Alumni Bring Diverse Backgrounds to Board

Representation Includes Numerous Touro Programs Spanning Decades from the University’s Inception to the Present

December 01, 2023
A photo shows Dr. Jennifer Himmel, Touro University California Class of 2002, as she shows off a sweatshirt from the College of Osteopathic Medicine when it was located in San Francisco. Himmel is shown outside the Walt Disney World Swan Resort during the American Osteopathic Association\'s annual Osteopathic Medical Education Conference in Orlando, Florida, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.
Dr. Jennifer Himmel, Touro University California Class of 2002, shows off a sweatshirt from the College of Osteopathic Medicine when it was located in San Francisco. Himmel is shown outside the Walt Disney World Swan Resort during the American Osteopathic Association's annual Osteopathic Medical Education Conference in Orlando, Florida, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.

Touro University California alumni this summer selected 12 of their own to revitalize the Alumni Association Board of Directors after a COVID-era hiatus.

The 12 Board members are joined in their efforts by four ex-officio officers comprising both University and student representation, bringing the voting Board to 16 members.

Board members in late August conducted an organizational meeting and selected the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. The Board is meeting monthly to ramp up its activities and initiatives to support the University, its Alumni, and current students.

Meet your Alumni Association Board of Directors.

President: Dr. Jennifer Himmel, DO Class of 2002

Dr. Jennifer Himmel is a member of the last class to attend the Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine while it was still in San Francisco and the inaugural class at Mare Island. She said she has seen a lot of positive changes to the University in the ensuing years.

"I was president of my class for three of the four years and was busy establishing the yearbook the second year," Himmel says. "I spent a lot of time in Dr. (Bernard) Zeliger's office and was happy to find out that the award for students that I established in 1998 has been renamed in his honor."

Himmel did a traditional rotating internship and then residency in Grand Blanc Michigan at Genesys Regional Medical Center. She started working in North Carolina, where she met and married her husband. They moved to Coastal Virginia with their son in 2011 and have lived there ever since.

"I love living near the beach," she says.

Himmel is a member of her hospital's emergency management committee. She is FEMA trained in disaster management.

She has worked as a nocturnist for almost 10 years at a trauma center in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Vice President: Maureen McGhee, MSPAS/MPH Class of 2008

Maureen McGhee has been a Trauma PA working in a local Level II Trauma Center, and a practicing PA for the past 15 years.

"I knew there was an important way for me to take care of people in my community -- this passion has always been high on my list -- but it took some time to realize that becoming a Physician Assistant was my ticket to doing so," McGhee says. "As such, I was older than most of my Touro classmates when I entered graduate school."

McGhee, in addition to mentoring young adults interested in medicine and soon-to-be PA students at her hospital, participates in professional panel events for those students transitioning from community colleges to the University of California, Davis.

McGhee has received the "Doc that Rocks" award, nominated by hospital nurses and staff.

"In my life before medicine, one of my careers was broadcast journalism. In this capacity, I was honored to receive an Associated Press first place award," she says.

McGhee's outside interests change with the season. She can be found on a snowboard in winter, running local trails during the fall and spring, and trotting off on a horse's back during the summer months.

Secretary: Josie Hunt, MSPAS/MPH Class of 2012

Josie Hunt since graduating from the Joint MSPAS/MPH Program at Touro University California has practiced in Arizona and California in both family medicine and pediatrics.

Hunt currently has a clinic day at Solano County Family Health Services in Vallejo, providing pediatric care. She is the Associate Program Director in the Joint MSPAS/MPH Program at Touro.

She joined the PA Program in 2015 and has enjoyed coordinating its two-week Bridge Program for incoming students and both the Maternal Child Health and Clinical Applications courses for second-year students.

Hunt, when she's not working, enjoys spending time with her family, which includes two young children.

Treasurer: Brenda Mitchell, MA.Ed. Class of 2015

Brenda Mitchell is an Assistant Professor in Touro's Graduate School of Education and a Clinical Coach Coordinator with the College of Education and Health Sciences.

Her areas of expertise include instructional design, serving as a reading specialist, and educational coaching and project management. She honed those skills through her Master's in Education program at Touro.

Mitchell served 10 years in education as a teacher before joining the Touro faculty. Prior to teaching, she worked for 15 years in process improvement and management in the financial sector.

Director: Jeanette Blanks, MSN Class of 2022

Jeanette Blanks is a Family Nurse Practitioner who practices internal medicine and whose specialties include substance use disorder, community health nursing, herbal medicine, naturopathic medicine, and clinical sports nutrition.

Blanks worked internationally in the health care field before pursuing a nursing career and receiving her Master of Science in Nursing, and her Family Nurse Practitioner certification, from Touro. Her background prior to working in the health care field includes nearly a decade as an Information Technology professional.

Director: Dr. Monica Donnelley, PharmD Class of 2010

Dr. Monica Donnelley is an Assistant Professor in Touro's College of Pharmacy and serves as an antimicrobial adviser whose goal is to create customized therapy plans for each patient based on a multitude of factors: Understand that each patient is different, from the neonate to someone's great-grandmother, or from a gymnast to a linebacker.

"The world of infectious diseases is fascinating and not only are the patient and the drug involved critical to consider in therapy decisions, but we must also consider the 'bug,' where did it come from, is it resistant, and can we reach it with our therapy?" Donnelley says.

She says one of the most rewarding parts of being a pharmacist is the education of future pharmacists, to ensure they learn cutting-edge information, build a strong foundation, and are able to build customized plans for their own patients.

Donnelley keeps up with the latest advances in part by maintaining her board certifications and speaking professionally at conferences.

