AACOM’s Joining Forces Initiative Update 


Since the First Lady’s official announcement of the new Joining Forces initiative on January 11, 2012, AACOM and all of the nation's 26 colleges of osteopathic medicine and four branch campuses have proudly signed on to a pledge to ensure that current and future physicians are trained in the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members and veterans and their families.

Several of the nation’s osteopathic medical colleges already are demonstrating their strong commitment to the ideals outlined in the Joining Forces initiative through their continued devotion to research, education and clinical care agendas focused on addressing military service members’ needs. On March 7, the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth/Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC/TCOM) was honored by the Fort Worth Business Press at its annual Health Care Heroes awards dinner. At the dinner, the Fort Worth Business Press presented UNTHSC/TCOM with the publication’s foundational HEROES Health Care Award for its dedication to addressing the needs of our nation’s military personnel.

Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine of Midwestern University (AZCOM/MWU) also has emphasized its long-standing relationship with the military and service members. Spotlighted in the school’s 2011 summer magazine are several of the osteopathic school alumni who are currently serving in the Air Force and Army as military physicians, including David Hume, DO, Major, United States Air Force; Selina Jeanise, DO, Captain, United States Army; and Anita Shah, DO, Major, United States Army, who says, “Every day, it is an honor for me to care for those who are brave and have the courage to fight for and help others.”

In addition, several of the colleges of osteopathic medicine have shared some of the ways they are addressing military medicine and related health issues in their curricula, and AACOM has posted these to its website.

Currently in the preliminary phases of fulfilling its pledge, AACOM has developed an action plan that includes appointing an advisory committee of expert faculty and administrators to inform and coordinate the organization’s Joining Forces efforts. Dr. Marc Hahn, Dean of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and Vice Chair of the AACOM Board of Deans, is serving as Chair of the advisory committee. Additionally, the association is planning the production of Joining Forces resources such as curricular modules for the nation’s osteopathic medical colleges, as well as a webinar series designed for medical schools, CME providers and residency directors. These tools will focus on the treatment of key health issues for military service members and veterans, such as post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and depression.

For more information and updates, visit AACOM’s Joining Forces web page. AACOM will continue to keep readers apprised of Joining Forces activities and progress.


Inside OME Header
March 2012
Vol. 6, No. 3