In this Issue

November is
Diabetes Awareness Month

MOBEC team busy throughout pandemic

PA student finds rotation opportunity on campus

Dr. Moverley named CEHS Assistant Dean and Director of Joint MSPAS/MPH Program

COP faculty member elected CPhA Speaker of the House

DPP, MOBEC helps change lives for the better

COM Class of 2025 Celebrates White Coat

Hanukkah set for Late November Start

In Brief

The Current Podcast - Dr. Clipper Young


The Current Podcast:
National Diabetes Month with Dr. Clipper Young, TUCOM Faculty member and COP Class of 2013

Upcoming Events

150 years before Touro

November 5, 2021
Diabetes Conference - High Impact Management for Clinicians

November 11, 2021
Veterans Day Virtual Celebration

Social Justice in Public Health Speaker Series


November is
Diabetes Awareness Month

MOBEC team busy throughout pandemic; trailer back on the road

MOBECMost people are familiar with Willie Nelson’s classic tune, On the Road Again, where he sings about bringing Diabetes Prevention and Education Programs to the masses.

No wait.

That’s MOBEC.  Touro’s Mobile Diabetes Education Center hit a major roadblock as lockdown from the COVID-19 pandemic brought most aspects of life to a screeching halt.

With many in-person restrictions being lifted throughout the state, MOBEC has dusted off, greased the wheels and has been making rounds once again. While the physical MOBEC trailer had the brakes put on, the MOBEC team didn’t slow down a bit.

If anything, the group gained momentum, knowing COVID-19 had occupied such a big space in people’s minds that they might forget about or put off beneficial diabetes and lifestyle change programs.

Beginning March 18, 2020, the MOBEC team began a social media campaign, which allowed those who needed it access to vital pre-diabetes and diabetes awareness programs.

As many as five times a week, the team sent out information related to prediabetes, diabetes and hypertension care/management tips, resources and support, healthy cooking recipes and videos, healthy eating tips and information, exercise tips, resources and videos, Solano County community information and resources, and health or COVID-related posts from reputable agencies and organizations.

Social media was only the beginning. Without students and faculty on campus during the lockdown – and thus no need for campus dining services – the MOBEC team took advantage of Touro Executive Chef Ray Nottie, who created a series of YouTube videos with healthy, easy-to-prepare, family-friendly meals.

The popular series has gotten hundreds of views on YouTube, with the number climbing each day.

Video is where the team really hit its stride, creating a Connect with MOBEC YouTube series, which has been viewed more than a thousand times from May to November of 2020.

The group also made use of the familiar teleconferencing service most people were using in their “work-from-home” situations. Zoom Into Wellness launched in November of 2020 and featured sessions on healthy eating, mind and body fitness, dealing with chronic conditions and two sessions on how to survive the holiday eating bonanza.

These highly popular sessions had interdisciplinary input from faculty and students from a number of Touro programs.

The focus wasn’t simply on pre-diabetes and diabetes. In November of 2020, MOBEC partnered with joined Sutter Solano Medical Center/Sutter Health’s Community Benefits; Solano County Public Health; and the American Canyon, Fairfield and Vallejo Walgreens to offer flu vaccines to local residents.

More than 300 people received vaccinations through this partnership and nearly 400 accepted diabetes education resources.

The team started its first distance-learning DPP Lifestyle Change Program in September 2020 in partnership with the Vallejo Regional Education Center in South Vallejo, with the second distance learning DPP happening in January of 2021, one of four sessions that happened in 2021.

The MOBEC team started yet another program, Success with Diabetes, this education program includes cultural adaptations and is translated and provided in different languages, sessions in English and Tagalog lunched in April of 2021. Sessions in Spanish and Punjabi are in developing stages.

There have been a total of 22 National DPP Lifestyle Coach Training Sessions conducted since March 2020. TUC students have also played a big role in this rollout process.

It is a lot of work, to be sure, but the DREAM and MOBEC teams are committed to ensuring the residents of Solano County that need these education and screening services have easy, convenient access to them.

PA student finds rotation opportunity on campus

PA rotationPhysician Assistants learn and train in much the same way as their medical school counterparts – they have coursework but must also complete a series of rotations as part of their education.

Like doctors, PAs can serve as primary care providers for patients or can serve in a number of ranging categories, making these rotations important from an experiential standpoint, but they are useful in helping students learn what specialties are out there and what they may or may not enjoy doing vocationally.

The COVID-19 pandemic made these rotations difficult – and sometimes impossible – but for PA student Kate Riley, her rotation with the Diabetes Research Education and Management (DREAM) team checked off a lot of boxes. While life in general was turned upside down by COVID restrictions, Riley was able to continue in-person status in her rotation. In addition – as is often the case with all rotations – it strengthened both Riley’s knowledge and confidence related to diabetes education.

