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Award Winning Newsletter ei

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AACOM l E xc e l e n c


August 2016 Newsletter

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Welcome, RVUCOM Class of 2020! Page 4

Inside: RVUCOM Class of 2020 Cleans Up Platte River for Service Day

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RVU Welcomes Inaugural MSBS Class of 2017!

Achieving New Heights: Military Edition

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Page 13


Table of Contents 4

RVUCOM Welcomes Class of 2020

Students are honored with the annual White Coat Ceremony

6 7 8

Meet the Class of 2020 Special activities introduce the new students to medical school life

Class of 2020 Cleans Up Platte River for Service Day RVU Welcomes Inaugural MSBS Class of 2017

The MSBS program kicks off with 15 students

11 2

Achieving New Heights


Military Edition of Achieving New Heights

Get to Know the RVU Staff

This month: Director of Facilities and Grounds

Presentations, scholarships, and other achievements of the faculty and students

Presentations, scholarships, and other achievements of the faculty and students

It's All Fun and Games...

Students start year with community service




Campus Tidbits

15 20

Welcome New Employees


Alumni Association

Marriages, engagements, parties...what is going on around campus?

Promotions and Appointments Read about the accomplishments and milestones of our alumni

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Achieving the Swing

by Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO The Boys in the Boat is a story about the 1936 Olympics which captures the life and training of nine University of Washington students as they prepared for a grueling rowing victory (eventually taking center stage at Adolf Hitler’s show of elitism in Nazi Germany). The beautiful description of the years it took to achieve "swing" in the nine-man boat gives insight into our efforts to achieve harmony of singular focus on our University and programmatic missions. RVU is on a similar track as we create a world-class learning environment that embraces interprofessional respect, understanding, and team "swing." This requires relationship building and a focus on clinical competencies, both of ourselves and our peers. The curriculum is being shaped to provide more focused small-group learning and team-building opportunities (such as our special honors tracks). The faculty continues this journey through the development of new electives and seminars in Wellness Medicine, Population Health, and Humanism, as seen through literature and student-led initiatives in resilience and self-care. All of this is designed to enhance our learning environment and assure our vision of Achieving New Heights in Medical Education. We recently welcomed the newest addition to the University: the Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences program, beginning our journey toward enriching our educational community. This growth will continue to provide the basis for our focus on inter-professional teamwork in an era of changing medical practices and health care delivery. In closing, here is my favorite quote from Boys in the Boat: "They were now representatives of something much larger than themselves: a way of life, a shared set of values. Liberty was perhaps the most fundamental of those values. But the things that held them together—trust in each other, mutual respect, humility, fair play, watching out for one another—those were also part of what America meant to all of them."

As Good As Gold

by Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP, dist., Dean and CAO For the first seven entering classes at RVU, we had a set format for our White Coat Ceremony, which included the students reciting the Osteopathic Oath. With the Class of 2020, we decided to take a different path and involve the students more. We realized—just as Arnold P. Gold, MD, had years before—that medical students needed to be formally committed to the profession upon entering medical school and not after their education and graduation. In 1988, Dr. Gold and Sandra Gold, EdD, established the Gold Foundation, which works with healthcare professionals in training and in practice to instill a culture of respect, dignity, and compassion for patients and professionals. In 1993, the formal White Coat Ceremony was created for medical students entering Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons by the Gold Foundation. That ceremony formed the blueprint for other ceremonies to come. Today, White Coat Ceremonies mark the beginning of academics in multiple fields of healthcare, with other countries also picking up the tradition. RVUCOM is presently a member of the Gold Foundation and Society; our students wear the Foundation pins on their

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white coats as a reminder of their mission. A key activity in the ceremony is the recitation of an oath (usually the Osteopathic Oath, which seemed more appropriate for graduation) after receiving the white coat. This year, though, it was suggested that each entering class formulate their own oath that they could refer to during their four years at RVUCOM. I could not have been more pleased: in just a few short sessions, the Class of 2020 produced a statement of such quality that it could rival documents that took thousands of dollars and many day-long meetings to produce. More importantly, they gained a much deeper respect for their school and the profession they were about to enter. You can read that statement on the following page. Congratulations, Class of 2020! You are as good as Gold.


RVUCOM Welcomes Class of 2020 If this year's White Coat Ceremony is any indicator, the Class of 2020 is bound to be a lively one! RVUCOM hosted the annual ceremony to welcome incoming students, presenting them with the white coats they will wear throughout their medical school career. Set in the bright and spacious Wilderness Experience, the ceremony opened with a rendition of the National Anthem performed by Monica Mills, OMS III and an invocation provided by Michael Tieman, MD, Chair and Professor of Specialty Medicine. Next, speeches were given by: Thomas N. Told, Dean of RVUCOM; Clinton E. Adams, President of RVU; Tate Garrett, MBA, Board Secretary; and Brandon Teska, OMS II, SGA President. The keynote speaker, Jack Westfall, MD, Associate Dean of Rural Health at University of Colorado, brought the comic relief. Before delving into his speech, he led students in an often-hilarious exercise in which he asked them to stand, then narrowed down those left standing by asking elimination questions: "If you come from a town with only one streetlight, you can keep standing...now, if you come from a town with no streetlights, keep standing." Through a series of rounds, the audience began to understand the purpose and to realize just how different, and yet how similar, in many ways these 162 students really are from one another. Not to mention, how many PokĂŠmon masters are in our midst. Dr. Westfall then led the students through the pains and joys of being a physician, through emotional readings from a journal he kept since medical school and residency. Finally, students went onstage to receive their white coats. Together, clad in white, they recited a Vision Statement which they had, as a group, written as a commitment to themselves and to the doctor they want to one day become.


