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Award Winning Newsletter ei

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AACOM l E xc e l e n c


June 2016 Newsletter

n C o mm

Commencement 2016! Page 4

Inside: Bulls, Campfires, and Explosions

Vista View Page 10

Putting an End to Sexual Assault

MSBS Program Receives HLC Accreditation

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Table of Contents Commencement 2016!


Testing the Limits: Military Track Preps for Disaster


Celebrating Accomplishments (and Eyebrows!) the RVU Way First-Years Pay Tribute to Body Donors Bulls, Campfires, and Explosions

9 9 10

RVUCOM-UT Campus Update

11 11

Sky Ridge Medical Center Honors Its Graduating Residents


OPTI Hosts First Research Appreciation Day for Residents


What Rising Third-Years Should Know About Rotations


Putting an End to Sexual Assault Through Awareness


Special Classes and Workshops Explore OMM Techniques


Emergency Medicine Boot Camp Prepares Students for Rotations


It's a Hard Ranch Life

5 Things to Know About Marijuana Usage

Campus Tidbits

15 16 16

Achieving New Heights


Volunteer Efforts

MSBS Program Receives HLC Accreditation Welcome New Faculty and Staff Promotions and Appointments Teaching Academy Awards Alumni News Meet Your Alumni Association President


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President's Message The Touch of a Mentor by Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO

The pinnacle of academic achievement shared by only a small percent of the population occurred for 152 graduates during the fifth Commencement ceremony at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown Denver. Indeed, these very talented and uniquely qualified graduates received their Doctorates of Osteopathic Medicine, bringing the total number of RVU graduates to 717, just as the University celebrated its 10th anniversary. The migration from student to consummate professional caring for the lives of loved ones is a rite of passage that should not be underestimated. Emotions ran at hyper-speed as the audience and faculty watched the proud and accomplished graduates being hooded by a parent, loved one, or mentor. The joy, the loving embraces, and frequently, the tears rolling down the cheeks resonated with the faculty whose entire focus over the past four years was to ensure this moment, anticipating the fruits of their time and talent. Witnessing the family, faculty, and friends hood the graduates, I was thunderstruck by flashbacks and feelings of gratitude and humility. I had visions of Paul Buckland, my scoutmaster; Mrs. Burin, my high school speech teacher; my two DO cousins, one of whom was among the first DOs drafted for Vietnam; Captain Gray, my submarine skipper; Vice Admiral Nelson, the Surgeon General of the Navy; and Ben Cohen, DO, the architect of the New Jersey Osteopathic Medical School and Provost of Western University of Health Sciences. All these people, little known to you, hovered in the shadow of my consciousness as I witnessed the graduates and the hooders. I wonder if each of the graduates have had the time to reflect and appreciate the touch of a mentor, the guidance and molding that occurs so seamlessly and unnoticed until such a time as someone as old as me says, "My God, where would I be without the touching and caring influence of my mentors?"

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Dean's Message Our Moral Compass in Medicine by Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP, dist., Dean and CAO

During this year's Commencement ceremony, I asked the Class of 2016 to "never forget their medical moral compass." What does this mean and how does it differ from the "moral compass" of our innermost self? A moral compass is a person’s ability to judge right from wrong and to act accordingly. It is similar to a magnetic directional compass: even the most primitive directional compasses can orient the tip of the needle to identify the northern direction; the moral compass is also simple and fundamental and directs us to the right moral pathways. Through the ages, the directional compass has evolved, driven by the need for more specialized and precise navigation requirements, but the basic function has not changed. We now have more precise baseplate and lensatic compasses, as well as sophisticated GPS and Astrocompasses that are used in space. This evolution in form may have happened subtly to our moral compasses: the advent of technology, international travel, and business (or simply living in crowded cities) have created more complex and unique pressures on our society. These pressures require specialization, refinement, and continuous calibration of our moral compasses so we can function in harmony. Medicine, however, presents special challenges that transcend the simple knowledge of right and wrong. As an example, advances in the fields of tissue regeneration, stem cell technology, and cloning presented us with groundbreaking knowledge and skill; with it, however, came larger ethical issues about application. Just as early astronauts realized that a simple magnetic compass would not function in space and thus adapted, medicine has realized the need for further adaptation, specialization, and refinement to our traditional moral compass. I refer to these modifications as "medical moral compass." The medical moral compass retains all the functions of the traditional moral compass with the extra precision and understanding to allow navigation in the complex world of medical ethics. It factors in the physician’s sense of right and wrong, with the added responsibility of what is right and wrong in the care and treatment of their patients—two functions that may conflict, obscuring the best solution.

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Technology, coupled with the restructuring of the business of medicine, has introduced forces into traditional health care that can alter the direction of our medical moral compasses, resulting in a veering off course. We must have the courage to stand up for the best interests of our patients, even when thirdparty payers, employers, and policymakers say no. Margaret Hamburg, MD, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, in speaking to a class of Stanford School of Medicine graduates, made the following statement: "Patients do not place their trust in machines or devices. They put their trust in you. You have already spent years studying, training, doing research, and seeing patients. And you have many more years of education before you. But please remember that the more skilled you become, the more specialized you become, the more dependent on technology you become—the easier it becomes to lose your humanity, forget your compassion, and ignore your instincts." She was telling them to never lose their medical moral compass. In what ways can increasing our skills, becoming more specialized, or depending too much on technology erode our compassion, humanity, and instincts? These are, after all, lofty goals we seek to obtain and may even use them as measures of success. The answer resides in how closely we follow our medical moral compass and factor our patients' wellbeing into decisions, rather than our selfinterests or desire for acclaim. We must remain humble and teachable even as we become more skilled, listening to and examining our patients first before relying on technology. A good way to keep your medical moral compass calibrated is to ask yourself, "Would I recommend or submit to this procedure or treatment for myself or a family member?” If the answer is no, then you need to carefully review your reasons for doing the treatment or procedure. In short, always putting the patient first is the best way to keep a highly functioning medical moral compass.


