The Record

  In this Issue

Evening with the Stars                                     

COM Student works on his Super Powers

PA Program Completes Safe Zone Training

I Am Touro: Scott Olds

Orientation 2019

Club Day Schedule

Fresh on Facebook

Environmental and Public Health 2019

TUC Alum Mitchell Lienemann and Ida Jelveh, and Dr. Carinne Brody authored an article in the mHealth Journal

Touro Tuesday - Pioneer Alum Dr. David Duncan

Touro Tuesday - Hear from Steve Jacobson, new Dean of Student Affairs

Doctor of Pharmacy Information Session



Evening with the Stars Allow COM to Shine


What better way to start the new school year than with a splash? That’s the basic idea behind the Evening with the Stars event, Aug. 6 from 4-6 pm.

The event is patterned after the American Academy of Osteopathy’s Convocation, which has been taking place at various locations around the country for more than 60 years.

About five years ago, the Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) faculty decided to replicate that locally at Touro University California.

“Most of us who do osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) have fond memories of attending the AAO Evening with the Stars as students where masters of the profession provide free educational treatment demonstrations,” said Victor Nuño, D.O., an associate professor at Touro in the OMM department.

“The idea for the local event was to allow the students to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Nuño said.

The faculty in the OMM department gather in an informal setting to demonstrate how they approach different conditions.

“The faculty disperse to different tables in the OMM lab and students gather around to listen and learn. They are free to move to a different table and learn from as many doctors as they like. It’s pretty freeform,” Dr. Nuño said.

 “It’s all teachable. It’s not magic,” Dr. Nuño said. “We break it down step-by-step. The practice of OMT is best experienced first-hand.”

Evening with the Stars has become one of the more popular student events on campus, with as many as 120 people participating.

“People come and go throughout the evening but the lab stays pretty full with students stopping by.”


COM Student works on his Super Powers

jeremyLike Ryan Coogler, the director of the hit film, “Black Panther,” Jeremy Yenpasook, a second-year College of Osteopathic Medicine student at Touro University, grew up in Oakland.

That type of upbringing, as the film demonstrates, can sometimes lead a person down a dark path, but early in his life, Yenpasook was doing his best with the cards he was dealt.

As is the case with many college students, Yenpasook spent part of his time in college classes and part of his time working to pay for college, thinking he might one day move up the corporate ladder at Starbucks.

A serious cancer diagnosis and aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments brought an end to both the job and his academic career . . . temporarily.

“That experience changed everything,” Yenpasook said.

Yenpasook soon changed his educational focus to health and began volunteering and advocating in underserved communities like the one he grew up in.

As the lead character in “Black Panther,” T’Challa said, “In times of crisis, the wise build bridges.” Yenpasook built himself a bridge that took him down to UC San Diego and eventually to Touro University.

T’Challa, who is also the title character Black Panther, has powers to thwart evil-doers with strength and speed. Yenpasook, on the other hand, has a different but equally vital set of skills.

“Empathy, resilience and compassion are my superpowers,” he said.

While studying at UC San Diego, Yenpasook helped start an all-volunteer medical clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, an underserved community very similar to Oakland, he said.

While helping at the clinic, Yenpasook had an experience that eventually brought him to Touro.

There was a DO practicing at the clinic and it opened Yenpasook’s eyes.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” he said. “I’d never seen somebody literally healing patients with his hands.”

Yenpasook has continued to advocate for underserved communities, as well as tried to show other non-traditional medical students that a path does exist for them to follow into the medical profession if they so choose.

“I want to look for students passionate about TUC’s mission in osteopathic medicine and social justice, strengthening it . . . students who have the heart to be a doctor,” Yenpasook said. 

PA Program Completes Safe Zone Training

by Natalie Griffin, MSPAS/MPH Class of 2021

As of May 15, 2019, the entire PA program (all students, faculty, staff, and dean) is Safe Zone certified, and the training has now been integrated as part of the PA curriculum. This may not seem like a big deal, but I will try to convince you that it is.

