From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

WesternU Alumnus dies at age 35 from complications of Pulmonary Hypertension
WesternU alumnus Sean Wyman, DO ’17, died from complications of pulmonary hypertension in the early morning hours of April 13, 2018 — less than 24 hours after learning he was placed on a waiting list to receive a lung transplant.

“Listed … now we wait,” Wyman wrote at 5:43 a.m. April 12, posting to his Facebook page from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Wyman was a 2012 graduate of the Master of Science in Medical Sciences program and a 2017 alumnus of the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP). He was well known for raising awareness about Pulmonary Hypertension (PH), a rare disease resulting from a buildup of pressure on the right side of the heart, typically due to constriction of the blood vessels within the lungs. High pressure sends many patients into heart failure.

Click here to read the full story.


Kudos on accomplishments
COMP NMM/OMM Chair and Associate Professor Rebecca E. Giusti, DO ’03, was elected to the Board of Governors of the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO) on March 22 at the AAO’s annual meeting during its Convocation in Dallas. Dr. Giusti was one of four osteopathic physicians from around the country to be newly elected as a governor of the AAO, the largest medical society in the United States devoted to fostering neuromusculoskeletal medicine and osteopathic manipulative medicine (NMM/OMM). She will serve a three-year term. Dr. Giusti is certified by the American Council of Exercise, and she has been a practicing fitness professional since 1998. Her lifelong enthusiasm of being active and physically fit led her to practice and teach yoga in Southern California. In 2017, she led breakout sessions for the AAO’s Convocation in which she focused on yoga and breathing and on fluid dynamics of the cranium. Dr. Giusti is scheduled to chair the AAO’s 2019 Convocation in Orlando, Florida. Click here to visit AAO’s website.

WesternU COMP-Northwest, along with Coast to Cascades Community Wellness Network, Samaritan Health Services, and community partners, explored various factors related to screen time and the subsequent impacts on an individual’s social, emotional and physical health at their 2018 Annual Regional Community Health Summit on April 18, 2018. The keynote speaker for the conference was Yolanda Evans, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Washington School of Medicine. A special viewing of the film, “Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age,” was streamed to both Lebanon and Pomona campuses on April 17, and viewed by the LHCL parents on April 21. COMP-Northwest Assistant Dean Louise Muscato, PhD, sits on the Coast to Cascades Community Wellness Network Steering Committee and is Chair of the Linn, Benton, Lincoln Partners for Health, which organized the conference.

Thierra K. Nalley, PhD, of COMP was a co-author on a podium presentation at The Paleoanthropology Society annual conference in Austin, Texas (April 9-11, 2018). The presentation was titled, “Sexual dimorphism in the lower back of Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi.”

Dr. Nalley presented a podium talk at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists annual conference in Austin, Texas (April 12-14, 2018). The presentation was titled, “Comparative Ontogeny of the Thoracolumbar Transition in Great Apes, Humans, and early Fossil Hominins.” Collaborators included Jeremiah E. Scott, PhD, also of COMP.

Dr. Scott attended and also co-authored a second presentation at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, “Load at First Bite: Comparative Analysis of Incisor Cross-sectional Area in Anthropoid Primates.”

COMP’s Office of Longitudinal Tracks welcomed our very own alumnus, Dr. Habib Sadeghi, back home on Friday, April 20, 2018 to meet with Longitudinal Track students to discuss his path, clinical practices, recently published book “The Clarity Cleanse” and the Global Love Button Movement that is making an impact worldwide. He discussed his comprehensive knowledge of integrative, osteopathic and family medicine discussing positive results in patient cases that were deemed hopeless. Dr. Sadeghi was joined by his wife, Dr. Sherry Sami, who discussed her dual specialty in Integrative Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, while discussing her design of an integrative residency training program that collaborates with pediatricians and dentistry specialists. As the Co-founders of the Global Love Button Movement, Dr. Sadeghi and Dr. Sherry Sami are spreading their ideals of wholeness, love, and positivity. Click here to check out the Love Button Movement.

A pre-med suturing and cast workshop was held Tuesday, April 17, sponsored by COMP-Northwest and Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of Oregon. The suturing and cast workshop was hosted by the SOMA and Orthopedic Surgery Clubs. More than 60 pre-med students from local colleges and universities joined us for a hands-on evening, practicing skills they will be using in their future careers.


Medical Anatomy Center news
Brion Benninger, MD, MSc, Professor and Executive Director of the Medical Anatomy Center supported the CME – Local Injections Course on April 19 held in the McDaniel Anatomy Lab, Lebanon Oregon by providing a unique anterior, medial and posterior view of the knee for the attendees to train. Dr. Benninger wanted to congratulate Drs. Dreibelbis and Vestor (COMP-Northwest & Samaritan Health Services Family Practitioners and educators), Jon Mang (CME logistics, Researcher and Paramedic educator) and Kelly Mack (CME coordinator) for a successful CME.



