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A group photo of the Doctor of Chiropractic program graduates of the SCU Class of 2021

Southern California University of Health Sciences graduates 456 new healthcare professionals

Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) hosted its annual commencement ceremony today, conferring health science degrees to 456 graduates of the Class of 2021, who will now become Southern California’s newest healthcare professionals.

The live-streamed ceremony will be available for on-demand viewing and for downloading immediately after commencement, on SCU’s YouTube channel.

The class of 2021 represents a variety of SCU academic programs, with the following numbers of graduates graduating from the following programs:

  • 224 Doctors of Chiropractic graduates
  • 10 Doctors of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine graduates
  • 96 Master of Science Physician Assistant Program graduates
  • 39 Master of Science in Medical Science graduates
  • 25 Bachelor of Sciences in Basic Sciences and/or Bachelor of Sciences in Health Sciences graduates
  • 106 Ayurveda Practitioner graduates
  • 160 Ayurveda Wellness Educator graduates
  • 30 Massage Therapy graduates

With graduating healthcare students stepping into their roles at a most vital time, SCU President John Scaringe, DC, EdD spoke about the challenges facing today’s graduates as a result of the pandemic, thanked students for their dedication, and encouraged them as they take the next step in their careers as healthcare providers.

“We’re thrilled to be graduating 456 new healthcare providers, especially at a time in history when whole-person health is the most valuable asset of humankind. SCU is dedicated to increasing the number of healthcare providers in California, the nation, and beyond – by educating more students, as a result of increasing healthcare education programs and access,” said President Scaringe. “SCU offers the richest learning environment of alternative and integrative healthcare and healing arts on any campus in the nation. Our goal is to train future providers how to transcend traditional healthcare barriers and boundaries through an integrated approach to coordinated care for the whole person.”

The University’s 2021 commencement ceremony is the first SCU event to be held at the LA Coliseum, and the first in-person commencement, since the pre-pandemic era. The event was planned and operated under current covid-19 health and safety guidelines. Out of the 456 graduates, 228 attended the in-person ceremony.

Graduating Doctor of Chiropractic student and Class of 2021 summer graduate valedictorian, Andrew Woody Lane, said he couldn’t be more excited to begin his chiropractic career.

“Southern California has always been my home, and when I learned that I could pursue my passion of becoming a Chiropractor so close to home, the decision to attend Southern California University of Health Sciences was easy,” said Woody Lane. “Both my father and older brother are alumni of SCU, which made my experience attending the school unique and special. SCU has given me the education and tools to launch my career in a community that I love, and I am excited for what my future as a Doctor of Chiropractic has in store for me.”

The Woody Lane family are a legacy of success at SCU. Andrew’s father, Donald Lane, DC, graduated with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from SCU in 1989, and his older brother, Austin Lane, DC, graduated with his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from SCU in 2017.

Graduating Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine student and Class of 2021 fall graduate valedictorian, Jamie Kuljis, was excited to celebrate the completion of her degree with an in-person graduation at the LA Colosseum.

“It has been a challenging and unpredictable yet wonderful last 3.5 years in graduate school. Due to the pandemic and necessary move to predominantly remote learning many of us who started this journey together, spending late nights studying in the library and encouraging each other through our highs and lows, haven’t been able to spend much time together over the last 2 years. I am so grateful to get to spend a final day celebrating all our accomplishments in-person with each other and our friends and family. Congratulations to all the graduates, we made it!”

This year’s SCU commencement speaker was Samantha Simmons, MPH, CEO of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health, an organization comprised of national and international prestigious academic medical centers and health systems, representing thousands of researchers, educators and clinicians dedicated to whole health and health equity. Ms. Simmons also serves on the SCU Board of Regents.

An accomplished leader in the field of integrative medicine with an extensive background in many facets of driving transformation in healthcare through collaborative initiatives and strategic partnerships, Ms. Simmons spoke on the need to transform the nation’s healthcare system by driving utilization of models of whole person care for underserved populations through innovative initiatives and partnerships. She offered advice to the graduates, urging them to dedicate themselves to improving health systems through advocacy and collaboration. “Our health care system is not meeting the needs of population health and it is burning out the healthcare work force. You are the experts in integrative, whole person care. I hope you will find the courage to be fierce advocates for better healthcare for patients. Our society and nation needs you to do so.” said Simmons.

SCU, Southern California’s first and only chiropractic school, has educated more than 18,000 healthcare providers since it was founded in 1911.

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