“During my 12-week rotation, the focus was based on developing and applying diabetes treatment modalities, managing complex diabetes cases, and incorporating team-based care,” Riley said. “Before the DREAM rotation, I was very hesitant to prescribe insulin as I did not have the confidence behind my extensive knowledge in insulin management.”

According to the Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes, and Needs (DAWN) study, 50% of general practioners delay insulin therapy until they believe it is necessary. However, diabetes specialists and opinion leaders are less likely to delay treatment.

“Knowing this information before starting my rotation, I wanted to change the stigma and feel competent and confident in my treatment plans,” Riley said.

Riley immersed herself in journal articles to understand every aspect of diabetes, which is a condition of layered complications that can be difficult to fully grasp with just a surface understanding.

She also met with the Mobile Diabetes Education Center (MOBEC) team to understand the public health component of diabetes, a necessary piece of her education as Touro PA students are enrolled in a Joint MSPAS/MPH program.

Riley also learned by walking a figurative mile in the shoes of her would-be patients.

“I was given opportunities to put myself in my patient shoes to understand their barriers to care and further fears of diabetes treatment modalities,” Riley said. “For example – I was able to wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). This gave me the patients perspective of a CGM so I could not only properly educate my patient on the device but also understand the barriers or fears that may exist when introducing this device to the patient.”

This rotation experience has taken what was once an area of doubt and concern for Riley and turned it into a strength.

DPP, MOBEC helps change lives for the better

A diabetes diagnosis can be frightening, sometimes isolating. It certainly signals a complete lifestyle change and in the midst of that transition, patients can often feel overwhelmed, unsure, and afraid.

The members of the Touro University California Diabetes Research Education and Management (DREAM) Team would offer people diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes one simple note of confidence: You’re not alone.

Around 1 in 10 Americans is living with diabetes and another 88 million are at risk of developing it, according to the American Diabetes Association. The researchers and clinicians with Touro’s DREAM Team work every day to ensure that number drops to whatever extent possible, and that people know there are healthcare professionals like them willing and eager to assist them.

One way people can benefit from this assistance is through the National Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP), run through Touro as part of a national lifestyle change program.

Roberta Flannel took part in DPP after her personal doctor informed her that her A1C, the measurement of average blood sugar levels over a three-month span. Rather than treat her condition with medications, Flannel sought out DPP and after her first year in the program, she dropped 40 pounds and her A1C went from 6.6% to 6.4%.

She believed in the program so much she is now a DPP Lifestyle Coach.

“I wanted to share my accomplishments with others, so I received training to become a DPP Lifestyle Coach,” Flannel said. “I have participated in the program as a coach for two years and, as of August 2018, I became a Master Trainer. The program has guided me to a healthier lifestyle through reading labels, portion controlling, and learning about fun activities – last year, I ran two 5Ks.”

Her passion focuses on health, raising awareness for the prevention of diabetes, and supporting others who are looking to tackle this same challenge, Flannel said.

Before people can take the step of being involved with DPP or similar programs, they first have to be aware they are living with a potential diabetic condition.

That is where the Mobile Diabetes Education Center (MOBEC) comes into the picture.

MOBEC can set up at any number of different locations and events throughout Solano County and offers people free education materials along with diabetes and blood pressure screenings. According to the American Diabetes Association, of the 88 million people living with prediabetes, roughly 85% don’t even know it.

Access to simple screenings can be a major obstacle to seeking treatment for many people and MOBEC helps remove that hurdle.

“Their (MOBEC) presence has been such a bonus for the people that just can’t afford health care on a regular basis, the people that can’t afford to go see the doctor for a diabetes screening, the people that don’t have any health insurance, the homeless people, the underserved people, the disenfranchised people that come to (here),” said Benjamin Buggs, Founder & Director, Faith Food Fridays.

Seniors are another group that can sometimes fall through the healthcare system cracks periodically due to a variety of reasons.

“One of the goals for the American Canyon Senior Center this year [2019] is to offer health related programs and activities onsite that include classes, workshops, seminars and screenings, said Lisa Johnson, former Program Coordinator, American Canyon Senior Multi-use Center. “To start the program off, the Center partnered with Touro University’s MOBEC team to offer free one-on-one blood pressure and diabetes screening. Health care professional staff from MOBEC were able to provide information and education on how to make healthy choices, such as exercise, diet, along with offering follow-up information for participants with specific health concerns.” (This is an ongoing partnership with the current program coordinator)

Touro students also benefit greatly from the clinical interactions and can utilize language skills and other tools to help better assist individuals.

