Award Winning Newsletter
l E xc e l e n c
i cat i on
September 2021 Newsletter
n C o mm
Focuses on Pediatric Skills
Also: Advanced Surgical Blood Pump System Page 3
Inside: No Matter What The Job Is, You Give It Your All
A Rural Air Ambulance Service Sprouts Wings
My Experience as a Woman of Color on Rural Rotations
RVUCOM-SU Students assist local fire rescue during a simulation
Table of Contents Get to Know RVU Staff: Dr. Jennifer Williams
The Debut of the Advanced Surgical Blood Pump System
Simulation Workshop Focuses on Women's Health and Pediatric Skills
Achieving New Heights
Panels and Workshops with MSBS
Research and Grants
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Update
A Conversation with Preceptor Dr. Michelle Kem Su Hor
No Matter What the Job Is, You Give It Your All by SD Nathaniel Marroquin
Welcome to Our New Faculty and Staff
Promotions and Appointments
From the RVU Alumni Association
A Rural Air Ambulance Service Sprouts Wings by Dr. Thomas Told
Living a Vicarious White Life: My Experience as a Woman of Color on Rural Rotations by PAS Natalie Crump
Want to see even more photos from each RVU event? Visit our Facebook pages at: www.facebook.com/RockyVistaUniversity www.facebook.com/RockyVistaUniversitySouthernUtah
The Debut of the Advanced Surgical Blood Pump System
When stepping into a simulation featuring the Cut Suit®, students at RVU know to expect at least one thing: blood. Fake blood, that is. Depending on the severity of the injury or surgical skill being simulated, blood might only stain gloves and gowns or it might slowly spread across the operating room floor (big yikes!). The system by which blood is pumped through the Cut Suit® was recently upgraded to allow the Office of Simulation in Medicine & Surgery (SIMS) to fine-tune blood flow to the Cut Suit® in real-time.
Members of surrounding healthcare systems joined the Office of SIMS faculty, staff, and a pre-doctoral fellow for a training session on Strategic Operations’ (STOPS) Advanced Surgical Blood Pump System (ASBPS). The training on the ASBPS, which was streamed to both campuses and recorded, makes RVU the second medical school in the country to purchase and receive this new system. The pump system was designed for use with the Cut Suit®, which is also manufactured by STOPS, and mimics an anesthesia cart in appearance, with a computer perched on top of a cabinet that houses the pumps and the blood buckets. Using the computer or remote control, an operator is able to control blood flow for up to four separate wounds and the pulse rate can be adjusted from 0 to 200+ beats per minutes. The pump system also has the ability to be paused mid-surgery, an ideal feature for a teaching environment. Advanced features include vital sign software and a suction system that recycles blood back into reservoirs for disposal or reuse. The system was most recently tested during a resident abdominal trauma lab at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Colorado. The Office of SIMS anticipates that the system will continue to provide opportunities for surgical simulations for RVU students and residents in the newly remodeled Healthcare Simulation Center.
Simulation Workshop Focuses on Women's Health and Pediatric Skills Over the course of three days, third- and fourth-year medical students completed the first SIMS and Skills portion of their intensive Immersion in Fundamentals of Women’s Health and Pediatrics course. Students received hands-on formative and summative skills trainings at the simulation event. Students on each campus rotated through 36 skills stations, with sessions on breast/gynecology clinics, pediatric IV and ear exams, obstetric ultrasound and cervical dilation, pediatric seizure, newborn/toddler/adolescent exams, surgical skills, operating room etiquette, presenting to an attending, virtual reality pediatric cases, computer quizzes, and more. Additionally, every student gained experience in delivering at least two babies (with and without complications) on the SimMom birthing manikin. The Office of SIMS would like to thank their entire team of faculty, staff, and assistants across both campuses for their long hours, problem solving, and teamwork. A special acknowledgement to Danielle Glaze, DO '21, Pre-Doctoral Simulation Fellow, who meticulously developed patient cases, led student debriefs, and provided outstanding instruction throughout the course.
Panels and Workshops with MSBS Written by the MSBS Program
We all have things we miss about being in-person, from studying over lunch to enjoying a break with your colleagues over the weekend. Here in the MSBS program, we are all feeling the pangs of missed memories we have had with Alumni, like our large potluck with MSBS students and faculty right before the Thanksgiving break. However, thanks to creativity and Zoom, our students have not missed out on opportunities to meet with University leadership, as well as RVU's different programs. Instead of enjoying breakfast with Dr. Thomas Told, Regional Director of Clinical Education for RVU-SU, for his Breakfast Panels with MSBS, our combined cohorts met with him over Zoom meetings in the fall semester. They asked Dr. Told questions about his rural medicine experiences and even heard some of the grisly details! The students welcomed RVU's new Provost and President, Dr. David Forstein and asked him many questions about his educational background. With each panel, the students were amazed at how they could meet with and talk to our campus leaders when it was unheard of during their undergraduate work. While meeting with different campus leaders is tremendous and something unique about RVU, the MSBS students also got a chance to meet with our other programs. The students met with leadership from the Physician Assistant (PA) Program: Ms. Cathy Ruff, Program Director and Chair, Ms. Darcy Solanyk, Associate Program Director, and Peggy Walsh, Director of Clinical Education. Together, they discussed what the PA Program looks like and the main differences between nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and physicians. Many of the students left the panel excited to hear of different opportunities they haven't considered before. Once again, they were happy to have this experience meeting another set of leaders on campus. As of this writing, they have one more fascinating panel to look forward to: our College of Osteopathic Medicine Panel. We also want to highlight the Study Skills workshops that Judy Thornton, Director of Education Support, holds twice a year for our students. The first covers our students' necessary study skills to succeed in our program and reminds them to seek her if they need further assistance. The second workshop focuses on our Comprehensive Exam. The students love these workshops because it helps bring them back on track to reevaluate their current study systems. Another important workshop for the success of our students is the Resume and CV workshop led by Trilce Ruiz, Career Advisor, as well as training with Writing Center Coordinators, Alexis Horst and Lynne Stephenson in writing personal statements, essays, and other projects. Writing resumes and curriculum vitaes is something most of us struggle with and our fantastic career advisors can quickly identify the critical mistakes we all make and how to properly fix them! Supplementing their new writing skills with a (virtual) trip to the Writing Center, our students leave with perfectly crafted cover letters and personal statements. Our students consistently leave so impressed with all of the work that goes into our workshops. While we wish these could all be in person with yummy snacks and the comfort of the MSBS Classroom, these panels and workshops were still a homerun to our students. These workshops and panels would not have been as successful without the expertise, creativity, and passion from our panelists and workshop leaders. Thank you all for supporting the MSBS Program and our students and taking time out of your day to meet with us! It is so appreciated from all levels of the program. We look forward to being able to do this all again next year!
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Update Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are part of our vision to Achieve New Heights in Medical Education. We have been working diligently on initiatives to ensure that we create an environment where everyone feels safe, valued and included. This correspondence serves to summarizes the initiatives taken to-date on this important strategic focus. The four Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force (DEITF) groups (Community, Curriculum, Communication, and Climate) provided formal presentations to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council (DEIAC) in April. Following these presentations, the Advisory Council began meeting every two weeks to further discuss the proposals and recommendations. A stoplight ranking of the recommendations was created where those in green were either currently being worked on or could be completed within a short timespan (within approximately 90 days), yellow is items we are committed to but will take more time, and red reflects those which are not able to be done at this time. None of the recommendations were listed as red. The Council continues to meet on a regular basis to ensure that our initiatives are moving forward. A summary of the green coded initiatives is below. Updates on our progress will be provided quarterly. Working together, we will continue moving forward with a transformative change to further ingrain Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into our culture.
RVU Welcomes New Leaders
This year has seen many notable changes for RVU, from the return to campus, required vaccinations, a new location being built in Montana to several leadership changes and additions! • Carol Blackshire-Belay, PhD: Dr. Blackshire-Belay has accepted the role of Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness. She will lead RVU’s efforts in institutional accreditation, operational and strategic planning, institutional assessment, institutional research, regulatory compliance and the Office of Testing. She will serve on leadership committees including the DEI Advisory Council and report directly to the Provost. Look for her new employee bio in the next issue of Vista View! • Heather Ferrill, DO, MS, MEdL: RVU appointed its first female Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine! "The heart and soul of Osteopathic Medical Education has always been found in caring, empathetic, smart, and prepared individuals who are able to lead by their example. Dr. Ferrill brings all of these attributes to her new role, along with a deep understanding of the future of medical education and the RVUCOM culture," said Dr. David Forstein. • David Forstein, DO, FACOOG: Following the retirement of Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, as President and CEO, Dr. Forstein, has stepped into the role—while continuing to serve as Provost, as well. Upon his appointment, Maha Sallam, PhD, Board Chair for the RVU Board of Trustees stated, "We are thrilled that Dr. Forstein will be guiding RVU as we continue our leadership in osteopathic medical education and work to meet the need for skilled medical professionals. He has demonstrated remarkable leadership...and played an integral role in furthering RVU’s academic excellence, campus expansion efforts, and diversity, equity and inclusion program developments." • David J. Park, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP: Dr. Park has accepted the position of Founding Dean for the new Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine campus in Billings, Montana. He will continue to serve as a Vice President for the University.
