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SOMA


MESA, Ariz. – A.T. Still University (ATSU) is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Kay Kalousek as the new dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA).

“We are very pleased that Dr. Kalousek will join ATSU as dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona,” said Dr. Douglas L. Wood, Senior Vice President-Academic Affairs and founding dean of SOMA.  “Her extensive experience in medical education will guide her as dean and will help her continue to move SOMA in a positive direction.”

Kay Kalousek, D.O., M.S., AAHIVS, FACOFP, is currently the associate dean for academic and student affairs for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif. She earned the D.O. degree from COMP, where she additionally serves as an associate professor of family medicine. As a frequent academic lecturer, Dr. Kalousek presents on a variety of health topics, including “Clinical Care of the HIV-infected Patient” and “Health Care for Minority Groups.”

“Dr. Kalousek will continue on the path of innovation and excellence as the new dean of SOMA. She will work closely with our other deans to help ATSU educate highly competent and compassionate healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Jack Magruder, ATSU president.  “She will be an excellent leader, and we are fortunate to have her join our university.”

In addition to her wide university-level background, Dr. Kalousek brings considerable clinical expertise to the dean’s position.  She has been a consulting and supervising physician in a medical group and clinic and holds staff membership in a West Covina, Calif., hospital.  She also has engaged in numerous volunteer activities to provide free medical care for the homeless.

“Dr.Kalousek brings significant educational experience and a passion for serving underserved populations to ATSU,” adds Dr. Craig Phelps, executive vice president for strategic initiatives and ATSU President-designate. “We welcome her to the ATSU family, and we look forward to working together.”

 Dr. Kalousek will assume her duties of Dean of ATSU-SOMA on July 1, taking over from Interim Dean Dr. Thomas McWilliams.

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MESA, Ariz. –The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) a $950,000  grant for pre-doctoral training in primary care. Frederic Schwartz, D.O., FACOFP, associate dean for ATSU-SOMA Community Campuses is principal investigator of the project; Mara Hover D.O., director of the ATSU-SOMA Clinical Affairs Unit is co-principal investigator.  “The project’s goals are to establish a master’s of public health (MPH) degree track for ATSU-SOMA trainees and to develop competency-based evaluation mechanisms for third- and fourth-year students’ clinical experiences,” said Dr. Schwartz.

ATSU-SOMA students spend three years completing their medical school education at one of 11 National Association of Community Health Center’s community campuses across the country.  Each community campus serves a unique population, which includes the homeless, migrant workers, uninsured families, and ethnically diverse patients in rural and urban settings.

“HealthSource of Mt. Oreb, Ohio and HealthPoint of Seattle, Wash., have already established articulation agreements with local colleges to enhance the referral of students who have both the ‘heart’ for service and the learning skills package for success in serving the underserved,” said Dr. Schwartz. Waianae Comprehensive Health Center in Waianae, Hawaii, is a partner with Honolulu’s Chaminade University in a similar agreement. All of the community campuses are working to enhance the training pipeline via articulation agreements.

“HRSA has been wonderfully supportive in recognizing our efforts to train physicians who will select needed specialties and begin practice in underserved communities,” said Thomas McWilliams, D.O., FACOFP, interim dean, ATSU-SOMA.  This grant expands opportunities in public health training and helps align our evaluation process with those that will be used during the student’s residency training.”

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Founded in 1892 as the nation’s first college of osteopathic medicine, A.T. Still University provides graduate level education in whole person healthcare. Recognized internationally for its integrated approach, ATSU equips students with the knowledge, compassion, and hands-on experience needed to address the body, mind, and spirit. The University now comprises the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, the School of Health Management, the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, the Arizona School of Health Sciences, and the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.

 

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Ninety-two newly minted doctors of osteopathic medicine have reserved their place in history as members of the inaugural graduating class of A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA).

On Friday, June 3, the inaugural ATSU-SOMA class of 2011 walked across the stage at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Ariz., to receive their diplomas – not in alphabetical order, but grouped according to the community health center campuses where they lived and studied for the last three years. ATSU-SOMA’s unique curricular model was fully accredited just days earlier by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA).

Graduates will enter residencies across the country in July, with 83 percent going into National Association of Community Health Center (NACHC) needed specialties, including primary care. Fifteen ATSU-SOMA graduates will remain in Arizona for residency training.

“Today we share the success of the graduates as well as the success of the school,” said Kenneth Jones, D.O., FAOCR, ’83, vice chair of the ATSU Board of Trustees. “I personally am excited to be here with you today, because I was one of the 21 members of the board who approved the proposed new osteopathic medical school in 2005.”

In his address to the graduating class, SOMA Interim Dean Thomas McWilliams, D.O., FACOFP, ’76, noted that from day one, most of the inaugural class expressed a desire to help people as a main motivation for going into a career in medicine. “Your level of volunteerism and altruism [has been] remarkable,” said Dr. McWilliams. “We’ve done all that we can in our curriculum to promote and maintain this heart to serve the needy. I think that this is the true heart of SOMA.