Commencement 2016!

Against the beautiful backdrop of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, 151 students graduated from Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine on May 21st. The ceremony began with the Posting of the Colors, followed by the S.O.A.P. Notes—RVU's own a capella group—singing the national anthem and Reverend Sue Gardner providing a poignant invocation. Next, Maha Sallam, PhD, Chair of the Board of Trustees, conferred the presidential medallion onto Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO, a tradition the marks the introduction of a new university president. To properly welcome the graduates into the osteopathic profession, Boyd Buser, DO, FACOFP, President-elect of the American Osteopathic Association, provided the commencement address. "You are now joining a proud profession," he said. "One that values the relationship between physician and patient, that seeks health in our patients, that recognizes that a person's state of health depends on the body, mind, and spirit." After a touching valedictorian's address by Ashley Harmening, the graduates were hooded by their chosen loved one or mentor, then received their diplomas. Together as a class, they recited the Osteopathic Oath, a pledge to remain responsible and honorable throughout their careers as osteopathic physicians. For the final segment of commencement, military students were commissioned as officers by Vice Admiral (retired) Matthew L. Nathan, MD, former Surgeon General of the Navy.


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At RVU, graduation is not simply a ceremony... it's a week-long celebration!

Graduation Awards for Class of 2016 • Jackie Vroman Anderson: Rural and Wilderness Track Service Award; USPHS Public Health Award

• Ryan Kostka: Excellence in Clinical Years: Diagnostic Radiology; President's Award

• Alyssa Broker: Excellence in Clinical Years: Psychiatry

• Kyle Kubes: Rural and Wilderness Track Service Award

• Naja Chisty: William G. Anderson Resiliency Award

• Ashley Lamb: Research Award

• Anastasia Collins: Excellence in Basic Sciences: OPP

• Alexandra Loza: Excellence in Clinical Years: Obstetrics/Gynecology

• Morgan Dreesen: Excellence in Clinical Years: Pediatrics • Ashley Fejleh: Excellence in Basic Sciences: Medical Informatics; Denver Osteopathic Foundation Award • Kate Follese: Excellence in Basic Sciences: Medical Informatics

• Zachary McBeth: Excellence in Basic Sciences: Structural Medicine • Veronica Meierbachtol: Excellence in Clinical Years: Internal Medicine • John Muhonen II: Dean's Award

• Gregory Gibbs: Rural and Wilderness Track Service Award

• Aaron Novotny: Excellence in Clinical Years: Pathology

• Ashley Harmening: Excellence in Clinical Years: Family Medicine; Excellence in Academic Achievement: Biomedical Sciences; Excellence in Basic Sciences: PCM

• Brandon Noyes: Military Track Service Award

• Benjamin Hirshberg: Excellence in Clinical Years: Diagnostic Radiology • Netana Hotimsky: Rural and Wilderness Track Service Award • Kathryn Huff: Excellence in Clinical Years: Subspecialty Surgery; Excellence in Clinical Medicine; Denver Osteopathic Foundation Award • Alicia Kincaid: Research Award; Colorado Society of Osteopathic Medicine Award


• Samuel Plesner: Excellence in Clinical Years: Diagnostic Radiology; Brandon Trusell Community Service Award; Global Track Service Award • Brian Russ: Excellence in Clinical Years: Emergency Medicine • Kaitlin Ryan: Global Track Service Award • Michelle Valentine: William G. Anderson Resiliency Award • Daniel Van Leuven: Excellence in Clinical Years: Anesthesiology

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Amid the chaos of the busy week, graduates enjoyed a little downtime (and BBQ!) during the class picnic, while children and students alike played on several inflatable playgrounds, had their faces painted, and gleefully received balloon creations in the shape of swords, hearts, crazy hats, and dinosaurs.

Graduates in the military were honored in a special way: with lunch and a discussion about military medicine by Vice Admiral Matthew L. Nathan, former Surgeon General of the Navy, followed by a traditional military cake reception.

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Testing the Limits: Military Track Preps for Disaster

by David Ross, DO, FACEP, Associate Director of the Military Medicine Track, Assistant Professor of Specialty Medicine During the first week of May, 25 students from RVU (mostly from the Military Medicine Track) and 10 students from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) participated in the award-winning Intensive Surgical Skills Course (ISSC) in San Diego, California. This exercise allowed students to experience hands-on skills and scenario training, involving simulations of significant trauma injuries and other complex medical situations. Students were able to participate in all phases of care, beginning with the pre-hospital component and continuing through to emergency department and surgical skills training. The training took place at the headquarters of Strategic Operations, Inc. (STOPS), makers of the cut suit. Their facility featured outdoor replications of a village—used to stage explosions and shootings, resulting in injuries to "patients"—as well as an emergency department and two operating rooms. "Medical students commonly state that they do not truly understand or recognize a textbook description of a disease or a syndrome until they experience the clinically applicable version of it," said Kit Lavell, Executive Vice President of STOPS. In addition to the students, faculty and staff from both schools were in attendance, as well as other physician instructors from across the country (two emergency department nurse instructors from Canada even participated!). Law enforcement and military units participated in the pre-hospital phase of the training, alongside Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics and firefighters. Surgeries occurred almost continuously throughout the day, guided by general surgeons, surgical assistants, anesthesiology, as well as the student surgeons. To make the scenario as realistic as possible, simulation equipment (including cut suits) and moulage was utilized. The "patients" were played by actors hired by STOPS and by faculty and students. By creating convincing scenarios, the exercise gave credence to the "Suspension of Disbelief" ideology that is important in medical simulation. Students learned how to triage and present patients to attending physicians and surgeons while under significant stress due to sudden influxes of high patient loads. They also had to master a variety of individual skill sets during the week and to make formal presentations to the rest of the class and instructors on various surgical diseases and treatments. Throughout the ISSC, the goal was to enhance patient assessment and management capabilities and to develop leadership skills and confidence in order to prepare for practicing medicine and surgery in the military environment. Watch CBS Channel 8 news coverage of the event at http://bit.ly/28TWnKo.


