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ICOM's Medical Mission to Haiti, NSU-KPCOM's $3.5M Geriatrics Grant, and More in Campus Roundup

August 20, 2019

Still OPTI Hosts Intensive Osteopathic Skills Course

ATSUKCOM_CR_08222019In conjunction with professors at A.T. Still University Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM), Still OPTI hosted an osteopathic manipulative medicine (OMM) and osteopathic principles and practice (OPP) skills course May 20-23, 2019.

Event participants received hands-on instruction from ATSU-KCOM faculty related to OPP including soft tissue, counterstrain and muscle energy techniques, and segmental diagnosis for the thoracic and lumbar spine.

The 32-hour course was designed to teach allopathic students and residents entering the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) osteopathic-recognized programs the basic skills associated with OMM and OPP. The course also served as a resource for allopathic attendings who precept and supervise osteopathic residents in osteopathic-recognized programs. Several osteopathic students, residents, and faculty also attended the event as an OMM and OPP refresher course.

“This course and others like this serve MDs and DOs in training programs in building role models for instruction and the delivery of care that best helps patients return to a sense of health and well-being,” said Richard J. LaBaere II, DO, MPH, FAODME, associate dean, postgraduate training. Read more.

Mentorship Initiative Aims to Create More Native American Physicians

Photo: Youth from the Jemez Pueblo visited BCOM this summer to meet medical students and learn about pursuing a career in health care.

The Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) made big strides in its mission to improve health care in the Southwest with the launch of the Jemez-Pathways for Advancing Tribal Health (J-PATH) program. This mentorship initiative is aimed at encouraging the youth of Jemez Pueblo to pursue careers in health care, and to seek some form of higher education. The ultimate goal is to develop and train allied health professionals within the tribal communities, and to introduce BCOM medical students to rural medicine and encourage them to practice medicine in underserved communities.

Adela Lente, MD, is one of only a handful of female, Native American surgeons practicing in the country. She’s also a BCOM professor and one of the five faculty and staff members who founded the J-PATH program.

“Ultimately, we hope this program results in more Native physicians. The population in New Mexico has a lot of Native Americans, but the population of Native American physicians is less than one percent,” she said. “Indian Health Services just circulates physicians through for two to three years at a time to pay back their loans. The tribal members never get to build a relationship with their physician. If young people from these pueblos get their training and come back, no one has to worry if they’re going to cycle through—this is their home. They know the language, they know the culture, and they know how to interact with patients.” Read more.

A Passion for Primary Care

Photo: Dr. Joshua Burka hooded by his fiance, Dr. Sabrina Tavella.

The CUSOM Class of 2019 graduates are officially resident physicians, and two-thirds of them are serving in primary care.

Medical students achieve many milestones throughout their four years of medical school. Day by day, week-by-week, month-by-month, and year-by-year, there are moments and events along the way that shape the trajectory of their academic career and future as a physician.

Graduation and Match Day are two of the most highly anticipated events of the medical school journey. They signify the closing of one chapter and the exciting start of another.

For many students, the third- and fourth-year rotations solidify the area of medicine in which they’re most passionate and want to serve. And for many recent graduates of Campbell University’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM), that passion is primary care.

“I chose primary care because I want to be able to treat all generations of people, and [serve as] the liaison for a person’s overall health and well-being,” said Cora Owen, DO, family medicine resident at Bon Secours Health System in Midlothian, VA, and graduate of the Class of 2019. “Primary care allows me to make lifelong connections with people that I wouldn’t get as often in another specialty.” Read more in the CUSOM May-June newsletter.

Midwestern University Medical Students Care for Community with Day of Service

Photo: New students at Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine participated in a day of service as part of their orientation program.

Before beginning their rigorous course of study, first-year medical students at Midwestern University participate in an annual day of service. This year, 205 new students at the Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) packed food, sorted donations, cleared brush, and more as part of their orientation program. The following are just some of the nearly 20 projects completed by the students:

  • Packed nutritious meals for hungry children around the world at Feed My Starving Children in Aurora and Schaumburg
  • Sorted food donations at the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva and the People’s Resource Center Food Pantry in Westmont
  • Organized medical supplies and performed general maintenance at Almost Home Kids in Naperville
  • Cleared brush and performed general maintenance at Family Shelter Services, Lyman Woods, and the Indian Boundary YMCA in Downers Grove; the Little Friends in Naperville; and the Morton Arboretum in Lisle

Participation in service projects gives students first-hand experience with the needs of the community they will one day serve as health professionals. The projects also reflect a University-wide commitment to community service.

