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AACOM Announces Recipients of 2017 National Awards

May 18, 2017



Paul DeMiglio
Senior Media Specialist


Leaders in the Osteopathic Medical Education Community
Receive 2017 National Awards

(Washington, DC) -- The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) is proud to announce the 2017 recipients of the following national awards: Dale Dodson Award, Robert A. Kistner Award, Innovation in Medical Education Awards, ED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award, National Student DO of the Year Award, and National Student Researcher of the Year Award.

Each award recipient was honored at the Annual AACOM Awards Banquet on Friday, April 28, held during the Joint AACOM & AODME 2017 Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD. The Annual Awards Banquet is a special event hosted by AACOM to honor the exceptional accomplishments of individuals within the osteopathic medical community.

Created in memory of American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Past-President and osteopathic medical education (OME) innovator Dale S. Dodson, DO, the Dale Dodson Awardrecognizes a current or past CEO or CAO of an osteopathic medical college who has made significant contributions to the advancement and support of OME. This year’s recipient is Michael D. Adelman DO, DPM, JD, President of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM).Dr. Adelman has been president of WVSOM since 2011, after previously serving as dean of the college for nine years.During this time, Dr. Adelman was integral in the steady evolution and growth of the campus—including the addition of a student center and the crafting of the school’s first strategic plan, as well as theadvancement of WVSOM's research, curriculum, and scholarship capacity.Dr. Adelman’s unparalleled passion, integrity, and dedication to OMEhave greatly impacted the growing pipeline ofhigh-quality physicians practicing in rural underserved communities in the Appalachian region, and beyond.

The Robert A. Kistner Award is presented each year, also on behalf of the AACOM Board of Deans, to an individual who has made important contributions throughout his or her career to benefit and support OME. The 2017 recipient of the Robert A. Kistner Award is Barbara Ross-Lee, DO, VicePresident for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM).Dr. Ross-Lee was the first DO to serve as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, the first African-American female to serve as dean of a U.S. medical school, and the first and current director of the AOA Health Policy Fellowship. For the past 17 years, she has worked with NYITCOM in a variety of leadership roles—including Inaugural Site Dean of NYITCOM at A-State, which successfully opened this past fall.Through her dedication to service, advocacy, and medical education, she has made a positive impact on the lives of countless individuals, and has inspired thousands of osteopathic medical students to pursue careers in medicine.

AACOM’s Society of Osteopathic Medical Educators (SOME) confers annual Innovation in Medical Education Awards in recognition of specific education innovations that have resulted in meaningful change at the developers’ institutions. The 2017 awardees include:

  • Jennifer Weiss, DO, Associate Dean and Professor, Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine (TUCOM-CA) for her innovation:Clinical Distinction: Advancing EPAs through a Required Year 3 Course
  • Marilyn R. Gugliucci, PhD, Professor & Director of Geriatrics Education and Research, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNECOM) for her innovation:48-Hour Hospice Home Immersion Project

TheED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year Awardis AACOM's first-ever award honoring exceptional dedication to the hard work of advocacy. AACOM's ED to MED national grassroots campaign provides students, medical educators, and other advocates a platform to advocate for graduate education policies in the halls of Congress. The 2017 recipient of the ED to MED Outstanding Advocate of the Year Award isCaleb Hentges. Caleb is a third-year osteopathic medical student at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University (AZCOM). He serves as a member of his school's Student Senate Executive Board and as AZCOM'sPresident of the Student Government Association. Caleb is a member of Omega Beta Iota: The National Osteopathic Political Action Honor Society, which requires inductees to display a deep commitment to political activity and demonstrate excellence in health care politics. He also recently served as the National 2nd Vice Chair ofAACOM’sCouncil of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents (COSGP). As an ED to MED Campus Ambassador, Caleb frequently seeks opportunitiesto advocate on behalf of his fellow osteopathic medical students.It’s because of advocates like Caleb that the ED to MED campaign continues to grow stronger every day.

AACOM distributed a press release on February 28 announcingthe 2017 National Student DO of the Year,Daniel S. Ebbs, MS, osteopathic medical student at the A.T. Still University School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA);and 2017 National Student Researcher of the Year First LieutenantJohn E. Cebak, PhD, osteopathic medical student at the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM).See release here.


The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) represents the 33 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States. These colleges are accredited to deliver instruction at 48 teaching locations in 31 states. In the 2016-17 academic year these colleges are educating over 27,000 future physicians—more than 20 percent of all U.S. medical students. Six of the colleges are public and 27 are private institutions.

AACOM was founded in 1898 to support and assist the nation's osteopathic medical schools, and to serve as a unifying voice for osteopathic medical education. AACOMprovides leadership for the osteopathic medical education community by promoting excellence in medical education, research and service, and by fostering innovation and quality across the continuum of osteopathic medical education to improve the health of the American public.