October 08, 2009 14:13 ET

Gala Celebrates Western Expansion

POMONA, CA--(Marketwire - October 8, 2009) - Western University of Health Sciences will showcase its unprecedented growth and expansion and raise money for student scholarships at the 29th annual "A Tribute to Caring" gala dinner on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009.

ATC will be held at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. This year's theme, "Western Expansion," reflects the continuing dramatic growth and impact of WesternU on the region and the nation. This year alone, WesternU has added four colleges, and soon will finish construction on 300,000 square feet of clinical and instructional space, as well as a 600-space parking garage.

WesternU will honor Drs. Daljit and Elaine Sarkaria with the Elie Wiesel Humanism in Healing Award and G. Patricia Beckman with the Humanitarian of the Year Award. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors will receive special recognition for its efforts on behalf of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, which partners with WesternU's College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific as a leader in osteopathic residency education and as one of COMP's core clinical rotation sites.

"Our honorees have left an indelible mark on WesternU and health care education as a whole," said WesternU President Philip Pumerantz, PhD. "The Sarkarias are long-time friends of the university, and we appreciate their faith in our vision. Ms. Beckman is a dedicated and respected supporter of science education. And the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has given invaluable support to our students on rotation."

The Sarkarias, of Orange, are longtime supporters of WesternU's research into Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. As part of WesternU's expansion, they recently made a major commitment to the University's new Health Education Center, and to supporting the establishment of the Dr. Philip Pumerantz Distinguished Lectureship.

G. Patricia Beckman's educational background mirrors WesternU's multidisciplinary approach to health care. She earned a bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy from Mills College and worked as an occupational therapist for nine years, and then returned to school to earn her bachelor's degree, RN degree and a certificate in public health.

Beckman is a dedicated advocate for science education. Her father, Dr. Arnold O. Beckman, is the founder of Beckman Instruments Inc., now Beckman Coulter Inc. He invented numerous scientific instruments that revolutionized the study and understanding of human biology. His acidimeter, the forerunner of the modern pH meter, earned him a place in the Inventors Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Mabel, also left a lasting philanthropic legacy through the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, which supports the advancement of science education and research.

"I told my dad the one thing I could do is follow that legacy, supporting science education for kids," Beckman said. "I do what I can."

As always, proceeds from A Tribute to Caring will provide much-needed scholarship support for students in our colleges of biomedical sciences, dental medicine, graduate nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, allied health professions, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine. WesternU's students are tomorrow's health care providers, combining medical and scientific expertise with a humanistic philosophy, and they will carry the University's message across the globe.

For more information about A Tribute to Caring, click here: http://www.westernu.edu/tribute/index.html

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