Alums Achieve Milestones at Work, Home

Graduates from Various Programs Earn New Jobs, Author Papers, Present Research, Add Children to Their Families

December 01, 2023
A photo shows a crowd of people cheering while standing with their arms raised, clapping, and yelling.
Cheers to Touro University California alumni on their recent accomplishments, both professionally and personally.

A baker's dozen worth of graduates of the various programs at Touro University California have marked personal and professional milestones in recent months.

Here are their accomplishments.

Martini Begins New Job in Maine

Dr. Jenna Martini (DO Class of 2014) joined the staff in November at HealthReach Community Health Centers in Strong, Livermore Falls and Belgrade, Maine. She will serve as an Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine clinician.

Martini grew up in Peru, Maine, which makes her appointment a homecoming of sorts.

Martini has a wealth of experience across the health care field. After completing family medicine training, she worked as a primary care physician and education faculty in a remote region of Northern California. She recently completed a second residency training program in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine through Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency in Augusta, Maine.

She brings these experiences to her position at HealthReach by providing osteopathic manipulative treatment to patients at three HealthReach locations.

"I believe in meeting people where they are at and working as a team to help achieve their goals," Martini says in messaging sent through HealthReach as her appointment was announced. "I consider each person as a whole – including body, mind, and spirit. Osteopathic treatments can help the body to function optimally so a person's underlying health can shine through. It's amazing to see how much a person's life can improve in all areas when they feel healthy and well."

Santee Earns Next Certification

Maria (Fuchs) Santee (MSPAS/MPH Class of 2012) celebrated a professional milestone in October upon receiving her certification in Functional Medicine from the School of Applied Functional Medicine.

Santee is a 2003 graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies. She completed a Post-Baccalaureate Program at San Francisco State University in 2007 before joining the dual master's degree program at Touro University California.

Her medical training includes Federally Qualified Health Center clinical rotations at Alliance Medical Center and Napa's Clinic OLE; Emergency Room training at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo; Pediatrics at Sutter Delta Peds in Antioch; Orthopedic Surgery at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield; Geriatric training at Laurel Creek Health Center in Fairfield; and Integrative Medicine Cardiology at Scripps Institute San Diego.

She has served as a Family Practice, Medical Weight Management, Clinical Homeopathy and Integrative Medicine practitioner in Santa Cruz since 2012.

Santee lives with her husband and two daughters in Santa Cruz and in her free time enjoys swimming, hiking, biking, scuba diving and traveling. She was born in the United States and has lived in Venezuela and California for most of her life. She is scheduled in December to complete an additional certification as a Functional Restorative Fertility Practitioner.

Titchenal Welcomes New Baby into Growing Family

Megan (Ford) Titchenal (MSPAS/MPH Class of 2014) celebrated a personal milestone in welcoming to her family their third child, Elizabeth Hannah Titchenal, on Aug. 24, 2023.

Titchenal is a Physician Assistant at Napa Valley Orthopaedic Medical Group Inc., where she assists physicians there in their clinical and surgical practices. She also maintains office hours for direct patient care.

She is a native of Northern California whose interests include food and wine, cooking, skiing, backpacking, and exploring new places.

Whitaker Starts New Job with Pfizer Inc.

Dr. Eryn Whitaker (PharmD Charter Class of 2009) in September joined Pfizer Inc. as Oncology Field Medical Director GI/Skin/Lung for the Northern California, Nevada, and Hawaii region.

Whitaker in this role serves as a liaison for health care providers to share the safe and appropriate use of Pfizer medicines, heighten disease state awareness, and assist with Pfizer-sponsored research activities within GI/Skin/Lung cancers in her territory.

Whitaker previously served part time as an Ambulatory Pharmacist-Oncology with Kaiser Permanente while transitioning her career in preparation for the move to Pfizer; as an Oncology Pharmacist and Oncology Pharmacy Supervisor at Marshall Medical Center in Placerville; as a Clinical Pharmacist/Oncology Pharmacist with Providence at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in Sonoma County; and as a Pharmacist in Santa Rosa with Walgreens and as Pharmacy Manager at Walgreens in Ukiah.

She is a Board Certified Oncology Pharmacist, holds an Investigational Drug Services Certificate from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, and possesses an Oncology Genomics Certificate from the American College of Clinical Pharmacy.

Donnelley Helps to Author Paper

Dr. Monica A. Donnelley (PharmD Class of 2010) was the second author on a paper titled "Blood Culture Identification Performance in Polymicrobial Bacteremia" in Diagnostic Microbiology and Infectious Disease, published in September.

Donnelley is Board Certified in Infectious Diseases and Pharmacotherapy with added qualifications in Infectious Diseases. She is also certified as an American Association of HIV Pharmacist.

She is a Senior Pharmacist at UC Davis Health and in 2016 assumed directorship of the longstanding PGY2 infectious diseases residency program. She is also an assistant professor with Touro University California's College of Pharmacy, where she was awarded Professor of the Year in Clinical Sciences in 2013. She was the Residency Preceptor of the Year for UC Davis Health in 2016-2017 and received the organization's Research Preceptor of the Year award in 2017-2018.

Donnelley is currently a member of the Touro University California Alumni Association's Board of Directors.