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Celebrating Accomplishments (and Eyebrows) the RVU Way As the school year came to an end, students gathered for the annual RVUCOM Awards Night, hosted by the SGA. This event (a tradition since its inception in 2011) is a time for students to honor the faculty, staff, and fellow students who made the year more informative, more supportive, and frankly, more enjoyable. Whether it was Dr. Choudhury's New York accent (wait, what?), Dr. Schwartz's sarcastic eyebrows, or Amanda Ammentorp's penchant for "saving fellow students' butts," honors of all kinds were acknowledged and rewarded with the prestigious Golden Fighting Prairie Dog.

Class of 2018 Award Winners: Service Award: Yenly Nguyen Congeniality Award: Joseph LaPorta OPP Department Award: Clementine Stowe-Daniel PCM Department Award: Katherine Corwin Outstanding Service Award: Katherine Rose Class of 2019 Award Winners: Service Award: Jackson Bell Congeniality Award: Kabir Husain

A.T. Still Award for Excellence in Teaching: Dr. Joseph Stasio Dr. LeAnn Jons-Cox William Osler Award for Excellence in Teaching: Dr. Dwight Hertz (Class of 2018) Dr. Cindy Funk (Class of 2019)

Staff and Faculty Awards: Unsung Hero Award: George Marsh Administrative Staff Member of the Year: Erica Whatley

Fighting Prairie Dog Award: Dr. Qamrul Choudhury (Class of 2019) Dr. Richard Darrow (Class of 2018) Summit Club of the Year: ACOFP Family Medicine Club

First-Years Pay Tribute to Body Donors The Class of 2019 honored those who have donated their bodies to science with the annual Donor Memorial Ceremony. In addition to spoken word pieces, students performed songs such as, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and a rendition of "How Great Thou Art" performed on banjo and violin. The class also created a plaque with a quote by Alexa Tyler, OMS-I, reading "Through your selfless gift, we cling to your past and look to our futures with hope, humility, and pursuit of things much greater than ourselves." The plaque will hang near the Anatomy Lab—with previous class plaques—to serve as a token of appreciation to the humanity gifts provided in support of medical student training.

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Bulls, Campfires, and Explosions: Creating Health Care Teams in Baggs, WY

Over the weekend of June 3rd, students from the Rural and Wilderness Medicine Honors Track traveled to Baggs, Wyoming to participate in an intense, realistic training exercise alongside actual EMTs. The training exercise consisted of several scenarios: an explosion at an oil and gas facility; a campground fire and a four-wheeler accident; and a culmination of heart attacks, childbirths, car accidents, and rampaging bulls at the rodeo (utilizing real bulls and bullriders). Upon arriving at each scenario, the students found victims with realistic wounds and injuries: burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, broken limbs, disorientation, and more. During the final scenario, a cut suit (a high-tech wearable body suit that reproduces the look, feel, and even smell of surgery) was utilized to allow students the ability for more invasive medical treatments. Students learned to triage and treat patients and to work on a medical team, all the while factoring in environmental hazards, working in tight or potentially dangerous spaces, distractions, and more. When not participating in the scenarios, the students learned and practiced clinical skills and received valuable lessons about emergency medicine. Alisha Cluff, OMS-II, said, "I really enjoyed having the hands-on experience [and] getting additional practice on skills like chest tubes, ET tube placement, starting IVs, and the various skills that we [tried] in a safe learning environment...to make mistakes and learn from them without the added stress of having a life on the line. There is so much you learn from being thrown into these situations." These scenarios were a coordinated effort between Little Snake River EMS, LINN Energy, LLC, and RVUCOM. The entire weekend (from scenarios to clinical skill lessons) was designed to immerse the students and EMTs, providing them with hands-on experience and training that cannot be attained from classroom learning alone. "I have a much greater appreciation for what EMTs and paramedics do," said Samuel Holley, OMS-II. "It is challenging and hectic work. It's important that we as future physicians get a taste of what our fellow health care providers experience."


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It's a Hard Ranch Life

by Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP dist., Dean and Chief Academic Officer It is important that students entering rural practice acquire skills that will help them better understand the lifestyles of the patients they will eventually treat—experiencing life on a ranch is a good place to start. In May, Rural and Wilderness track students spent a weekend experiencing and learning the ways of rural life at Seely Ranch in Northwest Colorado. Students hiked and rode horses, cut down trees to build shelters using only rope lashings, and practiced survival skills (such as building fires without matches and cooking fish on hand-fashioned willow grills or in hot rock ovens). In the swift-flowing river, students practiced whitewater rescue, ferrying injured patients over the roaring waters in a litter suspended from rope. They learned to catch horses using just a halter and to inoculate and worm them. They learned to saddle and bridle mounts, trim and shoe hooves, and to use and secure a pack saddle. Using materials at hand, ropes, and clothing, they learned how to transport injured patients from the wilderness areas in real time. With the aid of the cut suit, more serious and life-threatening injuries were covered, as well. And no rural experience would be complete without a class in firearms training and safety.

