January 31, 2018 - The Record

New Provost Sarah Sweitzer, PhD, greets the TUC community on her first day

It’s a new year at Touro University California. Monday, January 29th marked the first day at work for Dr. Sarah Sweitzer, Provost and Chief Academic Officer. While greeting the campus, she delivered a heartfelt message of her commitment to achieving new levels of greatness and fostering untapped potential throughout this university.

Provost Sarah Sweitzer
Pictured left to right: Provost & CAO Sarah Sweitzer, Mayor of Vallejo Bob Sampayan, and CEO & Senior Provost Shelley Berkley

Dr. Sweitzer also stressed to the faculty and staff that she wanted to hear from them. In her first letter to the campus community, she wrote, “Over my first month, my plan is to schedule meeting opportunities with each unit on campus and get to know each of you personally and to hear from you what you think makes TUC excellent and areas where we can continue to grow excellence.”

A fifth generation native to Vallejo whose father, grandfather, and grandmother were shipyard workers, Dr. Sweitzer intimated about the fun she had growing up next to Mare Island.

“I never thought that coming back to Vallejo was possible for me,” she confessed, a lifelong scientist whose work has taken her across the country. “In the future, I want people to go, ‘Vallejo, that’s that awesome community with great higher education!’”

Welcoming her home, community members, elected officials, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni gathered for Dr. Sweitzer's welcome reception on Monday, January 29th, 2018.

Student Study: A discussion can increase colorectal cancer screening, published in January's Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

Flemming and BenitezInterview with Tyler Fleming and Martha Benitez, Fourth Year Student Doctors of the College of Osteopathic Medicine

Sometimes all it takes is a conversation to start something new that could save your life. That’s what College of Osteopathic Student Doctors Tyler Fleming, MPH, and Martha Benitez, MPH, set out to test in their study published in January’s Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. They used a high-touch, personal approach with patients to see if personally explaining benefits could increase the participation of the take home fecal immunochemical test (FIT test). FIT tests can be as effective as conlonoscopies in colorectal cancer prevention if administered annually. Completing the test is much more comfortable for the patient too, involving taking a sample and sending it in to be tested for blood content.

How important are at-home FIT tests to screening colon cancer?

Colorectal cancer has the second highest mortality rate of all cancers, accounting for nearly 50,000 deaths in the United States annually. At the same time, when this type of cancer is detected early it is highly treatable. Early detection is possible with regular testing beginning at age 50.  One of the options for testing are FIT kits that can be done at home and are able to detect early signs of abnormal growth in the colon. Compared to the traditional colonoscopy, FIT kits are non-invasive but they must be done every year in order to provide the same preventative power as a colonoscopy. Our challenge then, as health professionals, is to figure out the best way to incorporate this into annual preventative care in the most efficient way possible. In this case, we were working with clients of a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in a low-income community.

Did anything surprise you during the study?

It was surprising how open the clinic was to us, as students, developing and implementing a new intervention for their patients. We hope that students continue to work with the clinic to come up with innovations that improve patient care, and that programs like the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship and the Touro Master of Public Health program continue to sponsor students to do so.

What do you think is the greatest hurdle in achieving the study’s recommendations?

Resources and time. Contacting patients, building connections and encouraging completion of preventative health care requires time to review medical records, time to outreach to patients and have in-depth conversations to gain patient commitment. While the methods we used are easily replicable by non medical personnel, it does require valuable personnel time. Again, this is a potential opportunity for students from local nearby professional schools who desire experience in health care and community service to support local clinics.

To read the full study, co-authored by Miranda Ritterman Weintraub, PhD, MPH, visit here.

Upcoming Events

Witness to History
Dialogues on Diversity
Purim

Witness to History: Monday, February 5

A one of a kind traveling museum of ancient books, maps, coins, and manuscripts with historic Jewish significance.

