Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update 

WesternU President Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD, emailed the WesternU community on Monday, March 16 and Thursday, March 19 with important updates. The messages are contained in full in the news story links below.

Please visit WesternU’s COVID-19 resources web page for the latest information:

https://www.westernu.edu/health/health-news/

 

News stories on campus operations affected by COVID-19:

COVID-19 message from WesternU President Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD (March 16 email)
Of pressing urgency is the status of our many students of all our colleges on clinical rotations all over the country. Our clinical students have been standing shoulder-to-shoulder with their licensed counterparts on the front lines of this challenge and have been helpful in preparing our partner hospitals and clinics for an influx of patients. Health care systems nationwide are now deploying disaster plans and crisis protocols to streamline infection control and expedite patient care. They are in it for the long haul and the decisions they make today will determine their ability to sustain services in the months ahead.

Over the weekend partner sites have suspended rotations in an accelerating and broadening manner.  We must now step back and let health professionals continue efforts to reduce disease spread and preserve resources, while simultaneously ensuring the cadre of future health professionals in training stays in good health to complete studies needed to one day join their licensed counterparts.

We have consulted extensively with many partner hospitals, clinics, preceptors as well as national health care education organizations and public health agencies.  We have had extensive discussions within the Board of Trustees as well as with our own Deans and senior executives.

Effective immediately, all WesternU off-campus student clinical training assignments suspended for an initial period of two weeks.

The sole exception is for licensed pharmacy interns whose roles are categorically distinct from of all other WesternU students.

Deans will follow up with college-specific information as soon as possible.  We intend to notify sites quickly, sustain training in active learning status to not delay academic progress or financial aid.

Click here to read the full story.

 

Public gatherings directive impacts Commencement (March 19 email)
The coronavirus pandemic continues to accelerate and was recently declared a national emergency by President Trump. The President also urged public gatherings be ten or fewer. This was shortly after Governors Brown of Oregon and Newsom of California declared each state a disaster area. Just this evening Governor Newsom ordered all California residents to remain in place (except essential workers in sectors deemed critical by federal infrastructure guidelines) and it is likely Oregon Governor Brown will soon order the same.

Given these governmental directives and given what is expected to be weeks – perhaps months – of increased risk, 2020 Commencement Exercises in the form of public gatherings are, sadly, cancelled.  Moreover, our campuses shall remain closed at least through April and, in all probability, through the end of the academic year.

Click here to read the full story.

 

 

WesternU creates emergency support fund for students affected by COVID-19
Western University of Health Sciences has created an emergency support fund to help students negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WesternU Student Emergency Support Fund is primarily designed to provide students with financial support for such priority needs as housing, utilities, food, medication, and health care, but it may also be used for academic supplies (books, technology, etc., not included in tuition and fees), travel costs related to the death or illness of an immediate family member, or replacing essential personal or academic belongings. The Fund will not provide financial support for such things as entertainment, recreation, non-emergency travel, or parking tickets.

The WesternU Student Emergency Support Fund application is now available to students within the new Award Management scholarship system at https://westernu.academicworks.com. WesternU students with emergency needs are encouraged to submit an application. Students will need to answer a few questions about their emergency situation and financial need.

“I am happy to report that our former WesternU Board of Trustees Chair, Richard Bond, DO ’82, has already pledged a donation to the Fund, and the Student Government Association has also pledged to support their fellow students,” said WesternU Senior Vice President for University Advancement Diane M. Abraham, PhD, MBA, CFRE. “Solicitations will be sent to all WesternU alumni and donors inviting them to make a contribution online at https://giving.westernu.edu.”

Click here to read the full story.

 

 

WesternU Board of Trustees announces new leadership, new member and a retirement

The Western University of Health Sciences Board of Trustees announced several leadership changes, a new member, and the retirement of one of its founding members.

Linda L. Crans, BS, is now Chair of the Board of Trustees after serving as Vice Chair for six years. She replaces Richard A. Bond, DO ’82, DrPH, who served as Chair for six years. He will continue serving on the Board, of which he has been a member since 2000.

Elizabeth Zamora, MBA, who joined the Board in April 2018, now serves as the Vice Chair. Tony L. Chan, PharmD, a nine-year member of the Board, now serves as Treasurer. John Forbing continues his service as Board Secretary.

Ethan R. Allen, DO, retired from the board in February 2020. The osteopathic pioneer had served on the board since the founding of the University in 1977. He had also served as board Treasurer since December 1982. Dr. Allen was also accorded the distinct honor of being named Founding Trustee Emeritus.

WesternU also welcomed a new Board member on Feb. 18, 2020: California Vice President of Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Plan and Charitable Health Coverage for Kaiser Permanente Nate Oubré, MBA.

Click here to read the full story.

 

 

From the College of Podiatric Medicine:

100% placement rate
For the seventh year in a row, the College of Podiatric Medicine is proud to announce that our students have achieved a 100% placement rate in the residency match. The College is proud of the members of the Class of 2020 for their tireless work and professionalism. A special thanks to their faculty, staff, friends, and family who supported them every step of the way.

 

 

From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments
Congratulations to Drs. Preshita Desai and Sunil Prabhu and their lab members and collaborators on their recent accomplishments.

Desai P, Thakkar A, Ann D, Wang J, Prabhu S. Loratadine self-microemulsifying drug delivery systems (SMEDDS) in combination with sulforaphane for the synergistic chemoprevention of pancreatic cancer. Drug Delivery and Translational Research. 2019;9(3):641-51. doi: 10.1007/s13346-019-00619-0. Link to Article

This article won a $500 award for best in vitro paper from the Controlled Release Society to be presented at their annual meeting in June.

Desai P, Wang KZ, Ann D, Wang J, Prabhu S. Efficacy and Pharmacokinetic Considerations of Loratadine Nanoformulations and its Combinations for Pancreatic Cancer Chemoprevention. Pharmaceutical Research. 2020;37(2):21. doi: 10.1007/s11095-019-2737-x. Link to Article

 

 

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

A scientific adviser on “Contagion” said people should have taken the film more seriously
College of Veterinary Medicine Professor Tracey McNamara, DVM, DACVP, was interviewed by BuzzFeed News on her role as scientific adviser for the 2011 film “Contagion,” which many people are re-watching amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to read the story on BuzzFeed News:

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/krystieyandoli/contagion-movie-coronavirus