As educators and future healthcare providers, it is essential to understand that the LGBT+ population experiences many health disparities linked to a long history of stigma and discrimination against LGBT+ people. A 2011 report by the Institute of Medicine found that LGBT+ Youth are 2- 3 times more likely to commit suicide; LGBT+ youth are more likely to be homeless; lesbian women are less likely to receive preventive cancer screenings; gay men are at higher risk of HIV and other STIs; and transgender people have a high prevalence of violence victimization, mental health issues, and suicide.

These staggering disparities are why it is essential to increase training for health care providers and the people that educate them.

Safe Zone is an interactive and engaging training that aims to bring visibility to the LGBT+ community. After learning the basics about the community, participants dive into topics such as respectful communication, how to be an ally, intersectionality, and the LGBT+ experience in healthcare. Through small group discussions, participants learn and grow in a safe and judgement-free environment. By the end of the session, they walk away with a better understanding of the experience of the LGBT+ individual and how they can more effectively and respectfully serve this beautiful, diverse, and vibrant community.

I am Touro: Scott Olds

Scott OldsTouro University California announced the arrival of Scott Olds in May as the school’s new Director of Information Technology, bringing more than 28 years of IT experience with him.

Olds has a background working in the educational, healthcare, governmental and nonprofit sectors and one of his initial major tasks is to help build a state-of-the-art campus technology infrastructure, though he’s also looking forward to the challenges of keeping projects on-track, assimilating many central NY TCUS overall initiatives, stabilizing the IT staff and IT Operations, as well as building on opportunities to improve efficiencies.

Olds said he was attracted to Touro’s overall sense of mission, values and goals and also found the smaller campus size appealing.

“I will have the opportunity to become familiar with every staff and faculty member and their unique challenges and needs,” Olds said.

Previously, he was the District Director of Information Systems at the State Center Community College District in Fresno where he led a customer-focused department that effectively provided innovative and reliable technology services district-wide and is looking forward to doing the same at Touro.

“I look forward to providing an outstanding level of customer service to all members of the campus so that they can focus on preparing the next generation of healthcare and education professionals to serve those in need locally and around the world,” Olds said.

Chief Academic Officer and Provost Dr. Sarah Sweitzer of Olds, “His resume stood out due to his extensive experience in working with educational, healthcare and nonprofit organizations where he has ensured the continuous operation of clinical and administrative IT services. We know that Scott will be able to do the same for Touro, so that our faculty, staff and students can focus on their mission to serve, to teach and to lead.”

Orientation to Center on Inclusivity

OrientationStudent orientation, which begins for the Fall semester August 4-5, has been designed this year to be more streamlined and oriented around the needs of students, according to Steven Davis, MAPsy, Director of Admissions.

“Student Affairs sessions, previously offered during orientation, have instead been reconfigured as video presentations which have been released to students in advance of the in-person orientation.  This change allows for on-demand, year-round access to information previously only available during orientation.” Davis said.

In addition to program-specific sessions, orientation will also include sessions dedicated to student wellness, studying tips, and diversity activities.  

Orientation will end on a sweet note, with an ice cream social wrapping up the event.

One thing the first-year students will have to look forward to in the Fall is a collection of new faculty members.

Very often, Touro instructors bring a background balanced in academia and practical professional experience into their faculty roles and this Fall will be no exception.

New faculty in COM include:

Michael Warner DO,  CPC, CPCO, CPMA

Dr Warner joins OMM Department as Associate Professor, board certified in both Family Medicine and NMM.   Dr Warner was Chief Resident in Family Medicine at Atlantic City Medical Center. Previous academic experience with UMDNJ, New Jersey Institute of Technology, LECOM where he also served as founding Chair of OMM Department.

