The nation’s top doctor, Rear Admiral Kenneth P. Moritsugu, MD, MPH,

acting Surgeon General of the United States, will speak on “”Medical Care,

Health Care and Health”” at the Commencement exercises for graduates of

Western University of Health Sciences’ colleges of Pharmacy and Osteopathic Medicine of the

Pacific at 2 p.m., Friday, May 31, at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Graduates of the university’s College of Graduate Nursing and

College of Allied

Health Professions will receive their diplomas at 9:30 that morning at

the convention center. Ed Tessier, downtown Pomona businessman,

redeveloper and member of the advisory committee for the university’s

Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions, is the keynote

speaker for the morning ceremony. The title of his address is “”Let

Compassion Lead You.””

More than 435 students in the university’s advanced practice nursing,

physical therapy, osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies and

pharmacy programs will receive their graduate degrees this year.

The university will confer honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees to

both Dr. Moritsugu and Tessier.

Dr. Moritsugu has been Acting Surgeon General since February 14 and was

Deputy Surgeon General since October 1998. As Acting Surgeon General he

oversees nearly 6,000 Commissioned Corps medical personnel of the U.S.

Public Health Service.

He has acted as a representative to numerous national health care agencies

and provided expertise to international organizations and governments,

including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Germany, Mexico and the Trust

Territory of the Pacific Islands. He served as the official U.S. observer

to the Council of Europe’s Select Committee of Experts on the Impact of

the AIDS Epidemic on the Criminal Justice System in Strasbourg, France,

and as the representative to the 75th Anniversary of the Pan American

Health Board in Havana, Cuba.

Since 1994, Dr. Moritsugu has advocated for organ and tissue donation and

transplantation, participating in several national, regional and local

programs. He is a past member of the board of directors of the United

Network for Organ Sharing and of the board of trustees of the National

Kidney Foundation, among other organ donation organizations.

As an educator, Dr. Moritsugu is an adjunct professor of public health at

the George Washington University School of Health Sciences. He has spoken

and written extensively in many areas, including health professions

education, credentialing and quality assessment, international health,

health systems development, health care delivery to underserved

populations, emergency response, correctional health care, managed care,

HIV, health promotion/disease prevention, organ and tissue donation and

transplantation and, most recently, bioterrorism.

Dr. Moritsugu received his bachelor’s degree from the University of

Hawaii, his MD from the George Washington School of Medicine and a

master’s of public health in health administration and planning from UC


Tessier, the keynote speaker for the morning Commencement ceremony, was

born and raised in the Pomona Valley and has been a leader in the

Disability Rights Movement for several years, organizing campaigns to

improve access to education, transportation and businesses. He worked

extensively on behalf of civil rights legislation, such as the landmark

Americans with Disabilities Act. Tessier also is an adjunct instructor in

the university’s Master of Science in Health Professions Education program

and is a member of the advisory committee for the university’s Center for

Disability Issues and the Health Professions.

He is a leading figure in the revitalization of downtown Pomona. He helped

plan and develop large portions of the Pomona Arts Colony, a thriving

neighborhood of artists, galleries, university projects and creative arts

companies. He also has championed several local and regional preservation

initiatives, such as the restoration of Pomona’s historic Fox Theater.

Tessier lectures widely on the arts, economic development, historic

preservation and civil rights.

He received his bachelor’s degree in urban sociology, summa cum laude,

from Pomona College.

The Pomona Concert Band, led by Conductor G. Stanton Selby, will perform

music for both Commencement ceremonies, including the

recessional, “”Fanfare and Grand March,”” written by Selby exclusively for

Western University.