RVUCOM-UT Campus Update During a visit to the RVU Utah campus site, faculty and staff prepared for a COCA visit while also enjoying the area and its offerings. The retreat kicked off with a showing of Tarzan at the Tuacahn Amphitheatre (which may one day be the site of white coat and commencement ceremonies). The RVUers later toured the Southern Utah Veterans Home, which will be partnering with the school to further students' knowledge of long-term care. While attending a "construction junction," they met Jack Reber, a veteran who is also the former mayor of Ivins. Mr. Reber's family was among the first families to settle in the town in 1925 and he was crucial in helping to build the town by installing a city park and a fire station, procuring a fire truck, improving the water irrigation system, and most recently, securing Jack Reber, veteran and the property to build the Veterans Home life-long supporter of Ivins where he would eventually live. As a result of his hard work and ceaseless support of the town, he is known as "Grand Patriarch of Ivins."

Watch the construction progress via a live feed at www.rvu.edu.

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The Utah campus construction is on schedule and receiving a lot of media attention (having been featured recently both on the front page of the primary St. George newspaper and on the Channel 4 news in Salt Lake City).


Sky Ridge Medical Center Honors Its Graduating Residents The Internal Medicine Residency Program at Sky Ridge Medical Center honored graduating residents with dinner and awards ceremony at Highlands Ranch Mansion. The historic building was set up as a self-guided tour, allowing residents and their loved ones to explore and mingle in every room, enjoying drinks and appetizers. Dinner was served in the mansion's large dining room, with beautiful flower arrangements and a string quartet (performed by Briana Tillman, OMS-II, her young son, and her parents). After dinner was finished, the ceremony began with each of the program's leaders speaking about the residency and its residents. Then Greg Hicks, MD, Director of the program, presented awards to William Hoskinson, DO (Resident of the Year), Scott Harshbarger, DO (Intern of the Year), Aron Hull, DO (Chief Resident), and Nolan Crusat, DO (Chief Resident). Next, Dr. Hicks presented certificates of recognition to first-year residents. Finally, he awarded diplomas to the graduating residents (along with the reminder: "You still have to come to work for these last 30 days!"). For a personal touch, Dr. Hicks spoke about each graduate: how they contributed to the program, what their presence or skill set meant to him, or anecdotes about their time together. Finally, the residents were treated to a slideshow of the years they spent in the program: milestones and achievements, major life events, and the many little moments together that made the grueling hours of residency just a little bit easier. Congratulations, Graduates!


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OPTI Hosts First Research Appreciation Day for Residents On May 13th, OPTI hosted the first Research Appreciation Day, open to all of the region's residents. Five RVU professors were chosen to judge the poster competition and award first-, second-, and third-place winners. Posters were judged on the display and content, while the resident was judged on their oral presentation and their professionalism. After a lot of discussion and deliberation, the winners were announced: Nolan Crusat, DO (first place), Aron Hull, DO (second place); and Ronald Kwong, DO (third place)—each from the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Sky Ridge Medical Center. Each winner received a voucher to be used toward any seminar, conference, or other educational purpose of their choosing. In closing, William Cairney, PhD, Assistant Dean of GME/Executive Director of RMOPTI, spoke of the importance of putting in the work and doing the research, even while completing one's residency. The event, which is expected to be an annual occurrence, was co-sponsored by Sky Ridge Medical Center and Colorado Society of Osteopathic Medicine.

What Rising Third-Years Should Know About Rotations Going on rotations? Here is advice from fourth-year students who just finished a year of rotations: • Learn shorthand for labs (google image "lab shorthand"). Write down each one in the morning...they are often important and frequently asked about. Do your best to know what they mean, how to fix them, and potential concerns. • Vitals are vital. Write them down including Tmax (highest temp in 24-72 hours, depending on context). • Volunteer to do stuff: sometimes all it takes is volunteering to do a foley to get staff on your side for the whole rotation. • Assess the situation before asking if someone can teach you something (such as if people are rushing around, wait). • Be flexible: schedules and rotations can change at the last minute...be ready for it to not work out the way you thought. • Be professional, polite, on time, and ready to learn—even if you have little interest in the rotation. • Prepare for each rotation ahead of time. Physical exam skills, basic pharmacology (learn the brand names for common drugs!), anatomy, and high-yield diseases/disorders are things that preceptors like quiz you on. • Ask if you can do anything (prepping exam rooms, running scripts, cleaning up) to make their life easier. • Ask thoughtful questions: most docs are happy to share insights about things like work/life balance, finances, or how they chose their field.

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Putting an End to Sexual Assault Through Awareness For Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) this year, RVU chose to focus not only on awareness and prevention, but also on the physician's perspective since students will inevitably have a patient who has been assaulted. Spearheaded by RVU's Security Department and sponsored by several departments, the school hosted a series of speakers, events, and information throughout the month. Dr. Nathaniel Hibbs and Leni Sutton from Centura spoke about sexual assault from a health care provider's perspective; Michelle Metz from Denver Health spoke about the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program; and Dawn Cashman of Parker Police and Jennifer FlynnRogers, a Victim's Advocate, spoke about reporting and self-defense. RVUers were also given the opportunity to learn protective skills: Rocky Mountain Self-Defense and Fitness provided a lesson in Krav Maga, while Parker Academy of Martial Arts taught self-defense and assertiveness techniques. The month concluded with a special pre-screening of "The Abolitionists," a film that sheds light on the tragic reality of child sex trafficking and what Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) is doing to eradicate that problem. Read more about this screening on page 16.