DMU Day at the Iowa State Fair

DMUCOM_CR_08222019Rain fell on the Iowa State Fair on Sunday, August 11, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of fair-goers for DMU Day at the event. Attendees enjoyed the 94 osteopathic manual medicine and physical therapy demonstrations performed by 49 student volunteers from the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) and other DMU programs, seven faculty members, and two other volunteers. They also raved about the University’s tent on the Grand Concourse. “DMU’s entire presence was hands-down one of the best I’ve seen. Their branding was on point, their students were engaged and passionate, and their swag was fantastic,” posted one fan on the University’s Facebook pageRead more.

Student Doctors Serve Medical Mission in Haiti

A group of student-doctors from the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) have returned to campus for the start of the academic year, after serving a medical mission in Haiti.

Accompanied and supervised by Dr. Rodney Bates, ICOM’s Chair of Primary Care, the group of student-doctors, including: Bakir Dzananovic, Zaid Ahmed, Mehwish Choudhry, Bilal Darwish, Sarah Kaschke and Victoria Marinas, traveled more than 3,000 miles to provide much-needed medical care.

“Our medical mission trip to Haiti was truly a humbling and life-changing experience,” Choudhry said. “It was an honor to provide medical care to the community in Miragoane.”

The ICOM team opened a pop-up clinic at the Madinah Orphanage in Miragoane, followed by another clinic for the greater community. In total, the group was able to provide care to more than 130 people, allowing for an immersive, hands-on experience for the student-doctors. Read more.

LMU-DCOM Hosted Disability Day for Health Professional Students and Local Health Care Providers

Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) hosted Disability Day on Wednesday, August 7.

The goal of Disability Day is for medical students, physician assistant students, nursing students, and other health care providers to learn about the various aspects of providing care to individuals with disabilities. The event was made possible through a grant from American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry and the support of Bella Soul, a non-profit with a mission to empower college students confronting chronic illness or disability through scholarships and emotional support. Fourth-year osteopathic medical students, Shannon Strader, Andrew Villaseñor, and third-year student Candyce Mehler applied for the grant and organized the event with university partners.

"Our hope is to reduce the disparity in health care for individuals with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities," Strader said. "Our school believes all individuals with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve comprehensive, affordable, respectful, safe and accessible health care." Read more.

NSU-KPCOM Receives $3.5-Million Geriatrics Grant

NSUKPCOM_CR_08222019Thanks to the efforts of Naushira Pandya, MD, CMD, FACP, professor and chair of the Department of Geriatrics and project director of Nova Southeastern University’s Florida Coastal Geriatric Resources, Education, and Training Center, the Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine (NSU-KPCOM) received a $3.5-million federal grant to fund a Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP). The national GWEP initiative was created to help establish a health care workforce that maximizes patient and family engagement and integrates geriatrics and primary care.

“This program is designed to educate and train the primary care and geriatrics workforce to attend to older adults using an integrated care model,” Pandya said. “At NSU, interprofessional collaboration is in our DNA, so this grant will allow us to bring that approach to the area of geriatrics. With an aging population, it’s vital that those in the health care profession work together to ensure they provide the best care possible for their patients.”

The grant, which began on July 1 and is expected to run through June 30, 2024, is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award of up to $3.5 million financed from governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

Pandya said there is a shortage in trained geriatricians and primary care health providers, as well as other health professionals, who possess adequate training in geriatrics to fill the complex health care needs of older adults. This project is designed to meet those challenges head-on as an ambitious collaborative effort, with partners that include the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University, graduate medical education programs and primary care sites, as well as multiple community organizations.

Local High School Students Receive Unique Summer Experience with NYITCOM 

Nine high school students from northeastern Arkansas spent their summer immersed in science thanks to a new program hosted by New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arizona State (NYITCOM A-State).

In June, NYITCOM launched a new program titled SHARE, which stands for Summer Health Academy for Research Exploration. The eight-week program provides intense laboratory exposure along with a cluster of professional/career development activities to expose the students to a number of potential careers in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine) fields. Harrisburg, Brookland, Valley View, and Nettleton High Schools were represented among the nine students who participated in the program.

