders. It was great to have that leadership opportunity to really test my skills." While not participating in a scenario, many of the first responders also took time to teach the students important skills. "I was taught how to start an IV and intubate a patient, which I didn't expect to learn for years!" said SD Grenvik. "[They] were beyond amazing...always excited and eager for us to learn everything we could. I wish I had more time to listen to their experience and soak in more knowledge from them. I have a newfound respect for [first responders] after spending time with them and seeing firsthand how much they do for the patients and how much incredible knowledge they have. I would not trade this experience for anything...it was hands-down the best experience I had during my first year of medical school!"
Annual Baggs Health Fair
Several first-year students recently joined Dr. Thomas Told in Baggs, Wyoming for the annual health fair, where they practiced examining patients and providing treatments. "We enjoyed getting to see what clinical medicine can look like in small communities!" said Jolysa Gallegos, OMS I.
"The scenarios challenged us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Along with the valuable lessons we learned, we also met and worked with truly amazing people. It was an intense three days that I am unlikely to ever forget. Students in the R&WM Track are very fortunate to have this valuable experience and training available to them each year." - Christopher Gay, OMS I Michael Klepadlo, Rebecca Grenvik, Jolysa Gallegos, Dr. Told, Jessica Montalban, and Ashley Hooper
SD Hooper performs an ultrasound on a resident's eye
"While we were absorbed in treating patients, a second shooter began firing. We had to take cover while police located and contained the shooter. While under cover, it was sad to see our most critical patients strapped to backboards, lying in the open as shots were being fired, with no ability to get up and move themselves to safety. The intensity of the entire situation made it one of the most memorable experiences of my life." - SD Wilkes
SDs Gallegos and Montalban prepare to do a skin check on a resident of Little Snake River
Sky Ridge Residency Programs Celebrate Graduates
In June, the residents of Sky Ridge Medical Center's various residency programs gathered at the Highlands Ranch Mansion to celebrate their upcoming graduations in an intimate setting with their loved ones and colleagues. While this was the third year of graduates from the Internal Medicine Residency Program, it was the first year of graduates for Transitional Year and Neuromuscular Medicine (NMM+1) programs, which are one-year programs. Following dinner, the program began with a welcome by David Mohlman, DO, FACOI, Director of Medical Education, and a talk by Dennis Kinder, MD, Director of Rocky Vista Health Center, about life after residency (which, for him, included working for Dr. Thomas Told in rural Colorado). Next, the program directors for each residency called their graduates onstage to congratulate them on their graduation. With small program sizes, the directors talked about each graduate individually and his or her contribution over the length of the program, offering a glimpse into how close the residents and directors have grown over their time together. They handed out several awards (as voted by the residents and, occasionally, the faculty) including: Sub-Specialist of the Year for Gregory Schlessinger, MD, and Intern of the Year for RVU alum, Roberto Lopez, DO '17. The Chief Residents for the next year were also announced: Scott Rebich, DO, and Mitchel Brown, DO '16. Nicholas Taylor, DO, received the award for Resident of the Year. A new award for this year was also announced: the Excellence in Research award, presented to Weston Harkness, DO, for "the pursuit of furthering research in the study of internal medicine." Finally, the graduates of the Internal Medicine Residency Program presented gifts to Dr. Mohlman and Greg Hicks, MD, Program Director: a frame holding each of their resident name tags. The event concluded with a slideshow of the graduates. The last official day of residency was on June 30th.
Dr. Hicks praises a graduate
Graduates of the Transitional Year program
Dr. Mohlman receives his gift from the Internal Medicine residents
Dr. Kenneth Ramey (right) stands with graduates of the NMM+1 program
Graduates of the Internal Medicine Residency Program
Garrett Smith sings "Chandelier"
Jesse Dewey, OMS I, and Jared Wilson, OMS I, receive the Diplococci (Bromance) Award
Student and Faculty Award Ceremony
As a medical student, you spend most of your days with your classmates. In the course of a year, you get to know each other's strengths or quirks. The annual Student and Faculty Award Ceremony is a time to praise those strengths...and to roast those quirks. At each campus, the Student Government Association hosted an award ceremony with songs, skits, and goofy awards (with a few legitimate awards thrown in, as well). Among the awards handed out were the Service Award, given to one student in each class who exemplified the value of service throughout the year: Matthew McMaster, OMS I; Jibran Khan, OMS II; and Thomas Coyle, MSBS '18. The Staff Member of the Year Award was given out at each campus: Hannah Golesh (RVU-CO) and Lorena Garcia (RVUCOM-SU). "It was a blast," said Paolyne Meza, OMS I, who was one of the RVUCOM-SU ceremony organizers and also won the "Most Inspirational Student" award. "It felt empowering to put together the first annual awards ceremony for this school." See the column at right for additional awards.
Jacob Burch accepts the Funniest Student Award
Nena Mason receives the Parasympathetic Award (Most Chill Professor)
Joel Roberts receives the Fighting Prairie Dog Award from the MSBS class
Ann Trawick receives the A.T. Still Award for Excellence in Teaching: Clinical Medicine
Gage Williamson and Kameron Black perform a lip sync of "Hakuna Matata"
Emily Jensen wins Most Compassionate Student Award
Jen Daniels wins the Gunner Award
Judy Caldwell receives the Most Inspiring Professor Award
RVUCOM-CO Awards: • Summit Club of the Year: ACOFP • Unsung Hero Award: George Marsh • A.T. Still Award for Excellence in Teaching: Osteopathic Medicine: Christopher LaFontano • William Osler Award for Excellence in Teaching: • Class of '21: Ian George • Class of '20: Christopher LaFontano • MSBS: Joel Roberts • Administrative Member of the Year: Teresa Moore • Fighting Prairie Dog Award • Class of '21: Andrew Ambler • Class of '20: Dmitriy Pales • Student of the Year • Class of '20: Natalie Poliektov • Class of '21: Jacob Barnes • MSBS: Arthur Armijo • Faculty of the Year: Ian George • Congeniality Award: • Class of '20: Austin Forbes and Dane Rana • Class of '21: Kameron Black • MSBS: Onilia Zorio • OPP Award: Nathan Gorman • PCM Award: Elizabeth Stoll • Student Slacker Award: Austin Forbes RVUCOM-SU Awards: • Student of the Year: Taylor Yancey • Destined for Greatness Award: Rusty (Keeling) McLin • Paul Mitchell Award: Kyle Christensen • School Heartthrob: Mick Juarez • Saks Fifth Avenue Award: Andrew Jeon • Professor of the Year: Dale Woodbury • Sympathetic Award: Ben Wilde
RVUCOM-SU Arbor Day Tree Ceremony Arbor Day at RVUCOM-SU was a commemorative celebration which involved the planting of a Raywood Ash Tree, along with the placement of 134 bricks engraved with the names of the Inaugural Class of 2021 students. This was a vision that David Park, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP, Campus Dean, had a year ago. "What a great way to give credit to the inaugural class for their pioneering efforts," Samuel Zarbock, OMS I, President of SGA, said. "As the inaugural class, it's our dream to leave a legacyâ€”a legacy of excellence, compassion, and hard work. The Arbor Day Tree is just a tangible symbol reminding us of the legacy we hope to leave." The Raywood Ash tree is a unique tree: the first two years of planting, the tree needs to be heavily watered so the roots will grow deep into the earth. The third year, it will need a little less water as the roots have developed and the tree will begin to reach towards the heavens. This tree is symbolic as it refers to the first and second year, during which the RVU students receive a firehose of information. The third year, as they get to practice in a medical setting, they are able to use all the information or roots which they have learned and established for the prior two years. "It's an honor to be a part of the inaugural class of RVUCOM-SU," continued SD Zarbock. "Having my name forever engraved on this campus is both humbling and motivating. It makes RVU even more of a home. I hope to bring my kids back one day so they can see where their dad became a doctor."
Supporting the Partners that Support the Students
Even the strongest relationships are strained during the transition of your partner entering medical school. Lack of sleep, loneliness, time apart, and fiscal concerns can lead to profound stress and a decline in many relationships. Each campus has taken its own approach to supporting the medical students' partners (which, in turn, supports the students themselves) in navigating these stresses: RVU-CO Under the guidance of Kade Rucker, MAC, LPCC, NLC, Counselor, a new support group called Medical Spouses and Partners (MSP) has been formed. The group is run by the partners of RVU students to help one another, to feel more connected to the RVU community, and to learn how to better support their spouses throughout this difficult academic journey. A committee plans events, gathers helpful information and resources to share, provides outreach to incoming couples, and keeps communication open with all of the interested spouses. They will have events happening all year, beginning this summer. If any students and their partners are interested in connecting with the MSP committee leaders, send an email to MSP-LC@ rvu.edu. The group is not affiliated with RVU but hopes to become an official club or organization in the future. RVUCOM-SU Kathy Killian-Harmon, LMFT, Mental Health and Wellness Counselor, helps students and families navigate their schooling and relationships by hosting a series of events. In December, students attended, "Welcoming Your New Addition to the Family: Rocky Vista University." For the second event, Dean Nixon of the Turning Leaf Wellness Center hosted a workshop. Students and their partners were provided with engaging presentations and research-based skills such as improving intimacy and friendship, as well as managing conflicts in a healthy way. There are also outside resources available to teach the partner that is not in medical school how to gain relationship satisfaction and to create healthy social, emotional, and intellectual skills.
