The College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) is welcoming two new Advisory Board members:

Craig Garner, JD, has been chief executive officer and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Coast Plaza Hospital, an acute care hospital in Norwalk, Calif., since April 2002. Previously, Mr. Garner was an attorney and partner with Van Etten Suzumoto & Beckett LLP in Santa Monica, where his practice concentrated on health care litigation. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BA in Classical Studies and American History, 1992) and of Pepperdine University School of Law (JD, 1995), Mr. Garner joined the L.A. Opera Board in June 2006. He also serves on the Seaver Board of Visitors, the undergraduate advisory board for Pepperdine University. He is the author of a nearly completed book, “Hospital Stay,” designed to demystify the concept of a hospital stay for patients.

Richard Shinto, MD, MBA, joined the Aveta management team in November 2004 and has served as New Jersey-based Aveta’s CEO and president since November 2007. Dr. Shinto has more than 20 years of clinical and operational health care experience. Previously, Dr. Shinto served as NAMM California’s CEO and Chief Medical Officer. Prior to joining NAMM, Dr. Shinto was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer for Medical Pathways Management Company. An author of several articles on health care and clinical medicine, Dr. Shinto received his BS from the University of California, Irvine, his medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and an MBA from the University of Redlands.

Aveta Inc. is one of the largest health insurance organizations in the United States, caring for more than 219,000 Medicare beneficiaries and 179,000 commercial members. Aveta specializes in building provider networks and management service organizations that emphasize integration and coordination of health care.

“I feel honored that Western University has given me the opportunity to participate in the retooling of our physicians for the future,” Dr. Shinto said. “Physician leadership has been sorely missed in health care, and I believe that the proactive thinking and strategic planning at WesternU will help fill those voids.”

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to advise COMP Dean Clinton Adams, DO, on emerging trends in health care; provide guidance on the planned growth of the College; assist in fundraising efforts; provide expert counsel on program evaluation; assess new initiatives, and assist the College in developing the resources needed to keep it on the cutting edge of research and education.

“Mr. Garner and Dr. Shinto will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to COMP’s Advisory Board, and we are extremely grateful they have agreed to join us,” Dr. Adams said. “We look to board members for guidance on key issues to help the school anticipate new developments in medical education, while ensuring that our programs continue to meet the need for high-quality physicians.”

The two new members will attend their first meeting on Feb. 25, 2010.