“My experience with the MOBEC Team at the DSHP (Diablo Society of Health-System Pharmacists) Health Event in Vallejo was definitely memorable,” said Yvonne Vigil-Calderon, D.O. Class of 2024 (she’s a COM student now, maybe use her new graduation year). “Having translators, I am sure, made the experience more meaningful. I think explaining to them in a much detail in the language and dialect they can understand made their experience more significant.” 

“I volunteered as a Spanish translator for the MOBEC Team at the DSHP Event in Vallejo, helping provide free blood pressure and blood glucose checks for the community,” said Hanna Dragomanovich, D.O., Class of 2021. “It can be very difficult as a non-English speaker to not only understand their disease, but also feel comfortable going to the doctor if they don’t speak the same language as their healthcare provider … This is a great need and I am so glad that Touro is able to offer these services to the Hispanic/Latino community in Solano County.”

MOBEC is tackling a big challenge, but it’s all part of their mission to raise awareness of prediabetes and diabetes, as well as empower effective self-management of diabetes and its related conditions.  

Dr. Moverley named CEHS Assistant Dean

Dr. Joy MoverleyCongratulations to Joint MSPAS/MPH program's Dr. Joy Moverley, who has been selected as the official Assistant Dean of CEHS and Director of the Physician Assistant department. Dr. Moverley has led the MSPAS/MPH program supporting the department as Associate Director for over 5 years and has first-hand knowledge of the student experience as she is an alumnus of TUC's program






COP faculty member elected CPHA Speaker of the House

Touro University California College of Pharmacy Assistant Professor Dr. Adrian Wong has recently ended his term as Speaker of the House for the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA).

The organization represents Pharmacy and represents all facets of the profession via education and advocacy. CPhA is the largest state pharmacy organization in the United States and is the state affiliate of the national body, The American Pharmacists Association (APhA).

The House of Delegates meets to amend and vote on proposed policies of the association to help guide professional positions when confronted with legislative or regulatory issues.  Policies are aspirational and are a reflection of where pharmacists think the profession should represent. My role at this meeting is to preside over the delegate body while the House of Delegates deliberates and decides professional policies as guiding principles for Pharmacy.  Maintaining House decorum and order during this business meeting  for over one hundred delegates from local chapters throughout California was one of my primary responsibilities” Dr. Wong said.

The Speaker of the House has additional duties besides presiding over the meeting. As Speaker, the development and guidance for new association policy during the prior year becomes of the focal point of the House of Delegates meeting. This position is a two-year term starting as Speaker-Elect and both positions are part of the Executive Committee of the CPhA Board of Trustees for association governance.

The Board of Trustees is the elected body responsible for the fiduciary and legal operations of the professional organization. Prior to my election as Speaker, Elect I had completed the maximum two terms as a member of the Board of Trustees. A Trustee is elected at-large, statewide and serves a 3 year term before re-election.

COM Class of 2025 celebrates White Coat Ceremony

COM White Coat Group Photo

Few events within the College of Osteopathic Medicine are as anticipated and celebrated each year as the White Coat Ceremony.

The white coat is a non-verbal symbol which is used to initiate student doctors into the career of medicine and is the first outward manifestation of a student’s commitment to becoming a physician.  The White Coat Ceremony was developed to honor medical students as they accept the great and solemn responsibility of entering the medical profession and begin the process of dedicating themselves to the professionalism necessary to become compassionate practitioners of the art of medicine.

The White Coat Ceremony is a celebration that began in 1993 in the United States when Dr. Arnold Gold and the Gold Foundation, instituted the ceremony as a way to “emphasize humanism in medicine at the very start of medical education.”

The White Coat, which is worn throughout a student’s medical education, is ceremonially draped around each student during the celebration to inaugurate students into the profession.

During the celebration students took the Osteopathic Pledge of Commitment and the Osteopathic Oath, which they will say again at their Graduation from medical school. Both of the

se affirm their role as healthcare professionals mindful of their great and important responsibility to their future patients.

This year, the students were able to attend a hybrid ceremony which permitted physical distancing between all of the students and faculty, while allowing family and friends to participate via Zoom or YouTube.

Dr. Tami Hendriksz, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, presided over the event for the first time as a Dean but has literally been in the students’ shoes, having gone through the White Coat Ceremony as a Touro student herself.

“I am so honored and excited to celebrate the Class of 2025 White Coat Ceremony today,” Dr. Hendriksz said as she welcomed the students and faculty in person, and the family and friends virtually.

Shelly Berkley, the CEO and Sr. Provost of Touro Western Division, congratulated the students and thanked the families and friends for joining remotely. Hundreds attended the event live October 10 and more than 1,100 have viewed the YouTube link since.

“We are here with you at this important juncture at the beginning of your journey, and we will be with be with you at the end … when you receive your diploma,” Berkley said.

Dr. Sarah Sweitzer, Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Touro University California, noted that the students were part of a tradition on Mare Island that spanned more than 150 years.

