Nine of the 25 scholarships offered this year by the Northwest Osteopathic
Medical Foundation (NOMF) were awarded to students at the College of
Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) at Western University of Health
Sciences (WesternU), the most that has ever gone to representatives of one
school in the program’s 14 years.
In addition, according to NOMF Executive Director Dennis Lavery, never
before in the program’s history has an applicant met the qualifications
for the highest-level $6,000 award, and this year two students won that
top award, both from WesternU. They are Franz Rischard (DO ’00), an Upland
resident originally from Idaho, and Wendy Heusch (DO ’00) of Oregon.
The awards range from $2,500 to $6,000 based on class rank, grade point
average and community service. Other WesternU winners and their home
states are: Leslie Albright (DO ’01), Karl Kaluza (DO ’01) and Druanne
LaPlante (DO ’00) from Oregon; Jennifer LeTourneau (DO ’00) and William
Resnick (DO ’00) from Washington; Layne Barnes (DO ’00) from Idaho and
Rodney Glen Heaton (DO ’00) from Montana.
“”It’s very difficult to get scholarships for graduate work; there aren’t
that many out there,”” said Otto Reyer, director of financial aid at
WesternU. “”We congratulate the students who successfully search out
college funding; it really makes a difference to their debt load when they
The Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation says it awards more
scholarships than any other osteopathic organization in the United States.
It was established in 1985 and is based in Portland, Oregon.
Lavery said that more than 80 students, representing 11 schools in nine
states, applied for the 25 awards by submitting an application, letters of
recommendation, transcripts and an essay. One stipulation of the program
is that the student must have lived, worked or attended school in the
Pacific Northwest at some time. The student also must plan to practice
medicine in that area.
The scholarships are to be used for the ’99-’00 academic year.
WesternU students have completed clinical rotations at about 45 medical
centers, hospitals and clinics in the Pacific Northwest, and about 150
alumni of the University practice osteopathic medicine throughout that
According to Mitchell Kasovac, DO, FACFP, FAODME, Dean of COMP, students
who attend WesternU from out of state are encouraged to return to their
home state after graduation to help develop the osteopathic profession.
“”We hope that they look for opportunities to fill some of the needs in
rural areas and other small towns as well,”” he said. “”By doing that,
they’re helping the osteopathic profession grow in other states that might
not have as many osteopathic physicians as California.””