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Western University of Health Sciences


Western University of Health Sciences

Western University
of Health Sciences
Motto Educare, Sanare, Coniunctim (Latin)
Motto in English To Teach, To Heal, Together
Established 1977 (1977)
Type Private, non-profit, graduate
Endowment $12.5 million[1]
Chairman Richard A. Bond, DO
President Philip Pumerantz, Ph.D.
Vice-president Thomas G. Fox, Ph.D.
Provost Gary M. Gugelchuk, Ph.D.
Academic staff 317 full-time[2]
1,200 adjunct professionals
Admin. staff 700
Students 3,787[3]
Doctoral students 2,964
Location Pomona, CA, United States
Campus Urban, 22 acres (Pomona)[4]
Rural, 50 acres (Lebanon)[5]
Former names College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Website .eduwesternu
COMP Northwest Campus

Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) is a private, non-profit, graduate school for the health professions, with a main campus located on 22 acres (8.9 ha) in downtown Pomona, California, and an additional medical school campus on 50 acres in Lebanon, Oregon. WesternU offers degrees in osteopathic medicine, dental medicine, optometry, podiatric medicine, nursing, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, pharmacy, biomedical sciences, and veterinary medicine. With an enrollment of 3,916 students (2014–15),[3] WesternU is one of the largest graduate schools for the health professions in California, offering 21 academic programs in nine colleges. The university also operates two patient care centers, and has a pet wellness center on its Pomona campus.

Founded in 1977, the first program at WesternU was its medical school, the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP). Since that time, several additional programs have opened. When the College of Veterinary Medicine opened in 2003, it was the first veterinary school to open in the United States in 20 years. In 2007, WesternU became the first university in the nation to appoint a female as dean of a veterinary medical school. In 2009, three new colleges opened: dental medicine, optometry, and podiatric medicine. In 2011, the university opened an additional campus in Lebanon, Oregon known as the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific - Northwest (COMP-Northwest).

All of the programs at WesternU have professional accreditation, and the university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.[6] The medical school (COMP) is also accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation.


The school originally opened in 1977 as the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP), offering the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree (D.O.). COMP was the first osteopathic medical school in California to open after the California College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons became an M.D. granting school, eventually becoming the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. By 1977, COMP was the only osteopathic medical school west of the Rocky Mountains,[7] and it remained the only one in California until 1997, when Touro University California opened in Vallejo.[8] The inaugural class at COMP consisted of 36 students.[9]

In 1986, the college began offering a second degree, the Master of Science in Health Professions Education. Four years later, the physician assistant program opened, which developed into a masters level program in 2000. In 1992, the physical therapy program opened. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted the school accreditation in March 1996, and later that same year, the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific was restructured into a university and given the name "Western University of Health Sciences."[10] The same year, the first classes in the College of Pharmacy began.[10]

After difficulties with accreditation through the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Education,[11] the College of Veterinary Medicine opened in 1998. It was the first veterinary medical school to open in the United States since 1983,[11] and at the time, no member on the Council on Education had ever been involved in accrediting a new veterinary medical school. Classes began in 2003, and the college earned full accreditation in 2010.[12] The college was the first veterinary medical school in the United States to appoint a female to the position of dean.[13][14] In 2008, the university opened the Banfield Pet Hospital to the public.

In 2009, three new colleges opened at WesternU: podiatric medicine, optometry, and dental medicine.[15] The following year, in 2010, the Patient Care Center opened, offering medical, dental, optometric, podiatric and pharmacy services to the community. In 2011, Western University of Health Sciences opened a new medical school campus in Lebanon, Oregon called the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest.[16] The university plans to eventually open additional colleges at the Lebanon campus.[17]

The Chronicle of Higher Education named WesternU as a great college to work for in 2012 and 2013.[18][19] In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked WesternU 18th among all US medical schools for the percentage of COMP graduates going into primary care residents.[20] The university is the fourth-largest employer in Pomona, with more than 1,000 employees, and has greatly contributed to the economic development of downtown,[21] bringing millions of dollars to the area.[22]

Academics and accreditation

College Founded Accreditation[2]
WesternU 1996 Western Association of Schools and Colleges[6]
Allied Health 1996 American Physical Therapy Association[23]
ARC-PA [24]
Dental Medicine 2009 American Dental Association[25]
Graduate Nursing 2001 American Association of Colleges of Nursing's CCNE[26]
Optometry 2009 American Optometric Association[27]
Osteopathic Medicine - California 1977 American Osteopathic Association's COCA[28]
Osteopathic Medicine - Oregon 2011 American Osteopathic Association's COCA[28]
Pharmacy 1996 Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education[29]
Podiatric Medicine 2009 American Podiatric Medical Association[30]
Veterinary Medicine 2003 American Veterinary Medical Association[12]

Through its nine colleges, WesternU offers 21 academic programs, each on a semester schedule. Each program at WesternU is post-baccalaureate, focuses on a health sciences profession, and is professionally accredited. The university is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Doctoral degrees include the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Dental Medicine, Doctor of Optometry, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Doctor of Podiatric Medicine.

