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Summer 2013

F OR A H EALTHIER C OMMUNITY INSIDE: Rebuilding the backbone of health:

Primary care medicine UNT Health empowers Holocaust survivor Hands-on treatment cures back pain Challenges? No problem for ‘Best Neurosurgeon in America’ Taking the bite out of mosquito season

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT With this premiere issue of Solutions, we’re doing more than just changing the name of a publication. We’re reshaping how we tell all the many stories that exist within UNT Health Science Center. Our stories are well worth telling. They demonstrate that excellence in academics, cutting-edge research and compassionate patient care are essential to serving a healthy community. We are particularly proud that our growing leadership in three specialty areas matches some of our community's – and the nation’s – most pressing needs: • Primary care and prevention • Healthy aging and Alzheimer’s disease research • Applied genetics Our promise is to create solutions for a healthier community. We want every page in every issue of Solutions to reflect that commitment and underscore the many ways that UNTHSC makes a meaningful, lasting difference in the lives of those we touch. Sincerely,

Michael Williams, DO, MD, MBA Interim President TCOM '81


Solutions Executive Editor: Jean Tips

Managing Editor: Cari Hyden Art direction and design: Carl Bluemel Production Manager: Amy Buresh Schnelle Contributors: Dana Benton Russell Sally Crocker Betsy Friauf Rebecca Lucas-Gregg Nicole Lyons Brian Melton Photography: Jeremy Enlow ( Mike Gibson ( Tommy Hawkes Nicole Lyons Solutions is published for the UNT Health Science Center community and friends by the Marketing and Communications Department. UNT Health Science Center 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth, TX 76107 817.735.5190 Copyright © 2013, All rights reserved.

Summer 2013 CONTENTS 2 | Message from the President

Magazine’s new look symbolizes how we tell our stories.

4 | Healthier communities

See the many ways we fulfill our promise: Solutions for healthier communities.

21 | Nobel laureate talks funding

Are we spending research money in the right places? Nobel Prize winner Stanley Prusiner responds.

22 | Hands-on treatment cures back pain Ken Hutchings’ “big-time” pain in his back was healed by osteopathic manipulative treatment.

24 | Clinical rotations at Yellowstone

Physician assistant students brave bugs, burns and bears at coveted rotation.

12 cover story The many colors of primary care Family doctors portrayed in vintage black-and-white TV shows have been transformed. Today’s primary care practitioners represent many fields, and may not even be doctors. The Affordable Care Act is speeding the metamorphosis. Cover photo: Shamyal Kahn, Will Griffin and Kimberly Wilson, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2015, practice tracheal intubation on a computerized mannekin under the direction of John Bowling, DO, Professor and Assistant Dean of Rural Medical Education.

10 Holocaust survivor can live at home After a life of moves forced by World War II, senior Brigitte Altman ends her journeys and lives at home, thanks to a UNT Health physician.

26 Challenges? No problem Rob Dickerman, DO ('98), PhD ('98), vaults obstacles to become one of the best neurosurgeons in America.

25 | Epic marathons

TCOM student coached an administrator to a marathon finish – and the Cowtown celebrates its 35th birthday.

28 | UNTHSC alumnus vs. West Nile virus Christopher Perkins found himself in a West Nile virus epicenter. He’s fighting back, and provides some tips.

30 | Generosity is key for Rainwaters

This Fort Worth power couple is passionate about education and healthy aging – and they back it up.

34 | Advancing the cause

Contributing to healthier communities; and we say goodbye to a devoted UNTHSC friend.

"Without exception, the osteopathic medical students from the UNT Health Science Center are consistently at the top. The residents we have in our program from TCOM are always outperforming most of the other residents.” ~ Thomas Shima, DO

director of the Methodist Charlton Family Medicine Residency Program Summer 2013


HEALTHIER .COMMUNITIES Williams advising ‘Hospital of Tomorrow’ UNTHSC Interim President Michael Williams is among the nation’s notable health care executives developing a “Hospital of Tomorrow” forum. Created by U.S. News & World Report, the forum will convene in Washington, D.C., this fall to address the health care industry’s most critical challenges. Williams is the only Texas member and joins members representing the Cleveland Clinic, Duke University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins Hospital, New York Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, Mount Sinai Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and others. “This appointment gives Fort Worth a unique seat at the table during critical senior-level health care discussions regarding our industry's future,” Williams said. “It's an honor to be part of such a distinguished group.” Williams, named UNTHSC Interim President in December 2012, previously served as CEO of Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Forum addresses childhood obesity Speakers at the standing-room-only North Texas Health Forum held in April at UNTHSC discussed promising local and national efforts to combat childhood obesity, and challenged participants to help combat the problem. Speakers included Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks; Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price; Steven Kelder, MPH, PhD, Professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health and Co-director of the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living; and Risa Wilkerson, MA, from the University of North Carolina and program officer for the national Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative.

$5.8 million grant addresses HRT and the brain Increasing numbers of women reaching menopause likely will consider hormone therapy to treat symptoms including hot flashes. But research is showing that those hormone treatments also could help maintain a healthy brain. So when should a woman begin estrogen and other hormone therapies, and how long should she continue?


Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, PhD, Chairman and Professor of the Pharmacology and Neuroscience Department, and his team recently received a $5.8 million, five-year program project grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue investigating a window of opportunity for estrogen and progesterone treatment to benefit the brain.

Forensics experts help identify Libya victims DNA experts will train Libyan scientists to analyze the remains of some 20,000 people found in mass graves, apparently victims of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. Libyan scientists will train at UNTHSC’s Center for Human Identification, directed by renowned forensic scientist Arthur Eisenberg, PhD, Chairman and Professor of Forensic and Investigative Genetics. The Libyan scientists will lead a new lab in Tripoli.

We’re big wheels in Bike Sharing

The westernmost station in Fort Worth’s new bike sharing network is on the UNTHSC campus, near the Center for BioHealth at Camp Bowie Boulevard and Boland Street. UNTHSC is a founding member of the bike share program – just another example of creating a healthier community.

Maintaining brain health in later years

Nearly $30,000 from UNTHSC’s annual internal giving campaign has been distributed to various local nonprofits, including: ––$15,000 over three years to the HALO Society, which aids abused and neglected foster children ––$5,000 to Fort Worth Bike Sharing ––$5,000 to Meals on Wheels ––$2,500 to the Rising Star Benevolence Fund, which benefits southwest Fort Worth residents experiencing hardships

Midlife cardiovascular disease and diabetes increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease years down the road. Therefore, keeping your blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes under control, as well as staying physically and mentally active throughout your life may reduce your risk of having this devastating disease in your “golden years.” Think of is this way: What is good for your heart is good for your brain. Heart health today may be your brain health tomorrow. Sid E. O'Bryant, PhD Associate Professor Internal Medicine Summer 2013


FOUR HONORED AS “HEALTHCARE HEROES” The Fort Worth Business Press honored four UNT Health Science Center physicians and faculty members in its annual HealthCare Heroes activities:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Research in Medicine Award

HealthCare Hero

HealthCare Hero

W. Paul Bowman, MD, Professor and Chair, Pediatrics, at the Health Science Center and “Life After Cancer” Medical Director at Cook Children’s Medical Center, was recognized for longtime contributions to children’s health. He conducted the first pediatric bone marrow transplants for acute lymphoblastic leukemia almost 30 years ago.

Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, PhD, Professor and Chair, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, investigates how hormones affect the brain and their role in aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The National Institutes of Health has endorsed his research with a $5.8 million grant from the National Institute on Aging. Singh also serves as interim director of UNTHSC’s Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Research and as research director for the Center Focused on Resources for Her Health, Education and Research.

Nicoleta Bugnariu, PhD, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy, was noted for her research into improving physical rehabilitation as well as understanding human posture and movement throughout life in healthy and neurologically impaired populations. Bugnariu has helped build research collaborations with UT Arlington, UT Dallas and Texas Health Resources, among other institutions. She chairs the City of Fort Worth’s Falls Prevention Task Force.

G. Sealy Massingill, MD, Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, was recognized for his mentoring of students and residents, particularly emphasizing the importance of engaging patients in medical decisions. Massingill is a longtime leader in the Continuous Quality Improvement programs at John Peter Smith and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, president of the Tarrant County Medical Society and vice president of the Texas Medical Association Foundation.

Losing it for charity TCOM 2015 students ponied up $750 for the Betty Ford Clinic (which trains TCOM students to treat addictions) by auctioning the privilege of chopping the legendary ponytail of TCOM Professor Michael Oglesby, PhD. John Smith (TCOM ’14) won the honor. Oglesby then volunteered for headshaving at an event that raised nearly $4,000 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation childhood cancer research. 6

Student choir soothes the terminally ill Sometimes music and a visit are the best solace for hospice patients. Every week, a dozen UNTHSC students sing hymns to patients in their rooms at Community Hospice of Texas. “It’s a learning experience that takes me beyond classwork,” said Whitney Brock (TCOM ’15).

Medical student saves neighbors from fire When your neighbor’s on fire, there’s no time to lose. Kyle Sulak, a third-year Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine student, demonstrated the clear judgment and life-saving instincts of his future profession in January when he heard screams as he was leaving his home. A neighbor who lives three houses away was in flames, fleeing his house. Sulak opened an outdoor faucet and extinguished the fire on the man’s hands and legs, then he saw a young girl in an upstairs window crying for help. Sulak told his wife to call 911, then he dashed back to the house where he found the neighbor’s teen-age son standing frozen in the entryway. “He was panicked,” Sulak said. “I grabbed him by the elbows and told him, ‘Everyone will be OK if we act fast. I need to know if you can help me. If you can’t help me, I need you to tell me where the stairs are so I can get your sister.’ ” Calmed, the boy rushed upstairs to rescue his sister. Sulak led the neighbor’s mother

from the kitchen to safety. With everyone accounted for, Sulak returned to the house, put out the fire and kept cold water on the father’s burns until help arrived. The man recovered and eventually returned to work. Sulak said his training at the UNT Health Science Center’s medical school helped him prioritize his response. He plans to be an anesthesiologist, which, he reasons, “requires you to act quickly and accurately in potentially life-threatening situations.” “I want to help alleviate a person’s pain and the toll it takes on all aspects of life,” he said. “And I want to provide reassurance and relief to patients undergoing surgical procedures so the patient will have the best experience and outcome.”

UNT Health Docs: “Super” and “Tops” Twenty-nine UNT Health providers have been named Texas Super Doctors by Texas Monthly and/or Top Docs by the Fort Worth Business Press. Texas Monthly Super Doctors Allergy/Immunology John Fling, MD Geriatrics Janice Knebl, DO

Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Joseph Burkett, MD Gary Etter, MD Alan Podawiltz, DO Scott Winter, MD

Internal Medicine Kathleen Crowley, MD

Fort Worth Business Press Top Docs

Orthopaedics David Lichtman, MD Arvind Nana, MD Russell Wagner, MD

Allergy/Immunology John Fling, MD

Pediatrics W. Paul Bowman, MD

Geriatrics Janice Knebl, DO Amy Moss, DO Infectious Disease Barbara Atkinson, DO Internal Medicine Kathleen Crowley, MD Palliative Care Alvin Mathé, DO

Cardio/Thoracic Surgery Albert Yurvati, DO

Pediatrics Toyya Goodrich, DO Sarah Matches, DO John Podgore, DO

Gastroenterology Monte Troutman, DO

Podiatry Brian Carpenter, DPM

Alan Garrett, DPM Travis Motley, DPM Psychiatry & Behavioral Health Helene Alphonso, DO Gary Etter, MD Elma Granado, MD Cheryl Hurd, MD Carol Nati, MD Alan Podawiltz, DO Scott Winter, MD Beverly Wu, MD Sports Medicine Daniel Clearfield, DO Alan Stockard, DO

Summer 2013


TCOM ranks in top 50 For the 11th consecutive year, US News & World Report ranks the UNT Health Science Center’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine among the top 50 U.S. medical schools for primary care. TCOM ranks 31st, higher than its 35th ranking last year and tied with Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University, the UT Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Missouri. Of the schools ranked, TCOM produces the nation’s second-greatest percentage of graduates entering primary care and the most in Texas. In addition, TCOM’s Rural Medicine program ranks 15th, and Family Medicine 17th.


Art as therapy

for dementia

Art as “engagement of the spirit” for dementia sufferers was explored during a February collaboration of the UNT Health Science Center’s Healthy Aging Council and the Alzheimer’s AssociationNorth Central Texas Chapter. A reception and panel discussion celebrated UNTHSC’s exhibit of the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Memories in the Making” paintings created by dementia patients in an art therapy program.

Knowledge means health for military families UNTHSC’s Gibson D. Lewis Library is piloting a program, “Armed with Information,” educating military personnel and their families to use the internet to find free, accurate medical and health information. The program debuted late last year at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth. Lewis Library is the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s medical and health resource library for 28 Texas counties, serving more than 3 million people. It also is the primary information resource for all Texas osteopathic physicians and facilities.

5,000 LBS

Earth Day ‘e-cycle’ worth the weight

The community and campus recycled two-and-a-half tons of electronic waste for free at UNTHSC’s first Think Green Earth Day Fair. TVs, VCRs, computers, cords, cellphones and more were safely and securely recycled by a vendor who returned a percentage of the proceeds to the university. Some 600 faculty, staff and students attended the fair.


EXPERTS ADVISE PHARMACY The UNT System College of Pharmacy at the UNT Health Science Center selected leading national academic pharmacy experts to advise the new school’s leadership. They will review planning documents, advocate for the program within the UNT System and throughout Texas, and provide advice on faculty and student recruitment and on external challenges. Advisory Board members:

Interprofessional ed gets new emphasis The Health Science Center is creating a new culture of interprofessionalism under the leadership of David Farmer, PhD, Director of Interprofessional Practice. Formerly director of the Seniors Assisting in Geriatric Education (SAGE) program, Farmer is helping UNTHSC’s five colleges and schools collaborate. The goal is that health providers and professionals will work in teams to improve care and reduce medical errors. An example of how this translates into on-the-ground training was the April 22 hospital emergency code simulation at UNTHSC. Students from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine and TCU’s Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences worked alongside UNT System College of Pharmacy faculty, area chaplains and other professionals in a simulated life-saving situation using a robotic mannekin.