From the College of Podiatric Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
College of Podiatric Medicine faculty member Reina Deogracias, DPM, and eight CPM students volunteered at the UCLA Happy Feet Clinic at a men’s homeless shelter in Los Angeles on April 14, 2018. Foot and ankle procedures including ingrown toenails, foot ulcers, fungal infections and plantar fasciitis education was provided to about 50 patients.

Click here to view a photo of the volunteers.



From the College of Dental Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
College of Dental Medicine student Farajollah Soleimanzadeh, DMD ’20, won the second place prize in the Abstract Competition at the Imperial College Trauma ’17 Conference Nov. 25-26, 2017 in London. “Abbe Flap Reconstruction of Complex Lip Avulsion” by Faraj Soleimanzadeh, Hooman Mir, DPM, MSc, FAPWCA, and Jeffrey A. Elo, DDS, MS, FACS.

Soleimanzadeh was part of a WesternU team that attended this prestigious conference under the guidance of LECA founder Dr. Hooman Mir. LECA (Learning Enrichment in Clinical Anatomy) helps prepare students for advanced medical, dental or health professional graduate-level clinical and surgical anatomy.

“Being a LECA officer offered me a chance to participate in my very first international abstract competition. I also got to visit London for the first time, engage in hands-on surgical procedures, interact with international students, and learn about their curriculum, Soleimanzadeh said. “It was a rigorous few months preparing for the competition on top of the already difficult course load of second year, but with support from my fellow LECA officers and Dr. Hooman Mir, we were able to get through it and succeed. I would like to thank (CDM) Dean Steven Friedrichsen, Dr. Elo, Dr. Robert Hasel, and Dr. Mir for making this experience possible.”

CDM students Ayeh Nourikhorasani, DMD ’19, and Vahid Saeidi, DMD ’20, also presented poster abstracts. “Self-inflicted gunshot wound to face” by Vahid Saeidi, Dr. Hooman Mir and Dr. Jeffrey Elo. “Penetrating orbital injury by a knife” by Ayeh Nourikhorasani, Dr. Hooman Mir and Dr. Jeffrey Elo.

Dr. Mir presented a workshop on “Surgical Amputation Techniques.”

Click here to view a photo of the conference participants.



From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
SAVMA Public Health and DART (Disaster Area Response Team) Committees combined to present a Public Health Symposium recently. CVM Professor Dr. Malika Kachani spoke about international initiatives on neglected zoonotic diseases. Dr. Emily Beeler, LA Public Health Department, spoke about heartworm disease and canine influenza virus prevalence today. Interactive activities involving triage response and personal protective equipment training, led by the DART Committee, engaged and educated students on the responsibility of active disaster response veterinarians. The Public Health Committee was co-chaired by Avia Ben-Simon (DVM 2020), Gina Navia (DVM 2020), and Sarah Kim (PharmD 2015). The DART Committee co-chairs are Oren Debotton (DVM 2020), Trusten Moore (DVM 2020) and Victoria Fliehr (DVM 2021).



From the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences:

Kudos on accomplishments
GCBS Associate Professor Fanglong Dong, PhD, in collaboration with an OB/GYN physician and trauma surgeons, published two manuscripts. The first study focused on stillbirth among high risk pregnant women. Kubendran S, Duong J, Dong F, Lueking A, Farley D. Implementing a Protocol to Optimize Detection of Chromosome Abnormalities in Cases of Miscarriage or Stillbirth at a Midwestern Teaching Hospital. The Permanente Journal (In press).

The second study compared trauma outcomes associated with the safety of recreational track riders. Stiles R, Benge C,  Stiles PJ, Dong F, Ward J, , Ablah E, Haan JM. Evaluation of Protective Equipment Used Among Motorbike Riders. Kansas Journal of Medicine (In Press)



From the Pumerantz Library:

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From University Advancement:

Alumni news
On the afternoon of Wednesday, April 18, the Alumni Office held its final Sudden Snack of the year by passing out nearly 600 Klondike bars to students in Ethan Allen Park. The event, held a few times each year, is designed to introduce students to the Alumni Association as well as to give the students a much deserved break (and a treat!).

WesternU’s first University-wide Alumni Reunion will be held on campus on Saturday, September 15, 2018, with a special focus on including those alumni in a reunion year:

1983 – 35th Reunion

1988 – 30th Reunion

1993 – 25th Reunion

1998 – 20th Reunion

2003 – 15th Reunion

2008 – 10th Reunion

2013 –   5th Reunion

Registration will open this summer, and details will be posted online at