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Alumni Stories

We love to hear all about your exciting journey and accomplishments! Please share new jobs, publications, presentations, awards, honors, marriages, births, etc. Anything you would like to share, we would love to hear about it! Alumni Story submissions will be shared on our webpage and on University communications including social media, newsletters and magazines.

Would you like to share your Alumni Story?

Submit Your Alumni Journey Email

Have you recently married or had a baby?
Have you started a new job or received a fantastic promotion?
Have you been published, lectured at a conference, or become a leader of a professional organization?

Share your Alumni Story by emailing We also welcome all photos or links pertaining to your journey.

Aaron Chambers, DPM '14 and Kayla Song, DPM '16

Aaron Chambers, DPM '14 and Kayla Song, DPM '16

My wife, Kayla Song (DPM 2016) and I (DPM 2014) both graduated from the College of Podiatric Medicine and ended up meeting each other in residency at the VA Loma Linda. We were engaged shortly after, and we continued our relationship long-distance as I was stationed in Washington state with the U.S. Navy and Kayla finished residency.

We were married a few years later and were finally reunited after I left the Navy and returned to Southern California. Currently, I am commissioned with the United States Public Health Service and Kayla is an attending at our former residency program.

Recently, we celebrated having our joint research paper titled “The Cotton Osteotomy as an Adjunct Procedure in Hallux Valgus and Hallux Limitus Surgery,” published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. We are proud WesternU alumni and are excited to share our update with the university.

- April 2022

Mark Bailey, DO '92

Mark Bailey, DO '92

I graduated from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in 1992 and moved to Birmingham, AL for internship and residency. I trained at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and am now board certified in both Neurology and Pain Medicine. Following, I was in solo private practice for 15 years before returning to UAB. I am now Professor of Neurology and Anesthesiology at UAB and have a busy pain practice as well as training residents and pain fellows in medical pain management.

I am also extremely involved in the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), where I am the AOA Advisor to the American Medical Association Current Procedural Terminology committee, chair the Chronic Pain Workshop for the Bureau of Osteopathic Clinical Education and Research, and was involved in the creation of the AOA Pain Medicine Board. I have represented AOA on numerous occasions including the AMA Opioid Task Force and the Federation of State Medical Board’s Opioid Policy Task Force.

My other professional involvement includes former president of the Alabama Osteopathic Medical Association, Alabama delegate to the AOA House of Delegates, and member of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) where I have several publications in the Journal of Neurology. Currently, I am a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists and serve as its current president.

I have a beautiful and growing family – my wife Karan, my daughters Allison and Katherine, my granddaughter Virginia Dell, and a grandson on the way! Ask to see photos at your own peril – I am very proud of all of them!

I enjoy meeting my classmates and COMP friends at OMED and other meetings and hope to meet more in the future.

- December 2021

Danny Plyler, DPM '18

Danny Plyler, DPM '18

Dr. Cutler, Bellingham Foot Care Center, recently announced his retirement after 33 years of serving the Bellingham area. He welcomes Dr. Danny Plyler and Kelly Plyler, ARNP who will be taking on the practice as of November 1, 2021.

“It was a dream Kelly and I had to move to Washington and own our own practice,” said Dr. Plyler “That dream became a reality when we spoke with Dr. Cutler about his retirement and how this practice had made his dreams come true over the years. We will both be forever grateful to Dr. Cutler for this opportunity, ” added Dr. Plyler.

Dr. Plyler grew up in Oklahoma and attended the University of Oklahoma where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology with concentration in neurobiology. He then went on to the Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California where he earned a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine. He completed his residency training at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio and Surgical Hospital of Oklahoma while earning his credential in reconstructive rearfoot and ankle surgery and his board qualification status from the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery. Dr. Plyler has lectured on podiatry topics across the United States and has had his works published in scientific journals.

Kelly Plyler grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She then obtained her Master of Science in Nursing with concentration in Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner from the University of Pennsylvania. Her experience as an ARNP includes hospital medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio and internal medicine at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Kelly brings her expertise in preventative, holistic, and compassionate medical care to the practice. In addition to managing medical podiatry concerns, she will also be the Team Lead for Diabetes and Wound Care.

Dr. Plyler and Kelly met while caring for the same patient at the Cleveland Clinic. They were engaged March 9, 2019, in Malibu, California and married November 11, 2020, in the Colorado mountains. Dr. Plyler and Kelly have one amazing pupper named Isabelle. The family relocated to Bellingham in early October of 2021 and they already love being surrounded by such natural beauty and amazing people. They look forward to fully immersing themselves in all that the area has to offer.

- November 2021

Behnaz Behmanesh DO 10 Family Photo

Behnaz Behmanesh, DO '10

Dr. Behmanesh graduated from the WesternU College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Class of 2010. Following graduation, she completed residency in Family Medicine at Northridge Hospital Medical Center and began her career as an Associate Physician at UCLA Student Health.

Apart from her interest in medicine, Dr. Behmanesh always enjoyed reading and writing since 1st grade. She even contemplated being an English major. Though she went on to pursue a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree, Dr. Behmanesh did continue to keep up her writing skills at WesternU by serving as the co-editor of the WesternU Humanism in the Health Sciences Magazine.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Behmanesh found a way to self-publish her first book I Love You All Around the World. She was inspired by her 2-year-old son, Noah, to write a children’s book because of the positive impact books have on Noah’s development.

