College Celebrates Founders’ Day 2018January 30, 2018
Founders’ Day celebrates the birth of PCOM in 1899 by O.J. Snyder and the Mason W.
Pressly, who sought to bring the osteopathic philosophy of treating the whole person,
not just their symptoms, to Philadelphia.
In recognition of its founding, the College recently hosted celebrations on both campuses,
and a luncheon to honor the winners of the founders’ namesake awards: the O.J. Snyder
Memorial Medal and the Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal.
Each medal is presented to an alumnus or student who has exhibited outstanding leadership
and service to the osteopathic profession, the College and the community. This year’s
Snyder Memorial Medal recipient, Francis P. Sutter, DO ’76, is renowned for his innovative approach to coronary bypass surgery, which is far
less invasive than traditional coronary bypass surgeries.
Dr. Sutter, chief of cardiac surgery at Lankenau Medical Center, thanked his wife
and his many mentors for his success. He also noted that PCOM helped him focus on
a love of medicine.
“PCOM gave me the start,” he said during the luncheon. “I’m here today because I followed
my heart and I was passionate about what I did. But most importantly I was persistent
about what I wanted”
Andrew G. Canakis (DO '18), a recipient of the Pressly Memorial Medal*, also thanked his friends and
family for his success, and noted that Dr. Sutter had served as a kind of mentor.
“My interaction with Dr. Sutter altered my own trajectory and sent me towards PCOM’s
doors,” he said.
Mr. Canakis was recognized for his tireless service to PCOM and the community, which
included starting the College’s GI Club and a chapter of Philadelphia’s Health Careers
“To choose to lift others up, no matter how educated you are, and how you treat others
tells all,” he said.
Also honored at the luncheon was Robert Cuzzolino, EdD, vice president for Graduate
Programs and Planning, who received the PCOM Alumni Association Certificate of Honor—the association’s highest award—for his four-plus decades of service to the College.
“Osteopathic medicine is a unique and powerful way to view medicine, to underscore
the relationship between doctor and patient, rather than patient and disease,” he
said. “My optimism about PCOM remains fresh. Our success is not what our faculty staff
or administration achieves, but what our students achieve. I believe PCOMs best years
are in its future, and it will be carried by our students.”
*Fellow Pressly Memorial Medal recipient Danielle Ward (DO ’18) will be honored at a ceremony in the spring at GA-PCOM.
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About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
For more information, contact:
Associate Director, News and Media Relations
Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: