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Benchmarks of Value – August 7, 2013

August 7, 2013

Hello everybody:

I’ve just returned from the third annual COMP-Northwest Convocation and white coat ceremonies and events at our Lebanon, Oregon campus, and if the energy, enthusiasm, and commitment I felt from COMP-Northwest’s students, faculty, staff, and community are any indicator, it’s going to be yet another great year in Lebanon.

As I mentioned to the 105 incoming COMP-Northwest students and their families during Convocation, the Northwest campus gets a bit of a head start on Pomona each year when it comes to welcoming new students and starting the academic year. The great thing about the arrangement is that the momentum and excitement from up north carries into and feeds Welcome Week on the Pomona campus, leading up to the Convocation and white coat ceremonies for our nine colleges this coming Saturday. It’s no small feat to create buzz within the same week in two different communities that are more than 900 miles apart, but WesternU does it each and every year, and it’s exciting and rewarding to be part of it all.

As WesternU nears the beginning of its 37th year of existence, I am reminded – as I often am this time each year – of the special mission we are on at this University, and of the special obligation we have as members of a humanistic educational community. Our goal, back at COMP’s inception in 1977, was not to create just another medical school, but to create a home for the philosophy and practice of humanistic, compassionate healing, with a foundation of scientific excellence and technical know-how. This mission has extended through and beyond COMP over the years, to our eight other colleges and into the countless communities where our more than 10,000 graduates have practiced.

Despite all the questions and uncertainty surrounding health care these days, and the enormous changes already underway in how care is provided, and to whom, we must always remember – as COMP Interim Dean Paula Crone, DO, reminded us so eloquently at Convocation – that we have undertaken this mission to serve patients. Everything we do, every action we take, must have a benefit to them as the ultimate objective. It is how we are of best and highest service to our fellows and to our communities.

I welcome each and every one of you – students, faculty, staff, friends – to the dawn of another year at Western University of Health Sciences, a year that promises to be full of hard work and heady excitement, study and service, challenges, and change. I’m delighted we’ll experience all of it together.

As always, I welcome your feedback on this topic and any others as we discuss WesternU’s Benchmarks of Value, and our plans. Please e-mail me with your thoughts at ppumerantz@westernu.edu, and feel free to share this message with your family and friends.

My best to you all,