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News & Press: General Announcement

Congratulations COMP Honors Award Winnters Alexi Shean and Kristina Van Nuys

Tuesday, April 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: David Walls
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Alexi Shean, OMS II and Kristina Van Nuys, OMS II were awarded the 2018 OPSO Honors Award for dedication to the osteopathic profession and leadership in advancing the principles and practice of osteopathic Medicine.


About Alexi


Alexi Shean is a native Oregonian. She grew up in Medford, Oregon and attended college at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Since starting school at COMP-Northwest she has been actively involved in the Rural health track, Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Oregon and Special Olympics. She served as president of the OPSO council of medical students and OPSO club and currently sits on the OPSO board as the student advisor. Through Special Olympics she served as both the head volleyball and basketball coach, from which she created a new community service learning project for the school. She also started a Special Olympics Oregon Team Wellness program as a capstone project for the Lifestyle Medicine track. Her work with OPSO and Special Olympics has inspired her to become a Family Medicine physician with a focus on treating intellectually and developmentally disabled patients. She plans to stay in Oregon to practice medicine in the future and hopes to one day serve as president of OPSO.


About Kristina


I was born and raised in Bedford, NY. I attended Johns Hopkins University and graduated in 2008 with a BA in International Studies. I worked as an inner city middle school teacher in Austin, Texas for a good portion of my 20’s. During my teaching years, I became a wife and a mother (I am now the VERY proud mother of three young children). It was the birth of my first son, Hudson, that started me on my journey towards becoming a doctor. My birthing experience gave me insight into the need for compassionate healthcare, and I wanted to be a part of that solution. Within three months of Hudson’s birth, I enrolled in my first set of science classes, began shadowing a physician, and purchased an MCAT prep book. Working full time, being a new mother, and going to school was a lot of work, but it was all worth it. In the Spring of 2016, I interviewed at COMP-NW. I was struck with how happy the students were and how friendly the faculty was. At the end of my interview, I asked my panel what advice they would give me and they told me to be balanced, be a mom, love my family, and they would ensure that I graduated. I was sold.

Since enrolling at COMP-NW, I have had the opportunity to be a part of quite a few projects. This summer I did research for Samaritan Hospital on early ambulation for patients who receive tPA. This research ended up being recognized by DNV, a government agency that surveys hospitals, and Samaritan has now changed their post-tPA ambulation protocols. I also co-created a cooking camp for rural children, with the goal of preventing childhood obesity by teaching children how to cook plant-based meals. This camp was so much fun, and the children who attended learned a lot. Best of all- it was free! The other co-creators and I did pre and post surveys with the camp and presented those results at two conferences and are currently finishing a paper for publication. I am also lead on a research project that is ongoing, based on the importance of having nutrition curriculum incorporated into the medical school education. Besides research, I have been able to really get to know my new community by spending time volunteering with various organizations such as the Old Mill Center, Shangri-La, and the Lebanon Elementary and High School. I have really enjoyed my time with the Teen Mom class at LHS and I have been able to create some fun events for the class, such as a baby food making day, and a field trip to COMP-NW for a pediatric OMM presentation. Giving back to my campus has been genuinely important to me, and I have accomplished this by cooking for the Nutrition in Medicine series, cooking for MedWell Wednesdays, and taking on leadership positions such as Lead ECM TA, Vice President of Sigma Sigma Phi Honor’s Society, and Co-President of the OB-GYN club.

Winning this award is absolutely humbling; there are not proper words to express the gratitude that I have. Instead of words, I will honor this award by showing a greater dedication to the community that is transforming me into a doctor. Although, I do not precisely know the field of medicine within which I will practice, I do know that whatever I do, I will do it with compassion, for I believe that a lot of the world’s problems could be solved if we all strived to give those around us a little extra empathy.


J.Scott Heatherington, DO Scholarship Winnters

Ryan Emery, OMS II

Kelly Kaneshiro, OMS II

 Nicholas Pettit, OMS II


Arthur O. Rott, DO Scholarship Winners

Matthew Johnson, OMS II

Austin Layton, OMS II

Maxwell Mirande, OMS II


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