Josh and Friends praises WesternU

By Jeff Malet, Writer/Photographer

LOMA LINDA, Calif. - 10/07/2010 --

Josh and Friends SlideshowJosh and Friends founder Dr. Randy Lange recognized WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) students, who are part of the Josh and Friends Josh Challenge, as top fundraisers four of the past five years during an event at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital (LLUCH) Monday Oct. 4, 2010.

Dr. Lange and Josh, a golden retriever, visited Loma Linda to learn more about how WesternU's Josh Challenge is a successful role model in raising funds for the cause, and to have a meeting with local collaborators, including UC Riverside students, the American Legion and LLUCH. The meeting was also used to create a teaching DVD for hospitals that they can use for children, patients or parents. WesternU's CVM students and faculty showcased their community outreach in a hospital room packed with about 80 people.

The Josh Challenge is a friendly competition where veterinary schools' student chapters of the American Veterinary Association (SCAVMA) raise money to help children overcome many of the fears they experience when faced with a hospital visit.


"It's a special way to enhance the human-animal bond in all aspects," said Jennifer Scudder, second-year CVM student and Josh Committee co-chair. "Veterinary medicine does not just involve animals. At WesternU, we take more of a one-medicine approach. The Josh Project is a great way to incorporate that into doing something else for the children."

In addition to Scudder, CVM students who attended the event included Josh and Friends Committee co-chairs Erica Faulhaber and Hannah Goorsky as well as committee member Brandi Bayliff. Dean Phillip D. Nelson, DVM, PhD, and wife Doris also showed support with Wendell J. Cole, DVM, DACT, Professor of Theriogenology, Director Phase II, Peggy L. Schmidt, DVM, MS, DACVPM, Associate Professor of Population Medicine, Director Phase III and Thomas G. Fox, PhD, Senior Vice President and his wife Mary.

WesternU's Josh Challenge committee raised more than $5,000 last year and has been the No. 1 fundraising school in the nation. In the past two years, the challenge has raised $70,000 nationally.

Money raised by each school is used to purchase Josh Kits, which include a Josh puppy and the book, "I'll be O.K." for children. Josh and Friends makes a contribution to the Children's Miracle Network for every book and puppy purchased.

LLUCH's Sharon Riesen, M.D., behavioral developmental pediatrician and pediatrics residency program director at UC Riverside, championed the event and encouraged everyone to vote once a day during the month of October for Project Josh and Friends Pepsi Refresh Campaign at http://refresheverything.com/joshandfriends. The group with the most votes can win a $50,000 grant from Pepsi.



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