Robertson Kwasi Somuah, MPH CEH 2015
"I want to stay grounded in the community,” Somuah says. “[Working with them] gives you humility, and these are human beings-- and not just a number.”
He pursued a career in public health because he saw the need for primary care within marginalized communities. He pioneered initiatives to make a difference in his community.
Read his story here
Nikitia Hardwick, MSN, CNL, PHN SON 2020
“I wanted my Master’s because I’m an innate teacher; I even teach bible study at church. I like to teach and empower people.”
She chose another degree over retirement. Her selfless committment to her family and community pushed her through.
Read her story here
Ari Ramos, MPH, CEHS 2013
“If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise.” – Robert Fritz
Achieving goals, in theory, is as easy as following a series of steps. Some goals, however require a lot of steps. A lot of steps.
Read her story here
Isabelle Haller, DO, COM 2007
When Dr. Isabelle Haller graduated from Touro University California, half of the school’s programs didn’t exist. Her COM program hadn’t yet been around for a full decade and there was a sense of being a real pioneer.
“I didn’t really know a lot about it. I knew it was unusual,” Dr. Haller said. And unusual could describe Dr. Haller’s route into medicine.
Having worked as a pediatrician for nearly a decade now, her path to being a physician wasn’t so clearly laid out early on.
Read her story here.
David Duncan, DO, COM 2001
The punishment of incarceration comes with a stigma that will likely always be part of an inmate’s experience.
A similar stigma has often been attached to people working within prisons, in addition to corrections officers.
David A Duncan, D.O., FAAFP, CDR, USPHS, Clinical Director, Federal Corrections Institute, Dublin, is hoping to pioneer change when it comes to that stigma for health care professionals working inside prisons.
Read the story here.
Ryan Hoh, PharmD, COP 2019
Co-author of Five Publications While at TUC
I was fortunate to begin researching with Dr. Shane Desselle during my second year
of pharmacy school and have worked with him on a handful of different projects that
have resulted in publications. I have gained much respect for the difficult, time-consuming
work that goes into research and have learned a lot about the unique aspects of conducting
research in the social sciences.
Read the interview here.
Brie Reed, MPH, CEHS 2018
Public Health Alumna Begins EPA Fellowship
On May 1st, Brie Reed, MPH, CEHS Class of 2018, embarked on a year-long fellowship at the Office of Science Policy in the US EPA headquarters in Washington, DC. Working as part of the Office of Research and Development (ORD), Ms. Reed will be helping provide the science that informs EPA decision-making regarding the safeguarding of human health and ecosystems from environmental pollutants.
Read her Q & A here.
Alexis Wyatt, MPH, CEHS 2016
Julia Danser, DO, COM 2015
Once a professional dancer, Julia Danser, DO, COM 2015, stepped into a new role and is committed to providing the best care for her patients.
Now a General Pediatrician at Dignity Health Medical Group, Saint Francis/St. Mary's, she practices kid-friendly medicine along with human kindness in San Francisco, the town where she grew up.
The alumna says she takes on a full family approach when treating her patients where clear communication to children’s family and giving the right information helps a parent know what to expect and gives them peace of mind. Read the story here.
Monir Tofangsazan, MPH, CEHS Class of 2012
As a young girl in Iran, Monir Tofangsazan, MPH, remembers being her family’s “healthcare helper”. She would help take her father’s blood pressure at 12 years old, and blood panels were something that she loved to go through and understand. One of her other jobs was to speak with her father’s healthcare providers and help see that their advice was followed at home.
“That part of my childhood has been an integral part of me,” Ms. Tofangsazan reflects fondly. “I knew I never wanted to be in something like engineering. I always look at public health as preventative medicine. Through its practice, we can prevent things at their root cause.”
Read the story here.
Shalisha Maddela, MPH, CEHS 2015
Walking through the long, bright halls of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG) with alum Shalisha Maddela, MPH, CEHS 2015, it is evident that she is passionate about catalyzing positive change and the people she works with support this mission as well. ZSFG is San Francisco’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and is a safety-net hospital that provides primary, specialty and hospital care for vulnerable populations.
Ms. Maddela is a Performance Improvement Advisor and teaches quality improvement/lean management tools and the daily management system (DMS), as well as organizes rapid improvement events called Kaizen Workshops. Her improvement projects have mostly centered on improving hospital flow, which ultimately improves patient health by providing appropriate care, in the right place, and at the time of their need. She has coached management and staff in the Emergency Department (ED), Urgent Care, and Medsurg on how to use the daily management system, which in turn, promotes the use of data-driven decision-making, Plan Do Study Act (PDSA), and critical thinking to solve problems. Read the story here.
