The Bigger Picture

How Gaming Technology Improved Biomedical Education, CCOM Students Give Back, and More in Campus Roundup

ATSU-SOMA To Strengthen Primary Care Workforce With $1.9 Million HRSA Grant

A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) has received a $1,999,650 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The funding, which will be distributed over five years, will support an innovative primary care fellowship for physicians and physician assistants, strengthening the health care workforce in underserved communities nationwide.

“The grant will advance the training of practicing primary care physicians and physician assistants in the areas of leadership, team-based integrated healthcare, quality improvement, population health, social determinants of health, health policy, and health education—all components of health systems, and all elements of health care delivery we want our students to understand and practice,” says Jeffrey Morgan, DO, FACOI, CS, Dean of ATSU-SOMA. “Our medical students, whose training is embedded in CHCs and the communities served by CHCs, will be the direct beneficiaries of this focused education in the science of health systems.”

CCOM Students Care for Community with Day of Service

Before beginning their rigorous course of study, first-year medical students at Midwestern University participate in an annual day of service. This year, 204 new students at the university’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine (CCOM) packed food, sorted donations, cleared brush, and more as part of their orientation program.

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-COM Students Lend Their Skills at the Iowa State Fair

The 11-day Iowa State Fair is known for its Grandstand Shows, butter cow, and variety of competitions and food options. It’s also known for osteopathic manual medicine (OMM) treatments offered by students in the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM).

This year, 38 students, two faculty members, and two OMM fellows staffed the university tent, practicing their skills on fairgoers and enjoying a real-world OMM experience. They also enjoyed an opportunity for interprofessional education, as students in the school’s physical therapy program also provided postural adjustments and other treatments.

KCU-COM Student Research Opens Dialogue on Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections

Are doctors talking with patients about sexually transmitted disease? How quickly would the cycle of sexually transmitted infections be broken if the partners of every person diagnosed could be treated as well? A couple of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) students believe answers to those questions could be keys to reversing an American crisis.

Megan McMurray and Mianna Armstrong, fourth-year osteopathic medical students with a keen interest in treating sexual health found the recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics documenting a rise in sexually transmitted infections rates alarming. They decided to dig further into the issue and bring awareness to a health problem that will affect some of their future patients, with the hope of offering a solution to a disturbing national trend. Read more.

Marian University Awarded First NIH Grant to Study Rosacea

The Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MU-COM) has received a grant for more than $300,000 to research rosacea, a common skin disorder of unknown cause that causes facial redness and inflammation in about 16 million Americans. The funding is the university’s first from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Kristen Metzler-Wilson, PhD, PT, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, and Thad Wilson, PhD, Professor of Physiology will lead the research project. The two will use specialized techniques to directly measure the neurovascular activity of facial skin face in response to flushing triggers.

“To be awarded funding from the NIH acknowledges that an innovative and meritorious proposal has been vetted through a rigorous peer-review process and judged to be among the best-of-the-best grant submissions,” Donald Sefcik, DO, MBA, Dean of MU-COM and Vice President of Health Professions, said. Read more.

NYITCOM Students Use Gaming Technology to Design High-Tech Nephrology Teaching Tool

“I call them superstars,” said Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences Aleksandr Vasilyev, MD, PhD. He was referring to New York Institute of Technology’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM) students Ivan Bandovic and Dylan Carmichael. The trio developed Nephro360, a new teaching tool that uses virtual reality and gaming technologies to help students study the kidney.

The software is the brainchild of Vasilyev, who had been working on the idea for about three years to teach students about the inner workings of the kidneys and creating a way for educators to track the progress of their students. With Nephro360, students who have a hard time visualizing kidney function or what happens to the organ when a drug is added will see the process unfold before their eyes, thanks to the use of virtual reality. Watch a short video explaining how the Nephro360 works.

Heritage College, Cleveland Pipeline Program Wins STEM Award

The Aspiring DOctors Precollege Program offered at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) at Cleveland has been honored with a 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

Aspiring DOctors is a comprehensive three-year pipeline program for underrepresented minority high school students from Cleveland-area schools who are interested in careers in health care and science. The program offers a mix of academic STEM enrichment, personal mentoring, and hands-on learning activities. 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. Read more.

PCOM Ranks As Top Degree Producer for Minorities

The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) ranked first for the number of DO degrees awarded to African American students and to students of two or more races, according to the 2018 Diverse: Issues in Higher Education list of “Top 100 Degree Producers” for minority students.

