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Class notes


Richard A. Berjian, DO, ’55, published his second novel, “An Uncertain Cure.” The story follows a young surgeon who is lured to Greeley University Medical Center with the promise of funding to continue his cancer research. Little could he imagine that within one year he would face the charge of first-degree murder. Can he regain his standing and innocence?

Although the book is a sequel to his first, “Behind Hospital Doors,” it may be read as a stand-alone novel.

In addition to writing, Dr. Berjian also enjoys music. He plays first violin for Treasure Coast Symphony.


Robert K. Beamer, DO, ’73, Seminole, Florida, retired in November 2012. He enjoys kayaking, bicycling, and golfing. He also enjoys helping his wife care for their six grandchildren.


Jeffrey Rosenbaum, DO, MHSA, CPE, ’83, accepted the position of chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Michigan. He has spent 32 years in family practice, including administrative roles with the Botsford/Beaumont Health System in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Jeremy L. Krock, DO, FAOCA, ’84, received the Crawford Myles Esterline Award at the 64th Annual Convention and Conclave of the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists (AOCA).

The award was established in 1979 by the AOCA to honor Crawford Myles Esterline, DO, FAOCA, ’33. Dr. Esterline was the first professor of anesthesiology at the Kirksville College of Osteopathy and Surgery and Kirksville Osteopathic Hospital. He was a founding member of the AOCA in 1952, and he served as AOCA secretary throughout his entire career and as president in 1962-63. He was married to Elizabeth Still Esterline, DO, ’33. Dr. Crawford Esterline died in Kirksville in 1983.

Dr. Krock is the immediate past president of the AOCA and serves on its Board of Governors. He previously served as a member and chair of the American Osteopathic Board of Anesthesiology. He is the director of pediatric anesthesiology at Children’s Hospital of Illinois and is an associate clinical professor of surgery at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. John Sutton, DO, ’89, completed his term as president of the American College of Osteopathic Internists in October.


Douglas Pugmire, DO, ’90, joined Women’s Excellence at the Cancer Center for Women in Rochester, Michigan. He specializes in gynecologic oncology and robotic surgery.

J.D. Polk, DO, MS, MMM, CPE, FACOEP, ’93, chief health and medical officer with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, delivered the keynote address at the 32nd annual Arkansas Osteopathic Convention in Fort Smith on June 17.

Michael J. Sassman, DO, ’94, Duluth, Minnesota, was accepted to the International Association of HealthCare Professionals with his upcoming publication in “The Leading Physicians of the World.” Dr. Sassman is a vascular/interventional radiologist and is currently serving patients at Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic.

Karen B. Looman, DO, ’98, Cincinnati, Ohio, was appointed chief deputy coroner/medical examiner of the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office.


Laurence Turner, DO, ’01, was named facility medical director of Dignity Health Arizona General Hospital Emergency Room – Glendale Camelback.

Jim Ali, MS, PA-C, ’03, received the 2017 Humanitarian of the Year award from the ATSU-ASHS Alumni Chapter Board on May 16. He was nominated for his service to the underserved, specifically as founder and CEO of Your Neighborhood Healthcare Center and Your Neighborhood Center for Pain Control in Phoenix, Arizona. He established primary care and pain management practices using the business model he developed for his master’s thesis.

Macksood Aftab, DO, MPH, ’04, completed his radiology residency at Tufts Medical Center and fellowship in neuroradiology at Harvard Medical School. He now practices with Advanced Diagnostic Imaging in Michigan where he is a board member and section chief of neuroradiology at Genesys Regional Medical Center.

Amit Gosalia, AuD, ’06, received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the ATSU-ASHS Alumni Chapter Board on April 5. His contributions to the audiology field include nearly 15 years of service as a preceptor and mentor to doctoral students in Arizona and Washington, extensive public education and outreach efforts related to hearing loss, and numerous local and national publications and leadership roles.

Stacy Thomas, DO, ’06, Bloomingdale, Illinois, joined DuPage Medical Group. She is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

Trisha Perry, PT, DPT, ’07, established Perry’s Passion for Service Scholarship at ATSU-ASHS. This scholarship is one of two offered by the School’s Physical Therapy program.

“Dr. Perry is an energetic dynamo who has demonstrated commitment to both ATSU and the profession of physical therapy.” – ATSU-ASHS Vice Dean Dr. Ann Lee Burch on establishment of physical therapy scholarship

Mathew J. Bateman, PhD, DHEd, ’09, was named dean of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s (LECOM) School of Dental Medicine on May 1. Dr. Bateman joined LECOM in 2006 as a basic sciences faculty member, teaching in all disciplines of anatomy.

Sarah Vander Beek, DMD, ’09, received the 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the ATSU-ASDOH Alumni Chapter Board in February. Dr. Vander Beek was nominated for her work as chief dental officer at Neighborcare Health in Seattle, Washington. She has expanded the dental department, added new sites, and recruited committed providers. She also mentors dental students, supports community outreach events, and presents at national conferences.


David Herndon, DO, ’10, received the National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home Recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term, participative relationships. Dr. Herndon achieved recognition as a Level 3 Patient-Centered Medical Home for his work at Access Health Care Physicians.

