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This Week@WesternU, Jan. 6-10, 2020

by Rodney Tanaka

January 6, 2020

Read 6 mins

Leeper named Assistant Vice President of the WesternU Oregon campus

Rick Leeper was recently promoted to Assistant Vice President of the WesternU Oregon campus. He was first hired by the Office of University Recruitment as an Assistant Director in August 2009. In October 2010, Leeper was promoted to the director of operations for WesternU COMP-Northwest. In 2015, he took over the role of Director of Operations for both COMP, COMP-Northwest and the College of Podiatric Medicine. In January 2018, Leeper was promoted to Senior Director of Operations for COMP, COMP-Northwest and the College of Podiatric Medicine. He holds a position of adjunct instructor with the university’s Department of Social Medicine and Health Care Leadership. He is a member of the University’s steering committee for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Prior to his position with WesternU, Leeper earned his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Business Administration, and then an MBA from Oregon State University.



From the College of Graduate Nursing:

Kudos on accomplishments
CGN Assistant Dean for Administration and Research Rod Hicks, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, published a second edition of his book.

Hicks, R. W., & Seibert, D. C. (2020). The comprehensive health history and physical examination: A lifespan approach (2nd Ed). Lafayette, LA:  Advanced Practice Education Associates, Inc.  ISBN: 978-1892418-26-5



From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments
Dr. Cynthia Jackevicius and colleagues described the impact on long-term use of anticoagulants for stroke prevention in patients who received prescriptions from providers in the emergency department vs. longitudinal care providers.

Atzema CL, Jackevicius CA, Chong A, Dorian P, Ivers NM, Parkash R, Austin PC. Prescribing of oral anticoagulants and subsequent long-term use by older adults with atrial fibrillation. CMAJ 2019;191:E1345-54. Epub 12/9/19. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.190747

In the following study, Dr. Jackevicius and colleagues highlighted the mortality benefit of early follow-up (within one week) in patients who were discharged from an emergency department for atrial fibrillation. Atzema CL, Yu B, Schull MJ, Jackevicius CA, Ivers NM, Lee DS, Rochon P, Austin PC. Association of follow-up care with long-term death and subsequent hospitalization in patients with atrial fibrillation who receive emergency care in the province of Ontario. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2019;12:e006498. DOI: 10.1161/CIRCEP.118.006498

And the associated editorial for this paper:

Dr. Jackevicius was invited to give two presentations at the American Heart Association 2019 Scientific Sessions meeting in Philadelphia, Pa., “Only the Cost Differs: Really? Generic and Branded Drugs: What’s in a Name?” and “Up, Up and Away? Examples of Pricing (NOAC, ARNI, PCSK9i, and ATTR Drugs) – Cost of Drugs for My Patients and Me: Pricing, Pre-Authorization and Co-Pays.” This presentation also involved a panel discussion of all speakers for the related sessions.

At the American Heart Association 2019 Scientific Sessions meeting in Philadelphia, Pa., Dr. Jackevicius was also the senior author on a poster presentation.

Sud M, Azizi P, Koh M, Chong A, Ko DT, Jackevicius CA. The association between angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers with major adverse cardiovascular events in patients with coronary artery disease. Circulation 2019;140:A10841.

Dr. Jackevicius served as the Program Chair for the 34th Annual Pharmacy Invitational Conference on Antithrombotic Therapy (PICAT) in Las Vegas, which takes place annually on the Saturday in conjunction with ASHP Midyear.

Dr. Jackevicius was also involved in a Featured Science oral presentation, with a simultaneous publication. Dr. Jackevicius’ fellow, Dr. Aya Ozaki, was a co-author on this publication. Jackevicius CA, Krumholz HM, Chong A, Koh M, Ozaki AF, Austin PC, Udell JA, Ko DT. Population impact of generic valsartan recall. Circulation 2019. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.119.044494. [Epub ahead of print 11/11/19]

The work received a fair amount of medical and lay press, including Medscape Cardiology/ and US News and World Report

Peter Oelschlaeger, PhD, along with his lab members/collaborators, former postdoctoral fellow Mohammad Faheem, PhD, MSPS alumni/student Charles Zhang and Paulie Dang, PharmD student Monica Morris, and volunteer Pooja Kumar published the following: Zhang CJ, Faheem M, Dang P, Morris MN, Kumar P, Oelschlaeger P. Mutation S115T in IMP-Type Metallo-beta-Lactamases Compensates for Decreased Expression Levels Caused by Mutation S119G. Biomolecules. 2019;9(11). Epub 2019/11/14. doi: 10.3390/biom9110724. PubMed PMID: 31718049.  Link to Article

