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Supporters have helped Western University of Health Sciences attain new levels of innovation, cutting-edge research and clinical excellence.

With a “steampunk” theme reflecting the role of innovation through the years, WesternU held its annual “A Tribute to Caring” gala Saturday, November 4, 2017 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. About 600 guests helped WesternU raise more than $320,000.

WesternU students make many personal and financial commitments to becoming the very best healers they can be, so all the support provided at ATC will be used for scholarships that will help them meet those commitments, said WesternU Vice President for University Advancement Diane Abraham, PhD, CFRE. “You are, quite literally, helping our students make their dreams come true,” she said.

Health professions education, like health care, is constantly changing, and it requires a nimble and adaptive mindset that WesternU has always embodied, Abraham said.

“Part of what makes our university so special is our commitment to strategic growth, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit,” Abraham said. “Campus resources like our Virtual Reality Learning Center and our new Center for Innovation promise to yield knowledge, inventions and applications that will develop more creative health professionals and enhance our university’s reputation as a leading-edge institution. Thank you for your generous support and I hope you will be excited about investing in our very bright future.”

WesternU honored Inter Valley Health Plan, represented by President and Chief Executive Officer Ronald H. Bolding, with its Access to Caring Award. This award is given to a person or organization that has made a difference in advancing health care access and availability to underserved people in our community.

Inter Valley Health Plan is a not-for-profit, Medicare Advantage HMO health plan based in Pomona, California. It provides health insurance products for more than 25,000 people with Medicare throughout Riverside and San Bernardino counties and portions of Los Angeles and Orange counties. The HMO was formed in 1979 by Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center and local doctors.

In 2009, the company implemented its signature annual “Helping Hands Week” program. For one week, employees volunteer their time to support the Plan’s mission of health and vitality in the communities they serve. Each year, Inter Valley Health Plan and its employees actively support more than 40 charitable and community organizations.

“I am greatly honored and fantastically appreciative of the fact that this honor has come to Inter Valley Health Plan,” Bolding said. “We know that just providing a business environment that works efficiently is not sufficient to have a life that is meaningful. We look for things that are purpose driven, and we get that in partnership with many organizations, and certainly WesternU is one of those.”

Several WesternU students attended ATC and were able to meet some of the donors who contributed to student scholarships. Second-year College of Podiatric Medicine student Samantha Zdanowicz said receiving scholarships as an undergraduate helped her and her family a lot. She is the first person in her family to graduate from a four-year college, and she is appreciative of the support.

“You are investing in our future,” she said. “Hopefully we will be donating to this event as alumni.”

Special thank you to our Silver Sponsors: Dr. Hong Shue Chen, Inter Valley Health Plan, the Sarkaria Family and Wells Fargo Bank.