About CDU

August 2015

CDU News August 2015

To read the entire, clickable newsletter, click here.

President's Message

As we begin to close out the summer and Fall into a new academic year, I want to extend a hearty welcome to all new and returning students, faculty and staff.  A new semester is an opportunity to develop significant relationships with our students which is an essential means of educating, challenging, and serving students.  As a result, CDU students work, serve, and learn together to develop the skills necessary to become health care professionals and leaders.


For nearly 50 years, CDU has produced thousands of diverse health care professionals prepared to provide the highest quality care with excellence and compassion.  It's great to be able to say this because it really underscores the enduring strength of our University.  In 2016, it will be even better to say this because the University will celebrate its 50th year of existence since our incorporation.  This is something that we are looking forward to and have already begun to celebrate.  I would like to thank everyone who attended the University’s 50th Anniversary Kick-off Celebration aboard the Hornblower cruise ship on August 21st.  It was a great showing and by all measures, it is safe to say a good time was had by all.  When you have a moment, be sure to enjoy the collection of photographs taken from the event, available here. If you weren’t able to attend the Kick-off Celebration don’t worry, other events have been planned.   


August was a month of historical milestones, with events such as the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act; Medicare and Medicaid; and the 50th commemoration of the Watts Revolt.  Each of these events contributed significantly to the creation of CDU.  The month was also marked by the dedication of the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital.  CDU was honored to host the event on our campus on August 7th.  We are happy to welcome the hospital back to the community.


CDU was abuzz with activity this month.  There is much more I can report on. Instead, read more in this edition of the CDU newsletter. 





Dr. David M. Carlisle

President and CEO







Dr. Linda Lott, Pediatric Dentist, and CDU Alum, Remembers Why She Wanted to Study in Watts

As the pent-up energy that was released when Watts exploded in 1965, many institutions took root and sprouted toward the sun out of the area once called Mud Town. Dr. Linda Lott, an alumna of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU), (which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary next year) tells why she wanted to be trained where the action was.

“Yes, I wanted to study in Watts. On the west side of town dental care was very routine and I wanted to work with children who needed me,” said Dr. Linda Lott, a pediatric dentist, who trained at CDU and University of Texas Children’s Hospital. Many are unaware that a comprehensive dental program once launched the careers of many dentists of color.    Dr. Lott was also in the first class of African Americans to graduate from the UCLA School of Dentistry, and since her classmates were male, she has the distinction of being the first black woman to do so.

The Chicago native had travelled west to attend Occidental College. “But that was before President Obama,” she laughed.  “I followed Dr. Ronald Johnson who came from Harvard and set up the first pediatric dental program at CDU in 1973.  At the time Drew, as we called CDU then, was paired with Martin Luther King Hospital, and those of us in training did so at the hospital right across the street. 

“Martin Luther King Hospital was considered a real Mecca of medical training.  The Post-Doctoral training was the best of the best.  The doctors came from all over—Meharry, Harvard, Howard, University of Pennsylvania, and Walter Reed Hospital.  They came because they were dedicated and wanted to give back at this black mecca of higher learning,” she said.

“I know at UCLA they thought I was crazy because I turned down a residency at UCLA  in my Senior Year.  But what I learned at King/Drew, I am certain led me to achieve the top ‘pedo award’ in my class.”

She said there is a whole generation of dentists who were fortunate enough to get that training, and that many are still operating today and even teaching at top dentals schools and running their departments at universities like USC and UNLV. “It is tragic to look back to see it could not continue for whatever reason.”

“When we were in training we were doing OR (operating room) cases and were integrally involved with the pediatricians. It was like the TV show Grey’s Anatomy.  We had to live in the hospital overnight and be available on call for injuries such as broken jaws and front teeth.  We’d be summoned to the OR and work right alongside the doctors,” she remembered.

Dr. Lott knew she wanted to be a pediatric dentist since she was in the 5th grade.   “I had a great experience with my family dentist Dr. William Rogers of the Lake Meadows Dental Associates in Chicago. Dr. Thomas Barber was a colleague of my dentist and the head of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at UCLA.  Here I am walking into this huge medical school and he said to me ‘Linda, we’ve been expecting you!’  That meant a lot to know I had mentors encouraging me.”

