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Class notes

1970s

Philip Slocum, DO, ’76, Joplin, Missouri, was honored with the Best Physician Award for 2022-23 from Freeman Health System. Dr. Slocum serves as medical director of Freeman’s Respiratory Therapy department and director of the Freeman Lung Institute. Dr. Slocum served as ATSU-KCOM’s dean from 2004-11.

1980s

Gary Midla, DO, ’80, received the 2021 Distinguished Physician Award during the Annual Franciscan Health Medical Staff Celebration, held at the NCAA Hall of Champions, downtown Indianapolis, July 23, 2022. A graduate of ATSU-KCOM, Dr. Midla retired from family medicine in August 2021 after 40 years of service.

Robert C. Vandergraaf, DO, FAOCA, FASA, ’83, was honored with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism Award at the 2022 American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists’ Annual Convention. Dr. Vandergraaf practiced as an anesthesiologist in the Sutter Health System in Vallejo, California. This award honors healthcare practitioners who best demonstrate the ideals of compassionate and respectful care for a patient’s well-being.

Roy Skousen, DO, FAOCA, ’85, was conferred the degree of fellow in the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists at the 2022 Annual Convention. Dr. Skousen serves as anesthesiologist at University of New Mexico Sandoval Regional Medical Center.

Walter Rose, DO, FAOCA, ’86, was conferred the degree of fellow in the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists at the 2022 Annual Convention. Dr. Rose serves as staff anesthesiologist at Norton Children’s Hospital and assistant clinical professor and clinical instructor at the University of Louisville.

1990s

Mark DeSantis, DO, MS, FAAR, ’93, received the 2023 E.O. Martin Award from the American Association of Physician Specialists (AAPS) for his distinguished service to the association, medical profession, and community. This is the highest award conferred by AAPS. Dr. DeSantis is a clinical assistant professor at the State University of New York and serves on staff at the Northport VA Medical Center. He is also a consultant to the Los Angeles medical examiner, New Jersey chief state medical examiner, and New York Suffolk County medical examiner.

Ian Fawks, DO, FACOFP, ’97, a physician with Cox Health in Springfield, Missouri, was appointed to the Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts by Gov. Mike Parson. Dr. Fawks is one of two DOs on the board.

2000s

Isaac Parr, MS, PA-C, ’05, is presiding for two years as the Phoenix Indian Medical Center medical staff president.

Adam R. Borden, MHA, ’07, joined the American Clinical Laboratory Association as its new senior vice president of policy and strategy.

Donald Donahue, DHEd, ’09, Ashton, Maryland, was elected president of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine.

Maya Moody, DO, ’09, St. Louis, Missouri, was recognized by Ingram’s as one of “50 Missourians You Should Know.” Dr. Moody is a pediatrician at Mercy Health JFK Clinic and president of the Missouri chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Matthew Shupe, DO, ’09, is providing monthly oncology and hematology care at Jefferson Community Health & Life in Fairbury, Nebraska. Dr. Shupe is a board-certified medical oncologist with Nebraska Hematology-Oncology PC of Lincoln.

Aaron Sigler, DO, ’09, joined Bayhealth Neurosurgery in Dover, Delaware. A board-certified neurosurgeon who performs a range of surgeries involving the head and spine, Dr. Sigler has expertise in minimally invasive techniques to treat tumors of the brain and skull base.

2010s

Donald Diemer, DHSc, PA, ’11, was appointed to serve as a member of the Illinois State Medical Board by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Dr. Diemer is the program director for the Physician Assistant program and Doctor of Medical Science program at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. He also serves as a physician assistant for Rural Health.

Vasco Deon Kidd, DHSc, MPH, MS, PA-C, ’11, a graduate of ATSU-CGHS, was reappointed to the California Physician Assistant Board by Gov. Gavin Newsom. He previously served a term on the board from 2021-23. Dr. Kidd is an associate clinical professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), School of Medicine. He also serves as the director of the Advanced Practice Providers Program at UCI Health.

