Western University of Health Sciences
of Health Sciences
The main building for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Northwest. The building first opened for classes in fall 2011
|Motto||Educare, Sanare, Coniunctim (Latin)|
|Motto in English||To Teach, To Heal, Together|
|Type||Private, non-profit, graduate|
|Chairman||Richard A. Bond, DO|
|President||Philip Pumerantz, Ph.D.|
|Vice-president||Thomas G. Fox, Ph.D.|
|Provost||Gary M. Gugelchuk, Ph.D.|
|Academic staff||317 full-time
1,200 adjunct professionals
|Location||Pomona, CA, United States
|Campus||Urban, 22 acres (Pomona)
Rural, 50 acres (Lebanon)
|Former names||College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific|
Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) is a non-profit, private, graduate school for the health professions, with a main campus located on 22 acres (8.9 ha) in downtown Pomona, California. In 2011, the university opened an additional medical school campus (COMP-Northwest) on 50-acres in Lebanon, Oregon. The university operates two patient care centers, and has a pet hospital on its Pomona campus.
Founded in 1977, the first program at WesternU was its medical school, the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. Since that time, additional programs have opened. Now, the university offers degrees in dentistry, optometry, podiatry, nursing, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine. When the College of Veterinary Medicine opened in 2003, it was the first veterinary school to open in the United States in 20 years. With an enrollment of 3,692 students (2012–13), WesternU is one of the largest graduate schools for the health professions in California, offering 22 academic programs in nine colleges.
All of the health care programs have professional accreditation, and the university is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. The medical school (COMP) is also accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.
To produce, in a humanistic tradition, health care professionals and biomedical knowledge that will enhance and extend the quality of life in our communities.
The school originally opened in 1977 as the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP), offering the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree. It was the first osteopathic medical school in California to open after the California College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons became an M.D. granting school, eventually becoming the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. At the time, COMP was the only osteopathic medical school west of the Rocky Mountains, and it remained the only one in California until 1997, when Touro University California opened in Vallejo. The inaugural class at COMP consisted of 36 students.
In 1986, the college began offering a second degree, the Master of Science in Health Professions Education. Four years later, the physician assistant program opened, which developed into a masters level program in 2000. In 1992, the physical therapy program opened. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted the school accreditation in March 1996, and later that same year, the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific was restructured into a university and given the name “Western University of Health Sciences." The same year, the first classes in the college of pharmacy began.
After difficulties with accreditation through the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education the College of Veterinary Medicine opened in 1998. It was the first veterinary medical school to open in the United States since 1983, and at the time, no member on the Council on Education had ever been involved in accrediting a new veterinary medical school. Classes began in 2003, and the college earned full accreditation in 2010. The college was the first veterinary medical school in the United States to appoint a female to the position of dean. In 2008, the university opened the Banfield Pet Hospital to the public.
In 2009, the College of Podiatric Medicine, the College of Optometry, and the College of Dental Medicine opened. Each of the new colleges holds provisional or preliminary accreditation. The following year, in 2010, the Patient Care Center opened, offering medical, dental, optometric, podiatric and pharmacy services to community. In 2011, Western University of Health Sciences opened a new medical school campus in Lebanon, Oregon called the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest. The university plans to eventually open additional colleges at the Lebanon campus.
The downtown Pomona, California campus consists of 19 major buildings on 22 acres (8.9 ha). A portion of the campus was extensively renovated from an outdoor shopping mall. In 1992, the university received the option to buy the Pomona Buffum's department store, which was built in 1962. The university subsequently acquired the building, which now houses the Health Professions Center. The University Research Center was once a JCPenney. The Health Science Center, a two-story 72,000 square-foot building, was formerly a Nash Department Store.
In August 2001, the university opened the Health Sciences Library on west edge of campus (3rd street). The 35,000 square-foot building was originally constructed in 1929, and previously housed a switching station for the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph company. In 2010, two additional buildings opened on campus, the Health Education Center and the Patient Care Center, along with a parking structure. The concrete parking structure has 7 levels and 600 parking spaces.
In June 2009, groundbreaking took place for the first building on the new medical school campus in Lebanon, Oregon. The new 55,000-square-foot (5,100 m2) building cost about $15 million to build, and opened for classes in August 2011. The building stands on a 50-acre medical campus.
In August 2012, the Center for Oral Health, a non-profit organization focusing on promoting oral health, moved its headquarters from the bay area of California to Western University of Health Sciences' campus, and established an affiliation with the university.
