July 18, 2024
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More Than 400 Graduate Touro School of Health Sciences

Eleven outstanding practitioners-in-training receive prestigious Maimonides Awards.

Maimonides Award winners.

(Courtesy of Touro University) Touro University School of Health Sciences awarded over 400 degrees at a commencement ceremony held earlier this month, at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Brookville, New York. Students earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level degrees in a range of fields including physician assistant, speech and language pathology, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, industrial-organizational psychology, general psychology, clinical mental health counseling and applied behavioral analysis.

Eleven stellar students were selected to receive the prestigious Maimonides Award for demonstrating the highest professional ideals of a practitioner of the health sciences.

“Graduates, today we celebrate your achievements, perseverance and resilience as you embark on your professional careers in the health sciences field. As you move forward on your chosen career path, always remember how proud the faculty and staff at the School of Health Sciences are of you and how deeply invested we are in your success,” said Dr. Steven Lorenzet, dean of the School of Health Sciences.

Yehudit Mokhtar, Maimonides Award winner, graduate of Touro’s Physician Assistant program.

Maimonides Award Winners

Ever since her child was helped by an occupational therapist, Occupational Therapy program graduate and Touro Maimonides Award winner Chaya Henig has dreamed of becoming an OT herself and giving back to others who are navigating similar challenges. “I knew that I couldn’t be the only parent who struggled with finding the right help for their child, so I was happy to share the research I’ve found along the way, and even created a platform filled with online resources, books and OT practices that can enhance the level of care provided,” said Henig.

Currently employed at the sensory gym where she completed her Touro fieldwork, Henig evaluates children for a wide range of skills including emotional/behavioral, cognitive, visual motor, fine motor and gross motor skills, and creates individualized treatment goals and plans for which she collaborates with parents. “The Touro School of Health Sciences provided me with a rich educational foundation that I leverage daily. My dream is to run a private practice serving the pediatric and adult populations, and continuing to educate schools and parents about an array of sensory needs so that issues can be identified and addressed early on, which can have a positive impact on a child for their lifetime,” said Henig.

Yehudit Mokhtar, a graduate of the Touro Physician Assistant program and a Touro Maimonides Award winner said: “There was a spark inside that drew me toward the medical field when I was growing up. That spark grew into a flame as I chose to advance my career as a physician assistant (PA) after working in the medical field prior to starting school. There seems to be a special bond PAs create with their patients—integrating their intelligence, education and empathy into their daily responsibilities. I’m excited to give back to my community and work with a team to provide the best care possible. My dream career would be working as a PA in the cardiac critical care setting as I’m passionate about helping people during times of emergency,” said Mokhtar.

Additional Maimonides award winners included Alice Zinger of the Speech and Language Pathology program; Christopher Auguste of the Occupational Therapy program; Jack Nowak and Jan Isaac Ortega of the Physical Therapy program; Hailey Sturek of the Nursing program; Kurt Kaczmar of the Physician Assistant Program; Zahava Hurwitz of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program; Allison Maron of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program; and Kimberly Colichio of the Behavior Analysis Program.

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