Violence Education and Prevention Raises Awareness
After two weeks of raising awareness and dispensing information, RVU wrapped up its annual Violence Education and Prevention (VEP) campaign. Created in 2015 by the Department of Safety and Security, VEP opens up discussions surrounding uncomfortable, but necessary, topics. "It’s not one individual’s responsibility to keep our students safe," said Andrew Stevens, Security Supervisor and Clery Act Coordinator. "It’s up the whole University." A panel discussion opened the lecture series on April 16th with Jennifer Roger Flynn from the Parker Police Department; Matt McMaster, OMS I; Kade Rucker, MAC, LPCC, NLC, Counselor; and Andrew. They exchanged ideas and suggestions on how to recognize and report domestic violence. Two more lectures followed on the 18th and the 25th, when Detective Tyler Herman of the Parker Police Department and Michelle Metz, RN, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner with Denver Health, discussed stalking and the rigors of victim examination, respectively. The series concluded on April 26th with a panel discussion pertaining to assault and consent. SD McMaster and Kade were once again on the panel along with RVU’s Title IX Coordinator, Laura Dement, MA Ed, and Jennifer Walker from the Crisis Center. RVUCOM-SU also participated in the VEP campaign by hosting an event of their own. Cheli Webb, Counselor with the Southwest Behavioral Health Center, gave a presentation on how to identify the signs and symptoms of abuse. The Colorado events were livestreamed to Utah, as well. As sexual assault continues to receive intense media scrutiny, more and more people are asking how to help those affected. "Report, report, report," said Andrew. "Resources are available for them!" While the complete eradication of domestic violence and sexual assault is still a long way off, tools like VEP help bring that dream closer to reality.
Dinner with 12 Strangers On April 13, RVUCOM-SU held the first annual "Dinner With 12 Strangers" networking event in the student lounge. The event provided first-year students a chance to practice or perfect the "art of networking." They also focused on career-oriented conversations with individuals from the five different networks they are developing to assist with educational and career goals. The evening started with dinner and introductions, followed by a speed-networking activity where the "guests" at each table responded to a careeroriented question. Students then asked follow-up questions and had meaningful discussions. Guests then rotated to the next table and the next round took place. The format provided students an opportunity to interact with nearly every guest in attendance and benefit from their experience, perspectives, suggestions and advice. â€œDinner With 12 Strangersâ€? is the culminating activity of the Careers In Medicine (CiM) workshop series for first-year students. They meet monthly to discuss CiM website resources, helpful career assessments, plans for summer career-building activities, the importance of interests and values in the work environment, building a career portfolio, developing strong career networks, and other essential concepts to help students make wise career decisions. Student discuss their individual career goals and progress each semester with the Educational and Academic Support Counselor and submit career portfolio documents.
Battling the Opioid Crisis The Medical Student Advocates for High Risk Populations (MSAHRP) club on the Southern Utah campus hosted a collection site as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This event allowed local community members to drop off expired or unwanted prescription drugs. The goal of this event was to ensure that the public understands the dangers of opioid abuse and the various resources available in order to properly dispose of these drugs. They partnered with the Ivins Police Department in order to ensure the drugs were safely delivered to the St. George Department of Health. Additionally, 20 students from the MSAHRP club went to the Brookstone Medical Center, a local treatment center for opioid dependence, to learn how to properly administer Naloxone. Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication used to block the effects of opioids in the event of an overdose. Naloxone is a non-addictive drug that only works when an individual has opioids in their system. The Brookstone Medical Center also provided all of the students who attended with a Naloxone kit to use in the event that someone is overdosing on opiates.
The Power of Grit By David Roos, EdD, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs As the inaugural year on the Southern Utah campus is now in the history books, I have appreciated having a front-row seat in watching our students navigate their first year at medical school. There were varying responses to the tremendous workload and pressures, with some students choosing to pursue a different path while others persisted despite failing a course or even repeating their first year. A common thread that I’ve seen (and something I believe we all know intuitively) is this: regardless of IQ, looks, or family income, what really makes the difference in the end is the power of grit. Grit is often defined as "a personality trait possessed by individuals who demonstrate passion and perseverance toward a goal despite being confronted by significant obstacles and distractions."1 We all know it when we see it, and medical school is replete with big hurdles and a pace that requires an extra measure of grit to run the race. As I’ve tried to compare it to my own life experience, the best I can come up with is running the St. George Marathon a few years ago. After enduring leg cramps for several miles and finally crossing the finish line, I can only imagine being told, "Good job...now go and do that three more times. And, by the way, you really need to pick up the pace!" So what else does grit look like? I’m sitting across the table from a student who has failed a course and is now meeting with the StARC Committee. She feels discouraged and the wind has obviously been taken out of her sails. But, despite these feelings, she contemplates how to learn from this challenge and move on. She considers how she will adjust her study strategy and reexamines how she will spend each day’s 24 hours. The resilient student bounces back even stronger, wiser, and more powerful to be ready for the next significant hurdle. I’m reminded of the Michael Phelps commercial where he swims alone in a dark pool early in the morning, with the voiceover saying "Welcome to the grind. For what is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way. Ten thousand streams fan out like a river delta before you, each one promising the path of least resistance."2 Our students have not chosen that path and, as this academic year comes to an end, we applaud them for their daily commitment to be resilient and to keep a laser focus on the end goal of becoming excellent osteopathic physicians. 1 2
What is Grit? www.gostrengths.com/what-is-grit. Accessed May 3, 2018. Nike. YouTube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbkZrOU1Zag. Accessed May 3, 2018.
Introducing Rocky Roadrunner Mascot Rocky Roadrunner made his debut as the RVUCOM-SU mascot following the Mascot Competition contest for who could design the best mascot for the campus. The winner would receive a $500 gift certificate from the RVU Alumni Association and will go down in RVU history as the creator of the RVUCOM-SU mascot. There were many submissions for the first round, then RVU narrowed down the parameters of the mascot design, which would include the name "Rocky Roadrunner," the image would need to be a side view of a roadrunner in motion, wearing a white coat, and must include outline of Red Mountain or Crimson Cliffs skyline. The winner of the mascot competition was Truman Smith, Administrative Assistant (pictured at right with the winning design). He exclaimed, "I did not expect to win, as the slides were being shown my heart was pounding. When I was revealed the winner, the crowd roared and clapped. I look forward to seeing what RVU does with my design and am immensely honored to be the recipient of this great accomplishment."
V-Day 2018: The Vagina Monologues This February, RVU’s Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) chapter produced Eve Ensler’s world-famous play, The Vagina Monologues. Medical students from RVU-CO and University of Colorado, as well as OBGYN residents, fellows, and attendings from the community, embraced their inner actors and explored the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it means to be a woman. The play delves into consensual and non-consensual sexual experiences, body image and acceptance, genital mutilation, direct and indirect encounters with reproduction, sex work, and "all things vagina" through the eyes of women of various ages, races, and sexualities. "[It] shed much-needed light on the breadth of issues and experiences women face in their day-to-day," said Evan W. "As a male that grew up with only brothers, I was truly honored to hear a perspective so different from my own. It was funny, thoughtful, entertaining, and incredibly important." MSFC’s goals for the play were to shed light on real-life issues women face today. The show touches on topics women are afraid to speak about because they feel they are alone in their perspective. All it takes is one person to be vulnerable and open, then they discover they have a whole army of women behind them. The Vagina Monologues provides that vulnerability. It highlights that people don’t need to share the same experience in order to have compassion and empathy: telling an individual story and sharing a unique experience provides an opportunity to make connections. Ultimately, MSFC’s goal was to create a platform for the audience to broaden their mindset and think about possibly new and different concepts, creating a space to build those connections. "My favorite part about seeing The Vagina Monologues was watching these women—my friends and colleagues—push out of their comfort zone and be so vulnerable in front of friends, family, and strangers," said Marina L. "These women are powerful and awesome and seeing that on stage gave me goosebumps!" There were two performances at Blush and Blu in Denver on February 1st and 5th. The event was a fundraiser for SafeHouse Denver, a women’s shelter for victims of domestic abuse. The venue graciously donated their stage space, which seated about 80 people. Both nights were sold out by MSFC, leaving standing room only! There was also a silent auction with artwork donated by RVU students and a bake sale with various vagina-themed goodies in order to increase the revenue from the event. In total, MSFC raised $2,501 for SafeHouse, $205 for the V-day campaign (the national organizers of The Vagina Monologues), and $608 for their own chapter. It was successful beyond the production crew’s wildest expectations! Stay tuned for information to come on RVU’s second annual production of The Vagina Monologues in 2019. MSFC executive board (producers): Jen Daniels (director), Audrey Jaeger, Olivia Roehling, Iris Burgard, Kiara Blough. Cast: Jen Daniels, Audrey Jaeger, Olivia Roehling, Iris Burgard, Kiara Blough, Kaelin Roach, Paola Casillas, Zoe Gordon, Sienna Valente-Blough, Annelisa Pessetto, Angela Marchin, Brandi Ring, Lexi Lee, Becca Fletcher, Emily Russell, Kelsey Meyer Boghean. Additional support: Karen Norling, Sheila Dinges. Silent Auction donors: Kaelin Roach, Dr. Jill Pitcher, Michael Neinast, Anthony Jones, Seth Bernard, Andrew Krogsgaard Mason Aisling Crosson, George Meyer, Dr. Brandi Ring. Silent Auction Organizer: Kelsey Meyer. Medical Students For Choice is a club that seeks to open up the conversation around abortion, family planning, reproductive rights and choices, and values and beliefs. They also have fundraising events throughout the year which raises money to support the club and to send members to MSFC conferences nationwide. Most recently, they (along with the STIGMA club) held a feminine hygiene drive to benefit the Mental Health Center of Denver.