In June 2013, groundbreaking was announced on a 173,000-square-foot mixed-use building adjacent to the Pomona campus. The building, located on 3.6-acres, will provide housing for WesternU students, as well as a fitness center, community pool, media room, and office space for the university. Completion is expected in 2014, for an estimated cost of $45 million.
Colleges and degrees offered
- College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) and College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Northwest (COMP Northwest):
- College of Pharmacy:
- College of Dentistry:
- College of Optometry:
- Doctor of Optometry (OD)
- College of Allied Health Professions:
- College of Graduate Nursing:
- Graduate College of Bfciences:
Impact in the community
Western University of Health Sciences has two Patient Care Centers, one is located in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, and the other is in Pomona, CA on the main university campus. The Pomona Patient Care Center opened in May 2010, and serves more than 10,000 patients per year. The Pomona Patient Care Center includes a Medical Center, Foot & Ankle Center, Eye Care Center, Dental Center and Pharmacy. Once a year, the Dental Center offers free dental care to children as a part of the annual Give Kids a Smile program, and the eye care center offers free ongoing eye exams for infants 6–12 months of age. The center is also home to the Western Diabetes Institute, an accredited diabetes education center. The institute is a patient-centered practice unit designed to provide efficient, high quality care to diabetic patients. The Rancho Cucamonga Patient Care Center provides family medicine, internal medicine, foot and ankle care.
The university is one of the largest employers in Pomona, has greatly contributed to the economic development of downtown, bringing millions of dollars to the area. The Pomona Patient Care Center and the Health Education Center, a 180,000 square-foot teaching and research facility, both opened in 2010 as a part of a $110 million expansion project at WesternU. The expansion accommodated its three newest colleges -- dentistry, podiatry and optometry—and created a new home for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific.
In 1998, the university established the Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy. The Center's mission is to "enhance health professions education, and to improve access for people with disabilities to health, health education and health care services." The Center provides consultation and training to organizations, companies, hospitals, etc. to help them meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.
In 2008, the Banfield Pet Hospital on campus was opened to the community, providing primary care services such as vaccinations, spaying and neutering, microchiping, surgery, dental exams and cleanings, as well as flea, tick and heartworm control. The hospital includes a surgical suite, an x-ray room, a half dozen exam rooms and isolation facilities.
The Pumerantz Library provides a diabetes education program to the community, in a partnership with the Pomona Public Library. The project aims to help Spanish-speaking members of the community access reliable information about diabetes.
In 2007, WesternU initiated the planning stages of an Interprofessional Education (IPE) program, involving all 9 of its colleges; with goals to improve understanding of other health professions and to provide and promote a team approach to patient-centered care and health care management, leading to improved patient care. While a debate exists on the effectiveness of interprofessional education in encouraging collaborative practice, IPE is becoming a more common component of medical school curriculum in the United States, and many groups, including the World Health Organization, view it as a means of reducing medical errors and improving the health care system
As a part of the program, students meet in small groups with a faculty facilitator and discuss the non-clinical aspects of complex cases, such as financial or ethical challenges, communication barriers, interprofessional knowledge and awareness, etc. In the 2010-11 academic year, the IPE program involved 850 students and 150 faculty members from the 9 colleges at the university. The development of clinical IPE rotations with grand rounds and journal clubs is currently being explored.
Students at WesternU participate in a number of clubs on campus and an active student government association. In 1985, students from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific formed a theater group called Sanus, which is the Latin word for "sanity." The students said they used the opportunity to act and perform plays as means of relieving stress. The theater troupe is still active, and students from other colleges also participate.
|Western University of Health Sciences||Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.|
|College of Allied Health||American Physical Therapy Association Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant
|College of Dental Medicine||American Dental Association|
|College of Graduate Nursing||Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education|
|College of Optometry||American Optometric Association Accreditation Council on Optometric Education|
|College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific||American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA)|
|College of Pharmacy||Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education|
|College of Podiatric Medicine||American Podiatric Medical Association's Council on Podiatric Medical Education|
|College of Veterinary Medicine||American Veterinary Medical Association, Council on Education|
- Joseph Gambone, DO, MPH, author of Hacker & Moore's Essentials of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- Lawrence B. Harkless, DPM, FACFAS
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- Western University of Health Sciences
- Patient Care Center
- Banfield Pet Hospital at Western University of Health Sciences
- Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy
- Western Diabetes Institute