Sanford Zelnick, D.O.’80, M.S., has taken the reins as president of the DMU Alumni Board of Directors, and Robert Good, D.O.’77, FACOI, joined the board as a new member, effective July 1. Dr. Zelnick will officiate and lead his first board meeting on Dec. 7.
Remaining on the board is immediate past president Pam Harrison Chambers, PA-C’92, M.P.H.’01. She was instrumental in starting DMU’s previous College of Health Sciences Alumni Board, serving as a member from 2005 until the transition to a single unified board in 2011. Elected Alumni Board president in 2015, she is director of clinical education for DMU’s physician assistant program.
“Des Moines University and its alumni have been well served by Pam’s leadership and dedication,” Dr. Zelnick said. “I certainly will rely on her advice. It is wonderful to have someone with her experience continue to serve on the board.”
Dr. Zelnick became director of the Sumter County, FL, Health Department in 2011 after serving four years as a senior physician in the Volusia County Health Department in Daytona Beach, FL. Prior to that, he completed a 24-year career in the U.S. Air Force Medical Service, retiring with the rank of colonel in 2007. His assignments in the Air Force included in the Department of Defense Manned Space Flight Support Office, where he was responsible for medical contingency training, planning and response in the event of space shuttle mishaps worldwide. For his published review on treatment of potential rocket fuel exposure as well as other contributions to flight safety, he was awarded the Silver Snoopy Award, a prestigious award given by the NASA astronaut corps.
Dr. Zelnick, whose father, Dr. Saul Zelnick, was a DMU faculty member, has been a member of the DMU Alumni Board since 2011. He notes that a primary reason alumni can be proud of their medical alma mater is because it “continues to produce a large number of exceptional professionals.”
“Look at the high percent of students passing their professional boards and matching with some of the most prestigious residencies in the country. Look at the wide range of experiences our students are receiving locally, regionally and globally,” he stated in his letter to fellow DMU graduates on the Alumni Board website. “Look at your peers and take some pride that the overwhelming majority of DMU graduates have respected positions as leaders in their communities, regardless of specialty or area of study. Look at the number of graduates taking training in primary care, addressing the most pressing needs of our society.
“Finally, but of equal importance, note the diverse backgrounds our students come from,” he added.
Robert Good is the chief medical officer at Health Alliance and the Carle System Medical Management in southern Illinois. He has practiced internal medicine with Carle Health System since 1996 and has served in several leadership positions, including regional medical director, chair of the credentials committee, associate medical director of population health and medical director of clinical integration/operations. He most recently was co-chair of the curriculum committee for the new Carle-Illinois College of Medicine. He also has been a faculty member of the University of Illinois College of Medicine for more than 20 years.
Dr. Good is a past president of the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society and the American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI). He has been honored as the Carle Physician of Excellence (2005) and as Physician of the Year in both Illinois (2001) and Iowa (1986), where he practiced rural medicine for 14 years. He is the current president of the Coles Community Health Program, which provides health care services to low-income individuals.
Dr. Zelnick encourages alumni to give DMU their time as mentors to current students and to give financially if they can. He also urges them to share with the University their thoughts on any improvements they believe “would help the students, your fellow alumni or the society we serve.”
“It is only through continued engagement with your school that DMU can continue to serve as a leader in medical education,” he concluded in his letter. “Please join us in that service, and thank you for doing so.”