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Dean's Corner: Fall 2017


Southern California College of Optometry

by Eric J. Borsting, OD, MSEd

As the Class of 2021 begins their education at the Southern California College of Optometry, we are all excited to have students from the optometry, PA and pharmacy programs on the same campus for the first time. In addition to a number of interprofessional educational opportunities the incoming optometry class will experience with their peers in other graduate programs, there are a number of college specific opportunities as well. For this issue of Ketchum Magazine, we would like to acknowledge some of the many activities that our optometry students participate in outside of the classroom.

In June of this year, the American Optometric Association’s annual Optometry’s Meeting® in Washington, D.C., drew more than 2,300 students from across the country. More than 120 students from SCCO attended the meeting, representing the largest student contingent from the state of California. The students learned about how national and state legislation impacts their future practice and the communities that they serve.

Students also participated in a local advocacy day in July at Marshall B. Ketchum University where a state senator and assemblywoman came to MBKU’s Fullerton campus for further dialogue on how optometry impacts lives. Our students serve as great ambassadors for our profession and SCCO has a long tradition of encouraging students to participate in professional optometric organizations.
In the area of public service, 48 students and two residents volunteered last June for the Special Olympics Lions Club Opening Eyes event. The students actively participated in providing high quality eye care to the athletes. Two hundred eighteen athletes were screened and 75 orders for prescription glasses and 28 orders for prescription sports goggles were filled. Additionally, in May, two students from SCCO were selected to join OneSight volunteers at the clinic in Tanzania. The goal was to bring vision care to 2,500 people. Since 1988, OneSight has impacted more than 9 million lives across 46 countries, and SCCO was excited to participate this year.

Each summer several students participate in summer research programs sponsored by the National Eye Institute at different optometric institutions. This experience allows the student to participate in active research projects in laboratories.

Finally, 27 doctors of the graduating Class of 2017 will be participating in a residency program. These one-year training programs allow the newly graduated doctor to obtain clinical expertise in a subspecialty or discipline of vision care. The programs provide training in a wide range of disciplines including pediatric optometry, cornea and contact lenses, low vision and rehabilitative optometry and ocular disease.

We are looking forward to another great year with our students. We take great pride in their accomplishments and we look forward to seeing their continued excellent work at SCCO.

School of PA Studies

by Judy Ortiz, PhD, PA-C

The faculty and staff in the School of PA Studies are excited to welcome our fourth cohort, the Class of 2019, to join our vibrant community at MBKU.

We kicked off the year with our annual community service event at the Orange County Food Bank, and the students spread random acts of kindness throughout our local Fullerton community.

The students in the Class of 2018 are completing their Master’s Capstone projects, and are preparing for their clinical rotations that commence in November. The Master’s Capstone projects address specific health care needs within our community. This year, PA students have developed community health projects to assist several different populations in our community including veterans, children in shelters, refugees, the homeless population, the LGBTQ population and pregnant teens. The projects were designed to address the social determinants of health (SDOH) established by the World Health Organization. The SDOH’s focus is to create social and physical environments that promote good health for everyone.
The students in the Class of 2017 are completing their final clinical rotations and are preparing to graduate in November. Consistent with our school goals, all students will experience a clinical rotation with an underserved population by graduation. As part of the students’ preparation for clinical practice, they are participating in a “mock clinic” that requires the students to manage two patients simultaneously. This includes completing the histories and physical exams, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, making diagnoses, developing appropriate treatment plans and coding/billing. PA faculty and staff couldn’t be prouder of how our bright, hard-working students are representing Ketchum University’s School of PA Studies.

College of Pharmacy

by Edward Fisher, PhD, RPh

On July 24, 2017, the College of Pharmacy moved to its permanent facility in the Health Professions Building on the main campus of Marshall B. Ketchum University. Each and every administrator, faculty and staff member has been looking toward this great day where we joined with SCCO and the School of PA Studies at Ketchum University.

The Class of 2020 went through their first experiential rotations, and based on the feedback, they have made good impressions all around. We were excited to welcome the Class of 2021 to campus in August. Now that each class will have a dedicated lecture hall, it makes a very exciting time at the College.

The College of Pharmacy has been reorganized into three departments. In addition to the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Department of Pharmacy Practice, we will have a Department of Social and Administrative Sciences. Given this reorganization, we were very fortunate to hire Dr. Elvin Hernandez who will serve as Associate Professor and Chair of the new department. Additionally, this summer, we hired four Assistant Professors in the Pharmacy Practice Department: Drs. Azita Alipour, Joshua Garcia, Herman Johannesmeyer and Puja Patel, as well as an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Young Cho.

Last April, for the second time, we welcomed a site visit team from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, and we are still on track for full accreditation in 2020. Looking forward, the major challenge that we face is the creation of a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical sciences laboratory. President Alexander remains steadfast on its creation within the next year.

Finally, Ketchum University’s College of Pharmacy was well represented at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy annual national meeting held in Nashville, Tenn., in mid-July, as nine members of the College were in attendance presenting posters, attending various sessions on admissions, accreditation, curriculum and the most modern educational modalities. The College of Pharmacy is excited about its growth and the new opportunities the future will bring.

Center of Interprofessional Studies

In the Center of Interprofessional Studies, we are excited to announce the opening of the MBKU Simulation Center in the Health Professions Building this fall. The PA students will use the Laerdal SimMan 3G simulation mannequin to practice emergency care management, decision-making and team communication. The mannequin displays physiological and neurological symptoms such as reactive pupils, and breathing and cardiac complications. The mannequin also has automatic drug recognition technology that will provide teaching opportunities for both PA and pharmacy students.

Through simulation, students can practice basic and advanced medical skills without risk to patients. Students from all three professions will interact with mock patients as an interprofessional team. They’ll practice consulting with each other, and working together to develop a treatment/management plan for their patient. They will have opportunities to observe the other health professions students as they interact with the patient.

Participating in simulation scenarios will better prepare our students to participate as members of interprofessional teams at Ketchum Health.