Award Winning Newsletter
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December 2021 Newsletter
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Celebrating Class of '21 PA Program Graduates Inside: Students Gain Experience During Dr. Told Weekend
Medical Students Honored at White Coat Ceremonies
COM and MSBS Students Unite Over Their Passion for OMT
Jensen Fisher and Elizabeth Moffett Discuss the History of Medicine Elective during the Library Expo
Table of Contents 3
Research Takes the Stage During Dedicated Week
Contribute and Help Kenyan Women in Need
Celebrating Class of '21 Physician Assistant Graduates
New Mental Health Resources for Students and Their Households
Medical Students Honored at White Coat Ceremonies
Achieving New Heights
Research and Grants
MSBS Class of '22 Coated By Peers at Induction Ceremony
Welcome to Our New Faculty and Staff
RVU Welcomes PA Class of '23
Promotions and Appointments
Updates on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at RVU
From the RVU Alumni Association
Students Gain Practical Experience During "Dr. Told Weekend"
Want to see even more photos from each RVU event? Visit our Facebook pages at: www.facebook.com/RockyVistaUniversity www.facebook.com/RockyVistaUniversitySouthernUtah
Research Takes the Stage During Dedicated Week
Created as a way to showcase the research produced at RVU throughout the year, a dedicated week—aptly called Research Week—saw many student and faculty applicants present their findings, compete for mentorships and cash prizes, and receive critical attention and feedback on their efforts. One event, Shark Week, featured 16 applicants who introduced a research pitch to a panel of "sharks"—Professor Jensen Fisher, Dr. Jan Pryor, Dr. Rebecca Ryznar, and Dr. K. Dean Gubler—in the hopes of acquiring a mentor and/or funding. Every group that presented received at least one mentorship from a shark and some even won cash prizes. Among the largest cash prizes awarded were: Emilie Mathura, OMS III, who received $1,000 for her research pitch on polycystic ovarian syndrome; Sunhee Jung, OMS II, and Rachel Abercrombie, OMS II, who received $1,000 for their research pitch on underserved populations. Tanner Morris Roberts, OMS II, Miranda Monarrez, OMS I, Sharon Ke, OMS I, and Jordan Jones, OMS II, received $500 for their research pitch on laryngeal mask versus endotracheal tube for airway management, and another $500 for their research pitch on virtual reality. Mallory Thompson, OMS I, Melissa Brown, OMS I, and Julia Fernane, OMS I, received $950 for their research pitch on diabetes. On Research Day, students and faculty gave oral and poster presentations via Zoom. A panel of judges graded their performances and the research itself, offering up the following awards: Oral Presentation • 1st Place Presentation: Anthony Tran, OMS III, Thien Ngo, OMS I, Tanner Morris Roberts, OMS II, Jackson Holmgren, OMS II, and Eric Ko, OMS II; Quantitative Ultrasound to Assess Neck Somatic Dysfunction • 2nd Place Presentation: Erin Robbins, OMS I; ABHD14B Inhibition Reduces Expression of Profibrotic Markers Involved in Cardiac Fibrosis • 3rd Place Presentation and Director’s Choice Award Oral Presentation: Adelene Morrow, OMS II, Rachel McCann, OMS IV, Dr. Isain Zapata, and Dr. Benjamin Brooks; Analysis of Treatment Guidelines for Hyperemesis Gravidarum and Nausea/Vomiting of Pregnancy Poster Presentation • 1st Place Presentation: Ashley Hooper, OMS IV, Dr. David Ross, Michael Lowe, OMS IV, Emily Mack, OMS IV, and Emily Schultz, OMS IV; How Does the Rate of Buprenorphine Prescribed in Rural Colorado Counties Compare to Those in Urban Colorado Counties When Treating Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnancy? • 2nd Place Presentation: Stephanie Bradford, MPAS ‘21, and Dr. Lise Johnson; Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on Seasonal Influenza Vaccination • 3rd Place Presentation: Theodore Sheehan, OMS I; Benzodiazepine Administration Patterns Before Second-Line Medications in Pediatric Refractory Convulsive Status Epilepticus
Celebrating Class of '21 PA Program Graduates On November 9th, the PA Class of 2021 gathered at The Cable Center in downtown Denver to celebrate their graduation from what became a unique program in more ways than one. The graduates not only completed 27 months of rigorous coursework, split between didactic and clinical phases, but they did so mostly during a worldwide pandemic. The challenges that the graduates faced as students, both on a personal and academic level, have molded them into more resilient healthcare providers. In her keynote address, Lise Johnson, PhD, Director of Basic Science Curriculum, also emphasized another important trait that the graduates embody: trust. "You aren’t here today because you are so smart, because you are so nice, or because you worked so hard. All of those things happen to be true, but they are immaterial. You are here today because you have proven that you are competent, collaborative, compassionate physician assistants. And we trust you." After the graduates walked across the stage to be hooded and receive their diplomas, they recited the Physician Assistant’s Oath. With it, they pledged to hold as their "primary responsibility the health, safety, welfare and dignity of all human beings." The next step for the new graduates is to take a national certification examination, administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, before they begin practicing in a clinical setting.
Medical Students Honored at White Coat Ceremonies
The first week for RVUCOM Class of 2025 was a combination of icebreaker activities, skills workshops, service-based learning, and, of course, the highly anticipated White Coat Ceremony. In Colorado, they got a glimpse into hands-on learning with a CPR workshop led by students from the Emergency Medicine Residency Interest Club. The next day, they took a (short) trip to Happy Canyon Gulch, which runs alongside campus, to pull up invasive species and weeds as a service project. The week ended with an in-person White Coat Ceremony on the RVU East Lawn, during which students received their white coats, a symbol of commitment to the healthcare profession. Due to higher summer temperatures, students on the Southern Utah campus had to wait until October for their White Coat Ceremony. However, it was worth it as students and their loved ones convened at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts, an impressive outdoor amphitheater where, like their Colorado counterparts, they received their white coats and recited the Class Oath. Prior to the ceremony, Orientation Week for Class of 2025 included a hike to Red Mountain, wellness sessions, and a volunteer day at a local branch of the Utah Food Bank. On both campuses, RVUCOM Class of 2024 – who experienced an entirely virtual Orientation Week and celebration the year before – were also honored with their own in-person ceremonies.
MSBS Class of '22 Coated By Peers at Induction Ceremony In an event planned collaboratively by Student Affairs and the MSBS Program, Orientation Week saw the MSBS Class of 2022 meet with faculty and peers and participate in the Induction Ceremony, which officially welcomed them to RVU. The ceremony was led by Francina Towne, PhD, Program Director, and featured a bevy of speakers both in Colorado and Southern Utah, including: David Forstein, DO, President and CEO; Heather Ferrill, DO, MS, Dean of RVUCOM and Vice President of Faculty Affairs; Joel Roberts, MD, Assistant MSBS Program Director; Desira Vance, OMS II (and MSBS alum), and more. For the first time, alumni from previous MSBS classes had the honor of coating the students from this newest cohort. This tradition reiterates a proud and growing alumni and offers the new students a preview of their future accomplishments.
RVU Welcomes the PA Class of '23 After a virtual start to Orientation Week, the PA Class of 2023 arrived on campus to take part in events, meetings, coat fittings, and mealtime discussions with one another. The third day of Orientation Week began with the new class being fitted for their white coats and taking headshots. Afterwards, they moved on to the icebreaker event, Missing Chair—a game where students took turns sharing facts about themselves. Later, the students took the PA Matriculation Oath, in which they pledged to, among other things, "hold sacred the patient-student relationship" and "seek constantly to grow in knowledge, understanding, and skill." To end the day, the Class of '23 enjoyed an outdoor barbecue, alongside the PA Class of '22, whose Orientation Week had been exclusively virtual during the pandemic. The event featured therapy dogs, which toured the picnic and provided comfort and entertainment for the students of both classes.
Updates on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at RVU by Adrian Clark, Diversity and Inclusion Officer
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council (DEIAC) is working its way through the recommendations provided by the four DEI task force groups (Climate, Communication, Curriculum, and Community). Twenty-six of the recommendations were given the green light for immediate implementation. Of those recommendations, eleven have already been completed (nine of which have been classified as ongoing rather than one-time events). Of the green-lit recommendations, fifteen are still in progress. As a means of addressing several of the recommendations, RVU recently launched Ethics Point, an online application that both students and employees may use to report any issues of concern. This electronic process allows the University to investigate and respond to non-emergency concerns. Users may initiate their complaints or questions anonymously if they wish. See the back cover for more information. A search is now underway for the new Vice-President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Carol Blackshire-Belay, PhD, Vice-President for Institutional Effectiveness, will serve as chair of the search committee for this new position. The position opening was posted internally at the end of November. On the following pages, you will find both student initiatives to explore DEI, as well as the aforementioned recommendations and statuses. The DEIAC and RVU are committed to continuing the process of ensuring Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are an integral component of the University culture.
Adverse Childhood Effects
Trauma Informed Care Series This event was presented by Dr. Robin Dickinson, a Board-Certified Family Medicine Physician, who has designed her practice to meet the needs of patients with prior trauma and mental health struggles. This was an interactive session to show participants how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) can impact future patients from a clinical perspective.
24 SEPT Celebration of Cultures With the stresses of school, work, and everyday life, there isn’t much opportunity to show our unique backgrounds. Celebration of Cultures allowed students, faculty, and staff to creatively showcase a bit of their culture to the rest of the RVU community. Attendees learned about various cultures through dance, art, games, and food. We have amazing people at our school and we hope this event will come back every year to foster understanding and build bridges in our RVU community.
Trauma Informed Care Series This workshop was presented by Andrew Miller (he/him/his) who provides training, consultation, and capacity building assistance through the Denver Health’s LGBTQ Health Services Department. He specializes in Transgender and Gender Expansive affirming care and provides trainings spanning across medical systems, public health departments, academic settings, and communitybased non-profit programming.
16 NOV Denver Graffiti Art tour
Urban Underserved Track The UUT spent an afternoon learning about the history of the RiNo District in downtown Denver. Tour guide Jana Novak gave an engaging and in-depth account of the art, the artists, the culture, history, and future of graffiti and the history, pros and cons, and effects of the gentrification of the area from the time of the Arapahoe and other indigenous tribes through the years of Hispanic and African-American populations.
@patmilbery, @jasontgraves, @pat.mckinney, @remingtonrobinson, for @visitdenver
Understanding Substance abuse
(Photo: Latinx Hard Conversations)
Trauma Informed Care Series RVU’s addiction medicine event had two speakers, both of whom are in long-term recovery from substance use disorder and now work as clinical therapists. Students heard from people who have experienced healthcare and life as people who have faced addiction. The speakers told their stories and gave guidance on how to approach patients/people faced with addiction. The event was a great opportunity to strengthen understanding and empathy for individuals with substance use disorder.