Several Master of Science (MS) programs are also offered, and include the following: Pharmaceutical Sciences, Health Sciences, Physician Assistant Studies, Nursing, Biomedical Sciences, and Medical Sciences. A Master of Science in Health Professions Education is offered to provide educational skills to health professionals interested in teaching. Two distance education programs are offered: the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Master of Science Nursing (MSN).[6] All other programs are traditional on-campus programs.

Interprofessional education

WesternU operates an [33]

As a part of the interprofessional education program, students meet in small groups with a faculty facilitator and discuss the non-clinical aspects of complex cases, such as interprofessional knowledge and awareness, financial or ethical challenges and communication barriers. In the 2010–11 academic year, the IPE program involved 850 students and 150 faculty members from the 9 colleges at the university. The development of clinical IPE rotations with grand rounds and journal clubs is being explored.[34]


WesternU conducts research on several subjects in the basic and clinical sciences. The three primary research areas include: neurobiology, molecular / metabolic diseases, and infectious disease / immunology.[35] Specific neurobiology subjects include: Alzheimer's disease, central nervous system diseases, genetic disorders, environmental pathologies, and stem cell therapy.[35] Specific molecular and metabolic disease subjects include: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.[35] Research on infections and immunology includes tuberculosis, Mad cow disease, avian flu, and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.[35] Research is funded by the National Institute of Health, the OneSight Foundation, The Potts Foundation, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, the American Lung Association,[36] and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.[37][38]

Patient care and education

Patient Care Center (Pomona campus)
Services include medical care, podiatry, dentistry, pharmacy, and optometry.

Western University of Health Sciences has two patient care centers, one in Rancho Cucamonga, California, and the other on its main campus in Pomona, California. The Pomona Patient Care Center opened in May 2010, and serves more than 10,000 patients per year.[39] The Patient Care Center includes a Medical Center, Foot & Ankle Center, Eye Care Center, Dental Center and Pharmacy. The center is also home to the Western Diabetes Institute, an accredited diabetes education center.[40] The institute is a patient-centered practice unit designed to provide efficient, high quality care to diabetic patients. The Rancho Cucamonga Patient Care Center opened in 2008 and provides family medicine, internal medicine, and foot and ankle care.[41] WesternU is a member of the Association of Academic Health Centers.[42]

In 1998, the university established the Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy.[43] The Center advocates for the health needs of individuals with [43]

The Pumerantz Library provides a diabetes education program to the community in a partnership with the Pomona Public Library.[45] The project aims to help Spanish-speaking members of the community access reliable information about diabetes.[46]


Pomona campus

The Health Education Center building on the Pomona campus
The parking structure at E 2nd and S Towne Avenue.

The main campus of WesternU is located in downtown Pomona, California, with an official address of 309 East 2nd Street. The Pomona campus consists of 19 major buildings on 22 acres (8.9 ha),[4] and it has been the main campus since WesternU was founded in 1977. Upon the school's founding, a portion of the campus was extensively renovated from an outdoor shopping mall. Since that time, several buildings have been acquired and built, including a patient care center, a pet hospital, classrooms, and research facilities. There are two parks located on the urban campus.

The northeastern corner of campus contains the Health Education Center and Patient Care Center. Both buildings opened in 2010, along with a parking structure, as a part of a $100 million-expansion project at WesternU.[21] The Health Education Center is a 180,000-square-foot teaching and research facility that houses the medical, dentistry, podiatry and optometry schools.[39] The fourth floor of the Health Education Center is dedicated to research. The concrete parking structure has seven levels and contains 600 parking spaces.[47]

Directly west of the Health Education Center is the pet hospital on campus, the WesternU Pet Wellness Center. The facility was established in 2008 as the Banfield Pet Hospital, and transitioned to solely WesternU operation in 2014. The center provides primary care services such as vaccinations, spaying and neutering, microchiping, surgery, dental exams and cleanings, as well as flea, tick and heartworm control.[48] The center includes a surgical suite, an x-ray room, a half dozen exam rooms and isolation facilities.