No Matter What The Job Is, You Give It Your All
by Nathaniel Marroquin, OMS II
At a young age, my mom taught me the value of hard work. I learned that to be successful in any setting, one must be fully committed to working above and beyond. She shared a mantra that I still hold to be true in my endeavors: "No matter what the job is, love it or hate it, you give it your all and you will be successful." I remember feeling that my mom was the strongest person in the world. As a single parent, she raised two kids while also taking care of my grandmother who was battling cancer. Living with my grandmother was my first experience taking care of somebody other than myself. Having lost her vision and having a leg amputated, she needed assistance with many basic tasks. I assisted her to the bathroom, ensured she took her medication daily, and cooked for her when my mom was not available. We shared many laughs and shed many tears over those four years, a period during which I faced the realities of caring for someone very ill and took on responsibilities far beyond my years. Her death was the first heartbreak I had to endure. Looking back to this formative time in my life, this stands out as one of the first experiences where I knew I wanted to pursue a career in medicine to work to transform patient outcomes. Following my grandmother’s death, I was confronted with the truth about my mother: her addiction to pain medication had started well before my grandmother’s passing. Now, grief-stricken by her [mother's] death, things escalated and her routine was exposed. The bathroom door would close. Then the squeak of the medicine cabinet and the rattle of the pill bottle. A few minutes later, she would emerge. As I grew older, I learned that my mom was not the only addict in our family. What began as grief became an intense drive to set a new trajectory for myself. I saw education as my key to a better life— one where I would not succumb to addiction but instead help those struggling to escape its grasp. So that’s what I did... Read SD Marroquin's full story at the RVU Blog or by visiting bit.ly/marroquin-oms
Part One: A Rural Air Ambulance Service Sprouts Wings
by Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP dist, Director of Clinical Education for RVU-SU
Near the end of the Viet Nam War, I had the good fortune of experiencing military service as a newly minted physician at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) a service hospital in Fort Sam Houston, Texas. That war was the coming-of-age of the helicopter as a reliable means of the rapid transport for seriously wounded soldiers and other medical emergencies not related to combat. At BAMC, I saw many examples of how the minutes saved in air transport to advanced medical treatment made the critical difference between life and death. Time saved over conventional ground transport was also a very important variable in setting the course for success in achieving an improved prognosis and ultimate recovery in serious trauma of all types. This fact was forever burned into my memory on the night when an Army Ranger, who was conducting night maneuvers at nearby Camp Bullis Military Training Reservation, was brought in to BAMC’s emergency department by air. That rescue would have been treacherously longer and more difficult if the patient had been transported using conventional ground transport. Since the incident occurred in the remote areas of the reservation, I am sure the outcome would have been grim. Our patient had repelled out of a helicopter in total darkness and landed on top of a hungry 10-foot Diamondback Rattlesnake, which promptly returned the favor by administering a full load of a very potent, well-aged venom into his right leg, just below the knee. A very alert pilot quickly landed the helicopter and loaded the stricken ranger on board. In the brief time it took to land and reload the soldier, he began showing the signs of serious envenomation. He was quickly flown back to our emergency room. On arrival, the affected leg had swollen to nearly two times its normal size; our examination quickly established that his limb was quickly losing the battle to the devastating effects of an acute compartment syndrome that mandated immediate action. This was the first time, and thankfully the last time, that I would perform such extensive fasciotomies to save a leg while simultaneously and expeditiously administering anti-venom to save a life. After what seemed like a never-ending administration of anti-venom and fluids, our patient finally stabilized. He went on to survive this horrific event, bearing those long telltale scars from fasciotomies to prove it. There was little doubt that had air transport been unavailable that night and conventional means of evacuation had been used instead, he surely would have died enroute. Read the full story at the RVU Blog or by visiting bit.ly/rural-ambulance-2021
Living A Vicarious White Life: My Experience As A Woman Of Color On Rural Rotations Written by Natalie Crump, PAS III "It feels like I’m living a vicarious white life!" My husband laughed when I told him how I felt, but over the course of numerous conversations during my time in rural Colorado as a clinicalyear physician assistant student, he came to understand exactly what I meant. I was being sent to cities in Colorado for clinical experiences that, as a Black woman, I would never have chosen for myself. As a person of color, there is a historical understanding that areas outside of the city should be approached with caution. Often, there is a lack of diversity in those areas which can lend itself to narrower thinking and a resistance to the acceptance of all races as equal—equally smart, equally deserving, or equally human. But there I was, the only brown face for miles. Although my preceptors were kind and taught me well, the patient population I served was not always so welcoming or accepting of a student—let alone a student of color—seeing them for a visit. This, however, was my reality and I knew prior to beginning my clinical year that this was something I might face. As a student, my obligation is to successfully complete all phases of my training. While I chose Denver as my home base for rotations, the onset of COVID mid-way through my first year and the ever-changing landscape of available preceptors made it more likely that I would be sent to rural areas to complete my core rotations. That time came last fall with successive rotations in rural locations. Although I understood the nuances that came with living and learning in a rural area as a person of color, the political and social climate of our nation during this time made me even more aware of my position. On the heels of a summer filled with racial and social justice movements and just prior to a historic election, the air at times felt suffocating. Before each patient encounter, I took a deep a breath, reminded myself of the kindness and empathy I sought to embody, and entered the room with the confidence that comes from a deep desire to change the narrative. Even when a patient’s father chose to keep his head low, brandishing a "Make Liberals Cry Again" hat, and refused to interact with me for the first five minutes of his son’s Natalie a the PA Class of 2021’s Orientation Week in 2019 annual visit, I chose to engage with him. I asked him questions to help break down the socially engineered walls that tried to erect themselves between us. I understood in those moments that curating lasting change can only come from direct interaction and a listening ear; sharing stories and finding commonality to help bridge the gap between our lived experiences. Many of my patients and preceptors will never understand what it feels like to go through medical training as a woman of color. I don’t expect them to understand the undertones and subtleties of the stares or comments I’ve received. Dr. Kehinde Andrews, a journalist and professor of Black Studies at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, expressed what I was feeling so eloquently. In a recent article discussing the racism within the British royal family, he wrote, "The constant feeling of being out of place, undermined and misunderstood takes a daily toll. The term we use in academia is ’microaggressions‘—the paper cuts of racism that have the cumulative effect of damaging our mental health." I felt the sum of these microaggressions during my training in rural rotations, more than any other time in my training as a PA student. Read more of PAS Crump's story at the RVU Blog or by visiting bit.ly/crump-vicarious
Get To Know RVU Staff Jennifer L. Williams, PhD Job Title: Senior Institutional Data Analyst • Dr. Williams has worked for 28 years in higher education, serving such roles as Career Advisor, Human Resources Manager/EEO Officer, Assistant Director of Faculty and Curriculum, Assistant Dean of Instruction, and Graduate Research Assistant. • She came to RVU in 2014 where she first served as the Executive Director of Planning and Assessment, then as the Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness.
Dr. Williams (far right) poses with Dr. Towne and Dr. Roberts
• She is married and has a cat named Jax. She and her husat a reception in 2017 band live in Eureka, Montana on 21 gorgeous acres, surrounded by the Canadian Rockies. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking, kayaking, and camping. She is also learning to grow vegetables and flowers and to drive a riding lawnmower.
What are Dr. Williams' FAQs? Why do we engage in outcomes assessment? Internally, to improve student learning. We use student assessment data to measure individual student, course, department, program, and university performance in order to make evidence-based decisions about resource allocation, curricular changes, improvement plans, and future goals. Externally, to demonstrate compliance with HLC criteria and COCA standards that require performance and improvement evidence.
What's the last movie you saw? Ford vs. Ferrari What's the last book you read? Assessment Essentials (2nd ed.) Banta and Palomba If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Kauai If you had one free hour each day, how would you use it? Reading or hiking What is a little-known fact about you? I was a high school social studies teacher for one year and that was enough.
What is institutional effectiveness? And what do I do with all of this data we're collecting? We’re at the point where the bounty of data we’re collecting needs to be analyzed and understood by leadership, faculty, and staff to weigh against the reasons listed above. We use a balanced scorecard to discern if KPIs are met, but need more sophisticated methodologies to identify how the institution is performing at all levels – curricular, co-curricular, administrative, and operational.
What has been your favorite part about working at RVU? Getting to know our little-known Board of Trustees and ownership (former and current). We have some pretty amazing support that not many RVUers get to experience.