Watch for more events next year, including the 2022 Diversity Summit, which will build upon last year’s success and open new horizons as a cross-campus event. There will be four unique sessions covering a variety of topics: student voices and experiences in January; LGBTQ+ perspectives in February; the politicization of race in March; and religious diversity in April. These sessions are bound to make an impact!
Task force Recommendations
Form RVU committee to address ongoing intersections of DEI in student enrollment management, curriculum development and delivery, community relations, campus climates, and HR.
A university committee has been formed with a subcommittee established for both the CO and SU campuses. Dr. Jacqueline Powell and Mx. Jensen Fisher are the Chairs of the SU and CO Committees, respectively.
Create official reporting structure with 360-degree feedback loop where constituents can report how inclusion concerns or suggestions were handled by leadership for follow-up, coaching, or discipline by supervisors.
Ethics Point (an independent incident management system) was rolled out on October 13, 2021. This allows members of the RVU community to report concerns or issues via a hotline or website. Reports can be made anonymously or include name and contact information for follow-up.
Produce clear, written policy and procedures regarding bias complaint handing for both students and employees, which are consistent across campuses.
Accomplished with the utilization of the Ethics Point system.
Require DEI competencies in hiring decisions, advancement and performance reviews for all employees.
HR has incorporated a job description software which provides an un-biasing tool that RVU will begin using in January. The HR team is currently being trained on the software. LinkedIn Learning training on unconscious bias is being rolled out and has been utilized within a few hiring committees.
Include DEI training in all student orientations.
DEI training was included in orientations for all incoming students and will continue to be a part of future orientations.
Require DEI competency building in training for student leadership.
Training will be implemented during the Student Leadership Training held in the Spring of 2022 with new SGA members.
Encourage Chairs and Vice Chairs to emphasize the importance of and require faculty to take advantage of learning opportunities presented to them (e.g. Magna and IAMSE workshops), as part of organizational culture.
This is being discussed further with the Chairs and Vice Chairs. Consideration of having outcome measures on this to track participation of the faculty in Faculty Development DEI activities.
Create networking group for faculty and staff of underrepresented populations and mentorship opportunities.
The DEIAC is discussing ways to operationalize this recommendation and anticipates working with the University DEI Committee for assistance.
Analyze hiring strategy if demographics do not include a diverse base of candidates. Extend searches as needed.
HR has enabled DEI reporting in the iCIMS applicant tracking system and shares analytics in recruiting meetings on a monthly basis.
Continue training Admission Committee members on cultural competencies, including how different cultures and backgrounds may respond to interview questions.
The DEIAC is working with the Enrollment Management team to determine the best facilitator and training platform for the Admissions Committee.
Formalize the faculty hiring process to mimic the executive-level hiring process, including questions about attitudes or philosophies concerning diversity and inclusion.
HR has included questions regarding DEI attitudes and philosophies in recent leadership searches. The department is discussing ways to expand this to faculty and staff searches as well.
Target underrepresented medical education groups for advertising new positions.
HR is utilizing providers that are diversity focused and who can help with analytics. These providers include DiverseJobs. net, DiversityJobs.com and Job Target.
Collect and publish data through exit interviews and analysis on the retention data and academic performance to identify trends.
A sub team with members from Institutional Effectiveness and HR are working together on this recommendation.
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Complete and ongoing
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Task force Recommendations, cont.
Improve current climate survey to include larger range of data and look at the University of Michigan climate survey as an example. Include DEI on the Climate survey.
A sub team with members from Institutional Effectiveness and Human Resources are working together to combine surveys and data analysis. DEI questions will be included on the survey. The new survey will be administered by early February 2022.
Produce and share a yearly Admissions report for admitted and non-matriculated students including more detailed focus for URM and other diverse students.
RVUCOM survey has been created and automatically sent to all accepted candidates at the point they withdraw. The survey has all been sent to PA candidates who withdrew. Development of a survey for MSBS students who withdrew is underway.
Document complaints/issues come to various reporting spaces, including Deans, Program Directors and Committee Chairs.
This recommendation is being accomplished by using the Ethics Point system for complaints.
Send a University-wide email call out for information.
A DEI section has been developed for the quarterly Vista View newsletter. Plans for a webpage and blog will be further developed when a DEI Officer is in place.
Develop mini-medical schools to introduce underrepresented minority groups to medical professions.
Both campuses have mini-medical school opportunities for primary and/or secondary school students and educational outreach that are focused on the underserved and underrepresented.
Publish results and analyses of RVU Climate survey annually.
The Climate Survey will be administered by early 2022. Results and analyses will be done February - March 2022. This information will be published on the Institutional Effectiveness webpage and the DEI webpage.
Establish an Office of DEI include a structure, The funds for an Office of DEI have been secured and the DEIbudget, responsibilities and employee and stu- AC is focused on developing a job description for a VP of Diverdent partnerships. sity, Equity and Inclusion. Conduct a review of the existing curriculum and learning environment to promote an inclusive program of study.
This is in the beginning stages with curriculum committees determining the best way to accomplish this. The DEI Officer position will be critical in helping accomplish this recommendation.
Provide funding for university-wide anti-racism and anti-bias training.
Funding is secured and Dr. Forstein is currently working with a facilitator on this recommendation to see what can be developed for faculty and staff.
Include a separate question regarding diversity and inclusivity on course feedback/evaluation forms.
Faculty has started including a DEI questions on course feedback/evaluation forms. More work is needed to ensure a section is included in all courses.
Provide university-wide training and annual training for faculty and staff on DEI given by subject matter experts.
HR is reviewing an online program through Traliant Diversity Training and is researching the initial cost estimate.
Create anonymous feedback form that is available on MyVista or iNet and is monitored by Program Heads, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, or other designated personnel.
This is addressed with the roll-out of Ethics Point, an anonymous, web-based reporting system for students that is not part of RVU's system.
Continuation of an ongoing thread of faculty development sessions on social determinants of health, implicit bias, and cross-cultural communication. Recognition of faculty who lead, attend, and participate in faculty development sessions.
This Fall, faculty had the opportunity to participate in two, DEI focused Magna Online seminars. Additional activities are being planned for Spring 2022.
Students Gain Practical Experience During "Dr. Told Weekend" The annual training exercise referred to as "Dr. Told Weekend" by the residents of Baggs, Wyoming took place the weekend of June 4th. Twenty-seven RVU students in the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track participated in realistic simulations to gain practical experiences in triage and emergency medicine. Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP-dist., Acting Associate Dean, who served for many years as a physician for the Little Snake River Valley (LSRV) community prior to his tenure at RVU, was in attendance for the weekend. He was joined by Andy Nigh, MD, FACS, and David Ross, DO, FACEP, Directors of the Rural and Wilderness Medical Track on the Southern Utah and Colorado campuses respectively, as well as emergency medical personnel from Grand Junction, LSRV EMS, and Baggs Fire and Rescue. During the first scenario—a two-vehicle rollover that crashed into a family of picnickers—students were dispatched to the scene and had to figure out how to implement an Incident Command System, triage and treat the patients, and decide how they would transport these patients to area hospitals. The students were divided into groups of responders, both fire and EMS. Although the students had some background in medical treatment, few had experience with fire. The newly appointed student firefighters were taught some fundamentals of fire and rescue by Assistant Chief Jared Wille and his crew. The students had multiple patients to triage, extricate, and eventually treat. The scene had the added chaos of actors from the community that intervened and distracted the students while they attempted to provide care to the injured patients. In between scenarios, the students completed various skill stations. These stations included reading heart rhythm strips, the placement of chest tubes, airway management, and tying sutures.
The second scenario was a meth lab explosion at a trailer park where students entered a smoke-filled home and performed a search and rescue operation. Students had to assess environmental hazards and other potential threats, including a disgruntled landlord firing a gun into the air. Students had to work in confined spaces and deal with distractions, all while triaging patients. After a full day of mass casualty scenarios, Saturday evening had students shrugging off their stethoscopes and borrowed fire gear, and donning Roaring 20s-themed attire to attend the Baggs Ball, an annual fundraiser. Although the ball wasn’t a normal part of the scenarios for students, it did teach a lesson on what rural communities must do to maintain services. RVU purchased six tables and students, faculty, and guests joined the community for a night of fun. The third and final scenario on Sunday morning was a shooting at an elementary school. This simulation, while emotionally challenging, was a valuable experience for students. Students entered the school through a haze of smoke and blaring fire alarms, while also dealing with the strobe effect from the alarms. It was difficult for students to see and hear while searching the building for injured patients and potential hazards. The shooter was also injured and lying handcuffed near the treatment area, leading students to confront their feelings about providing treatment to the shooter. The weekend in Baggs provided students with a real sense of community. Families participated as victims and as actors, creating as many distractions as possible in an effort to provide realistic training scenarios. Students not only experienced the community aspect of being a rural doctor, but also being a physician-as-first-responder at the scene of an accident. Everyone worked hard to give the students an unforgettable experience and a real taste of what it is like to serve as a rural physician with limited resources.
Contribute and Help Kenyan Women in Need In preparation of their month-long trip to Kenya in January 2022, three students—Kyla Graeser, OMS III, Savanna Rosenbaum, OMS III, and Eleza Valente, OMS II—are hosting a fundraiser. This has been endorsed and supported by the Global Medicine Track and by Dr. Camille Bentley. Periods can be annoying and get in the way of daily life for many of us: dealing with cramps, having to pick up tampons, and taking ibuprofen to ease the pain. Yet how many of you have stopped to think about what "annoying" may mean for women in Kenya? What happens when you don't have a store close by? Or when you don't have money to buy pads or tampons? What then? Many of these women end up using dirty rags or pieces of old blankets (thereby risking infection); young girls skip school (often falling behind and/or dropping out); and women's self-esteem can be greatly impacted. Our goal is to decrease all of these negatives and help build women’s self-esteem by providing reusable feminine hygiene kits. This will allow them to move freely and without shame during their menstrual cycles. These kits will be purchased in Kenya to help support the local economy and will be supplied to the women in need this coming January. Our goal is 600 hygiene kits which cost $5-6 US dollars per kit. We have raised enough for about 200 kits and would very much like to double or triple this number. We would greatly appreciate any donation however big or small! Visit https://gofund.me/f5d8f251 or scan the QR code
EMRIC Turns Skills Stations into Obstacle Course On October 11, the Emergency Medicine Residency Interest Club on the Colorado campus built an intricate obstacle course for 60 club members to compete in teams of four. The nine stations, which included intubation, splinting, EKG lead placement, spinal immobilization, Heimlich maneuver, differential diagnoses, cricothyrotomy, tourniquet placement, and IO placement, were set up on the RVU East Lawn and by the side entrance to the Healthcare Simulation Center. For EMRIC’s largest event of the semester, the first half focused on training in each skill, followed by the competition portion. Of the thirteen teams that participated, "Aggressively Average" emerged victorious, winning Starbucks gift cards valued at $20 (and presented in the form of a giant prize check).