Summer Break Ideas to Keep You Active
Adapted from HBCUlifestyle.com; selected by Judy J. Thornton, MA, Director of Educational Support Here is a list of some simple, fun and off-the-couch ways to pack as much interest as possible into your summer break. • Get Charitable: Chances are your closet is stuffed with things you’ll never use again – those trendy pieces from college, for instance. Gather everything up, pack it into a box and donate it to charity – you’ll be helping others and giving yourself more space at the same time. • Prepare for Graduation: Try shadowing, networking, setting up a professional online presence, or anything which will help in your chosen residency field. • Read Something Fun: You’ve spent the past year of your life reading textbooks – give your brain a break! Pick up the latest blockbuster or anything that interests you – it’s a great way to remind yourself that reading can actually be fun when it doesn’t involve studying! • Camp Out: Think about it – the last time you camped out, you were probably a little kid! Thankfully the fun never wears off, so grab some friends and a tent, head for the nearest state park and have an awesome night under the stars. • Go Extreme: Always wanted to para-sail? Bungee jump? Skydive? Now’s the time! Grab a friend or two and take on an extreme sport that scares you to death – the rush you’ll get from conquering your fears will give you loads of new confidence! • Be a Tourist: No traveling necessary for this one – explore your hometown through fresh eyes! Check out your town’s website, which will have loads of activities, attractions and events. It’s incredible how fun those same-old streets can look once you change your perspective! • Have a Movie Day: Another great boredom-buster for movie fans is to hit a local theater and see every movie – literally. Grab a fellow film buff and vow to see each movie playing – even the ones you think you’ll hate. You might be surprised at what you find entertaining, and it’s a great way to kill a few rainy days! • Volunteer: Want to do something community-minded during your break? Check out online volunteering websites. Plug in your information, and you’ll find loads of interesting opportunities. You can serve up meals at a homeless shelter, build homes for needy families or give shelter animals some much-needed playtime – the opportunities are virtually endless. • Try Solo Vacationing: If you’ve never taken a trip on your own before, now’s the time! Book a few days in a city you’ve always wanted to see, or take an adventure vacation such as kayaking. You’ll meet interesting people, have incredible experiences and gain a new level of independence! • Foodie Road Trips: A quick online search will reveal tons of hidden-jewel eateries in your area, and some sites even have them already mapped out for the ultimate foodie experience! Grab a few friends and vow to ignore any and all diets for a few days. • Haunted Road Trips: For the more adventurous, a haunted road trip can be just the thing! Plenty of road trips can be found already mapped out online, or purchase a ‘true hauntings’ book specific to your area and create your very own spooky adventure! Stay in a haunted hotel, visit a ghost town, explore old cemeteries – the possibilities are endless. Just be sure to bring along some brave buddies!
Understanding the Stigma of Mental Health in Medicine by Harmonjot Singh, OMS I, RVU-CO Campus
As a medical student, much of our education revolves around concerns about improving patient care, patient safety, and reducing medical errors. However, as we progress through this journey to being physicians that patients can trust, more attention needs to be focused on examining how the management of mental illness among physicians might be improved within the profession. One idea for change is to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. This is a social constraint that, if not destigmatized and approached with care in medical school, can have adverse effects on our medical practice, patients, and our personal health. I believe it all starts with the culture of medicine and medical training. There are times where we are to work exhausted or, in turn, even more ill than our patients. That is just how we are taught to function as medical professionals. Resilience isn’t taught, but it is expected, and we come to expect it in ourselves and each other. There is a feeling of shame and fear of being judged if we ask for help or guidance. As a result, we tend to suffer in silence and carry on our professional lifestyle with pride. There have been studies done that physicians feel pressure to appear physically well and that a physician’s health is believed to reflect his or her medical competence. In other words, this can be viewed as a sign of weakness. Although the stigma with mental illness is partly due to physicians, and even medical students, not admitting they have emotional problems, a major concern is that they are unwilling to accept the role of the patient. This role reversal has been known to challenge and undermine the physician’s personal and professional identities. This also plays a role in with the concerns of confidentiality and embarrassment in seeking treatment and help. As a medical student, especially earlier on, I felt my physical and mental illnesses weren’t well-tolerated and self-care wasn’t promoted as much as it is now. With competitiveness being instilled in us long before we applied to medical school, we have always been afraid of what our peers and colleagues think of us, especially when it comes to our medical knowledge and clinical skills. We are afraid that our colleagues might see us as an “unfit” doctor (and might even tell their patients). An important obstacle I have learned to successfully cope with emotional struggles is the concept of silence. The tendency is that physicians and their colleagues believe the individual will work it out on their own or the problem will somehow disappear. This completely devalues the concept of mental health, and nothing is done as a result. Even as a colleague, there can be a reluctance in helping because they feel they may not have the appropriate knowledge or resources to offer. There have been a few instances where I felt I was unable to help a peer because I did not feel I had the necessary resources to solve the problem. This can lead to an ethical dilemma as well. Do I protect the privacy of my fellow unwell colleague or take their safety into consideration? An important aspect we must learn to grasp is that illness is not synonymous with impairment. We may have one or more mental health conditions that may not necessarily affect our ability to provide safe and quality care to our patients. This plays into the concept of silence because it may be hard to be perceived as a professional within a hospital health care system if you are known to have mental illness. Patients are obviously the number one priority, but the culture we live in tends to punish and stigmatize ill and impaired physicians rather than offering considerate care that is typically offered to non-physicians suffering from similar conditions. Although I mentioned above some things we can focus on to end mental health stigma, I believe we need a structured program that works on multiple levels by targeting individuals, structures, and systems. As future physicians, we need to be taught to recognize signs of distress in ourselves and our colleagues, recognize when help is needed, and feel safe and supported to seek help. Medical schools and the medical community need to be more committed to proactive health among physicians where personal health needs to become a part of the culture. Another way we can facilitate change is perhaps developing an anonymous self-evaluation screens for physicians that focus on stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse. This could be done where the physicians are the only ones that know the results and could monitor their health in such a way. Having a confidential approach could help physicians and medical students recognize signs for help before they become hindered. Mental health has been something that we as future healthcare professionals seem to take for granted. We are so focused on patient care in our training years where we forget about our personal care. There needs to be a system where we stop punishing those who are suffering internally, and instead offer a helping hand. We are taught to work together as a healthcare professional team, so why can’t we work together to support and encourage each other to be the best person and physician we can be?
Mental Health: Something to Talk About by Jesse Dewey, OMS I, RVUCOM-SU Campus
For months, our class heard how daunting neuroscience was: "I have never studied that much." "I would never want to go back to that time again." Frankly, I was worried. I was not worried that I would fail; I was worried for my family. The first semester of medical school was when I encountered the biggest class I had ever taken: Musculoskeletal System. I had never worked so hard to learn so much in such a short amount of time. During that course, I would have said that I was fine. My wife, however, felt otherwise. She felt like she was talking to a brick wall for six weeks. Although I was at home physically, my family could tell that I was detached mentally. Dinners were spent in silence. After the kids were put to bed, there were no sighs of reliefâ€”only sighs of exhaustion, knowing that my wife would spend the rest of the evening alone and I would spend the rest of my night studying. So when neuroscience was getting closer, I was growing more anxious. As I walked into my home after that first day of neuro, I was determined to not seem like the lifeless shell that I felt like. I walked in and was as animated as I could be without being overly excited. In order to avoid seeming exhausted, I made sure to talk about everything that came to my mind. I talked about who I studied with, where I studied, my first impressions of neuro, what I was worried about, and what I thought the next couple of months were going to be like. Luckily, by the end of the night, my wife was not able to sense how stressed I actually was. I made sure to do the same thing as I came home every evening: be as happy as I could and talk the whole night about whatever was on my mind, in order to avoid my family knowing the anxiety I felt. It was not until doing that for about a week that I realized that something had changed. I did not feel like a regular "mind fried" med student. I started to realize that by talking about my problems, they seemed more manageable. By acknowledging how I felt about the present, I was learning to see problems as they really were, rather than the larger-than-life tasks that they seemed to be. Before, I felt like I was in a maze; I did not know how, what, or when to study. Talking to my family about what I was going through allowed me to have an aerial view of my circumstances. My wife was helping me to see the big picture of what I was going through. This allowed me to see more clearly the path I should take. As a result, a significant amount of my stress was relieved. As medical students, we sometimes feel like this will be the hardest times of our lives. We fail to recognize that, in many ways, this will be the easiest time of our careers. Every year, more and more responsibility will be added upon our shoulders until we are ready to take responsibility for the lives of our patients. If there were a time to learn to deal with stress and anguish, it is now. Practicing medicine will expose us to tragedies, disasters, and hardships. If we cannot learn to deal with the stress of studying for tests now, how will we be able to deal lawsuits, sickness, and death later? As future physicians, we focus so much on helping others that sometimes we neglect taking care of ourselves. We may forget that thoughts of suicide often start with seemingly insignificant things like feeling overwhelmed or thoughts of despair. However, in speaking openly and honestly to a trusted friend, you may see a broader perspective on your problems; you may find that others have the answer you are looking for or the encouragement of a loved one may be all the help you need. My hope is that we may have the courage and strength to admit to ourselves that we are not okay and seek the help we need. In doing so, we will be better equipped to have the strength, fortitude, and ability to spend the rest of our lives healing others.