Can you help me/my department with analyzing and making meaning of our assessment and evaluation data? Yes! This will be part of my new role along with aligning systems, processes, and information to get the job done.
Who would you have with you if stranded on a desert island? My husband – he’s a builder and a farmer, so I think we’d be ok!
What is the best part about your job? It provides the opportunity to develop skills, support multiple constituents, and use my brain. What one thing are you looking forward to in the coming year? Seeing my parents after a year-and-a-half due to COVID.
What would you like to be known for? That I had a positive impact on those around me, both personally and professionally.
Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Faculty, Staff and Physicians in Training
Stephanie Bradford, PAS III, was selected as Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants' PA Student of the Year for her outstanding knowledge and abillity, dedication to the development of future PAs, and exceptional professionalism. She tutors students in advanced biomedical science and clinical medicine topics as well. "I am so very excited, honored, and surprised to have received this award. I am so grateful the RVU PA faculty and my classmates for your support and guidance. It has been a rough year for all of us, and I’m glad I could bring this honor to RVU." Andrea Done, OMS III, Predoctoral Osteopathic Fellow, was elected to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Student American Academy of Osteopathy (SAAO), a national position. "I wanted to thank [Dr. David Park] for all he taught us this past year. I would not have had the confidence to run if it wasn't for my experience with [Academic Medicine and Leadership Track]." Jeffrey Edwards, OMS III, was elected as Student Osteopathic Medical Association Student Representative for the Board of Directors of American Osteopathic Foundation. He will serve a twoyear term which started in January. "Mr. Edwards is an energetic and driven individual and his desire to contribute to the growth of the osteopathic profession is unmistakable. We are thrilled to welcome him to the Board," said Rita Forden, CEO of the AOF. Emily Jensen, DO '21, won the national 2021 A. Hollis Wolf Case Competition for her case, "OMT & the Depths of Trauma". The competition is sponsored by the Student American Academy of Osteopathy and occurs during the annual AAO Convocation. Students have five minutes to present clinical cases, demonstrating understanding and application of osteopathic principles and treatment, their knowledge of pathophysiology and clinical aspects of their cases, and the
impact of osteopathic care on their patient’s outcome. Elizabeth Kuge, OMS IV, the winner of RVU-CO's Student Doctor of the Year, was been selected as Runner-up for National Student Doctor of the Year! There were 46 national applicants reviewed by the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents. Throughout their review, SD Kuge was mentioned by multiple committee members and was spoken of highly regarding her personal growth, initiatives in diversity, and compassion through her adversities. This was the first time that an RVUer was one of the top three candidates for the national SDOY Award. Anthony LaPorta, MD, FACS, Director of the Military Medicine Program, was selected for the Martha Illige Award by Center for Personalized Education for Professionals, an international organization that helps physicians repair their lives after either an illness or some other reason for a loss of knowledge or technical skills. "I am more than honored to be selected...I am totally humbled by their selection of me [for] this award on the 30th anniversary of their existence." Avery Roe, OMS II, received a coveted spot in the Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research's (FAER) summer program at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, MO. SD Roe is also a student in the Physician Scientist Track on the Southern Utah Campus and President of the RVU-SU Student Government Association. The ACOFP Student Chapter at RVU-SU received the A.T. Still Award. The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians selects a chapter every year based on their involvement with osteopathic manipulative medicine.
Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Faculty, Staff and Physicians in Training
Daniel Sullivan, OMS IV, also joined FAER's two-month-long research fellowship at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. He was mentored by the Head of Research in their Department of Anesthesiology.
Ross Tanick, OMS IV, was chosen for the ACOFP Family Medicine Student Award—for the second year in a row! He was the president of the ACOFP student organization during his second year helping them earn the President’s Award nationally as well. Dr. Jill Pitcher said of SD Tanick: "He is one of the strongest but quietest leaders we have had." Meredith Ware, OMS II, was accepted into the 2021 PedsEndo Discovery Program, which was created to increase trainee exposure to pediatric endocrinology, through the Pediatric Endocrine Society.
Isain Zapata, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research and Statistics, was awarded the Battelle Memorial Institute/U.S. Department of Homeland Security to perform genetic mapping studies of the behaviors most important for the TSA National Explosives Detection Canine Program. In the February/April Issue of Colorado Medicine, Taylor Harp, OMS IV, and Kailey Stiles, OMS IV, wrote an article titled "Delivering health care to asylum seekers,"
about treating asylum seekers at the Texas/Mexico boarder, an extremely vulnerable population that experiences large deficits in the healthcare services they are provided.
The RVU Marketing Department—Kristen Kaiser, MA, Catherine Lewis Saenz, Gina Marzulla, and Kelli Petersen, MBA—received two Excellence in Communications awards by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM): • First Place in Social Media: "RVU-SU Virtual Health Fair". This included a month-long social media campaign and a comprehensive website design. • Third Place in COVID Pivot: Class of 2020 Graduation. Their role included creating a special expanded Commencement Program (and digital version), creating an interactive webpage, producing branded boxes and pen sets, creating an expanded social media strategy, and assisting in the shipment of graduation boxes. RVUCOM-SU received the American Osteopathic Association's (AOA) Organizational Excellence in Advocacy award for their Academic Medicine and Leadership (AML) Track. As stated by the AOA: "We recognize RVUCOM-SU for increasing recognition of the profession in Utah and nationally. Under RVUCOM-SU’s [AML] Track, students are trained in leadership skills that include health policy and advocacy." Lon Van Winkle, PhD, Professor of Medical Humanities, and Amanda Brooks, PhD, Director of Department of Research and Scholarly Activity, each joined the editorial boards earlier this year. Dr. Van Winkle joined Cells for its special issue on Embryo Development. Dr. Brooks joined Antibiotics and edited their special issue on Antimicrobial Materials.
Research and Grants Furthering the Pursuit of Innovation and Exploration in Healthcare and Education
An important resource for students, faculty and staff, the Office of Research provides support and guidance for research activities, such as statistical consulting, an intramural grant program, and a searchable database of extramural grant opportunities.
Publications Amanda Brooks, PhD, Director of Department of Research and Scholarly Activity, published an article, titled "Methods and Techniques to Facilitate the Development of Clostridium novyi-NT as an Effective, Therapeutic Oncolytic Bacteria," in Frontiers of Microbiology. C. novyi is poised to accomplish the "holy grail" of oncotherapeutics: selective tumor localization via intravenous delivery. This study reports the development of efficient methods that facilitate experimental work and therapeutic translation of C. novyi, including the ability to work with this obligate micro-anaerobe on the benchtop. David Forstein, DO, FACOOG, Provost, recently published three articles: • "Stakeholder Perspectives on Standardizing the Residency Application and Interview Processes", published in the Journal of Surgical Education, examined stakeholder perspectives on standards recommended to OBGYN residency program directors to reduce medical student anxiety in the match. The areas of standardization tested were a universal application date, universal applicant notification date, universal interview offer date, two universal offer dates, 72-hour response period, and limiting interview offers to slots available. • "To the Point: Integrating the Obstetrics and Gynecology Core Clerkship into a Longitudinal Integrated Curriculum in US Medical Schools," published in Medical Science Educator, is a review of issues to consider when putting an OBGYN clerkship into a Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) model. The LIC model has been used at a number of schools, with superior student outcomes. The model appears to promote student independent learning and decreases ethical erosion and exposure to the "hidden curriculum." • "To the Point: advising students applying to Obstetrics and Gynecology residency in 2020 and beyond," published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, reviews salutary practices for faculty to advise students who match into OBGYN. It includes sections of the career advisors' role
and responsibilities, early career advising, post clerkship planning, and assembling the application. While focused on OBGYN, it has relevant materials for all career advisors. Anthony LaPorta, MD, FACS, Director of the Military Medicine Program, published research in Comprehensive Psychoneuroendocrinology titled, "Emotional intelligence, cortisol and <alpha>-amylase response to highly stressful hyper-realistic surgical simulation of a mass casualty event scenario." Timothy Light, OMS II, was the first author on a fact sheet titled, " A Crisis of Her Own: Fatal Opioid Overdose, Opioid Use Disorder, and Intimate Partner Violence Among Rural Utah Women," which was published through Utah State University Extension. The Centers for Disease Control report that the rate of overdose deaths among women is rapidly increasing, with those in rural areas having disproportionately higher drug overdose death rates than women in urban areas. This indicates an opportunity for targeted rural public health interventions to slow overdose fatality increases among women. Mark Payton, PhD, Chair of the Dept. of Biomedical Sciences, published research titled, "Trapping Tribolium castaneum (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and Other Beetles in Flourmills: Evaluating Fumigation Efficacy and Estimating Population Density," in Insects. The paper reports beetle pests common to flourmills targeted during a series of trapping studies over a two-year period.
