The Pulse

July Alumni Reflection: Casey McCollum

For the July Alumni Reflection, Casey McCollum offered us a snapshot into her CBU experience.

Casey McCollum graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science, Pre-PA, with a minor in Global Studies. Casey is currently living in Corona with her husband Scotty, and 2 dogs Max and Cloe. She works as a Physician Assistant at a family practice clinic, as well as an assistant teacher for the PA department at Western University of Health Sciences. Way to go Casey!

Casey PA Photo - Cropped

The following are the questions and answers from our interview.  And also a huge thank you to Casey for allowing us an honest glance at her time at CBU.

Q: Why did you select CBU for your education?

A: I wanted to attend a University that would help me grow in my faith.

Q: What college subjects did you like the best?  The least?  Why?

A: I liked my health science classes the best because I find the human body so intricate and interesting.  History I liked the least because it was hard to relate it to what I wanted to do with my future career.

Q: Describe how your favorite course has contributed to your career interests.

A: Anatomy and Physiology gave me the knowledge foundation I needed in order to get accepted into PA school.  The subject material for that class was very challenging and it taught me hard work and dedication which helped me have a good work ethic once I started PA school.

Q: Describe your most rewarding college experience.

A:  I served as a resident assistant for years in the freshman dorms, and 1 year in the Lancer Arm apartments.  During that time I meet a lot of fun people of whom I am still close with today! That experience taught me how to be a servant leader. This is an invaluable lesson I am still learning now with my patients and the people I interact with on a daily basis.

Q: If you had one academic or campus life-redo, what would it be and why?

A: I would have spent more time getting to know my professors.  Towards the end of my senior year at CBU they helped me practice for my PA interview and were a great source of support and encouragement.  I wish I would have invested more time into those relationships during my first 3 years as a student.

And because we just had to know.

Q: Favorite CBU Food Item

A: CBU chicken bowl

Thanks Casey! And congratulations on  your success as a Physician-Assistant!

Morgan Miller
Health Science, Pre-Physician Assistant

Leadership Allied Health
Student Blogger

From the Field: Update from Africa #5

What do you mean I don’t need any medication?

After working in the clinic for the last week and a half we were all overwhelmed by the gratitude we were shown by our patients. To give you all some perspective the hospital charges $6USD for an evaluation and $3USD for a follow up treatment, 6USD is 10,000 shillings and that is their largest bill. Needless to say it is a lot of money for them to pay especially because there is little to no health insurance. On top of the money the patients paid the hospital there was a handful of women that also gave gifts to us clinicians, which was very humbling. Although we were providing a service and they were paying for it, they were truly blessing us with their kind spirits and grateful hearts.

Another thing to mention is that surprise! We weren’t able to learn Swahili on our 22 hour flight…let alone medical Swahili. Thankfully we were blessed with wonderful interpreters but by our last couple days we learned enough to communicate and treat our patients effectively. Additionally we all agree that in spite of the language barrier conveying God’s love through genuine interaction with our patients is a universal language. There were times when we could do very little for some of our patients but the action of physical touch or even a smile meant the world to them.

Our patient population consisted mainly of women between the ages of 30-50 yrs old. Most patients complained of chronic neck, low back, and knee pain..we quickly realized it was due to their life style. One of the questions usually asked in a patients history is “what do you do as an occupation?”, or for athletic trainers specifically, “what sport/position do you play?”, this allows the clinician to understand what is required of them functionally as well as what repetitive motions the patient may be doing to exacerbate their injury. What we found was that most women were home makers and would cook on the ground in a squatting position, sweep the floors by bending at the waist, and carrying heavy loads on their heads. Although we spent time treating our patients pain, we really focused on educating them on proper biomechanics, exercise, and nutrition. Many of us were surprised that these lifestyle concepts were foreign to all our patients. Healthy diet and exercise is not commonly practiced in this culture, especially by women.

One of the common observations by the women on the team was the overall cultural oppression of women. Our hope is that these ladies felt our love and subsequently the love of Christ during our brief interactions.

Isabel Archuleta and Hannah Hames

July: National Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

If you are anything like me, you may view the subject of arthritis as something our grandparents may have had. I definitely associated arthritis with the elderly population. Perhaps I came to this assumption because my grandma’s house lingered with the faint scent of Bengay. Well, it turns out this is pretty far from the truth. There is actually juvenile arthritis, which is an umbrella term used to classify those diagnosed with the disease that are younger than 16. The month of July is nationally recognized as: Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month.

Arthritis is a complex family of musculoskeletal disorders consisting of more than 100 different diseases or imagesconditions that destroy joints, bones, muscles, cartilage and other connective tissues, hampering or halting physical movement. The most common type of JA is juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). To receive a diagnosis, a child would most likely have initial swelling in one or more joints for at least six weeks. Over time, a child with JIA, also known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, may exhibit a variety of symptoms including muscle and soft tissue tightening, bone erosion, joint misalignment and changes in growth patterns.

No known cause has been pinpointed for most forms of juvenile arthritis, nor is there evidence to suggest that toxins, foods or allergies cause children to develop the disease. Some research points toward a genetic predisposition, which means the combination of genes a child receives from family members, may cause the onset of arthritis when triggered by other factors.

So now that we know the facts, what can be done? Unfortunately, there is no cure for juvenile arthritis. The goal of treatment for JA is to relieve inflammation, control pain and improve your child’s quality of life. Most treatment plans involve a combination of medication, physical activity, eye care and healthy eating. Whether it be through a pharmaceutical intervention, or therapeutic; every treatment plan is unique and requires that your child’s health care team, which might include a pediatric rheumatologist, dentist, ophthalmologist, nurse practitioner and physical therapist, among others.

Morgan Miller
Health Science, Pre-Physician Assistant

Leadership Allied Health
Student Blogger