Making the Rounds
News Briefs for Faculty of CMSRU
December 2013/January 2014
In This Issue
Breaking News!
Faculty News
How to Submit Story Ideas
A Message from the Dean
The Promise
Feeding the Needy at Cathedral Kitchen
Focus on Faculty
Students Mark "Movember"
CMSRU Breaking News!

AAMC features CMSRU Pipeline Programs

March 2013 CMSRU's JUMP and PULSE programs were featured in the launch of the AAMC's National Medical School Outreach webpage. The Office of Diversity and Community Affairs submitted information about CMSRU's outreach efforts to prepare historically underrepresented minority youth for careers in medicine and/or the health professions following a "Call to Action" by AAMC to its 141 institutions and partner institutions. CMSRU was one of only five organizations featured in the webpage launch. Click HERE to read more.  


CMSRU Students Mark World AIDS Day 

On December 3, 2013 CMSRU held its first World AIDS Day event. Two student-run clubs, The Global Health Interest Group and SNMA/LMSA, collaborated to host a series of activities to commemorate the day. A highlight of the event was a lunchtime panel discussion with an HIV positive patient, as well as Rose Kim, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, and John Baxter, MD, Professor of Medicine and Head of Cooper's Infectious Disease Division. In addition, students handed out red ribbons and made a mural promoting the UN AIDS campaign, "Getting to Zero," and collected donations for The Global Fund. That evening, at the CCCP student-run clinic, a team of healthcare workers from the Cooper's Infectious Disease Division worked with the students to provide free rapid HIV testing to the community.    


CMSRU Hosts Palliative Care Seminar

In recognition of National Palliative Care Month, CMSRU, in conjunction with Cooper University Health Care and the New Jersey Department of Health, sponsored "Innovative Approaches to Advanced Illness Care - A Palliative Care Symposium for Physicians and Health Care Professionals." Physicians, nurses, social workers and clergy from throughout the region joined CMSRU faculty and students for the event, which was held in CMSRU's auditorium. Also in attendance was New Jersey Commissioner of Health Mary O'Dowd, MPH, who has made palliative care initiatives a top priority for health in New Jersey.

"Palliative care is not brink-of-death care intended for the last days of life only," said Mark Angelo, MD
, Assistant Professor of Medicine. "It focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness-whatever the diagnosis-rather than a cure. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family."


Click HERE to read media coverage of this important event.



Faculty News
Earlier this month, Andres J. Pumariega, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry, provided the keynote lecture at a program by the DART Center of Columbia University School of Journalism, held at the WHYY Studios in Philadelphia. The two-day educational event, "Covering Immigrants and Refugees," was a workshop for journalists to improve news coverage of immigrants and refugees, with a special focus on mental health. Dr. Pumariega presented an overview of the life of immigrants and their children, most of whom go without having even the most basic mental health needs addressed. Click HERE to read the DART Center's report on this important event.  

Behavioral medicine specialists from CMSRU and Cooper are participating in a panel discussion at the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) Annual Conference in April. The panel presentation, "Establishing a Behavioral Medicine Program within a hospital system: Navigating challenges and focusing on patient-centered care," will include: Cori McMahon, PsyD,

Assistant Professor of Medicine; Kelly Gilrain, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine; Eric Kupersmith, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine; and Nick Stamatiades, Director of Financial Operations and Projects at Cooper. Dr. McMahon and her Behavioral Medicine team are long-time participants in SBM's conference and will also conduct poster presentations at this year's event.   
We Want Your News!  
If you have news related to your position at CMSRU that you would like to share with your fellow clinical and basic science faculty members, please submit it to coopermednews@rowan.edu 
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A Message from the Dean 


Katz_headshot_large file

We are approaching the end of yet another year, one that has certainly been memorable at CMSRU. When we look back on 2013, it's easy to count our successes -- more students, an enhanced curriculum, and innovative uses for our physical spaces, just to name a few. The addition of 64 aspiring physicians, bringing the student body total to 114, meant that a greater number of you were called upon for direct involvement in undergraduate medical education. Whether facilitating or advising small groups, presenting to our students en masse, mentoring students in patient care during Ambulatory Clerkship or Week on the Wards, or working behind the scenes as a member of one of our various committees, your dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism continue to be remarkable. You are positively impacting the experiences of our students, and for that I thank you.


Next year will be another very important one at CMSRU - here are some of the highlights:

  • In the fall, we will become the first medical school in the country to offer an exciting and innovative clerkship in an urban environment to its entire third year class as the Charter Class enters the Cooper Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (CLIC).
  • The addition of 72 students in August will bring our student body to 186, nearly half of our planned capacity of around 400.
  • Our faculty and students will soon have additional educational, office, and wellness space as the fit out of the 4th floor is completed late in the year.
  • We are moving forward with the next step of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education's (LCME) accreditation process with the database submission and site visit for our Provisional Accreditation. Nearly 3,000 pages of documents were submitted in mid-December outlining our educational plans. In March 2014, a team from the LCME will spend four days at CMSRU conducting a site visit where they will review progress toward implementation of the educational program and the status of planning for later stages of the accreditation.