Jeffrey Wang, PhD, along with his lab members/collaborators COP faculty Guru Betageri, PhD, and Sunil Prabhu, PhD,  former visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellows Baoyue Ding, PhD, and Surya Kovvasu, MSPS students and alumnus Felicia Onyeabor, Amy Paik, Md Arif Wahid and volunteer Jelissa Lin published the following: Onyeabor F, Paik A, Kovvasu S, Ding B, Lin J, Wahid MA, Prabhu S, Betageri G, Wang J. Optimization of Preparation and Preclinical Pharmacokinetics of Celastrol-Encapsulated Silk Fibroin Nanoparticles in the Rat. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2019;24(18). Epub 2019/09/11. doi: 10.3390/molecules24183271. PubMed PMID: 31500392; PMCID: PMC6767603. Link to Article



From the College of Podiatric Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
Professor Robert A. Christman, DPM, EdM, wrote a chapter in The Pediatric Foot and Ankle: Diagnosis and Management that will be released January 21, 2020, “Radiology of the Normal Foot” (Chapter 2, pages 43-75):

Christman RA: Radiology of the Normal Foot. In Butterworth ML and Marcoux JT, editors: The Pediatric Foot and Ankle: Diagnosis and Management, Springer Nature Switzerland AG, Switzerland, 2020.

For more information and a link to purchase to the book, please visit:

The Pediatric Foot and Ankle – Diagnosis and Management | Michelle L. Butterworth | Springer

This book is a comprehensive, evidence-based overview of the current evaluation, diagnosis, and management of foot and ankle disorders in the pediatric patient, covering neurological abnormalities, congenital deformities, and traumatic episodes, including clinical pearls.


The International Diabetes Federation Congress 2019 took place in Busan, Korea in December 2019. The College of Podiatric Medicine was represented by current and former administration and an alumnus.

Jonathan Labovitz, DPM, Associate Dean of Clinical Education and Graduate Education, presented his lecture “Offloading: Who When and How Many” in the Diabetic Foot – Taxonomy, technology and tools track. Dr. Labovitz also moderated the track titled “Diabetic Foot Ulcers.”

CPM Founding Dean Emeritus Lawrence Harkless, DPM also presented in the session Diabetic foot – Taxonomy, technology and tolls. His lecture was “Is There Any Role for New Technologies for the Diabetic Foot?”

CPM alumnus Trent Brookshier, DPM ’19, a first-year resident at Scripps in San Diego, presented a poster at the conference titled “New Name and Staging for Type 2 Diabetes Prompts Earlier Action by Patients and Practitioners.”



From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

Kudos on accomplishments
CVM Professor Wael Khamas was an invited speaker at the 7th China Camel Industry Development Conference in Alasha, Inner Mongolia, China. The title of the presentation was “Camelids survival under extreme heat and cold environment morpho-histo-physiological perspective.”

CVM Professor Victoria Voith was the editor of the Behavior Section and author of the topics on Aggression and on Learning, Training, and Behavior Problems and senior co-author on the topic of Fear, in the recently published text book: Blackwell’s Five Minute Veterinary Consult EQUINE, Third Edition, 2020, Wiley Blackwell.

CVM Professor Joseph J. Bertone authored an op-ed for The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association concerning the poor science and misguided welfare efforts associated with the proposed “Horseracing Integrity Act,” (HR 1754) proposed by the office of Senator Feinstein. The targets will include the Washington Post and The Daily News (San Francisco) and multiple other outlets.

Teresa Y. Morishita, CVM Professor of Poultry Medicine and Food Safety, was appointed by the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) to serve as the Chair of the AAAP Education Committee from 2019-2022. The AAAP Education Committee is responsible for developing and enhancing the educational resources for the AAAP membership and public on poultry medicine through the development of educational resources such as study slide sets, videos, and books. Western University of Health Sciences is well represented in the AAAP Education Committee as CVM student Theodore Derksen, Class of 2021, will serve as co-chair.



From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Kudos on accomplishments
Professor Brion Benninger, MD, MSc, Executive Director, Medical Anatomy Center, designed and provided ultrasound workshops to first and second-year COMP-Northwest medical students in November that focused on a variety of point of care diagnostic quality hand-held ultrasound systems. Systems included latest generation Sonosite finger probe which is a novel wearable wireless system,  hand-held portable GE V-Scan extends systems and the Clarius hand-held wireless with artificial intelligence linked to Android and/or Apple phones.

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