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Class of 2020 Vision Statement We the class of 2020, solemnly affirm to uphold the tenets of osteopathy with integrity and resilience. In this endeavor, we pledge to serve our patients, communities, and colleagues while devoting ourselves to the pursuit of excellence. To accomplish these goals, we declare the following: We commit ourselves to improving the standard of patient care in our communities by embracing our humanity and innate empathy, integrating innovative therapies, and fostering meaningful relationships founded on sincerity, compassion, and trust. We commit ourselves to serving our communities through leadership and active citizenship while enhancing the quality of life and well-being of its individuals and families. We commit ourselves to fostering collegial work and learning environments based on mutual respect for each other, facilitating the healthy exchange of ideas, and validating diverse perspectives and cultural experiences. We commit ourselves to becoming highly competent and compassionate physicians who strive to recognize and respond to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals from all demographics, with the highest level of professionalism and ethical character. In the presence of all we affirm this oath, and endeavor to keep the promises declared to the utmost of our abilities.

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Meet RVUCOM's Class of 2020

Top Feeder Schools:

Mean MCAT Score:

28.69 (pre-2015) 504.4 (post-2015)

- University of Colorado (12%) - Colorado State University (9%) - University of California (9%)

Highest Degree Earned: - Bachelor Degree (80%) - Master Degree (20%)

Consists of an equal number of

Men and Women (81 each)


Minority: 7%

Mean Age: 25.1 Hails from 27 states. Top feeder states include:

- Colorado (31.5%) - California (15%) - Utah (9%) 6

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It's All Fun and Games...and Preparing for Medical School RVU welcomed its ninth class of student doctors with activities and presentations to help the incoming students develop skills, build bonds with their peers, and equip them as they start their journey into medicine. The theme for this year’s orientation was You DO You. As current Student Government Association President Brandon Teska, OMS II, said, "You DO You means that your first—and most important—patient is yourself! We want to make sure that medical school is fun and that we ignite the fire of enthusiasm for osteopathy within you." To start the week, the students were introduced to their peer mentors and teams (which were creatively named and assigned a color). Students then participated in an icebreaker activities to promote team building, trust, and communication. One activity, "Snake," involved each team lining up to create a human snake. With the leader of the snake blindfolded, teams had to navigate without speaking through a sea of people to get to the bucket on the other side. Another activity called "Zoom" challenged the students to piece together a series of pictures through verbal communication only—they could not see the actual pictures until the end. This activity utilized communication and leadership skills. The class received an overview of the curriculum and what to expect as first-year medical students. They also heard from a panel of second-year students about their experiences and how they maintained their personal lives. Next, an interactive scavenger hunt got the students moving, using problem-solving skills as they searched and familiarized themselves with the campus and the resources they would need to access during the year. As the week continued, friends and family were invited on campus for Family Day. They took tours of the building, gained further insight into the osteopathic profession, and learned about the variety of honors tracks. The week culminated with writing their Class Vision Statement–which defined their identity and what they desire to achieve during their medical education and journey as a physician.

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Class of 2020 Cleans Up Platte River for Service Day Every year, RVUCOM hosts a special outing for new students: a grueling community service project. As one of RVU's core values, service is very important to the school, its faculty and staff, and its students. Through active service, we support one another and seek to meet the needs of the larger community. Due to the great success of last year's project, RVUers returned to the South Platte River area of downtown Denver, working along the beautiful (and overgrown) banks in a massive cleanup effort coordinated by the Denver Parks and Recreation Department. Wearing gray Fighting Prairie Dog t-shirts, provided by the Alumni Association, Class of 2020 students pulled weeds, trimmed trees, and picked up garbage over the span of several miles and hours. This required the students to communicate with one another and to work in pairs and teams—skills that are necessary to navigating successfully (and more happily) through medical school. As the new students worked (and sweated) together, they chatted with their classmates and received valuable advice from the second-year students. Over the years, students have learned that—more so than at any typical meet-andgreet—Service Day allows them to meet and to bond in a more relaxed, organic way as they work together. When the work was finished, the group ate lunch and relaxed in the shade.


