SCPM Alumni Association Featured Alumnus

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Life in Discovery: Alumni Connections

Alumnitalk about life, work, and other adventures.  In this installment, we connect with Cynthia Cernak, DPM ’89.

  Cynthia Cernak, DPM ’89, knows the value of family and education. In addition to serving as the treasurer for the Scholl College Alumni Association Board of Directors and maintaining a growing practice, she still finds time to volunteer and relax with family. Please click here to learn more about what has been keeping Dr. Cernak busy. 

Current position/activity: Grandmother of a 3 year old girl, Lauren and a  5 year old boy, Alexander John
Managing Member: Wisconsin Neuropathy Center, LLC
President: Southeast Wisconsin Ambulatory Surgical Center, SC.

How I got here: Hard work.

What keeps me motivated: The love of my God, my grandchildren, my kids, my friends, and my patients.  In that order.  The Reader's Digest version of Hippocrates oath, "Do no harm and put the patient's needs ahead of your own while you're treating them."
What keeps me up at night: The uncertainty of these times, the absence of a work ethic by many, and the true need for selfless leaders.  And two dogs that seem to never stop wanting to go outside...

Most important thing I learned in my post college education: Sleep is overrated.

My favorite memory of my post college education: One memory is not fit for print, the other is the love of learning.  The true excitement that comes from learning something you never knew, and the fact that you now possess knowledge that could help another person, and that the process of learning has no end point.

How I give back to my community: By giving sacrificially to those churches and charities that serve the less fortunate.  Women and Children's Horizons, Great Pyrenees' Rescue of Wisconsin and serving on the Kenosha Symphony Board.

How I support those institutions that were part of my educational experience:  Time and money.

Most amazing interprofessional experience since graduating: Operating at Hopkins with Dr. A. Lee Dellon, an internationally known peripheral nerve surgeon.

What I do to relax: Listen and play music and practice the piano with my 5 year old grandson

What’s on my nightstand:
Two books I'm reading at the same time, Clara Schumann: The Artist and the Woman and Women of Words: A Personal Introduction to Thirty-Five Important Writers, notepad and pen, and a Smith and Wesson...We Wisconsin natives are so radical you know.

Alumni talk about life, work, and other adventures. In this installment, we connect with Qeena Woodard, DPM ’03.

As an early-career alumna, Qeena Woodard, DPM ’03, is discovering every day how her experiences at Scholl have developed her career and that adhering to the golden rule has truly paid off. 

Current position/activity: I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Surgery and Applied Biomechanics Department at Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine.

How I got here:
Graduated from SCPM in 2003, Residency PM&S 36 at University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, TX under Dr. Lawrence Harkless, where I was chief resident. Became an associate in private practice with Dr. Carlos Smith in 2006.

What keeps me motivated:
I am motivated by the ideas and goals of furthering my profession. I know podiatry is an integral part of the healthcare arena and by further education of ourselves and the community at large we can make our presence a force to be reckoned with.
Most important thing I learned at Scholl: The most important thing I learned while at SCPM was to look out for yourself and be professional. It is hard to start out in practice without any help, but if you keep consistent with your education and contacts, many doors will be opened to you. It is not hard for me to call upon a fellow classmate for assistance and vice versa. The golden rule was always put to the test while at SCPM, I adhered to it and it has truly paid off.

My favorite memory of Scholl:
My favorite memory, there are many having the school downtown and all. But a few are the community service rotation with Dr. Gianfortune, you never knew what or whom you were going to see. Also the lower extremity anatomy lab, Dr. Bareither made it so fun and later I became a tutor for the class.

How I give back to my community:
Community outreach is key to any physician. I routinely perform foot screenings and footcare lectures at local churches and health fairs.

How I support Scholl:
I am a member of the SCPM Alumni Assoc.

Most amazing interprofessional experience since graduating: The most amazing interprofessional experience happened during my residency. I was discussing a patient with PVD to a vascular surgeon in grand rounds and he thought I was a vascular resident. He was impressed with my knowledge base and when I told him I was a podiatry resident, he was shocked.

What I do to relax:
I watch classic black and white movies or musicals to relax. I am a theater nerd.

What’s on my nightstand:
On my nightstand is the alarm clock, picture of my husband, a small Tigger stuffed animal and my Bible.

Alumni talk about life, work, and other adventures. In this installment, we connect with Donald Mahrle, DPM ’56.

  Life hasn’t slowed down for Donald Mahrle, DPM ’56 since retirement. In addition to volunteering twice a month at the Marian Clinic for the uninsured in Topeka, KS he is also active with his Masonic Chapter’s RiteCare program, and the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts.

Current position/activity: Retired. Volunteers twice a month at Marian Clinic, a public clinic sponsored by St. Francis Hospital, which provides care to those that are employed but can’t afford insurance. He donates his time at the clinic of at least four hours per visit and sees about 10 people per visit. Dr. Mahrle is also active with his Masonic Lodge’s Rite Care program which raises funds for children’s speech, hearing and language disorders programs. In addition, he serves on the peer review committee of the State Board of Healing Arts of Kansas.
How I got here: Started with the clinic before retiring by working the clinic patients into his schedule at his practice.

What keeps me motivated: High energy level.

Most important thing I learned at RFUMS: Being involved in the evolution from chiropody to modern podiatry.

My favorite memory of RFUMS: The leadership of the faculty while he was a student.

How I give back to my community: Volunteers with the groups listed above.

How I support RFUMS: Stickel Society.

What I do to relax: Woodcarver of ducks and birds and donates some of his carvings to charity for fundraisers.

Life in Discovery
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