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CPMS Alumni, Students Earn Honors at Podiatric Conference

Several graduates and students of the College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Des Moines University Medicine and Health Sciences received honors for their service, leadership and research at the 82nd annual scientific conference of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons this spring in Tampa, Florida. 

Named an ACFAS Scholar was John Albert, a third-year CPMS student and the 2023-24 president of DMU’s Student Chapter of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Alana Parkey Hay, a second-year student and SCACFAS president-elect for 2024-25, was named an ACFAS Region Scholar. Their scholarships recognized their service and leadership and offset the students’ cost of attending the annual scientific conference. 

Albert and Parkey Hay also were among the authors of a research poster submitted by DMU’s SCACFAS chapter, “Incidence of Floating Toe with Weil Osteotomy: A Systematic Review,” which earned second place in the student club category of the conference’s poster competition. Other DMU CPMS students who were authors of the poster were third-year students Audrey Antholz, Talem Franco and Michael Freeland.  

The poster competition drew 588 submissions. 

Several CPMS alumni also won honors for their posters. Lisa Grant-McDonald, a 2014 graduate who practices in Virginia Beach, Virginia, won first place in the scientific format category for a poster titled, “Comparative Outcomes Between Tibio-calcaneal Arthrodesis in Charcot Patients With and Without Metallic Talar Replacement.” She also won third place in the case study format for the poster “Transverse Bone Transport for the Treatment of Dysvascular Complex Wounds of the Foot.” 

Winning second place in the poster competition’s systematic format category was Emily Zink, a 2023 CPMS graduate, with the entry “Calcaneal Tuberosity Avulsion Fractures: A Systematic Review of Fixation Techniques and Surgical Management.” She is in a podiatry residency program at UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

Firras Garada, a 2018 CPMS graduate who practices in Alma, Michigan, earned third place in the competition’s scientific format category for “Analyzing Gait Irregularities in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy: A Multidisciplinary Approach.” 

In the scientific conference’s manuscript competition, which drew 102 submissions, three CPMS alumni took first place for their entry, “A Comparison of Ankle Fractures Relative to Other Fragility Fractures: A Review and Analysis of the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone Database”: Eric So, a 2015 graduate and foot and ankle surgeon in Lincoln, Nebraska; Christopher Juels, a 2015 graduate who practices in Cookeville and Crossville, Tennessee; and Ryan Scott, a 2008 graduate in Phoenix, Arizona. 

So and two other CPMS graduates, Jason Nowak, Class of 2010, and Mica Murdoch, Class of 2006, also received an honorable mention for their manuscript, “A Comparison of Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes Between Isolated Total Talus Replacement and Combined Total Talus Replacement With Total Ankle Arthroplasty or Hindfoot Arthrodesis.” Nowak practices in Redding, California, and Murdoch is in Des Moines, Iowa.

One of three colleges at DMU, CPMS offers the four-year Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree. Its students consistently achieve higher board examination scores and pass rates than their peers at other podiatric medical institutions, and graduates of the college have achieved 100% residency placement for 22 consecutive years. 

ACFAS is a professional society of more than 8,000 foot and ankle surgeons. A record-high 2,229 individuals attended this year’s annual scientific conference. 

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