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RVU Welcomes Inaugural MSBS Class of 2017! A long-anticipated day—one that, for months, RVU's faculty and staff have strived to bring to fruition—finally arrived on August 5th: the beginning of the new Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) program! The inaugural class of 15 students arrived on campus for orientation. Led by Zeerak Haider, PhD, Director of Student Life, the orientation "Do the best you can because provided tips to prepare the students for the program and activities to familiarize them with each other and with the school. This year's theme it is really your own journey." was Lead the Way: "We want you to lead the way," said Dr. Haider in her ~ Eugene Masters, OMS II welcoming speech, "because you are our first MSBS class and we have high hopes and expectations "Make time for yourself for you all. We want you to lead the way towards achieving your future by and do something fun." taking ownership of your education and learning."

~ Emily LaCount, OMS II

Throughout the day, students listened to an overview of the curriculum and expectations for the semester, sat in sessions with the IT Department and Security Department, and received an overview of osteopathic medicine. To familiarize students with the campus, they participated in a scavenger hunt, utilizing problem-solving and teamwork skills as they found items and resources throughout the University. There was also a leadership segment with a panel of current RVUCOM students (all of whom had completed an MSBS program prior to starting medical school). Each student focused on a specific topic to share with the students, offering advice and tips: resilience, self-directive learning, time management, overcoming changes associated with the program, and the importance of maintaining relationships. The orientation concluded with a light reception, where faculty, staff, and RVUCOM students warmly welcomed them to the University.


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Get to Know the RVU Staff Gary Pippin Job Title: Director of Facilities and Grounds • RVU Start Date: February 2012 • "I have been married to my lovely bride for 35 years. We have 10 amazing children and 12 just-as-amazing grandchildren." • Previously managed and maintained a 13,000-acre cattle ranch and a facility for training horses • Established offices, classroom, and space for MSBS program What do you do at RVU? Along with the rest of the Facilities team—Andrew and Dennis—I try to be as much a part of the University’s Mission Statement as possible. We want to assist in producing great doctors. We do this by working directly with faculty, staff, and students to make everyone’s stay here as comfortable as possible. We are proud of the relationships we have built with these groups; it produces ideas and feedback that makes our campus not only beautiful but also functional, safe, and an overall nice place to be. What are you looking forward to in your current role? Making the Utah campus as great as the Colorado campus. Who inspires you? I am pretty much inspired by anyone who devotes their entire life to serving others. It has to be the most selfless act I can think of. Mother Teresa is just one of many great examples. If you could close your eyes and be anywhere on earth when they opened, where would you be? Slovakia, where my fourth child lives as a nun. The country is quite beautiful and the people live a very simple and peaceful life. Plus, I would get to see my daughter.

What are your department's FAQs?

What are you most proud of? My family. I’m pretty proud of every one of my children.

How do I create a Facilities request or submit a suggestion? Send an email with your request or suggestion to Facilities@rvu.edu.

If you could have a superpower what would it be and why? I would love to bi-locate. Imagine what you could get done and what you could see if you could be in two places at once!

Is there a standard timeframe in which projects will be finished? We try to respond as soon as possible, but it depends on the request and the project. What is the temperature in the building? 72 degrees for most of the building, but 61 degrees in the Anatomy Lab

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If you had one free hour each day, how would you use it? I hope you would find me in prayer. I don’t do it enough, so if I had an extra hour a day, I might do it more. What is the greatest advice you have received? "Just do what’s right." I’ve heard this phrase throughout my life and several times here at RVU.


Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Faculty, Staff and Physicians in Training

Sarah Curtis, DO, Assistant Professor of OMM, co-authored a study in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association entitled "Efficacy of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment for Management of Postpartum Pain." This investigated the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment on postpartum pain; the location, quality, and timing of pain; and the difference in pain between vaginal and cesarean delivery.

Renato Rapada, OMS II, conducted research with Anthony LaPorta, MD, FACS, Course Director of Military Track, on "The Effects of High Deck Accelerations on Surgical Tasks" and "The Development of a High Fidelity Surgical Phantom for Examining Torso Exsanguination in Weightlessness and Difficult Oceanic Conditions," with both studies pending publication in peer-reviewed medical journals.

Well done, Dr. Curtis!

Well done, SD Rapada!

Neal Ferrin, OMS II, received the Welch Scholars Grant in the amount of $1,500 from the American Osteopathic Association. This annual grant is given to one student from every COM who displays "outstanding academic achievement, participation in extracurricular activities, and a strong commitment toward osteopathic medicine." Congratulations, SD Ferrin! Anthony Jones, OMS I, received the COPIC Scholars Program scholarship in the amount of $20,000 ($5,000 per year for four years). He received this scholarship from the COPIC Medical Foundation due to his "outstanding traits of character and leadership qualities." Congratulations, SD Jones!

Jesse Snider, OMS IV, participated in a simulated attack resulting in emergency care at the 2016 Trauma Conference International (TraumaCon). The interactive segment, presented by Dr. LaPorta, "Damage Control Surgery: How Far Out of the Box Should We Go?" showcased SD Snider performing a physical exam, calling out his findings, prioritizing the treatments, even performing a cricothyroidotomy on a patient wearing the cut suit. This scenario was performed in front of 3,000 astonished viewers. Well done, SD Snider! Kathryn Teixeira, OMS II, is the recipient of the 2016 Sherry R. Arnstein Minority Student Scholarship. This scholarship was named after former AACOM Executive Director, Sherry R. Arnstein and is awarded yearly to one newly accepted student and one continuing student. Congratulations, SD Teixeira!


