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.””