Building Community Relationships Through RVU-SU’s EAC
Donna Milavetz, MD, MPH, FACP, joined RVU-SU’s Executive Advisory Council (EAC) in 2017. In that time, she has supported the Council’s efforts in integrating RVU-SU into the Ivins, Utah community, most notably by providing a diverse voice at the Council’s table. In our interview with Dr. Milavetz, she talks about her work with the EAC, what inspired her to become a physician, and her mission of improving health outcomes in the U.S. through her leadership role at Steward Health. What prompted you to join RVU-SU’s EAC in 2017? "[It’s] important for physicians in the community to give back. I think having that relationship between a community physician who is actually practicing and the medical students... is a really important part of the medical education experience. For those reasons, I thought it would be important to be a voice in that conversation. "I also think that as a female physician and [leader], it’s important to model a spectrum of possibilities – not only for women but for anyone – in terms of my circuitous career path: what I thought as a medical student versus what I’m actually doing today." What does the RVU-SU EAC do and/or what is it tasked with doing? "The mission of RVU-SU’s EAC is to have an advisory board for leadership at the medical school and for community relations in Ivins and the greater St. George communities. The Young Doctors program, a project that the EAC raised and operationalized, was two-fold. [The EAC] had to be thoughtful on how to craft it, so we provided input as to what age group to start it at. It was intentional from the EAC as to the age group that we started it at because with kids, once they hit late middle school and definitely high school, there are more biases on education in STEM studies, especially with girls who tend to fall off the curve. [The EAC] really wanted to make sure that we were reaching students at a much more impressionable age to show the possibility of what could be." Visit the RVU Blog to read the rest of the interview
Bilingual Students Help Improve Patient Skills
In Colorado, the Global Medicine Track held a standardized patient event, "Working with an Interpreter," in which students practiced treating a non-English-speaking patient. The goal was to give the track students experience in conducting a visit with a patient who speaks a language foreign to them. The patients were made up of bilingual RVU students: David Burns, OMS II, and Hojin Seo, OMS I, spoke Korean; Tara Talebi-Talghian, OMS I, and Vahid Mashhouri, OMS II, spoke Farsi; Danielle Genov, OMS II, spoke Russian. Additionally, several parents of RVU students volunteered: Sanjay and Swati Dixit—parents of Shivani Dixit, OMS II, spoke Hindi; and, Nalini and Madhav Nunna—parents of Nitya Nunna, OMS II—spoke Telugu.
For each standardized patient encounter, one volunteer acted as the patient and the other acted as the interpreter. The student doctor did not know the patient’s complaint ahead of time nor did they know what language their patient would be speaking. The students had minutes to conduct a history and physical, making appropriate use of the interpreter to work up the case. When working with an interpreter, the student physician was expected to establish a rapport with the patient through the interpreter, while staying focused on the patient. Three RVU students— Stacy Forbes, OMS IV, Simulation Fellow; Hannah Chong, OMS IV, Simulation Fellow; and, Sara Linza-Moscati, OMS IV—with prior experience with this activity volunteered to be observers. They had a briefing of the cases, vitals to supply if the student doctor requested it, and a checklist to note whether or not the student doctor completed the expected tasks and exhibited the appropriate behaviors in the encounter.
New Mental Health Resource for Students and Their Households by Kären Robinson, MS, LPC, NCC, Mental Health and Wellness Therapist
RVU recently began a contract with WellConnect to further support student mental health and wellness. WellConnect offers in-the-moment support from a licensed mental health clinician, as well as access to three free scheduled, professional counseling sessions per presenting concern with their network of providers. WellConnect also offers a whole host of free wellness services including health coaching, legal consultation, and student/life services that can help with housing, food insecurity, childcare concerns, and much more. Lastly, WellConnect also offers a dedicated FAST line for faculty and staff to consult about students of concern. Because we know that our RVU students are whole people who may be living with spouses, children, partners, parents, and roommates, all of these services are also available to any member of an RVU student’s household free of charge. This contract is exciting for several reasons: 1) it increases access to mental health services for students who may be out of their campus state doing clinical experiences; 2) it expands services to household members; 3) it includes more services to alleviate stress and support wellbeing in all of its dimensions; and 4) it also expands consultation coverage for faculty and staff who may be concerned about the wellness of an RVU student to 24 hours a day. WellConnect does not share any information back with RVU without a release of information from the client with the exception of de-identified utilization numbers. Their clinicians are bound by state law and ethical code to protect their clients’ confidentiality (just like your campus Mental Health and Wellness Therapists). The WellConnect phone line is available 24/7/365 by calling 866-640-4777. The FAST Line is available by calling 844-208-7070. For more information, see https://wellconnect.personaladvantage.com/ and use the code RVU.
South Metro Fire Rescue Hosts POCUS Training at RVU by Deidre McGee, Coordinator for Military Medicine/Surgical Simulation
In support of the RVU Community Partnership Program, South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR) continues to lead the way in medical education for paramedics. On August 18th, SMFR hosted an Emergency Medical Technician Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) training event at RVU. Over sixty people participated, including EMT trainees from SMFR, RVU students, paramedics, and standardized patients. Also present were physicians and subject matter experts from Denver Health, HealthOne Sky Ridge, UC Health, Centura Hospitals, and Sonosim, Inc. During this training, students achieved competency in the use and implementation of both the conventional Mindray Ultrasound Scanners and the new state-of-the-art handheld Butterfly Ultrasound Scanners. Pointof-Care Ultrasound is now being used in emergency medicine to evaluate injured victims and trauma patients in the prehospital setting. This proven training puts SMFR ahead of the curve in its ability to treat injured victims at the point of injury prior to arrival at a hospital or emergency room. Simply put, this training saves lives and RVU is proud to play an integral part of this success by providing a safe and professional educational environment. South Metro Fire Rescue has been and will continue to be a valued RVU community partner.
SGA-Led Project Stewardship Offers Students Support No one ever said medical school was easy but with proper support, the gifted students at RVU can rise to any challenge. That support comes in a variety of ways: whether it be from family, friends, or in the case of Project Stewardship, from their student government. Austin Anderson, OMS II, President of the Student Government Association (SGA), knew he had classmates who didn’t receive the moral and emotional support they needed to succeed. "I got the creeping feeling that some of my classmates were really feeling disconnected from their school and from their peers," SD Anderson said. "I asked my class council to be mindful of those that might be especially struggling with isolation and feelings of loneliness." But even then, he worried that it wasn’t enough. To combat this problem, SD Anderson developed Project Stewardship, an initiative designed to help student representatives better know their classmates’ needs, concerns, and struggles. When SD Anderson presented Project Stewardship to his peers, "It passed with unanimous vote," he said. It became SGA’s "vision and goal for this term." Austin Anderson, OMS II One thing that Project Stewardship emphasizes is communication between the SGA and students and that is accomplished, in part, by having each class council president send a direct, personal message to every member of their respective classes. SD Anderson typically sends two open-ended questions: "How are you holding up with everything going on?" and "Is there anything [your] class council can do for you?" So far, these simple questions have yielded great results. Messaging each student didn’t just build conversation, it also served as a foundation for receiving student feedback. "Most responses were cordial and people expressed thanks. However, I was shocked to see how many people were just waiting for someone to ask them that question," SD Anderson said. "I got feedback for what my class council could do to improve curriculum, wellness, programming, and much more," he said. Students who shared major struggles or tragedy were also consoled and made aware of RVU’s counseling and mental health resources.
In addition to friendly conversation and words of encouragement, the project also sends out physical gifts, including gifts to those in need. When the SGA learns of students who have recently experienced loss or trauma, they send a care package. "We have sent a few flower bouquets [and] preassembled care packages. Right now, I have members of my team constructing care packages [for the] students," SD Anderson said. Oftentimes, students receiving care packages are on medical hiatus from RVU, and these gifts keep them feeling connected to their peers at the University. Gift cards are also given sporadically to students at RVU, in what the project refers to as "random acts of kindness." Even small gifts go a long way to brightening someone’s day and, when students can connect with one another and feel secure in sharing their feelings, that makes a big difference. In a time of increased distance and decreased physical support from family and friends, SD Anderson’s efforts are bringing classmates together and creating a more effective and connected student government.
Updates from the Office of SIMS
In August, the Colorado Society of Osteopathic Medicine (CSOM) hosted a highly successful, quality event at RVU-CO's Heathcare Simulation Center. The event, which was also broadcasted virtually, included community practitioners, faculty learners, students, Fellows, and interns. It offered hands-on stations to those present on campus. Staff in the Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery (SIMS) worked diligently to ensure seamless simulations with task trainers, manikins, and ultrasound units. This conference was orchestrated by David Ross, DO, FACEP, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine. Susan Carter, Director of the Office of SIMS, noted that it may have been the first on-campus event to provide full continuing medical education credits. (Pictured at right) In December, five teams of students competed in a clinical scenario in front of faculty judges. Dr. Ross commended the students for their dedication to expanding their medical education. "Most students would not wish to take this extra obligation on. I hope everyone found the experience educational and beneficial." First place went to Team 1: Allison Stassel, OMS II, Kaitlin Williams, OMS II, and Samantha Santora, OMS II. (Pictured at left)
RVU Exhibits Strong Presence at UOMA and UMA Students in RVUCOM-SU's Academic Medicine and Leadership Track—Adam Berry, OMS II, Lawsen Parker, OMS II, Avery Roe, OMS II, and Cheyenne Wong, OMS II—represented RVU at the Utah Medical Association's (UMA) Annual House of Delegates meeting, serving as Student Delegates. Then, at the annual Utah Osteopathic Medical Association (UOMA), several students presented posters during the conference competition. Colby Adamson, OMS II, and SD Berry, won for their research poster presentation, "Osteopathically Oriented Dissection of the Human Cadaveric Superficial Face." Kevin Seely, OMS II, and Jordan Jones, OMS II, were co-authors on the research. SD Parker also presented his research titled, "Use of Rho kinase inhibitors in Ophthalmology: A Review of the Literature", while SD Jones presented his research titled, "Does Risk of Bias Scoring Impact Meta-analysis of Hypotension during Colonoscopy with Propofol Sedation." Finally, David Crimin, DO, CMD, Assistant Professor of Primary Care, was elected as President of UOMA and started his term in August. "It's great to see our excellent faculty step up and serve in the community and state," said colleague Dr. Ben Wilde.
