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Awards and Leadership

Leadership Updates

KCU-COM Names New Dean

040617_dagostino_2Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU) recently announced the appointment of Darrin D’Agostino, DO, MPH, MBA, to the position of Executive Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) and Vice President for Health Affairs.

Dr. D’Agostino comes to KCU from the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, where he served as Associate Dean of Community Health and Innovation and Professor of Medicine. He was also Chairman of the Department of Medicine at UNT for eight years. 

“Dr. D’Agostino brings tremendous experience in teaching, clinical service, and research, and we’re very pleased to have him join our team,” said Marc B. Hahn, DO, KCU President and CEO. “Offering proven leadership capabilities and a career-long commitment to community health, he’s an ideal fit to further KCU’s growth as a leading health sciences university and advance our mission of ‘improving the well-being of the communities we serve.’” 

Dr. D’Agostino’s primary responsibilities at KCU include oversight of curriculum, increased development of graduate medical education (GME), enhanced clinical outreach, and expansion of research within KCU-COM for both the Kansas City and Joplin campuses.

“I’m proud to join KCU’s continuing tradition of excellence in medical education and look to become part of innovative team of faculty and staff focused on educating our osteopathic medical students for the future of health care,” said Dr. D’Agostino. “Preparing them for a model that focuses on value of care delivered—not volume of patients seen—and an emphasis on population health will be paramount to ensuring their success and the safety and health of our communities.”

Dr. D’Agostino has served in leadership and committee positions on the local, regional, and national levels, and has led a number of community health and clinical outreach initiatives. His research has focused on issues of health equity within minority populations. Read more.

In Memoriam: Sandra K Willsie, DO

040617_S-WillsieSandra K. Willsie, DO, passed away on Sunday, March 26, 2017, after a courageous and nearly one-year battle with brain cancer.

Dr. Willsie attended Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) graduating Magna Cum Laude and received the Golden Stethoscope Award for Outstanding Graduate.

As an osteopathic physician, with board certification in internal medicine, pulmonary diseases, and critical care medicine, Dr. Willsie worked diligently for over 30 years to further scientific discovery and health care education. An NIH-funded Career Academic Awardee, a Macy Institute Scholar, and an Invited Faculty Member on Health Care Leadership at Harvard University, Dr. Willsie was very involved in academic medicine. She served as Professor of Medicine, Interim Chair of Medicine, and Docent at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine, and as Provost, Dean, Vice Dean, and Department Chair at KCU-COM.

Dr. Willsie made countless scholarly presentations and published regularly with active participation as a board member of the American College of Chest Physicians. Sandra once said, "When you can't breathe nothing much else matters," and was instrumental in the creation and financial recruitment for the establishment of the Chest Foundation. Today, the Chest Foundation continues providing grants around the world to fight respiratory diseases. Dr. Willsie made eight pro bono trips to provide physicians in Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic with the latest research updates on asthma and COPD research.

Dr. Willsie served as President of Women Executives in Science and Health Care and as Board President of the American Heart Association's Midwest Affiliate, where her primary focus was on fundraising for the Go Red for Women Initiative and the launching of the Circle of Red Initiative.

In the corporate world Dr. Willsie served as Medical Director, Principal Investigator, and as a system-wide chair responsible for global harmonization of medical safety practices and policies. At the time of her diagnosis, Dr. Willsie had been volunteering for over 30 years at the KC CARE Clinic, and was a committee member of the FDA Advisory Panel on Respiratory and Anesthesiology Devices. As stated by one close friend, "Sandra was an amazing woman, selfless leader, gifted doctor, generous healer, and respected scholar who made a difference in the lives of so many. She inspired a generation of new physicians to be and do more by following her example of excellence and integrity."

For those who knew her, Dr. Willsie was compassionate, loving and she always went out of her way to make the downhearted smile and feel included. Her energy and enthusiasm touched many as she loved to laugh and encouraged others to follow their dreams. Dr. Willsie's legacy simply stated was to treat others as they would want to be treated. She will be missed by many.

The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made in Dr. Sandra Willsie's memory to the KC CARE Clinic, Attn.: Sheridan Wood, CEO, 3515 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111.