• Jordan Cohen, PhD, Chair (Iowa City, Iowa), former Dean, University of Kentucky and University of Iowa colleges of pharmacy • David Allen, PhD (Oxford, Miss.), Dean, University of Mississippi College of Pharmacy • Robert Blouin, PharmD (Chapel Hill, N.C.), Dean, University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy • Jannet Carmichael, PharmD (Reno, Nev.), Director of Pharmacy, Veterans Administration Nevada Health Care System • Paula Perrone, JD (Fort Worth), President, Perrone Rx LLC • Carol Reagan, PharmD (Fort Worth), Pharmacist, John Peter Smith Health System, and President, Texas Pharmacy Association • Hazel Seaba, PharmD (Iowa City, Iowa), Associate Dean, University of Iowa College of Pharmacy

TCOM graduates land residencies throughout U.S. The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2013 will head to prestigious residency and internship programs across the country in a variety of specialties. Institutions include the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education; more than half are Texas-based residencies.

CONTINUED. PG32 Summer 2013


Brigitte Altman’s home is a place of many joyous memories with her granddaughter, Lauren Magee, 10.

Empowering seniors to live full lives

‘Journey’s End’

for Holocaust survivor: memories in her own home

As a girl during the Holocaust, Brigitte Altman stayed just one step ahead of the Nazis. After World War II, she trekked across Europe, eventually settling into a quiet life as a Fort Worth wife, mother and arts supporter. Now 88, she lives independently in the southwest Fort Worth home she calls Journey’s End. With the help of a UNT Health physician, she plans to stay in this house that she and her husband bought 50 years ago. The house that rings with joy when three generations gather at Thanksgiving, the home


where she and her granddaughter play the piano and bake challah bread. Altman credits UNT Health geriatrician Janice Knebl, DO, with empowering her to remain there and to share life’s joys with her family. “Dr. Knebl helps me understand how to make the right choices to be as healthy as I can.” Altman has a history of making the right choices, often under extreme duress. When she was a teenager in Lithuania, she and her family were evicted from one home

after another, imprisoned in the Kovno ghetto and forced into slave labor. At war’s end, she began another journey to escape the Iron Curtain. She progressed from safe house to safe house, crossed the Alps into Italy and, in 1949, emigrated to Dallas. She married an Air Force officer, Fredric Altman, a decorated bombardier and navigator who flew 50 World War II missions in B-17 “Flying Fortresses.” His career took the couple to England, upstate New York and finally Fort Worth.

“It’s important with a patient like Mrs. Altman to do a comprehensive assessment,” says Janice Knebl, DO. “That includes not only the complete medical history but also how well she functions in her home setting, nutritional status, and emotional and psychological wellness.”

And finally to Janice Knebl. patient and her family," says Knebl, Brigitte Altman and her daughter, Professor of Internal Medicine and Leslie Magee, are thankful they Dallas Southwest Osteopathic found Knebl, DO, MBA, a primary Physicians Endowed Chair in Clinical care provider specially trained in Geriatrics. caring for seniors and also among After an evaluation, Knebl the nation’s leading geriatrics made a family conference call that educators. included the four grown children. Three years before, Altman had With a full complement of geriatric landed in the emergency room and staff representing each area to lost the vision in one eye due to be addressed, the diagnoses and temporal arteritis, inflammation of treatment plan were shared with all. the temple arteries. She and Magee “We greatly appreciate Dr. Knebl’s knew they had to find a PCP who inclusive, collaborative approach to understood seniors. the total care of the patient,” Magee Knebl’s approach to elder care says. reflects UNT Health’s Gerontology She accompanies her mother Assessment and Planning (GAP) to all of her visits with Knebl and is program. A multidisciplinary acquainted with every member of the team assesses the entire person, care team. everything from medications to “Dr. Knebl’s superior expertise cognitive functioning and social and unmatched care have been service needs such as Meals on Wheels. integral to my mother’s health "The UNT Health Science and, as a result, quality of life.” Center Geriatrics approach emphasizes options for the ~ Leslie Magee

Eldest son Louis Altman says it’s clear that everyone on the team is open, caring and competent. “And I am confident that they have made a huge difference in the lives of the many patients they see.” He donated to the UNT Healthy Aging Council Foundation in part because of his mother’s improvement. Son-in-law Alan Magee adds that Altman’s outlook and wellbeing increased dramatically when she started seeing Knebl. “I really appreciate Dr. Knebl’s geriatric expertise, infectious enthusiasm, and overall dedication to her patients,” he says. “She has made an overwhelming difference in my mother-in-law’s life.” Even Altman's 10-year-old granddaughter, Lauren, notices a change: “I perform at Casa Mañana and love that my Grandma Tita comes to all of my shows and hasn’t missed one – thanks to Dr. Knebl!”

Watch Altman’s testimony for the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation:

To make an appointment with a UNT Health physician: 817-735-DOCS

Summer 2013


What is primary care medicine? The foundation of health care. The primary care physician is the patient’s partner, first contact and source of ongoing care for many symptoms and concerns – head to toe. The PCP may be a family or general practitioner, pediatrician, internist, obstetrician/gynecologist or geriatrician. In addition to treating illness, PCPs: • teach patients to improve their health. • coordinate care with other health specialists. • advocate for the patient in the health care system.


The Many Colors


Primary Care

The beloved doctor from vintage TV shows did things like remove a marble from little Jimmy’s ear, convince grandma to cut down on salt, deliver Emily’s baby, diagnose and treat Dad’s vague abdominal pain – and even knew the family dog’s name. That was possible because one doctor “back in the day” often cared for the entire family throughout their lives. Those black-and-white television images do not reflect the many colors of primary care today. Today, patients might see a pediatrician, geriatrician, obstetrician-gynecologist or internist – but all still would be served by primary care physicians (PCPs). Today’s PCPs aren’t just the person who trained in family medicine, they cover all these disciplines. They are the backbone of a healthy society. But in the U.S. that backbone is dangerously weak. Although 56 percent of patient visits in America are for primary care, only 37 percent of physicians practice primary care medicine – and only 8 percent of medical school graduates go into primary care. That creates fragmented care. Some say that’s why the United States ranks 37th in ensuring the health of its people – despite spending the most per person of all 191 countries studied, according to the World Health Organization.

This imbalance can be deadly. Communities with more specialists than primary care practitioners have higher mortality rates than those with more primary care providers, says the Harvard Health Policy Review. Not good news when the population is aging and has more complex health issues. And about 16 million more Americans will have health coverage by 2014 under the Affordable Care Act.

Primary care as a team sport Countries with the strongest primary care systems consider it a “team sport,” with the primary care physician as the quarterback, providing frontline care with teams of mid-level providers. These providers may be physician assistants, nurse practitioners or certified nurse midwives, who care for patients alongside a physician and are able to diagnose, treat and educate patients

Linda Ball, DO, counsels a patient on improving her health. Advantages of a strong primary care system • Greater access to preventive care before conditions become chronic or life threatening • Fewer preventable emergency department visits • Healthier population

Summer 2013


patients on wellness and preventive health. That means spending more time with patients. But how to do this when the number of primary care physicians is shrinking? The growing number of mid-level providers helps ensure a physician’s practice sees as many patients as possible.

David Lar, MD, treats a UNT Health patient. Pediatricians are considered primary care providers, along with OBgyns, internists and geriatricians.

