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Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health students hosted a breakfast fundraiser Wednesday, December 10, to raise money for Students United with America’s Toothfairy (SUAT). SUAT is a student organization devoted to preventing pediatric oral disease and promoting overall health and well being for millions of children from vulnerable populations. Funds will be utilized for oral health supplies that will be given to children at SUAT events.

Among those students hosting the SUAT fundraiser were Charles Taylor, D2, Jacklyn Mitchell, D2, and Erika Arana, D2, who staffed a donut, juice and coffee table in the 5850 building. Erin Feller, D2, Tara Brantley, D2, Angela Wilson, D2 and Kristen Linaker, D2, staffed a waffle, donut, juice and coffee table in the 5835 building.

Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA, dean, A.T. Still University's Arizona School of Health Sciences supports the cause at the SUAT breakfast fundraiser.

Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA, dean, A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences supports the cause at the SUAT breakfast fundraiser.

Erin Feller, D2, Tara Brantley, D2, Angela Wilson, D2 and Kristen Linaker, D2, staff the waffle, donut, juice and coffee table in the 5835 building as part of the SUAT breakfast fundraiser.

Erin Feller, D2, Tara Brantley, D2, Angela Wilson, D2 and Kristen Linaker, D2, staff the waffle, donut, juice and coffee table in the 5835 building as part of the SUAT breakfast fundraiser.



Dezbaa Damon-Mallette, DMD, ’07, knew early on she wanted to help individuals who needed it most. It was this drive that has taken her to rural areas of Alaska and Navajo communities in New Mexico. On Dec. 4, 2014 Dr. Damon-Mallette shared her professional path with students during the George Blue Spruce Hero Healer luncheon series.

Dezbaa Damon-Mallette, DMDAfter graduating from ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, Dr. Damon-Mallette spent four years as a staff dentist in remote areas of Alaska. After working with the communities in Alaska, she decided to move to the Navajo Reservation in Ganado, Ariz. – her home community – to provide needed dental care to underserved families.

“Learn about the people, and learn about the culture,” said Dr. Damon-Mallette. “Wherever you go, try to be open to new experiences and ask questions. Ask yourself how you can reach out more.”

Today, Dr. Damon-Mallette serves as dental director at the Community Dental Services, Inc. in Albuquerque, New Mexico and remains committed to providing dental services to underserved communities.


Donald DonahueRetired Lt. Col. Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, ’09, MBA, received the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award.

This award recognizes ACHE members who are experienced and have made significant contributions to the advancement of healthcare management excellence and the achievement of the ACHE’s goals. Candidates for the award are evaluated on leadership ability, innovative management, executive capability in developing their own organization, promoting its growth and stature in the community, and interest in assisting the ACHE in achieving its objectives.

Dr. Donahue graduated from A.T. Still University with a Doctor of Health Education Degree in 2009. He is a founding partner of Diogenec Group and serves as a board member for both the American Academy of Disaster Medicine and the American Board of Disaster Medicine. He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor for healthcare administration at the University of Maryland University College and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.


10700323_10205008283911541_84531306529126312_oEleven ATSU-SOMA students participated in a recent biannual health fair coordinated by the Buddhist relief organization, the Tzu Chi Foundation. The community event, held in Chandler, Ariz., brought together healthcare practitioners, medical students, premedical students, and other volunteers in greater Phoenix to provide care for the uninsured, the underinsured, and those who lack access to healthcare. People throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area and Maricopa County came from many miles away to be seen by physicians, receive screening examinations, referrals to specialists, treatment, and to learn more about prevention and self-maintenance for chronic diseases and health in general.

The Health Disparities Interest Group (HDIG), an ATSU student organization in its third year and currently lead by Joshua Wy, OMS I, endeavors to build and maintain collaborations with local community organizations that are actively working to address and overcome health disparities. The Tzu Chi Foundation, whose paradigm of “compassionate relief” frames their outreach and activism work, has become an incredible ally for HDIG. “The manner in which the health fair was organized provided students an opportunity to shadow and assist clinicians from varying disciplines and to meaningfully interact with and learn from patients with different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds,” said Wy.

Starr Matsushita, OMS I recalled, “I hope we can all take a moment to recognize how meaningful the health fair was for many of the patients today.” “These are the moments that are going to define who we are as doctors.”

“One of the most meaningful experiences of the day to many of us was when one of our patients expressed that the care we provided and the compassion we demonstrated for her was greater than any she had experienced before while receiving medical care,” said Julian Hirschbaum, OMS II. “As members of HDIG, students of ATSU-SOMA, and future physicians, we will maintain our focus and active roles within the community and continue to work toward decreasing the burden of health disparities throughout the community, one health fair at a time.”



Resize2014-09-12 14.21.28Eighteen ATSU-ASHS occupational therapy (OT) students, an OT alumna, and OT faculty advisor Melissa Clark, MS, OTR/L, CES, CHT, assistant professor, department of occupational therapy, participated in a service learning mission trip to Guatemala Sept. 11-19. The OT mission group collaborated with the sponsoring organization Service for Peace to prepare a need’s assessment for training, treatment, and healthcare supplies.

Prior to their travels, the students completed a series of educational modules related to cultural competency, international travel and safety, the Guatemalan healthcare system, and traditional healthcare customs and beliefs. The OT mission group visited a variety of settings, including an adult hospital, an orphanage for children and adults with disabilities, and a vocational rehabilitation site.

The group experienced intense cultural immersion and had the opportunity to provide clinical training on the topics of splinting and preventative intervention strategies. The international service learning project provided rich opportunities for cultural and clinical exchange, and served as a springboard for ATSU-ASHS occupational therapy students to continue a path of global health service.

“Words cannot describe how proud I am of this group of OT students,” said Clark. “They provided compassionate service and truly embraced the Guatemalan culture throughout the trip. It was a gift to take part in this opportunity and witness the students’ personal and professional growth first-hand.”

OT alumna
Latoya Imadiyi, ‘12

OT students (Class of 2015)

Brianna Aker –Student Leader
Shoshanna Abels
Tayler Ball
Christine Brammer
Lucille Caigne-Martin
Lindsay Cuomo
Bonnie Elliot
Kortney Holbrook
Melanie Hosbein
Macaile Hutt
Lizzy Johnston
Sarah Koffenhoefer-Little
Shannon Lambert
Jessica Meyer
BreAnne Robison
Rebekah Ross
Kelly Sills
Jennifer Wifler

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