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Kirksville’s Day of Compassion becomes National Celebration

Remembering Flight 5966

On October 19th, 2004, Flight 5966 crashed as it approached Kirksville Airport, killing 13 passengers and critically injuring two. Among the fatalities were six Osteopathic physicians and administrators from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) at A.T. Still University.

In response to how this tragic event shook the University, ATSU-KCOM students and staff gathered together the following year to discuss and demonstrate compassion in the Kirksville community.

In 2005, students and staff at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine of A.T. Still University of Health Sciences gathered to hear about compassion, talk about compassion and demonstrate compassion in the Kirksville community. Their actions influenced many other osteopathic medical students around the country to hold their own compassion celebrations, which included performing community outreach activities or creating awareness of the osteopathic medical profession.

ATSU's Day of Compassion Flight 5966 10th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony was held on October 17, 2014. In attendance was honored guest and speaker Dr. John Krogh, former ATSU-KCOM associate professor of anatomy, regional administrative assistant dean - Utah region, and one of the two survivors of Flight 5966. The school raised an American flag that will permanently remain next to the Interprofessional building. Around 100 people attended this ceremony to remember those who lost their lives on that tragic day.

Other 2014 DO Day of Compassion Events

Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine-CA 
TouroCOM-CA held a candlelight remembrance ceremony and recited the names of each person lost in the crash. The school rganized discussions and had a guest lecturer speak on the practicality of compassion in medicine.

Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine 
NSUCOM students and faculty wore red to commemorate the crash, conducted a moment of silence in each classroom and encouraged campus-wide discussion on what compassion and humanism in medicine really means.

New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine 
NYIT-COM set up an informational display table and posters were created to spread awareness of the event. Ribbons were distributed and an evening of compassion is being planned.

Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine 
DMU-COM held a campus-wide moment of silence. Students also gathered to learn more about the tragic event and the importance of humanism in medicine.

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University 
CCOM created posters and flyers to increase osteopathic awareness and to promote Day of Compassion events. The college organized a variety of panels and discussions among students and staff and are currently organizing a spring health fair.

University of North Texas Health Science Center at Forth Worth Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine 
UNTHSC-TCOM created a bulletin board with pictures and biographies of the crash victims. Several lectures were given and students who attended earned one hour of required non-medical community service.

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
PCOM student: "During a group therapy session while on Psychiatry at Brooke Army Medical Center, I closed a group by introducing the patients to DO Day of Compassion and everyone agreed to do one nice thing for someone else that day.  It was a huge success and people kept "passing it on"!" 

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Get Involved

Contact your COSGP Representative to learn if your school is hosting an event or to set up an event yourself.