Special Classes and Workshops Explore OMM Techniques One thing students learn quickly at RVUCOM is just how many applications there are for osteopathic medicine in the world of disorders, diseases, and discomforts. These applications are explored in special workshops and classes held throughout the year. Led by Heather Ferrill, DO, MS, Chair and Associate Professor of OPP, students recently practiced pediatric osteopathic manipulative medicine (photo at right) to treat common extremity injuries on babies and toddlers, using gentle, non-invasive treatments. In another course, physicians, residents, and fourth-year students alike had the opportunity to delve into the techniques for treating visceral somatic dysfunctions with OMM (photo at left) in the continuing education course "Introduction to Visceral Manipulation." This course, taught by Adrienne Kania, DO, and Dana Anglund, DO, (both Assistant Professors of OPP) challenged osteopathic and allopathic physicians alike to sharpen their osteopathic skills in a little-known area of practice. Visceral manipulation is used to treat dysfunctions of the sphincters and stomach caused by trauma, pregnancy, infections, and more. Such dysfunctions may include reflux, ulcers, or gastritis.


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Emergency Medicine Boot Camp Prepares Students for Rotations In April, RVUCOM held its first Emergency Medicine (EM) Boot Camp, a day-long conference with lectures, demonstrations, and workshops for 25 students. Conceived and developed by Danika Evans, OMS-III, Adam Olson, OMS-III, and Daniel Morrad, OMS-II, the boot camp was designed primarily to prepare third-year students for emergency medicine rotations (though second-year students were also invited to learn new skills). The boot camp was made possible through funding by the Colorado Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians Board of Directors. (Read more about how this funding was acquired through the efforts of students on page 19.) The boot camp began with several fourth-year students outlining pathways to reaching residency goals, followed by lectures by visiting Denver Health residents on trauma management, the benefits of membership in the EM Residents Association and ACEP, and strategies for maximizing student performance on audition rotations. After lunch, students participated in a variety of skills stations: central line placement—both with and without ultrasound guidance, lumbar puncture, airway management techniques, suturing and knot tying, general ultrasound imaging techniques, abscess drainage, digital blocks and intraosseous line placement. Students were assisted by local physicians and fourth-year students.

5 Things to Know About Marijuana Usage

by Terence Brennan, PhD, Associate Director of Compliance and Quality Assurance 1. Reaction time for motor skills, such as driving, is reduced by 41% after smoking 1 joint and is reduced 63% after smoking 2 joints. 2. The daily use of 1 to 3 marijuana joints can produce the same lung damage and potential cancer risk as smoking five times as many cigarettes. 3. Marijuana is the second most common drug, after alcohol, present in the blood stream of non-fatally and fatally injured persons. 4. Marijuana is a complex material containing 421 chemicals, 60 of which are only found in marijuana. 5. 75% of drug-related criminal charges are connected to marijuana. 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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Volunteer Efforts • Michelle Levine, OMS-II, and Camille Bentley, DO, FACOFP, raised $2,400 for Adopt-A-Village International, following the recent, devastating earthquake in Ecuador. Half of the money was raised by RVU students, faculty, and staff, with Hands for Health matching the funds. The donation was used to provide medicine, water, and other supplies to those in need. • Tate Van Winkle, OMS-II, along with the Pediatric Club, started a group to support Love Your Melon—a national organization that sells hats to raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer. SD Van Winkle felt a personal connection to the cause as a volunteer for both Camp Wapiyapi (a camp for children with cancer) and in the hematology and oncology units at Children's Hospital. Just this year alone, the RVU LYM group has contributed over $750 to the cause! They also participated in National Superhero Day, in which they met Michael, a young child battling cancer. They spent the day together dressed as superheroes, playing video games and decorating cookies. "It was quite a bit of work starting the group," she said. "But everything is put into perspective once you realize what a difference you can make! [We] were happy to deliver a little bit of happiness and support to Michael's family during this tough time. Letting them know their community cares [about] them is a very powerful thing!" • Members of Rotary Community Corps at RVU (RCC/RVU)--Jackson Bell, OMS-II, Spencer Hill, OMS-II, and Abby Zinn, OMS-III--organized a fundraising event for Operation Underground Railroad (OUR), an organization that rescues children from sex trafficking, while bringing justice to the perpetrators. By hosting a special film screening of "The Abolitionists," the group raised over $1,400 for the organization. This money will be used for such rescue items as GPS tracking devices and body cameras, as well as for sewing machines, which provide skills for the rescued children, allowing them to eventually support themselves.

Volunteer Mark Backlin hands out donated water in Ecuador

Superhero Day with Michael

OUR Fundraising Event

Campus Tidbits Travis Jones, OMS-II, and his wife recently welcomed a baby boy, Milo Perri Jones. He was born on May 11th, weighing 8 pounds 11 ounces and was 20.25 inches long. SD Jones said, "Aside from the fact that delivery lasted 25 hours, everything went great! Baby Milo ended up a little jaundiced so we had to stay at the hospital longer than usual. After catching some UVs, both mom and baby are doing great."


