CHSU Hosts Inaugural College of Osteopathic Medicine Commencement and Hooding Ceremony for Class of 2024

May 22, 2024

On Sunday, May 19, 2024, sixty-six graduates from California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine (CHSU-COM) received their doctoral medical degrees at the inaugural Class of 2024 Commencement and Hooding Ceremony, held at the Save Mart Center in Fresno.

CHSU Founding President, Florence Dunn was recognized for her leadership, dedication and service to the University and presented with an honorary doctorate degree by Dr. John Welty, Founding Chair of the CHSU Board of Trustees.

The COM graduates were draped with an academic hood to represent their initiation into the field of medicine and President Dunn conferred the degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine upon the graduates, eight of which graduated with honors. Hayley Vietti, DO and Soheil Zorofchian, DO were named as the Class Valedictorians. Varsha Swamy, DO served as Class President and delivered the Graduate Reflection speech for the Inaugural Class of 2024.

Osteopathic Medicine will celebrate 150 years of existence in June.

“In 1874, Dr. Andrew Still developed the philosophy of osteopathic medicine to change health care delivery as it existed in that day, when he recognized that medicine needed to treat the cause and not the symptoms. He was famous for stating “to find health should be the objective of the doctor. Anyone can find disease,”

said Dr. Teresa Hubka, President-Elect of the American Osteopathic Association as she delivered the keynote address.

In her speech, Dr. Hubka shared that there are more than 186,000 DOs in the United States and the profession has tripled over the past 30 years.

The CHSU-COM Inaugural Class of 2024 Commencement and Hooding Ceremony was live streamed and the video recording and recap video can be viewed online. The CHSU-COM Class of 2024 Graduate Awards Dinner recap video is also available online.

At a dinner and awards ceremony held before commencement, the following graduates were honored with awards and recognition.

CHSU Award Recipients

  • CHSU Outstanding Research Award – Yusur Alsalihi, DO
  • CHSU PROUD Award – Laura Janet Gutierrez-Rivera, DO
  • CHSU Humanism Award – Mia Nurit Madeleine Hirsh, DO
  • CHSU Healing Hands Award – Ronald Llenado, DO
  • CHSU Community Service Award – Saloni Patel, DO
  • CHSU Mentor of the Year Award – Saumya Shah, DO
  • CHSU Clinical Excellence Award – Dina Shakran, DO and John Adel Tawfik, DO
  • Leadership Award, Fresno Madera Medical Society – Varsha Swamy, DO
  • CHSU Clinical Excellence Award – John Adel Tawfik, DO
  • CHSU National Impact Award – Samantha Bailey Lynch, DO
  • Academic Excellence Awards for Valedictorians – Hayley Vietti, DO and Soheil Zorofchian, DO
  • CHSU Spouse of the Year Award – Stavros Savvas, MD and Mathew Larabee, MBA

National and Regional Award Recipients

  • Gold Humanism Fellowship Award – Sarah Catherine Holzmann, DO and Zachary Josse, DO
  • Donna Jones Moritsugu Memorial Award – Mathew Larabee, MBA (Nominated by Megan Fedeli, DO)
  • 2024 AACOM Global Health Scholar of the Year – Saumya Shah, DO
  • 2023 Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California: Annual Poster Competition, Third Place Award – Sofya Kats, DO
  • 2022 Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of California: Student Leader Award – Natalie Suzanne Espalin Pardo, DO
  • 2022 Excellence in Public Health Award, US Public Health Service – Carter Muajmoo Yang, DO
  • 2021 Most Influential Conference Speaker Award by the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents – Samantha Bailey Lynch, DO
  • Headmirror National Otolaryngology Interest Group Award – Yusur Alsalihi, DO

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