The Affordable Care Act as a “hail-Mary” pass The Affordable Care Act (ACA) tries to strengthen primary care by placing a new value on this important element of a healthy society. “The Affordable Care Act is all about primary care,” said Erin Carlson, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Public Health. “It’s about once again making primary care the foundation of our health care system.” Carlson said the act does this by: • Increasing the primary care workforce and capacity for training. • Reforming the primary care physician payment system. • Promoting innovation in health care.

on improving their health. All these providers help coordinate care when patients need to see a specialist. “The physician assistant profession arose in the 1960s to address a shortage of primary care physicians,” said Hank Lemke, DHSc, Chairman and Associate Professor, School of Health Professions' Physician Assistant Program. “Since then, the profession has grown, and physician assistants now work in specialty areas as well as primary care. The national


certifying exam for physician assistants requires them to be proficient in primary care medicine – it’s ingrained in the profession.” Nationally, about half of physician assistants practice primary care, Lemke said.

Going for the goal means more than treating disease These teams further strengthen the primary care backbone by doing more than treating illness. They prevent disease by educating their

Recruiting more quarterbacks: Show me the money The current Medicare reimbursement scale – upon which most reimbursements are based – hasn’t kept pace with the skills needed to provide excellent primary care, Carlson said. Instead, it is based on procedures performed. That means specialists, who typically perform a number of procedures, are better paid than primary care providers, the team quarterbacks. The current payment system doesn’t pay primary care providers

adequately for essential tasks such as taking a medical history and examining the patient – and there’s no compensation for coordinating care.

“One of the most important aspects of primary care is patient education. That takes a lot of time, but there is no reimbursement code you can bill that to.” ~Erin Carlson, PhD That’s partly why most new physicians – who may graduate with more than $100,000 in student loans to repay – choose to practice more lucrative specialties such as radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesiology and dermatology over primary care. Although only 8 percent of medical students choose to practice primary care, the number for TCOM graduates is much higher, 60 percent, the most in Texas and the second highest rate in the nation. To help address this, the ACA calls for the Department of Health and Human Services to reform the payment scale based on objective, third-party information, and it provides primary care physicians with a 10 percent bonus for treating Medicare patients for the next five years.

A new game plan – innovative medical care models

better health outcomes at lower cost. The ACA enhances reimbursement to medical homes for Medicaid patients with chronic conditions. Frank Filipetto, DO, Chairman, Family Medicine, is optimistic the ACA will provide the reforms and infrastructure to reward quality, coordinated and interprofessional care. “Until we break the cycle of rewarding quantity of care that is fragmented, our health care investments will never produce the returns our patients expect,” he said. “Re-investing in a primary care workforce that is trained in new models of health care delivery is vital to our patients’ and country’s health.”

Affordable Care Act … a controversial call? Few laws have been enacted with more controversy than the Affordable Care Act. But now that the Supreme Court has upheld it, Carlson believes it’s time for patients to start learning about it. “Whether you like this law or not, don’t let the politics of this keep

Erin Carlson, PhD you from being informed and taking advantage of the opportunities that come about through this,” Carlson said. She recommends these sources of objective information: • The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation: • The Commonwealth Fund:

Nancy Edens, PA-C, Instructor, Family Medicine, explains the digestive system to patient and physician assistant student Vanessa Marin.

The ACA encourages patientcentered medical “homes” that allow timely access to care (even during non-business hours), partner with the patient to manage health and engage in continuous improvement. Pilot programs show patients have Summer 2013


Albert Yurvati, DO, Surgery Chairman; and Linda Cunningham, MD, Associate Professor of Medical Education, interview a prospective TCOM student.

One solution in providing outstanding primary care physicians During a time when few medical students choose to practice primary care, an astounding 60 percent of TCOM graduates enter primary care residencies. “Drawing from the traditions of osteopathic medicine, TCOM trains and graduates doctors who promote wellness and disease prevention,” said Don Peska, DO, TCOM Dean. “Having this orientation enables the primary care provider to work effectively at the interface between the community and the complex system we call health care. By its inclusion in our mission, TCOM is helping redefine primary care for the next generation.” TCOM begins emphasizing primary care even before medical students turn in their applications. Joel Daboub, TCOM Assistant Dean for Admission & Outreach,


oversees an admissions process that ensures the 230 students chosen from the 2,600 who apply each year not only have high grades and test scores, but also are “dedicated to helping their fellow man.” From the 2,600 applications, Daboub and his team choose 850 for the TCOM Admissions Committee to consider for admission to each class.

“We take a holistic view of the whole application. We don’t just look at their GPAs and their test scores.” ~Joel Daboub He and his team read applicants’ essays and review their activities. When taken together, these “weave a tapestry of actions that builds a picture of a student who is capable of – and is in interested in – promoting

health, necessary for practicing primary care medicine well.” Each of the top 850 applicants interviews with two faculty members. All who complete interviews are reviewed by one of six eight-member admissions committee teams. Each team member reviews the application, scoring each candidate in two equally-weighted categories: • Cognitive score – weighs the applicant’s ability to succeed in academics – based largely on past performance and scores on the Medical College Admission Test. • Non-cognitive score – rates the applicant’s interview score, involvement in community activities, commitment to the field of medicine, physician letters of recommendation and practical medical experience, among other factors.


Don Peska, DO, MEd

Then the committee assigns a final score to the candidate. The highest-scoring applicants receive offers of admission. In all, about 3,700 faculty hours are invested in identifying students with the best potential to become extraordinary doctors. Time well spent. TCOM graduates are consistently among the top in the nation on licensing board exams, and residency directors speak well of them. Once admitted, TCOM students learn medicine from the point of view of a primary care physician, said Lisa Nash, DO, Associate Dean for Educational Programs at TCOM. Take the study of chest pain, for instance. At most medical schools, this would be taught in categories like “cardiac causes of chest pain” and “pulmonary causes of chest pain,” Nash said. At TCOM, students are presented with “undifferentiated” chest pain and taught to diagnose the condition. “This just makes more sense,” she said. “Patients don’t show up at the doctor’s office and tell the

Lisa Nash, DO

physician they have pain from a cardiac condition. The physician has to diagnose the cause.” Another factor in TCOM’s success at producing primary care physicians is its faculty, Nash said. “In their early years of education, our students are taught by professors who have a primary care background,” Nash said. “That isn’t the case at every medical school.” Joel Daboub

“There are several measurements that can be used to gauge the quality of a medical student, some of which are the ability to do a good patient presentation, professionalism within the medical community and passion about the care they are delivering. Without exception, the osteopathic medical students from the UNT Health Science Center are consistently at the top. The residents we have in our program from TCOM are always outperforming most of the other residents.” ~Thomas Shima, DO

Director of the Methodist Charlton Family Medicine Residency Program Summer 2013


Rural Primary Care

Photo: Twila Keeton

Nadine Aldahhan, DO (TCOM ’13), trained with Kevin Blanton, DO (TCOM ’02), a family practitioner in Clifton, Texas (pop. 3,550).