Research and Grants Furthering the Pursuit of Innovation and Exploration in Healthcare and Education
Taylor Runion, OMS III, published research titled, "An Observational Study of the Application of a Topical Cannabinoid Gel on Sensitive Dry Skin," in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin disorder characterized by pruritus, erythema and excoriation. While AD has a multifactorial etiology, neuro-signaling pathways are now recognized to play an essential role in the pathogenesis of AD, particularly pruritus. Neuromodulators, such as topical naltrexone, are being utilized in AD treatment. Phytocannabinoids including cannabidiol (CBD) are becoming increasingly accessible to the public and continue to be advertised for their efficacy to treat inflammatory skin disorders. This study aimed to explore the effects of CBD in individuals with self-reported eczema. Daniel Sullivan, OMS IV, published an article entitled, "Acute fracture of extensive Achilles tendon calcific tendinopathy," in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. SD Sullivan also submitted three clinical images: an ultrasound, x-ray, and MRI, along with a 300-word description of a case in which the entire Achilles’ tendon hadossified (turned to bone) followed by the fracture of the ossification. Lon Van Winkle, PhD, Professor of Medical Humanities, published two research articles: • "Lysine deprivation during maternal consumption of low-protein diets could adversely affect early embryo development and health in adulthood," published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. • "One-cell and cleavage-stage mouse embryos thrive in hyperosmotic oviductal fluid through expression of a glycine neurotransmitter transporter and a glycine-gated chloride channel: Clinical and transgenerational implications," published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology.
Isain Zapata, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research and Statistics, published, "Genome scans of dog behavior implicate a gene network underlying psychopathology in mammals, including humans," in bioRxiv. The study genetically mapped diverse normal and problem behaviors in dogs in an approach that is ideally suited for finding variation across dog breeds and for pin-pointing the most likely gene candidates. The analysis of the genes implicated at 90 genome regions shows they are enriched for genes mapped for diverse brain functions and pathologies in humans; genes involved in brain development throughout life; and footprints of evolution in dogs, humans, etc. Cole Zanetti, DO, Co-Director of Digital Health Track, published "Defining and Developing the Workforce Needed for Success in the Digital Era of Medicine" in Digital Biomarkers. Artificial intelligence offers the promise of transforming biomedical research and helping clinicians put the “care” back in healthcare. But who will digitize how we define health and disease? And who will deploy this knowledge to improve the lives of patients that medicine – and digital medicine – exists to serve? The report describes the requirements for the skills pivot needed to ensure that the digital transformation of healthcare is successful.
Colby Presley, DO '21, Kayd Pulsipher, OMS IV, and Jacquelyn Waller, PharmD, BCPS, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, published research, titled, "Coronavirus Vaccination Adverse Reactions and the Role of the Dermatologist," in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Current COVID-19 vaccines use revolutionary mRNA technology that is changing the landscape of vaccinations but are met with hesitancy because of this technology. The article highlights other trials that have used the mRNA technology and der-
Research and Grants Furthering the Pursuit of Innovation and Exploration in Healthcare and Education
matological side effects of those vaccines. "Working with [Dr. Waller] and clinical dermatologists demonstrated to us how everyone in the healthcare profession must collaborate and work together to end this pandemic." SD Pulsipher, Dr. Presley, and Michelle Militello, OMS IV, published "Teledermatology application use in the COVID-19 era" in the Dermatology Online Journal. Dermatology is a field of medicine that many patients cannot reach because of geographical or health limitations. Teledermatology makes dermatologists more available to a wider array of patients. "While COVID has been very difficult to deal with, there are silver linings like these where we see healthcare improving for more patients. This was also an awesome opportunity to collaborate across [both campuses]." Dr. Presley and SD Militello also published research with Abby Meckley, OMS IV, titled, "Reply to 'Skin of color representation in medical education: An analysis of popular preparatory materials used for United States Medical Licensing Examinations': Underrepresentation in additional popular resources," in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. It evaluated the skin of color (SoC) representation in Boards and Beyond, a common USMLE preparatory resource. SoC has been historically underrepresented in dermatology education, which can lead to worse outcomes in patient survival. The aim was to highlight this underrepresentation so medical education can strive towards closing the educational gap.
Valerie Martin, DO '21, Taline Aydinian, OMS IV, and Terry Dunn, MD, Director of Women's Health (along with several RVU alums as coauthors—see page 26) published research in the Journal of Gynecologic Surgery titled, "Routine
Postoperative Laboratory Testing: Necessity or Habit?" They completed a retrospective review on the utility of postoperative day one complete blood counts after urogynecologic surgery. It was found that these tests have minimal effect on a physician's decision-making as compared to clinical signs and symptoms.
Qing Zhong, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, Payton Christensen, OMS III, Kevin McNeil, OMS III, Matthew J. Linton, PhD, Director of Pre-Clinical Education, and Mark Payton, PhD, Chair of Department of Biomedical Sciences, published a paper entitled "Early prediction of the risk of scoring lower than 500 on the COMLEX 1" in BMC Medical Education. Their goal was to produce a reliable predictive model to identify students who are at risk of scoring lower than 500 on COMLEX 1 as early as possible. They built three logistic regression predictive models at the end of the third semester. It was found that lower MCAT scores and lower grades in the first three semesters of medical school predict scoring lower than 500 on COMLEX 1.
Isain Zapata, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research and Statistics, Joseph Farrell, OMS III, Svetlana Morrell, OMS III, Rebecca Ryznar, PhD, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology, and Anthony J. LaPorta, MD, FACS, Director of Military Medicine Program published an article in Science Direct titled, "Emotional intelligence, cortisol and α-amylase response to highly stressful hyper-realistic surgical simulation of a mass casualty event scenario." The study examined the relationship between emotional intelligence and stress response. A hyper-realistic surgical simulation training session was implemented to allow medical professionals to experience this in real time, leading to increased emotional intelligence, correlating with decreased hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system stress biomarkers, cortisol and α-amylase.
Research and Grants Furthering the Pursuit of Innovation and Exploration in Healthcare and Education
Amanda Brooks, PhD, Director of Department of Research and Scholarly Activity, and Benjamin D. Brooks, PhD, Associate Director of MSBS Program, published a paper entitled, "The Next Frontier of Oncotherapy: Accomplishing Clinical Translation of Oncolytic Bacteria through Genetic Engineering," in Future Microbiology. The development of a "smart" drug capable of distinguishing tumor from host cells has been sought for centuries, but the microenvironment of solid tumors continues to confound therapeutics. While traditional chemotherapeutics are limited by the environment within solid tumors, oncolytic microbes are drawn to it. Modern genetic engineering techniques could be used to customize "Frankenstein" bacteria with advantageous characteristics. Jing Gao, MD, Director of Ultrasound, and Anthony Tran, OMS III, published an article in the Journal of Central Nervous System of Disease titled, "Quantitative Ultrasound to Assess Skeletal Muscles in Post Stroke Spasticity." This paper reviewed Quantitative Ultrasound’s role in the identification of post stroke spasticity, which is spasticity of the muscles as a result of upper motor neuron damage. Quantitative Ultrasound techniques include strain imaging and shear wave electrography. Strain ratio can be used to identify muscle spasticity by showing a decrease in muscle axial strain, while shear wave electrography will show an increase in shear wave velocity. Dr. Gao also co-authored a publication with Michael J. Trujillo, OMS IV, titled, "Non-invasive imaging biomarkers to assess nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A review." This review, published in Clinical Imaging, summarizes the current state of non-invasive diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This begins with a discussion of blood-based analysis then progresses through various imaging modalities.
NAFLD affects more than 25% of adult population in the US. Non-invasive imaging biomarkers play important roles in the diagnosis and monitor treatment effect of NAFLD.
Matthew McMaster, DO '21, Kelly Mohr, OMS III, Austin Page, OMS IV, Francina Towne, PhD, Director of MSBS Program, and Benjamin Brooks, PhD, Associate Director of MSBS Program, published research titled, "Epitope characterization of anti-drug antibodies-a tool for discovery and health: an overview of the necessity of early epitope characterization to avoid anti-drug antibodies and promote patient health," in Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy. The market for monoclonal antibody therapies is growing rapidly as the pharmaceutical industry expands its development across a broad spectrum of diseases. Unfortunately, these treatments often stimulate the formation of problematic anti-drug antibodies. Emerging techniques are presented that hold promise to improve ADA assays and their potential applications to pharmaceutical development and personalized medicine.
Alissa Lenz, DO '21, Rebecca Ryznar, PhD, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology, David Ross, DO, FACEP, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, Susan Carter, MD, FACOG, FACS, Director of the Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery, and Anthony J. LaPorta, MD, FACS, Director of the Military Medicine Program, published research titled, "The Next Nine Minutes: Lessons Learned From The Large-Scale Active Shooter Training Prior To The Stem School Shooting." As the incidence of active shooters increase, local emergency response has also changed. South Metro Fire Rescue coordinated a series of hyper-realistic active shooter simulation drills involving multiple agencies. Evaluation was from point of injury to and including care in the operating room and evaluation of real-time system logistics.