Cassandra Lacher, DO, MHA, ’11, joined Riverside Healthcare’s team of oncologists. Prior to joining Riverside, Dr. Lacher was an oncology and hematology provider at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Indiana, where she also served as medical director for the Department of Oncology. A graduate of ATSU-KCOM, she is board certified in oncology by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine and is board eligible in hematology.

Aretha Townsend, PhD, MPH, ’11, was appointed deputy public health commissioner for the city of Springfield, Department of Health and Human Services in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Carol Younkin, DHSc, ’12, is retired and provides volunteer ministry to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies.

Evan Lytle, DO, ’15, a graduate of ATSU-KCOM, joined the Spectrum Health Lakeland team in St. Joseph, Michigan, as a neurosurgeon.

Shirlene Samuel, DO, ’15, a graduate of ATSU-KCOM, was appointed to the Texas Medical Board District Four Review Committee by Gov. Greg Abbott. She is a board-certified pediatrician at Austin Regional Clinic and a member of the American Association of Pediatrics, American Osteopathic Association, and Texas Medical Board.

Taisei Suzuki, DO, ’15, was named associate program director for The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education’s National Family Medicine Residency program at Unity Health Care in Washington, D.C. In his new role, Dr. Suzuki will oversee resident physicians working at the training location, which offers medical outreach through 11 medical sites at homeless shelters, nine community health centers, two school-based health centers, medical walking outreach initiatives, and the D.C. Department of Corrections medical program. A graduate of ATSU-KCOM, Dr. Suzuki is also a new board member of the Kirksville Osteopathic Alumni Association.

Steven Vang, DO, ’15, a vascular and endovascular surgeon, joined Aurora BayCare General & Vascular Surgery in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of ATSU-SOMA.

Trevor Bates, DHSc, ’16, received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign during homecoming ceremonies in fall 2022.

Sarah Diaz, DO, ’16, a graduate of ATSU-KCOM, joined the comprehensive cancer care team at MyMichigan Health in Midland, Michigan, as a colon and rectal surgeon.

Justin Babbel, DO, ’17, joined Revere Health’s Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology clinic in Orem, Utah. Dr. Babbel has been published in multiple scientific journals and given lectures on asthma and immunology. A graduate of ATSU-KCOM, he is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

Jessica Ball, DO, ’17, a graduate of ATSU-SOMA, joined Morrow County Hospital’s Medical Specialty Center, specializing in otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery. Dr. Ball will share her time between OhioHealth Marion General Hospital and Morrow County Hospital.

Cesar Rivera, DMD, MD, ’17, started an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency in July 2017 upon graduation from ATSU-MOSDOH. This included medical school at Texas Tech University School of Medicine, which he graduated from in May 2020. In June 2023, Dr. Rivera finished his residency program in oral and maxillofacial surgery at Texas A&M School of Dentistry/Baylor University Medical Center.

Jenni Adams, DO, ’18, a graduate of ATSU-SOMA, joined Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center’s (HRRMC) medical staff, providing family medicine and obstetric care at the HRRMC Salida Health Center in Salida, Colorado. Dr. Adams is fellowship trained in high-risk and surgical obstetrics.

Gregory Janik, DAT, ’18, LAT, ATC, ’00, was inducted as the youngest athletic trainer into the Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA) ’49 Club, which honors athletic trainers whose work has helped shape and advance the profession and recognizes their leadership, accomplishments, and dedication to their home district, state, and EATA.

Jasser Khairallah, DO, ’18, a graduate of ATSU-KCOM, was named the 2022 Outstanding Resident of the Year in Addiction Medicine by the American Osteopathic Foundation.

Megan Edwards, DO, ’19, who is American Board of Emergency Medicine certified, published research in The American Journal of Emergency Medicine in 2022, presented research at Texas College of Emergency Physicians in 2022, and presented research at the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine 2022. Dr. Edwards is a graduate of ATSU-KCOM.