COM and MSBS Students Unite Over Their Passion for OMT by the Staff and Faculty of the MSBS Program
Joel Roberts, MD, Assistant Director of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) Program for Colorado and Assistant Professor of Physiology, realized there was no formal discussion or demonstration around osteopathic principles and practice (OPP) for MSBS students. This was exacerbated last year when MSBS students—who were entirely online due to the pandemic—were unable to access their primary informal exposure to osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT): students in the College of Osteopathic Medicine practicing OMT in the halls before labs. With this identified problem, Dr. Roberts collaborated with OPP faculty and Fellows to create a lecture series for MSBS students. The OPP Lecture Series is a three-part series that was developed and led by the OPP Fellows (and supervised by the OPP and MSBS Departments). The Fellows created the series to introduce the background and history of the osteopathic field, discuss somatic dysfunction, and host a live demonstration. Last year was a remarkable success and this year’s series is currently underway. Jessica Harper, OMS III, and Nicole Wong, OMS III, the OPP Fellows in this year’s lecture series, shared the preliminary data from the 2020-2021 OPP Lecture Series (which took place over three Zoom sessions) and found that there was an overall improvement in the understanding and approval of osteopathic medicine with last year’s class. "[Osteopathic medicine] offers a philosophy and training in how to utilize the unique tool of one's own hands, that I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn," said SD Harper. "It is meaningful to share the prospect of this with others." Not only were the OPP Fellows able to use this experience to enhance their research, but they also took the time to really dig into the theory and history of their profession—all while sharing their passion with eager and engaged MSBS students (as well as possible future OPP Fellows)! SD Wong felt that she has continually benefitted from these lectures by breaking everything down to the basics. She reflected on how she was able to see the practice in teaching the basics of OPP in her clinical rotations, "It is helpful...as I am better prepared to educate the preceptors and patients that I encounter on a day-to-day basis." So, what have we observed? After attending this series, MSBS students have increased their awareness and knowledge of the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, especially those who struggled to understand the difference between osteopathic and allopathic medical degrees. SD Wong hopes that by participating, "it is giving [the MSBS students] a better understanding of what OPP is and how it is utilized in a clinical setting. If anything, it is exposing them to the history, principles, and tenets so that they can be stewards of OPP or [it will] guide them into the [medical] field that they choose to move forward into." As for the data, there is only one year’s worth compiled, so the program looks forward to further developing this series, as well as their research on it. The research benefits of this event are not just for the students, however: the faculty involved are able to use this to develop their own research experience. Lecture series like these have been able to open doors for collaboration, not only across both the Utah and Colorado campus, but doors between programs and departments on the same campus. As we are slowly moving back to in-person, breaking down silos between the campuses and the different programs is a wonderful way to demonstrate the RVU core values. We are so thankful to everyone involved with the creation of this series!
Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Faculty, Staff and Physicians in Training
Arthur Armijo, OMS III, was selected by the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation (CSOF) to receive a scholarship. The CSOF is a Colorado-based nonprofit organization which is positively impacting the state's physician shortage by drawing scholars back to Colorado after medical education and training. Camille Z. Bentley, DO, MPH, FACOFP, Chair of the Department of Tracks and Special Programs, received the RVU Presidential Award for Excellence. She was nominated and selected for the award due to her excellent leadership qualities, her commitment to student success and her dedication to osteopathic education. Amanda Brooks, PhD, Director of Research and Scholarly Activity, was elected as Secretary of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Council on Research. She was also accepted for membership to the Sigma Xi Honor Society for Scientific Research, one of the oldest international organizations dedicated to science and engineering. Finally, Dr. Brooks was added to the editorial board for the Journal of Clinical Medicine Orthopedics. Chinasa Ekweremuba, OMS I, (pictured at right with Dr. Heather Ferrill) received the 2021 Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM). "[This award] is a true testament to [SD Ekweremuba's] hard work, determination and commitment as a student that will make an impactful change as a future osteopathic physician and leader," said an AACOM representative.
Ashley Farmer-Hanson, EdD, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, was appointed to the Colorado Commission on Community Service - Serve Colorado by Governor Jared Polis. She'll be serving a two-year term. Dr. Farmer-Hanson will assist with reviewing grants and administering the funds received for fostering community service, volunteerism, mentoring, and literacy. She will also help with connecting volunteers with local community needs. Ian George, PhD, Chair of the Department of Clinical Anatomy and Osteopathic Principles and Practice, received the RVU-CO Faculty Innovator Award. He was selected for the award due to his exceptional innovation, collegiality and service in multiple capacities. In particular, he converted a challenging and inherently hands-on course into a highly interactive, effective virtual course using new technology without sacrificing quality. Molly Hunsberger, Coordinator for the Department of Primary Care Medicine, received the RVU-CO Administrative Support Personnel Award for Excellence. She was selected for the award due to her ability to wear many hats and provide support to both campuses. She is a problem solver who takes on each project with fantastic enthusiasm and never gives up when presented with a challenge. Caitlin Magee, OMS II, has been awarded the 2021 Donald A. Pegg Student Leadership Award from the American College of Lifestyle Medicine for founding the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at RVU. "As a society, we dedicate so much of our valuable time, energy, and resources toward curing disease—yet we don't prioritize the root cause," she said. "I want to be a leader in the shift in medicine towards preventative care."
Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Faculty, Staff and Physicians in Training
Lawsen Parker, OMS II, was inducted into Omega Beta Iota, the National Osteopathic Political Advocacy Honor Society. "I look forward to continuing to advocate for both my future patients and my peers in the medical field," he said. "A big thank you to everyone who has helped provide me with opportunities to learn and lead throughout my medical education!"
Prakhar Singal, OMS III, was selected by the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation (CSOF) to receive a scholarship. The CSOF is a Colorado-based nonprofit organization which is positively impacting the state's physician shortage by drawing scholars back to Colorado after medical education and training.
Aleesa Rosas, OMS I, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
Andrew Stevens, Security Manager and Clery Act Coordinator, received the RVU-CO Staff Award for Excellence. He was selected for the award due to his commitment to serving the RVU community, including studying, researching, and implementing a program to make both campuses more environmentally friendly. This will make RVU one of only nine schools nationwide that have achieved a carbon neutral footprint.
Jake Roush, OMS II, was elected as the 2021-2022 Western Regional Representative of Student Section of the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine. In this role, he will help plan the Western Region Conference later this year.
Anna Shannon, OMS I, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in August. "We are excited to welcome you into our HPSP family and we are here to support you as you move through medical school and your career," said Heather Martin, OMS I, 2nd Lt USAF.
MAJ Regan A. Stiegmann, DO '14, MPH, FACLM, Co-Director of the Digital Health Track, received the honor of being the 2021 AOF State Emerging Leader by the American Osteopathic Foundation. Nominated by Dr. Joseph Stasio, Dr. Stiegmann was honored as a "new physician in practice within the osteopathic profession" and selected due to her service to others through osteopathic tenets and principles, advocacy efforts, community service, and philanthropic spirit.
Five students from the Physician Assistant Program were given awards at the Class of 2021 Graduation Ceremony. • Collaborative Award: Stephanie Bradford, MPAS ‘21 • Program Director’s Award: Natalie Crump, MPAS ‘21 • Excellence Award: Dana Filias, MPAS ‘21 • President’s Award: Michelle Kahle, MPAS ‘21 • Compassion Award: Avery Soderberg, MPAS ‘21
Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Faculty, Staff and Physicians in Training
Students Volunteer at EM Conference The Rocky Mountain Trauma and Emergency Medicine Conference celebrated its 47th year of providing quality continuing medical education for emergency and trauma care providers. As a highly anticipated portion of this conference, Denver Health hosted the Simulation Competition to an audience of approximately 100 attendees. It was a big hit! This competition provides specialized education for physicians, nursing, and pre-hospital attendees. Second-year RVU students—Luka Bahra, Kaitlin Williams, Karena Tien, Victor Kuo, and Samantha Santora—acted as trauma patients wearing the Cut SuitTM. These patients, along with their vitals and real-time radiographs, were projected onto a large monitor for audience viewing. Read more on the RVU Blog.
Welcome, New RVU Leaders and Board Members! Karen "Kat" Abernathy, GPHR, PHR, CPA, is the new Vice President of Human Resources. For over 15 years, she has provided strategic leadership in the design, development, and direction for HR departments within organizations at the VP and Director levels.
David Irons, CPA, was recently named Vice President of Finance. He has been with RVU since 2015 and most recently has served as RVU’s Controller. His role continues to grow, especially with the addition of overseeing the financials of the Montana Campus.
David Bedell, MBA, MS, joined the RVU Board in August and brings 20+ years of financial and governance experience. He is currently the CFO of HireVue, a leader in the HR technology space.
Stephen Miller, DO, FACOFP, was named Senior Associate Dean of Clinical Education. His role continues to grow as he is overseeing clinical education on a university-level for three campuses, for both DO and PA students.
Carol Blackshire-Belay, PhD, MPhil, is the new Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness. She has served in a multitude of leadership positions including Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Sonoma State University and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Naropa University.
Tammy Sala, MBA, is a new Board Member. She is also Chief Human Resources Officer for Medforth Global Healthcare Education. Most recently, she worked as Chief People Officer for eos Products and Chief Human Resources Officer for HMK Holdings.
Michele Chulick is a new Board member with more than 30 years of operational leadership experience spanning large healthcare systems, academic medical centers, and stand-alone pediatric medical centers.
Beth R. Smolko, DMSc, MMA, PA-C, DFAAPA, is a new Board Member. She is President of the American Academy of PAs, as well as a medical advisor for JPMorgan Chase and founder/President of a nonprofit called The Heart of Medicine, which coordinates volunteer medical trips.