Victor Nuño, DO, COM '08
Dr. Victor Nuño was a world traveler before hitting the age of 10. Born in Spain, he spent his early childhood in Idaho, Colorado, Panama, and Guadalajara, before settling in the Monterey Bay Area, following his father who was an air traffic controller for the US Air Force. A second-generation Mexican-American, Dr. Nuño has always looked up to his father who put himself through college after coming to the United States at 16.
A TUC alumnus of the College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM), Dr. Nuño’s approach to medicine is heavily influenced by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still’s adage, “To find health should be the object of the doctor, anyone can find disease.” In addition to teaching OMM at TUC, he is a physician and owner of Seek Optimal Health, P.C., which is an integrative and holistic medical practice serving the Vallejo community. He also plays in several adult hockey leagues at the Oakland Ice Center where he has still kept his teeth against those with much more experience. Read the story here.
Puja Khana, PharmD, COP '09
Puja Khana, PharmD, wasn’t always set on becoming a pharmacist. In high school, she thought she wanted to be a physical therapist instead. But after volunteering in the field, something didn’t connect. Then tragedy struck her family with the sudden death of her sister in a car accident. Devastated, Dr. Khana put her career plans completely on hold.
“During that time, my uncle was a pharmacist at Rite Aid, and he invited me to work there as a clerk,” she explained. “I enjoyed it and became a pharmacy technician before finishing my remaining requirements to apply for pharmacy school.” Read the story here.
Jessica Poquiz, PharmD, COP '09
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Jessica Poquiz, PharmD, first fell in love with ambulatory while on rotation.
“You can really see the outcomes,” said Dr. Poquiz. “You’re with that patient through different time points, and you see their improvement. I’m glad that Touro allowed us to have two years of rotations to see all the possibilities of being a pharmacist. Beyond the counter, I was exposed to all aspects of pharmacist work. I definitely thank Touro for that.” Read the story here.
Catherine Leng, DO, COM '14
My biggest inspiration to practice medicine began with caring for my grandmother after recovering from a toenail removal. The simple act of caring for my first patient prompted me to switch from pre-law to pre-med during my undergraduate education. I can comfortably say that this was one of the best career choices I made. I have since graduated from Touro College of Medicine in 2014, proceeded to complete my family medicine residency training in Connecticut in 2017 and have moved back to practice medicine in Northern California. Read the story here.
Ron Eick, MAEd, CEHS '14
Ronald Wesley Eick Jr. is a mathematics instructor who has taught all levels of math, from beginning Algebra to AP Calculus. He received his master’s degree in educational technology from the Graduate School of Education and currently teaches at American Canyon High School where he is the chapter advisor of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Honors Society, a youth mentor in the Gay-Straight Alliance, and a mentor for new teachers in the Napa County induction program. Having recently been named the 2018 Napa County Teacher of the Year, Ron is currently in the running for California Teacher of the Year. Read the story here.
Vivian Partida, DO, COM '18
Inaugural Recipient of the Gregory Dean Strebel Memorial Scholarship
For Vivian Partida, providing healthcare to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex community (LGBTQI) demands the desire to understand your patients as much as treating them. Many times, patients will not open up about their needs if they feel unheard. To provide excellent patient care to that population, you also have to build trust. Read more
Alejandro Tamayo, PA-C, MPH, CEHS '16
Alejandro Tamayo lives in central California and works at 3 different clinics in the cities of Avenal, Kettleman City, and Riverdale. All three are part of a network of Federally Qualified Health Centers known as Aria Community Health Centers who mostly serve the Hispanic field worker community in Kings County. Read more
Brenda Mitchell, MAEd, CEHS '15
Spirits were high at the first Bay Area KidWind challenge. Middle school and high school students had arrived after putting hours of development into their own wind turbines. Still, they had no idea how their works of engineering would perform when placed in CSU Maritime Academy’s Collegiate Wind Tunnel. But Brenda Mitchell, educator at Hogan Middle School in Vallejo, had witnessed the work of her 6th grade students first hand. To her, they were already little engineers. Read more
Mandy Morris, PharmD, COP '12
When she looks back to when she was in her residents’ shoes, Dr. Morris says, “It’s really a gift of the College of Pharmacy’s 2+2 Program to give students that additional year of rotations so that they know where they really want to go for residency. If it wasn’t for that extra year, you basically only have 4 months before you have to apply for residency and set out after what you want to do for the rest of your life!” Read More