At present, Dr. Lott has built a practice in Agoura Hills.  It’s all decked out in a child-friendly theme with bright marine colors.  She has raised three young ones of her own  to adult hood, and shares tips that helped many children have glistening white smiles and healthy strong teeth.

TIPS for Best Dental Care Outcomes:

1.      Bring your children to the dentist by age one. Many parents want to wait until the child can sit still but by then it may be too late. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends the first visit take place before their first birthday.

2.      Do not let anyone kiss the baby in the mouth, or put a spoon or fork in their mouths after it has been in someone else’s mouth.  Why?  “We know that Dental decay is transmissible and infectious. “ A lot of people don’t know this or never heard the concept that streptococcal mutans bacteria can cause bacterial disease even before a tooth has erupted and the child can be inoculated by a caregiver. If someone is feeding the child food from their plate and then  takes the same spoon and puts it in a healthy baby’s mouth, they could be transmitting the decay from their own mouths.

3.      Avoid Sugary food and beverages.  “Baby bottle tooth decay” also known as ECC (early childhood caries) occurs when  parents feed non nutritional beverages on demand to placate the child.   “I learned that children have to be taught to crave sugar.  If you wait as long as you can to introduce sugary food to them, their teeth have a better chance. Some parents still put cola and other sugary juices in baby bottles or even Kool aid to put the baby to sleep. The bacteria has to be there to cause decay, but many parents do not realize that the mouth naturally cleanses the teeth.  Their saliva bathes the teeth and rinses off acids and etc.  When a child is lying down, only the bottom teeth are getting saliva and the top teeth and tongue tend to dry out, which is why generally more cavities are on top teeth and are more susceptible to demineralization ( the dissolving of healthy tooth enamel).  

4.      Before sleep, wipe away the invisible film of bacteria on clean erupted teeth.   Give them sips of water after the last bottle feeding or breastfeeding.

5.      Don’t always turn to drilling and fillings.  There are other ways to stabilize teeth.

6.      If drilling is necessary, a child must be 25 to 30 pounds before given a sedative. The practice of wrapping a child papoose style to drill has gone out of vogue.

7.      A child needs their baby teeth so they can form words properly and to chew food.  Seriously decayed front teeth are often replaced with stainless steel to cover the brown nubs. A common replacement for decayed front teeth is stainless steel crowns that are  mostly seen on children in poor,  and immigrant communities.

8.      Brush and floss in the morning and at night and add a third brushing if possible (after three square meals).  Rinse with antibacterial rinses.  Opt for non-sugary xylitol chewing gum. A UCLA researcher experimented with Chinese herbs and extracts and developed a lollipop that fights bacteria with licorice root extract. If you eat one twice a day for two weeks it will make the bacteria that causes acids to become inactive and tricks the bacteria to turn off.

9.      Fluoride, from a health stand point, is one of most effective ways to prevent tooth decay.  There has been some controversy about its cost and effectiveness.  There has been no documented downside to using it.  The fluoride absorbs into the hard structure of the teeth and prevents tooth enamel from breaking down.  Remember, some people need it more than others. Children between the ages of 7 and 20 years of age are more cavity prone because of increased consumption of sports drinks and snacking. Parents have less control over what their children consume, especially at sleepovers and during the school day. The schools are partly responsible for making sodas and unhealthy snacks too available during the school day. Nothing beats clean filtered water for drinking.

10.  Thorough brushing and flossing before bedtime, rinsing with antibacterial washes that contain minerals and fluoride will get into hard to reach areas.  You’re going to have a good outcome, and less expensive repairs. “I really believe most problems with teeth are avoidable with knowledge and access to proper care.”

11.  Always make sure you have healthy and fresh foods, like bite size chunks of fruits and vegetables for the best outcomes. Organic is best, but fresh is imperative.

12.  I don’t recommend braces until the patient is mature enough to keep their mouth clean.  Any time you have something in your mouth other than your natural teeth can make it difficult to keep your mouth bacteria free. If indicated make sure the child is doing an effective job with their hygiene so they will have beautiful straight teeth with no ugly marks or avoidable cavities around the ortho brackets.  If not, wait later. After your child has four upper and lower permanent front teeth even if there are still baby teeth present it is a good time to have an orthodontic evaluation. It is not necessary to wait until all of the baby teeth have fallen out. Some malocclusions (crooked teeth)  need to be identified sooner. “Some children need expanders, otherwise their face is going to be lopsided. If you do decide to get braces for your child, make sure to train them how to care for their teeth to prevent tooth decay under the braces,” Dr. Lott concluded.  Sometimes it takes a group effort, more frequent dental hygiene visits and home help from parents.