Yosefa Pessin, DHSc, ’19, program chair and director of the Diagnostic Medical Imaging Program at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, was named the 2022 Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography Distinguished Educator.

Jenna Wong, DO, ’19, a graduate of ATSU-SOMA, joined Fauquier Health in Warrenton, Virginia, as a family medicine physician. Dr. Wong is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Utah Academy of Family Physicians, and Hawaii Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons.

2020s

Fadra M. Whyte, DMD, MPH, ’20, a graduate of ATSU-CGHS, was appointed as San Diego County’s chief dental officer to help develop policies and expand programs promoting oral health.

Jameda Davis, EdD, ’21, received the award for Outstanding Pharmaceutical Publication from the Georgia Society of Health-System Pharmacists at the summer 2022 conference.

Sandra Lindsay, DHSc, MBA, MS, RN, CCRN-K, NE-BC, ’21, was appointed vice president of public health advocacy for Northwell Health. Dr. Lindsay spent 29 years in nursing, most recently serving as director of nursing critical care at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York.

Kris Pyles-Sweet, DMSc, ’21, MS, ’18, is serving her first term on the Board of Directors for American Academy of Physician Associates as director-at-large while serving on various committees and commissions. She continues on the Government Affairs committee with North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants. Dr. Sweet is a graduate of ATSU-ASHS’ inaugural Doctor of Medical Sciences program and Advanced Physician Assistant Studies program in the education and leadership concentration.

Michael Rich, DHSc, ’21, was promoted to associate professor of athletic training at East Texas Baptist University.

Sierra Hobbs, DAT, LAT, ATC, ’22, was named assistant athletic director for sports medicine at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Hobbs joined the university after serving as assistant athletic director for sports medicine at Clark Atlanta University. She also spent time as an athletic trainer with Source Fitness Management, where she provided sports medicine services at the secondary school level.

Reginald Jones, DHSc, MPH, ’22, was awarded a fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta with the Center for Global Health funded by the ORISE Research Participation Program. ATSU-CGHS’ Patrick Palmieri, DHSc, EdS, MBA, MSN, ACNP, RN, ’12, adjunct faculty, health sciences, served as Dr. Jones’ Applied Research Project chair, and Vera Bannerman, MBA, was Dr. Jones’ academic advisor. In addition, Dr. Jones is serving as the junior collection editor for Therapeutic Advances in Infectious Disease.

Tamika Lang, DMSc, ’22, Clinton, South Carolina, joined the Good Shepherd Free Medical Clinic of Laurens County as a board-certified physician assistant. She has experience in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine.

Jacqueline Miller, DDS, MS, MPH, ’22, a graduate of ATSU-CGHS, was named the Missouri state dental director. Dr. Miller practiced orthodontics for 29 years and retired from private practice in May 2022. She looks forward to using her master of public health in an “encore career” to improve the oral health of all Missourians.

Kristian Pamias Velazquez, EdD, ’22, published a manuscript of the doctoral research project, “Predictors of Success in the National Physical Therapy Examination for Hispanic Doctor of Physical Therapy Students,” in the Journal of Physical Therapy Education.

Jenny Sena, DHSc, MS, PA-C, ’22, South River, New Jersey, was named dean for the School of Health Studies at Berkeley College. Dr. Sena began her career as a microbiologist at hospitals in New York City and later became a physician assistant, working in the areas of emergency medicine, pediatrics, urgent care, and employee health, as well as for the U.S. Department of Defense. A graduate of ATSU-CGHS, she has worked in academia for more than 10 years, serving as a professor, academic coordinator, director of clinical education, and physician assistant program director.

Kristina Nguyen, DMD, ’23, Longview, Texas, joined Goodland Dentistry & Braces, providing general dentistry services in the Longview – Estes Drive office. Dr. Nguyen is a graduate of ATSU-MOSDOH.

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