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Special edition of

Achieving New Heights Highlighting the Accomplishments of Our Military Students

While most students spent their summer studying for boards, vacationing, or visiting family, military students were on active duty orders all over the country. As part of the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), students completed a five-week course with their respective military branches, preparing them as commissioned military officers. organization, sea power, military indoctrination, naval warfare, and damage control. They also participated in a Division Officer Leadership course.

Additional Training: Air Force students (above) trained at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama for Commissioned Officer Training, learning about leadership and military management and participating in the Casualty Movement and Medical Readiness Indoctrination Course. They also received training in teamwork, discipline, and standardization. Mallory Krueger, OMS II, finished in the Top 10% of her class (of about 300 HPSP students from across the US), receiving the honor of Distinguished Graduate.

and becoming a leader. Navy students trained at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island for Officer Development School, receiving instruction in leadership, administration,

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Army students trained at Fort Sam Houston, Texas for the Army Medical Department's Basic Officer Leadership Course, receiving progressive and sequential training in discipline, teamwork, basic Soldier skills, tactical medical doctrine,

Air Force 2nd Lt. Emma Boesel, OMS II, attended the Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine Course at the School of Aerospace Medicine in Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. As part of training to be a Flight Surgeon, she learned unique aeromedical issues pertinent to the flight environment including aerospace physiology, hyperbaric medicine, and human performance sustainment. Army 2LT Renato Rapada, OMS II, shadowed physicians at the DiRaimondo Soldier-Centered Medical Home at Fort Carson, Colorado, volunteered in the Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System Hospital Surgical ICU and Emergency Departments in Denver, CO, and represented RVUCOM as the Color Guard for the Rebuilding Together Metro Denver event with the CEO of Sears at the Denver Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 501. Army MAJ Jeffrey Schenck, OMS II, conducted annual medical readiness training with the Army National Guard at Buckley Air Force Base and Fort Carson, Colorado (where he also shadowed physicians at Evans Army Community Hospital).


Campus Tidbits Ashley Ostler Toussaint, OMS II, and Sacha Toussaint were married in Salt Lake City, Utah. They met in the library of Southern Utah University while they were undergraduate students. Mr. Toussaint is currently a doctoral student at University of Denver.

Emily Elliott Hemler, OMS II, and Eric Hemler, OMS II, were married on July 2nd at Planet Bluegrass in Lyons, Colorado. They met in 2010 while they were undergraduates at the University of Colorado Boulder. They spent their honeymoon in Costa Rica.

I’m Young! Is Drinking Bad for My Health? • • • •

More than 500,000 full-time students at four-year colleges are injured every year in alcoholrelated accidents, and nearly 1,700 die in those accidents. Nearly 300,000 of today’s college students who drink excessively will die prematurely of cirrhosis, various cancers, heart disease and other alcohol-related causes. One night of heavy drinking can limit your ability to understand abstract ideas like textbook reading or a football play for as long as 30 days. Alcohol is involved in 95 percent of violent crimes on college campuses and in 90 percent of college rapes.

If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol problem, please contact the Colorado Physician Health Program (CPHP): 899 Logan St., Suite 410 Denver, CO 80203; phone: 303-860-0122. The mission of CPHP is to promote the health and well-being of physicians and physician assistants through evaluation, treatment referral, support, education and research.


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Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Sarah Anderson, MA Executive Assistant to the Campus Dean, RVUCOM-SU Originally from Grantsville, Utah, Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from Utah State University and a Master of Arts degree in Management and Leadership from Western Governor’s University. For years, she worked as executive assistant to the president at Tooele Applied Technology College; now she is looking forward to applying those skills to RVUCOM-SU. Sarah relocated to Southern Utah for her husband’s career and is excited to work in medical education and to be on the ground floor of building and establishing RVU’s new campus. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor recreation especially snowboarding, hiking, fishing, and tennis. A fun fact about Sarah is that she does not like condiments on her food. She jokes that ordering a cheeseburger from a drive-through restaurant can be a nightmare! Welcome, Sarah!

Shelley Carroll RVHC Referral Specialist Shelley is a Colorado native, having grown up in the Lakewood area and now living in Lone Tree. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticultural Science and Landscape Architecture from Colorado State University, but has worked for years in the medical field as she found that career path to be the most rewarding. Most recently, Shelley was working out of her home for Sky Ridge Medical Center and found herself missing the "daily dose of people". That’s when she found the Rocky Vista Health Center and knew it would be a great fit!

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Shelley is married with three children, one grandson, and one granddaughter. She loves spending time with family and friends, traveling, gardening, and taking care of animals (she has two cats). She has also traveled to Germany, Uruguay and many places within the United States. Interestingly, because Shelley has family Italy, she has found a way to combine her love of travel and family! Welcome, Shelley! Stephanie Chiu, MD Family Medicine Residency Program Director, RVU/Sky Ridge Dr. Chiu hails from Fort Collins, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry (with high distinction) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Genetics (with cum laude honors) from the University of Rochester. From there, she earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Cincinnati and completed her Family Medicine Residency at St. Anthony Hospital in Westminster. She is currently practicing at Sky Ridge Hospital. Dr. Chiu is excited to work with RVU and the residency program as it allows her to stay in Colorado while embracing her passion for teaching. When not teaching and caring for patients, Dr. Chiu enjoys a number of hobbies including knitting, reading, dancing, hiking, fishing, baking, and canning. She even used to compete in bouldering competitions! Welcome, Dr. Chiu! Sarah Curtis Lopez, DO Assistant Professor of OMM Originally from Dallas, Texas, Dr. Curtis earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish - Hispanic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Later, she earned a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from


Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! the University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed a twoyear residency program in NMM/OMM and one-year traditional rotating internship at St Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, serving her last year in residency as Chief Resident. Prior to joining RVUCOM, Dr. Curtis worked as an Assistant Professor in the OMM department at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine and as an attending physician at St. Barnabas Hospital at the NMM/OMM residency program. She says the wide open spaces, family, and the awesome people at RVUCOM brought her to Colorado: "RVU is an inviting place to be because of the enthusiastic students and the approachable, friendly faculty." Dr. Curtis says she is excited to now be a part of the OPP department which has faculty from a variety of backgrounds, with a common passion for sharing osteopathy to shape the future of our profession. Dr. Curtis loves filling her spare time with exploring nature and being with her husband and their beautiful, spunky two-year-old daughter, who brightens their lives. She also has two cats and a dog. She also loves traveling— she has explored the ruins in Guatemala and the tomb of the unknown soldiers in China, participated in a yoga tour in Thailand, and visited extended family in Peru. Welcome, Dr. Curtis! Becca Fletcher Program Coordinator of Clinical Assessment and Simulation Becca is a Colorado native, having grown up in Littleton. She earned an Associate of Arts degree in IT/Visual Communications and Multimedia and a Bachelor of Science degree in IT/Web Development from the University of Phoenix. Previously, she worked as a virtual assistant with a focus on social media. Most recently, she worked with bestselling author, speaker, and leading workplace productivity expert, Laura Stack. Becca is also a professional singer/actor, performing in local theater productions such as Littleton’s Town Hall Arts Center, the Lakewood Cultural Center, and the Aurora


Fox. Five years ago, Becca decided to work as a standardized patient—an acting challenge that soon became much more. As an SP, she was "teaching student doctors to treat people, not symptoms." Her passion to help educate the student doctors in this fashion is what led her to join RVU full time. "I am thrilled to be a part of RVU," she says, "because I truly believe that we as a school are [impacting] the future of medicine by creating doctors who will hopefully take the RVU mission of serving with compassion, integrity, and excellence out into their communities." Becca continues to participate in productions as an actor and/or stage technician alongside her husband and two children. A fun fact about Becca is that, "In a galaxy far, far away, I was a pageant girl with big hair," as well as Miss Denver in 1990. Welcome, Becca! Alexis Horst, MA Writing Center Instructor Alexis considers East Lansing, Michigan, to be her hometown, though she has spent ten years living in San Diego, California. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from San Diego State University and a Master of Arts degree in Literature from the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). Most recently, she worked at the Writing Center at UCD and also taught Composition and Writing courses (both at UCD and the Community College of Denver). Alexis is excited to work with medical students and faculty at RVU, particularly as the University is growing and expanding. She looks forward to increasing the Writing Center’s presence on campus. In her spare time, Alexis enjoys reading, hiking, camping, and eating s'mores by the fire-pit. She is married, with one daughter and two rescue mutts. Welcome, Alexis!

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Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Whitney Johnson, MA Admissions Counselor, RVUCOM-SU Whitney is a native of Santa Clara, Utah. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (with an emphasis in Zoology) and a Master of Science degree in Professional Communication (with an emphasis in Health Communication) from Southern Utah University. She has worked as an advisor for pre-health students and as a counselor at a substance abuse treatment facility. Whitney was first hired in a part-time capacity in 2013. During the past three years, she has served in many roles to help bring the Southern Utah campus to fruition: assistant to the Dean, Clinical Rotations Coordinator, GME development...to name a few. While she was only working during that period, she quickly learned that RVU was a family: "My favorite thing about my time with RVU is that I always feel that my opinion is respected and valued. I'm very excited to be joining the Utah team full-time!" Whitney is married to an amazing artist, Chase, and they have two dogs. They enjoy going to the various lakes in Southern Utah and traveling the world. They also belong to an improv comedy troupe called, "Off the Cuff" in Cedar City. She says, "It’s like the show, Who’s Line Is It, Anyway...it's a great hobby! We have been doing it since college and it’s an amazingly cathartic and characterbuilding activity." Welcome, Whitney! Mike Jorgensen, PhD Assistant Professor of Anatomy Director of Anatomy Fellowship Mike is from Olathe, Kansas. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at University of Kansas, where he studied amphibian anatomy. He then took a year off to study the reproductive behavior of glass frogs in Central America. Then he moved to Cleveland, where he completed a Master of Science degree in Biol-