Honoring the Work and Innovation of Staff Oftentimes, the professors and executive team are seen as the faces of a university. Yet there are often tens or hundreds of individuals who work behind-the-scenes to make that university keep functioning. The Finance team ensures bills (and paychecks!) are paid; the Admissions team brings in the amazing students that walk the halls; the Student Affairs team creates mental health and extracurricular activities; the Clinical Affairs team ensures the students experience quality rotations; and so on. In fact, there are over 120 staff members at RVU to date! To honor these staff members, there are two awards given out each year: the Staff Innovator Award and the Administrative Support Personnel Award for Excellence. This year's recipient of the Administrative Support Personnel Award for Excellence was Justine Holck, Program Coordinator for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Sky Ridge Medical Center. Justine has has been at the center of the residency program since its inception, welcoming and coordinating residents each year with a wide smile and the patience of a saint. She was nominated by a number of people, from her residents to her supervisors, who enthusiastically described her contributions, her longevity with RVU, and her dedication to the residency program. Sarah Chavez, Assistant Director of Student Financial Services, and Francine Lata, Director of Student Financial Services, were the recipients of the Staff Innovator Award. "These two individuals were nominated together as it would be impossible to separate and elevate one over the other," said Clinton Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO, as he presented the awards. "They demonstrate innovation and integrity by creating a standard of excellence with student loans and impeccable government audits."
Francine Lata and Sarah Chavez
Dean's Message, continued the perfect answer to our problem, right? Unfortunately, there are several clear downsides to this system. First, when it is time for residency placement and selection of students in an ever growing applicant pool, we see lack of enthusiasm from residency program directors for the two-tiered system. Many program directors tend to grade the two-tiered system with a “C” or “D,” because it blinds them to important information on how the students performed academically on specific subjects during medical school. With the phasing out of audition rotations for fourth-year medical students, this reduces the selection process to only what is contained on paper in the application. Every bit of information in that document is important. The second negative involves student motivation and participation, a point which concerns many academic deans. The perceived lack of rigor by some students in a pure Pass/Fail system can lead to the mindset that one can ski every day, apply less effort, and still pass all the elements in the curriculum. This may be true but, in the end, the public suffers when students don’t feel compelled to give their best effort all the time. Adding an “Honors” component to the grading system to create an Honors/Pass/Fail system similar to the one used at the University of Utah School of Medicine may help correct this flaw. Granted, adding Honors does dial a little more stress into a medical student’s life, dropping our grade for the system to an "A-" or "B+" when it comes to eliminating stress. The presence of that Honors component, however, gives residency selection teams a very important piece of information about the motivation and dedication of a student while in school. It also gives all students a tangible goal to shoot for. From my experience dealing with residency directors, I am sure they would raise their grades of such a system to a "C+" or "B-". Here at RVUCOM, we are fully dedicated to implementing a grading system that is clear, fair, and above all will give our students the best advantage of being selected in the changing world of residency selection. We are committed to having that grading system in use for the entering Class of 2023 next year. There is full agreement that our DO Curriculum Committee and the task force assigned to making this happen deserve a solid “A” for their time, thought, and effort on making this new grading system a reality.
Admissions Hosts Successful Second Look Day When considering a medical school, you are not just thinking of what the next four years will look like; you are placing the fate of your education, career, and abilities in the hands of an institution. Because of this, prospective students are rightfully careful in choosing their school. Candidates are given a chance to experience the campus, curriculum, and features of a school while interviewing. Many times, though, that is the only glimpse they receive before making this life-altering decision. The Department of Admissions held an event on April 5th to help candidates with their decision process: Second Look Day. This event allowed accepted candidates to take a "second look" at the University prior to paying their final deposits. Over 100 potential students attended the event across both campuses, which included panels of faculty, student ambassadors, and members of the Department of Student Affairs. There were also demonstrations of ultrasound, osteopathic manipulative medicine, emergency medicine, and surgical simulation. Informational sessions were offered in which the attendees could learn more about the curriculum and financial aid opportunities. Aside from on-campus events, the Admissions team has been busy attending recruitment events around the country. From February to April, representatives visited multiple universities throughout Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, and Washington, DC.
First eap cohort graduates! Over six years ago, Julie Rosenthal, MS, Executive Director of Enrollment Management, met with Rita Osborne of the Utah Rural Health Scholars (RHS) Program to discuss a pipeline program between Dixie State University and Southern Utah University to RVUCOM. This became the Early Acceptance Program (EAP). On May 19th, the first cohort of EAP students graduated as part of RVUCOM's Class of 2018! "I'm grateful for the EAP as it allowed my dreams to come to fruition," said Devan Partridge, one of the graduating EAP students. Along with SD Partridge, all of the other graduates were alums of DSU by way of the EAP: Joseph Cavallaro, Chancen Hall, Bryce Harmon, Zach Phipps, and Jared Stucki. Due to an agreement between the RHS and RVUCOM, 15 seats are reserved each year for qualified graduates of these Southern Utah colleges. The program is highly competitive and applicants must meet academic and co-curricular requirements, including attendance at RHS health service trips, monthly meetings at RVUCOM, and leadership roles at their college.
Get to Know the RVU Staff Melissa Davidson Job Title: Coordinator, Office of Testing • Melissa has been with RVU since 2010 and in the Office of Testing since 2012 (in "our little hobbit shire"). She has worked on the Employee Events Team and the Graduation Committee since 2011 and 2013 respectively. She is also a member of various committees for curriculum mapping and accreditation. • Prior to RVU, she worked at The Getty Center in Museum Administration in Los Angeles, California. Prior to that, she worked in a post-production editing/VFX house. • Melissa has been married to a "phenomenal man" since 2015. Zach is an Army veteran of the Iraq War. "He is the love of my life and makes me laugh every single day—even when I do not want to." Together, they have one daughter, Daisy, who was born in 2016. They also have two cats, Axl Rose and Huey Lewis. • Her hobbies are photography, crafts, horror movies, and working with Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association. She also enjoys working on her house: fixing it up, decorating it, and "spending all my money and free time making it ours!" Who inspires you and why? It’s cheesy, but my one-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Daisy. Her strength, determination, independence, and smile make every day worth it! She didn’t have the easiest start in life and she has persevered through six surgeries before her eight-month birthday. She is a warrior. She inspires me to be resilient, she has taught me to be patient, and she has energized me to be an advocate. She has changed my life for the better.
What are Melissa's FAQs? "I like working with the students and getting to know them. I am well-aware that testing is no one's favorite thing. But we do good work and it's beneficial in building strong, smart graduates. I take pride in that! Also, I like that we never have the same day twice—every day is an adventure. When do we get the scores? (Asked by students) You get your preliminary scores (not at all final and can change at any time) after scoring occurs. Final scores are posted to MyVista after Course Director approval. Is it okay if I turn in my questions tomorrow? (Asked by faculty) Yes, definitely! Please communicate with us and keep us up-to-date on questions and assessment status so we can plan for life as it happens!
If you could have any super power, what would it be? I would like to have Domino’s power of being spectacularly lucky; no matter what happens, I would land face-up and even the worst situations would work out for my benefit. What is the last book you read? An amazing story of perseverance by P.D. Eastman, in which a kid travels the neighborhood searching for his mother. It’s a heartwarming nailbiter called Are You My Mother. Daisy loves it. What's the last movie you saw? I just saw "Hereditary." OMG. Toni Collette was amazing. If you like horror movies and dramatic, tense thrillers, this is for you! What's a little-known fact about you? I was a Rainbow Girl growing up. I learned the value of community service, leadership skills, public speaking, sticking to your commitments, and taking pride in your good works, as well as how to handle challenging hurdles that come my way. What one thing are you looking forward to in the coming year? Daisy will be fitted for orthotics in the coming weeks and we are really looking forward to her walking! Terrified, but excited!
Campus Tidbits Accreditors, Accreditors, Everywhere As a visitor to the campus remarked recently, "Every time I talk to an executive or employee, they're either about to have an accreditor coming, they have an accreditor on campus, or an accreditor just left." With the addition of new degrees, new specialty programs, and the new campus, it seems RVU has a revolving door of accreditors. For several days in January, the Commission on Osteopathic Colleges Accreditation (COCA) conducted a focused site visit at the Utah campus. "At the exit conference, the Chair reported...that we were doing an excellent job and moving very well in the right direction," said David J. Park, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP, Campus Dean of RVUCOM-SU. "They specifically commended us on our facilities, resources, student contentment, enrichment tracks, and our success in training physicians for the military." The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) visited the Colorado campus in February for the Standard Pathway Comprehensive Visit. This accreditation ensures RVU is able to continue accepting Title IV funding from students. The accrediting team met with students, employees, managers of various departments, executives, and the Board of Trustees over the course of two days. Clinton Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO, remarked at the close of the accreditors' visit, "They appreciated the integrity with which we represented our strengths and opportunities to improve [and] they were astounded as to the resilience we displayed in spite of the multiple accreditation visits we are experiencing." In March, HLC returned to the Colorado campus for a new programs site visit, in order to assess whether RVU has the capacity, resources, and infrastructure to launch a third degree program: the Master of Physician Assistant Studies. Any time a university makes a drastic change to its program offerings, its campus locations, its academic calendar, or other important areas, the HLC must first approve such a change to ensure the continued quality of the students' education. Upon completion of the site visit, HLC approved RVU's request to begin the new program (read more about this program on page 10).