To learn more from Dr. Linda Lott, her practice is located at Ocean Adventure Dentistry, 28040 Dorothy Dr., Suite 201, Agoura Hills, California, 91301.  Phone: (818) 889-2061. For inquiries email:  oceanadventuredentist@aol.com

 About CDU

 CDU is a private, nonprofit, nonsectarian, medical and health sciences institution. Located in the Watts-Willowbrook area of South Los Angeles, CDU has graduated more than 575 medical doctors, 2,700 post-graduate physicians, more than 1,200 physician assistants, 615 nurses and hundreds of other health professionals. CDU’s mission is to develop a diverse group of health professional leaders who seek social justice, promote wellness, provide care with excellence and compassion and are uniquely qualified to transform the health of underserved populations through outstanding education, research and clinical services in the context of community engagement. For more information, visit www.cdrewu.edu/.













Captions:  Dr. Linda Lott is pictured with: Suzanne P. Berger, D.D.S. and John S. Chen, D.D.S.


CDU in the News: Media Hits

Click to links to read articles about CDU staff, faculty and students you might have missed:

Dr. Cynthia Gonzalez:  Media Darling of the Watts 50th Commemoration Coverage: Watts native, Dr. Cynthia Gonzalez was on the front cover news-story for the LA Times and LA Daily News.  As a result, she also interviewed with BBC international and KCRW (NPR).   Also, she was part of a commemorative panel at WLCAC and moderated a panel for Mayor Garcetti’s event: Watts 50 Years Later


Daily News:  Upcoming Events Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Watts Riots:


Wave Newspapers:


Our Weekly:

http://ourweekly.com/news/2015/aug/06/health-renaissance-south-l/ Dr. Ross


Dr. Theodore Friedman, M.D., Ph.D.Chairman, Department of Internal Medicine, Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Molecular Medicine, Endowed Professor of Cardio-Metabolic Medicine, Lead Physician, Endocrinology, Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient CenterChairman, DHS Endocrinology Work Group, Professor of Medicine-Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science


KABC News Clip on Obesity Class: http://abc7.com/health/dancing-with-doctors-a-new-program-for-obese-patients/919515/

Loretta Jones, MA CDU Community Faculty Professor met dignitaries from all over the world at the United Nations when she was honored there recently.  Read article at the link: CDU Community Faculty/Researcher Loretta Jones Honored at United Nations


 Dr. Sheldon D. Fields, Dean of the MMDSON at CDU was recently featured in an article in “Minority Nurse” (July 1, 2015) on why Gender diversity in the workforce matters. http://minoritynurse.com/why-gender-diversity-in-the-workforce-matters/










COM Student Ebony King Awarded at Detroit NMA 2015 RECAP

The 113th Annual National Medical Association (NMA) Convention and Scientific Assembly convened  in August 1-5, 2015 in Detroit, Michigan made famous for its cars and Motown. Medical professionals gathered to share best practices, new research, medical trends and more.


The convention also served as a forum to celebrate members’ accomplishments and to strengthen partnerships and collaborations between individuals and organizations. This year’s NMA recognized CDU with the President’s Award, received by President and CEO Dr. David M. Carlisle. CDU student, Ebony King was awarded an NMA OB/GYN Section Scholarship.


The CDU Annual Alumni and Friends Reception was held on Monday, August 3rd, 2015 at the Detroit Marriott. In attendance were Dr. David Satcher, former Surgeon General, Dr. Randy Hawkins, President of Charles R. Drew Medical Society (CRDMS), Dr. Khadijah Lang, immediate past President of CRDMS  and many other alumni and supporters. President Carlisle gave an update of the University followed by Dr. Daphne Calmes, Interim Dean of College of Medicine and 4th year College of Medicine student, (name) who shared a compelling story of why she joined CDU and the positive impact that it has had in her life in pursuing her lifelong mission of serving underrepresented populations. Several guests including Drs. Hawkins and Lang shared comments praising the accomplishments of the University and renewing their commitment to strengthen partnerships going forward.