Research and Grants Furthering the Pursuit of Innovation and Exploration in Healthcare and Education Presentations Camille Z. Bentley, DO, MPH, FACOFP, Chair of the Department of Tracks and Special Programs, was the plenary speaker at the International Association of Medical Science Educators (IAMSE). Her presentation, "Training in Medical School with a Focus on Global Health," detailed the lesson learned when trying to incorporate too many graded activities in one lab session. Because of the pandemic, they took an already demanding non-English speaking patient encounter with an unknown medical problem while using an interpreter and added a telemedicine video component. Jean Bouquet, MD, FAWM, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, was the keynote speaker at the 6th Annual World Conference on Breast and Cervical Cancer, where he presented, "Screening and Treatment of Cervical Dysplasia Using a Novel Vaginal Speculum and Via for $5/ Woman." His research introduced The Bouquet SpeculumTM which overcomes the limitations of the existing 2-bladed speculum and results in a more comfortable exam for patients. The speculum has been combined into the cost-effective Cervical Cancer Cure Kit that screens and treats cervical cancer and dysplasia. Cassidy Chambers, Associate Director of Admissions, presented "Navigating Change in Postbac Enrollment". In her presentation, Cassidy and two other presenters discussed how they adapted to the past year and how they are planning to recruit and enroll their next class.
Timothy Light, OMS I, gave a presentation at the IV International Sociology Association's Forum on Sociology. His presentation was titled, "Fighting the Opioid Crisis: Reducing Stigma and Healing Communities through Implementation of Evidence-Based Curriculum in Utah's Tribal and Rural Communities."
Blake McKinley, OMS IV, presented "The Sunburn That Was Really StevensJohnson Syndrome" at the ACP Utah Chapter Clinical Vignette Competition. The case described a young woman who had presented with what at first was believed to be severe sunburn but was really an adverse drug reaction to taking tramadol for the first time. Vickie Roettger, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology, presented a poster, "Global Medicine Track at an Osteopathic College of Medicine: Intensive Training During Didactic and Clinical Years," at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health annual meeting. This poster, describing the RVU Global Medicine Track at RVU, includes both didactic and clinical aspects, as well as changes made due to the pandemic. It highlights the need for formal and intensive global health education for osteopathic student doctors.
Jordan Wilkes, DO '21, Brian Pringle, OMS III, Devin Monroe, OMS III, Isain Zapata PhD, Assistant Professor of Research and Statistics, and David Ross, DO (along with several RVU alums as coauthors—see page 26), presented a poster at the ACOFP National Conference, titled, "A Demographic and Regional Comparison of Opioid Use within Communities in the United States." Using a database called the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project maintained by the federal government’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, they investigated both the number of opioidrelated hospital inpatient stays and opioid related emergency department visits in 10 regions of the United States from 2010-2018. The team won Second Place for Student Original Research!
Research and Grants Furthering the Pursuit of Innovation and Exploration in Healthcare and Education
Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons The annual conference of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians (AMOPS) was held virtually, although that did not deter RVU students, faculty, and staff from attending, listening to lectures on military medicine, and presenting posters. Only first two co-authors are presented below. AMOPS Executive Board Election: • Western Representative: Sean Lynch, OMS III • Navy Representative: Michael Kreiser, OMS III AMOPS Recognitions: • Senior Officer of the Year: Mackenzie Berry, OMS IV • 1st Place Poster Symposium: Nicholas Thoma, OMS III Presentations • Lynzee Allen, OMS III: "The Accuracy of Ultrasound Lung Images Acquired and Interpreted by Paramedics for Patients Presenting with Respiratory Symptoms Consistent with COVID-19 Disease." Oral and poster presentation. Co-authors: Kyle Spengler, OMS III; Sean Crary, OMS III. • Sean Crary, OMS III, and Garrett Florey, OMS III: "COVID 19-Computerized Tomography vs Ultrasound Findings." Co-authors: Kyle Spangler OMS III; Dr. Anthony J LaPorta. • Michael Kreiser, OMS III: "Point-of-Care Ultrasound by EMS Providers in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest."
Co-authors: Brieanna Hill, OMS III, Dikchhya Karki, OMS III. Sean Lynch, OMS III: "Trauma Team Response To Hypothermia: A Literature Review." Co-author: Susan Roberts, DO '21. Svetlana Morrell, OMS III and Joseph Farrell, OMS III: "Emotional Intelligence, Cortisol and α -Amylase response to stressful, hyper-realistic surgical simulation of mass casualty event scenarios." Co-authors: Dr. Isain Zapata; Dr. Rebecca Ryznar. Nicholas Thoma, OMS III: "The Feasibility of Point-ofCare Ultrasound in a Far-Forward Setting." Co-authors: Lynzee Allen, OMS III; Garrett Florey, OMS III. Kaitlin Ross, OMS III: "Exposure to Clinical Scenarios Through Hyper-Realistic Simulation Improves Examination Outcomes on Standardized Assessments". Coauthors: Karl Riecken, DO '21, Dr. K. Dean Gubler. Karl Riecken, DO '21: "Nutrition and Supplementation for Optimized Recovery". Oral presentation. Kyle Spengler, OMS III: "Pre-hospital POCUS, Vital Signs, and Symptoms as COVID-19 Risk Stratification Tools". Co-authors: Garret Florey, OMS III, Nicholas Thoma, OMS III. Gina DiMattia, OMS IV, and Patrizia Grob, OMS IV: "Website Usability Analysis of United States Military Residency Programs" Co-author: Joshua Calvano, DO '21.
A Conversation With Preceptor Dr. Michelle Kem Su Hor Dr. Hor has been a preceptor with Rocky Vista University for 10 years, working with rotating students at her gastrointestinal medical practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she specializes in esophageal disorders, liver disease, and gastrointestinal disorders. She is also affiliated with UCHealth Grandview Hospital and UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central.
In addition to her duties as a physician and preceptor, Dr. Hor has cultivated a partnership with the Lily Pearl Foundation, which she describes as a generous foundation that, quite simply, wants to help medical students. With the funds provided by the foundation, Dr. Hor has been able to allocate money for students to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and, in particular, the coveted N95 masks. With additional funding to her gastrointestinal lab, Dr. Hor is also able to provide PPE to rotating students, including N95 masks, surgical caps, surgical face shields, gowns, and shoe covers. Dr. Hor also has funds set aside for students that need a scrub jacket and has already given out 30-40 jackets. Read the full interview in which Dr. Hor discusses her cannabis research, scholarships, and what it’s like to be the “mama” to so many third- and fourth-year students at the RVU Blog or by visiting bit.ly/hor-conversation
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Jessica Burr, MA Educational Support Specialist, Department of Student Affairs; RVU-SU Before her family relocated to Slaterville, Utah, Jessica grew up in Green River, Wyoming. She completed both her Bachelor of Art degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology and her Master of Art degree in Professional Communication from Southern Utah University (SUU). After more than seven years at SUU, during which she held numerous positions including Assistant Director of Community and Academic Enrichment, she moved to Salt Lake City to work for the Utah Jazz. Jessica is passionate about helping people, especially students, find their path in life. Her own path, while more winding than linear, has led to many academic experiences, including developing a curriculum for SUU’s Student Success course for STEM majors. While at SUU, Jessica also worked with students in the University’s Rural Health Scholars Program, and some of those students are now at RVU! "I love working with students in the health sciences! I had the opportunity to see RVU built from the ground up and am thrilled to be here and have my career come full circle." One of Jessica’s favorite trips was a study abroad program planned during her time as Assistant Director at SUU. The program took students and staff to Budapest, Hungary and Romania to learn about Dracula in Transylvania. "It was a trip of a lifetime...!" Outside of work, Jessica enjoys hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, cliff jumping, four-wheeling, working out, and learning to garden. In her past life in SoCal, she helped to train Supercross Riders. Welcome, Jessica! Courtney Campbell (nee Arndt) Administrative Assistant, MSBS Program; RVU-CO Courtney received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice from San Jose State University, along with a single-subject Social Studies teaching credential. Before coming to RVU, she worked as a high school teacher for four years in San Jose, California and one year in Denver, Colorado before changing careers to work at RVU.