Military-Associated Presentations and Posters Students and faculty contributed to chapters of the new edition of Trauma Team Dynamics, a trauma crisis resource management manual: • Hunter Barnes, OMS III; Michael Kreiser, OMS III; Seth Hill, OMS III: "Paramedic Point of Injury Ultrasound and How It Changes Team Dynamics" • Dr. Susan Carter: "Sim Center Design, Development, and Management" • Christian Clodfelder, OMS III; Jeffrey Edwards, OMS III; William Suddarth, OMS IV; Dr. Rebecca Ryznar: "Resilience/hardiness/EQ/Proteins and how Epigenetics will Change All" • Brent Hunter, OMS IV; Dr. Anthony LaPorta; Dr. K. Dean Gubler: "Problem Solving and Decision Making" • Andrew Kimber, DO ’21: "Paramedical and Nonmedical Personnel" • Dr. Kimber; Susan Roberts, DO ’21; Dr. LaPorta; Dr. Gubler, Dr. Carter: "Mass Casualty Simulation" • Sean Lynch, OMS III; Susan Roberts, DO ’21; Dr. LaPorta: "Cold Injuries and Hypothermia" Dr. Gubler published a chapter in Side Effects of Drugs Annual, a yearly publication focused on existing, new, and evolving side effects of drugs. SEDA seeks to summarize the entire body of relevant medical literature into a single volume, identifying emerging trends and themes in medicine as related to side effects and adverse drug effects. The focus of Dr. Gubler’s contribution included the broad topic of blood, blood components, and blood-related therapies. Dr. Gubler also showcased RVU at a panel hosted by AMSUS, The Society of Federal Health Professionals, about research conducted by the Military Medicine Program, the Office of Research, and the Physician-Scientist Track. Dr. LaPorta published a manuscript entitled, "Robotically Applied Hemostatic Clamping for Care-Under-Fire: Harnessing Bomb Robots for Hemorrhage Control," in the Canadian Journal of Surgery. The research looks at existing law enforcement robots that are capable of providing autonomous hemorrhage control through the application of wound clamps to simulated extremity wounds. American College of Osteopathic Surgeons' 2021 Annual Clinical Assembly Presentations: • Lynzee Allen, OMS II, and Dr. LaPorta: "The Accuracy of Pre-hospital Acquisition and Interpretation of Lung POCUS Images in Patients Presenting with COVID-19 Disease: The Protection of the Hospital Staff on Arrival" • SD Clodfelder, Dr. Ryznar, and Dr. LaPorta: "Delayed Care in Myocardial Infarction and Cerebrovascular Accident Patients in The COVID-19 Pandemic" • Gina DiMattia, OMS III, and Dr. LaPorta: "Usability
• • • •
Analysis of 110 United States Military Residency Programs" Matthew Duerr, OMS III, Dr. Ryznar, and Dr. LaPorta: "The Relationship Between the Hardiness-Resilience Guide (HRG) and Interleukin Biomarkers in Trauma First Responders" First Place: Joseph Farrell, OMS III; Svetlana Morrell, OMS III; Dr. Zapata; Dr. LaPorta; and Dikichhya Karki, OMS III: "Experiential Training for Catastrophe in Military Osteopathic Medical Students: Should Expanding to All Medical Students or Residents be Mandatory?" Dr. LaPorta; Kaitlin Ross, OMS III; Dr. Ross; Dr. Ryznar; Dr. Isain Zapata; Dr. Carter: "Experiential Realistic Immersion Training Improves Standardized Step 2 Examination Scores" SD Lynch and Dr. LaPorta: "Understanding Experiential Realistic Training Versus Static Training in Military Physician Education—The Cut Suit Effect—COMLEX and Intensive Surgical Skills and Trauma Week" Dr. LaPorta: "Quantitative and Qualitative Outcomes of Demonstrated Resilience and Confidence Following Intensive Surgical and Trauma Skills Week (ISTS) Training" Erin Onat, OMS III, Dr. Ryznar, and Dr. LaPorta: "Steroid-Thyroid Hormones Play a Significant Role in Stress Recovery and Contribute to Resilience in First Responders" Second Place: Dean Paz, OMS II; Dr. LaPorta; Dr. Gubler; Megan Ryan, OMS II; and Dr. Ryznar: "Fgf2 is a Predictor of Stress Associated Cortisol Reactivity and Recovery in First Responders" Telyn Peterson, OMS IV, and Dr. LaPorta: "Hiding from the Enemy - Assessment of Polychromatic Light Visualization from a distance" SD Peterson and Dr. LaPorta: "Orthopedic Knowledge Acquisition During Intensive Surgical Skills Training: A Retrospective Analysis" SD Ross, Dr. Ryznar, and Dr. LaPorta: "USMLE Step 2 Board Scores and the Effect of Experiential Training vs Static Training: What We Need to Realize" Dr. Ryznar; Dr. LaPorta; Dr. Mark Payton; Dr. Gubler; Dr. Zapata; and Dr. Amanda Brooks: "Identification Of The Proteins Involved In Building Resilience Among Surgeons, Medics And First Responders" Nicholas Thoma, OMS III, and Dr. LaPorta: "Point of Care Ultrasound in the Field: Earlier Diagnosis Means Earlier Care"
International Trauma Conference Presentations: • Jacob McCleerey, OMS III; Dr. Ryznar; Dr. Ross; Dr. Gubler; and Dr. LaPorta presented "Robots, Hairpins and Apples—What They Might Have In Common In Future Trauma Care" • Dr. Ryznar and Dr. LaPorta presented "Preparing to Prevent PTSD - What Immune Cytokines Play a Role in Stress Reactivity and Recovery in First Responders"
Military and research come together in new collaboration Over the past year, the Military Medicine Program, the Office of Research, and the Physician-Scientist Track at RVU have forged a new partnership that has resulted in an increased volume of research projects at the University. The partnership provides a solid foundation of support for students and faculty and has resulted in RVUers presenting their research at numerous conferences, participating in and winning several competition events, and being published in national and international journals. South Metro Fire Rescue (SMFR), a local fire protection district, also collaborated on a significant number of the research projects. This new coordinated effort between departments and campuses is a phenomenal achievement for Anthony J. LaPorta, MD, FACS, Director of Military Medicine Program and Professor of Clinical Surgery. After 11 years with RVU, Dr. LaPorta will be partially retiring from his role—a transition that will take place over the course of the next couple of years—following his appointment as Associate Editor of Military Medicine, an international, monthly medical journal that promotes awareness of federal medicine. The Military Medicine Program at RVU will then be led by K. Dean Gubler , DO, MPH, currently the Director of Military Medicine Program on the Southern Utah campus. Dr. LaPorta has also nominated Dr. Gubler as his replacement on the Defense Health Board Committee on Trauma, which is presently awaiting White House approval. On the Colorado Campus, Rebecca Ryznar, PhD, Director of Physician-Scientist Track, will be continuing to cultivate
the partnership between RVU and SMFR that has resulted in innovative research, including studying the changes in the physiological response of paramedics in mass-casualty scenarios. Read more about this research on the RVU Blog at https:// bit.ly/3J6QplW Dr. Ryznar will also oversee the research collaborations between the Physician-Scientist Track and the Military Medicine Program. According to her, the latter "has the potential to advance and enrich both programs by providing students with opportunities to not only understand the underlying biochemical basis of training efficacy and performance, but to unlock the pathways to resilience." For Amanda Brooks, PhD, Director of the Office of Research, the most rewarding aspect of the Office of Research’s collaboration with the Military Medicine Program is "the expanding breadth of topics it covers. From uncovering the basic molecular underpinnings of resilience, to the psychology of emotional intelligence, to exploring and mitigating the impact of the stress and fatigue faced by both military and civilian physicians, as well as first responders on clinical practice and emergency response." The early successes – of which there are many – of the collaboration between the Military Medicine Program and the Office of Research and the Physician-Scientist Track point to a bright future for research at RVU.
these high-stress simulations, students learn cricothyroidotomies, deep wound packing, suturing, and combat application tourniquet placements while under extreme stress. This year, there were also two new skill stations: Intraosseous Infusion and Point-ofCare Ultrasound. Read more on the RVU Blog.
Research Elevates Trauma Training One of the highlights for RVUCOM’s military students is participating in the annual Intensive Surgical Skills and Trauma Course, better known as Cut Suit Week, which immerses students in an array of Hyper-Realistic® training simulations including car accidents, active shooters, and explosions. Through
He is currently the Chief Resident at the EM clerkship at SAUSHEC Emergency Medicine Residency Program and the current RAMOPS Vice President. His presentation, "The Joint Service Graduate Medical Education Selection Board," was packed with useful information from GME application requirements to navigating audition rotations.
RVU Alum Presents to Students Military students were honored with a presentation from RVU grad, Captain Renato Rapada, DO '19. Captain Rapada matched into Emergency Medicine at Brooke Army Medical Center—the Department of Defense's largest facility and the only Level 1 Trauma Center with the distinction of being the U.S. Army's flagship medical institution.
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 the Office of Research and Scholarly Activity, and Benjamin Brooks, PhD, Assistant MSBS Program Director, have received FDA approval to begin human clinical trials of their invention, EP Granules with Tobramycin™. This is a synthetic calcium-salt resorbable bone void filler that is designed to provide eight-week delivery of an antibiotic in a local targeted region, while allowing growth of new bone. It is designed to fill a major void in our current treatment of orthopedic infections. Dr. Amanda Brooks also co-authored "Probing Clinical Relevance: Establishing the Efficacy of C. Novyi Against a Panel of 2D Cultured Pancreatic Cancer Cells," which was published in Biomedical Sciences Instrumentation. The study explores the impact of cancer cell lines co-cultured with Wild -Type C. novyi to establish efficacy of this oncolytic bacteria in a monolayer culture.
Joshua Clason, OMS IV, Margaret Liederbach, OMS IV, Nathan Balkman, OMS IV, Edwin Davis, OMS IV, Isain Zapata, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research and Statistics, and Nena Mason, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology, Anatomy, and Ultrasound, were published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery for their research entitled, "The Feasibility of Ultrasound-Guided Knee Arthrocentesis Training Using Formalin-Embalmed Cadavers." The study assessed the feasibility and efficacy of using formalin-embalmed human cadavers in the instruction of ultrasound-guided knee arthrocentesis to medical trainees.
Christian Clodfelder, OMS III, Spencer Cooper, OMS III, Jeffrey Edwards, OMS III, Joshua Kraemer, 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 the American Journal of Emergency Medicine titled "Delays in care for Myocardial Infarction and Ischemic Stroke Patients during the COVID-19 Pandemic." The study examined the outcomes of patients who were treated emergently for myocardial infarctions and ischemic strokes during the pandemic compared to the year previous, finding that although emergency department volume was significantly lower during the early stages of the pandemic, mortality from cardiac events increased despite similar ejection fractions at discharge. David Forstein, DO, FACOG, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Provost, published an article titled "Promoting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Selection of Obstetrician-Gynecologists," in Obstetrics & Gynecology. The article concluded that the biases and structural racism embedded in the evaluation of medical students, screening of residency applicants, and structuring of interview processes must be examined. "This is the time to boldly move toward a more equitable selection of the physicians that our patients need to achieve health equity." Eric Haskell, MPAS '21, and Darcy Solanyk, PAC, MS, Associate Program Director for PA Program, published "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Prevalence in Recreational and Professional Alpine Sports" in The Avalanche Review. Previous studies have shown increased
Research and Grants Furthering the Pursuit of Innovation and Exploration in Healthcare and Education
rates of PTSD in groups that experience life-threatening experiences. This retrospective study utilized an online selfassessment survey to determine the prevalence of traumatic experiences in individuals who partake in high-risk alpine activities and look at the prevalence of associated PTSD.
fication Academy blog. The article looks at the various benefits of POCUS, including the development of a clinical skill prior to residency and the wide availability of ultrasound in clinical settings. You can read the article at www.pocus.org/ the-value-of-pocus-in-medical-school-education/.
Colson J. Healy, DO '21, Matthew D. Brockway, DO '21, and Benjamin B. Wilde, DO, Vice Chair of the Department of Primary Care Medicine, published research entitled, "Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) use among osteopathic physicians in the United States," in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. Research results pointed to impactful barriers to OMT use including lack of time, lack of reimbursement, lack of institutional/practice support, and lack of confidence/proficiency. Factors positively correlated with OMT use included female gender, being full owner of a practice, and practicing in an office-based setting.