The President of the National Medical Association (name) stopped by and gave remarks congratulating CDU on its upcoming 50th Anniversary and urged faculty of CDU to be more involved in activities of NMA.

Deborah Gill, daughter of the late Dr. Gus Gill, reported that the Otolaryngologists honored her esteemed father at a luncheon at the convention.

No trip to Detroit would be complete without a quick jaunt to see Motown and Hitsville USA.  Photos are at the link:

Next year’s 114th Annual assembly will be held here in Los Angeles, CA the last weekend in July. 


September: Join us Thursday, September 10, 2015 for the Charles R. Drew University Alumni Association Reception in Las Vegas, Nevada.  For more information please contact Alumni Associate, James Reed at (323) 563-4983 or email jamesreed@cdrewu.edu.


Submitted  by  Edna Yohannes, Director of Development


Dr. Cynthia Gonzalez: Reflections on the Recent Intense Media Focus on Watts and its 50 Years Since the 1965 Watts Revolt.


In a flash, Dr. Cynthia Gonzales found herself in the center of a media storm.  In this piece she looks back at her journey through the coverage showing that a new story of Watts has emerged.

On the week of July 20th, I participated in the Pardee RAND Summer Faculty Workshop in Policy Research and Analysis. During my time at the RAND headquarters in Santa Monica, I received a call from a representative of the Office of Councilman Joe Buscaino of the City of LA Council District 15, which includes Watts. I was informed that a reporter from the Los Angeles Times was interested in interviewing me regarding Latinos in Watts. He mentioned that it was an urgent matter and that I would need to meet with her soon.  Thursday, after my fellowship, I was picked up from Santa Monica and driven to Watts to meet with the reporter, Esmeralda Bermudez. 

This initial meeting required that I drive around Watts with her and a photographer. She was interested in seeing my perspectives on Watts and the community.  I took her to many places including the housing developments, the business corridor beautification project I supported with LA Mas, the Watts Towers, Watts Serenity Park, and many others.  I saw how impressed she was and how she didn’t expect to see so many Latinos in the community.  She usually worked in the Boyle Heights/East LA area when it came to reporting on Latinos. She definitely struggled with the popular assumption that South LA/Watts continues to be a black majority neighborhood.  

After multiple questions about my upbringing and the integration of Black and Latino folks in Watts, I noticed that she was seeking a “dramatic” perspective. I asked that she honor the story of shared struggles and multi-racial engagement and solidarity in the community rather than a divisive narrative. During my work as a student organizer, I was trained on how to speak to media and so I was able think about my own story and personal perspectives, but I understood that there were more perspectives she was collecting, which I could not control.

I mentioned to Esmeralda that thanks to a Black homeowner in Watts, my parents became homeowners
in Watts. I grew up in Watts when the majority of its residents were Black and I owe a lot of my critical consciousness to those friends, neighbors, and mentors. I asked that in order to interview me, she would need to unpack the complex layers of community dynamics, not unique to Watts, but to all low-income minority neighborhoods that are under-resourced, impacted by poor public policy (something I have learned from Timothy Watkins, President and CEO of WLCAC), and lack investment. 

I mentioned that a historical analysis and the need to honor the legacies of the black power movement and struggle for civil rights in Watts continue to live in the neighborhood. Since the piece Esmeralda was writing was part of 15-story series honoring the 1965-Watts Revolt, I found it important to relate 1965 to the current conditions. In 2013, I co-led the Watts Community Studio, a needs assessment in Watts supported by the Office of Councilman Buscaino. The findings included similar community priorities like that of the McCone Commission Report, which offered recommendations for community development after the 1965-Watts Revolt. Though many programs and resources came into Watts (Cal State Dominguez Hills, CDU, WLCAC, MLK Hospital, Watts Health Foundation, Kaiser Learning Center, and many social services), why do we still encounter similar conditions in a neighborhood that is no longer predominantly black?