The old Navy hospital in the center of campus was built 150 years ago. Then, following an

earthquake, reconstructed into its present form 120 years ago.  That hospital was at the heart of the Spanish Flu outbreak 100 years ago, with health professionals then helping to save lives, just as Touro students, faculty, and other volunteers have during COVID.

“You put on your white coats today not just along with your fellow Touro students … but to join the hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers who have come before you right on this island over the last 150 years.”

Two students from other years Kundan Malik, Class of 2024 and Current President of the College of Osteopathic Medicine Student Executive Council (COMSEC) and Samaneh Bolourchi, Class of 2023 and  former president of the COMSEC gave heartfelt speeches to welcome their future peers into the profession.

The Keynote speech was given by Dr. Alexandra Myers President of the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California. We are profoundly grateful to the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of CA who donated the coats worn by our student to welcome them into the Osteopathic Profession.

The Class of 2024, which had its White Coat Ceremony postponed due to COVID, will celebrate their ceremony during the Spring semester.

Hanukkah set for late November start

The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah will have a bit of an earlier start than usual this year, beginning at sundown November 28 and continuing until sundown of December 6.

Hanukkah celebrates the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greek army, and the subsequent miracle of rededicating the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and restoring its menorah.

One vial of oil was discovered for use in lighting the menorah, which was believed to be only enough to last for a single day. The miracle of Hanukkah is that the oil lasted eight days, hence the length of the celebration.

Most people are familiar with the lighting of a menorah – either with candles or olive oil and wicks – as way to celebrate Hannukah, and recall the great miracle, but there are other ways to celebrate, as well.

Like most any holiday, food is a key component of Hanukkah. With oil being the central component of the celebration, most like to celebrate with different types of fried foods including latkes, a type of potato pancake that can be eaten as an entree, a side dish, or even as a snack with afternoon tea.

Another very popular Hannukah food is Sufganiyot, a puffy type of jelly donut that is filled with jam made from raspberries, red currants or even apricots. Fried and dusted with confectioner’s sugar, these donuts are enjoyed by young and old at all times of the day.

Games are also part of the celebration and a popular game, especially among children, is the dreidel. Traditionally made of clay, but commonly found these days in all types of materials, dreidel is a spinning top inscribed with “nun, gimmel, hey, shin,” translating to “a great miracle happened there,” or “nun, gimmel, hey, pey,” translating to “a great miracle happened here.”

Players often place a wager into a pot – similar to poker – and take turns spinning the dreidel. Depending on which side it lands on, that player either adds to the pot, leaves the pot alone, takes half, or takes all of it.

Since children don’t normally have much in the way of actual money, they often wager chocolate gelt, candy coins wrapped in silver or gold foil. Adults can also get in on the action because who doesn’t want a chance to win some cholate?

To greet someone during this time of the year, people can use the phrase, “Hanukkah Sameach,” or Happy Hanukkah, or a simpler version, “Chag Sameach,” or Happy Holiday.

Hanukkah happens at slightly different times each year, with a particularly early start this year. In 2022, Hanukkah will begin December 18 and in 2024 the celebration spills over into 2025, ending January 2.

In brief

Graduate School of Education's Dr. Louise Santiago co-authored an article in Educational Leadership and Administration, titled Using "Narrative Inquiry to Explore Critical Reflection and Self-Awareness in Equity Leadership Development." You can read the full study here.

College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean Dr. Tami Hendriksz and recent alum, Dr. Sama Alazawi co-authored an article in the Journal of Ostepathic Medicine titled, "Analysis of the Effects of Isotretinoin on the Premature Epiphyseal Closure in Pediatric Populations: A Literature Review." Read the full article here.

Congratulations to Joint MSPAS/MPH program's Dr. Joy Moverley, who has been selected as the official Assistant Dean of CEHS and Director of the Physician Assistant department. Dr. Moverley has led the MSPAS/MPH program supporting the department as Associate Director for over 5 years and has first-hand knowledge of the student experience as she is an alumnus of TUC's program 

The American Public Health Association’s Annual Conference is one of the largest and most influential annual gatherings of public health professionals.  The 2021 conference was held in October – virtually and in Denver – and the TUC Public Health Program was well represented with presentations showcasing faculty, student and alumni research and contributions in the field.

The following MPH alumni and students (with graduation years) took part in the event: Yvette Alcala, MPH (2020), Anam Banani, MPH, MSPAS (2021), Kasey Fontaine, MPH, MSPAS (2021), Latrenda Garner, MPH, MSPAS (2022), Anika Lee, MPHc (2022), Zoe Quint, MPHc, DOc (2022), Katie Rolan, MPHc (2022), Anne Susco, MPHc, DOc (2023), and Michelle Troung, MPH, MSPAS (2021).