“The rare books that Rabbi Goldstein has brought together present not only an opportunity to understand the history of the dissemination of Jewish literature and tradition through the medium of printing, but also enlighten numerous central episodes in Jewish history. Rabbi Goldstein's explanations bring to life the interrelation of these rare books with the ongoing Jewish experience and are an opportunity to learn both Jewish history and Torah by visiting this wonderful exhibit.”
Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman, NYU

With a separate showing for TUC and the public

The Black Jew Dialogues: Thursday, February 22

Dialogues on Diversity (a theater company with a focus on social justice) will return to Touro to present  a thought provoking two-actor comedy called The Black-Jew Dialogues, which explores the absurdity of prejudice and racism.

All are welcome!

RSVP at publichealth@tu.edu

Purim for the TUC Community: Tuesday, February 27 

Get henna done by an Artist. Enjoy light refreshments.

Purim is billed as the most joyous date on the Jewish calendar, the daylong holiday commemorates the nullification in 356 B.C.E. of a Persian decree calling for the annihilation of the Jewish people throughout the Persian Empire as told in the biblical Book of Esther.

It is observed by public readings of the Megillah, or Scroll of Esther, to recount the story of the Purim miracle, sending food gifts to friends, giving gifts of money to the poor and enjoying a festive Purim meal.

Purim in the Community: Thursday, March 1

Up Up & Away Purim Party
Sponsored by TUC

Your in flight entertainment includes!

Megillah reading
Meal & beverages
Snack exchange
Gifts for the poor

A Mosaic Celebration: Diversity Scholarship Fundraiser: April 19

Canvas Learning Management System Trial

There is currently a pilot underway of the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), with an eye to improving the student experience with online course material and interaction. There are 5 Touro schools in New York currently involved with the trial: Lander College for Women, Graduate School of Social Work, School of Health Sciences’ Department of Nursing, TouroCOM and TouroLaw. In addition, the Education Schools in California and Nevada and the Nursing School in California are also involved. The pilot results will be evaluated in the spring and a decision will be made whether Canvas will replace Blackboard as the singular learning management system at Touro.

To learn more about Canvas, search your TouroOne portal or visit the Canvas website at https://canvaslms.com. Contact Frank Steen at franklin.steen@touro.edu

Our Staff: Charity Yamada: Administrator of Business Operations, College of Pharmacy

Charity YamadaCharity Yamada was born in San Francisco and raised in Hercules. After gradauating high school, she went off to pursue a degree in Human Resources Management at Hawaii Pacific University, located in Honolulu. After graduating, she continued her residence in Hawaii for 13 years where she gained experience as a loan officer assistant and employment counselor. She also served on staff at a local church and coordinated community events to share a positive message. She returned back to the Bay Area in 2013, where she soon joined Touro. Some of her hobbies include shopping and family excursions. One day she would like to visit Japan and various countries within Europe. 

Hawaii right after high school, why? 

I knew 2 things – 1) I wanted to go away for college and 2) I wanted to major in Human Resources.  None of the schools that I looked into at the time offered HR as a major except for Hawaii Pacific University and University of Hawaii.

What is the first thing that would stop if you didn’t come into work?

I primarily handle (at different levels) financial paperwork for the PharmD program (travel requisitions, expense reimbursements, invoices, vendor and faculty contracts, and job requisitions) as well as monitor/track the budget.

How does your family influence who you are?

My parents modeled and continue to model hard work and dedication.  These are character traits that I try to live out and hopefully model to my kids as well.

What would you do with one day anywhere in the world?

I would go to Japan and visit Tokyo Disneyland.  I would also eat and shop!

New Mamava for Mothers on Campus!

Mothers across campus who need a private space to pump or breastfeed can now use the Mamava lactation suite, located in the Wilderman Hall Great Room. Equipped with an AC and USB power outlet, a refrigerator, and plenty of counter space, the suite is designed with comfort and convenience in mind. To gain access, simply contact Facilities at 707-638-5800 or send your request to valaria.worthington@tu.edu.

 Mamava Mamava
Mamava Mamava