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ATSU Board Approves New Dental School

The A.T. Still University (ATSU) Board of Trustees recently approved a $26 million bond issue for constructing and equipping a new building on the university’s Kirksville, Missouri, campus to establish the Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health. The school plans to matriculate 40 students in the fall of 2013. The new 61,000-square-foot facility will house the dental school, as well as space for ATSU/Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine students.

ATSU's National Center for American Indian Health Professions Receives $200,000 Grant

A.T. Still University's National Center for American Indian Health Professions (ATSU-NCAIHP) has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Arizona-based Gila River Indian Community to help address urgent health care needs of Native Americans. The funding will help launch the Native Early Acceptance Team (NEAT) program, which will provide guidance and support to American Indian students who may be the first in their families to pursue higher education, and who may face financial impediments to doing so. NEAT will identify students early in their academic careers and create a pipeline of Native health care providers who will return to their communities after graduation. After recruiting students for NEAT, the program will advise the students, provide those who progress to higher education with tutoring and remedial education, and create partnerships among tribal leaders, tribal educators and local, state and regional higher education organizations. “The generosity of the Gila River Indian Community will allow ATSU to step up its outreach to the large American Indian community in Arizona and the surrounding states,” said Douglas Wood, DO, ATSU's Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Referencing Native Americans’ high rates of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high-blood pressure and cardiovascular and kidney disease, he said, “GRIC is making it possible for ATSU to address the serious health care challenges Native communities face and to pursue ATSU's founding mission of serving the underserved.”

MSUCOM Team Travels to Haiti for Health Care Mission

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) Interim Associate Dean at the Detroit Medical Center Gary Willyerd, DO, and Assistant Dean William Cunningham, DO, recently led a team of MSUCOM osteopathic physicians, residents and nurses to Haiti to provide medical services and deliver over $10,000 in donated medical supplies (at left). The team treated more than 700 patients at the Soaring de Pister Clinic in northern Haiti.

The trip was sponsored and organized by Michigan State University’s Institute of International Health, and funding was donated by MSU’s Caribbean Student Association for Haiti’s Health Project. MSUCOM Associate Dean of Global Health Programs and Director of the Institute of International Health Reza Nassiri, DSc, said, “Our team got valuable insights into the pressing public health and medical issues confronting post-earthquake Haiti.”

NYCOM Receives Federal Funding for Geriatrics and Family Medicine Training

The New York College of Osteopathic Medicine of the New York Institute of Technology has received grants totaling more than $2 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration to fund training in geriatrics and family medicine. The Family Physician Faculty Training in Geriatrics program, which received nearly $1.1 million, will educate family physician faculty members in geriatrics and education methodologies, with the goal of creating a large body of instruction on geriatric topics. Once trained, the faculty members will share their knowledge of geriatrics with NYCOM classes of approximately 300 students per year, as well as with family medicine residents in NYCOM’s OPTI.

The second grant, totaling $950,000, will be used to fund the Accelerated DO/Family Medicine Residency continuum, which will reconfigure NYCOM’s current four-year undergraduate medical education curriculum into a three-year accelerated Family Medicine-oriented track. The program will be one of only five accelerated medical school tracks in the country. Both programs aim to help underserved populations, and the accelerated path will reduce the school time and debt load of participants.

OU-HCOM Researcher and Postdoctoral Researcher Receive NIH Grant

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine researcher Brian Clark, PhD, Associate Professor of Physiology and Director of the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute, has teamed up with postdoctoral researcher M.J. “Matt” Conaway, PhD, to conduct research aimed at providing a better understanding of the physiological processes that result in muscle weakness. Dr. Conaway, whose father is an osteopathic physician, has mixed quadriplegic spastic athetoid cerebral palsy. He is unable to walk, has minimal use of his hands, and communicates primarily through a computer by typing with a mouth stick. He and Dr. Clark have received  $194,206 in funding to promote diversity in health-related research; the funding covers the cost of Conway’s postdoctoral fellowship.

RVUCOM Hosts Live Antarctica Video Teleconference

(At left: Video teleconference attendees get an in-depth look at the McMurdo Base in Antarctica.)

In September, the Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) Rural and Wilderness Medicine Department hosted a live video teleconference with the McMurdo Base in Antarctica. RVU students, faculty and staff attended the event, along with participants watching from their computers, as the live video was broadcast online. The teleconference started with an in-depth presentation, “Medical Challenges in Antarctica,” provided by Douglas H. Freer, MD, DPM, MPH, Medical Director for Raytheon Polar Services.  Dr. Freer spoke about the challenges medical professionals face working in a harsh and remote location, and provided an overview of the McMurdo Base, the largest of the three primary American-staffed bases in Antarctica. A crew of seven medical professionals who live on the McMurdo Base held an interactive question-and-answer session with RVUCOM students and other students viewing the teleconference online.

The teleconference was made possible by the National Science Foundation and Raytheon Polar Services and arranged by Dr. Freer and Thomas Told, DO, Assistant Dean of Clinical Education and Rural and Wilderness Medicine Department Chair at RVUCOM. The Rural and Wilderness Medicine Track is a specialized educational track created for students to enhance the focus of their medical education and to prepare them to serve the health care needs of patients in rural or wilderness environments that may lack major medical support systems.

VCOM Dean Recognized by Virginia Secretary of Health

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine Executive Vice President and Dean Dixie Tooke-Rawlins, DO, was recently recognized by Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources Bill Hazel (shown with Dr. Tooke-Rawlins at left) for being selected Educator of the Year by the American Osteopathic Foundation. In receiving the award, Dr. Rawlins said to the many state leaders in attendance, “Our mission is to improve the health status of the communities we serve by training physicians for rural Virginia and rural Appalachia.” 

WVSOM Raises Money for Breast Cancer Research with Pink Treadmill

The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM) took part in National Breast Cancer Awareness month in October by encouraging people to log miles on a new pink treadmill. Cybex, manufacturer of the pink treadmill, donated 10 cents for every mile logged during October to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. To reach WVSOM’s goal of raising $10,000, teams of students, faculty, staff and the Robert C. Byrd clinic staff were formed. Money was also raised for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure by raffling a gift basket filled with breast cancer awareness items. WVSOM President Michael Adelman, DO, JD, said that the school “is very excited to be the first in the state to have this pink treadmill and participate in the annual Pink Ribbon Run campaign. It is always important to support breast cancer research and work toward finding a cure.”

WesternU Appoints Dean of Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences

Western University of Health Sciences officials have announced the appointment of Michel Baudry, PhD, to Dean of the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences, effective in January 2012. He most recently served as professor of biological sciences, neurology and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California. Dr. Baudry graduated from the prestigious ECole Polytechnique in Paris and obtained a doctorate in biochemistry at the University of Paris VII. He has served on the faculty at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he collaborated on the development of a biochemical theory for learning and memory that remains one of the most widely accepted theories in the field.
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November 2011
Vol. 5, No. 11