As we welcome the New Year, I invite you to reaffirm your commitment to CMSRU. Together, will continue to educate the kind of physicians we will want to care for our own families in the future.


My very best wishes to you and your loved ones for the holidays and New Year - may you be healthy and happy!


Paul Katz signature  

CMSRU Celebrates Scholarships, Debuts Video at Fall Event


CMSRU's lobby sparkled with twinkling lights and hues of jewel tones recently as current CMSRU scholarship recipients, faculty, donors and friends gathered for the school's signature fundraising event of the year - "Eat, Drink and Be Generous."


"This event commemorated the impact scholarships have on our students and our school," noted Paul Katz, MD, Dean of CMSRU. "It also helped build awareness of the need for additional scholarship funding as we continue to grow our student population in the coming years."


Add a description During the event, students Daniel Lefler (M2) and Daisy Obiora (M1) spoke about how medical school scholarships personally affected their decisions to attend CMSRU. The event was highlighted by the debut of CMSRU's new video, "The Promise," which tells the story of CMSRU through the eyes of five members of the Charter Class. Click HERE to view the new video.

In early 2014, CMSRU will launch "Promise: The Campaign of CMSRU" as its next multi-year fundraising initiative. Click HERE for more information on "Promise: The Campaign for CMSRU" or to make a donation for 2013. 

Impacting the Community: Cathedral Kitchen

Cathedral Kitchen 2013

Every other week, several CMSRU students don aprons and deliver plates filled with hot, homemade, nutritious meals to hundreds of guests. But this is not a typical restaurant, and the students are not working as waiters and waitresses to help pay their medical school expenses. This is Cathedral Kitchen, where Camden's poorest residents of all ages - the homeless, the jobless, those with disabilities or addiction problems, the working poor -- are served a hearty evening meal. CMSRU students are their volunteer servers.  


"I chose this as my Service Learning experience because I truly enjoy the one-to-one interaction I am able to have with the guests," explains CMSRU student Sherri English (M2), who usually works at the table designated for families. "I feel blessed to have the opportunity to serve people this way. I also like that I am helping to reduce hunger, at least for a day."


Located just one mile from CMSRU, Cathedral Kitchen has been a popular site for the students' service learning. The organization has been serving meals to the poor and hungry of Camden for nearly four decades. What began as a simple ministry offering soup and sandwiches to a few people in need has grown into the largest emergency food provider in the city. In 2012 alone, Cathedral Kitchen provided over 232,000 meals.


Click HERE to see more photos of students volunteering at Cathedral Kitchen.

Focus on Faculty: Dr. Kathryn Behling & Dr. Cheryl Melovitz -Vasan 

Over the summer, several new faculty members joined CMSRU's Department of Biomedical Sciences. Among this impressive group of new educators are Kathryn C. Behling, MD, PhD, and Cheryl A. Melovitz-Vasan, DPT, PhD.


Dr. Behling, who also serves as a staff pathologist at Cooper University Hospital, earned both her medical degree and her doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Her dissertation project involved characterizing the role of endogenous antiangiogenic factors in neovascular pathology and normal vascular development in the retina. As an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences at CMSRU, Dr. Behling teaches cell biology, neuroanatomy, neurohistology and pathology. She also facilitates an Active Learning Group and is a participant on CMSRU's Phase 1 Subcommittee and Biomedical Science Department Faculty Search Committee.


Dr. Melovitz-Vasan earned both her Doctorate of Physical Therapy and her PhD in Health Sciences from UMDNJ - School of Health Related Professions. As an instructor at UMDNJ- New Jersey Medical School, Dr. Melovitz-Vasan authored and co-authored numerous publications, abstracts and presentations related to anatomy, molecular biology and movement sciences. At CMSRU, she teaches gross anatomy to first and second year medical students, as well as physician assistant students from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia as part of CMSRU's interprofessional education program. Dr. Melovitz-Vasan also facilitates an Active Learning Group and is a member of the Biomedical Science Department Faculty Search Committee.


Welcome Drs. Behling and Melovitz-Vasan!

Movember at CMSRU


Facial hair was in fashion at CSMRU this past November as more than two dozen male students -- and a few faculty members -- ditched their razors and shaving cream in favor of a more "natural" look. Beards and moustaches of all shapes and sizes covered the faces of these men, all in an effort to raise awareness about and money for men's health -- part of an international event called "Movember."


"Movember provided an opportunity for us to support men's health and to address the sensitive topic of prostate cancer," explained CMSRU student Daniel Lefler (M2), who organized the event. "Even better, it brought the whole CMSRU community together -- both male and female -- for a good cause, and it was fun!"


The Movember participants auctioned off the opportunity to create a final design for their facial hair, raising close to $1000 for the cause. Click HERE to see a gallery of some of the designs.
About Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
CMSRU is committed to providing humanistic education in the art and science of medicine within a scientific and scholarly community in which inclusivity, excellence in patient care, innovative teaching, research and service to our community are valued.

Core values include a commitment to diversity, personal mentorship, professionalism, collaboration and mutual respect, civic responsibility, patient advocacy and lifelong learning. 
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
401 S. Broadway
Camden, New Jersey 08103