Administrative Professionals Day at RVUCOM-SU April 25th was Administrative Professionals Day and we are so fortunate at RVUCOM-SU to have an incredible team of administrative professionals: Dawnette Hann (Osteopathic Principles and Practice), Kristin Mugleston (Primary Care and Specialty Medicine), Maye Aquino-Turkington (Student Affairs), Merilynn Lloyd (Deans Suite), Sarah Nordgran (Deans Suite), and Truman Smith (Biomedical Sciences, Medical Humanities, and Structural Medicine). In honor of them, we had a little celebration in the Deans Suite which included treats, conversation, and fun. Campus Dean David J. Park, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP, said a few words of gratitude, as well as "Every great team has to have great administrative professionals and ours are truly the best." Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "Administrative professionals are organized, detailed, committed, intelligent multi-taskers, and lifesavers. We really could not keep this University running without you! Your hard work and diligence are an inspiration to everyone and you are greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do. Enjoy this day and week, especially meant for you."
Campus Tidbits The COMM Department of SAACORP RVUCOM-SU held a social for premed students at Dixie State University and Southern Utah University. The RVU students answered questions about life as a medical student, showed off diagnostic equipment, and even held an OPP demonstration. Chris Stewart, OMS I, said, "[We are] very excited about our growing relationship with the premed students and look forward to future mentoring events."
The RVUCOM-SU campus held a fun photo contest in the springtime. The goal of the contest was to highlight the photographic skills of the students and employees, as well as to gather beautiful shots of the surrounding area which could be hung around the campus halls. Participants submitted scenes of the desert, nearby canyons, and local plant and animal life. The winning entries were voted on by fellow RVUers. The winners were: First Place: Tyson Hamilton, OMS I
Second Place: Dan Lund, Senior Technician for the Department of Facilities and Grounds
Students and employees of RVUCOM-SU received a special, furry guest to the campus: Jax (and his partner, Officer Allan Miles). Jax is one of three patrol canines in the region. However, he is the only explosive detection canine in the region and is also used for locating suspects who have fled from law enforcement. Following a campus tour, Jax and Officer Miles put on a demonstration of the dog's skills.
Third Place: Richard Baluyot, OMS I
Campus Tidbits McKenna Abercrombie, OMS III, married her fiancĂŠ Armon Golabi on June 23rd in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. They were high school sweethearts and have been "together through high school, undergrad, and now medical school," she said. Armon is in business with his family, specializing in the buying and selling of handmade, imported area rugs. McKenna and Armon's wedding was held at the Highlands Ranch Mansion and was a fusion of Persian (to honor Armon's culture) and American.
The Department of Clinical Affairs, Office of Testing, and the Frank Ritchel Ames Memorial Library collaborated to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21st. During the day, they held several events to raise awareness: a panel discussion, "Challenging Misconceptions & Attitudes Around Down Syndrome," the informational seminar, "Consumer Health Resources: Medline Plus," and Genes Day, a fundraiser in which employees could pay a dollar to wear jeans. Donations were given to the Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association.
Agility dogs on the RVUCOM-SU campus The RVUCOM-SU students work extremely hard and sometimes need to relax and enjoy a bit of downtime. Kathy KillanHarmon, LMFT, Mental Health and Wellness Counselor, created a fun event in which she invited a dog agility team to the campus. Dog agility is a popular canine sport in which a handler directs a dog through a variety of obstacles such as tunnels, teeter-totter, tire jumps, poles and more. On March 21st and March 24th, students took a break to watch some entertaining dog tricks. Families brought blankets, some brought lunches, and watched the event together.
Raising Questions and Awareness at National Public Health Week RVU’s student section of the American Medical Association celebrated National Public Health Week by hosting a series of discussions and polling the student body on current public health issues. National Public Health Week has been celebrated during the first week in April for 20 years, with the goal of "changing our future together." Each day of this week, there was a unique theme relating specifically to an ongoing public health issue. The poll gathered general insights into these issues, identified issues that were important to them, and fostered discussion of these public health issues.
Wednesday, April 4th: Environmental Health Event: Lawn games to enjoy our environment
Here are the results from those polls: Monday, April 2nd: Behavioral Health Event: Non-Epileptic Seizures, a Neurologist’s Perspective, hosted by STIGMA and NSIG
Tuesday, April 3rd: Communicable Diseases Event: Contraception Workshop, hosted by MSFC and ACOFP
Thursday, April 5th: The Opioid Epidemic Event: Information from the AMA Medical Student Advocacy and Region Conference
Friday, April 6th: Putting Patients Before Politics: Alleviating Social Determinants of Health Event: Change the Odds for Health, a TED talk by Anthony Iton Poll question: What is an issue in healthcare policy that you don’t think gets enough attention? Common Responses: • Balancing public health and civil liberties • Balancing public health and patient autonomy • Community mental health • Mental health among healthcare providers • Preventative medicine • Childhood medical education
The RVU chapter of the Colorado Medical Society would like to thank the students and faculty for their involvement in National Public Health Week. Your responses will be used to target events and speakers that directly reflect the interests and concerns of the student body. In addition, this allows your AMA and CMS representatives to promote healthcare policies that directly reflect the values and concerns of the RVU community. Please contact your RVU CMS President, Benjamin Nance at email@example.com if you have any questions, concerns, or would like to be involved with the AMA or CMS at RVU.
Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Faculty, Staff and Physicians in Training
Jing Gao, MD, Assistant Professor of Ultrasound, was awarded an intramural grant by RVU. She also published three articles recently. The first, "Quantitative ultrasound imaging to assess the biceps brachii muscle chronic poststroke spasticity: Preliminary observation," was published in Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology. The second, "Ultrasound strain imaging to assess the biceps brachii muscle in chronic poststroke spasticity," was published in the Journal of Ultrasound Medicine. The third, "Shear wave elastography to assess false vocal folds in healthy adults," was published in the Journal of Ultrasound Medicine. Additionally, Dr. Gao presented research at the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine in March and to the Chinese Ultrasound Physician Association in April. Finally, she gave a lecture at the Quito Radiology Society Conference in Ecuador. Laurie Wallace, OMS IV, and Patrick Wallace, OMS IV, published a paper in the Medical Student Press Journal, titled, "Intentional razor blade ingestion: a case study analysis on management, treatment, and psychiatric components. Additionally, SDs Wallace and Wallace presented research, "Management of foreign body ingestion in attempted suicide: a case-report," at the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The RVU Marketing Department (comprised of Gina Marzulla, Marketing Coordinator; Kelli Petersen, Marketing Manager; and Julie Rosenthal, Executive Director of Marketing) received two awards from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine's (AACOM) Excellence in Communications competition. This is an annual event that recognizes the contributions of the marketing teams at COMs around the nation. The RVU team received third place in the Advertising category for Violence Education and Prevention, an event that they coordinate along with the Department of Safety and Security every year. The Marketing Department also received third place for the Newsletter category for the Vista View. This is the fifth consecutive year that the team has received EIC awards for their hard work!
RVUCOM-SU students and faculty presented at Dixie State University's Regional Research Symposium in April: • Stella Chan, OMS I, presented a poster, titled, "Pairing cancer screening exams with a Women’s Health Day event to incentivize medical care and services for homeless women in San Francisco." • Jing Gao, MD, Assistant Professor of Ultrasound, presented "Quantitative Ultrasound Imaging to Assess the Biceps Brachii Muscle in Chronic Post-Stroke Spasticity." • Christopher Gay, OMS I, presented a poster, titled, "Community-Level Exposure to the Rural Mining Industry: The Potential Inﬂuence on Early Adolescent Alcohol and Tobacco Use." • Dillon Winkler, OMS I, presented a poster, titled, "Silence to Sound: Hearing Loss and its Regeneration." • First-year students Garrett Burgon, Jake Eggett, Robert Garrett, Andrew Hunt, Jake McRae, Cam Mecham, and Talmage Nielson presented a poster, titled, "OMT: A Potential Treatment for Succinylcholine-Induced Postoperative Myalgia." SDs Eggett, McRae, and Nielsen (pictured on following page) also presented the aforementioned poster at the Spring Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA) Conference at Nova University in Florida and took home the first place prize for the surgical poster competition! Additionally, they presented a bid to host next year's spring conference at RVUCOM-SU, which they won! "It is unprecedented for a brand-new school to host a national student conference like this so we're very proud of this accomplishment. We will host renowned surgeons, residency program directors, and 100+ surgery-bound osteopathic students at our campus," said SD Eggett. Watch for more information about this
Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Faculty, Staff and Physicians in Training
amazing opportunity in upcoming issues of the Vista View.
Students and faculty in the Military Medicine Track published two articles in the Summer 2018 issue of Journal of Special Operations Medicine. • Renato Rapada, OMS III, Penelope Anne Herder, OMS III, and Anthony LaPorta, MD, FACS, Director of the Military Medicine Track, published, "Surgery at Sea: The Effect of Simulated High Sea States on Surgical Performance." This describes the series of experiments performed aboard a Medical Mission Module Support Container. During the experiments, surgical teams performed 144 procedures during various sea states. • J. Preston Van Buren, OMS IV, Jeffrey Wake, OMS IV, and Jared McLaughlin, OMS IV, published, "Optimizing Tactical Medical Performance: The Effect of Light Hue on Vision Testing." This describes a study that
was conducted with thirty participants, in which they performed four vision tasks in low-light settings under various lighting conditions.