Paulchris Okpala, DHSc, ’10, presented “Critical Evaluation of the Influence of Leader Personality and Culture on Staff Nurse Retention” at the March forum for Advances in Healthcare Management Research, conducted in conjunction with American College of Healthcare Executive. He presented “Management of Workload in Blended and Online Teaching: Strategies to Avoid Online Work Overflow” at Online Learning Consortium Innovate 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana, in April. Additionally, he presented in February and June at the Lilly Conference on Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning.

Mark L. Brown, DO, ’11, Joplin, Missouri, was honored with the Emergency Medicine Residency Teaching Physician of the Year Award at the Freeman Health System medical resident graduation in June.

Helena Meyer, DO, ’11, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, joined Hawthorn Medical Associates as a fellowship-trained foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon.

Todd Brubaker, DO, FAAP, ’12, joined Regional West Physicians Clinic-Pediatrics in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Philip Wanzek, DO, ’12, joined Essentia Health in Fargo, North Dakota, as a urologist. He has been an active member of the Army National Guard for 23 years.

Keith B. Young, DHSc, ’12, was promoted to clinical associate professor of physician assistant studies at Clarkson University School of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Young also serves as chair and program director for the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.

Abigail Brubaker, DO, ’13, joined Regional West Physicians Clinic-Women’s Center in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Jason Lehr, DO, ’13, joined Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota. He specializes in anesthesiology.

Brennen Owan, DO, ’13, Waianae, Hawaii, joined Kaiser Permanente Nanaikeola Clinic as a family medicine physician. After graduating from ATSU-SOMA, he completed his residency at Utah Valley Family Medicine Residency Program in Provo and became board certified in family medicine.

Brent Smith, DHSc, ATC, ’13, co-authored “Effects of Hip Strengthening on Neuromuscular Control, Hip Strength, and Self-Reported Functional Deficits in Individuals With Chronic Ankle Instability,” which was accepted for the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation in May.

Martha Carter, DHSc, MBA, APRN, CNM, ’14, was appointed to the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Payment and Access Commission in May. Dr. Carter is chief executive officer of FamilyCare Health Centers in Scott Depot, West Virginia, where she provides the organization with leadership and strategic vision, manages its programs and operations, and represents the organization in the community.

“My background as a registered nurse, certified nurse-midwife, and CEO of a community health center enables me to bring a unique perspective to health policy discussions.” – Dr. Martha Carter on her appointment to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission

Geoffrey W. Hoffa, DHSc, ’14, MS, PA-C, ’00, DFAAPA, was named Physician Assistant of the Year by the Arizona State Association of Physician Assistants (ASAPA) for 2016. Dr. Hoffa serves on the ATSU-ASHS Alumni Chapter Board of Directors and is an adjunct faculty member in the Physician Assistant Studies program.

“Dr. Hoffa is a tireless leader, an advocate for the profession both here and in Washington, and an example of what all of us should aspire to accomplish.” – ASAPA President John Shaff on Dr. Geoffrey Hoffa’s award

Clint Sowards, DO, ’14, joined San Luis Valley Health’s family practice team at Antonito Clinic in Colorado.

Meredith E. Bell, MS, PA-C, ’15, Gilbert, Arizona, joined Cardiovascular Associates of Mesa (CVAM) in April 2017 as a cardiac electrophysiology physician assistant.

Karl Burris, PT, DPT, ’15, graduated from ATSU’s Orthopedic Residency program in 2016 and became a board-certified orthopedic clinical specialist in 2017. He currently works at Spectrum Spine & Sport Physical Therapy in Gilbert, Arizona.

Maj. Daniel J. Hankes, MS, PA-C, ’15, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is the deputy division surgeon for clinical operations (Division PA) at the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). One of his duties is to mentor and professionally develop the division’s cohort of 34 brigade and battalion physician assistants.

Following graduation from ATSU’s Advanced Physician Assistant Studies program in 2015, Maj. Hankes attended the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, a graduate school for Army and Sister Service officers, interagency representatives, and international military officers. CGSC educates and develops leaders for full-spectrum joint, interagency, and multinational operations. He was selected as one of four physician assistants Army-wide to attend the course, amongst a student body of nearly 1,200 officers.

Shelly Hansel, MS, PA-C, ’16, joined Watson Clinic in Lakeland, Florida.

Jessica Lapinski, DO, ’16; Hannah Herman, DO, ’16; and Jasser Khairallah, OMS IV, were three of 30 scholarship winners nationwide selected to participate in the Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leader Institute. Each received a $1,000 scholarship, funded by family physician donors, toward travel expenses to attend both the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students and the AAFP Foundation Family Medicine Leads Emerging Leadership Institute. Over the course of one year, the scholars worked with a mentor to complete a project related to one of three tracks: Policy & Public Health Leadership, Personal & Practice Leadership, and Philanthropic & Mission-Driven Leadership. Dr. Herman, Dr. Lapinski, and Khairallah were chosen to work on projects within the Philanthropic & Mission-Driven Leadership track.


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