PCOM Announces 2016 Snyder, Pressly Award WinnersJanuary 8, 2016
PCOM has announced Richard A. Pascucci, DO ’75, Zachary M. Herrmann (DO ’16) and Jessica
Mormando (DO ’16) as the 2016 recipients of the College’s OJ Snyder Memorial Medal
and Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medals, respectively. The awards will be given at the
College’s annual Founders’ Day celebration on Jan. 22.
Richard A. Pascucci, DO ’75
During the past 22 years, Dr. Pascucci has played a vital role in the education of
more than 700 osteopathic physicians at PCOM. As vice dean for clinical education,
he has made it his mission to ensure that residents receive a top quality graduate
medical education that leads them to become competent and caring high quality physicians.
He was recruited by PCOM in 1993 as director of medical education and associate dean
for graduate medical education (GME), and has been able to develop a robust GME program,
despite the fact that PCOM does not own a hospital. Dr. Pascucci also rose to the
challenge of developing an OPTI consortium that has grown to include 45 partner hospitals
of the highest caliber, including Lankenau, Lehigh Valley Medical Center, Einstein
and Pennsylvania Hospital to name a few.
In addition to strong relationships forged within PCOM’s MedNet program, Dr. Pascucci
has successfully maintained PCOM’s own residency programs with about 140 residents
every year, “We’ve preserved high quality residencies in neurosurgery, internal medicine,
family medicine, otorhinolaryngology, plastic surgery and ophthalmology, among others,”
In addition to his role in GME, Dr. Pascucci enjoys teaching in the classroom at all
levels. A specialist in rheumatology (he retired from clinical practice in 2015),
he has taught medicine to medical students, physician assistant students and residents,
as well as attending physicians at Grand Rounds and continuing medical education conferences.
He also contributed to the development of top quality residents as a member of the
American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine for which he submitted questions and
developed exams for medical residents for 18 years, nine as the primary rheumatology
consultant to the board. He considers this to be one of the highlights of his career.
Zachary M. Herrmann (DO ’16)
Mason Pressly Award Recipient
Faced with sobering statistics related to suicide among physicians and medical students—each
year, between 250 and 400 physicians die by suicide, and it is among the most common
causes of death among medical students—Mr. Herrmann worked to co-chair the establishment
of a SWAT team, now known as SWATTI (Student Wellness and Academic Transition Team
Initiative), at PCOM. The team’s mission is to find creative ways to lower the stress
level of the College’s medical students, increase awareness of mental health disorders
among medical students and reduce the stigma surrounding them.
“If we don’t teach medical students how to deal with depression and other mental health
issues now, how will they ever handle it as residents and attending physicians?” he
says. “We want to send the message that it’s okay if you’re dealing with mental health
issues and help is available.”
Mr. Herrmann also worked to establish a connection between PCOM and the LifeZone HIV/AIDS
Awareness Organization. Through this project, PCOM students participate in sexually
transmitted disease awareness events at high schools throughout the Philadelphia area.
Upon receiving his degree from PCOM, Mr. Herrmann plans a residency in psychiatry
and a career in academic research as well as clinical work.
Jessica Mormando (DO ’16)
Mason Pressly Medal Recipient
As an officer of the Georgia Campus - PCOM Student Government Association and DO Council,
Ms. Mormando has developed a structured mentoring program with faculty support; she
also is developing a professional development series of panel presentations that she
hopes will be incorporated into the GA-PCOM DO curriculum beginning in fall 2016.
For more information about Ms. Mormando, read here.
The OJ Snyder Memorial Medal, presented in memory of the co-founder of PCOM, is the
College’s highest award, given in recognition of an individual’s leadership and service
to the osteopathic profession and to the College.
The Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal is presented by PCOM to students who are recognized
by fellow students, faculty and the administration for outstanding achievement and
service to the College, the community and the osteopathic profession, and are selected
by representatives of the overall College community.
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.
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