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ogy at John Carroll University. He continued his work, studying the evolutionary morphology of frog locomotion, and obtained a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biology from Ohio University. During this time, Mike was introduced to graduate medical education as a teaching assistant (for which he earned an Outstanding Graduate Teaching award) in the gross anatomy lab. Upon graduating, he worked at University of Missouri School of Medicine, where he was a gross anatomy instructor for first-year medical students and course director for the Human Anatomy and Summer Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy courses. The choice to work at RVU was an easy one for Mike as it combines two of his favorite things: teaching anatomy and enjoying the beauty of the Colorado wilderness: "I am so excited to work with students, faculty, and staff at RVU. It is such a privilege to be able to do what I love in a place that I love!" Mike enjoys hiking through the Colorado wilderness and tromping through streams in search of slimy creepycrawlies. He has a cat and looks forward to adopting another in the near future. Welcome, Dr. Jorgensen! Ashley Moran, MA Registrar Ashley hails from Sarasota, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Art degree in English and American Literature at the University of South Florida and a Master of Art degree in Education (with a concentration in Higher Education) at Ashford University. She has worked in higher education for many years as an academic advisor, a teaching assistant, and in the registrar’s office. Ashley says that she is excited to be at RVU because everyone here truly cares about the success of the school and the students. In her spare time, she enjoys puzzles, sewing, painting,


Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! cooking, and exploring new places. She’s looking forward to hiking and spending time in the water (and possibly tubing). She is also a talented musician: she plays the tenor saxophone, the clarinet, and the bass clarinet. Welcome, Ashley! Augustine Rios, MD Associate Professor of MSBS Program


Dr. Rios is from Fort Collins, Colorado. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Colorado State University and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Colorado. He completed a family medicine internship at St. Joseph Medical Center. After years of working as Operations Director at the Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice—a refugee and indigent care organization—Dr. Rios is excited to get back to graduate teaching and says that he is already impressed by the quality of students at RVU. He’s looking forward to not only imparting information but also growing his own knowledgebase. Dr. Rios is a proud father, skier, mountain-climber (he has climbed 42 of Colorado’s 14ers!), biker, and triathlete. Aside from being physically active, he enjoys reading a new textbook...just as much as reading good literature.

ing at the University of Colorado Child Health Associate/ Physician Assistant Program (CHA/PA) in 1996. In 2001, she joined the faculty of CHA/PA, holding various administrative and teaching roles including Associate Program Director of Didactic Curriculum. She also continued to practice clinically at National Jewish Health in the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic until 2012. Currently, she serves as Chair of a national PA education council within the Physician Assistant Education Association. Cathy’s professional interests are in curriculum design and student and program assessment. She says that she was drawn to RVU because of the challenge of establishing a new PA program, learning all aspects of program development, and for the opportunity to continue to grow the PA profession. She is married with two great teenage children—one is an aspiring author and the other is a gifted bassoon player. She loves spending time with her family, reading, listening to all forms of music, the outdoors, and walking/hiking with her two dogs. Growing up, she lived on a ranch in southwest Colorado and had dogs, horses, cows, and a goat that went on walks with her and came when called. Because of this experience, she has a special place in her heart for rural communities. Welcome, Cathy! Rebecca Ryznar, PhD Assistant Professor, Molecular Biology

Welcome, Dr. Rios! Cathy Ruff, MS, PA-C Associate Program Director, Physician Assistant Studies, and Director of Didactic Education Cathy was born in Michigan, but has been in Colorado since the age of 11. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular/Molecular Biology from Fort Lewis College, followed by a Master of Science degree in Cell Biology from University of Denver. She completed her Physician Assistant train-

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leyan University.

Dr. Ryznar hails from New Hartford, Connecticut. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomolecular Science from Central Connecticut State University and then a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Wes-

She then taught biology at Quinnipiac University and, later, microbiology at Goodwin College. She is excited to now call RVU home and is grateful to be a part of a university that offers top-notch medical education and agrees with RVU’s mission. Colorado itself is an adventure and she’s looking forward to embracing the outdoor activities

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Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! that Colorado has to offer—especially skiing in winter. Aside from skiing, Dr. Ryznar also enjoys running, basketball, live music, and independent films. She admits that she is a die-hard UConn men’s college basketball fan—so if you hear someone cheering for the Huskies, it’s probably her. Welcome, Dr. Ryznar! Becky Schutt Administrative Assistant for Student Affairs Becky is originally from Sayner, Wisconsin. She earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Theology and Christian Education Leadership from Concordia University. She has worked in various administrative roles including Assistant to the Registrar, Library Front Desk Clerk, and Director of Youth and Family Ministry. While working in the registrar’s office at Concordia College, she fell in love with higher education administration. She chose to pursue higher education opportunities after graduating and was thrilled to have found RVU. In her spare time, Becky enjoys exploring Colorado, hiking, traveling, camping, and spending time with family and friends. Being a Wisconsin native, she is naturally a diehard Packers fan and admits that she owns a cheesehead. Welcome, Becky! Francina Towne, PhD Assistant Professor of Immunology, Biomedical Sciences Department Dr. Towne earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from University of Arizona. Then she moved to Colorado, where she earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Immunology from Uni-