Imagine the challenges a primary care doctor faces in a rural community. But think of the rewards, too. You would face challenges that not everyone can handle. You might be the only physician in town and for surrounding miles, serving as pediatrician, geriatrician, obstetrician, at times even the ER doctor. “The rural physician doesn’t have the luxury of referring patients to specialists,” says John Bowling,


DO, Professor and Assistant Dean of Rural Medical Education. “In small towns the rural health professional has to be prepared for just about anything. One of our adjunct faculty in Eagle Lake even helped organize the influx of thousands of people racing away from a hurricane on the Texas coast. Our students are

immersed in the rural lifestyle in their first year and learn to wear many hats.” The rural physician will likely be called upon for diverse leadership roles – nursing home medical director, athletics team physician, hospice director. “One of our adjunct faculty is a 4-H judge in Eastland. Another is emergency services director in Liberty,” Bowling says. Rural doctors contend with issues unique to primary care. Autonomy in practice can be exciting, but some feel isolated in remote settings. Rural physicians may struggle with being “on call” for what seems like 24/7.

The benefits of rural practice A common myth is that physicians avoid the rural setting because they won’t be able to repay large medical school loans or support a family. But the rural

Rural DO students get on-site training

TCOM ’15 student Ariel Riezenman learns ear examination by practicing on TCOM ’16 student Hannah Jayroe, directed by Professor John Bowling, DO. family physician is more likely to provide colonoscopies, bone density scans, minor surgery and obstetrics than his urban counterparts. These procedures are highly reimbursable. The rural physician in Texas earns a good living. “You can raise a family in a less hectic environment, be intricately involved in the success of a town and be appreciated by the community you serve,” Bowling says.

Training rural physicians To become part of a rural community, an understanding of the culture is paramount. The Rural Scholars Program at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine addresses this. In the Rural Scholars Program the student visits a rural clinic before setting foot in a classroom, and this relationship with practicing

physicians and other providers continues through graduation. The Rural Osteopathic Medical Education of Texas (ROME) community-based curriculum introduces student doctors to the rural environment. Students work with faculty preceptors from rural communities across the state. They can “try on” the life of a rural physician to see how it fits. US News & World Report ranked the program ranked 15th in the nation this year.

In March, 13 first-year ROME students traveled more than 100 miles north of the Metroplex to experience first-hand how an osteopathic physician partners with a local employer. In the Red River town of Bonham, Texas (pop. 10,000), they visited a Clayton Homes manufactured housing factory that employs more than 200 people, making it a crucial part of the community. Also crucial is the physician who looks out for those workers’ health and safety. Jim Tarpley, DO (TCOM ’00), has a family practice in Bonham and also serves as Clayton Homes’ occupational medicine physician. Students observed the strenuous tasks in manufactured housing and discussed the range of potential hazards. They saw nail guns that shoot 2-inch nails, and that afternoon they saw one of those nails after it was removed from a worker’s leg. After touring the plant, the students went to Tarpley’s office to learn how he works in tandem with the company, providing pre-employment exams, job-site injury treatment and consulting on employee health. “We got a terrific glimpse at life in a rural community and how a physician plays a vital role within it,” says Russ Wier (TCOM ’16). Wier will be learning under Tarpley’s supervision throughout the next four years.

of ROME graduates entered a primary care residency Summer 2013


To keep the primary care backbone as strong as possible, researchers at UNTHSC’s Primary Care Research Center (PCRC) investigate the best ways to practice medicine. Part of the health science center’s Texas Prevention Institute, the center addresses primary care and public health issues across all disciplines – collaboratively. Though most health care is delivered in the physician’s office, most medical advancements derive from hospital-based research. These discoveries aren’t always translated into improvements for the local primary care physician in an outpatient setting. But at the PCRC, “We have researchers and clinicians from pediatrics and family medicine doing research that will directly impact patient care,” said Roberto Cardarelli, DO (’01), MPH (’01), the PCRC’s Founder and Director.

“Our work will advance primary care physician success in managing pulmonary disease and understanding risk factors associated with childhood obesity, among other conditions.” ~ Roberto Cardarelli, DO, MPH

The center also developed an effective way to screen the mental health of people on probation. “Our research with the Texas Alternative to Incarceration Program in Tarrant County was able to help overcome a limited ability to screen for mental health in communitydwelling probationers,” said Cardarelli. “Through funding from the Meadows Foundation, we developed a computerized system that allowed us to screen more than 2,200 probationers in a mere 12 months.” Such information is invaluable for ensuring probationers get any mental health care needed, is essential for their primary care physicians to have and helps keep communities safe. The PCRC is forging partnerships for interdisciplinary and translational research discoveries that can be applied to any primary care practice. Key to this are physicians throughout North Texas who participate in the center’s collaborative research network called NorTex. Members conduct primary care and public health research that will become published guidelines and policies to improve health care. Some 300 practitioners and 1,200 patients participate in this network. For information on joining, contact Anna Espinoza, MD, NorTex Coordinator, 817-735-2625. Roberto Cardarelli, DO (’01), MPH (’01)


The U.S. spends $200 billion annually caring for its 5.5 million Alzheimer’s patients. Yet for every dollar spent on care, only a quarter funds research toward long-term solutions. “There are zero drugs in the pipeline for Alzheimer’s,” said Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, PhD, the keynote speaker at this spring’s 21st Annual Research Appreciation Day on the Health Science Center campus. Moreover, he added, by the year 2050, 20 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s and “there’s not a single drug that stops or even slows the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.” Prusiner called for more efforts such as those at UNTHSC to find better ways to diagnose, treat and, one day, cure a neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s. He said he is “100 percent” hopeful that new, more effective drugs will be available in the next five to seven years.

Research Appreciation Day is a UNTHSC tradition showcasing medicine, public health and basic science. The annual program: Prusiner received the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research into how prions may cause “mad cow disease” and its human version. Prior to his keynote address, Prusiner spent time with students from the Texas Academy of Biomedical Science (TABS), an early college program co-founded by the Health Science Center.

• lets students, faculty and staff share their research with the campus community and the public • encourages joint research projects • increases community awareness of the quality and range of UNTHSC’s research More than 800 people attended this year’s Research Appreciation Day, which was highlighted by a standing-room-only keynote address by Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, PhD. More impressive numbers from the event: • 250 abstracts • 236 poster presentations • 14 oral presentations

Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, PhD, discusses research with UNTHSC students.

• 107 scientific judges from throughout the community

Summer 2013


Hands-on Ken Hutchings was unloading boxes when his back “popped.” Everyone in the office heard it. His lower back hurt for days. “Big-time pain,” says the Fort Worth print shop manager. “I felt it every time I moved.”

Inkspot Print Manager Ken Hutchings uses his back a lot, operating machinery and lifting. His low-back pain has been alleviated with osteopathic manipulative treatment.