Bronwyn Sing DO MS

Dr Sing joins Primary Care Department as an Assistant Professor after working at Sutter Health Institute for Health and Healing in San Francisco.  Dr Sing completed both Family Medicine and Community Health residency at the University of  Massachusetts in Worcester where she was Chief Resident and Osteopathic NMM residency at Berkshire Medical Center.

Scott Whitlow DO FAAEM

Dr Whitlow joins Primary Care as Professor and is board certified in Emergency Medicine. Dr Whitlow was Chief Resident in Emergency Medicine at the Brooklyn Hospital Medical Center/Cornell University. Previous academic experience with includes Senior Consultant Golden State Toxicology, adjunct Professor for ATSU COM, Clinical Professor, Associate Clinical Professor UC Irvine and Regional Assistant Dean for TUCOM-CA.

New faculty in COP include:

Dr. Evan Zasowski Pharm.D., MPH, BCPS, BCIDP

Dr. Zasowski received his PharmD from Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Chicago Medicine, a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Infectious Diseases Outcomes at Wayne State University, and received a Master of Public Health from Wayne State University School of Medicine.  He specializse in infectious diseases pharmacotherapy and studies the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of patients with antibiotic-resistant infections.

Dr. Abdel-rahman (A.R.) Sammakieh Pharm.D. BCPP, APh

Dr. Sammakieh is a registered pharmacist in California and Nevada, Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist, is a California Licensed Advanced Practice Pharmacist (Psychiatry), and Director of Pharmacy Services for Psychiatric Health Facilities and Assistant Professor/Coordinator for Pharmacy Practice Center.

New faculty in CEHS includes:

Sandra Bofill,

Dr. Bofill is an English teacher at Vallejo’s Jesse Bethel High School and she runs the Janus Learning Institute. She earned her Master’s degree in Education: Curriculum & Instruction and earned her PhD in Education: Curriculum & Instruction from Capella University. 

Ana Maldonado, DHSc, MPH, PA-C

Ana Maldonado, DHSc, MPH, PA-C has returned to TUC following a 3 year period spent developing another PA program in Northern California.  She will be the Director of Clinical Education, responsible for students in the clinical phase of their education.  She had been on faculty here from 2011 - 2015.

Kasaundra Heiberger, MSPAS, MPH, PA-C

Kasaundra Heiberger, MSPAS, MPH, PA-C will be joining the PA faculty on August 1.  She is a 2014 graduate of the Joint MSPAS/MPH Program.  She has worked with 10-25 year old adolescent girls and women and most recently practiced family medicine in Illinois.

Club Day scheduled

club dayAll campus clubs are invited to set up tables during the annual Club Day event, which will be from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., Aug. 28 at the Grove.

Interested students can stop by and get information about the upcoming activities for each club, as well as sign up as a member of different clubs if they so choose.

There are dozens of clubs students can choose from, with those centered around specific majors, like pharmacy and medicine, to student government, to those focused on particular interests like photography, basketball, dance, volunteerism and service clubs, and cultural clubs, including Spanish Club, which is the oldest club on campus.

Club Day is a popular event on campus, with the vast majority of students stopping by at some point to join in the fun.

The event is scheduled to be convenient to as many Touro University California students as possible. Free food will be provided by dining services and students can enjoy music, games and have chances to win prizes.

Participating clubs include:

Students for a National Health Program,Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA),Phi Lambda Sigma, NCPA,Touro Student-Run Free Clinic,Vietnamese Student Pharmacist Association (VSPA),CSPA Chinese Student Pharmacy Association, ACCP, SA-ACOFP

anesthesiology club, TUC Nutrition Club, Snpha, Kspa, APhA/CPhA, Peds club, Spanish Club, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), Muslim Student Association, SAAO

OPSC, South Asian Student Health Association, CSHP, Medical Imaging Club, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Club, BISO, Chinese Club, Christian Health Fellowship, Latinx Medical Student Association, AMCP (Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy), Integrative Medicine Club, AMA/CMA/SCMS, and soccer club.