Twice a week, the students attended a presentation from a professional who works in a STEMM field, including NYITCOM and Arkansas State University faculty. The interactive sessions gave the students an opportunity to hear about potential careers they may like to pursue and ask questions of the professional. SHARE participants were each paired with a NYITCOM faculty mentor, with whom the students conducted research and received encouragement.

“It was an excellent experience for all of the students and for the faculty that were involved,” said Rajendram Rajnarayanan, PhD, assistant dean of Research at NYITCOM. “We had a number of tremendous speakers that gave the students valuable information about their careers, and I really enjoyed watching the students engage and learn.”

OU-HCOM Dublin Hosts SNMA Regional Event

On August 10, the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) at Dublin hosted the Student National Medical Association Region V’s Regional Leadership Institute. More than 50 SNMA representatives from throughout Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana gathered on the campus for a day of educational sessions and networking. Kendalle Cobb, MD, a family medicine doctor and physician director of the Cleveland Clinic Physician Diversity Scholars Program, gave the keynote address titled “Our Roots Help Us Soar.” The Heritage College, Dublin, also hosted SNMA’s Region V Medical Education Conference in 2015. See more.

PNWU Children’s Book Slated For August 15 Release

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (PNWU-COM) held the official release of their children's book, "I Want to Be a Doctor! A Day at Medical School," at Inklings Bookshop in Yakima, WA, on August 15.

A product of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, “I Want to Be a Doctor! A Day at Medical School” invites readers on a journey through a day at medical school with Jill, a young girl from Alaska who dreams of one day becoming a doctor. Brimming with breathtaking illustrations and packed with entertaining and educational health sciences information, “I Want to be a Doctor!” encourages the next generation of lifelong learners to always follow their dreams, and shows young readers that, no matter where they are from, they, too, can become doctors.

PCOM Receives INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine’s 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award

Today, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) received the 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). PCOM will be featured, along with 49 other recipients, in the September 2019 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Inspiring Programs in STEM Award winners were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.  

“As a community, we are continuously focused on expanding diversity,” said Marcine Pickron-Davis, PhD, chief diversity and community relations officer. “Being recognized as an Inspiring Program in STEM Award Winner for our ongoing efforts to improve diversity in the fields of science, technology, engineering, math, and medicine is an honor.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp Cuts Ribbon to Open PCOM South Georgia

Close to 700 people who have a stake in the opening of PCOM South Georgia came to a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 6, 2019, at the newly constructed 75,000 square foot facility to witness Georgia Governor Brian Kemp lend his support to the first four-year medical school to locate in the Southwest Georgia region.

Speaking from “the region that literally feeds, clothes and provides not only for our state, but for our nation and the rest of the world,” Governor Kemp said, “I’m proud to say that the state saw how training world class doctors in Moultrie could be a real game changer for our region and we have supported this effort. But it was you all that got the ball started and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

Professing August 6 to be a “Red Letter Day,” President and CEO Jay S. Feldstein, DO, said Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) is “now proud to call South Georgia home.”

He addressed the 55 medical students who make up the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2023 and said, “People here in this room invested and partnered to make your education in this phenomenal new educational resource available to you. Everyone in this room is invested in your success.” Read more.

RVUCOM Students Awarded Diversity Scholarships

Several students from Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) were awarded Diversity Scholarships for the upcoming school year, which were administered by the Utah-based Rocky Vista Health Education and Research Foundation. The scholarship program promotes diversity and excellence in academia on both campuses, as well as service in the community. Recipients of the scholarship have also demonstrated a commitment to the study and practice of osteopathic medicine. Each campus selected two students from the Class of 2022 and Class of 2023: (pictured from left to right) Elizabeth Kuge, OMS-II, and Sebastian Ramos Sequel, OMS-I, from the Colorado Campus, and Nuriya Gadiwalla, OMS-II, and Desira Vance, OMS-I, from the Southern Utah Campus.

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Wins STEM Award

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (TouroCOM)’s Harlem campus received the 2019 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion-focused publication in higher education.  As a recipient of the STEM Award, TouroCOM, will be featured in the September 2019 issue of the magazine. 

Award winners are selected for their efforts to inspire and encourage young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring teaching, research and successful programs and initiatives.

TouroCOM is being recognized for its highly successful two-year MedAchieve Scholars afterschool enrichment program that serves local high school students interested in pursuing medicine or other health science careers. The students meet regularly throughout the academic year for lectures and labs. They are mentored by TouroCOM medical students, who teach them the foundations of medicine and how the body responds to stress, injury, and disease.