The initial contact with Esmeralda led to multiple meetings over the following week.  Simultaneously, I was contacted by other media outlets and agreed to do an interview with the LA Daily News. Esmeralda, meanwhile, interviewed many Latinos, community leaders, and residents. She often called me to confirm data, perspectives, and my story. She met my parents, we continued our tour, kept constant communication, and participated in a photo shoot with my parents. I witnessed her intent to speak to the multiple complex layers of community dynamics in Watts and those we unpacked during our conversations. She and her co-author were active in the neighborhood and completed their piece, which was scheduled for print on Tuesday, August 11th 2015, exactly 50 years since the 1965 Watts Revolt. After review from the editors, the story was moved to print for the Sunday paper; little did I know that the piece would be the front story of the LA Times. My intent was to tell my story that would challenge dominant perspectives, while the collective piece printed on Sunday included a complex subtitle.

The following week included a series of events in Watts and reactions to the Sunday story from various stakeholders; something I wasn’t ready to experience. I received many accolades (including multiple emails from my current students and alumni) and support from various leaders in the community. Many advised me that folks would react to the piece differently because of the overall collective story and subtitle; whether folks agreed or not, everyone felt that this topic was a necessary discussion. Either way, I found the piece to support the complex dynamics in Watts and honor how the Watts community can become a model for collective histories, shared struggles, and multi-cultural advocacy that honors the history of a community that, 50 years later, continues to experience injustice and discrimination.

I was invited to tell my story at the WLCAC’s Commemorative Event, have the honor to share a seat with Joe Hicks during a BBC radio interview (reaching over a million listeners), and interview with KCRW. I also heard from Telemundo, KTLA, and Univision, but could not find the time.  Though the media worked to highlight the 50th, the week of the commemorative events became a space of reflection and constant challenges for me. My story attempts to include a critical perspective about growing up in a low-income minority neighborhood, but it is rather personal.  I do not have a publicist, but I do have a passion to serve and tell a different story about Watts than the usual stigmatizing narratives.  How can a community become self-sufficient if it is constantly trying to survive? On the other hand, it becomes resilient because people continue to survive in spite of all the challenges they encounter as a result of low-performing education, unemployment, inadequate housing, and poor access to care.

I cannot capture everything that happened during this week of commemoration: the panels, the service events, the radio and media coverage, the youth event at WLCAC, the community party at a local vacant lot, the Watts Village Theater company’s Riot/Rebellion play (which is still happening and everyone should go see), and the event at CDU where numerous elected officials and community leaders gathered. The spotlight was on Watts and we were busy, as a community, trying to reflect, remember, and recount, while also learning. What I can share is the passion that all of the leaders expressed.

At CDU, I moderated a panel on Social, Economic, and Political conditions in Watts. This panel had the largest audience and highlighted a broad spectrum of topics. We had a critical discussion and we were able to identify next steps (after the spotlight dims out).  The opportunity to moderate allowed me to continue my passion as a student of Watts and its leaders, while attempting to capture a collective vision. A significant plan of action resulted from this panel and I am excited to move into the future with action and advocacy through community-based participatory research, collaborations, and education.

Isidra Person-Lynn, CDU Communications Specialist, offered a list questions for me to write this reflective piece and though I feel I’ve answered most, she asked if I prefer print, radio, or TV: I would say I prefer action. If media outlets help challenge dominant narratives that stigmatize communities like Watts and open conversations regarding action, then I am open to any and all opportunities. I think that the spotlight on Watts and the various media portrayals cover the spectrum of stigmatizing narratives to critical dialogues regarding action and advocacy for the community as it relates to the 50 years of Watts. I think these pieces also offered educational opportunities and brought many folks together.  There was so much coverage on this 50th and now we have to ask ourselves how will we use it?

I did not expect my interview to include the wave that came over me. My advisors suggested I “ride” it and utilize the opportunity to support my community.  I felt overwhelmed, but also humbled and came out stronger out the experience.  I took notes, reflected, and used it as an opportunity to grow and learn. Two major themes that came up for me included:

Those who do not learn from their past are destined to repeat it.

We have to come together as a community in which folks who have been here for many years can share how far we’ve come and others can identify how far we have to go. Together we are stronger and we need to understand this juncture between folks.