Colorado Medicine, a local health care-focused publication created by the Colorado Medical Society, features a section in each issue for osteopathic medical students to submit written pieces and share their thoughts, as well. The reflections will be published bi-monthly. If you would like to submit an essay, contact Alexis Horst in the Writing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance with editing and submission guidelines. In the May/June Issue, Corinna Ruf, OMS I, wrote, "Coping in Difficult Situations." In the article, she writes about her experience as a registered dietician at a psychiatric forensic hospital and the coping strategies she witnessed. From cracking jokes to cynicism, she weighs the ethics and professionalism of the situation.
Several residents of the Sky Ridge Medical Center Internal Medicine Residency Program presented at the 2018 Colorado Chapter Residents' Scientific Meeting of American College of Physicians in May. • Paula Watts, DO, and Sam Aznaurov, MD. "A Novel Mutation Discovered in a Family Resulting in Brugada Syndome." Third Place. • Sara Harkness, DO, Mitchel Brown, DO '16, and Dmitriy Scherbak, DO '12. "Platelet Storage Pool Disorders: A Not So Sticky Situation." Third Place. • Mitchel Brown, DO '16, and Greg Hicks, MD. "Pulmonary Lymphangitic Carcinomatosis." • Scott Rebich, DO, and John Riopelle, MD. "Large Hyperplastic Gastric Polyp Causing Pancreatitis."
Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Faculty, Staff and Physicians in Training
OPP Fellows Create New Clinic in Colorado
The Osteopathic Principles and Practice Fellows might be superheroes in disguise. In the rare time when they are not helping other students, the Fellows at the RVU-CO campus have opened a clinic at Cornerstone Family Practice. "As osteopathic physicians in training, it is important to us that every patient receive personalized care that focuses on all aspects of their being," said SD Masterson. "We believe our patients are more than a diagnosis or a treatment, more than molecules in motion; instead, they are unique individuals made up of mind, body, and spirit. Whether you are 9 days old or 90 years old, we strive to treat our patients with these components in mind so that we can promote health in addition to treating disease."
Zeke Clemmens, OMS III, Melanie White, OMS III, Jacob Pearson, OMS III, and Samuel Hart, OMS III
As a student-run clinic, they will see patients during hour-long appointments under the supervision of licensed osteopathic physicians. They can address almost all aches and pains with osteopathic manipulative therapy. The Colorado location is at 1411 South Potomac Street, Suite 300, in Aurora. To schedule an appointment, contact Cornerstone Family Practice at (303) 531-4190 and request an "OPP Fellows Appointment." If you have any questions, contact the Fellows directly at (720) 875-2810.
Katherine Borcherding, OMS IV, Ryan Masterson, OMS IV, Lauren Dorsey-Spitz, OMS IV, and Heather Eschbach, OMS IV
Hurrah for Medical Humanities! by Joseph H. Richard, III, MLIS, Library Outreach Coordinator
That was the clarion call heard throughout the Colorado campus during the month of May. The Frank Ritchel Ames Memorial Library partnered with the Medical Humanities Department to host the very first "Hurrah for Medical Humanities" event at RVU. So what is Medical Humanities anyway? According to one eyewitness, Alexis Horst, MA, Writing Center Instructor, "Medical Humanities is the acknowledgement that patients are first and foremost humans, and humanism is the core of medical practice." From the very beginning, the library team committed ourselves to these three important goals: (1) provide students, faculty, and staff with over 70 interesting and thought provoking titles to read over summer break, (2) promote an awareness of RVU’s continued commitment to Medical Humanities by highlighting our original research, growing print collection, and our emerging electives courses, and (3) show our community members that library resources and services are not restricted to just one place on campus. We are happy to report that “Hurrah for Medical Humanities” was a success on all fronts. With students, faculty, and staff onboard, we look forward to many more opportunities to showcase the invaluable resources and services that the library services team provides to RVU’s growing community of student doctors, PA and MSBS students, and medical professionals—all of whom are second to none. To stay current on the latest library news, please follow us @FrankRitchelAmesMemorialLibrary on Facebook.
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Colby Berry Security Officer, Department of Security, RVU-CO Campus Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Colby moved to Colorado with his family in 2000. While he has grown to love the state, with all of its hiking trails (and specifically, the Manitou Springs Incline), he misses the "neareternal daylight during the summers" in Alaska. He received an A+ certification, is currently working on a Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician certification, and is finishing up an Associates of Applied Sciences degree at Community College of Aurora. He has also learned the coding language of Python over the years. His work history is no less eclectic: he spent four years in the U.S. Army Reserves, serving as both a vertical (Electrician) and horizontal (Heavy Equipment Operator) engineer and currently holds an E5 rank. In 2017, he finished a 9-month tour in Kuwait under Operation Inherent resolve, in which he participated in base reconstruction missions throughout Dubai and Afghanistan. Outside of the military, he has worked in various security positions and, most recently, as a Tower Climber at Viaero Wireless. Upon arriving at RVU, he noted, "The first thing you notice is the professional atmosphere when you walk through the front doors. That alone excites me and I hope to maintain that standard. As an engineer, the building is amazing." Colby enjoys reading about history, playing team sports, hiking, cheering on his beloved Jacksonville Jaguars, and watching live entertainment (whether that be sports or music). He also has a very useful skill: "I can type between 95100 words per minute at 99% accuracy despite being entirely self-taught on the keyboard," he said. Interestingly, being a military veteran is a tradition in his family. Both of his parents and two of his siblings have served in the Army! Welcome to the team, Colby! Wendy Feliz Administrative Assistant, MSBS Program, RVU-CO Campus Wendy was born in Las Matas de Farfán, a small town in the Dominican Republic, and lived in the capital city of Santo Domingo. When she was 14 years old, she enrolled in the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, where she obtained a degree
in Architecture. Simultaneously, she earned an Associate's degree in Theater from Bellas Artes y Cultos. Immediately upon graduation, she married her now-husband, Aldo, and moved to Mexico. There, she obtained a degree in Catholic Studies from Anahuac University. "I was determined to rediscover my spirituality." Following their year in Mexico, they moved first to California and then to Colorado. Since coming to Colorado, Wendy has worked as an Executive Assistant in the Office of Hispanic Ministry for the Archdiocese of Denver, as well as for the Bishop of Orlando. Overall, she has over ten years of experience in administrative roles for both the non-profit and public sectors. At RVU, she hopes to contribute her "unorthodox background" to the MSBS program and to continue to grow at both a personal and a professional level. Wendy and Aldo have two children: 3-year-old Fatima and 1-year-old Ismael. "Our home is always filled with giggles and tears (seriously)." They enjoy family gatherings every Sunday after church: "It's like a weekly Thanksgiving!" She also enjoys reading with her kids. She is contemplative and optimistic in her daily life. "I have learned to enjoy and love every part of my life, as chaotic and unpredictable as it may seem. I've discovered hope and, in this hope, everything comes together. Carpe diem!" She values her spirituality: several years ago, she went on a pilgrimage in which she walked from Denver to New Mexico. Welcome, Wendy! Brittany George Residency Coordinator for Psychiatry and NMM+1 Residency Programs; Sky Ridge Medical Center Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, Brittany lived in New Hampshire for 12 years before settling in Colorado. In 2013, she had moved to Vail for a winter season to "live the ski bum life," but fell in love with the state and never returned to New Hampshire. Brittany received her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Management and Policy (with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation) from the University of New Hampshire. She has been a certified Recreation Therapy Specialist for the last five years, working at Highlands Behavioral Health and Medical Center of Aurora. "I’m excited to be working with all of the great residents and doctors in a new capacity," she said.