“My parting request to you is that you keep this spirit alive during your residency and on into practice. Your healing touch is exactly what the nation needs at this place in time.”

The keynote speaker was Douglas Wood, D.O., Ph.D., ATSU’s senior vice president – academic affairs, and founding dean of SOMA. “You took a chance on this innovative, unproven medical school and look where we are today,” he said. “You are going to be wonderful osteopathic physicians. And I can tell you that I will forever owe you a debt of gratitude.”

Following the keynote address, ATSU President Jack Magruder, Ed.D., presented Dr. Wood a presidential proclamation of thanks and appreciation for his contributions to ATSU-SOMA, the profession of osteopathic medicine, and osteopathic medical education.

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MESA, Ariz. – The American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) has awarded A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA), located in Mesa, Ariz., its initial full accreditation status. ATSU-SOMA received official notification of the status May 31.

“To achieve accreditation status is a tremendous accomplishment for any medical school,” said Thomas McWilliams, interim dean, ATSU-SOMA. “It is particularly gratifying to have done this in a program that is as innovative as ATSU-SOMA.”

What sets ATSU-SOMA apart is its innovative curriculum. The Clinical Presentation Model, developed at the University of Calgary Medical School, is based on three categories in which patients present to physicians: signs, symptoms, and abnormal laboratory findings.

In many traditional medical education curricula, the first two years are spent in a large lecture hall setting learning anatomy, physiology, and microbiology, and each system is learned one at a time, such as cardiac, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal. The ATSU-SOMA Clinical Presentation Model integrates both clinical and basic sciences into organ-based courses so that students immediately learn how to clinically apply what they learn in their first year of medical school. Clinical activity comprises 10 percent of the year one curriculum, 20 percent of year two, and 90 percent of years three and four.

Prior to receiving full accreditation, a site visit by COCA to ATSU-SOMA was conducted January 19-21, 2011. COCA determined at their meeting on May 1 that ATSU-SOMA completed the provisional accreditation phase of its recognition process and advanced to accreditation.

“The unique curricular approach that distributes its students to under-served communities throughout their second, third, and fourth years of training was challenging for visiting accreditation team members who were familiar with more traditional models,” said Dr. McWilliams. “On further analysis, they were rapidly able to grasp the importance of our dedication to training healers for needed specialties and communities of need. It was truly heartwarming to hear their comments regarding each of the 11 community campuses that have been developed in close partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers.  The opportunity to play a role in this has been the most important activity of my entire professional life. Our faculty, staff, and pioneering students have all done an exemplary job!”

Added Douglas Wood, D.O., Ph.D., ATSU senior vice president—academic affairs, and founding dean, ATSU-SOMA, “Attaining full accreditation is truly a milestone in the life of  the new osteopathic medical school. It is the result of much effort involving faculty, staff, and students who have worked diligently over several years. I thank them for their efforts.”

The ATSU School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) graduates its first class of 92 students on June 3, 2011.

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Funds keep University programs and technology on cutting edge to benefit communities

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) granted A.T. Still University (ATSU) eight awards totaling more than $5.86 million. These gifts will greatly benefit the Kirksville, Mo., and Mesa, Ariz., communities, and beyond. In all, ATSU was awarded more than 60 percent of HRSA’s Federal Health Professions grant funding in Missouri and more than 75 percent of all grants in Arizona.

“These significant grants will allow ATSU to better serve our communities and to carry out our mission to serve rural areas and underserved populations in Arizona and Missouri,” said ATSU President Jack Magruder. All grant funds are dedicated to specific areas and cannot be used for anything else.

Three of the eight grants are for five-year projects. A $1.75 million award will establish a department of family and community medicine at ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA), located in Mesa, for the purpose of training community health centers (CHCs) to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ASDOH), also located in Mesa, and the School of Health Management (SHM), headquartered in Kirksville, Mo., received $1.5 million for a workforce development initiative to produce oral health leaders for community health centers and public health settings.

A grant of $1.11 million was awarded to the ATSU’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) to intensify instruction and assessment in health literacy, public health, and electronic medical records, emphasizing the medical home model of care.

The five remaining grants were received through the HRSA’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Each ARRA grant is worth $300,000 and that $1.5 million is allocated for the acquisition and use of teaching resources and classroom technology, including simulated patients, defibrillators, and a video communications system.  These grants were awarded to ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ASHS), SOMA, and KCOM.

Douglas Wood, D.O., Ph.D., ATSU Senior Vice President – Academic Affairs, said that “the funding from these awards will first and foremost benefit the patients and the healthcare professionals in primary care, public health, and underserved locations. These new resources will help ATSU to concentrate on sound and innovative education and compassionate practice.”

HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is the primary federal agency for improving healthcare service for the underserved. HRSA provides leadership and financial support to healthcare providers, healthcare professionals, and is committed to improving the healthcare system in rural communities.

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