Four receive awards at UNMC Alumni Reunion

by Tom O’Connor, UNMC public affairs | October 10, 2008

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Those honored with alumni awards during Alumni Reunion Weekend include: Daren Knoell, Pharm.D., class of 1989, UNMC College of Pharmacy Alumni Association Early Career Achievement Award; Patricia Hageman, PT, Ph.D., class of 1979, UNMC Physical Therapy Alumni Chapter Distinguished Alumnus Award; Col. Kimberly Siniscalchi, class of 1988, UNMC College of Nursing Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award; and Paul Young, M.D., class of 1958, UNMC College of Medicine Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Four distinguished alumni were honored at the UNMC Alumni Reunion Weekend on Sept. 19-20 in Omaha.

The honorees and their awards included:

  • UNMC College of Medicine Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award - Paul Young, M.D., Lexington, Ky., Class of 1958;
  • UNMC College of Nursing Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award - Col. Kimberly Siniscalchi, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, Class of 1988;
  • UNMC College of Pharmacy Alumni Association Early Career Achievement Award - Daren Knoell, Pharm.D., Columbus, Ohio, Class of 1989;
  • Physical Therapy Alumni Chapter Distinguished Alumnus Award - Patricia Hageman, Ph.D., Ithaca, Neb., Class of 1979.

Paul Young, M.D.

A native of Fairfield, Neb., Dr. Young has enjoyed a long career in academic medicine. From 1967-75, he was at the University of Missouri and started the first approved family practice residency program in the state. In 1975, he returned to Nebraska to serve as professor and chairman of the UNMC Department of Family Practice.

From Nebraska, Dr. Young went on to become professor and chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He then joined the American Board of Family Practice as associate executive director and eventually was named executive director. Today, he is executive director emeritus.

Dr. Young is the founding editor of Family Practice Recertification and the Journal of the American Board of Family Practice. He has done consulting work with the Kellogg Foundation to help develop family medicine residences in Mexico and South America. He and his wife, Betty, are now retired and live in Lexington, Ky.

Col. Kimberly Siniscalchi

Col. Siniscalchi currently serves as Deputy Command Surgeon and Command Nurse, Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. She assists the command surgeon in leading the command's eight community-based medical treatment facilities, which provide combat support for more than 7,000 medical personnel and peace time health care for more than 435,000 beneficiaries. Her leadership experience includes eight years as the Air Force Nurse assigned to the White House Medical Unit, serving Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

In December, Sinascalchi will be promoted to major general. This is an accomplishment that is almost unheard of in the Air Force, as she skipped the brigadier general ranking and moved right to major general. She and her husband, Col. Joe Siniscalchi (Ret.), are in the process of moving to Washington, where she will be stationed at Bolling Air Force Base.

After earning her bachelor of science in nursing from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Col. Siniscalchi received her commission in 1979 through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She was then assigned to Offutt Air Force Base from 1982 to1988. During this time, she earned her master of science degree in nursing from UNMC and worked as a clinical nurse specialist.

Daren Knoell, Pharm.D.

A native of Chadron, Neb., Dr. Knoell joined The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy in 1994. He currently is director of the Heart and Lung Research Institute and associate professor in the departments of pharmacy and internal medicine. He also serves as a clinical pharmacist/asthma educator and is a member of the OSU Center of Pharmacogenomics.

Dr. Knoell has focused his research on lung disease and has secured highly competitive research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the American Lung Association, the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP).

Dr. Knoell's outstanding research has led to having numerous articles published in leading scientific journals, and he is frequently invited to present at national meetings. His accomplishments have earned him recognition as a Fellow in ACCP and committee appointments with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the NIH.

Patricia Hageman, Ph.D.

Dr. Hageman has been program director of the physical therapy education program in UNMC's School of Allied Health Professions for the past 19 years. At the end of this month, she will step down as program director to begin a year-long faculty development fellowship. She plans to continue as a tenured professor in the physical therapy education program and will focus her efforts on education and research in rural health and gerontology.

Throughout her career, Dr. Hageman has been a national leader in advancing physical therapy education. Nearly 70 percent of the UNMC physical therapy program graduates completed their course of study during the time she has served as program director.

During her tenure as director, the PT program has enjoyed continuous accreditation and underwent two major curriculum changes and degree conversions. The class size has grown 100 percent, going from 20 to 40 students, and the faculty has expanded from four FTEs in 1990 to the current 10.8 FTEs. UNMC's PT program is currently ranked in the top 15 percent of the nation's physical therapy programs by U.S. News & World Report.

One of the top accomplishments of the PT program under Dr. Hageman's leadership occurred in 2006 when the program was awarded the prestigious University-Wide Departmental Teaching Award from the University of Nebraska.