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TODAY news for Thursday, June 8, 2006

School of Allied Health Professions news

SAHP celebrates 40 years during homecoming

The School of Allied Health Professions celebrated two milestones last month during homecoming: 40 years of existence and 10 years of annual homecomings.

The April 19-22 event provided alumni a variety of events and activities, beginning with a free community seminar on childhood obesity Wednesday evening, April 19 (see separate story on page 7).

Thursday and Friday, the School offered day excursions to Lake Arrowhead and Rancho Cucamonga shopping center Victoria Gardens, respectively.

Thursday evening was the dean’s 40th anniversary bash, which harked back to the year of the School’s founding, 1966, with a 60s theme.

“Our 60s celebration was complete with hula hoop contests and 60s trivia,” says Joe Perry, SAHP homecoming coordinator. “Many of the faculty and staff dressed like the 60s, which amused the students.”

Friday evening, Christian vocal artist Scott Krippayne gave a concert at University Church of Seventh-day Adventists.

Homecoming culminated with a banquet Saturday evening at the San Bernardino Hilton, during which the School recognized distinguished alumni and current students.

The School recognized one alumna of the year as well as one distinguished alumni and one “rising star” from each of the nine departments within the School.

Elizabeth Guerra, MA, RHIA, was named Alumna of the Year 2006 for the School of Allied Health Professions. She graduated in 1968 from the health information management (HIM) department.

Ms. Guerra served for 26 years as the director of health information management at San Antonio Hospital in Upland, California, prior to her retirement in 1995. During that time, she served as a clinical instructor for Loma Linda University, helping to educate many health information management graduates.

She has served her profession as president of the Southern California Health Information Association and president of the California Health Information Association. Considered a coding expert and well known in this profession, Ms. Guerra is often a seminar speaker.

Retirement has not slowed her down. Ms. Guerra has worked as a consultant to East Los Angeles Doctors Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Health Information Partners Inc., and ImageState Corporation in Santa Monica. She is a volunteer with the student mentoring program for Southern California Health Information Association and for Laguna Woods Village.

Ms. Guerra works at the Community Computer Center at Laguna Woods helping seniors with their computer needs. Ms. Guerra also volunteers for the Laguna Woods Home Health Service friendly visitor’s program by visiting seniors that are housebound and have no families nearby to visit them.

Ms. Guerra has supported the HIM program, not only by mentoring students, but by establishing the Elizabeth M. Guerra Endowment Scholarship to assist HIM students with their education. This scholarship will continue her legacy of launching HIM students into the health care arena.

“Ms. Guerra’s contributions to her profession, community, and alma mater exemplify the goals of the School of Allied Health Professions,” says Craig Jackson, JD, MSW, dean.

The School of Allied Health Professions also recognized the following individuals as distinguished alumni:

•    Clinical laboratory sciences: Takkin Lo

•    Cardiopulmonary sciences: Mark Hartwig

•    Health information management: Geraldine Davis

•    Nutrition and dietetics: Nilsa Valles

•    Occupational therapy: Beth Aune-Nelson

•    Physical therapy: Harvey Wallman

•    Physician assistant sciences: Jeff Brayshaw

•    Radiation technology: John Radtke

•    Speech-language pathology and audiology: Debra Van Stee-Harms

The School also honored a current student from each SAHP department with rising star awards.

“They were chosen by their departments to be honored by the alumni association because of the huge potential they show in their profession,” says Charlotte Henderson, director of development, SAHP. These students were honored:

•    Clinical laboratory science: Jason Florendo

•    Cardiopulmonary science: Lindsey Simpson

•    Health information management: Kimberly Caraig

•    Nutrition and dietetics: Sarah Rodriguez

•    Occupational therapy: Robert Ibrahim

•    Physical therapy: Chris Telesmanic

•    Physician assistant sciences: Natalie Riotto

•    Radiation technology: Tim Seavey

•    Speech-language pathology and audiology: Julia Hollister.

In addition to the celebratory events, alumni continuing education courses were offered.

By Charlotte Henderson and Heather Reifsnyder

TODAY news for Thursday, June 8, 2006