To clarify the language between riot, revolt, rebellion, and uprising depends on the perspective and choice. I choose revolt because, by definition, the term calls for a community pushing against the status quo. It is unjust for people to live in neighborhoods that do not offer the basic human needs like quality education, housing, employment, and livelihood.  If people can’t live, work, shop, and play in their own communities, there is something significantly unjust and we can’t be surprised by the poor health outcomes that result.  In 1965, the Watts community constantly encountered poor basic human needs, discrimination, and violent encounters with law enforcement and revolted against this unjust way of life. Now, we need to ask ourselves, given the local and national coverage, have we learned from our past?

Cynthia Gonzalez, MPH, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the College of Science and Health MPH Program in Urban Health and Assistant Director in the Division of Community Engagement. She was born and raised in Watts where she attended Grape Street Elementary School, Markham Middle School, and King/Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science. She is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, Javier and Maria Gonzalez. Dr. Gonzalez continues to reside in Watts and is happily married. She hopes to develop into an independent researcher focused on place-based initiatives that address health disparities and social determinants of health in low-income minority inner-city neighborhoods. She would like to utilize research as a tool for advocacy in these neighborhoods through policy, planning, and public health.  



The Official Kickoff to CDU's 50th Anniversary on the Hornblower Cruise

At the end of a busy work week over 100 CDU supporters, family and friends made their way to Marina Del Rey for an evening cruise on the Hornblower.  The air was fresh, the mood was festive and the time was right to officially kick-off of the year-long celebration of CDU’s 50th Anniversary from August 22nd2015 to August 22, 2016!


Here are some of the highlights shared by those in attendance:


President and CEO Dr. David M. Carlisle looked dapper in his captain’s hat at the helm of the Hornblower.  He and his wife –the other Dr. Carlisle—Dr. Sylvia Carlisle—enjoyed the evening greeting guests.


Many enjoyed the feel of their hair blowing in the wind on the top deck as the sun set and the boat maneuvered through the Harbor. On the second deck popular bar and dinner adorned in blue and white table cloths was set up.   Down below, the colorfully frocked band of the evening “Funkalicious” kept the party going.  Other guests amused themselves in the interactive photobooth—using props which elicited peals of laughter.


The Mistress of Ceremonies, Tonya King, recounted some of her 17 years at CDU. You may watch a portion of her speech here.  And the President’s speech can be viewed here.


Dr. Carlisle proposed a toast to CDU, “50 years of Legacy, 50 years of mission and 50 years of the future and beyond. Cheers and congratulations.” View all snippets here.


Other program highlights included Tim Watkins, President and CEO of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee.  He said CDU is celebrating  with confidence and dignity  and an outpouring as was evidenced by the turnout of this event.  The Watts native followed his father’s directive: “Don’t move, improve.” WLCAC is also celebrating its 50th year, and Tim remembers the beginning of CDU. “I was there when Keck was built, when Cobb was built and when the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing was built. I remember the passage and parade of good folk that have come through this place.  Hats off to the institution for still being here,” he said.


Dr. Khadijah Lang also gave very nice and personal account of her experience of the University.  Dr. Lang is also a CDU alum.


The evening’s emcee, Tonya King, Project Administrator, Offices of Administration and Legal Affairs, soon to join the Office of Strategic Advancement, introduced April Miller as being the current staff member of the month as well as the front face of HR. Tonya said that she is a pleasure to work with. April said that she was going to wear her tiara for the remainder of the month, before she started pulling the winning tickets.


Many ticket buyers for the cruise were excited to be entered to win the drawing.  And here are our fortunate winners!



Drawing #1:  Jennifer Tabalanza, Finance,  who won the grand prize tech basket

Jennifer said “I was at the bar because I never win anything. But I asked what the winning number was and it was mine!”  In the basket was Kindle Fire with a Blue Tooth Speaker and a portable multi USB charger. Her 10 year-old son has taken it over to set it up. 


Drawing #2:  Jackie Beaupre, Project Officer of Faculty Affairs for the College of Medicine, a division of  Academic Affairs.


Jackie said, “I was very surprised.  I never win anything either and I was so excited!”  She won the Wine Basket, with two bottles of wine, pasta and pasta sauce!


Drawing #3  James Reed, Alumni Associate in OSA won the  Gas Card.  He said “That was perfect because I needed gas!”


From the hors d'oeuvres to the dinner to the drinks and dancing (the Electric Slide, of course!) with Funkalicious, the Cruise was a fun night to remember!

And so we are underway! Stay tuned for more celebratory events.