"I love the behind-the-scenes approach to education and supporting faculty and students. I love that I still get to work closely with [graduate] students and assist with programmatic changes and development of the MSBS Program." In keeping with her educational background, Courtney is a self-professed true crime and horror junkie. When not working, you can usually find her watching a scary movie while crafting. Torn between her two favorite travel destinations, Bavaria and New Orleans, Courtney encountered the best beer she’s ever had in Bavaria and, in New Orleans, spent the night walking down Frenchmen’s Street (located in the 7th ward) to find a good jazz club or a ghost story. Še das d' kemma bisd, Courtney! Emily Cox, BS Administrative Assistant, Department of Research and Scholarly Activities, RVU-SU Emily is not only a Utah native, she was born and raised in the neighboring city of St. George. After spending a year-and-a-half in New York City for an LDS mission, she moved back to Provo, Utah to complete her Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology, with a minor in Business Management, from Brigham Young University. After three years of being away from home, Emily and her husband, also a St. George native, felt the itch to move back home. Now at RVU, Emily is excited to assist students and faculty in their research endeavors and ensuring everything runs smoothly for them. "There are incredible minds and extremely dedicated students at work. I am inspired by the passion of learning and [for discovery] that exists amongst the students and faculty." Outside of work, Emily loves spending time with her husband and son. They enjoy hiking, boating, playing outside, and watching the Discovery Channel. On her own time, she enjoys designing/illustrating, reading, making gluten-free food, and fitness classes. Her favorite place to have visited, and one that warrants a return trip, was Japan. "We stayed at a hotel where traditional dress (kimonos) was required on private property. We slept on tatami mats, sat on the ground to eat, and even went to an onsen." An interesting fact about Emily is that she grew up with seven brothers and is the only daughter in her family! Yōkoso, Emily!
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Ashley Farmer-Hanson, PhD Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Department of Student Affairs, RVU-CO Ashley earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, Master of Science degree in Student Affairs Administration, and Doctorate degree in Education Administration. Before coming to RVU, she worked at Buena Vista University as the Assistant Vice President of Student Success for 12 years. During her time there, her long list of roles included supervising resident life, counseling services, career and leadership development, student activities, spiritual life, and more! She was honored with the Education for Service Award, Governor’s Volunteer Award, Staff Member of the Year, and Diversity and Inclusion Staff Member of the Year. Ashley is excited to be a part of such a friendly and missiondriven team and can’t wait to contribute to creating an inclusive community among students. When asked what inspires her most about her field of work Ashley said, "I love having the opportunity to be a part of a student's college journey. We have a wonderful opportunity to mentor, lead, and guide them to their next professional step and that is an honor and privilege." A fun fact about Ashley is that she completed the Ironman Triathlon four times! Outside of work, she continues to train for more triathlons, enjoys gardening, playing with her two dogs, and spending quality time with her husband, Matt. Her favorite place to have visited has been rural Colombia. Bienvenida, Ashley! Courtney Giles-Irish Academic Advisor, Department of Student Affairs; RVU-CO Courtney received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Mind, Brain, and Behavior from Colorado State University (CSU). She will soon complete her Master of Arts degree in Higher Education, with an emphasis in College Student Affairs, from the University of Denver. Courtney found her way to a career in Student Affairs early on, working as a tutor and peer mentor while still an undergraduate student at CSU. Her most recent roles include student success coach at Colorado Technical University and
as a career counselor at the University of Denver. "I love the versatility of higher education and student affairs...I love having the opportunity to impact students’ lives in a variety of ways and consider how identities intertwine to give rise to the student experience." A little-known fact about Courtney is that, while in elementary school, she won the Spelling Bee twice. However, her Spelling Bee career came to an end in the eighth grade when she misspelled the word 'fallacy.' Welcome, Courtney! Charlotte Hirstius Administrative Assistant, Department of Admissions; RVU-CO Charlotte originally hails from Louisiana and Texas, but has lived in Colorado since 1997. She graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Before coming to RVU, Charlotte worked as an office manager for a business that closed due to COVID. Her background, however, is primarily in education, having worked for a private school and for the Douglas County School District. She also spent several years at Thunder Ridge High School in the Counseling Office as an Administrative Assistant and as a Post Grad Specialist. She enjoys helping people and is "very excited to be working back in education." Charlotte enjoys watching her family participate in motorsports. Charlotte, her husband Bill, and their dog Ruger, can often be found at the tracks cheering on their two sons: Cullen, who does kart racing, and Grayson, who races motocross. A little-known fact about Charlotte is that she does not like glitter! Welcome, Charlotte! Andrea Pervine-Zaman Ho, MD Assistant Professor of Pathology, Department of Biomedical Sciences, RVUCO Originally from the San Fernando Valley in California, Dr. Ho received her Doctor of Medicine degree from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri.
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! While completing her residency training in pathology at the University of Colorado and her fellowship training in transfusion medicine and cytopathology, Dr. Ho met many rotating RVU medical students and graduates. "I was always impressed with their fund of knowledge and maturity." Now at RVU, Dr. Ho is honored "to be teaching with such an impressive faculty and very talented, dedicated students." When not working, Dr. Ho enjoys spending time with her seven adult children (which includes one set of quadruplets!) and her two German Shepherds, brothers Harry and Scully, who have stolen her heart. Welcome, Dr. Ho! K. Dean Gubler, DO, MPH, FACS Professor of Surgery and Military Medicine, Military Pathways and Office of Simulation, RVU-UT Born and raised in Tooele, Utah, Dr. Gubler has deep roots in Southern Utah, with his father’s grandparents being among the first 84 people to settle in the St. George area. He attended the University of Utah where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, followed by the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, Iowa, where he received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, and finally the University of Washington where he received his Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology. Dr. Gubler spans in impressive career, including the military, and many prestigious awards. He retired from the Medical Corp, United States Navy as a Captain, after serving for fourteen years. Dr. Gubler is certified in surgery, surgical critical care, and neurologic critical care. Now joining the RVU family, he’s excited to be part of the community and loves to see the education and professional growth in others. With no specific favorite place, Dr. Gubler loves being in the mountains, with hobbies ranging from fly fishing, skiing, golf, hunting, traveling to wine tasting or doing anything with his wife, boys, and dogs. And although he is a trauma surgeon, he says he"went rogue and bungee jumped off of a bridge over the Kawarau River at the AJ Hackett Budgie Jumping in Queenstown, New Zealand." Impressive! Welcome, Dr. Gubler!
Rachelle Kolb Human Resources Talent Coordinator, Department of Human Resources; RVUSU An honorary Utahan, Rachelle was born in California but has lived in Utah almost her whole life. She received and Associate of Arts degree from Dixie State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marriage, Family and Human Development from Brigham Young University. Rachelle is excited to be joining RVU for its culture and the passion to "learn, grow, and develop continually. I’m so happy to be part of RVU and so thankful for the team that hired me. I look forward to a long career here and hope to make an impact before I am finished." In the Dept. of Human Resources, she’s excited to help the RVU community grow. Before RVU, she worked for fourteen years at SkyWest Airlines, with the last five years in the Human Resources Department. She also worked for two years in the Marketing Development Department. "In my line of work, I get to help people find a job and sometimes even fulfill a goal or passion [that] they have by finding work here at RVU." Whether its camping, road trips, or flying to new destinations, Rachelle and her family love to travel the world and experience different cultures. Her favorite place to have ever visited is Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. "The experience I had with my family [was unique and felt] like pure heaven and joy. It will forever be cemented in my mind." An interested fact about Rachelle is that she grew up dancing. Her mother owned a dance studio, and she has either taught or danced her whole life. "It paid for college and has given me many opportunities to meet new people and influence lives." Welcome, Rachelle! Anthony Pappas, PhD Assistant Professor of Gross Anatomy, Department of Clinical Anatomy and OPP, RVU-SU Originally from South Florida, Dr. Pappas made the trek out to Utah after understandably losing patience with hurricanes and heavy traffic. "The great weather, outdoor activities, and small-town feel attracted me
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! to Utah." Dr. Pappas received his Doctorate degree in Neuroscience from the University of Vermont and now specializes in brain and spinal cord anatomy. Prior to RVU, Dr. Pappas taught neuroanatomy at the University of Vermont as a graduate teaching assistant, followed by the completion of a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. He returned to the classroom and worked for three years as Assistant Professor of Anatomy at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s branch campus in Bradenton, Florida. As Assistant Professor of Gross Anatomy at RVU, Dr. Pappas finds teaching clinical anatomy to be "inspiring because it truly captures what it is to be human. It simultaneously exposes the human body’s strengths and weaknesses. It also exposes our students to their first patients – the cadaveric donors." Dr. Pappas is excited to contribute to the growth of RVU and the success of the Southern Utah campus. Welcome, Dr. Pappas! Rebecca "Becky" Schutt, MS Clinical Career Advisor, Department of Student Affairs; RVU-CO A native of Wisconsin, Becky found her way to Colorado while completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology and Christian Educational Leadership at Concordia University Nebraska. Her program at the time required the completion of a yearlong internship that was located in Aurora, Colorado. There, she fell in love with the mountains and made good friends, so she decided to stay. Becky also holds a Master of Science degree in Academic Advising from Kansas State University. Becky previously worked for RVU in the Department of Student Affairs as the Administrative Assistant (and was nominated twice for the Administrative Staff Member of the Year Award!), and will now step into the role of Clinical Career Advisor. Prior to her return, she worked for the past three years with Red Rocks Community College as their CTE Pathway Advisor. She looks forward to working one-on-one with the students as they navigate their clinical years and the residency match process.