Nena Mason, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology, Anatomy, and Ultrasound, has a manuscript titled, "Independent Learning of the Sonographic FAST Exam Technique Using a Tables-Based Training Module" that was recently accepted for publication in the American Journal of Disaster Medicine. The study evaluates the effectiveness of a new tablet-based digital training module as a method, allowing medical trainees to independently learn to perform the focused assessment with sonography in trauma.
Mike Jorgensen, PhD, Director of Gross Anatomy, was published in the International Journal of Morphology for his research entitled "An accessory muscle of the posterior crural compartment of clinical significance: a cadaveric case report." The report identifies an anomalous accessory muscle of the posterior compartment of the leg (Compartimentum posterius cruris) detected during cadaveric dissection and discusses its clinical significance. Jordan Jones, OMS II, created a meta-analysis on hypotensive events in colonoscopy with Propofol (Diprivan) and Midazolam (Versed) sedation for a multi-national research project entitled "Hypotension during propofol sedation for colonoscopy – an exploratory analysis." The project was published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia. Michael Lowe, OMS IV, and Abigail Meckley, OMS IV, published an article, "The Value of POCUS in Medical School Education," on the POCUS Certi-
Mark Payton, PhD, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, published research entitled, "Influence of temperature and photoperiod on the fecundity of Habrobracon hebetor Say (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and on the paralysis of host larvae, Plodia interpunctella (Hübner) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)," in Insects. The result of several studies suggests that H. hebetor can paralyze host larvae of P. interpunctella more efficiently and deposit more eggs at temperatures within the range of 20 to 30 degrees. Rasa Rafie, OMS IV, published research entitled, "A Systematic Review and MetaAnalysis of Intraperitoneal Bupivacaine in Laparoscopic Gynecologic Surgery," in the Journal of Pain Research. The research concluded that Bupivacaine significantly reduced the visual analog pain score for pain compared with that of the placebo at 6 and 24 hours postoperatively.
Kevin Seely, OMS II, Cody Kotelko, OMS IV, Hannah Douglas, DO '21, Brandon Bealer, DO '21, Dr. Amanda Brooks published "The Human Gut Microbiota: A Key Me-
Research and Grants Furthering the Pursuit of Innovation and Exploration in Healthcare and Education
diator of Osteoporosis and Osteogenesis," in the International Journal of Molecular Science. Their review considered the human gut microbiota composition and its role in osteoclastogenesis and the bone healing process, specifically in the case of osteoporosis. Meredith Ware, OMS II, published research entitled "Pancreatic Fat Relates to Fasting Insulin & Postprandial Lipids but Not Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in Adolescents with Obesity," in Obesity. For the research, she analyzed pancreatic fat from MRI data, then compared pancreatic fat to liver fat in adolescent girls with obesity. They found that pancreatic fat was not related to polycystic ovary syndrome, but it was related to worse fasting insulin and postprandial lipids. Isain Zapata, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research and Statistics, was published in Brain Function and Structure for his research entitled, "Neurodevelopmental scaling is a major driver of brain–behavior differences in temperament across dog breeds." The result of the study suggests that the established link between dog body size and behavior is due at least in part to disproportionate enlargement of later-developing regions in larger brained dogs. The study discusses how this may explain the known correlation of increasing reactivity with decreasing body size in dogs.
'14, Co-Director of the Digital Health Track, recorded segments which were presented along with the research. The presentation was about utilizing the lessons learned by women in their pursuit of science and medicine and breaking glass ceilings to further empower women to take a more active role in digital medicine.
Andrea Done, OMS III, Mary Saidov, OMS III, Shannon Sturgeon, OMS III, and Tyler Yates, OMS III, won Honorable Mention for Excellence in Presentation at the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists 2021 Advances in Women's Health Conference Poster Competition for their research titled, "Postpartum Hemorrhage Simulation for Second- and Third-Year Medical Students Across Two Geographically Separate Campuses." Amanda Fahrenbruck, OMS IV, presented "COVID-19 Reveals a Diagnosis of Erdheim-Chester Disease," winning third place at the American College of Osteopathic Internists Medical Student Case Presentation Poster Competition. Her co-author on the poster was Johnny Cheng, DO, Regional Director of Clinical Education.
Presentations Michael Kreiser, OMS III, presented his abstract "Prehospital Point-of-Care Ultrasound Use by Paramedics during Cardiac Arrest," at the Special Operations Medical Scientific Assembly 2021.
Paige Nahod, OMS II, Samantha Santora, OMS II, and Brian D. Schwartz, PhD, MLIS, Director of Library Services, presented "Getting Women Up to the Virtual Chalkboard" at the Women in Medicine Symposium. Regan Stiegmann, DO
Avery Roe, OMS II, Adelene Morrow, OMS II, Austin Martinez, OMS II, Hyein Kil, OMS II, and Jenna Buckleitner, OMS II, presented, "Analysis, Implications, and Future Directions in the Treatment of Minority Patients in Healthcare" to Baylor College of Medicine's Center of Excellence in Health Equity, Training, and Research, overseen by their Office of Institutional Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. Jacqueline Powell, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology, served as Principle Investigator for the abstract.
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Seneca Atwood, MBA, MHA Clinical Rotations Coordinator, Dept. of Clinical Education; RVU-SU Seneca comes to us from her lifelong home state of New Mexico, bringing her work experience and dedication to RVU-SU. A graduate from the University of New Mexico, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Medicine, before going on to earn her Master of Business Administration and Master of Health Administration degrees. Seneca is excited to join RVU because "the on-campus environment is so fun…[my] coworkers make coming to work really enjoyable." She also attributes the fun environment to RVU’s students: "[The] students are pursuing the coolest opportunities," Seneca says. "I enjoy helping them chase their interests and pursue cool learning opportunities." When she’s not hard at work, Seneca enjoys camping, hiking, yoga, traveling—her favorite travel destination so far has been Thailand—and eating diverse food. Despite her seasoned palate, she admits she’s never been to Taco Bell. Welcome to RVU, Seneca! Carol Blackshire-Belay, PhD, MPhil, MA Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Institutional Effectiveness; RVUCO Dr. Blackshire-Belay began her career entrenched in the German language. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in German Linguistics from the University of Michigan; a Magister Artium degree in Germanic Languages and German Cultural Studies from Ludwigs-Maximilians Universität München in Munich, Germany; a Master of Arts degree in German and Germanic Linguistics, and a Doctorate degree in Germanic Linguistics from Princeton University. As a graduate student, she lived in Germany for approximately 14 years, studying and conducting research in Germanic Linguistics. As a theoretical Germanic Linguist, Dr. Blackshire-Belay has published numerous scholarly articles, authored books, edited book volumes, research essays, book chapters, and book reviews. She has also lectured and given keynote addresses
at a number of distinguished universities across the United States and abroad, including Indiana University, Rutgers University, St. Norbert College, the Free University Berlin, the University of Leipzig, University of Bénin (Lomé, Togo), and the Technical University Berlin. Following graduation, she served in a multitude of distinguished positions and institutions, including: Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Wisconsin; Professor and Department Chair of African and African-American Studies and Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Indiana State University; and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Sonoma State University. Most recently, she was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Now Dr. Blackshire-Belay is excited to be a part of RVU because it offers "the opportunity to work in the osteopathic medical university environment" where she can provide "insights, guidance, and expertise within higher education in a uniquely productive and satisfying way." In addition to work and study, Dr. Blackshire-Belay is a practitioner of Ikebana, the Japanese art of displaying flowers. She loves listening to jazz and cooking (particularly international dishes) for large gatherings of family and friends. She’s a highly people-oriented individual and loves to interact, engage, and learn from others. An interesting fact about Dr. Blackshire-Belay is that her favorite travel destination is the walled city of Urbino, Italy. Willkommen, Dr. Blackshire-Belay! Tamara Campbell Coordinator, Office of Military Affairs; RVU-SU Born and raised in Utah, Tamara has lived in different places throughout the state but has called St. George her home for over 20 years now. She attended Dixie State University as a non-traditional student alongside her children and graduated in 2013 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications (with an emphasis in Organization and Leadership). Tamara has worked in healthcare for most of her adult life, including as an office manager, medical transcriptionist, and in medical coding and billing. Most recently, she worked with SkyWest Airlines as their Benefits Communication Specialist.
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! "My experience as a non-traditional student had a profound effect on me, and the experience was so empowering. I love learning and I look forward to being a part of RVU to share my enthusiasm and 'pay it forward.'" In her role as Coordinator, Tamara is looking forward to being a "cheerleader" for military students. "I am passionate about education and all that it offers…I have great respect for the military and am eager to learn all I can and help students rise to their potential." When not at work, Tamara loves spending time with her family camping and boating, especially at Lake Powell. They’re also avid fans of sports and often travel to college football games in the fall. On occasion, she and her kids will fire up a game of Rock Band. "Although old, we still like it!" Rock on, Tamara! Caitlyn Dee Print Center Assistant, Facilities and Grounds Department; RVU-CO Caitlyn originally came to Colorado when her husband attended school in the state; however, the mountains convinced them to make the move permanent. A graduate of Utah State University, Caitlyn has a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Consumer Sciences. She previously worked in interior and exterior design. Now that she’s at RVU, she’s excited to be part of such a great team. When she’s not assisting the Print Center, Caitlyn enjoys spending time with family and being in the great outdoors. Welcome, Caitlyn! Jawhara Edwards Library Assistant, Frank Ritchel Ames Memorial Library; RVU-CO Jawhara, originally from Central Pennsylvania, has also called Maryland and even Australia home. But now that she and her husband live in Colorado, they are happy to be here. "We’ve always wanted to live here and we were glad for the opportunity to move," she says. Jawhara earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music, as
well as a Teaching English as a Foreign Language Certification from Towson University. Quite the experienced traveler, Jawhara enjoys riding motorcycles and claims South Korea is her favorite-ever vacation destination. When Jawhara is not jumping through hoops to help students at our library—where she loves assisting others with their research—she likes to perform circus flying trapeze and silks. This is a combination of work skills and hobbies that is likely only found among the amazing staff at RVU. Hwan-yeonghada, Jawhara! Kelli Glaser, DO, MPH Associate Professor of Family Medicine, Dept. of Primary Care Medicine; RVUCO Born and raised in the Denver area, Dr. Glaser completed her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree at Kansas City University. Afterward, she completed her residency at Providence Hospital in Michigan. She came to work with RVU when it opened in 2008, while practicing family medicine and OMT at Centura Health. She recently graduated with a Master of Public Health degree from A.T. Still University (ATSU) and was accepted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Osteopathic Medical Educators. When asked what made her excited to return to RVU, Dr. Glaser said, "RVU has always been very innovative and has a way of inspiring students to explore their passions and…do great things in medicine." She also recognized the role that mentors have played in her life and how they have inspired her in her career. "My mentors…were teachers and—while I’m very proud to be an osteopathic family physician with unique skills in taking care of patients—working in medical education and helping teach the next generation of physicians has been the most inspiring and rewarding for me." Dr. Glaser brings a wealth of experience to RVU, including serving as the Course Director of several clerkships at ATSU, Vice President of the Colorado Society of Osteopathic Medicine, President of the Denver Regional Osteopathic Medical Association, and past President and executive board member of DOCARE International. She was also the principal investigator on a grant from the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to study the impact of an online clerkship curriculum on national exams.
