PCOM Announces Founders’ Day 2021 HonoreesJanuary 19, 2021
The O.J. Snyder and Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medals are awarded to deserving faculty,
alumni and students that contribute to the College, the osteopathic profession and
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has announced that Carol L. Henwood,
DO ’83, RES ’85, FACOFP dist., a board-certified family practice physician, Justin
Paul Canakis (DO ’21), and Akila Raja, MS (DO ’21), are this year’s recipients of
the O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal and the Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medals, respectively.
Dr. Henwood, Mr. Canakis and Ms. Raja will be honored at the College’s virtual Founders’
Day ceremony on Friday, January 22 from 10-11 a.m. on Facebook and YouTube.
Carol L. Henwood, DO ’83, RES ’85, FACOFP dist.
O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal Recipient
Carol L. Henwood, DO ’83, RES ’85, FACOFP dist., a board-certified family practice
physician who has worked in the Philadelphia suburbs for more than three decades,
is this year’s recipient of PCOM’s 2021 O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal. Dr. Henwood works
for Main Line Health Family Medicine in Royersford, PA, providing a wide variety of
health services—from chronic care to well visits and women’s health. A stalwart of
the osteopathic profession, Dr. Henwood is a distinguished fellow and past president of the American College
of Osteopathic Family Physicians and past president and an advisor for the Pennsylvania
Osteopathic Family Physicians Society. She also served as the first female president
of the PCOM Alumni Association; Dr. Henwood and her family have been longtime philanthropists
and volunteers on behalf of the College. She holds membership positions within the
American Osteopathic Association and the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association.
Dr. Henwood is a recognized expert on the patient-centered medical home concept, and
in 2012 was invited to address the White House on the Affordable Care Act and patient
engagement. And she is an avid contributor to medical literature. Learn more about Dr. Henwood.
Justin Paul Canakis (DO ’21)
Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal (PCOM)
Justin Paul Canakis (DO ’21) is this year’s recipient of the Mason W. Pressly Memorial
Medal (PCOM). Mr. Canakis, a native of Ocean City, MD, spent many hours while in medical school volunteering for the nonprofit Health Career Collaborative, which brings health education—and
exposure to healthcare careers—to inner-city high schools. Mr. Canakis participated
in the program during all four years at PCOM; during his second year, he served as
president of the College’s chapter. Mr. Canakis has also designed and taught curriculum
on emergency medicine and public health while mentoring students on SAT preparation
and summer camp opportunities. Mr. Canakis has found time for medical research at PCOM as well, collaborating on a study that explored the efficacy of teleconferences
to educate providers in medication-assisted treatment to manage chronic pain and opioid
use disorder. Mr. Canakis receives the Mason Pressly award three years after his brother,
Andrew Canakis, DO ’18, received it for his stellar PCOM career. Learn more about Mr. Canakis.
Akila Raja, MS (DO ’21)
Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal (PCOM Georgia)
Akila Raja, MS (DO ’21) is this year’s recipient of the Mason W. Pressly Memorial
Medal (PCOM Georgia). Ms. Raja, a native of Canada whose parents moved to Florida
when she was in first grade, has spent the past four years at PCOM Georgia working to drive change and to promote healthcare advocacy and professional opportunities
for her fellow students. Ms. Raja’s interest in addiction medicine led to her leadership
in the development of a campus-wide substance dependence advocacy event in 2019. It
drew more than 100 participants, with a prestigious panel from across Georgia coming
to campus to share their personal and professional stories related to substance use
and its treatment. She also rose to leadership posts in student organizations, including
vice president of the Sigma Sigma Phi honors fraternity and regional director at PCOM
Georgia’s Camp Cardiac and Camp Neuro summer workshops for Georgia high school students
interested in the STEM fields. Most recently, Ms. Raja worked to found a chapter of
the Gold Humanism Honor Society at PCOM Georgia. The chapter, of which she serves
as president, recognizes medical students, residents and faculty who practice patient-centered
care by modeling the qualities of integrity, excellence, compassion, altruism, respect
and empathy. Learn more on Ms. Raja.
About the awards
The O.J. Snyder Memorial Medal is presented in memory of the co-founder of PCOM and
is the College's highest award, which recognizes leadership and service to the osteopathic
profession and to the institution. The Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal is presented
to students for their outstanding achievement and service to the College, the community
and the osteopathic profession. Recipients are selected by representatives of the
overall College community.
Melissa Neumann Schwartz, DO ’91, RES ’96, FAOCOO, FAAOA
PCOM Alumni Association Certificate of Honor recipient
Also receiving honors at this year’s Founders’ Day celebration is Melissa Neumann
Schwartz, DO ’91, RES ’96, FAOCOO, FAAOA, founder of the Montgomery County ENT Institute
and an otolaryngologist in private practice, who will receive the PCOM Alumni Association
Certificate of Honor. Learn more about Dr. Schwartz.
About Founders' Day
Founders’ Day celebrates the birth of PCOM in 1899 by Drs. Snyder and Pressly, who sought to bring the osteopathic philosophy of whole-person
healthcare to Philadelphia. The virtual ceremony on January 22 will celebrate the
accomplishments of the 2021 Founders' Day award recipients who embody the dedication,
loyalty and service to the College that our founders, O.J. Snyder and Mason W. Pressly,
exhibited. In addition to attending the ceremony, the PCOM community is invited to
congratulate these award recipients by leaving a message on the College's Founders’ Day Kudoboard.
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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.
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