He enrolled in a Health Science Center research study of low-back pain treatment using osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) and ultrasound therapy. “I was pretty much cured in the first session,” says Hutchings. After the study concluded, he learned that he was in the group receiving OMT, rather than the control group. “My back popped out another time or two and I had several more visits for OMT at the UNT Health Patient Care Center,” says Hutchings. He has a lot of company in the low-back pain “club.” About 100 million adults are affected by chronic pain. Medical care and lost productivity cost more than $550 billion annually. "Chronic low-back pain is an important component of these costs," said John Licciardone, DO, MS, MBA, Executive Director of The Osteopathic Research Center on the UNT Health Science Center campus and principal investigator in the study. His paper on the study was published this year in the Annals of Family Medicine. "Our research offers hope in the form of a hands-on treatment that provides moderate to substantial


improves chronic low-back pain

improvement in pain, and that reduces the use of prescription medication." He added that many low-back pain patients, like Hutchings, suffer intermittently over a period of months or years, and then a seemingly innocuous movement causes acute pain. In OMT, the osteopathic physician uses his or her hands to evaluate and treat the patient by helping the body's skeletal and muscular structures align and balance. The study used OMT and ultrasound therapy to treat chronic low-back pain in 455 adults. Patients in the study who received ultrasound therapy did not see any improvement, but the patients who received OMT saw significant improvement in pain, used less

prescription medication and were more satisfied with their care over the 12 weeks of the study than patients who did not receive OMT. In patients who received OMT, nearly two-thirds had at least a 30-percent reduction in their pain level, and half had at least a 50-percent reduction. Patients received six treatments. "One of the great benefits of OMT is that it has few side effects compared with other common treatments for low-back pain," Licciardone said. "In our study, patients who had higher levels of pain saw even greater reductions in pain. Not only does OMT reduce pain, it seems to work even better in people who experience higher pain levels. These are the people

who are often treated with potentially addictive drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin, epidural steroid injections or surgery." Hutchings was pleased with his pain relief: “When I walked out of The Osteopathic Research Center after that first session, I never felt better.�

John Licciardone, DO, MS, MBA, Executive Director of The Osteopathic Research Center, uses a model of the spine to demonstrate how OMT can relieve pain.

To make an appointment with a UNT Health physician: 817-735-DOCS

Summer 2013


More than 3 million people visit

“My rotation was a great mixture

Yellowstone National Park each year.

of primary care, emergency, rural

Enjoying nature’s wonders doesn’t

medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics and

make them immune to injury and

women’s health,” she said.

illness. And the health care providers

Rene York (PAS ’14), heads

who work there get ample doses of

to Yellowstone in June, making

decidedly non-urban maladies.

the second consecutive year that

“If a can of bear spray can discourage a grizzly, you can just imagine what happens when accidentally sprayed on a human.” ~ Rachael Mayfield (PAS ‘13) Last summer, Rachael Mayfield

UNTHSC PA students earned the coveted rotation.


ield (PAS ‘1

f Rachael May

“Rachael told me to expect to wear multiple hats,” says York. “There are only four people at the clinic at any one time, so I’ll be expected to help out in all aspects of running a

was one of only 10 medical

clinic including patient care,

students chosen from across the

procedures, billing, radiology,

country to take part in a month-long

pharmacy, stocking and

Yellowstone rotation. She supported

cleaning and maintenance. I’m

staff physician assistants and nurse

looking forward to all of it.”

Rachael Mayfield

practitioners as they treated patients for routine sunburns and insect bites. And there were those tricky fly-fish hook removals and treating asthma worsened by sulfurous hot-spring fumes.


S Rene York (PA



Med student coaches administrator to marathon finish Andy Axsom’s job is to make sure UNTHSC’s students succeed. But it was a student who helped him accomplish one of the toughest goals of his life. Axsom, Director of Student Development, weighed 385 pounds in 2010 when he began a fitness journey after consulting his physician. By summer 2012 he’d lost more than 100 pounds and completed a 5K, 10K, half marathon and triathlon. Then a friend challenged him to a full marathon – a 26.2-mile test. Axsom knew he’d need help and found the perfect coach in first-year TCOM student Heinz Schwarzkopf, a former member of UT Arlington’s track team. “When I met Andy, I had some slight doubts about whether he could accomplish this goal,” Schwarzkopf said. “But I saw how hard he was

working and how quickly he was improving, and those doubts quickly disappeared.” Schwarzkopf coached Axsom, and by Dec. 9, he was ready. He completed the Dallas Marathon in just under six hours. “Crossing the finish line was an unbelievable accomplishment,” he said. “I felt like I was able to keep going. If you had asked me to run some more, I probably would have.” Axsom believes he won more than a race. The effort “affected everything in my life,” he said. “It got me out of my shell and made me break down barriers. I learned that you really can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. Sometimes you get knocked down, but that helps you grow. You just have to go for it. The greatest risk is not taking one.”

Editor’s note: Axsom is still running and is incorporating other activities into his fitness program. He has lost 135 pounds.

Andy Axsom (green shirt) and Heinz Schwarzkopf

Read his blog:

Photo: © 2013 Event Photography Group

To see a video of his journey, visit:

The Cowtown

A UNTHSC creation turns 35 • Founded by Bob Kaman, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences • Texas’ largest multi-race running event • Medical services directed by Darrin D’Agostino, DO, Chair and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine • Heinz Schwarzkopf (TCOM ’16), second-place marathon finisher

• More than 120 UNTHSC runners, several trained by Schwarzkopf • Record attendance at UNTHSC health screenings and soft tissue treatments • More than $30,000 raised for Children’s Activities for Life & Fitness (CALF).

TCOM student Heinz Schwarzkopf (left) placed second in the Cowton marathon. The races occurred Feb. 22-24.

Summer 2013


Challenge fuels alum's rise

as one of America's best neurosurgeons A famous general once said, “Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.�

Rob Dickerman, DO, repairs a herniated disk causing the patient pain and a condition called "foot drop."


Rob Dickerman, DO (’98), PhD (’98), has done both – and now he knows how it feels to be one of the best neurosurgeons in America. He runs his own practice and serves as Director of Neurosurgery at Presbyterian Hospital of Plano. Newsweek and American Way magazines both have recognized him among the top neurosurgeons in the country based on feedback from his peers. To achieve these victories, he’s had his share of challenges. Challenge #1: Academics Dickerman started a PhD program in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) in 1992 while working nights as a medicinal and laboratory chemist for Alcon Laboratories. If that’s not hard enough, he decided to continue his PhD studies when he was accepted to the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. He was named to Who’s Who in American Universities as a GSBS student and to the Sigma Sigma Phi Honor Society and as a Chancellor’s Award recipient in medical school. He is one of few neurosurgeons with dual fellowships in brain and spinal surgery. Challenge #2: Residency After graduating, Dickerman knew he wanted to be a neurosurgeon and landed a prestigious neurosurgery fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. Then he needed a neurosurgery residency – and there are fewer than 100 in the United States. Of the 11 he applied to, he got his 11th choice – North Shore University-Long Island Jewish Medical Center, an 800-bed facility. “When I got there, I was thrown into the fire – suddenly there was somebody’s brain in front of me,” Dickerman remembers. “I wanted to quit every day because it was so

hard and I was so tired. But I saw everything [related to neurosurgery],” adding he still hasn’t seen some of the conditions he treated there during the more than eight years he’s been in private practice. As usual, he took on the challenge, becoming chief resident. Now he says, “Thank God I went there. If I had gotten some plush residency, I wouldn’t have been as well prepared when I got out. God had a plan.” Challenge #3: The field of neurosurgery Neurosurgery can be a brutal medical specialty. These specialists are on call for trauma cases and often find themselves addressing serious brain or spinal cord injuries after only minutes of preparation. “There are a lot of risks,” Dickerman acknowledges, “but you can help a lot of people.” Dickerman thrives on the challenge, and says his TCOM training helped set him up for success.