“We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication, and mentorship for underrepresented students,” said Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

Touro University California Professor Featured in JAOA Video

Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUCOM-CA) associate professor, Kimberly Wolf, DO, has been featured in a Journal of the American Osteopathic Association’s video presentation “Osteopathic Minute.”

In the four-minute video, Dr. Wolf demonstrates the use of a mesenteric lift to improve symptoms of constipation in patients with cystic fibrosis. Dr. Wolf is one of a handful of addition Touro faculty members who have been featured on previous JAOA videos. Watch the video.

VCOM-Auburn Trains and Instructs at FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness

This past June, students and faculty from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine—Auburn Campus (VCOM-Auburn) returned for a second year to the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, AL for mass casualty incident training. Located on the old Fort McClellan grounds, the CDP is known as the nation’s premiere all-hazards training facility for emergency responders. The contingent from VCOM-Auburn engaged in Hospital Emergency Response Training (HERT) at the CDP, which is operated by the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA). Additionally, students also took the Healthcare Leadership (HCL) for Mass Casualty Incidents course.

In addition to the 15 VCOM-Auburn medical students who attended the classes, two VCOM graduates served as instructors at the CDP. U.S. Army Capt. Mike Brisson, DO, PhD, a VCOM-Auburn class of 2019 graduate, served as an instructor for the HERT training. VCOM-Auburn Associate Dean for the Center for Simulation and Technology J. J. White, DO, PhD, a VCOM-Virginia class of 2007 graduate, taught the HCL course. VCOM-Auburn is extremely proud to have two members of its graduate family serve as instructors at the CDP.

VCOM–Carolinas HRSA Fellows and Faculty Attend Primary Care Training and Enhancement Meeting

VCOMCarolinas_CR_08222019On August 12, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) fellows and faculty from the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine—Carolinas Campus (VCOM-Carolinas) traveled to Washington, DC for the first annual HRSA Primary Care Training and Enhancement (PCTE) program meeting. PCTE fellows from around the country met to exchange ideas and present transformational projects created over this past year of training. One of VCOM’s fellows, Sandra Stephens, MD, was chosen to present on her topic, “Prevalence of Depression in Adolescents with ADHD.” This presentation highlighted a HRSA priority topic in behavioral health. The PCTE fellowship is funded by a multi-year grant from HRSA with the objective of strengthening the Primary Care workforce in underserved areas. VCOM’s grant is through 2023, providing training for five different cohorts of fellows. Their next group of fellows will begin in September this year.

VCOMVirginia_CR_08222019VCOM-Virginia Contribute to Memorial Scholarship with an Adventure Race

The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine—Virginia Campus (VCOM-Virginia) Sports Medicine Club held the 10th Anniversary VCOM Adventure Race on Saturday, August 3, at Claytor Lake. Proceeds from the event go to the J. Michael Bernardo Memorial Scholarship Fund, in memory of a member of the Class of 2010. Students from the Class of 2022 and 2023 took part in the three-part run, kayak, and bike race.

The Final Founder: WVSOM’s Last Living Founder Passes Away

WVSOM_CR_08222019The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine’s (WVSOM) last living founder, O.J. Bailes, DO, passed away on August 10.

Bailes was one of four osteopathic physicians, along with Carlton Apgar, DO, Don Newell Sr., DO, and Frank Wallington, DO, who founded the osteopathic medical school—then referred to as the Greenbrier College of Osteopathic Medicine—in 1972 on the campus of the former Greenbrier Military School.

The 95-year-old osteopathic physician had made a lifetime of contributions that helped move the profession forward, from his own career as a practicing physician to the founding of medical schools and his guidance in medical education.

“We are saddened that WVSOM’s last remaining founder is no longer with us,” WVSOM President James W. Nemitz, PhD, said. “Dr. Bailes was a loyal, passionate supporter of the school he helped to found. He will be remembered for his many contributions to the osteopathic medical profession and his dedicated service to the people of southern West Virginia.”

Nemitz recognized Bailes during the school’s graduation in May. Bailes attended WVSOM Commencement and Convocation and White Coat ceremonies frequently, representing the four founders and their vision.

“Dr. Bailes was instrumental in establishing the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine as well as other osteopathic medical schools,” Nemitz said during the ceremony. “Dr. Bailes, along with his devoted wife, Jean, have attended many graduation and white coat ceremonies held at WVSOM.”


Vol. 3, No. 14
August 22, 2019