paddleboarding, or cuddling her Bernese Mountain Dog, Boomer. Becky’s favorite place to have traveled to is a tossup between Belize, where she can’t wait to go back to one day, and the shores of Lake Superior near her hometown. "There isn’t anything [quite] like a sunset over a big lake." Welcome back, Becky! Peggy Walsh, MS, PA-C Director of Clinical Education, Physician Assistant Program; RVU-CO After moving to Houston, Texas from her hometown of Denver - where she was born and raised - Peggy moved back in 2015 to be closer to family and to live in a place that better fits her lifestyle. Peggy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science with a minor in Biomedical Sciences and her Master of Science degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from Colorado State University. She attended Baylor College of Medicine's Physician Assistant Program in Houston. Most recently, Peggy worked as a Physician Assistant at the University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Colorado. Her non-clinical experience includes being a Graduate Teaching Fellow with the Department of Health and Exercise Science at CSU. "I love working with students and helping to equip them to be competent and prepared PAs. Being a PA is such a rewarding career. It is an honor to be part of helping students launch into this wonderful profession." Peggy has served on several committees for the American Academy of Physician Assistants and is the past president of the Colorado Academy of Physician Assistants. In 2019, she received the Carl E. Fasser Physician Assistant Visionary Leadership Award from Baylor College of Medicine and the Outstanding Alumni Award from CSU. When not at work, Peggy enjoys participating in triathlons, gardening, baking, and traveling by small plane with her husband. Her favorite place to have traveled to (by commercial airplane) is Milford Sound, New Zealand. Welcome to RVU!
When not helping students, Becky loves to spend time outdoors with family and friends, either rock-climbing, hiking,
Promotions and Appointments Ben Brooks, PhD, (RVU-SU) has been promoted to Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences. He also currently serves as Assistant Director of the MSBS Program. Dr. Brooks began at RVU in 2019.
John Mathewson (RVU-CO) has been promoted to Sr. Database Administrator and Sr. Jenzabar Administrator and Developer. He previously served as IT Database Administrator and Jenzabar Administrator and Developer. John began at RVU in 2009.
Ashley Farmer-Hanson, PhD, (RVU-CO) has been promoted to Associate Dean of Student Affairs. She previously served as Assistant Dean of Student Life. Dr. FarmerHanson has been with RVU since 2020.
Gina Marzulla (RVU-CO) has received a title change to Graphic Designer. She previously served as Marketing Coordinator. Gina has been with RVU since 2016.
Heather Ferrill, DO, (RVU-CO) has been appointed Dean of RVUCOM. She previously served as Associate Dean of PreClinical Education. Dr. Ferrill has been with RVU since 2013.
Amy Maupin (RVU-CO) has been promoted to Clinical Rotations Coordinator. She previously served as Administrative Assistant for the Dept. of Student Affairs. Amy began at RVU in 2019.
David Forstein, DO, FACOOG, (RVUCO) has been promoted to President and CEO. Dr. Maha Sallam, Chair of the Board of Trustees stated, "We are thrilled that [he] will be guiding RVU as we continue our leadership in osteopathic medical education and work to meet the need for skilled medical professionals." He has been with RVU since 2020.
Fallon Opperman (RVU-CO) has been promoted to Admissions Counselor. She previously served as Administrative Assistant for the Dept. of Admissions. Fallon has been with RVU since 2019.
Ian George, PhD, has been appointed the Chair of the Clinical Anatomy and Osteopathic Principles and Practice (CA-OPP) Department. He will continue to also serve as Assistant Professor of Anatomy. Dr. George has been at RVU since 2017.
Natalie Giannini (RVU-CO) has been promoted to Didactic Services Coordinator in the PA Program. She brings a wealth of experience from her previous work in the health care field. Natalie has been at RVU since 2019.
David J. Park, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP, has accepted the position of Founding Dean for the new Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine campus in Billings, Montana. He will continue to serve as a Vice President for the University. He has been with RVU since 2015. Cyndi Windecker (RVU-CO) was promoted to Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment. She previously served as Admissions Counselor. Cyndi has been with RVU since 2016.
From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association
A LU M N I A SSO C I AT ION
Milestones and Achievements Ali Ansary, DO '14, has raised $6 million in seed funding to continue development of the Immune Monitoring Platform, through the startup firm Ozette Technologies (of which he is the cofounder). The technology can analyze massive combinations of proteins being created by individual cells. Dr. Ansary is also an attending physician at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Matthew Batzel, PA '20, has accepted a position as Physician Assistant at Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery Associates, in the department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. The office, which is part of the Centura Health network, is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Kameron Black, DO' 21, along with his team, won Overall First Place for Best Use of Google Cloud at Hackathon. The team proposed a solution to make hospital discharge instructions more interactive, actionable, and measurable for patients and caregivers. "I am so honored to have had the chance to work with such dedicated fellow innovators." Read more about Dr. Black at RVUblog.com. Anthony Casper, DO '21, published an article titled, "Streptococcus intermedius: A mimicker of brain metastases and a potential pitfall for radiation oncologists," in Advances in Radiation Oncology. The research discusses the case of a 49-year-old male presenting with abrupt onset neurologic symptoms in the setting of a previously diagnosed lung lesion. Imaging revealed multiple brain lesions presumed to be consistent with metastatic lung cancer but were later determined to be abscesses from Streptococcus intermedius, requiring neurosurgical intervention.
Robert Cooper, DO '13, has accepted a position at Berks Center for Digestive Health in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. He is a board-certified gastroenterologist. Dr. Cooper also evaluates and treats patients at Reading Hospital and St. Joseph's Medical Center.
Christina Duncan, DO '13, recently joined Parkview Cancer Institute as a Gynecologic Oncologist in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She completed her OB/GYN residency at St. John Providence Health System in Warren, Michigan. She has also recently welcomed a baby girl into the family. Amber Hildreth, DO '12, has accepted a position at UC San Diego as a Pediatric Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, as well as continuing to serve as a clinician scientist at Rady Children's Hospital Institute for Genomic Medicine. She specializes in the rare branch of pediatric transplant hepatology—only the second osteopathic physician in the country who holds such certification! Read more about Dr. Hildreth at RVUblog.com. Adrienne Hoyt-Austin, DO '15, graduated from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Leadership Academy, a 10-month program which provides the selected participants with leadership skills and knowledge in order to further provide advocacy in the field of breastfeeding, particularly in the areas of healthcare disparities. Dr. Hoyt-Austin is a Pediatrician and Academic General Pediatric Fellow at UC Davis Health in Sacramento, California.
From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association Kay Kelts, DO '13, accepted the position of family physician at Medical Arts at Rapid City Medical Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. She practices fullscope family medicine including in-office procedures, women's health, and osteopathic manipulative medicine. She completed her family medicine residency at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois. Joseph LaPorta, DO '18, was named Chief Resident at his Neurology residency program at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
Stephen Lee, DO '21, published research titled, "Remdesivir for the Treatment of Severe COVID-19: A Community Hospital's Experience," in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. Following the emergence of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, researchers sought safe and effective treatment modalities. Remdesivir is currently being evaluated for clinical efficacy and safety in patients with COVID-19. Alissa Lenz, DO '21 (along with RVU faculty—see page 15), published research titled, "The Next Nine Minutes: Lessons Learned From The Large-Scale Active Shooter Training Prior To The Stem School Shooting." As the incidence of active shooters increase, local emergency response has also changed. South Metro Fire Rescue coordinated a series of hyperrealistic active shooter simulation drills involving multiple agencies. Evaluation was from point of injury to and including care in the operating room and evaluation of real-time system logistics. Strengths and weaknesses were identified in prehospital and in-hospital care.