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versity of Colorado. She has worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at National Jewish Health, then as an Assistant Professor at Regis University, teaching both undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Towne has admired RVU's dedication to students for some time—because "RVU has an excellent reputation at Regis," she says. "I'm excited to join the team at this dynamic university and am looking forward to teaching my favorite subjects in the COM and the MSBS program." Dr. Towne has a sweet and adventurous one-year-old daughter, who keeps her on her toes. In their spare time, she and her husband love to plan their weekends around family-based activities such as hiking and Colorado Rapids soccer games. A little-known fact about her is that she was an accountant for three years before graduate school. Welcome, Dr. Towne! Wayne Welkenback Purchasing Coordinator Wayne is originally from Detroit, Michigan. He brings over 25 years of experience in purchasing and supply chain management in oil and gas and telecommunications industries. His vast experience includes working for several large oil companies in Denver, including Newfield Exploration, Forest Oil, and EnCana. After many years in oil and gas, Wayne is excited to start fresh working in higher education and in an institution that is currently expanding. Wayne is married and enjoys hiking, bike riding, walking the dog, and cooking. He also enjoys golf, going to Rockies and Avalanche games, and embracing the wonderful Colorado outdoors and lifestyle. Wayne is also a huge fan of rock and country music. He particularly enjoys Bob Seger, a fellow Detroit native, and Bruce Springsteen and has been known to hop a plane or drive around the country just to catch a show. Welcome, Wayne!


Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Cyndi Windecker Admissions Counselor Cyndi is a Colorado native, currently residing in Elizabeth. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a minor in Geology from University of Colorado at Denver. She has worked in such roles as Records Coordinator for Venoco Inc. and Division Order Associate and Land Coordinator at Sundance Energy. She has also worked as a Cadet with the Denver Police, Fire, and Sheriff Departments. When looking for a new venture and something a little closer to home, Cyndi found RVU: "When I came in for my initial interview, it lasted around four hours and in-

volved five people. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in an interview. I left hoping for the job and feeling like I’d found a work-home." After working as a temporary employee, she's excited to now be officially a part of the RVU team! During the weekends, she works at a barn with a horse trainer who specializes in problem horses and saddle breaking. When she's not walking her four dogs, riding her three horses, or working in the barn, she enjoys watching movies, trying new restaurants, rock climbing, hiking, or drinking coffee with a good book. An interesting fact about Cyndi is that she met Jack Nicholson outside the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and admits he is as creepy in real-life as in the movies! Welcome, Cyndi!

Promotions and Appointments Ron Blonder, DO, has been promoted to Professor of Specialty Medicine from Director of Medical Education. In this role, he will be teaching Cardiology courses to the students. He has been with RVU since 2009.

RVU since 2008.

Joel Dickerman, DO, has been promoted to Assistant Dean of Clinical Affairs from Director of Medical Education. He has been with RVU since 2010. In this role, he will plan, direct, and implement programs and policies, ensuring the integration of sciCongratulations, Dr. Blonder! entifically-based, outcome-evaluated clinical knowledge and skills, biomedical sciences, and osteopathic principles and practices Linda Cairns has been appointed to throughout the COM's curriculum. Special Assistant to the Associate Dean for Integrated Curriculum. In this role, Congratulations, Dr. Dickerman! she will provide administrative assistance, curricular liaison support, and Christine Gray has been promoted to coordination with the Associate Dean Advisor in the Student Affairs departof Integrated Curriculum, the Year 1 ment. In this role, she will work with and Year 2 Phase Directors, and other all students to ensure academic and Deans, as needed. Linda has been with career goals are met. Christine has been with RVU since 2011.

Congratulations, Linda!


Congratulations, Christine!

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From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association



Dear Students and Alumni, First and foremost, the alumni of RVU would like to send out our warmest welcome to the incoming students who began their medical journey just about one month ago, the Class of 2020! The road ahead is challenging, to say the least, but exceptionally rewarding. The alumni wish you the best of luck and have no doubts you will all succeed. I know we’ve already started this year out strong but please do not hesitate to reach out should you ever need help or a shoulder to cry on…we’ve all been there! I would also like to send out a few congratulations. First, to the members of the Class of 2013 who just recently graduated from their residency programs and are now attending physicians. This is a major milestone and recognition is in order! We certainly hope to see many of you come back to Colorado to practice and teach the future generations of RVU students. Next, to the members of the Class of 2014 who are in their last year of residency and many of those members are the chief or co-chief residents of their respective programs. Again, huge accomplishments and recognition is in order! This goes to show that not only physicians but also physician leaders make up a significant portion of each graduating RVU class. A congratulations to RVU itself is in order as well for building and implementing a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program! It is very exciting to see where this program will lead and exciting to watch it grow. Also, being a member of the Class of 2014 myself, I would like to send out a personal congratulations to the Class of 2014 president for all four years of her RVU career, Regan A. Stiegmann, as she recently got married! Last, but not least, I would like to encourage each and every one of our alumni to either join or continue to be a contributing member of the Alumni Association. Dues are exceptionally cheap—$25 per year after graduation (during your residency). The Alumni Association uses this money to do some great things, including giving scholarship money to some students in the incoming classes, as well as purchasing upgrades for the school to help make the school look and function better. To all the alumni who have paid their dues and to all the alumni who will be paying their dues, I thank you!

