WesternU’s Austin Lecture to focus on homelessness and childhood trauma

Western University of Health Sciences will hold the sixth Dr. Robert L. Austin Endowed Lectureship at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020 in WesternU’s Health Education Center, Dr. Hung Wen Wu & Dr. Jonathan Y.H. Wu Auditorium, 701 E. Second St., Pomona, California 91766.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will focus on “Understanding Homelessness and Responding to Childhood Trauma and ACEs: Clinical and Community Perspectives.”

Three guest speakers will address this topic. Paul M. Leon, RN, BSN, PHN, Geeta Grover, MD, and Pooja Bhalla, DNP, RN.

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The Dr. Robert L. Austin Endowed Lectureship in Pediatric Medicine and Pediatric Health Care Policy is made possible by a generous donation from Mrs. Gloria L. Austin of La Mirada, California, in memory of her husband, Robert, a pediatrician and early supporter of WesternU. In addition to the lecture, the endowment provides funds for annual scholarships for an osteopathic medical student and a pharmacy student.

Click here to view the Austin Lecture website: https://www.westernu.edu/austinlecture/#home


Kudos on accomplishments

Edward J. Wagner, PhD, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific professor and director of the Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences (MSBS) program in the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences, received word that the manuscript “Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase Activating Polypeptide Excites Proopiomelanocortin Neurons: Implications for the Regulation of Energy Homeostasis” was accepted for publication in Neuroendocrinology, the highest-rated, most impactful journal in the field.

Using an integrated multidisciplinary approach, the paper shows for the first time that this neuropeptide increases the excitability of appetite-suppressing proopiomelanocortin neurons by activating PAC1 receptors coupling to transient receptor potential C channels via phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase and Gq-mediated signaling, an effect that is accentuated by estradiol in females and attenuated under conditions of diet-induced obesity/insulin resistance. These changes functionally translate into decreased energy intake and increased energy expenditure that is influenced by diet and the gonadal hormone milieu.

This body of work was over two years in the making, and represents the thesis project of Wagner’s former MSBS graduate student Rachel Chang (currently a first-year osteopathic medical student at Lincoln Memorial University). Chang was aided by the considerable expertise of Wagner’s research associate and recent MSBS graduate Jennifer Hernandez, as well as by current MSBS students Lynnea Perez and Cassandra Gastelum, and current third-year COMP student Kaitlyn Guadagno.

“Without the dedication, diligence and perseverance of my co-authors and teammates, none of this would have been possible,” Wagner said. “I salute them for their hard work, sacrifice and skill with which they executed the studies described in this paper. This serves as a clear indication of what our MSBS and COMP students are capable of in the arena of cutting-edge, biomedically-relevant neuroscience research.”


Youth & Family Club of Pomona fundraiser

WesternU is a main sponsor of the Youth & Family Club of Pomona (“The Club”) “Chili Cook Off” event from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at Old Stump Brewery in Pomona. Proceeds from the competition benefit the Club in supporting activities for local youth. Plenty of chili, tacos, and beer will be on hand, and live and silent auctions will include tickets to the Stagecoach Festival, Cal Spa products, and “a week anywhere in the world.” Tickets are $50 each (include a taco plate, two pints of beer, and an event glass) and are available on a first-come basis from the Office of Community and Governmental Affairs, x5205. More information about the cook-off is available at www.THECLUBPOMONA.org. Old Stump Brewing is at 2896 Metropolitan Place, Pomona.



From the College of Pharmacy:

Message from College of Pharmacy Dean Daniel Robinson, PharmD, FASHP
I am very pleased to announce that the College of Pharmacy has been notified that it received the maximum six-year accreditation (through January 2025) by the ACPE Continuing Pharmacy Education Commission.

Our continuing education and professional development programs are managed by Renee Cook, Director of Professional Development & Community Outreach. Each year we provide in excess of 100  hours of continuing education to over 400 participants. A sampling of the programming includes: Medication Therapy Management; Immunization Certification; Cannabis and Opioids in Chronic Pain, Sterile Compounding; Non-Sterile Compounding; Travel Medicine; Patient-Center Diabetes Care; and Physical Assessment Certification, to name a few. In addition, we provide nearly 20 preceptor development programs throughout the state in conjunction with our Office of Experiential Education.