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Brittany enjoys hiking in her spare time with her two-yearold cocker spaniel, Frankie. They conquered their first Fourteener (a mountain with a peak of at least 14,000 feet) back in August and have since tackled even more. "My New Yearâ€™s resolution is to double the Fourteeners I hiked last year for a total of twelve!" A little-known fact about Brittany is that she speaks French and participates in a fitness group which goes on weekly 5k or 10k runs. Welcome, Brittany! Susan Hampton Preceptor Staff Services, Department of Clinical Affairs; RVU-CO Campus Though she was born and raised in Colorado (growing up at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs), she has lived for many years in Texas and California. She returned to Colorado in 2006. She first earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor University, then worked as an Information Specialist for McKinsey & Co. (a management consulting firm). She also worked in Administration at a charter school, where she helped launch a dual-enrollment High School/ College Pathways program. She eventually changed her career focus, deciding to purse nursing where she could combine her love of medicine and serving others. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Colorado Christian University. She has since worked in hospice and women's health; for the last five years, she worked as an obstetrics nurse at Centura Health. She came to RVU to join a team that is "helping to build positive and lasting relationships with preceptors." In her free time, Susan enjoys football and tennis, as well as spending time in the Colorado mountains. She has two daughters and one 3-year-old "grand-darling." A fun fact about Susan is that she has three kidneys! Welcome to the team, Susan! Mandy Jameson, MA Clinical Rotations Coordinator, Physician Assistant Program; RVU-CO Campus A Nebraska native, Mandy arrived in the Centennial State after high school and has never looked back. "I grew up in Omaha," she said, "but moved to Colorado to attend college and
have been here ever since." After earning Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Sociology and Human Development / Family Studies from Colorado State University, she acquired a Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Denver. Mandy has worked at DU for over 15 years, performing program coordination and development, student services, and data analysis. She worked in several units: the Institute for Public Policy Studies, the Office of Institutional Research, and the Graduate School of Social Work. While she hasn't worked in medical education previously, she said, "I am excited to learn about the curriculum and policies that are specific to these educational offerings." She is looking forward to helping students achieve their educational and professional goals." She loves traveling in her spare time (usually to the desert or beach), as well as reading and spending time with friends and family. Welcome aboard, Mandy! Clyde B. Jensen, PhD, MS Professor of Pharmacology, Department of Biomedical Sciences; RVUCOM-SU Campus Dr. Jensen grew up on a dairy farm in Rigby, Idaho, a small town in a medically underserved area. This early experience led him to pursue a career in which he could "return to the intermountain west to help train physicians and other healthcare professions" to mitigate the shortage. After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from Brigham Young University, he obtained a Master of Science degree in Physiology and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Pharmacology from the University of North Dakota. He has taught at and/or led a number of medical institutions including Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and Kansas City University of Medicine and Biology. During his career, he has held several claims-to-fame: when he was just 32 years old, he became Americaâ€™s youngest medical college president; he has served as CEO for seven different colleges; and, in 1996, he was invited to enter postCold War Russia on a humanitarian mission, one of the first American scientists to do so. One of his proudest moments as an educator came when he helped a perpetually failing student stay in school. Years later, he received a call from the former student. "He thanked me for not giving up on him
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! and informed me that he had been named Chief Resident in his surgical residency," he said. Yet despite all of his accomplishments, it was that determination as a young man to improve health care in the intermountain west that brought him to RVU. "RVU has enabled me to complete my career circle." He and his wife, Marteen, will celebrate 50 years of marriage next year. They have three children and eleven grandchildren. When heâ€™s not working, Dr. Jensen enjoys running, wood/stone carving, and fly fishing (which he did professionally during college). He is currently writing three books and is pursuing research in interprofessional education and "mending the cleft that separates conventional and complimentary healthcare." Welcome, Dr. Jensen! Kristen B. Kaiser, MA Assistant Marketing Manager, Marketing Department; RVUCOM-SU Campus A life-long Utahan, Kristen was born in Cottonwood Heights but moved to the Southern Utah area 18 years ago and has been in love with the area since: "The weather is beautiful with the sun constantly shining." She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic and Web Design from Dixie State University, then a Master of Arts degree in Internet Marketing from Full Sail University. During her career, she has worked in several different industries including tourism and construction. "I was the first woman in the Southern Utah area to receive a Contractor's License!" Her father was a contractor which led to her lifelong fascination with construction. As a contractor herself, she has built houses, poured concrete, and designed and built closets and cabinets. "I love doing things with my hands and being able to create something amazing!" In her last position, she served as the Assistant Marketing Director for the St. George Sports Commission. Upon arriving at RVU, she exclaimed, "This school is an amazing addition to the community. I'm excited to increase the knowledge of RVU to the community and to contribute my marketing skills." The warm welcome she received solidified her decision to join the team: "Everyone is so friendly, helpful, and willing to assist. It's a great environment." Of her home life, Kristen said, "[It's] a little hectic but fun; I'm blessed with an amazing husband and a blended family
of six kids." They also have three dogs. With all of the sports, activities, cooking, and cleaning, she doesn't get much down-time. However, she enjoys being outdoors (hiking and camping) and crafting and cooking with her daughters. Welcome, Kristen! Julie Kasperski, MSc, MAT Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, Physician Assistant Program; RVU-CO Campus Julie is originally from Ontario, Canada but has lived in the United States for years. She has acquired several degrees: a Bachelor of Health Science - Physician Assistant degree from McMaster University; a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Laboratory Science from Lakeland University; a Master of Science degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from Medical University of South Carolina; and, a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from The Citadel. She worked as a medical technologist for years, focusing on transfusion medicine, hematology, microbiology, and chemistry laboratories. She lectured for Western University in its physiology and pharmacology program. Upon receiving her PA certification, she practiced in cardiovascular intensive care unit and pediatric medicine. She has also been an adjunct faculty at McMaster University in the PA program. Julie will be bringing her clinical knowledge and her teaching skills to the new PA program. "[I am] excited to use my experience in problem-based learning, curriculum development, online learning, and competency-based medical education." Julie has 11-year-old twin boys and four dogs (two boxers and two pugs). They have recently moved to Colorado in order to join the RVU family. "Everyone is excited to enjoy all the outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer." Welcome, Julie! Carrie Nealon, MSN Program Coordinator for Neurology and Transitional Year Residency Programs; Department of Graduate Medical Education With both a Bachelor of Science degree (summa cum laude) and a Master of Science degree in Nursing from Regis University, much of Carrieâ€™s
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! life has been spent caring for others. Originally from Sioux City, Iowa, Carrie took her first nursing job at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. "What a culture shock, moving from a town of 90,000 people to downtown Chicago," she said. She moved to Denver to work in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Joseph's Hospital. She also worked as a Pre-Operative/Post Anesthesia Care Unit Nurse at Swedish Hospital in Denver. After leaving bedside care, she became the Contract Compliance Manager for a Medicaid waiver program, where she was a representative for the state in Administrative Law Judge hearings for appeals. Prior to RVU, she worked as a marketing assistant for an agency that specializes in medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Now comfortably settled in at RVU, her love of the profession has come full circle. "Healthcare and education have always been my passion," she said. "I am honored to support the residents along the continuum of their medical education at Rocky Vista University." She has a 14-year-old daughter who is in competitive gymnastics and a 12-year-old son who plays indoor hockey and the saxophone. "My kids and my yard keep me busy, so when I have free time, I love to trail run." She also creates custom-made greeting cards. A little-known fact about Carrie is that she recently donated 17" of hair to Locks of Love! Welcome, Carrie! Jennifer Orchard, JD, MPA Admissions Counselor, Admissions Department; RVUCOM-SU Campus Growing up, Jennifer lived all over the West: Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, California, and Utah. She lived in the Salt Lake City area during her teenage and undergrad years, then in the Provo area more recently. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a Master of Public Administration degree from University of Utah. She then earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from University of Tulsa College of Law. During her career, she has worked at Utah Valley University as a Pre-Health Professions Advisor (and was voted both Advisor of the Year and Club Advisor of the Year) and as Adjunct Faculty. She also worked at the Admissions Office of University of Utah School of Medicine. Since coming to RVU, she said she has never felt more wel-
come. "Starting a new job is always a little stressful, but within my first few days, people from all over the campus had stopped by to say hello and that they were glad I was here. That kind of friendliness and passion trickles down to our students, future students, and into the community. I'm excited to be part of that culture!" In her personal life, Jennifer devotes much of her time to her nine nieces and nephews (ranging in age from 1-year-old to 21-years-old), including taking them individually to Disneyland during their pre-teen years. She also visits her family as often as she can. She loves to travel and has visited 38 of the 50 states. Recently, she participated in the two-week-long, 200-mile Coast-to-Coast Walk in England. "Daily distances were between 12-20 miles, come rain or shine." She also enjoys baking, cake decorating, and musical theater: "Les Miserables is probably the best musical ever written. See it on stageâ€”it's life-changing!" Welcome, Jennifer! Jennifer Plecki Medical Library Clerk, Department of Library Services; RVUCOM-SU Campus While Jennifer is actually from Chicago, she may as well be a Utah native as she has lived in the state since she was a child. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Art from Dixie State University. Following graduation, she has been a "Jane of All Trades": she has worked for Dixie State University, Washington County School District, the State of Utah, and is now excited to be a part of RVU. She looks forward to being "surrounded by professionals that work together building a unified foundation for medical education." She hopes to see students thriving academically and professionally and looks forward to the opportunity of assisting them with projects that are unique and innovating. She is passionate about art of all kinds. "Art has been a major part of my life since I was a little girl. It was all I ever wanted to do." Other hobbies of Jennifer's childhood have trickled into her adult life: while she enjoyed climbing trees as a child, she now enjoys rock climbing and hiking (and has a fascination with treehouses and tiny houses). She is also a musician: she plays guitar, piano, and ukulele by ear. Some fun facts about Jennifer is that her birthday is 9/1/91 and her Geo Tracker is one of her most prized possessions. Welcome, Jennifer!
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Shane Stover Print Center Assistant, Department of Facilities and Grounds; RVU-CO Campus Shane is a recent transport to Colorado, having just arrived from Tennessee. Her father, Brian J. Stover, works as RVU’s Software Needs Analyst and End-User Relations Specialist. "We’ve lived in Tennessee for most of my life," she said. "Then my dad got a job at this University so we all moved to Denver just after Christmas [of 2016]." Shane earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University and is currently pursuing a remote Master of Science/Art degree in Visual Communication and Design from Liberty University.
She previously worked as a customer service representative for eFit and as a cashier, so she enjoys working with people. "I have only met the nicest people here and they have really made me feel welcome," she explained. "I feel like this job will give me some experience in my career field and I know I’m really going to enjoy it too." Along with art and graphic design work, Shane devotes much of her time to her family and her beloved dogs. She also has a background in sports, playing volleyball first as a kid, then progressing to a collegiate level at York College in Nebraska. The love of the game still hasn’t left her. "If I had the time now, I would definitely be on a local club team." Welcome, Shane!