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Kristin Lipe, DO '21, presented research at the Endocrine Society’s Annual Meeting in March, titled "Clinical Correlation to E-cadherin and Granulation Patterns in Corticotroph Tumors." The abstract for the research was also printed in the AprilMay supplemental issue of the Journal of Endocrine Society. Colleen Maher, DO '21, received Second Place in the 2021 Namey/Burnett Preventative Medicine Writing Award Competition by the ACOFP Education and Research Foundation. The award recognizes the best preventive medicine blog posts submitted by students, interns and residents. SD Maher's article, titled "Face Masks as a Preventative Measure in the Covid-19 Pandemic," discusses the historical development of the face mask, as well as current research on the role of this measure in the COVID-19 pandemic. Matthew McMaster, DO '21 (along with RVU students and faculty—see page 15), published research titled, "Epitope characterization of anti-drug antibodies-a tool for discovery and health: an overview of the necessity of early epitope characterization to avoid anti-drug antibodies and promote patient health," in Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy. The market for monoclonal antibody therapies is growing rapidly as the pharmaceutical industry expands its development across a broad spectrum of diseases. Unfortunately, these treatments often stimulate the formation of problematic anti-drug antibodies. Emerging techniques are presented that hold promise to improve ADA assays and their potential applications to pharmaceutical development and personalized medicine. Colby Presley, DO '21, published a review titled, “The History of Surfactants and Review of Their Allergic and Irritant Properties,” in Dermatitis. Surfactants, many of which are used as detergents, can be found in many common household items. Given their abundance in everyday products, it is understandable that many cases of occupational contact dermatitis that arise can be attributed to surfactants. Dermatologists must identify the causes and differentiate between
From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association the two to adjust treatments accordingly. See pages 13-14 for additional publications authored by Dr. Presley in collaboration with RVU faculty and students. MAJ Matthew A. Puderbaugh, DO '12, presented on "Management of Mild TBI and Optimization of the Warfighter" at the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (AMOPS) Meeting and Medical Conference: Optimizing Human Performance in Combat. He is a Flight Surgeon with Minnesota Air National Guard and recently began a Brain Injury Medicine Fellowship at University of Minnesota. Alex Renshaw, DO '12, performed the first hand-held, robotics-assisted total knee arthroplasty in the region. Dr. Renshaw is an Orthopedic Surgeon at Highland Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
CPT Bradley Rimmert, DO '17, presented "Cutting the Gordian Knot: An Introduction to Testosterone Optimization in the Modern Warfighter" at the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (AMOPS) Annual Meeting and Medical Conference: Optimizing Human Performance in Combat. Susan Roberts, DO '21, was elected as Secretary to the Executive Board of the Residents Branch of Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (AMOPS).
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Isak Tengesdal, MS '17, currently a graduate student in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. The research is titled "Targeting tumor-derived NLRP3 reduces melanoma progression by limiting MDSCs expansion." Tabitha Thrasher, DO '12, became the state of Wyoming’s third geriatric specialist after graduating from the University of Wyoming’s Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Geriatric Fellowship program. Dr. Thrasher currently serves as a Clinical Associate Professor at the Family Medicine Residency Program in Casper, Wyoming and Director of University of Wyoming's Geriatric Fellowship Program in Laramie, Wyoming. She also completed a residency at UW's Family Practice Residency Program.
Mary Barnes, DO '21, Torri Igou, DO '20, Michael Bork, DO '19, Cristina Cosner, DO '18, (along with RVU students— see page 14) published research in the Journal of Gynecologic Surgery titled, "Routine Postoperative Laboratory Testing: Necessity or Habit?" They completed a retrospective review on the utility of postoperative day one complete blood counts after urogynecologic surgery, finding that these tests have minimal effect on a physician's decision-making as compared to clinical signs and symptoms.
Jake McRae, DO '21, Brandon Nielsen, DO '21, Christopher Gay, DO '21, Andrew Hunt, DO '21, published a re-
From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association view entitled, “Utilizing Drones to Restore and Maintain Radio Communication During Search and Rescue Operations.” They looked at how drones may be used to restore lost radio communication between SAR teams and incident command. Project completed with RVU as well as Washington County Search and Rescue. The article was published in ScienceDirect.
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Miller, DO '20 (along with RVU students—see page 16), presented a poster at the ACOFP National Conference, titled, "A Demographic and Regional Comparison of Opioid Use within Communities in the United States." Using a database called the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, they investigated both the number of opioid-related hospital inpatient stays and opioid related emergency department visits in 10 regions of the United States from 2010-2018. The team won 2nd Place for Student Original Research!
Jordan Wilkes, DO '21, Jessica Bautista, DO '21, Adela
Alumni in the News Jie Casey, DO '15, and Annaliese Stone Casey, DO '15, were spotlighted in the Metro State University publication, RED. They discuss their time in medical school together, as well as patient care in their respective fields. They are family physicians with Kittitas Valley Healthcare in Ellensburg, Washington. Dr. Jie Casey specializes in Pediatrics, Obstetrics, and Osteopathic Manipulation; Dr. Stone Casey specializes in geriatrics. https://bit.ly/3qOK4SF
a segment titled, "The importance of timely vaccinations for children." She is a family medicine physician at Rapid City Medical Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. https://bit. ly/3yb0yr4 Andrew Lewandowski, DO '12, was featured in an article, "WI Doctors Encouraged by Biden's Environmental Moves," on WXPR. He is a pediatric specialist at Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin. https://bit.ly/3B61AXc Kylie Liermann, DO '16, was interviewed in the article, "Do Babies Really Need Vitamin D Supplements?" on the Cleveland Clinic website. She is a primary care and pediatrics physician at Strongsville Family Health Center in Strongsville, Ohio. https://cle.clinic/3DaX9vZ Austin Merrill, DO '15, was interviewed in the article, "The rise of telehealth and its impacts on the healthcare industry," in the The California Aggie. He is an Obstetrics and Gynecology specialist with Kaiser Permanente in Bakersfield, California. https://bit.ly/3sTAjV7
Zachary Keller, DO '16, was interviewed by KHGI Nebraska TV in a segment titled, "Vital Signs: Pandemic fuels record-high drug overdose." https://bit.ly/2Wnp4rQ Kay Kelts, DO '13, was interviewed on NewsCenter1 in
Lauren Prest, DO '14, was interviewed in the article, "Fentanyl use on the rise: Hospital hosts training on anti-overdose drug," for Moab Sun News. She is the Medical Director of Health and Recovery Services at Moab Regional Hospital in Moab, Utah. https://bit.ly/3j7Ufjw
Campus Tidbits RVU-CO's SGA and SOMA Chapters invited Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, whom serves as the CEO of the AOA. Dr. Klauer spoke to students about what the AOA does to champion the Osteopathic profession. More importantly, Dr. Klauer emphasized the collegiality between the AOA and our osteopathic medical students, residents and physicians. This talk left our students feeling empowered and inspired to be future osteopathic physicians.
Seven clubs on the RVU-SU campus—AMWA, MSAUP, OBGYN, PsychSIGN, SAAO, ACOP, ACOFP, and ACOS-MSS—contributed to the Hats for Switchpoint Event. Collectively, they donated a total of 57 hats and two scarves to Switchpoint. To encourage students to donate, Cece McWilliams, OMS II, led a workshop in which she taught crocheting.
The Primary Care Podcast is the creation of Ross Tanick, OMS IV. The most recent episode of the Primary Care Podcast features Dr. Carolyn Chen who talks about her life and career as a family-medicine-trained primary care provider for a low socioeconomic and medically underserved community. SD Tanick and Dr. Chen discussed managing biases, the unique challenges of caring for the uninsured, and the importance and benefits of the doctor-patient relationship and continuity of care. Find it on any podcast platform and be sure to subscribe!
In April, a volunteer group of United Airlines employees attended a Stop the Bleed training course under the instruction of Dr. Anthony J. LaPorta and Lt. Ryan Shelton with South Metro Fire Rescue. This oneday pilot training was established as a result of safety concerns voiced by United Airlines employees. The training was a success and there was great participation, along with positive comments, from the United volunteers.
Students in the Urban Underserved Track in Colorado used the Bouquet Speculum (see page 16 for more information about device invented by RVU's own Dr. Jean Bouquet) during their first in-person session.
by Miryam Ha, OMS III Since the beginning of coronavirus pandemic, violence against Asians and Asian Americans has been increasing. Eight people were killed in multiple shootings in Georgia, six of whom were East Asian women. As a way of processing all of this, Miryam Ha, OMS III, has written this heartfelt poem. Consider donating to Stop AAPI Hate or the Asian Pacific Development Center (based in Colorado) in support of the Asian community. whenever the word “oriental” is used to describe me i think of a rug. i guess that isn’t too far off from what is expected of me as an Asian— you know, the “model minority.” i belong to a group that the white majority points to when asked about oppression and racial disparities. “they did it, so you can too.” it seems like our existence is only affirmed when we are quiet, work hard succeed submit. it becomes clearer and clearer that I have been reduced to a tool, a special kind that is used to cater to the whims of others. on some days, i am exoticized, eroticized, infantilized. on others, i am demonized, blamed for the demise of so many people and targeted because of my almond eyes, a part of me that I always despised because they didn’t conform to the white majority. i am angry because it took us this long to see that when the white majority was pointing to us, it wasn’t with their fingers but rather with the barrel of a gun. people who looked like my mother, my grandmother, my aunt, my sister, me.
they are dead because of the way they looked, because of the way the world used them to spread lies. in this time, we will rise like we have always done. with the resiliency in our blood to break free from our bondage and make our voices heard because they have forgotten that even tools can hurt their users.
Artwork by Florence Yip, OMS III
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The latest issue of Rocky Vista University's Vista View Newsletter is out! In this issue, you'll find: - Simulation Workshop Focuses on P...
Published on Sep 1, 2021
The latest issue of Rocky Vista University's Vista View Newsletter is out! In this issue, you'll find: - Simulation Workshop Focuses on P...