I wish to thank and acknowledge Renee Cook for her outstanding management of our continuing education program. I also thank the many faculty who work closely with our CE office to provide the highest quality CE to licensed pharmacists throughout California.

Please join me in congratulating Renee Cook and her team for their tireless work in preparing our CE self-study documents, conducting/hosting the ACPE accreditation site visit, and for managing our exceptional CE programs.



From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Kudos on accomplishments
Edward P. Junkins Jr., MD, MPH, FAAP, WesternU COMP-Northwest Associate Dean of Assessment and Outcomes, was recently appointed to the Task Force on Universal Health Care in Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown’s office nominated members to the task force, and the Oregon State Senate approved the nominations on Feb. 6, 2020. The task force was created during Oregon’s 2019 legislative session via Senate Bill 770, and is charged with designing the Health Care for All Oregon Plan. This publicly-funded plan will provide equitable, affordable, comprehensive, and high quality care for Oregonians.

On Thursday, Feb. 6, Dr. Vicki Wedel of COMP gave a talk titled “Forensic Anthropology for Forensic Pathology Fellows” at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

Associate Professor Mathew Wedel, PhD, of COMP and CPM, and Assistant Professor Thierra K. Nalley, PhD, also of COMP, were invited to participate in the Raymond M. Alf Museum’s Fossil Fest Event on Feb. 8, 2020. This annual event celebrates the many outstanding paleontologists in the Southern California region. Both discussed their research in dinosaur and human paleontology with the public.



From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
CVM Professor Beth Boynton spoke on veterinary careers at the 27th Annual American Association of University Women’s Math/Science Conference for Eighth Grade Girls on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 at Whittier College. The theme this year was “Unlimited Potential.” The goal is to reach students who have shown an interest in math, science, technology, or engineering (STEM) and provide them with encouragement from women who are currently employed in work requiring that background. More than 360 girls attended and received information about six careers.



From the College of Health Sciences:

Kudos on accomplishments
On Feb. 2, 2020, students from the Department of Physical Therapy Education with Assistant Professor Karin Roback, PT, EdD, DPT, joined Cal State Long Beach PT students, their Peds instructor Dr. Spina and the community group SoCalTrykers ( https://socaltrykers.wixsite.com/ambucs) in an adaptive bike assessment day, assisting children and adolescents with special needs and their families. They assisted 23 families in supporting their child’s drive towards independent functional mobility and were able to do so surrounded by a community of many in an environment that ensured their safety, success and enjoyment. Each student that participated in the day was able to support an assessment, gain hands on experience with adaptive seating and equipment, and formally assess an environment using clinical skills to identify contextual factors impacting participation.



From the College of Graduate Nursing:

Screening of the documentary “Not Carol”
The Western University of Health Sciences College of Graduate Nursing Maternal Mental Health Committee will hold a screening of the new documentary film, “Not Carol” at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. The film, from multi-Emmy winner Planet Grande Pictures, is a feature-length documentary following the case of Carol Coronado.  “Not Carol” takes a deep dive into the taboo world of maternal mental health, blowing the lid off a national epidemic that is ravaging families at a shocking rate.

The screening will take place in WesternU’s Health Education Center, Lecture Hall 2, 701 E. Second Street, Pomona, California.

The film will begin promptly at 5 p.m., followed by a Q&A Panel. For more information on the film call Dr. Gwen Orozco at 909-469-8438. Cost is free. Bring your family and friends.

If you or anyone you know needs help, please contact the Postpartum Support International Helpline: 800-944-4PPD (4773).

Click here to view a flier.



From the College of Optometry:

Low Vision Awareness Month
The WesternU Eye Care Institute, 795 E. Second St., Pomona, California, will hold an open house for Low Vision Awareness month from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. There will be interactive demonstration modules so attendees can experience life with simulated vision impairment and try out different high and low-tech assistive technologies available through ECI’s Vision Rehabilitation service. The ECI will also share basics on how to be a sighted guide and the “do’s and don’ts” when approaching a guide dog. Prizes and educational material will be given away. No appointment needed.

Click here to view a flier.