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Having visited 35 countries, it’s safe to say that travel is one of Dr. Glaser’s favorite things to do. She also enjoys camping, hiking, biking, and spending time with others. An interesting fact about Dr. Glaser is that she was the first in her family to earn a college degree! "I love learning and find something new to learn every day."
er Education Administration emphasis) from Southern Utah University (SUU).
Welcome back, Dr. Glaser!
Amy thinks working with students is inspiring and finds joy in watching students succeed since she may have "helped with that achievement."
Angela Hall Clinical Rotations Coordinator, Dept. of Clinical Education; RVU-SU A native of St. George, Angela has lived all over Utah, Ohio, and even on a sailboat in the Caribbean. She earned her Bachelor in Behavioral Science degree from Utah Valley University and is currently working toward her Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree from Abilene Christian University. Before joining RVU, Angela worked with faculty, staff and students from Utah Valley University, Southern Utah University, and Dixie State University, as well as a number of hospitals, clinics, and physicians through SelectHealth and Intermountain Healthcare. Angela is excited to work for RVU because of its "reputation of care and innovation." Through her work, she wants to "help students reach their goals and fullest potential." She is thrilled to be part of the support that builds students up in a way that benefits themselves and others. When she’s not hard at work, Angela enjoys biking, swimming, hiking, and snowboarding. Her favorite place she’s ever visited is Culebrita, a small island near Puerto Rico that’s great for snorkelers and hikers alike. An interesting fact about her is that she is a sea captain and was in Puerto Rico, along with her family, during Hurricane Maria. Welcome aboard, Angela! Amy Humphries, MPA Clinical Rotations Coordinator, Dept. of Clinical Education, RVU-SU While Amy has called Salt Lake City and Las Vegas home, she was born and raised in Cedar City. She earned her Bachelor of Science in General Studies degree and Master in Public Administration degree (with a High-
After graduation, she worked at SUU for six years, helping with the student government, programming board, and Rural Health Scholars programs.
When she’s not working for the benefit of the students at RVU, she loves cooking, traveling, and spending time with her ten children and 25 grandchildren! Welcome, Amy! Coleen Orth Administrative Assistant, Office of Admissions; RVU-SU A New Yorker and an honorary Arizonan, Coleen and her family settled in Utah for her husband’s work five years ago. After living in Santa Clara, they recently made the move to Little Valley where they are excited to meet new people and try new things. She is married with three teenagers—two daughters who want to go into the medical field and a son who wants to play in the NFL. Coleen’s education and work background touch upon a variety of fields, with the majority of her education being in social work, journalism, and accounting. Before coming to RVU, she was the City Recorder in Toquerville, Utah where she handled code enforcement, building permits, and the city council election process. She also spent time at the State Liquor Store—"By far the most entertaining job I’ve ever had!"—and later worked at SkyWest Airlines in human resources. Prior to moving to Utah, her background consisted of office management, project management, executive assistant roles, event planning, and fundraising. In her own words, Coleen enjoys "handling the moving pieces that no one sees so that an event or project can appear impeccably planned and executed, even if chaos has ensued during the entire process." She also strives to find solutions and areas for improvement daily. When not at work, Coleen enjoys traveling to anywhere with a beach, with Coronado Island in California taking the top spot. She also enjoys gardening, hosting parties, decorat-
Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! ing and home staging, camping, spending time at a lake or beach, and anything music-related. An interesting fact about Coleen is that despite being terrified of heights, her first date with her husband was skydiving (which did not cure her of that fear). Though she still has acrophobia, Coleen does want to try indoor skydiving and ziplining one day. "I may be terrified of those things, but it doesn’t mean I won’t do ‘em." Welcome, Coleen!
When she’s not at school, Daphne loves to watch movies, bake, and spend time with friends and family. "I also enjoy coordinating weddings and events and doing anything craft-related." Daphne has been happily married for seven years. She has one son and another on the way. That’s three kids total if you count Waffles, her Dachshund-Corgi mix. Welcome, Daphne! Scott M. Wilkie, DO, MS Assistant Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practice, Co-Fellowship Director, Dept. of Clinical Anatomy and Osteopathic Principles and Practice; RVU-CO
Bonnie Stanford Administrative Assistant, Office of the Dean; RVU-CO Bonnie is a Colorado native and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Disorders Speech Science from the University of Colorado Boulder. Bonnie has a diverse professional background, having worked in secondary education, pharmaceutical healthcare, and sales and recruiting. When she’s not helping out the University with her wealth of experience, she enjoys hiking, walking, cycling, cooking, and travel. When she thinks of her hobbies, her favorite quote by John Muir comes to mind: "In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks." Welcome, Bonnie! Daphne Tsung Administrative Assistant, Office of Student Affairs; RVU-CO Daphne has experienced her fair share of first days at school, having been born in California, raised in the south of Texas, and finally moving to Colorado during high school. To top it all off, she worked in public education for 12 years, most recently in the counseling department at Thunder Ridge High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. But now that she’s had her first day at RVU, she’s finally found the school for her. "The people [at RVU] are very friendly and helpful. I cannot wait to be a part of the team," Daphne says.
Dr. Wilkie’s educational history is varied and extensive; he began his undergraduate studies at Michigan State University, where he studied fisheries and wildlife, then continued his undergraduate studies at Prairie State University, where he studied fire science. He completed his undergraduate studies at Purdue University, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice. After earning his Bachelor’s degree, Dr. Wilkie continued on at Purdue University to earn his Master of Science degree in Biology. He then attended medical school at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his medical residency in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine at Michigan State University. One imagines that when Dr. Wilkie is rooting for his college sports teams, he has to change his jersey after each quarter. Dr. Wilkie was brought to Colorado by his "love of the outdoors and exploration through hiking and climbing." He enjoys hiking and fishing, all with his favored backdrop of the mountainous outdoors. One of his hobbies, soccer, once yielded a professional opportunity: he was accepted to play professional soccer in Mexico. He stayed there for a stint before returning to the U.S. to finish his education. Now that Dr. Wilkie is in Colorado, he looks forward to engaging in some of his old hobbies when time permits: falconry, tennis, cooking, and ballroom dancing. Welcome, Dr. Wilkie!
Welcome from Montana! Mark C. Lee, MD, FACP Assistant Dean of Clinical Education and GME, Dept. of Clinical Education; RVUMCOM Dr. Lee’s relationship with Montana began decades ago when his parents relocated to Bozeman. Although his education took him to many locations, he always wanted to come back to the state. When the opportunity arose to help lead the new Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency program, he eagerly moved back in 2017. The transition to RVU-MCOM was an exciting chance to embrace and pursue his teaching philosophy of positively impacting and improving patient care through the promotion of medical education. "The lives we touch through our learners is inspiring!" Dr. Lee received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Chicago Medical School and then joined the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Arizona. He progressed to the rank of Professor of Medicine at University of New Mexico and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, spending two decades of his career at the latter. He has served as one of the longest standing Associate Directors for their Internal Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Lee currently holds the rank of Professor of Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and Clinical Professor at WWAMI-MT University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Lee’s enjoys spending time at his family ranch in Shields River Valley, Montana. He and his wife, Staci (an Infectious Diseases physician), along with daughter Charlotte, enjoy wildlife watching, hiking, fly fishing, archery, shooting sports and taking care of their two pugs. Welcome Dr. Lee! Jody Stahl Human Resources Manager, Dept. of Human Resources; RVU-MCOM Jody is a native Montanan with a Bachelor of Science from Montana State University-Bozeman. With more than 10 years of Human Resources experience in state agencies and higher education, Jody brings a wealth of knowledge to her new position. She was initially drawn to human resources because she likes problem-solving and being part of solutions. As the new (and first!) HR manager for RVU-MCOM, Jody is excited to see everything being built: the physical building and campus, a new team,
and important community partnerships. Jody will bring her experience and passion to RVU-MCOM, assembling a strong team for Montana’s first osteopathic medical school. Jody’s love for Montana is rooted in the geography and beauty of the state. One of her first jobs was in Yellowstone National Park, working as a wrangler. Jody guided the trail rides, cared for 70+ horses, and provided commentary about Yellowstone to the guests. Yellowstone Park became one of her favorite places because it has everything she enjoys: mountains, forests, lakes, geysers, wildlife, and history. Outside of work, Jody enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, camping, snowshoeing, and kayaking. She also likes to crochet while watching Netflix, cooking, and reading. Interestingly, she once worked for Lifetouch National School Studios as the "Picture Day photographer" in schools across Montana and Wyoming. This allowed her to travel many miles and to see almost every small town in Montana. Welcome Jody! Emma Stafford Executive Assistant to the VP and Dean, Office of the Dean; RVU-MCOM Montana has always been home for Emma, except for a short stint in Oklahoma. Emma graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling from Montana Bible College. Before joining RVU-MCOM, she spent six years with Bozeman Deaconess Health, working in administration; prior to that, she worked as an event coordinator and an interior design assistant. Emma is excited to be in on the early stages of starting a new school. Her experience and expertise in administration will benefit RVU-MCOM’s early team, along with her overthe-top passion for organization and willingness to help her colleagues. RVU-MCOM’s robust, positive work culture immediately appealed to her, and she is grateful to be part of a team that values excellence and collaboration. In 2016, Emma and her husband spent five weeks traveling through Western Europe, including visiting what is now her favorite place: Isle of Skye, Scotland. Emma loves the outdoors, but you might also find her enjoying a rousing game of Catan and spending time with her two-year-old niece. Welcome, Emma!
Promotions and Appointments Mike Crockett has been promoted to Programmer/Systems Administrator. He previously served as AV and Help Desk Technician. Mike began at RVU in 2017.
David Irons, CPA, has been promoted to Vice President of Finance and will continue to also serve as Controller. His role continues to grow, especially with the addition of overseeing the financials of the Montana campus. David began at RVU in 2015.
Melissa Davidson has been promoted to Testing and Assessment Specialist. Previously she served as Office of Testing Coordinator. Melissa began at RVU in 2010.
Elizabeth "Beth" Irvin has been promoted from Administrative Assistant to Coordinator in the Office of Testing. Beth began at RVU in 2019.
K. Dean Gubler, DO, has received a title change, transitioning from Professor of Military Medicine to Professor of Surgery and Military Medicine, as well as Director of the Military Medicine Program. Dr. Gubler began at RVU in 2020.
Matt Linton, PhD, has been promoted to Assistant Dean of Preclinical Curriculum for RVUCOM; he previously served as Director of Preclinical Education. He also continues to serve as Professor of Physiology. Dr. Linton began at RVU in 2017.
