Western University of Health Sciences marked two important milestones in its history May 15-17, as the university graduated the inaugural classes of its colleges of Dental Medicine, Optometry and Podiatric Medicine, and also acknowledged its 10,000th graduate.

Activist and actor Edward James Olmos, whose own family has been affected by diabetes and other health issues, was the keynote speaker for the inaugural commencement ceremony for the podiatric medicine, optometry and dental colleges on Wednesday, May 15. He urged the graduates to help as many people as possible, regardless of their circumstances.

“There will be some who cannot pay you. Treat them. There will be people who need hospitals. Go find them. Pay it back by giving of yourself. We need saints out here in today’s world, more than ever,” he said.

Click here to read the full story and to view the Commencement slideshows featuring all nine WesternU colleges.

From the College of Veterinary Medicine:

CVM earns seven-year accreditation

Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Veterinary Medicine has retained its status of “Full Accreditation” for the next seven years from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE).

“This is a magnificent achievement, and one we expected as a result of our hard work and student outcomes,” said College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Phillip Nelson, DVM, PhD. “I want to express my appreciation to the faculty, staff, preceptors, and students that participated in generating the self-report and preparing for the site visit. The verbal comments of the site team’s exit report indicated we have a great team of people doing great things.”

The College received a verbal report of the Council of Education’s assessment of the College’s self-study submitted in December 2012 and the site visit of January 2013. A written report is expected within two weeks.

Click here to read the full story.

College of Veterinary Medicine, PBL pioneer to retire

The College of Veterinary Medicine celebrated the retirement of Stephen Waldhalm, PhD, DVM, a founding faculty member who helped develop the College’s problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum.

At a reception held May 13, 2013 at WesternU, College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Phillip Nelson, DVM, PhD, presented Waldhalm with the Dean’s Pioneer Award and announced that he is to be named Professor of Veterinary Medicine Emeritus, effective July 1, 2013. Click here to view the full story.

From University Advancement:

Towne & Gown Golf Classic

WesternU invites the public to an exciting day of golf to benefit student scholarships.

The Towne & Gown Golf Classic, benefiting the University Scholarship Fund, will be held on Monday, June 10, 2013 at Red Hill Country Club, 8358 Red Hill Country Club Dr., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Registration and lunch starts at 11 a.m. followed by a noon shotgun start. The Hole-in-One prize is a 2013 Cadillac, sponsored by Symes Cadillac of Pasadena. Reception dinner and awards ceremony will follow the event.

Cost is $200 per golfer or $800 per foursome. Dinner for a non-golfing guest is available for a fee of $50. Proceeds will benefit the University Scholarship Fund thanks to the generosity of T.F. Chen, DDS. Deadline to enter is June 3, 2013.

For more information or to sign up for the Towne & Gown Golf Classic, please contact Susan Terrazas at 909-706-3476, email, or Austin Braunwalder at 909-469-8495, email To view the website go to

Helicopter Drop

Everyone is invited to join the Towne & Gown Golf Classic Helicopter Drop, whether you’re at the golf course or not. The helicopter team will dump numbered golf balls over a designated hole, and the owner of the ball that lands in the hole (or closest to the pin) will win the 50-50 cash prize. Contact Austin Braunwalder (909) 469-8495; for more information. Click here to view the flier.

From the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific:

Kudos on accomplishments

An interprofessional WesternU team published an article in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association: “Use of the SMART Balance Master to Quantify the Effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in Patients With Dizziness,” by Marcel Fraix, DO; Ashlynn Gordon, OMS IV; Victoria Graham, PT, DPT, OCS, NCS; Eric Hurwitz, DC, PhD; and Michael A. Seffinger, DO.

Drs. Fraix and Seffinger are College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific faculty members. Dr. Graham is a former College of Allied Health Professionals faculty member now with Cal State Northridge. Ashlynn Gordon, DO ’13, is a recent COMP graduate. Click here to view the article.

From the College of Pharmacy:

Kudos on accomplishments

Five College of Pharmacy residents presented their projects at the Western States Conference on May 14, 2013.

Stephanie Liang: Preparedness of Student Pharmacists in Providing Travel Health Services

Mai-Chi Hong: Risk Factors Associated with Vancomycin Nephrotoxicity Across Different Acuity Levels of Care

Binh Tang: Evaluation of Medication-Use Expectations on Secondary Non-Adherence

Po Ying Fung: Accuracy of Heparin Weight-Based Dosing in Obese Patients

Sonal Mahajan: Gradual Dose Reduction or Possible Discontinuation of Antipsychotics in JHA Patients After Three Months as per New CMS Guidelines

Dr. Karl Hess’ resident, Dr. Stephanie Liang, published the following article:

Liang S, Hess K. Lorcaserin (Belviq®) – A Quick Review. California Pharmacist 2013; LX (1): 33-35.

Dr. Jackevicius’ fellow, Dr. Lingyun Lu, presented an abstract of her research at the AHA Quality of Care and Outcomes Research scientific sessions: Impact of the ENHANCE trial on the use of ezetimibe in the US and Canada.

Dr. Law’s fellow, Dr. Bik-Wai Tai, was interviewed on their project on health literacy and prescription labels as reported in Medscape. “Pharmacists Reach Patients With Illustrations, Less Jargon.” Medscape Medical News, 2013-03-20

Dr. Arezoo Campbell, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was elected as Treasurer for the 2013-2014 Executive Committee for the Southern Chapter of the Society of Toxicology.

Dr. Maria Lambros, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, was invited to participate as an external evaluator as part of the self-evaluation process for the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Department of Pharmacy and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Pharmacy.

Drs. Quang Le and Jonathan Watanabe presented the following posters at the recent Annual Meeting of the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), held May 18-22, in New Orleans.

Le QA. “Impact of Modeling Advanced Breast Cancer using Different Markov Models on Cost-Effectiveness Results: A Simulation Study of Lapatinib.”

Le QA, Doctor JN, Zoellner L, Feeny N. “EuroQol (EQ-5D) Utility Scores in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Patients: Results from a Doubly Randomized Preference Trial (DRPT).”

Watanabe JH, Ney JP, Sullivan SD. “Properties of Propensity Score Matching Procedures on Covariate Balancing and Estimation: Influence of the Number of Propensity Score Digits Used on Matched Sets Created.”

Ney JP, Watanabe JH, van der Goes DN. “Effect of Neurologist Ambulatory Visits on Use of Disease-specific Pharmacotherapies for Chronic Neurological Conditions.”

Bounthavong M, Tran JN, Watanabe JH, Chen TC. “Retrospective Cohort Study Evaluating Liraglutide and Exenatide in a Veteran Population.”

Dr. Bounthavong is an alumnus of WesternU PharmD 2004; Outcomes Research Fellowship 2007.

Dr. Sheryl Chow has been invited by pharmaceutical companies Novartis and Symbiotics to serve on the national multidisciplinary Serelaxin Steering Committee, which has 12 members (eight physicians, two nurse practitioners and two pharmacists). The committee would serve as expert advisors to provide guidance prior to and following FDA approval of this medication for acute decompensated heart failure. The term is ongoing for a period of three years around the approval of Serelaxin in 2014. This is indeed an honor and recognition of Dr. Chow’s content expertise.

From the College of Allied Health Professions:

Department of Physical Therapy Education News

Assistant Professor Mary Hudson-McKinney, PT, MS, DPT, NCS, has been invited to speak at the 2013 Western Foot and Ankle Conference to be held June 20-23 in Anaheim. For registration information go to

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