The article is available at

Moverley First Author on Diabetes Paper

Dr. Joy Moverley (MSPAS/MPH Program Director, Class of 2012) was the first author on a paper published in February in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine by the American Osteopathic Association. The paper, titled "Conquering Diabetes Therapeutic Inertia: Practical Tips for Primary Care," offers practical tips for primary care providers treating patients with diabetes.

The paper utilizes the American Diabetes Association's Overcoming Therapeutic Inertia Framework to empower patients, and to optimize care and treatment through leveraging tools for technology.

Moverley and her co-authors offer physicians strategies to engage medical assistants in their offices; discuss the importance of diabetes home visits; and offer tips to implement diabetes self-management, education, and support into their medical offices.

"So much of diabetes is beyond prescription and pharmacology," Moverley says in describing the paper. "We recognize that diabetes is truly a team sport."

The article is available at

Young Presents at Papers During Conference

Dr. Clipper Young (PharmD Class of 2013) presented two papers at the American Diabetes Association's 83rd Scientific Sessions in June in San Diego: "Tying the Business of DSMES Together – Don't Get Left Behind" and "Advancing Health Equity through Screening for Diabetes & Prediabetes."

Young was also part of a team who presented the poster "Pharm2Home Initiative – The Impact on Diabetes Management and Behavioral Changes" during the conference, as well as part of a team who presented the poster "Relationships between HbA1c Levels and Diabetes Management Practices – NHANES Data, 2007-2018," at the same conference.

Young is an Associate Professor with Touro University California's College of Osteopathic Medicine and is a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Adlakha's Latest Novel Releases as Trade Paperback

Dr. Sarah (Festoso) Adlakha (DO Class of 2003) published the trade paperback version this summer of her second novel, "Midnight on the Marne," which was originally published in hardcover format by Macmillan Publishers in August 2022.

Her debut novel, "She Wouldn't Change a Thing," was published by Macmillan Publishers in August 2021 and was a CNN most-anticipated book in 2021. It was released in trade paperback format in June 2022 in advance of her second novel.

Adlakha became a novelist shortly after retiring from her psychiatry practice. Both novels fall in the genre of speculative science fiction.

She is a native of Chicago who now lives along the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her husband and fellow Touro University California classmate, Dr. Satjit Adlakha (DO Class of 2003), who serves as an interventional cardiologist.

Belec Completes Fellowship, Joins Touro California Faculty

Dr. Melissa Belec (DO, MPH Class of 2018) completed her Fellowship in Diabetology on July 31 at Touro University California.

Belec did her residency in Family Medicine at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at North Memorial Health Clinics in Minnesota. She spent part of this past summer serving as Research and Supervising Faculty at Shirati KMT Hospital in Shirati,Tanzania.

Belec gave a campus presentation in early August, titled "PCP Approach to Sickle Cell Anemia," while a candidate for a teaching position at Touro University California.

She was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health. Her first day was Nov. 6.

Smith Presents During APHA's Annual Meeting

Dr. Travis Smith (DO, MPH Class of 2023) presented on the topic, "Frequent EMS Users in San Francisco: A Cross Sectional Study," on Nov. 15 at the American Public Health Association's Annual Meeting and Expo in Atlanta.

Smith received the American Osteopathic Foundation's 2022 COVID-19 Osteopathic Hero Award prior to graduation for his work as an EMT throughout the pandemic, work he continued in addition to medical school.

Smith deployed for two days to provide medical transports for passengers of the Grand Princess cruise ship at the Port of Oakland in March 2020, a time when the pathogenic nature of the COVID-19 virus was not yet known.

Malik Earns Touro DO of Year Honors

Kundan Malik (MSMHS Class of 2020) received the 2022 Touro University California Student DO of the Year award. She had demonstrated ability, grace under pressure, and care for others far above what is expected from a student leader, the College of Osteopathic Medicine reports.

Her work in improving the lives at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine and in the wider community was an inspiration and embodies the spirit of service as a model for all pursuing helping those most in need, the College reports.

Malik is a member of the College of Osteopathic Medicine's Class of 2024.

Varias Named COM Student Researcher of Year

Andrea Varias (MSMHS Class of 2021) was named the College of Osteopathic Medicine's Student Researcher of the Year for 2022.

The award honors students who showcase an exceptional dedication and passion toward osteopathic medicine and the medical field at large through original, innovative, and exciting research that advances the medical sciences.

Varias is a member of the College of Osteopathic Medicine's Class of 2025.

Pinch Gives Birth to First Child as She Finishes Master's Degree

Jennifer Pinch (MA.Ed. Class of 2023) welcomed son Zachary Brenner to her family June 30, just as she was completing her Master's program this past summer at Touro.

Pinch missed only a few days of class this summer as Baby Zachary was nearing his birth. Zachary is her family's first child.

She serves as the researcher behind Blended Writing Rotations, found on The Learning Innovation Lab website, and teaches in the Napa Valley Unified School District – at the same school she attended in her youth. She earned her Teaching Credential at Touro before entering and completing the Master's program. Blended Writing Rotations was Pinch's capstone project for the Master's program.

Pinch outside of work focuses on her community, family, and friendships. She enjoys time outdoors: camping, skiing, hiking, and gardening.

She purchased the onesie at Touro University California's online bookstore.