MMDSON Student View from Inside the Special Olympics

From Inside the Special Olympics: Nicole Daniels, Student Nurse

Nicole Daniels, CDU Student Nurse, who participated in the nursing mission for the Special Olympics at UCLA gave this summary of her experience:

“It was an enriching experience meeting the Special Olympics athletes, and nurses from various parts,” said Nicole Daniels, a student at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU).  “It was a great networking opportunity.  My favorite was the long conversation I had with a nurse with 31 years of experience.  Dr. Evers Manley coordinated the overnight care which is where most of us worked, although some did work during day competitions or accompanied doctors as they  traveled  around the Special Olympics village.”

Ms. Daniels, who recently passed her boards and is now just weeks away from leaving CDU, was in Cohort 7, but Cohorts 8 and  totaled almost  100 CDU Student nurses who gave up their  nights to provide health care with the Olympic Village. 

Ms. Daniels was impressed with the technology support. “We were very well supported with technology to help us follow the established protocols. We had walkie talkies,  cell phones and even tablets with an app that would allow a patient to communicate with a doctor through Webex at another facility via video conferencing.  It also allowed us to document what happened on each case. If something was more serious the athlete was simply referred  to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

“Supplies were very basic so you had to bring things like scissors.  We were only given pain relief medication. Since athletes could not have any medications in their rooms they were held in the nurses’ station.  They had to come to us to get insulin or other regular medications they took daily.  If they were suffering from dehydration they would stay in the nurses’ area until rehydrated.”

Overall, she termed the experience as “Great.”  She enjoyed meeting the athletes from all over the world.  The nurses ate with them during dinners and breakfasts .  She noticed they were very friendly but also very serious. They would read her nurse’s shirt and smile if they could not speak English.

On the 2nd to last night –the energy revved up with the athletes loudly greeting new friends they would now part with because they were leaving the next day.

“It was very pleasant, overall, said Nurse Daniels.  “I think CDU’s participation made the program look good.  While it was not medical mission work abroad, it was still relevant for our students to experience populations from all over the world.  And it is very good for us to be present in the Los Angeles Community,” she said.

Until August 3rd, close to 100 select nurses in Cohorts 7, 8 and 9 of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing provided health care services overnight to the aching limbs of over 7,000 athletes from all over the world in the living Quarters of the campuses of USC and  UCLA.  Some will be providing services on the actual field of play, Healthy Athletes  as well as provide translation services.  CDU’s nurses represent a plethora of languages besides English:  Spanish, Farsi, Arabic, French, Russian, Amharic, a variety of African and Asian Languages, including Ibo, Yoruba, Chinese and Tagalog.

For this intense learning experience of working with those with special needs and disabilities, the nurses will earn course credit.  The student nurses, many of whom are already working nurse were supervised by Faculty

At the request of the Special Olympics Organizing Committee, MMDSON Associate Dean Shirley Evers Manley coordinated and develop the standardized procedures used for not only the SON nurses but those from USC, UCLA, Kaiser and nursing schools throughout Southern California as well.

While these services are priceless, they cumulatively landed CDU at the Champion sponsor level and CDU was listed as sponsor at various entrances throughout the Olympic villages and the arenas of competition.

Until August 3rd, close to 100 select nurses in Cohorts 7, 8 and 9 of the Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing provided health care services overnight to the aching limbs of over 7,000 athletes from all over the world in the living Quarters of the campuses of USC and  UCLA.  Some will be providing services on the actual field of play, Healthy Athletes  as well as provide translation services.  CDU’s nurses represent a plethora of languages besides English:  Spanish, Farsi, Arabic, French, Russian, Amharic, a variety of African and Asian Languages, including Ibo, Yoruba, Chinese and Tagalog.

For this intense learning experience of working with those with special needs and disabilities, the nurses will earn course credit.  The student nurses, many of whom are already working nurse were supervised by Faculty

At the request of the Special Olympics Organizing Committee, MMDSON Associate Dean Shirley Evers Manley coordinated and develop the standardized procedures used for not only the SON nurses but those from USC, UCLA, Kaiser and nursing schools throughout Southern California as well.

While these services are priceless, they cumulatively landed CDU at the Champion sponsor level and CDU was listed as sponsor at various entrances throughout the Olympic villages and the arenas of competition.


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