Seven top healthcare professionals comprise the new consulting team for the three-year-old MA in biomedicine program at Eastern Mennonite University. Among the seven is the former dean of Harvard Medical School.
The biomedicine program prepares students for careers in medicine, hospital administration, teaching and other fields. Many of the current students did not pursue majors in college that would lead to healthcare careers but decided later that’s what they wanted. Fewer than half of the students came directly from undergraduate studies.
This graduate program offers three tracks – biomedical science, biomedical teaching and biomedical leadership.
The consulting team, led by longtime Richmond physician Joseph Longacher, will provide EMU’s biomedical professors and students with “real-world experience, insights and advice,” says Roman Miller, PhD, director of the MA in biomedicine program. If all goes as expected, the team members will serve as resources for, and connectors to, the larger clinical and medical-academic worlds, leading to interesting research projects and clinical practicums. The team held its first meeting in December 2014.
The seven team members are (in alphabetical order by last name):
• J. Robert Eshleman: He has been a professor for some 50 years at the school where he earned his degree as a dentist − the School of Dentistry of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, Virginia. For nine of those years he chaired the restorative dentistry department. A member of the class of 1956, he received the school’s “outstanding service award” in 2009.
• Joseph Longacher: For most of his career he was a practicing gastroenterologist in Richmond who also taught the subject at the McGuire Veterans Administration Medical Center. Beyond his medical work, he frequently served in roles supportive of his community and church. He is a 1959 graduate of EMU. In addition to chairing EMU’s biomedicine consulting team, he is the program’s scholar-in-residence on a volunteer basis.
• Randall Longenecker: A longtime family physician and program director for a rural residency program in Bellefontaine, Ohio, he is now assistant dean of rural and underserved programs at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Athens, and executive director for The RTT Collaborative, a nationwide nonprofit network of rural medical education programs. A 1975 EMU graduate, he earned his MD from the School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
• Joseph B. Martin: former dean of the School of Medicine at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and professor of neurobiology. Earlier he was dean of the medical school at the University of California at San Francisco, followed by a term as chancellor of the entire university. He completed his bachelor’s degree at EMU, where he met his wife, and then returned to his native province to earn an MD from the University of Alberta. He also holds a PhD in anatomy from the University of Rochester.
• J. Phillip Moyer: He was a cardiologist for many years in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, affiliated with Grand View Hospital. A graduate of Goshen College, EMU’s sister Mennonite school in Indiana, he earned his MD from the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Following retirement, he has worked as a volunteer physician in India and a high school biology teacher in Albania.
• John D. Wenger: He is a family physician at the Integrative Medicine Center of Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg. A 1985 graduate of EMU, he got his DO from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Later he studied integrative medicine at the University of Arizona.
• Teresa Boshart Yoder: As director of women’s services at Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg, she spearheads the services at the new Funkhouser Women’s Center. Opened in 2013, the center offers treatment for breast cancer and other diseases as well as educational seminars and support groups. A registered nurse, she also has a master’s degree in nursing.