The college also had an impressive showing in other areas, ranking first in the categories of “Health Professions and Related Programs” and “All Disciplines Combined” among students of two or more races. The college also placed fourth for the number of master’s degrees awarded to students of two or more races in the discipline of “Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting and Related Protective Services” (for its Forensic Medicine program), and sixth for the number of clinical, counseling, and applied psychology degrees awarded to African Americans. Read more.

Rocky Vista Students and Residents Recognized at Symposium

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) participated in the UC Health Trauma, Critical Care, and EMS Symposium on August 24 to 25 in Colorado Springs, CO. More than 10 student doctors presented posters centered on original research in trauma, emergency general surgery, and critical care and injury prevention.

Cameron Lindemann, osteopathic medical student at RVUCOM, was awarded the Best Poster Presentation in the student category. James Poling, currently a General Surgery resident at St. Anthony Hospital in Colorado, was awarded second place in the paper competition in the resident category. The conference, which featured interactive stations and a variety of vendors, focused on optimal care for injured or seriously ill patients in both rural and urban settings.

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Breaks Record with Underrepresented Minorities

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine New York (TouroCOM-NY) welcomed the Class of 2022 with a record-breaking number of underrepresented minorities (URMs). Of the 135 students in the class, 36—more than 26 percent of the class—are URMs.

The influx marks three highly successful recruitment years in a row. The rise is part of an upward trend with a 55 percent increase overall in applications to TouroCOM since the 2015-16 application year. The Harlem campus interviewed 550 applicants, including 92 URM students, a 206 percent increase in URM candidates interviewed over last year.

VCOM-Auburn Researcher Secures First NIH Grant for Auburn Campus

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Auburn (VCOM-Auburn) researcher Wei Liu, PhD, Associate Professor for Biomedical Affairs and Research, recently received notice of a grant award on his National Institutes of Health (NIH) K23 submission (Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award) titled Real time biofeedback Tai Chi training for knee osteoarthritis: A feasibility study. The five-year $825,000 grant has been funded through the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

This is the largest single research grant to date for VCOM-Auburn campus researchers and the first NIH grant for the three-year-old campus. Liu said that the project will look at the biomechanical effects of Tai Chi exercise in knee osteoarthritis patient populations while promoting a complementary medicine integrative health approach.

VCOM-Carolinas Awarded Grant for Primary Care Training and Enhancement Fellowship Program

090618_VCOMCarolinas_CRRon Januchowski, DO, Associate Dean for Curriculum, Assessment, and Medical Education at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Carolinas (VCOM-Carolinas) has been awarded a Primary Care Training and Enhancement grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The grant is for five years and is in the amount of $1.95 million.

The VCOM Fellowship for Primary Care Transformation Leaders Program aims to strengthen the primary care physician workforce in community-based health centers in medically underserved areas. The program’s goals include improved patient outcomes and increased physician recruitment to rural Community Health Centers. As the Fellowship Program Director, Dr. Januchowski will oversee the program administration and coordinate both the key and guest faculty in the development of the curriculum program and the transformation projects. He will also work with the Community Health Center leadership to identify and recruit fellows.

VCOM-Virginia Celebrates Spirit Week

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia (VCOM-Virginia) celebrated Spirit Week 2018. Throughout the week of August 27, the classes of 2021 and 2022 competed to see who has the most VCOM spirit.

To start the competition, penny wars were held with the money benefitting the Frank Rocovich Memorial Fund at VCOM. Other competitions included tug-o-war, kickball, and a doughnut eating contest as part of the VCOM Olympics. Students also had the chance to represent their undergraduate universities this week and show some school pride.

WVSOM’s Healthy Children’s Initiative Wins Emmy for Abracadabra

It was a magical evening for Abracadabra during the 54th annual Ohio Valley Regional Emmy® Awards ceremony in Lawrenceburg, IN. Cast and crew members waited for the Children/Youth/Teens category to be announced.

The wait was worth it. The episode “Joey’s Time Machine” was pronounced an Emmy winner. “We are truly grateful to be awarded this Emmy,” said Michael Adelman, DO, JD, creator of the show and president emeritus for the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM).

Abracadabra is a component of the Healthy Children’s Initiative WVSOM. The goal is to present educational lessons on health, nutrition, exercise, safety and science through magic and ventriloquism to help improve the health of viewers. West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB) partners with WVSOM on the show. “We appreciate the support and all the work that WVPB contributes to make this show successful,” Adelman said. “They are a professional team and a pleasure to work with.”