Dickerman keeps the whole patient in mind. Many people travel hundreds of miles to see him. He’s a specialist in sophisticated surgeries, including pioneering minimally invasive techniques, yet is cautious about performing them. “Nine out of 10 patients don’t need me,” he said. “They just need to fix their diet and exercise. When they tell me they don’t have time, I tell them to make time. They feel better and give me the credit. But they really did what it took to get better.” Dickerman’s dedication and determination to conquer challenges means that it’s his patients who ultimately win.

“There is nothing you can’t do if you are from that school [TCOM], I’m proof of that. Students there have a huge opportunity to go anywhere they want to go and help whomever they want to help – it’s up to them. The fact that I got in is a blessing.” ~ Rob Dickerman, DO('98), PhD ('98) Summer 2013


UNTHSC alumnus

a leader in West Nile virus battle Christopher Perkins, DO, MPH, is preparing for something he hopes won’t happen. As Dallas County Health and Human Services Medical Director, he’s helping last year’s West Nile virus epicenter manage the 2013 season.

Photo: David Woo/Dallas Morning News

Last year, so many were ill and dying that the mayor declared a state of emergency. Says Perkins, “The epidemiologists told us that the 2012 outbreak was a one-in-50-year event …. We hope it won’t happen again, but we are preparing with more mosquito surveillance and response, including earlier spraying, if needed.” Perkins says his training at the UNTHSC School of Public Health and the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine helped him synchronize a varied career. After graduating from TCOM in 1997, he served in the U.S. Navy, with a traditional rotating internship. He returned to UNTHSC and earned an MPH in epidemiology in 1999, then trained in aerospace and preventive medicine. Perkins’ counseling background prior to medical school ignited his interest in public health. With an undergraduate degree in political science and sociology, he worked with the Dallas Police Department as a counselor to juvenile offenders. “I saw how social ills fuel individual problems,” he says. He emphasizes that the osteopathic and public health philosophies dovetail: “In both, you’re dealing with the whole person.” West Nile virus (electron micrograph, Centers for Disease Control)


WEST NILE VIRUS What it is: An infection caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Most people have no symptoms, or minor ones such as fever and headache. Others develop lifethreatening illness. People over 50 are at highest risk.

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Mosquitoes are infected by feeding on the blood of birds that have the virus. The mosquito then can transmit West Nile to humans and animals.


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What it feels like: Mild cases may only produce fever, headache and muscle aches. A severe infection can cause neurological complications such as encephalitis, a brain inflammation.

The 2012 season Nationwide: Human cases 5,387 Dallas County: Human cases 406 Tarrant County: Human cases 259

Deaths 243 Deaths 19 Deaths 11

Remember the Four D’s Dress to keep mosquitoes out of your clothes – light colors, long sleeves, long pants.

Dusk to dawn is mosquitoes’

favorite feeding time. Keep screens repaired. The mosquito that transmits WNV is known as “the house mosquito.”

DEET repellent. Apply to skin and clothing.

Drain standing water. Mosquitoes can reproduce in as little as a capful of water. Use mosquito dunks (pellets containing organisms or chemicals that kill larvae) in water features.

Dallas County was the epicenter of the 2012 West Nile virus outbreak.

Keep mosquito repellent handy!

Summer 2013


For the sake of a brother and education

Walter and Lori R ainwater contribute to UNTHSC with words and actions Four years ago, Walter Rainwater got a phone call that changed his life: “My brother said he had a diagnosis of brain disease. I was caught totally by surprise.” His brother, Richard Rainwater, successful and energetic investor and businessman, had PSP (progressive supranuclear palsy), an incurable disease that causes dementia. Soon, Walter Rainwater – a twice retired engineer who was teaching sixth-grade math at Morningside Middle School – was helping look after his younger brother’s care. He also helped manage Richard’s Rainwater Charitable Foundation. This led to a powerful partnership with the UNT Health Science Center, which features a highly regarded geriatrics practice, uses innovative methods to teach the next generation of geriatric physicians, conducts


extensive research into dementiacausing diseases and seeks to raise public awareness about such diseases. Walter’s wife, Lori Rainwater, also is passionate about caring for the elderly. She earned a degree in gerontology from the University of North Texas and serves as vice chair for UNTHSC’s Healthy Aging Council, which promotes community awareness about dementia. When Richard needed a new primary care physician, Walter turned to a highly recommended geriatrician, UNT Health’s Janice Knebl, DO, who is Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Endowed Chair in Clinical Geriatrics. Walter met some of the health science center’s top researchers, including Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, PhD, Chairman and Professor, Pharmacology & Neuroscience, who holds a $5.8 million National Institutes of Health grant to explore hormones’ effects on dementia.

Walter Rainwater

Both Walter and Lori were captivated by UNTHSC’s SAGE (Seniors Assisting in Geriatric Education) program, in which the university’s medical, physician assistant and physical therapy students are paired with a senior mentor at least 65 years old to learn how to care for older patients. “Students get hands-on experience with elderly people,” Rainwater said. “That’s the right track – creating early opportunities for exposure.” He’s now dedicated to the health science center, saying:

“Who else in Fort Worth is doing brain research? Who else has a program like SAGE? There is huge potential here, and the dedication of the personnel is incredible. I want to make the public aware of the great activities going on here, and I want them to support UNTHSC.” Walter Rainwater backs his words with action. The Rainwater Charitable Foundation, which has a long history of funding educational causes, granted the UNTHSC Foundation $500,000 to support UNTHSC’s Institute for Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease, endow research into dementia-causing diseases and fund the SAGE program for another year. The gift greatly enhances UNTHSC’s ability to educate clinical providers, care for patients and build knowledge of aging diseases. “It only takes one or two people to make a big difference,” Rainwater said. “It starts with just one idea, and somebody does something about it. People just need to stop meeting and start ‘doing’.”

Walter Rainwater sponsored Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner’s appearance at UNTHSC’s Research Appreciation Day. Pictured are Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, PhD, Chair, Pharmacology & Neuroscience; Rainwater; Milton Bley; and Prusiner.

A powerful advocate for the aging, Walter Rainwater (center) discusses the latest in Alzheimer’s disease research with (from left) Michael Williams, DO, Interim President; Janice Knebl, DO, Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians Endowed Chair in Clinical Geriatrics; Clarabele “Pit” Dodson, SAGE Mentor; Chelsee Greer (TCOM ’16); Bill Crawford, UNTHSC Healthy Aging Council Member; and Meharvan “Sonny” Singh, PhD, Chair, Pharmacology & Neuroscience.

Summer 2013


HEALTHIER .COMMUNITIES .CONTINUED TCOM Class of 2016 students John Myers, Lindsey Welch and Russell Wier received a City of Fort Worth proclamation of National Osteopathic Medicine Week on April 16 from Mayor Betsy Price and City Council Member Dennis Shingleton.

UNTHSC’s First All-School Homecoming Weekend

'83, '93 and '03 graduates are invited! Featuring family friendly events, continuing education programs, the DO Dash 5K and Kids’ 1-Mile Run … and much more! Help plan the activities, contact Leslie Casey, Assistant Director, Alumni Relations, alumni@ • 817-735-2443.

Stay tuned for more information via mail, email and Facebook: UNTHSCAlumni.

