In this Issue


Lee named TUC’s new University Equity Officer

Nursing celebrates accreditation for MSN, FNP

Touro University’s Dr. Keith Yoshizuka named Pharmacist of the Year

Dr. Shubrook’s work helps shed light on a silent disease

 Dr. Yeung joins Touro CARES vaccination effort



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The Current Podcast

Hear pharmacist Dr. Brigitte Ouabo, host of the YouTube Channel "The Rookie Pharmacist" discuss her inspiring path into pharmacy.

Lee named TUC’s new University Equity Officer

Anika Lee, University Equity OfficerAnika Lee, who will earn her Master of Public Health degree in 2022, and 2020 Public Health Social Justice Fellow at Touro University California, has been named the school’s new University Equity Officer according to an announcement made by Dr. Rolly Kali-Rai, Director of Inclusion at TUC.

An East Bay native and a Touro Diversity Scholarship recipient, Lee has an extensive background in equity work and looks forward to creating opportunities for success for Touro students.

Dr. Kali-Rai said Lee will develop new programs and practices that effectively increase diversity and equity while actively providing support and collaboration.

“She is excited at the opportunity to administer training and hold safe space sessions to nurture open communication to help groups within Touro and our community to embrace and understand differing perspectives for an inclusive environment,” Dr. Kali-Rai said.

“I am looking forward to continuing the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that yields meaningful success for staff, faculty, and students within our university and local community,” Lee said. “Actively engaging with campus community and searching for grants and corporate allies to assist in funding our work to develop standard cultural humility curriculum and opportunities for students is exciting to me.” 

Nursing celebrates accreditation for MSN, FNP

You’ll have to forgive the School of Nursing for doing a bit of celebrating lately.

The program recently learned it earned accreditation for both the Master of Science of Nursing (MSN) and post master’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree offerings.

Interim Program Director Dr. Terrye Moore-Harper and Founding Program Director Dr. Ann Stoltz helped guide the accreditation process for the two programs, which was approved for 10 years, a rarity for such a young program.

College of Education and Health Sciences Dean Dr. Lisa Norton credited the entire nursing team – staff, students and faculty – with this big achievement.

Nursing Welcome Sign"I want to congratulate the entire Nursing team … for the phenomenal achievement of a 10-year period of accreditation for both the MSN program and the post- master's FNP program,” Dr. Norton said. “The highest level of accreditation is essential to the health and growth of our School of Nursing into the future. It is unusual for such new programs to receive the full ten years and is a testament to quality and student-centeredness of the program design and execution.”

The news comes at the end of a long period of exhaustive work both on the campus and in healthcare settings for the whole Touro nursing family.

“Our nursing team including faculty, students and alumni have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic and Touro vaccination efforts, living our mission and keeping our community safe,” Dr. Norton added.

Touro University’s Dr. Keith Yoshizuka named Pharmacist of the Year

Dr. Keith YoshizukaThe Diablo Society of Health System Pharmacists named Dr. Keith Yoshizuka of Touro University California Pharmacist of the Year for his contributions to the profession over the past year.

Diablo is the East Bay chapter of the California Society of Health System Pharmacists, for which Dr. Yoshizuka is currently president. The chapter serves Alameda, Contra Costs, Solano, and parts of Napa counties.

The award recognizes “significant and sustained” contributions to pharmacy practice in California. 

Dr. Yoshizuka noted that pharmacists have played a pivotal role in battling the COVID pandemic, making the award all the more meaningful in a field of deserving candidates.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by my peers,” Dr. Yoshizuka said. “I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with county health officials, state and federal legislators, state regulators, and even Governor Newsom, to facilitate allowing pharmacists to better care for their communities.”

While significant effort has been made to return society as a whole back to a greater sense of normalcy, the battle is far from over, Dr. Yoshizuka said.

“We are not out of the pandemic yet, and we still have more work to do,” he said. “I will continue to serve as an advocate for pharmacists to be more involved in caring for their communities.”

Dr. Shubrook’s work helps shed light on a silent disease

Dr. Jay ShubrookFans of the GI Joe cartoon series are familiar with the phrase, “knowing is half the battle.”

Now, for people living with diabetes or those treating patients with diabetes, there is a new set of guidelines and some simple screening tools to test for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

These guidelines and testing tools bring to light a condition that is quite common but often difficult to detect without screening. 

The condition affects as much as 25% of the population – and 60% of people with diabetes – particularly type 2 diabetes. 

The American Gastroenterology Association, including Touro University California’s Dr. Jay Shubrook, and Knighten Health provided a congress to bring the world’s experts together to come to terms and develop standards for this condition.

Dr. Shubrook’s work often helps provide a bridge between primary care and diabetes research and these new guidelines are critical in helping bring this silent condition to light. 

“Fatty liver disease is a common and silent condition – it is a sign that you may be at risk for cirrhosis, liver cancer and heart disease,” Dr. Shubrook said. “There are simple screening tools that can tell you whether you are at risk for fatty liver disease.”  Concerned patients should ask their clinician about getting screened for Fatty Liver disease, Dr. Shubrook suggested.

Primary care and other clinicians can learn about the risk factors and determine whether to proceed with further screening at nash.gastro.org. This site has the new consensus guidelines, a clinical care pathway, an app to use in your practice and a series of podcasts to learn more.

Dr. Yeung joins Touro CARES vaccination effort

When Dr. Denise Yeung came to Touro University California as a student, she couldn’t have known she’d graduate from pharmacy school in the middle of a global pandemic – which continues still.

However, with her PharmD/MPH dual degree, it turns out she is the perfect ally to help the Touro CARES program continue its vaccination effort throughout Solano County.

Touro Cares MVP EventDr. Yeung started initially as a volunteer with the program but was eventually hired when some grant funding became available and now, as a Pharmacist Project Manager, she’s helping bring Touro’s vaccination effort to underserved neighborhoods in Vallejo and throughout the area.

“Touro’s nice that way in that they really care about helping the community,” Dr. Yeung said. “It’s really the perfect marriage of my two disciplines.”

Dr. Yeung probably wasn’t anticipating leaning so heavily on her public health background so quickly, but its fortunate she was able to study that along with pharmacy in a dual degree format. As such, she was able to jump right in and start helping with the vaccination effort.

“I love direct patient care and this (CARES) provides so many opportunities to interact with patients, so I feel very fulfilled,” Dr. Yeung said.

That spirit of helping the community and giving of oneself is never far from her. Though just a recent graduate herself, she takes heart in seeing many of Touro’s current students working as volunteers at CARES events.

“It’s so inspiring to me that so many of them (students) dedicate so much of their time volunteering at these clinics while balancing their studies,” she said.

With the discovery of a new COVID variant, and with CARES recently starting to vaccinate children from ages 5 and up, the CARES staff and volunteers should stay plenty busy in the foreseeable future.