AJ Ryan, DO ‘14 RVU Alumni Association President

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From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association



congratulations to all of our alumni on their achievements! Job Acceptances, Fellowships, and Other Professional Accomplishments Michael Allender, DO '13, was named Chief Resident of the Anesthesiology residency program at University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Julianne Imseis-Losh, DO '14, was named Chief Resident of the Internal Medicine residency program at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colorado.

Carissa Chalut, DO '14, was named Chief Resident of the Emergency Medicine residency program at Augusta University Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia.

Brendan Klein, DO '15, has matched into the Neurosurgery residency at Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia after completing a traditional rotating internship.

Rayna Doll, DO '14, was named Chief Resident of the Internal Medicine residency program at Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood, Arizona.

Matthew Puderbaugh, DO '12, published a case report in the July 2016 issue of Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. The report, titled, "A Report of Transverse Process Fractures Secondary to the Centrifuge in a Healthy Aviator," examines the etiology, incidence, and treatment of transverse process fractures to better prepare the clinician for these cases.

Anthony (Tony) Furlano, DO '13, was named Chief Resident of the Family Medicine residency program at Mayo Clinic Health System in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Elizabeth Savage (nĂŠe Polk), DO '14, was named Chief Resident of the Internal Medicine residency program at Verde Valley Medical Center in Cottonwood, Arizona.

William Hoskinson, DO '14, was named Chief Resident of the Internal Medicine residency program at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colorado.


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From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association



congratulations to all of our alumni on their achievements! Job Acceptances, Fellowships, and Other Professional Accomplishments Jeffrey Summers, DO '15, published a case presentation in the Summer 2016 issue of eJournal of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians. The report, titled, "Lyme Arthritis: A Case Report of a 15-year-old Male with Knee Swelling and Pain," examines the presence of Lyme arthritis in the young patient, as well as diagnosis and treatment options. Dr. Summers is in the Pediatric residency program at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. Regan A. Stiegmann, DO '14, MPH, recently published a public health article for the Public Health Physicians of Canada in the May issue of Public Health Matter. The article, "The divide between socioeconomic status and life expectancy in the United States" can be found at http://bit.ly/2bzSxqk. She lives in Washington DC, where she is completing a residency in Preventive Medicine with the Air Force at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center/Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She is also the current President of the American College of Preventive Medicine's Resident Physician Section and serves as the Executive Liaison with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine's Professional in Training Executive Board. She says, "I welcome the opportunity to talk to any students, prospective students, or faculty about Preventive and Lifestyle Medicine." Contact her at dr.stieg@gmail.com.

Engagements, Marriages, and Births Robert Cooper, DO '13, recently became engaged to Lisa Venezia. They plan to marry in the summer of 2017. Additionally, he is starting a fellowship in Gastroenterology at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey. Katrina (Katie) Hutton, DO '14, recently became engaged to Marcin Byra. She lives in New York, where she is completing her residency in Emergency Medicine at St. Barnabas Hospital.

Regan A. Stiegmann, DO '14, married Brian Stafford on July 2nd, at a ceremony in her parents' backyard in Denver, Colorado.

Danielle Wurtz, DO '13, has begun a family medicine practice at Community Physicians Clinic (as part of Community Memorial Healthcare) in rural Marysville, Kansas.

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Upcoming CME Courses

"I wish I had taken this class sooner...it was excellent!" - Brandon Hoy, OMS IV, Pre-Doctoral Osteopathic Fellow (OMM and the CNS Course)

October 7-9, 2016 "The Power of Presence - Advancing Our Osteopathic Skills" 24 hours of CME (Category 1A); Course Directors: R. Paul Lee, DO, FAAO, FCA Rachel Brooks, MD, and R. Paul Lee, DO will present a three-day course, teaching some of the skills they have found central to their practice of osteopathy, including balancing the relationship between practitioner and patient, compression, and enhancing palpatory skills. Together, these teachers have decades of clinical and teaching experience in the US and abroad. Open to DO and MD physicians who have previously taken a 40-hour Introductory Cranial Course. For more information: http://rockymountainaao.wix.com/rockymtnaao or akania@rvu.edu

Save the Date

Military Appreciation Ceremony Friday, September 30, 2016 4:00pm - 7:00pm RVU's Large Auditorium

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August 2016 - RVU Vista View  

In this issue: - RVUCOM Welcomes Class of 2020 - Meet the Class of 2020 - It's All Fun and Games...And Preparing for Medical School - Class...

August 2016 - RVU Vista View  

In this issue: - RVUCOM Welcomes Class of 2020 - Meet the Class of 2020 - It's All Fun and Games...And Preparing for Medical School - Class...

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