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Campus Tidbits RVU sponsored the Town of Parker's Bike to Work Day. Kelly Harris, Administrative Assistant to Admissions and Marketing, handed out t-shirts to passing bicyclists. Interestingly, several cyclists were spotted wearing RVU t-shirts from previous years' Bike-to-Work events!

Josnda Cole, Student Financial Services Assistant, and her husband recently welcomed a baby girl. Amyah Cole was born on May 7th, weighing 7 pound 9 ounces and was 18.5 inches long. Congratulations, Josnda!

Vanessa Sanchez, PhD, former Chair and Secretary of the Board of Trustees, celebrated her last day on May 27th. "Dr. Sanchez's infectious laugh and warm embrace created a working environment that will be hard to replace," said Clinton Adams, President and CEO. "Her entrepreneurial thinking, commitment to higher education, and enormous insight into health care quality led the Board to expand our programs, improve our commitment to wellness, and ensure a caring attitude about faculty, staff, and students."

Congratulations to Emily Booth, OMS-IV, and Douglas Robinson, DO'16, on their recent engagement! They were introduced at RVU in 2014 by a mutual friend. During a global rotation in February, SD Robinson proposed while atop Machu Picchu (thereby setting the bar impossibly high for anyone else thinking of proposal ideas). SD Robinson graduated last month and will begin his Emergency Medicine residency in Fort Hood, Texas. SD Booth hopes to join him upon graduating next year.

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

Brian Birks, OMS-III, presented his research, “The Comorbidity of Sleep Disorders and Sleep Disturbance on Cardiovascular Health” to students, faculty, and staff at Rocky Vista University. Well done, SD Birks!

Brett Friedler, OMS-II, published research, "Reversal of the Detrimental Effects of Post-Stroke Social Isolation by Pair-Housing is Mediated by Activation of BDNF-MAPK/ERK in Aged Mice," in Scientific Reports. This studied the detrimental effects of social isolation on ischemic stroke outcomes in an aged mouse model. Congratulations, SD Friedler!

Kelly Davis, OMSIV, Anatomy Fellow, presented data from an original research project at the American Association of Clinical Anatomists’ annual conference. Her co-author on the project was Charles Simpkin, OMS-IV, also an Anatomy Fellow. The presentation, titled "Unilateral right-sided varicocele associated with pancreatic cancer: A cadaveric case report," suggests the possibility of a novel, simple, and noninvasive technique for detection of pancreatic cancer. Congratulations to SD Davis and SD Simpkin!

Adrienne Kania, DO, Associate Professor of OPP, with co-investigators, Drs. LeAnn Jons-Cox, Joel Dickerman, and William Cairney, has been awarded a 2016 AACOM Medical Education Research Grant for a study, "RemOTE: Remote Osteopathic Training and Education. A webbased program to mentor osteopathic residents in Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy". Well done, Dr. Kania!

Heather Ferrill, DO, Chair and Associate Professor of OPP—along with faculty from NSU-COM and Touro-CA—has been awarded a 2016 AACOM Medical Education Research Grant of $10,000 for the study, “Pilot Implementation of an Osteopathic Principles and Practices Survey and Faculty Development Program to Increase the Use of Osteopathic Principles and Practices in Core Clinical Clerkships.” Well done, Dr. Ferrill!


Katherine Rose, OMS-III, received the Colorado Springs Osteopathic Foundation Scholarship. She will receive $20,000, dispersed over her third and fourth years of medical school. CSOF believes that ensuring the future of osteopathic medicine in Colorado begins by supporting today’s osteopathic medical students. Congratulations, SD Rose! Briana Tillman, OMS-II, presented her research, "Circadian Rhythms in Breast Milk," at the GOLD Lactation Conference. The presentation focused on the benefits of breast milk citing research that breast milk’s biochemical make-up shifts in synchrony with a mother’s circadian rhythms, giving breastfed babies a head-start in neurological development and sleep patterns. Congratulations, SD Tillman!

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

Andrew Vosko, PhD, Assistant Professor of Anatomy and Medical Humanities, is serving on two subcommittees under the AAMC Advisory Committee on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Sex Development (AXIS). The goal of AXIS is to support the efforts of academic medicine and the biomedical sciences at the local, regional, national, and international levels to promote the health of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), gender nonconforming (GNC), and/or born with differences in sex development (DSD). As the committees work to create educational curricula to address the health of these individuals, there are plans to involve RVU as an active site for program development. Rocky Vista University has secured reaccreditation from the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) to providing continuing medical education programs for another

three years—passing the review with a perfect 100 points! For information on CME course offerings, see the back cover.

Danika Evans, OMS-III, Daniel Morrad, OMS-II, and Adam Olson, OMS-III, were awarded a $1,000 grant used to fund RVU’s first Emergency Medicine Boot Camp. The grant was through the Colorado Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). Well done!

MSBS Program Receives HLC Accreditation RVU has officially announced that it will offer a Master of Science Degree in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) with the first class matriculating in August of this year. The announcement came after receiving approval from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), an accrediting agency. "We are thrilled to have received approval to move forward with the MSBS program," stated Kathryn Pate, PhD, Program Director. "We are looking forward to the opportunities the program will bring to our students and to the University. The faculty has been working very hard to create an exciting curriculum that includes a great deal of inter-professional education, which will ultimately lead to the enhancement of all programs here at RVU." The MSBS program will consist of a 9-month curriculum in the biomedical sciences designed to help strengthen the academic background of candidates who are seeking admission into graduate health programs such as medical school, veterinary medicine, dental school, physician assistant studies, or other professional or graduate level programs. Applications for admission are currently being accepted and are available on the RVU website.

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Welcome to our New Faculty and Staff! Lisa Bemelen Medical Receptionist, Health Center


Lisa hails from Aurora, Colorado. She has 30 years of experience in the medical field including working for Dr. Lawrence Varner, an Orthopedic Surgeon for 13 years as his Office Manager. She also worked at the RIA Endovascular Clinic as the Front Office Supervisor. In addition, she worked at Parker Square Family Practice. Lisa is excited to join the RVU team and work “in a healthy, happy environment where [she] can be part of a team.” She looks forward to using her skills and developing new skills in an environment where she can thrive and excel. Lisa has been married to her high school sweetheart for 32 years. They enjoy camping and traveling during their free time. She is also a die-hard Broncos fan. Welcome, Lisa! Kyle Evans Security Officer Kyle is originally from Lone Tree, Colorado. He served in the Army as a Combat Engineer, which is a soldier specialist who performs a variety of construction and demolition tasks under combat conditions—facilitating movement and support of friendly forces while impeding those of the enemy. Prior to coming to RVU, he also worked as an armed security guard and as a bodyguard. He is currently working on a degree in network engineering. He comes to RVU for both the convenient location as well as his desire to assist in the educational process. During his free time, Kyle enjoys hiking, shooting and camping. He also brews his own beer. He is married and has two dogs. Welcome, Kyle!

Brian Stover Software Needs Analyst and End-User Relations


Brian is originally from Bakersfield, California. He served in the United States Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller and an Emergency Actions Controller. In addition to this, Brian has served as an adjunct online professor for a number of universities teaching business, IT, management, leadership and general education. From there, he spent many years working in the IT and GIS industries including nine years as a Senior Business Consultant for Jenzabar where he tested, fixed, and developed their products along with training clients for optimal use of the software. Brian says that he’s excited to be a part of RVU as it’s a new adventure and he’s always excited for new adventures. In his spare time, Brian enjoys being with his wife, Erin and their two children, Shane and Brian Jr. An interesting fact about Brian is that he used to work at the Pentagon in a very secured/secret facility. Welcome, Brian! John Villalva Security Officer John is from Parker, Colorado. He has a background in security work including working in the US Army, Finney County Deputy Sheriff Department, Kansas State Troopers, Wackenhut Security, Inter-Com Security, Securitas Security, and Christian Brothers Automotive. John came to RVU on the recommendation of his friends, George Marsh and Gary Pippin. He states, "In my short time here, the faculty and students [have made] this a great place to work." John spends his free time with his family: three daughters, one son, and 14 grandchildren! Most of his family lives in Parker. He enjoys their weekend family gatherings. Welcome, John!


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Promotions and Appointments Qamrul Choudhury, PhD, has been promoted from Assistant Professor of Physiology to Associate Professor of Physiology. He has also accepted the new appointment of Phase Director of Year One. Dr. Choudhury has been with RVU since 2010. Congratulations, Dr. Choudhury!

Brian Leary has been promoted to Clinical Affairs Manager. In this role, he will be responsible for overseeing third and fourth year rotations including serving as the point of contact for community preceptors and directing programs and activities related to clinical rotations. Mr. Leary has been with RVU since 2013. Congratulations, Mr. Leary!

LeAnn Jons-Cox, DO, has been appointed to Founding Residency Director of the new Neuromuscular Medicine Residency Program at Sky Ridge Medical Center to begin in 2017—the first residency of its type in Colorado! She will continue her role as Associate Professor of Osteopathic Principles and Practices. Dr. JonsCox has been with RVU since 2009.

Kathryn Pate, PhD, has been appointed to Program Director of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences degree program to begin this fall 2016. Dr. Pate will also continue her role as Assistant Professor of Physiology. Dr. Pate has been with RVU since 2014. Congratulations, Dr. Pate!

Congratulations, Dr. Jons-Cox!

Member (20 Hours): Camille Bentley, DO, MPH, FACOFP Heather Ferrill, DO, MS Fernando Gomez, MD LeAnn Jons-Cox, DO

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Nicole Michels, PhD Kathryn Pate, PhD Brian Schwartz, MLIS Andrew Vosko, PhD







This year’s faculty development activities included: Critical Questioning Skills, Creating Narrated Animated Videos, Scholarship of Inquiry in the Classroom, Faculty as Helping Resources and Student Mentoring, Teaching Excellence and Student Active Learning Primer, Reclaiming the Role of the Basic Sciences in Competency-Based Medical Education.

Y VIS CK Teaching Academy


Congratulations to the faculty who attained 20-40 hours of continuing education through the RVU Teaching Academy!


Teaching Academy Awards

Distinguished Member (40 Hours): Qamrul Choudhury, PhD Amber Heck, PhD Rachel Linger, PhD Jennifer Montemayor, PhD Jacquelyn Waller, PharmD


