Western University of Health Sciences’ (WesternU) will bestow awards
for “”Humanitarian of the Year”” and “”Distinguished Alumnus”” at its annual
fundraising gala, “”A Tribute to Caring,”” Saturday, November 6, at the Ritz
Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena.
WesternU has held “”A Tribute to Caring”” each year since 1980. Proceeds
from the event benefit the university’s student scholarship program. This
year’s awards gala banquet will honor Francis L. Comunale, MD, as
WesternU’s “”1999 Humanitarian of the Year”” and William Fraser, DO ’89, as
the university’s “”Distinguished Alumnus.””
Dr. Comunale is a retired medical director of the San Bernardino County
Medical Center, now Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (ARMC), and former
chairman of the anesthesiology department at WesternU. He will be
recognized for his long and distinguished record of service to the
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Comunale earned his medical degree from
Boston University School of Medicine in 1959 and, after serving three
years with the U.S. Army, joined The Cambridge Hospital in Massachusetts
from 1967-79. He served as director of the department of anesthesiology
and respiratory care and spent two terms as president of the medical staff.
Dr. Comunale moved to California in 1979 to work at the San Bernardino
County Medical Center, and eventually became medical director of clinical
services and medical education before retiring in 1997. During that time,
he taught at several Southern California medical schools, including
WesternU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP). More
recently, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Academic Center
for Excellence in the Health Sciences, a partnership between WesternU,
ARMC and other area health care centers that provides the university with
a primary teaching hospital.
Dr. Comunale and his wife, Maureen, live in Seal Beach and he continues to
serve the ARMC in a consultant role.
Dr. Fraser is the director of emergency medical education at Doctors
Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He is chairman of the Emergency Medicine
Residency Program Advisory Committee, a statewide consortium of Emergency
Medicine Residencies, and item writer and reviewer for a portion of the
osteopathic medical exam.
The COMP alumnus said he decided to pursue an osteopathic medicine degree
because of its whole-person approach to wellness. He has focused on
emergency medicine since graduating from medical school 10 years ago. He
finds his job most rewarding, he said, when he can make a positive
intervention in his patients’ lives and get them back on the road to
Dr. Fraser is married to another COMP graduate: Andrea Franklin, DO ’89, a
pediatric radiologist at Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Chatsworth resident Mamie Lew is chair of this year’s “”A Tribute to
Caring.”” Donald J. Krpan, DO, FACOFP, university provost and president-
elect of the American Osteopathic Association, will serve as master of
ceremonies. WesternU Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD, will
introduce the honorees and present the awards.
The gala also includes a silent auction with numerous items and a special
drawing for a Waterford Limited Edition Millennium crystal set. In
addition, there will be a reverse drawing for $5,000 grand prize. Reverse
drawing tickets are $100 each.
Major sponsors of “”A Tribute to Caring”” include: WesternU’s Executive
Staff; The Norcross Family; CareMore Medical Group; Anning-Johnson; Casa
Colina; Pacific Hospital of Long Beach; Prager McCarthy and Sealy; San
Antonio Community Hospital; Bobbie Stahl-Polley; First Professional Bank;
and Network Health Financial Services, Inc., among others.
WesternU and the Founders Committee host the event. Committee members
are: Jeanne Charney and Sharon Williams of La Verne; Debbie Routman,
Sandra Turkel and Carol Trinca of Claremont; Upland’s Marti Kasovac,
Harriet Pumerantz and Diane Lally; Dianne Forbing of Diamond Bar; Pomona’s
Doris Tinsley; Sharon Del Pizzo (past chair) of Northridge; Eleanor Duffy
(past co-chair) and Geri Witt (past chair) of Los Angeles; Spencer
Gilbert, MD, and Gay Krpan of Yorba Linda; Colleen Knapp of Orange;
Stanley Saul, DO, of Menifee; John Siler of Walnut; Carolyn Stahl of
Huntington Beach; Bobbie Stahl-Polley (past co-chair) of Newport Beach;
and Marlene Weyuker of Desert Hot Springs.
Tickets to “”A Tribute to Caring”” are $175 per person. Proceeds go toward
student scholarships. For more information, contact the WesternU Events
and Programs Department at (909) 469-5359.