A mixed-use building is located south of the pet hospital. The building, The Daumier at WesternU, is a 173,000-square-foot mixed-use building with student housing located at 3rd and Linden Street. Groundbreaking commenced in June 2013, and the building was completed in June 2014[49] at an estimated cost of $45 million.[50] The building, located on 3.6 acres, provides housing for WesternU students, as well as a fitness center, community pool, media room, and office space for the university. The Daumier was designed to LEED silver specifications.[51]

The central portion of campus contains Ethan Allan Park, the Health Professions Center (HPC), the Veterinary Medicine Center, and the Health Sciences Center. Ethan Allen Park is located directly west of the Pet Wellness Center. In 2006, the park was named in honor of Dr. Ethan Allen, founding chairman of the school's Board of Trustees.[52] The other park on campus is Centennial Park, a Pomona city park on the west end of campus. Directly south of Ethan Allan Park, the Health Professions Center houses the College of Pharmacy and contains several classrooms, research facilities, and a student commons area. The building was built in 1962 and was previously the Pomona bay area of California to the WesternU campus, and established an affiliation with the university.[54] The Health ScienceS Center is located directly west of the Health Professions Center. The HSC is a two-story, 72,000-square-foot building that contains the anatomy laboratory, an osteopathic manipulative medicine laboratory, and classroom space. The physical therapy program is based in this building, as well as the tutoring program. The Health Sciences Center was formerly a Nash Department Store.[22] The university began using the building in 1990, and then purchased it in 1993.[55]

The western portion of campus contains the Rodney P. Weinberg Center, which is home to the university's research center, the Pumerantz Library, and the Anderson Tower, formerly known as the Chase Bank building. The Weinberg Center contains 8,550 square feet dedicated to research purposes.[56] The Weinberg Center building was originally a JCPenney.[21] The Pumerantz Library, a 35,000-square-foot building, is located on the west edge of campus (3rd Street). The library opened at this location in August 2001, after the university acquired the building in 1998.[55] The building was originally constructed in 1929, and previously housed a switching station for the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph company.[57]

On the western edge of campus, located on Garey avenue and Second Street, is the Anderson Tower, a seven-story, 70,000-square-foot building. It was built in 1963,[58] and WesternU purchased the building from [59] The same month, WesternU reached an agreement with a power company, Washington Gas, to build 2,688 solar panels on three campus buildings.[60] The solar panels were completed in February 2014,[61] and will produce more than 1,100 megawatt hours of energy each year.[60][62]

Oregon branch campus

The main building for the Oregon campus

WesternU also operates a second branch campus on 50 acres in the town of Lebanon. The official address of the Oregon campus is 200 Mullins Drive. The sole program offered at the Oregon campus is osteopathic medicine (DO), although the university plans to establish additional programs at that campus.[17]

The Oregon campus is across the street from Samaritan Health Services' Lebanon Community Hospital,[16] Groundbreaking for the medical school campus began in June 2009, and it opened for classes in August 2011.[16] The new 55,000-square-foot (5,100 m2) building cost about $15 million,[63] and is the main component of a 50-acre medical campus.[5]

Campus safety

Each year, WesternU publishes a safety report, cataloguing any crimes that occur on campus.[64][65] In 2012 at the Pomona campus, there were two cases of robbery, six of burglary, one case of aggravated assault, and one motor vehicle theft.[2][64] In 2013, no crimes were reported at the Oregon campus.[64]


WesternU Demographics[66]
Asian/Pacific Islander 37%
Black/Non-Hispanic 3%
Hispanic 5%
Native American 1%
White/Non-Hispanic 38%
Unknown 16%

A total of 3,916 students are in attendance at WesternU for the 2014–15 academic year.[3] The average student age is 28 years. About 62 percent of WesternU students are female; 38 percent are male. About 38% are White/Non-Hispanic, 37% Asian/Pacific Islander, 5% Hispanic, 1% Native American, and the remaining students are of unknown ethnicity (16%).[3]

Students at WesternU participate in a number of clubs on campus[67] and an active student government association. There are several professional fraternities on campus, including Sigma Sigma Phi, Kappa Psi, Beta Sigma Kappa, Delta Sigma Delta, and Phi Lambda Sigma.

There is a theater troupe on campus, which hosts regular performance events. Students from the medical school (COMP) originally formed the theater group in 1985.[68] The students named their troupe "Sanus," which is the Latin word for "sanity."[68] The students said they used the opportunity to act and perform plays as means of relieving stress.[68] The theater troupe remains active, and students from other colleges also participate.[69]

Other officially recognized student organizations on campus include the following:[67]




See also


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Further reading

External links

  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • Patient Care Center
  • Banfield Pet Hospital at Western University of Health Sciences
  • Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy
  • Western Diabetes Institute
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