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  • SCU graduates 479 new healthcare professionals in 2023

Southern California University of Health Sciences graduates 479 new healthcare professionals in 2023

WHITTIER, CA – (Dec. 19, 2023) Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) hosted its annual commencement ceremony on Monday, December 18, conferring health science degrees to 479 graduates of the Class of 2023. 

The commencement ceremony is available for on-demand viewing via SCU’s YouTube channel.

The Class of 2023 represents the broad variety of SCU’s academic programs, with the following numbers of graduates graduating from each respective program:

  • 175 Doctor of Chiropractic graduates
  • 14 Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine graduates
  • 1 Master of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine graduate
  • 115 Master of Science in Medical Science graduates
  • 51 Master of Science: Physician Assistant Program graduates
  • 47 Master of Science in Human Genetics and Genomics graduates
  • 15 Bachelor of Sciences in Health Sciences graduates
  • 28 Ayurveda Practitioner graduates
  • 23 Ayurveda Wellness Educator graduates
  • 3 Health Education graduates
  • 3 Human Genetics and Genomics graduates
  • 4 Pre-Genetic Counseling graduates

SCU President John Scaringe, DC, EdD congratulated the Class of 2023 and imparted reflections on leadership, a skill essential for the ever-changing and evolving landscape of health sciences and beyond.

“Leadership, in its true essence, is not a solitary endeavor, but a symphony of collective triumphs,” Dr. Scaringe said. “Reflecting on my own experiences, I’ve found that the most impactful successes often stem from a team’s collective work.”

“Leadership is about creating an environment where every individual feels valued and empowered. It’s about understanding that the strength of a university lies not in its name, or the buildings, but in its people,” Dr. Scaringe said. “Our faculty, staff, and students are the heartbeat of this institution. And as leaders, we must foster a culture of respect, dignity, and continuous learning.” 

“As you step into the next chapter of your lives, I encourage you to lead by example and be the change you wish to see. …Your journey has just begun, and I am confident that each of you will make a meaningful impact in your respective fields and the communities you serve,” Dr. Scaringe said. 

The University’s Class of 2023 commencement ceremony was held at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach.

This year’s SCU commencement speaker was Tracy Gaudet, MD. Dr. Gaudet is a leader in the development of Whole Health through decades of radically re-envisioning and implementing new approaches to address health outcomes and costs. She is co-founder of the Cornerstone Collaboration for Societal Change, the nation’s leading expert in whole health, and worked alongside SCU to develop the first-ever Doctor of Whole Health Leadership program.

Dr. Gaudet served as the founding Executive Director of the Whole Health Institute, as well as the Founding Executive Director of the Veterans Health Administration’s National Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation. This Office led VHA’s transformation to Whole Health, an approach to healthcare that empowers and equips people to take charge of their health and live their most meaningful lives. Under her leadership, Veteran Affairs (VA) healthcare delivery has been re-envisioned and is being implemented nationally.

Dr. Gaudet spoke to graduates about the need for whole-health professionals to transform the current healthcare systems and how they have the power to shape the future.

“The doorways to healing the body and mind are the heart and the soul. This is what the world needs. This is the fundamental, radical transformation of healthcare. Not to put the diseased body part at the center, but to put the heart and soul at the center,” Dr. Gaudet said. 

“The choice of your professional path and the nature of your SCU education have prepared you for this journey. In a time when the world is in great need of healing, whether or not you are aware of it, you can change the world. Each and every one of you,” she said. Following her speech, Dr. Gaudet was bestowed an SCU Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree by Dr. Scaringe.

Graduating Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine student Chloe Lee was named the SCU Class of 2023 valedictorian.

“It is truly an honor to be here today to reflect on my journey at SCU,” said Dr. Lee. “As I look back on my time at SCU, I’m grateful for all the challenges we’ve overcome, the friendships we’ve forged, and the unforgettable moments that we’ve made.”

SCU’s second Health Equity Award was presented at the Class of 2023 Commencement Ceremony. The Health Equity Award recognizes a graduate who has contributed to improving health equity at SCU and their community through commitment to advocacy, mobilization, research, and community involvement, to increase inclusion and equality. 

Nominees included Chloe Lee and Shanelle Green, and the recipient of the 2023 Health Equity Award was Master of Science and Medical Science graduate Tyler Wong. Melissa Nagara, DC, L.Ac, CCSP SCU Health Vice President read comments on Tyler’s behalf in his absence.

Tyler’s work is in the geriatric specialty, where he sees firsthand how age can further disadvantage the marginalized populations with which he works. Tyler hopes to be an agent of change, not just in a hospital or a clinic, but in the community, and truly connect with others. As an aspiring physician, Tyler says, “I vow to never let another patient feel they’re unworthy of being seen. I hope to provide patients from all walks of life the empathy, dignity, and inclusivity they deserve.” 

SCU has been a leader in educating students to be competent and caring integrative, whole-person healthcare practitioners since 1911.

SCU has a history of providing the highest levels of patient care and has gained a reputation for excellence in an evidence-informed curriculum. Learn more about how SCU prepares students to learn to understand and appreciate different approaches, treatment options, and philosophies of health and well-being at scuhs.edu.

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