Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
Changing Health Care Environment Demands Focus and Adaptability
As more than 5,800 students begin their osteopathic medical education this fall, they will be preparing to confront exciting new challenges that will demand focus and adaptability—talents that will carry them forward and help them negotiate the changing health care environment in which they will one day practice.
AACOM is working hard on a variety of fronts to ensure that our member osteopathic medical colleges have the representation, information, programs, and support they need to best prepare this class and future generations of students for their careers as physicians. The organization itself is embracing the spirit of focus and adaptability and strategizing on how we might further evolve our expanding programs and services to meet our members’ changing needs.
In the last issue of the newsletter, we introduced new AACOM Chief Operating Office John Roane, who joined the staff in mid-July and has since been examining internal operations and structures with an eye toward making positive changes that will allow AACOM to provide the best service possible to its members and other key stakeholders as they confront new challenges.
Other AACOM leadership and organizational changes lie ahead. While it will be hard to bid farewell to Vice President for Medical Education Linda Heun, PhD, the organization will welcome a new Vice President in November (see related item in this issue). Dr. Luke Mortensen, whose considerable experience in osteopathic medical education and with AACOM will allow him to be an immediate contributor to the association’s work, will take the helm of the Office of Medical Education and continue Linda’s superb work.
And, after nearly six years as Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Wendy Fernando has announced that she will step down in October. We will be assessing our communications operations and recruiting a professional who can build on the excellent foundation Wendy has laid and take AACOM’s communications to the next level.
Over the next several months, AACOM will continue a new strategic planning process begun at our summer Council Leadership Meeting. The planning will enable us to leverage our new and existing expertise in setting forward-looking goals and objectives for the organization. During the process, we will explore our engagement with critical external issues and craft an action plan that will help AACOM maintain its position as a leading force in the medical education arena. In change, there is opportunity… for AACOM, its members and the nation’s future osteopathic physicians.
We look forward to sharing more about our work in the months ahead.