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On Saturday, August 4, RMUoHP held the annual Commencement Ceremony at the Covey Center for the Arts in Provo, Utah. Dozens of graduates, families, and friends returned to Provo to celebrate their achievements. Dr. Jim Hinojosa, Professor of Occupational Therapy for the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, gave the commencement address. Dr. Hinojosa has more than 35 years’ experience as an occupational therapist, researcher, and educator. He has served as director of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Board and received its Meritorious Service Award. As a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, Dr. Hinojosa has served on many of its commissions and boards and was awarded its highest honors, the Award of Merit and the Eleanor Clarke Lectureship.
The alumni speaker was Dr. Lucille Raia. Dr. Raia is the Associate Chief of Nursing Education at the magnet-designated James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, FL. She is also the Director of the James A. Haley VA Nursing Academy.
Two awards were given at this year’s commencement ceremony, Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna Award Recipient and the Hartgraves’ Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Caroline Raskiewicz was named as the outstanding alumnus. Dr. Raskiewicz is the program director for a large Nurse Anesthesia (NA) program that prepares registered nurses to function in the role of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Dr. Raskiewicz has volunteered her time to participate in “Smile Train” and “Hearts Helping Hands,” to provide healthcare to children in South America. As part of the fourth DNP cohort at RMUoHP, she was integral to the success of her classmates in working as a team leader and a reliable team member. Dr. Raskiewicz will tell you that her greatest accomplishment is her children. But the community service and tireless efforts that she has demonstrated over her 37-year career in nursing has clearly shown…who she really is: a leader, a mother, a wife, a friend, a nurse and a doctor, and one worthy of this esteemed award.
The Hartgraves’ Award for Excellence in Teaching is the highest honor an active faculty member can receive from RMUoHP. This year’s winner was Dr. Marie-Eileen Onieal. Dr. Onieal holds a PhD in Nursing and Health Policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Dr. Onieal is one of the founders of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and a Past President of that organization. In 1997 she was selected as a US Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellow, representing the AANP. In recognition of her advocacy for Nurse Practitioners at the local, state and national levels, in 2000, Dr. Onieal was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Dr. Onieal’s clinical expertise is in Pediatrics and Orthopedics. She is currently serving as the Graduate Program Director for RMUoHP’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Upon receiving her award Onieal stated, “I am both honored and humbled by the Hartgraves’ award. When I consider the previous awardees, I feel privileged to be in this esteemed group of educators. That my students and colleagues believe I was deserving of the award is overwhelming. I still can’t believe it!”
We at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions are privileged to work with such gifted students and dedicated faculty. Congratulations to all of the 2012 graduates.
Following an extensive national search, Sandra L. Pennington, PhD, RN was selected as Provost/Chief Academic Officer of Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Dr. Pennington is a highly recognized scholar in nursing and healthcare having contributed numerous articles and co-authored several textbooks. She has been involved in clinical, educational, and legal consulting and frequently lectures on topics related to women’s health and evidence-based practice. She is a past Salzburg (Austria) seminar fellow and Mellon Grant recipient and has taught nursing at the Baccalaureate and Doctoral levels.
Dr. Richard P. Nielsen, RMUoHP President states, “I take great pride in welcoming Dr. Pennington to this prestigious rank as the senior academic officer at this University. She brings to this position ten years of experience at RMUoHP, the majority of which was spent as the Academic Dean. Dr. Pennington is the epitome of an academic officer and has earned the trust and confidence of administration, staff, faculty, graduate program directors and trustees as well as the students she has represented for these many years.” Dr. Pennington will assume her new role immediately.
Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions is pleased to announce that Trevor Dorius has been named as the first recipient of the Ensign Facilities Inc. Scholarship. Trevor is a second year student in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program at RMUoHP. He and his wife Laurel are the parents of twin boys Carter and Parker. He says that Laurel and the twins motivate him “to be the best person and student I can be.” In his spare time, Trevor is an avid fly fisherman. He is passionate about the sport and intends to carry that same passion into his future profession as a physical therapist. While attending RMUoHP, Trevor also works at a local home medical equipment company. He volunteered at a clinic as a physical therapy aide and was later offered a position as an intern supervisor, which has helped him gain valuable experience in the profession. Dr. Wes McWhorter, DPT Program Director states, “Trevor has always distinguished himself as a model student. He is prompt in attendance and with turning in assignments. Academically, he has proven to be up to the task of succeeding in this program. He brings with him a good work ethic and is not fearful of a challenge. Trevor is well deserving of this scholarship. I am confident that he will represent this program and his profession well.” Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions enjoys a close working relationship with Ensign Facilities, Inc. as a Strategic Partner and deeply appreciates the support offered by Ensign in providing this scholarship.
The NSCA announced that Brent Alvar, Director of Research at Rocky Mountain University of Health professions in Provo, Utah, was appointed to the association's board of directors.
"Brent has exceptional experience with physical training for sports, firefighting and military operations." says Dr. Steve Fleck, NSCA Board President, “We are delighted that he is joining NSCA’s board of directors.”
Dr. Alvar is considered an expert in the dose-response relationship of resistance training and strength improvement and is the author of Research Supporting Progression Models in Resistance Training. Michael Embree, NSCA Interim Executive Director says, “The staff and current board are happy to welcome Brent Alvar. The NSCA is working hard to extend its reach and include fitness professionals from across the country. By engaging new leaders, we can create and promote our mission that supports positive changes to our members and public at large.”
Alvar joins a nine-member board that furthers the NSCA’s mission: As a worldwide authority on strength and conditioning, we support and disseminate research-based knowledge and its practical application to improve athletic performance and fitness.
Alvar’s appointment was announced during the 2012 NSCA National Conference and Exhibition Award Ceremonies. The event featured more than 50 educational sessions and research presentations, all designed to help those attending to expand their knowledge and further their careers. For more information regarding NSCA and its board members, please visit www.nsca.com.
Utah is facing a critical physician shortage. The State is 46th in the nation in the number of physicians-to-citizen ratio. This is, in part, attributed to physician retirement and graduating medical students leaving the State.
Dr. James K. Moore, newly appointed Vice President of Institutional Development for a reputable medical school, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM), will be publicly announcing the collaborative partnership with Provo-based Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP). The purpose of the partnership is to develop medical education opportunities for current medical school students attending the three LECOM campuses (two in PA and one in FL). Dr. Moore is being transferred from the Erie, PA campus of LECOM to Provo in early August, 2012 to work full-time with RMUoHP on continued development of a LECOM presence in Provo that could potentially benefit thousands of pre-med students from BYU, UVU and other academic institutions within the State of Utah. The LECOM and RMUoHP partnership will provide an avenue for medical students from Utah County and throughout the State to complete portions of their medical degrees in Provo and at a lower cost.
RMUoHP is Utah’s most recent regionally accredited higher education institution and, since 1998, has provided graduate-level education to current healthcare professionals and post-baccalaureate students in disciplines such as Physical Therapy, Athletic Training, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Health Promotion & Wellness. It is a natural fit that these two organizations are united in their efforts to address healthcare/medical education needs nationwide and for Utah.
LECOM and RMUoHP’s investment in Utah Valley will be an economic stimulus to the area. By creating new medical education opportunities within Utah County, this collaboration will serve as an incentive to bring Utah medical students back to the State to establish long-term medical practices following their medical training.
Press Conference Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 1:00 PM to be hosted by Provo City Mayor John Curtis and Utah County Commissioner Gary Anderson in the Mayor’s Office at the Provo City Center, 351 West Center, Provo, UT.