TCOM student game for

Jason Shore (TCOM ‘15) parlayed his love of trivia into a four-day winning streak on the nationally syndicated game show Jeopardy! He did very well in the science categories; not so much the arts. He’s an Air Force reservist who grew up in Plano and chose TCOM after being impressed with UNTHSC as a graduate of the Medical Sciences master's program.

Physician Assistant Studies gets $2 million for scholarships Economically disadvantaged students in UNTHSC’s Physician Assistant Studies program will benefit from a new four-year, $2 million Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Receiving these scholarship funds allows the students to focus more on their learning and not worry so much about how to make financial ends meet,” said Hank Lemke, PA-C, DHSc, Chair of Physician Assistant Studies.

UNT Health delivers “Best Nurse-Midwife” Readers of Fort Worth Child magazine recently voted UNT Health’s Kathleen Donaldson “Best Nurse-Midwife” in the magazine’s “Best for Moms and Babies 2013” issue. Donaldson, CNM, MS, directs the UNT Health Nurse Midwives group and is one of seven UNT Health certified nurse-midwives, a practice within the department of Obstetrics & Gynecology.


Doke, Peel join UNTHSC Tim Doke has been named Senior Vice President for Community Engagement. Claire Peel, PhD, is the new Dean of the School of Health Professions at the UNT Health Science Center. Doke comes from UT Southwestern, where he served as Vice PresidentCommunications, Marketing and Public Affairs since 2008. In a 35-year career, he spent 10 years as Vice PresidentCorporate Communications at American Airlines and held the same position at Dell, Alaska Airlines, Brinker International and Freescale Semiconductor. He was with the Hill + Knowlton public relations consulting firm before moving to corporate work. Peel served in a variety of roles at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), including six years as Associate Dean of the School of Health Professions and four years as Associate Provost for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs. From 2007 to 2010 she was principal investigator of UAB ADVANCE, a National Science Foundation-funded program to advance women in science and engineering. Peel began her career at the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research in Houston, then earned an MS in Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California, followed by a PhD in Exercise Science and Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at the University of Iowa. She also is a graduate of Harvard University’s Management Development Program.

Driving for healthier communities

This spring’s President’s Invitational Golf Tournament sold out and generated funds for UNTHSC research and other activities. TCOM students will host a tournament this fall to benefit student scholarships: Sept. 28 at Rockwood Golf Course. For more information, please visit: aspx?EventID=1224825.

Forgiveness is good medicine A cornerstone of major religions, forgiveness also improves your health. It’s related to lower blood pressure, heart rate and stress. It reduces fatigue, disease symptoms and medications. Forgiveness helps you sleep better. It restores positive thoughts and behaviors, and helps strengthen relationships. Mark J. DeHaven, PhD Professor and Exec. Director Texas Prevention Institute

UNTHSC earns education council awards Danny Jensen, UNT Associate Vice Chancellor and UNTHSC Vice President for Governmental Affairs, this spring received the Distinguished Career Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District IV. He helped UNTHSC evolve from a small osteopathic medical school to a force in creating solutions for a healthier community. He was instrumental in establishing the Center for Human Identification and helped UNTHSC gain the Gibson D. Lewis Library, School of Public Health, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, School of Health Professions and the UNT System College of Pharmacy. CASE also gave the UNTHSC Community Engagement Department a Gold Accolade Award for the 2012 “Power of One” annual employee giving campaign, which spent only $8,000 to raise a record $237,000 for student scholarships and the Fund for Excellence.

Summer 2013


In memoriam: Wayne O. Stockseth Wayne O. Stockseth, a founding board member of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine who was instrumental in helping TCOM join the UNT System, passed away March 11. “I was saddened to learn of Mr. Stockseth’s passing,” said UNT Health Science Center Interim President Michael Williams, DO, MD, MBA (TCOM ’81). “From the early days of TCOM, he’s been a kind, loyal, generous and supportive friend to our students and an inspiring visionary for our institution.” Stockseth played a key role in ensuring TCOM became part of the UNT System in 1975, despite opponents’ efforts to block a legislative vote on the measure. He later served on the UNT System Board of Regents and chaired the board for the last three years of his term. Stockseth remained a steadfast friend and supporter of TCOM, the UNT Health Science Center and the osteopathic profession throughout his life, earning numerous honors from each. He and his wife, Norma Lee Stockseth, presented the first annual Stockseth Award for Osteopathic Excellence in 1974, eventually creating an endowed fund that supports this ongoing award as well as the Wayne O. and Norma Lee Stockseth Endowed Scholarship.

Norma Lee and Wayne O. Stockseth

Building your legacy: Excellence in education, care and research Legacy gifts can include:

The UNT Health Science Center Foundation is launching the Tres Vitae Society to recognize those who remember the health science center with a legacy gift. “When someone leaves a legacy gift, they are expressing how deeply connected they are to our mission,” said Gary Grant, Vice President, Institutional Advancement. “There is no stronger commitment one can make to an organization they care about.”


• Naming UNTHSC in your will • Contributing a life insurance policy you no longer need, or adding UNTHSC as a beneficiary • Naming UNTHSC as a beneficiary of your retirement plan assets • Creating a trust or annuity that provides income to you during your lifetime, with the remainder designated to UNTHSC Gifts may benefit any UNTHSC school or program. More information is available from Beth Zimmerman, Director of Development,, 817-735-2254.

“Our education has allowed us to achieve success in our osteopathic medical careers. Every alumnus can become a part of the TCOM legacy. By planned giving, you can ensure the same opportunities for future students that we enjoyed. This is the reason my wife, Sharon, and I designated a substantial gift to TCOM. Please join us in becoming a part of the UNTHSC legacy by joining Tres Vitae.” ~ Al Yurvati, DO (’86)

SOLUTIONS FOR A HEALTHIER COMMUNITY The UNT Health Science Center is nationally ranked for primary care, rural medicine, family medicine, physician assistant studies and public health by U.S. News & World Report. The UNT Health Science Center, located on 33 acres in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, is exclusively a graduate-level university focusing on the life sciences. It is home to: • Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine • Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences • School of Public Health • School of Health Professions • Physician Assistant Studies

• UNT Health, our faculty physician group, one of the largest multi-specialty physician practices in Tarrant County • UNT System College of Pharmacy (scheduled to open in fall 2013)

• Physical Therapy

Contact us: UNT Health Science Center 3500 Camp Bowie Boulevard Fort Worth, TX 76107 817-735-2000 Summer 2013


Darrin D’Agostino, DO, MPH, Chairman, Internal Medicine

Stay cool in the heat First and foremost: fluids. Don’t wait till you’re thirsty – you’ll already be dehydrated. Drink 1 ounce for every minute you exercise. Use sports drinks to help replace electrolytes. Avoid alcohol, sugar and stomachcramping cold drinks.

Remember: • Risk increases with certain medications, like diuretics for high blood pressure. • Many new polyester-based “tech shirts” don’t “breathe.” • Never leave a person or pet in a closed, parked vehicle. • Wear a wide-brimmed hat. • Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen, SPF 30 or greater.


Solutions Magazine - Summer 2013  
Solutions Magazine - Summer 2013  

Solutions magazine tells the stories of how the UNT Health Science Center is creating solutions for healthier communities. (Formerly titled...