Rick Hann has been promoted to Manager of Facilities and Grounds. He previously served as Senior Facilities and Grounds Technician. Rick began at RVU in 2017.
Stephen Miller, DO, FACOFP, has been promoted to Senior Associate Dean of Clinical Education. He will be overseeing clinical education on a University-level for three campuses, and for DO and PA students. Dr. Miller began at RVU in 2019.
Robert Henderson, MD, DO, ThM, has been promoted to part-time Associate Professor of Primary Care. He previously served as Adjunct Faculty. Dr. Henderson began at RVU in 2019.
Clare Rubio has been promoted from Administrative Assistant to Program Coordinator in the Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery. Clare began at RVU in 2021.
Teodor Huzij, DO, FACN, has been promoted from Assistant Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practice (OPP) to Associate Professor of OPP. Dr. Huzij first began at RVU as an adjunct faculty member in 2011.
Jennifer Williams, PhD, has received a title change, transitioning from Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness to Senior Institutional Data Analyst.
From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association
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Dear RVU community, I hope you are all doing well, staying safe, and enjoying the fall/winter transition. • RVU’s PA Program held their second-ever commencement ceremony on November 9th. Congratulations to all of the new graduates! Equally exciting for the Southern Utah campus was the matriculation of RVUCOM-SU’s Class of 2025 during their White Coat Ceremony on October 9th. • Third- and fourth-year medical students had a blast participating in Surgery Week, where they had the great privilege of working with our innovative and realistic surgical body suits. • On the Alumni Association side of things, we now have alumni participation in the Executive Advisory Council. I am honored to represent us and I look forward to future collaborations with RVUCOM leadership! • We had a successful participation in the American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF) Honors Gala in late October. Congratulations to all our fellow osteopathic physicians across the country for their awards, contributions, and efforts in the medical and educational community! The AOF collectively raised nearly $500,000 this year for osteopathic medical school scholarships, research, and more. • We are working on a podcast for medical students as a way to connect with alumni. More to come! • In late April 2022, there will be a CME and networking opportunity with the OMM workshop on Facial Distortion. Come learn more rad OMT skills and collaborate with some current medical students. • We are working closely with Zoe Roth, OMS III, Chair of OMSC and Co-President of the Inter-Professional Addiction Medicine Special Interest Group, to create even more opportunities for students and alumni to network. Stay tuned! Please stay safe and well. Have a wonderful holiday season! Sincerely, Bobby Petro, DO ‘14, Certificate of Added Qualification - Sports Medicine Alumni President
Milestones and Achievements Tyler Anstett, DO '12, was published in the American Journal of Medical Quality. His research, titled "Teaching students to Transform: The Health Innovations Scholars Program (HISP) 6 Years Later," analyzed career outcomes from six years of the HISP to better understand how the program affected the graduates' future involvement in health system transformation and leadership. Adrianne Bryant, MPAS '20, accepted a position with Sidney Health Center, located in Sidney, Montana. She will work in the Same-Day Clinic division at the medical office, seeing patients with immediate care needs.
Cecily Dupree, DO '12, was published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology. Her research, titled "Antibodies from Multiple Sclerosis Brain Identified EpsteinBarr Virus Nuclear Antigen 1 & 2 Epitopes which are Recognized by Oligoclonal Bands," sought to identify disease-relevant epitopes of IgG antibodies in MS. Nicholas Frane, DO '16, published research with the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, titled, "Review of Industry Payments to General Orthopaedic Surgeons Reported by the Open Payments Database: 2014 to 2019". This research concluded that industry payments made to orthopaedic surgeons dur-
From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association
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Milestones and Achievements ing this timeframe increased with "a considerable disparity in payments among the top-paid orthopaedic surgeons."
Charles Simpkin, DO '18, was published in Pediatrics. His research, titled "ChildhoodOnset Sjogren Syndrome Presenting as Pulmonary Hemorrhage," highlights the heterogenous presentation of the syndrome in the pediatric population and the need for increased awareness among providers to recognize the potential systemic manifestations.
Megan Johanning, DO '13, was appointed Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.
MAJ Regan A. Stiegmann, DO '14, MPH, FACLM, received the honor of being the 2021 AOF State Emerging Leader by the American Osteopathic Foundation. She was selected due to her service to others through osteopathic tenets and principles, advocacy efforts, community service, and philanthropic spirit.
Gennarina L. Riso, DO '19, was selected to be Chief Resident for 2021-2022 academic year at her Emergency Medicine residency program at University of Tennessee - Nashville. "Wanted to share the news to thank all of RVU for giving me such a great education," she said.
Alumni in the News Jesse Casaubon, DO '13: "Doctors from Baystate Medical Center answer viewer questions"; Western Mass News. https:// bit.ly/3dkOqvj Faith Chapman, MSBS '17: "Nursing students serve fellowships usually reserved for medical students"; Johnson City Press. https://bit.ly/3dewKS9 Elizabeth Fisher, DO '15: "How your GP supports your mental health"; Florida News Times. https://bit.ly/3IhZpEn Justin Grant, DO '15: "Common Hand and Wrist Injuries"; Daily Sentinel. https://bit.ly/3GcCzvJ Ryan Greene, DO '15: "8 Signs Your Fitness Routine is Working Even if You Aren't Seeing Physical Changes"; https://bit. ly/3dEAJYl Zachary Keller, DO '16: "CHI Health seeing an increased number of people seeking help for mental health"; NTV News. https://bit.ly/3ElgxXc
Kayla Knauss, DO '15: "Now is the time for sports physicals and immunizations"; Gothenburg Leader. https://bit.ly/3ojH2XI Rebecca Lewis, DO '12: "Medical student observes Enid doctor"; https://bit.ly/3Di3CUL Nicolaus Mize, DO '15: "Inside People: Nicolaus Mize helps heal Estes Park"; Estes Park Trail Gazette. https://bit.ly/31g4uwk Meghan Moyle, DO '13: "As Oregon reopens, don't put off that visit to the doctor's office"; https://bit.ly/3xO2uqF Abigail Russ, DO '16: "POL keeps RED FLAG-Alaska 21-2 fueled to fight"; https://bit.ly/3EGS1jn Regan Stiegmann, DO '14: "Lifestyle and Performance Medicine shows promising impact on Airman, Guardian readiness"; https://bit.ly/3EyA0nH David Valencia, DO '14: "Anosmia a common effect of COVID-19, regaining sense of smell can take months"; La Crosse Tribune. https://bit.ly/3s7s21t
Campus Tidbits Current Digital Health Track (DHT) students are building an eight-module continuing medical education curriculum on the foundations of Digital Health in partnership with DiME (https://www.dimesociety.org/) and American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP). This unique DHT student-driven curriculum will be publicly released in early 2022 from ACOFP, so keep your eyes open to learn more!
A retirement reception was held for Dr. Dwight Hertz on October 18th. In 2012, Dr. Hertz joined RVU as Professor of Pathology from the American University of the Caribbean.
Catherine Lewis Saenz, Communications Coordinator, and Jerry Duncan were married on October 16, 2021 at The Pines at Genesee in Golden, Colorado. They met on the school bus in 2006 and reconnected nine years later. They’ll be traveling to Alaska next summer for their honeymoon.
His excellence in teaching and mentorship at RVU was profound and he was awarded the RVUCOM William Osler Award for Excellence in Teaching three times. He also served as advisor to multiple clubs, including the Dermatology/Pathology Club, the Integrative Medicine Club, and the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Club. He was honored outside the University as a Fellow of the College of American Pathologists, a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, and as a member of the International Association of Medical Science Educators. During his time at RVUCOM, he has earned admiration, respect, and appreciation from his colleagues and students. He had passion and dedication when teaching RVU students, not to mention being a true friend and mentor to many faculty and staff.
The Primary Care Podcast is the creation of Ross Tanick, OMS IV. The most recent episode of the Primary Care Podcast features Coleen Maher, DO '21, and Michal Klepadlo, DO '21. Find it on any podcast platform and be sure to subscribe! Zach Rumlow, OMS IV, helped develop a podcast, Peds Cases, which takes a look at relevant anatomy, basic definitions, and most common presentations of periorbital and orbital cellulitis, as well as red flags of severe disease and effective therapies. Alexandra Moody, OMS II, provided anatomical illustrations for the script. Kevin Seely, OMS II, was published in The DO Magazine and KevinMD for his article titled, "Doing good in the world as a medical student." In it, he outlines different ways that medical students can meaningfully contribute to their communities.
Thank you to all who came to the event and to those who organized it. He will be dearly missed! Submitted by Terri McNair
On October 13th, Track or Treat was held on both campuses. This is an annual event, hosted by the Department of Tracks and Special Programs, which introduces first-year students to the many tracks available at RVU. This year, there were over 400 sign-ups by students for the various tracks, some of whom showed interest in more than one track.
Campus Tidbits This year, RVUers were not going to let the flu get the best of them. The Fight the Flu campaign saw 138 entries into a giveaway contest that included RVU branded gear like beanies, jackets, and waterbottles. The campaign was created and sponsored by the Marketing Department.
The death of Edgar Allan Poe remains a mystery to this day. He was found in a state of delirium at Ryan's Tavern in Baltimore on the evening of October 3, 1849. Although generally known to be well-groomed and dressed with sartorial style, Poe appeared haggard and unwashed, wearing clothes that were not those in which he had last been seen.
The Department of Safety and Security expanded its training program to include Active Shooter Training to all students and employees on the Colorado campus. Eric Hansen, Security Officer, delivered a course curriculum with life-saving information that can be applied to both work and life scenarios. Eric is also a Field Training Officer and has 44 years of training knowledge and experience.
Two dozen students volunteered with Dr. Thomas Bigham and Dr. Ben Wilde at Ironman 70.3 World Championship in St. George, Utah. They were located at the main medical tent and the T2 medical station where athletes transition from biking to running!
Poe was removed from the tavern and admitted to Washington College Hospital where he was denied all visitors and confined to a cell-like room with barred windows. Unfortunately, he succumbed four days later having never regained consciousness. The Frank Ritchel Ames Memorial Library hosted The Arcane Death of Edgar Allan Poe during the last two weeks of October. Now in its fourth year, the turnout for the Library Escape Room was at a record high! More than fifty students, across multiple programs, participated in Colorado and Utah. The Escape Room required students to employ their creativity, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork to solve a series of interlocking clues and open lockboxes to solve the death of Edgar Allan Poe; all within sixty minutes’ time. Submitted by Joe Richard
RVU's Student Chapter of the Association of Military Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons conducted a Veteran’s Day workout, led by Taylor Norris, OMS II, and Kevin Puri, OMS II, in honor of the 13 servicemen and servicewomen lives that were lost in Kabul in August, as well as the service of our other past and current military. Pictured above are SAMOPS members who are 2nd Lieutenants in the U.S. Air Force and Army and Ensigns in the U.S. Navy.
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