From the Rocky Vista University Alumni Association



Dear Graduates: First of all, let me be the 100th person to say, “Congratulations!” The curriculum at RVU is incredibly rigorous and exceptionally challenging and you have all succeeded. I’d also like to congratulate the Class of 2016 for having a 100% residency placement, which continues a strong RVU tradition! Let me briefly introduce myself. My name is AJ Ryan. I am a graduate of the Class of 2014 and the new RVU Alumni Association President. As of July 1st, I will be a third-year Internal Medicine resident at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree, Colorado. As a resident, in whatever field of medicine and during each of your rotations, you will be challenged not only in your medical knowledge but also in your ability to interact with all sorts of different people – patients and staff alike. My small piece of advice to you is to stay humble. You can learn something from everyone. When you don’t agree with your senior resident or your attending, stay humble and learn why they do it the way they do. Ask questions that will enhance your knowledge rather than assume you know best…because you don’t. Not yet. The goal of residency is to learn as much as you can. I encourage you to do just that – every day and from everyone. Lastly, I further encourage you all to become contributing members of the Alumni Association. To become a contributing member, the cost is $25 per person per year - which is definitely affordable during your residency - or $1000 as a one-time cost to become a lifetime member – which is probably not realistically affordable during residency – I know, however, there are benefits to becoming contributing members as the Alumni Association does things like providing scholarships to first and second year students. Your small contribution of $25 goes a long way. I hope that the Alumni Association can help to further your education as well as your pride of attending and graduating from RVU. If there is anything I can do personally, please do not hesitate to let me know at AJackRyan@gmail.com. And once again, congratulations, doctors! Best,

AJ Ryan, DO ‘14 RVU Alumni Association President

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Meet Your Alumni Association President: AJ Ryan, DO '14 Today, Dr. Ryan is a familiar face on the RVU campus, but it almost didn't turn out that way. Originally from Seattle, Washington, he completed his medical school education at RVUCOM then moved even farther south to Mesa, Arizona. There, he worked through his first year as an internal medicine resident at Mountain Vista Medical Center. And it was here that he met his future wife: Madeline Jones, DO, a graduate from A.T. Still University. Dr. Jones was a native of Colorado, leading her to apply to a residency program at Sky Ridge Medical Center (a joint program with RVU). She was accepted and, in her words, dragged him along with her. He transferred after his intern year was finished, joining her in the Internal Medicine Residency Program. About becoming a resident, Dr. Ryan says, "The most interesting thing was realizing the vast amount I don’t know about medicine. We spend four years of our lives cramming medical knowledge into our brain; when we become residents, we think we know enough to effectively take care of a patient. Having two years of residency under my belt has increased my knowledge base significantly." Dr. Ryan can often be found working at the Rocky Vista Health Center as part of the residency, but he also steps in to help around campus, such as interviewing potential students as part of the admissions process. In his free time, he enjoys bowling and exploring the extensive craft breweries around the state.

AJ and Madeline were married in January 2016 in Golden, Colorado

congratulations to all of our alumni on their achievements! Matthew Carter, DO '14, was named Chief Resident for the Pediatric Residency program at Michigan State University Sparrow Health System in Lansing, Michigan.

Natasha Gaulke, DO '12, recently matched into Interventional Radiology (IR) fellowship program at University of Cincinnati. She will begin her training in July 2017. This is especially impressive as female interventional radiologists are fairly rare in an otherwise male-dominated sub-specialty!

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William Hoskinson, DO '14, was named Resident of the Year at the Sky Ridge Internal Medicine Residency Program in Lone Tree, Colorado.

Rebecca Lewis, DO '12, was named Vice President of the Oklahoma division of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP). She is completing her residency at St. Anthony's Family Medicine Residency in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

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Upcoming CME Courses July 15-17, 2016 "OMM and the CNS" 20 hours of CME; Course Directors: Ted Huzij, DO, FACN, and R. Paul Lee, DO, FAAO, FCA Explore the osteopathic approach to evaluating and treating mood disorders, arachnoid hyperplasia, inflammation in the brain and more. Dr. Huzij is a board certified psychiatrist and OMM specialist. Dr. Lee has extensive experience in treating patients with cranial osteopathy. Open to DO and MD physicians who have previously taken a 40-hour Introductory Cranial Course (OCA or SCTF). October 7, 2016 "Querying the Body Using PRM" and "Long Fascial Relationships" 24 hours of CME; Course Directors: R. Paul Lee, DO, FAAO, FCA In this course, designed for practitioners trained in sensing primary respiration, Dr. Lee will detail how one may utilize primary respiration to "ask the bod" where somatic dysfunction exists and which has priority? What treatments are indicated? What foods, supplements, medications may be beneficial/harmful? He will examine long fascial relationships in the body, and demonstrate treatment techniques, which utilize these relationships for fast, effective and unifying treatment. He will also detail various ways to treat different levels of shock in the energy field and nervous system. Open to DO and MD physicians who have previously taken a 40-hour Introductory Cranial Course (OCA or SCTF). For more information: http://rockymountainaao.wix.com/rockymtnaao or akania@rvu.edu

10 Free Apps Every Med Student Needs to Download • 3M Littmann SoundBuilder: improve your auscultation skills with heart sounds and animations • drawMD General Surgery: sketch on medical illustrations to communicate with patients • Epocrates: find out medical information quickly, such as prescriptions and interactions • Eye Chart Pro: on-the-go, remote-controlled visual acuity exam • Google Translate: translate between languages by typing or with your camera • IM Essentials Flashcards: supplement your studying with convenient flashcards • Medscape: access medical calculators, drug information, CME courses, and more • Prognosis: Your Diagnosis: assess your clinical knowledge and decision-making skills • ReachMD: discover, participate in, and share medical education • Ustream: upload or watch live videos from your device

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Rocky Vista University's Vista View Newsletter - June 2016 Issue  

In this issue: • Commencement 2016! • Testing the Limits: Military Track Preps for Disaster • Celebrating Accomplishments (and Eyebrows!) th...

Rocky Vista University's Vista View Newsletter - June 2016 Issue  

In this issue: • Commencement 2016! • Testing the Limits: Military Track Preps for Disaster • Celebrating Accomplishments (and Eyebrows!) th...

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