Darcie Larimore-Arenas, PA-C, MSPAS, MPH: CEHS '12
Ms. Larimore-Arenas joined the Touro University California Joint PA/MPH Program in January of 2016. Darcie has practiced clinically in orthopedics in Marin County and family medicine at a Sonoma County Federally Qualified Health Center, where she also directed a pediatric obesity group called PLAY. Ms. Larimore-Arenas has been the lead provider at a local Student Based Health Center and guest lecturer in high school and undergraduate courses. Ms. Larimore-Arenas holds a bachelor degree in Biology and Spanish from Sonoma State University and is a graduate of the Touro Joint PA/MPH Program Class of 2012. Read More
Roger Pence, MAEd – CEHS '09
Roger Pence, meteorologist, is a 25+ year veteran science teacher in Benicia, CA public schools. He has been on the adjunct faculty team with Touro’s Graduate School of Education since earning his Master’s Degree in 2009. In 2013, he joined Solano County’s Programming and Robotics in Science and Math (PRISM) group and attended teacher training workshops through UC Davis’ C-STEM program to bring robotics and coding skills to mainstream students in science and math classes. Read More
Mey Saephan, MPH – CEHS '14
During her time as a student, Mey Saephan was the Vice President of Student Affairs and was involved in a number of other clubs and research. She has worked for a broad range of organizations, including a health justice organization focusing on reducing health disparities, a small nonprofit educating elementary students on nutrition and physical activity, and Yolo County as an Emergency Planning and Training Coordinator. Currently, she is with the City of Vallejo as an analyst with the department of Public Works, bringing a public health perspective into her role. Read More
David Duncan, DO – COM '01
Dr. David Duncan initially joined the US Navy through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. He went to flight school and performed aviation medicine while stationed in Japan. He was also part of the initial launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later returned to the US and served with the Coast Guard, and is now Clinical Director at the prison, FCI Dublin, CA. Read More
Ahn Do, Pharm.D – COP '14
Dr. Anh (Andy) Do is an Ambulatory Care Pharmacy Supervisor at Kaiser Permanente Napa-Solano service area. He is the Pharmacist-in-Charge (PIC) of both Vallejo and Vacaville oncology/infusion centers and helps oversee pharmacy services for chronic pain, home health, hospice, and psychiatry clinics. He completed his PGY-1 Pharmacy Residency at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and went on to complete his PGY-2 Health-System Pharmacy Administration Residency at Palomar Health in San Diego, where he also concomitantly completed the Pharmacy Leadership Academy through the ASHP Foundation. Read More
Faisal Qazi, DO – COM '01
Dr. Faisal Qazi is amazed when he looks at Touro University California now. As a student in the first class of the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, his memories of Touro involve none of the other programs that define the Mare Island school today—only the faculty and students who had come together to start the new school. Read More
Carmen Hering, DO – COM '03
Dr. Carmen Hering graduated from TUC’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003. Since 2006, she has maintained a general medical practice in Albany, CA where she utilizes osteopathic and anthroposophic medicine. She serves as adjunct faculty at Touro University California, trains medical students and residents in her office, and serves as faculty for the annual International Postgraduate Medical Training (IPMT) program for anthroposophic medicine in the US. Read More
Adrian Ruelas, PA-C, MSPAS, MPH: CEHS '10
Adrian Ruelas, PA-C, graduated from TUC’s Joing MSPAS/MPH program in 2010. He is now a Physician Assistant at Sacramento Community Clinic at Del Paso, a non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center dedicated to serving the underserved population in Sacramento. Read More
Christopher Smith, Pharm.D – COP '12
Dr. Christopher R. Smith, Pharm. D, COP ’12, first stepped into clinical practice at NorthBay Medical Center while on an Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPE) rotation through Touro. He returned to work with NorthBay as a clinical pharmacist supporting their core pharmacy operations, decentralized ICU and Med-Surg service lines, as well as the outpatient Oncology clinic. He also precepts Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experiences (APPE) students and PGY-1 residents. Read More
Kamal Kalsi, DO – COM '05
Kalsi was only two years old when his family immigrated to the United States. He was the only Sikh child in his elementary school. At a young age, he learned how to become an ambassador for his faith. He graduated high school with the ambition of becoming a doctor someday, but he also wanted to serve in the military as three generations of his family had done before him.