Director: Dr. Brigitte Ouabo, PharmD Class of 2016

Dr. Brigitte Ouabo earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree after having worked for more than a decade as a retail pharmacy technician and after working with Medicine for Humanity, a nonprofit whose mission is to heal women and train doctors around the world.

Ouabo is a clinical pharmacist at Contra Costa County Regional Medical Center & Health Centers, a position she's held since July 2017. She works in conjunction with the health care team to improve the safety and efficacy of medications. She also works with the Hematology/Oncology Department to ensure the safe dispensing of chemotherapeutic and biological agents.

Ouabo founded The Rookie Pharmacist website and podcast in January 2021 to serve as an academic coach for prospective pharmacists.

Director: Jennifer Pimentel, MA.Ed. Class of 2015

Jennifer Pimentel joined Touro in 2012 and has held various positions within the Graduate School of Education and University, including Administrative Coordinator, Learning Specialist, and Director of Clinical Education.

She served as a member of the Five-Year Strategic Action Planning Committee, interprofessional education, and various others on campus.

Prior to joining Touro, she was the program manager for San Mateo County's HICAP program that provided free counseling and advocacy to Medicare beneficiaries. She is currently the Director of Clinical Education with the Touro Joint MSPAS/MPH Program.

Pimentel says students are their own keys to success and that with some helpful tools and encouragement, one can go a lot further than they originally thought possible.

She says she is excited to sit on the Alumni Association Board of Directors and move toward continued engagement with esteemed alumni to continue growing Touro's presence and training the next generation.

Director: Dr. Maria B. Thomas, DO Class of 2010

Dr. Maria B. Thomas is an Obstetrics and Gynecology physician with Kaiser Permanente in the greater Los Angeles area.

She joined Kaiser Permanente after serving as Chief Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident at St. Francis Hospital of Evanston just outside of Chicago, Illinois. She served there successively as a Resident, through an Internship, and as Chief Resident.

Thomas, outside of her practice, enjoys spending time with family and friends, to include watching her children grow up; traveling, trying new foods, and listening to good music; and efforts to support women’s health care.

Director: Ryan P. Wilson, MSPAS/MPH Class of 2013

Ryan P. Wilson is a Senior Physician Associate at UCSF Medical Center who works clinically in the Emergency Department and serves as the founding Clinical Director for the ED Advanced Practice Provider Transition to Practice Fellowship.

He additionally holds positions on the Advanced Practice Advisory Board as Informatics Committee Co-Chair, PRIDE Experience Award Selection Committee Ambassador, ED Gallop Survey Engagement Ambassador, UCSF Emergency Department UPTE Hx. Union Representative, STEDDI Program Steering Committee, Informatics and Clinical Systems Workgroup, and others.

"If patient care is the guiding light, we will see our way to overcoming all obstacles," Wilson says.

Wilson's past research focuses on how gastric bypass and gastric sleeve surgeries affect metabolism. He also studies how to structure clinics to function more economically, improve patient care and decrease surgery delays.

Outside of work, Wilson spends time managing his family's horse ranch and lavender, fig, and apple farm. He also enjoys making handcrafted soap, rock climbing, backpacking, swimming, hiking, and surfing.

Director: Dr. Jennifer Wolf, DO Class of 2008

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Sky Jennifer Wolf is the Chief of Bioastronautics for Human Space Flight Support at First Air Force Detachment 3, located at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida.

Wolf functions as the liaison between NASA and the Department of Defense for medical operations, medical training, medical plans and programs, and medical logistics for nominal and contingency space launch and recovery operations.

Wolf is responsible for coordinating the DoD medical response, patient movement, and definitive patient care for astronauts, developing medical protocols for the deployment and employment of DoD Human Space Flight Support medical forces. She serves as Medical Director for the DoD HSFS Support Operations Center and as online medical control during HSFS operations; and as acting medical liaison officer at forward deployed locations.

Wolf grew up in Reston, Virginia. She moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1994 and calls San Francisco home. Wolf entered the Air Force Reserves in January 2010, while in her residency program, and entered active duty in July 2011.

Director: Dr. Clipper Young, PharmD Class of 2013

Dr. Clipper Young is an Associate Professor and Clinical Pharmacist with the Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health in Touro's College of Osteopathic Medicine. He serves as Co-Director of Distance Learning and Clinical Integration with the Clinical Education Department.

"As a clinical pharmacist with a background in public health, I have provided clinical services to patients living with diabetes and other related chronic diseases in several very ethnically diverse communities," Young says. "Striving to improve the health of these communities through educating the public about preventing diseases as well as promoting health and wellness, my background in medications and therapeutics also creates a platform for me to serve the community as a medication expert and as an advocate, acting as a bridge between patients and our health care system."

Young says his experiences illustrated the need to focus his work on the underserved population to establish affordable health care for them and to create environments where they would feel comfortable coming to seek medical help. He obtained funding four years ago from Sutter Health to lead a chronic disease and medication therapy management initiative – the Pharm2Home Initiative – through performing home visits and telehealth visits to reduce hospitalizations and emergency room admissions.

"While educating patients on the individual level is a much-needed practice, I aim to extend my practice and research efforts to include a more population-based, multidisciplinary approach through conducting clinical and epidemiological studies on diabetes," Young says. "The advanced studies and training at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health have enabled me to contribute to research designs and support statistical analyses in such trials."

Young has been leading the biostatistics, epidemiology, evidence-based medicine, and journal club curriculum at the College of Osteopathic Medicine since 2018.

Ex-Officio Officers

Dr. Tami Hendriksz: Interim Chief Academic Officer, Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, DO Class of 2006 (Bio available at

Andrea Garcia: Vice President of Advancement

Glen Faison: Alumni Engagement Director

Student-Doctor Jasmin Escobar: Student Government Vice President-Alumni; PharmD candidate 2026