Dr. Behmanesh continues her journey as a physician at UCLA Student Health, where she can make a difference in student lives by encouraging lifestyle changes. She also has a blog titled Doctor Mommy DO on Instagram (@doctormommydo) to share knowledge on wellness and health. In addition to her professional and personal endeavors, Dr. Behmanesh volunteers her time as the Chair of the WesternU Alumni Association’s Communications Committee.

- November 2021

Keith James Haviland, DPT '08

Keith Haviland, DPT '08

“The only thing worse than being blind with no sight, is having sight with no vision” - Helen Keller.

My intentions after graduation from Western University of Health Sciences were set on serving in the military until the U.S. had completed its missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. As the final troops are withdrawing, I have met my objective. During that time I have traveled the world, helped people in need, and made many friends among our Allies and Partners.

My journey has included getting married, and having two beautiful children. I recently received a Master’s Degree in Strategic Studies at the esteemed United States Army War College, Senior Service College. Currently I am a Lieutenant Colonel stationed in Hawaii, and working to enhance security cooperation with Thailand and Malaysia.

Soon I will be returning home to California and hope to see many of you once again in the clinical setting. My vision of service to our Nation hasn’t changed; only the setting will be more familiar.

Stay vigilant and dream how we make this world a better place. Aloha and Mahalo!

Please reach out-

- August 2021

Sam Bonilla, PharmD' 15

Sam Bonilla, PharmD '15

Upon graduation from the College of Pharmacy Class of 2015, I was fortunate to immediately start my career working at Amgen at Thousand Oaks within the Regulatory Affairs group. I was able to gain experiences in drug development without having to complete a fellowship or post-graduate training — my ideal case scenario. In 2017, I transitioned into a role at Puma Biotechnology (Puma), a company focused on positively impacting breast cancer patients. One of my fondest memories at Puma was flying out with a team to the United Kingdom for a major regulatory meeting with the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Our work in the UK ultimately resulted in our company’s product getting approved, which allowed for access of our medicine throughout the European Union and UK. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to take a new opportunity. I currently am an Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs at Constellation Pharmaceuticals, Inc (Constellation) where I work on R&D programs that aim to provide new treatment options for patients with cancer. Given Constellation’s recent acquisition, I look forward to bringing more new treatments to patients in need. I remain an advocate of non-traditional roles for healthcare professionals and hope others consider the opportunities available for them in the non-traditional space.

Transforming what it means to be a Pharmacist. Check out Dr. Bonilla's blog at

- July 2021

Grant Dunbar, DVM' 13

Grant Dunbar, DVM '13

I am a graduate from the WesternU College of Veterinary Medicine Class 2013. After school, I completed a rotating internship at Animal Emergency Medical Center in Torrance.

In January of 2017, I bought a 3-doctor, 20 employee practice, Chino Hills Animal Hospital with my brother. In just a few years, we have had substantial growth and become one of the largest small animal practices in the Inland Empire. As of June, we will employ 10 doctors and over 85 employees. We’ve grown our practice to also include doggy daycare, boarding, grooming and in house cremation services. We are currently expanding our medical practice by 3000 sq. feet to a total of over 1400 sq ft and will include 3 surgery suites and a total of 12 exam rooms. This renovation will be underway in Summer 2021.

I have taken a special interest in regenerative medicine, rehabilitation, surgery and advanced procedures. Frequently performing laparoscopy, endoscopy, orthopedic and soft tissue surgeries. Our hospital is a Small Animal General Practice rotation site for 3rd and 4th year WesternU students. As a WesternU Alumni, I feel it is my role to help educate the veterinarians of tomorrow by expanding their knowledge in a clinical setting on patient care to improve the lives of our patients.

In 2019, we started a charity event that received statewide publicity called Rescued Pets and Retired Vets. The fundraiser was held at our hospital grounds and brought the community together to bring awareness and financially support war veterans who need service animals and homeless pets needing a permanent home.

Recently, I had a unique opportunity to film a new series for Animal Planet called Pop My Pet. The pilot series is currently streaming on Discovery Plus. I am one of three doctors who will be performing mass, cyst, lump removals from patients small to large. Western Alumni and students can follow my Instagram to view cases and other interesting procedures I perform on a daily basis. Instagram: @dr.grantdunbar Instagram: @chinohillsah_petresort

- April 2021

Bryan Tucker, DO '12

Bryan Tucker, DO '12

I did residency in Internal Medicine at Indiana University and fellowship in Nephrology at Yale University. I worked for two years at Wake Forest School of Medicine as an Asst Professor, then moved to Houston, TX and started working at Baylor College of Medicine. I am now the Associate Course Director for the Renal Pathophysiology Course, the Outpatient Nephrology Ambulatory Coordinator for Internal Medicine Residency, Adult Nephrology Consultant for the Rare and Undiagnosed Disease Network, and active in publishing, with my last publication in JAMA – Urinary Magnesium in the Evaluation of Hypomagnesemia.

- March 2021

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