Promotions and Appointments David Eckhardt, PA-C, MS, (RVUCO) was promoted to Associate Program Director and was named Director of Assessment. He previously served as Director of Clinical Education, where he was instrumental in developing processes to ensure clinical placement of PA students. In his new roles, David will implement a program of assessment for physician assistant students, as well as contribute his expertise to the area of simulation. He will continue his role as Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies. David began at RVU in January of 2018. Bret Jensen (RVUCOM-SU) was promoted to Security Shift Supervisor. In this new role, he will supervise the swing-shift and graveyard-shift officers, as well as handle any potential emergencies. He will also temporarily fill the role of Security Supervisor, as needed. He previously served as Security Officer.
Cathy Ruff, MS, PA-C, (RVU-CO) was promoted to Chair and Program Director of the Physician Assistant Program. Previously, she served as Director of Curriculum, where she designed the didactic and clinical curricula and developed teaching and assessment strategies. In her new role, she will be responsible for all aspects of the program function, including planning, administration, fiscal management, and adherence to the ARC-PA accreditation standards. She will continue her role as Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies. Cathy has been with RVU since 2016.
From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association
A LU M N I A SSO C I AT ION
Students, faculty, staff, and fellow alumni, Congratulations are in order as I welcome the RVUCOM and MSBS Class of 2018, the newest members of the Alumni Association. It is with a great deal of pleasure that my first address to the students, faculty, and fellow alum as President is to congratulate and wish an enriched, rewarding, and long-lasting career to my fellow colleagues. We all know the road was tough and had bumps along the way; but for every hill you encountered, you persevered and now stand with us today after achieving a goal that many had set on many decades before! Now, I wonâ€™t lie and tell you that it gets easier from here because both you and I know that every step in life comes with its own hills and bumps. What I will tell you is that you have just joined an ever-growing order of proud RVUCOM prairie dogs. We look forward to meeting you in the halls or talking with you on the phone as you begin the next journey as members of the house staff for your respective training programs. The path you will soon embark on has been traveled before by those who previously walked the halls and classrooms of RVUCOM and we have already made the mistakes that you will undoubtedly make. Personally, as a member of the Alumni Association, I welcome the chance to serve as your friend, mentor, and fellow colleagues if you find the upcoming path challenging, unbearable, or even lonely. Please, before you make your way to your new home, reach out through the RVU staff, at facebook.com/RockyVistaUniversity, or at facebook.com/RVUAlumniAssociation and find us so we can be right there alongside you in this new journey as Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. On a lighter note, we have come to the end of the first academic year for the Class of 2021 at the RVUCOM-SU campus and will soon be welcoming the Class of 2022 for both campuses. As our family grows, we continue to demonstrate tremendous success in the match with this yearâ€™s 150 graduates heading off to 37 different states in 18 different specialties, as well as our MSBS students who will move on to achieve new heights in their professional development. Primary care specialties continue to be well-represented by our graduates as the field of medicine continues to search for an answer to the concern for shortages in this sector of medicine. I would be remiss not to personally congratulate the newest members in the field of radiology and encourage you to reach out to me for advice or help along the way. I am biased in saying you have picked the best specialty out there. Other members of the Alumni Association in other specialties have voiced the same support and encourage you to contact them. Lastly, my thanks and appreciation go out to those who have not only decided to pursue a life of service in medicine but also service for country. You also join a long list of members of the RVUCOM alum that make us proud daily. I close my thoughts with you by offering some words of advice and encouragement. My life to this point appears so different from what it was when I stood nervously at the front doors of RVU in preparation for my first medical school interview. In the years since, I have made many decisions, traveled many roads, and added many friends and family to my life. At the end of the day, we will never give up in the pursuit to becoming the best darn physician that our patients could ask for but along the way we must also remember to continue to strive and be the best darn mommy, daddy, husband, wife, son, and daughter for those who have and will continue to stand by us every day. I thank you your time and I wish you the best of luck and success in your pursuits. Until next time, have a great summer and look forward to hearing of all the wonderful things you have been up to the next time I address you this fall.
Christopher Mutter, DO '14 Alumni Association President
V U A
From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association
LU M N I
A SSO C I AT ION
Job Acceptances, Fellowships, Awards, and Other Accomplishments Mitchel Brown, DO '16, was named Chief Resident at his internal medicine residency at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colorado. Additionally, a poster he co-authored, "Platelet Storage Pool Disorders: A Not So Sticky Situation," in a won third place at the American College of Physicians Scientific Meeting (Colorado Chapter) in May. He will complete the residency in June 2019. Brian Diede, DO '15, was named Chief Resident at his internal medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic Akron General in Akron, Ohio. He graduated in June, but will serve for an additional year in this position.
Christina L. Duncan, DO '13, was accepted into a Gynecologic Oncology Fellowship Program at WellSpan Health in York, Pennsylvania. She previously completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency program at St. John Provincial Hospital in Detroit, Michigan.
tional Board of Echocardiography (NBE) and testamur of the Certification Board of Nuclear Cardiology (CBNC). Roberto Lopez, DO '17, received the Outstanding Intern of the Year Award by the program director at his internal medicine residency at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colorado. This award is given annually to one intern.
Nabila Lehachi Waheed, DO '13, has accepted a position as Physician/Radiation Oncologist at The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Fort Worth, Texas. She finished her residency in Radiation Oncology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas in June. Dr. Waheed has also published a research paper in the Cureus Medical Journal, titled, "Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer: An Institutional Experience Using MRIguided Treatment Planning." This paper reports a single institution's outcomes for low and intermediate prostate cancer when treated with high dose focal radiation using Cyberknife. It also outlines the utility of open MRI for planning and identifying predominant nodules that could be potentially targeted with higher doses in the future.
Patrick Henderson, DO '12, has accepted a position as invasive cardiologist at Warren Clinic Cardiology of Tulsa at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He completed a general cardiology fellowship, where he served as Chief Fellow, at Oklahoma State University in June. Additionally, he is now a diplomat of the Na-
Meet the New Alumni Association President! "I remember the first trip that a group of us students took to Mount Evans directly after our first exam. We did not know each other but we were all so carefree, just letting go and enjoying the hours of freedom after over the first big hurdle we would face while at RVU," Christopher Mutter recounted of the early years of medical school. "I think it is important to get to know those around you and spend time away from the rigor of studying in order to stay mentally sound while you go through the journey that we are all on." Dr. Mutter's own journey began while still in high school. While working as a developed a passion for medicine began with a realization: "There was so much more that I could learn about the human bodyâ€”why we live and dieâ€”and how I could make a difference in this regard." He began as a certified nursing assistant, giving baths, feeding, and changing those who could not care for themselves. He worked at different positions throughout six hospitals along the front range of Colorado before matriculating at RVUCOM. He spent his intern year in Long Island, New York, where he enjoyed the bustle of the heavily populated area. He then moved to the radiology residency program at Michigan State University Spectrum Health System in Grand Rapids, which he quickly fell in love with. "I realized how similar the area...is to where I grew up in Colorado. People are so very nice and heathy here!" He is currently a fourth-year resident and is in the midst of studying for the first part of his board examination. Upon completing his final year of residency, he will be moving westward to begin a pediatric radiology fellowship at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Following his first year in the fellowship, he plans to match to a second fellowship in interventional radiology, with the goal of becoming a Pediatric Interventional Radiologist. In his years since RVUCOM, Dr. Mutter has taken on several leadership roles, both within his hospital institution and for the field of radiology at state and national level. He was awarded the Dr. Gwendolyn Hoffman Award in Leadership in 2017 by Spectrum Health System for his service on the house staff council (as well as various committees) and he recently finished his term as Secretary for the American College of Radiology College Resident and Fellow Section. He will soon begin a new role as Education Chief in his residency program (as well as taking the helm of the RVU Alumni Association). More than anything, though, Dr. Mutter values his family. While attending RVUCOM, he married his now-wife, Bethany. "She is the most amazing woman in the world. She has stuck with me in my troubles during the match process and with three subsequent moves." In 2016, they welcomed their first child, Sebastian. "We all have a bad day at work or experience setback and disappointing moments in our training. At the end of the day, our family is the ones that we go home to and the ones that count on us. We can and should give 100% to our patients that we serve on a daily basis, but we also need to remember to save some of that zeal and motivation [for] our families. Our families were behind us before, will be behind us now, and in the future, no matter the job we have or the positions we serve in. We should make sure we let them know that and thank them for their support daily!" In his spare time, he is a "lifelong NFL fan" and current shareholder of the Green Bay Packers (despite living in the rival state for that division).
Alumni Residency Locations: 2012 - 2018
54 % Practice in a Primary Care Specialty 46% are located in an underserved area 27% are located in a primary Care HPSA 6% are located in a rural area Data compiled by National Center for the Analysis of Healthcare Data
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In this issue, we cover: Class of 2018 Graduation; Countdown to RVU's Physician Assistant Program; High Stress and Disaster Drills at Cut Su...
Published on Jul 16, 2018
In this issue, we cover: Class of 2018 Graduation; Countdown to RVU's Physician Assistant Program; High Stress and Disaster Drills at Cut Su...