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.