Deng Jongkuch, MPH – CEHS '11
Born in Bor County, South Sudan, Deng Jongkuch was only 7 years old, when he was separated from his family during the civil war. He spent nearly 15 years either trekking to safety or in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. In 2001, he was selected along with 3800 other "Lost Boys of Sudan" to come to the United States where he was relocated to San Jose, California.
Robert Fontanilla, PA-C, MPH – CEHS '15
Mr. Robert Fontanilla, MPH, PA-C, AAHIVS, grew up in Irvine. After graduating from TUC’s dual degree MSPAS/MPH program, he joined a community clinic near Palm Springs that treats underserved patients. He is a certified HIV specialist and also focuses on hepatitis and transgender health.
Monica Donnelley, PharmD – COP '10
Dr. Monica Donnelley is board certified in pharmacotherapy with added qualifications in infectious diseases. She is a Senior Pharmacist at UC Davis Medical Center (UCDMC). At UCDMC, she focuses on infectious diseases and medication safety. She also teaches at TUC's College of Pharmacy in the Clinical Sciences track and obtained a volunteer faculty position as an Assistant Professor with the University of San Francisco, College of Pharmacy. Read More
Lisa Gottfried, M.Ed – CEHS '16
Lisa Gottfried, CEHS ‘16, teaches 3D Design and Game Design Principles at New Tech High School in Napa. Before that, she owned and operated a video production company and homeschooled her children. Her recent capstone project for the Innovative Learning program in TUC’s Graduate School of Education engaged her students to begin blogging. She is now pushing them to create a series of board games that teach others about various mental health issues with the goal to spread awareness and de-stigmatize mental health.
Atif Saleem, DO – COM '16
Dr. Atif Saleem, COM '16, spent last year at the Shirati District Hospital in Tanzania as part of his rotation in the Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine's Global Health program. Now in the pathology residency program at Stanford University Medical Center, Dr. Saleem is focused on anatomic and clinical pathology. And his experience in Tanzania still sticks with him to this day.
Lauren Williams, PA-C, MPH – CEHS '14
After graduating from TUC’s Joint Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and Master of Public Health program (MSPAS/MPH) in 2014 , Ms. Williams began work as a physician assistant (PA) at Petaluma Health Center. There she services a bilingual population and focuses on pediatric care and diabetes management. At TUC, she was the second Executive Director of the Student-Run Free Clinic, and spent much of her focus on HIV/AIDS treatment.
Michael Modrich, MSN, and Janet Morris-Modrich, MSN – CEHS '16
Husband and wife team Michael Modrich, CEHS '16, and Janet Morris-Modrich, CEHS '16, support each other in unique ways. They completed their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) together as part of the first graduating class in Touro University California's School of Nursing.
Paul Janda, DO – COM '07
Today, Dr. Janda serves as the Program Director of the Neurology Residency Program at Valley Hospital Medical Center in Las Vegas and is the President of the Las Vegas Neurology Center, a multispecialty neurology practice. Read More
Ryan Ko, Pharm.D., MPH – COP '14
"It was an amazing experience and something that I will carry with me forever, knowing that I personally impacted another person's life on a whole new level," Ryan says. "You just never know when two minutes of your time could end up saving a person’s life." Read More
Jason Pasley, DO – COM '05
Dr. Jason Pasley, DO, is currently serving as Chief of Trauma and ICU Director at the largest American hospital in Afghanistan, Craig Joint Theater Hospital at Bagram Airfield. Click here to learn about his experience as a trauma surgeon in the military, what it means to be a DO, and how Touro prepared him for success.
Rachna Patel, DO – COM '09
Dr. Patel hadn't planned on becoming a medical marijuana doctor, especially not as a nerdy kid raised in a conservative Indian family. From early on, she was on what would be considered a very typical path. In 2005, she made her way to Touro University California’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. Read More
Joy Dugan, MSPAS, MPH – CEHS '12
As a clinical instructor for the College of Osteopathic Medicine and one of the newest members of TUC's Alumni Association Board, class of 2012 alumna Joy Dugan understands first-hand the importance of giving back to her alma mater. Click here to learn what inspired her to give back to the students following in her footsteps.
Ben Abo, DO – COM '11
Ben Abo, Alumnus of the College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2011 who currently practices in Miami Beach's Mount Sinai Medical Center, helped rescue a stranger who fell onto the tracks of a subway in West Village, New York just seconds prior to a train pulling into the station. Read the full article on the New York Post Website.
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