WesternU interim president named

Gary Gugelchuk, PhD, has agreed to serve as interim president of Western University of Health Sciences following the retirement of Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, WesternU’s Board of Trustees announced Aug. 7.

Gugelchuk, a 29-year employee of WesternU who has served as the university’s Provost and Chief Operating Officer since February 2012, will begin serving as interim president following Dr. Pumerantz’s official retirement on September 8, 2015.

Dr. Pumerantz announced his retirement in April of this year, and will serve as President Emeritus after September 8. A national search for his permanent successor is underway. The search is expected to last into 2016.

“I’m very pleased we were able to find such a terrific candidate for interim president,” said Richard Bond, DO, chair of the WesternU Board of Trustees. “Gary is a very capable individual who understands how the university runs, and will provide us with excellent leadership as we pursue our next president.”

Gugelchuk has served in a variety of roles since joining the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) 29 years ago, including as a health professions faculty member, dean of the College of Allied Health Professions, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Senior Vice President for Executive Affairs, and Executive Vice Provost.

“Over the past 38 years, WesternU has grown to prominence regionally, and is poised to take its place on the national stage,” Gugelchuk said following the board’s announcement. “I’m honored to be able to continue Dr. Pumerantz’s legacy while the board completes its search for a new president.”

Western Diabetes Institute presents symposium Aug. 24-26

The Western Diabetes Institute’s Center for Periodontal Health presents the First International & Interprofessional 3-Day Symposium on Diabetes and Periodontal Disease August 24-26, 2015. The symposium will be held each day from noon to 1 p.m. in the Health Education Center, Lecture Hall 2. Lunch will be provided.

Topics and speakers will include: “What is periodontal disease and its association with diabetes?” by Philip Preshaw, BDS, PhD, FDS, Professor of Periodontology, School of Dental Sciences and Institute of Cellular Medicine at Newcastle University, UK.

“Pathophysiology of periodontitis in people with diabetes: the mechanisms of interplay between two common diseases” by WesternU College of Dental Medicine (CDM) Assistant Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Biomedical Sciences Bradley Henson, DDS, PhD, and CDM Assistant Professor Diana Folmsbee, DDS.

“Periodontal management in people with diabetes: the UK and US situations” by Susan Bissett, NIHR Clinical Research Fellow & Team Lead, Dental Clinical Research Facility, Newcastle University, UK; Heidi Davila, RDHAP, Center for Periodontal Health, Western Diabetes Institute, WesternU; and Jorge Oaxaca, DDS, Private Dental Practitioner, Seal Beach, Calif.

“Implications for diabetes care: redesigning and scaling team-based care” by Andrew Pumerantz, DO, FACP, Professor of Internal Medicine, Founder and Executive Director, Western Diabetes Institute, WesternU.

Click here to view a flier.

WesternU and Sight Savers America provide vision-impaired children with a promising future

With help from Western University of Health Sciences and Sight Savers America, five local children received training and took home Electronic Video Magnifiers (EVMs) to help them with their homework and daily activities. Click here to read the full story and to view a slideshow.

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments

Dr. Ohad Levi attended the Regional Teaching Academy biannual conference in Pullman, Wash., where he presented his study, “Comparison between Two Video Game Training Programs to Enhance Basic Laparoscopy Skills in Veterinary Medicine Students.” The project is the result of the cooperation between the two veterinary colleges, WesternU and Colorado State University. Dr. Levi as the PI have the co-investigators for the project from both veterinary colleges – WesternU and CSU and included Dr. Donna Shettko, Mark Battles (DVM 2016), Dr. Peggy Schmidt, Dr. Maria Fahie, Dr. Dominique Griffon and Dr. Dean Hendrickson.

Dr. Pedro Diniz was a speaker at the 3rd Annual Conti Symposium on Veterinary Continuing Education at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Diniz’s talk was “Bartonella – New Understandings of a Stealth Pathogen.” The event was a Continuing Education event for veterinarians and technicians (two simultaneous tracks). The topic was Current Concepts and Controversies in Small Animal Infectious Disease. Speakers at the veterinary track included faculty from UC Davis, The Ohio State University, Tufts University, as well as representatives from the LA Department of Public Health, CDC and Sandia National Laboratories. There were approximately 200 veterinarians and 200 technicians participating.

From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments

Dr. Micah Hata and co-investigators Dr. Sam Shimomura, Thao Nguyen (P2), Dr. Matthew Zahn (Orange County Health Care Agency) and Dr. Linh Youn (Orange County Pharmacists Association) have been awarded a small grant of $6,250 from Sanofi Pharmaceuticals to investigate “Pharmacist Willingness to Administer the Tdap Vaccinations.”

Dr. Anne Kugler was reviewer of a chapter on Irritable Bowel Syndrome under the GI section of a recent publication for the Ambulatory Care Self-Assessment Program (ACSAP) by the American College of Clinical Pharmacy. The book, released on July 15 on “Women’s and Men’s Care,” is approved by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties as a recertification tool for Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacists.

From University Advancement:

Alumni news

During Welcome Week, Director of Alumni Relations Russel Heskin had the opportunity to speak to all the incoming students to help welcome them into the WesternU family. While he shared information on how his office supports students and presented each new student with a small gift, his main point was to make the students aware that they are students for just a short time, but alumni for a lifetime.

Last Thursday and Friday, the Alumni Office sponsored a WesternU exhibit table at the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians of California Annual Scientific Medical Seminar at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. The conference was attended by more than 100 COMP alumni, who stopped by the WesternU table to find out the latest news and information from campus.