March 15, 2017 - The Record

TUC Plays an Emotionally-Filled Big Game Competition

Our sister campus, TUN, ended up taking the game against TUC, 87 to 79. TUC enjoyed a healthy lead for the first half of the game, but TUN fought back to make the game close until the end. Both teams played hard, leading to some very exciting moments throughout!

TUC’s dance team put on a spectacular halftime show, beating TUN in the dance competition category. You can watch our talented students perform here:

TUC’s 1st year PA student, Joseph Adducci, also played in the sharpshooter competition. Both he and TUN’s participant were awarded a $500 scholarship for their great basket making attempts.

We thank TUN for hosting the game this year and congratulate them on the win.

Our Staff, Mallory Davis, Administrative Coordinator in Research

Mallory DavisI was born and raised in Vallejo. I graduated from Sonoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in human development. Fun Fact: Both of my parents worked on Mare Island, I attended Mare Island preschool, got married at Saint Peter’s Chapel, and now I have worked at Touro for 5 years, it seems that I just can’t get off of this island.

What’s the most rewarding part about working in TUC’s Research?

I love that I get a behind the scenes look at the groundbreaking research that is happening on campus. Most people don’t realize all of the man hours, money, and other resources that go into a research grant. From an idea, to planning, to the pre-award process, grant submission, award, carrying out the research (clinical and bench), the articles that follow, etc. it really takes a team of people to have a successful project. I enjoy being a part of the team (even in a small capacity) and contributing to what we hope is medical research that will change people’s lives.   

What’s one of the biggest challenges that you face in Research? How do you deal with it?

I’d say my biggest challenge is what I affectionately call researcher wrangling. Haha Sometimes getting them to meet deadlines takes a small miracle. I just do my best by sending calendar reminders, emails, a friendly phone call, anything I can do to assist and get the job done.   

After years of planning Research Day, how have you seen it grow?

Last year was my 5th year planning Research Day and every year the number of abstract submissions have increased. In 2012 we had 46 abstracts and last year we had 95! I think that shows how much research our faculty, staff, and students are currently doing and how research day has become a celebrated event.

Can you tell us a bit about your family? How do they shape who you are?

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart, Mike, for 7 years now and we have a 2 year old little girl named Sadie. They both keep me busy but I enjoy juggling being a working mom and wife. I have the interesting perspective of working at a professional school and being married to a student attending a professional school. Mike will graduate in May with a J.D. from Berkeley Law and I think that helps me empathize with what our students are going through.

Where would we find you on the weekend? What are your interests outside of work?

Outside of work I love spending time with my family and friends, eating BBQ, watching football, and hopefully you would find me at Disneyland. I love all things Disney, we are annual pass holders and we go as often as possible.

College of Pharmacy receives Chapter of Excellence Award from the California Pharmacists Association

For the 2nd year in a row, TUC College of Pharmacy was awarded the Chapter of Excellence from the California Pharmacists Association (CPhA). Criteria for the award are based upon student activities, volunteerism, and leadership. The College of Pharmacy is recognized by CPhA for its support, innovative contributions, leadership, and mentorship to the profession and community. Congratulations to all of our pharmacists and student pharmacists for your achievement!

 Alumnus Robert Fontanilla, CEHS ’15, Treating HIV, Hepatitis, and transgender populations

Robert FontanillaMr. 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.

What did you do before you became a PA?

After college I had a few jobs before starting my career in the pharmaceutical industry, which I did for almost 16 years. I started as a sales rep and held many positions including sales training in the corporate headquarters and ironically an HIV Clinical Executive. I sold some of the medications I use to treat patients for HIV.

There are several universities that offer the PA program. Why Touro?

I applied to many PA schools but I chose Touro University because the mission of the PA program was in alignment with what I wanted after graduating. It’s also unique that Touro’s PA program offers a Public Health degree at the same time.

Can you tell us a bit about your work at Borrego Health and the ongoing care that you provide for those with HIV, Hepatitis, and other such infectious diseases?

After graduating from Touro I accepted an offer to work at Borrego Health, an Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) community clinic, near Palm Springs, California. We serve the underserved patients and provide care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. I specialize in HIV, Hepatitis, and transgender populations. My supervising physician has been treating HIV for 30+ years and has been a great mentor. I work with a team of 5 other HIV specialists and infectious disease providers.

Within my first year I qualified to take the exam to become a certified HIV specialist from AAHIVM (American Academy of HIV Medicine) and have been selected to speak at a conference for Transgender Health in partnership with UC Riverside. I try to stay current with treatment by attending California Academy of Physician Assistants (CAPA) Conferences and specialty specific conferences such as WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health), AASLD (American Association for the Study of Liver Disease), OPMAN (Optimal Management of HIV and Hepatitis) and several others.

New treatment options for hepatitis have made my job very satisfying. One of my favorite parts of the job is when I get to tell someone they have been cured of Hep C. It’s a disease state that many patients have told me was a burden they have carried for decades and now feel a sense of relief and joy. I spend a lot of time educating patients about their disease and on-going care to screen for HCC (Hepatic Cellular Carcinomas). I’ve also been able to conduct in-services for primary care providers regarding screening and referrals.

What do you like to do in your free time?

One of my favorite things to do in life is travel and I have been fortunate to visit Europe and South America this year.

What was most memorable about your experience at TUC?

Being in the same class with the same people for the entire time. The bonds I created with others including my PA best friend, study group and field study partners are memorable and continued after school. I work with one classmate at Borrego Health. I’ve been invited to weddings and other life events. Last year a few came to Palm Springs to spend the weekend for my 50th birthday.