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Osteopathic Medical Education Leaders Receive AACOM 2016 National Awards


William D. Miller Award

Rocovich_miller awardJohn G. Rocovich, Jr.
Attorney, Chairman
Moss & Rocovich, Attorneys-at-Law, PC

The William D. Miller Award is presented each year to an individual in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the osteopathic profession. Recipients are honored with this award on behalf of the AACOM Board of Deans. As Founding Chairman of VCOM Board of Directors, John G. Rocovich, Jr., has played an instrumental role in the advancement of osteopathic medical education (OME) throughout the Appalachian region.

In his early years of law practice, Rocovich recognized the need for physicians and health care while representing Appalachian workers. Beginning in the early 1980s, he and his wife, Sue Ellen Rocovich, DO, aspired to meet this need by establishing a new osteopathic medical school in the area, which would initiate the founding of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM) in 2001.

As an integral influence at VCOM, Rocovich has expanded their global presence by personally championing osteopathic medicine in locations such as El Salvador and Honduras. In 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humanities and letters degree from VCOM for his vital involvement at the school. Currently, Rocovich is active in the continuing development of VCOM, and played a vital role in establishing VCOM’s branch campuses in Spartanburg, SC, and Auburn, AL.

Robert A. Kistner Award

Forman_kistner awardMitchell D. Forman, DO
Founding Dean, Professor
Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Robert A. Kistner Award is presented annually on behalf of the AACOM Board of Deans. Individuals who receive this award are nominated and selected in recognition of their significant contributions to OME throughout their careers. Mitchell D. Forman, DO, has been a driving force behind the successful launch and growth of multiple medical education endeavors.

Dr. Forman is an osteopathic physician, as well as Founding Dean and Professor of Medicine at Touro University Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUNCOM) since 2004. In November 2013, the American College of Physicians (ACP) voted to elect Dr. Forman to Mastership in the ACP. Mastership is conferred only on a very select number of candidates around the country who are deemed distinguished through the practice of internal medicine and represent ideal qualities, character, and clinical competence. Candidates receiving this honor are deemed a “citizen physician,” educational innovator, humanist, and learner-teacher who inspires others to seek high standards and excellence in the specialty of internal medicine.

Dr. Forman is the past President of the Clark County Medical Society and immediate past President of the Nevada State Medical Association. He is a founding fellow of the American College of Rheumatology, and a fellow of the American College of Physicians and of the American College of Osteopathic Internists. Dr. Forman recently announced his retirement as TUNCOM Dean in order to pursue his clinical practice in arthritis and rheumatic diseases at the college full time.

Dale Dodson Award

SShannon_dodson awardStephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH
President, CEO
American Association of the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine ;

Created in memory of AOA past President and osteopathic medical education innovator Dale S. Dodson, DO, this annual award recognizes a current or past CEO or Chief Academic Officer (CAO) of an osteopathic medical college who has made significant contributions to the advancement or support of OME.

Stephen C. Shannon, DO, MPH, has been President of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) since January 2006. Prior to assuming this position, he served as Vice President for Health Services and Dean of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM) since 1995. He also served as Chair of the AACOM Board of Deans from July 2003 to June 2005.

In addition to receiving the prestigious Dale Dodson Award, Dr. Shannon has received the New York Institute of Technology Riland Public Service Award in 2011, the AACOM Robert A. Kistner Award in 2010, the Dan Hanley Memorial Trust 2003 Leadership Award in 2003, and the Finance Authority of Maine's Distinguished Service Award in the Field of Higher Education in 2002.

Society of Osteopathic Medical Educators Innovation in Medical Education Awards

The Society of Osteopathic Medical Educators (SOME) confers Innovation in Medical Education Awards in recognition of specific educational innovations that have resulted in meaningful change at the developer’s institution.

Innovation in Osteopathic Medical Distinctiveness Award:

"COAR: Clinical Skills, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, Anatomy, Radiology"

  • Stacey Pierce-Talsma, DO, MS
    Associate Professor, Director OMM Clinical Integration, TUCOM-CA
  • Joel Talsma, MS
    Anatomy Instructor, TUCOM-CA

Innovation in Ideas Carried Through from AACOM Annual Conference Award:

“Utilizing Patient Morning Rounds to Observe Preclinical Medical Students’ Clinical Reasoning”

  • Neal R. Chamberlain, PhD
    Professor, Department of Microbiology/Immunology, ATSU-KCOM
  • Patricia Sexton, DHEd
    Associate Dean for Curriculum, ATSU-KCOM
  • Matthew R. Hardee, DO
    Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, ATSU-KCOM
  • Neal R. Chamberlain, PhD
    Professor, Department of Microbiology/Immunology, ATSU-KCOM
  • Robert. W. Baer, PhD
    Professor, Department of Physiology, ATSU-KCOM

Outstanding Medical Education Research Poster and Presentation Award

The AACOM Outstanding Medical Education Research Poster and Presentation Award is presented to the individual whose poster and presentation submission is found to achieve the highest standards of professional, scientific, and educational rigor.

  • Uzoma S. Ikonne, PhD, ATSU-SOMA
  • Anna Campbell, PhD, ATSU-SOMA
  • Kate Whelihan, MPH, ATSU-SOMA
  • Joy H. Lewis, DO, PhD, ATSU-SOMA

Excellence in Communications Awards

AACOM’s Excellence in Communications (EIC) Awards are presented annually in honor of the outstanding marketing, media relations, public education, writing, and design efforts of the nation’s college of osteopathic medicine.

2016 Best in Show:KCU-COM_EIC winner 2016

"KCU Brand Refresh"

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine


Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents-Sponsored Awards

Also see the 2016 Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP) National Awardees
Inside OME Header
April/May  2016
Vol. 10, No. 4