New schools will join AMA to reshape how future physicians are trained and improve health outcomes

A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) was selected by the American Medical Association (AMA) to join the Association’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium, a dynamic group of medical schools which share best practices and ideas for developing innovative curricula that can ultimately be implemented in medical schools across the country.

ATSU-SOMA was nominated by AMA because of its approach to incorporating comprehensive community-based projects as part of its curriculum, empowering students to actively learn to assess needs of the community through their second, third, and fourth year of medical school education while embedded in one of ATSU-SOMA’s 12 community health center (CHC) campuses.

The announcement was made by AMA’s CEO James Madara, MD, and Susan Skochelak, MD, group vice president for medical education. AMA announced a total of 20 leading medical schools from across the country, all of which landed a spot on the Association’s consortium, and were awarded a three-year grant totaling $75,000.

“ATSU is thankful for and looks forward to collaborating with consortium partners in developing innovative learning experiences to improve medical education ultimately resulting in healthier individuals and communities,” said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84.

According to AMA, the 20 new schools will build upon projects created by the 11 schools awarded grants by AMA in 2013 and ultimately impact thousands of medical students across the nation currently being trained to care for patients in the rapidly changing healthcare environment. With the added schools, the now 31 school consortium will support training for an estimated 18,000 medical students who will one day care for 31 million patients each year.

“Consortium membership will enable us to spotlight successful teaching strategies, enhance support for individual community projects, and dedicate additional resources to evaluating the knowledge, skills, and attitudes resulting from this contextual innovation, “said principal investigator, Joy H. Lewis, DO, PhD, FACP, professor of internal medicine and public health, chair, ATSU-SOMA Department of Public Health. “I appreciate this opportunity very much and look forward to sharing with, and learning from, the other members of the consortium. This cross-pollination will be invaluable for creating the providers of the future.”

Through a competitive grant process, schools were selected from among 170 eligible U.S. medical schools by a national advisory panel, which sought proposals that would significantly redesign medical education. This is the first year an osteopathic medical school could apply to the initiative.

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2016_MFS_Logo_200x200A.T. Still University (ATSU) has been designated a 2016 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, the leader in successfully connecting the military and civilian worlds. Now in its seventh year, the original, premier Military Friendly® Schools designation provides service members and their families with transparent, data-driven ratings about post-military education and career opportunities.

Institutions competed for the elite Military Friendly® School title by completing a survey of over 100 questions covering ten categories including military support on campus, graduation and employment outcomes, and military spouse policies. Survey responses were scored against benchmarks across these key indicators of success. In addition, data was independently tested by Ernst & Young based upon the weightings and methodology established by Victory Media with guidance from an independent Advisory Board of higher education and recruiting professionals.

The Military Friendly® Schools designation is awarded to the top colleges, universities, community colleges, and trade schools in the country that are doing the most to embrace military students, and to dedicate resources to ensure their success both in the classroom and after graduation. The methodology for making the Military Friendly® Schools list has changed the student veteran landscape to one much more transparent, and has played a significant role over the past seven years in capturing and advancing best practices to support military students across the country.

For more information about ATSU’s commitment to supporting military students, visit www.atsu.edu.

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MESA, AZ: October 1, 2015 -The BHHS Legacy Foundation of Phoenix (BHHS) has awarded A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) a $95,000 grant to support the University’s Fall Prevention Outreach program – the largest university-based fall-prevention initiative in the country.

Since the program began in 2008, more than 2,000 Arizonans have completed the eight-week curriculum, which gives older adults the tools they need to prevent falls and manage the often-paralyzing fear of falling that comes with growing older. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, injuries sustained from falls are the leading cause of accident injury deaths in Arizonans 65 and older.

ATSU uses A Matter of Balance, a nationally- recognized fall-prevention curriculum developed by Boston University. After receiving special training, teams of ATSU students will offer the curriculum, at no cost, to older citizens at 41 community sites in the Greater Phoenix area. Collaborations with partners ranging from local municipalities to assisted-living communities make the program possible.

Part of the grant will fund the certification of 15 “master trainers” who will teach the two-day A Matter of Balance curriculum to the ATSU students and the community volunteers who will, in turn, teach the sessions. The grant will also fund the expansion of the program to an additional 24 sites, for a total of 65.

“BHHS Legacy Foundation board and staff are proud to be affiliated with such an innovative community health prevention program that targets and promotes health and wellness among our community’s older adult population,” said BHHS Legacy Foundation CEO Gerald L. Wissink, FACHE. “We applaud the leadership of ATSU in expanding falls prevention in Arizona.”

“Falls in older adults are a global community health concern and numerous reports have highlighted the extent of this problem. Additionally, falls lead to substantial economic and human costs, largely due to unplanned medical emergencies and hospitalization costs,” said Elton Bordenave, director of the Aging Studies Project at ATSU.

The CDC reports that every 14 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall, and that every 29 minutes an older adult dies from a fall-related injury. The financial repercussion of falls among older adults will only increase as the population ages and may reach $59.6 billion by 2020, according to the National Council on Aging. However, according to a 2013 report to Congress by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, participation by older adults in a falls prevention program has shown a reduction in healthcare costs.

Arizona seniors who have participated in the program report positive changes in their level of mobility and attitude toward life. Dorothy Hannisian, a 90-year-old participant, enrolled in the program after a devastating fall in her kitchen had left her fearful. “I don’t want to exist. I want to live,” she told her trainer.

Bordenave has heard it many times before. “Many older adults fear falling, and they stop going out with friends, to the mall or to public places,” he says. “Fear of falling limits their activities and social engagements resulting in depression, physical decline and social isolation.”

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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) announced today a $1.2 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Grant funding will enhance primary care education and better prepare medical students to reduce health disparities and barriers to care for vulnerable populations, improve patient engagement, and become leaders in the Primary Care Workforce Competencies endorsed by the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative.

“This funding will position ATSU students for the ever-changing healthcare environment and strengthen the focus on primary care needs,” said grant project director Margaret Wilson, DO, dean ATSU-KCOM. “Developing leaders for communities to address issues such as chronic disease management, health disparities, and patient engagement will improve health for all.”

Increasing demand for new primary care graduates – coupled with growing retirement of seasoned providers – suggests the profession will sorely lack primary care leaders needed to transform healthcare systems.

“Our University is grateful for this opportunity to enhance primary care education of future healthcare leaders. This grant will help ensure a new generation of healthcare providers meet the primary care needs of patients well into the future,” said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO.

Through HRSA funding, ATSU-KCOM will look to address these issues through strategic planning that prioritizes innovative educational approaches for an evolving healthcare workforce, strategic partnerships, diversity, and interprofessional education.

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer: This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number TOBHP28556; grant title Primary Care Training and Enhancement; total award amount of $1,203,168; with 43 percent financed with nongovernmental sources.  This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

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A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

GCTFThe results, released today in The Chronicle’s eighth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of 281 colleges and universities.

In all, 86 of the 281 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with ATSU included among the medium universities with 3,000 to 9,999 students.

ATSU won honors in two categories: compensation and benefits, and work-life balance.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized for such a distinguished tribute. ATSU is devoted to our internal community; and we are committed to fostering an environment where faculty, staff, and students feel valued, empowered, and supported both in and outside of the workplace,” said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

“The institutions that the Great Colleges program recognizes provide innovative educational experiences – while also offering their employees outstanding workplace experiences – and we are eager to help readers learn more about them,” said Liz McMillen, The Chronicle’s editor. “The selection process is rigorous and being named to the list is a tremendous accomplishment, but it also positions colleges and universities well to recruit the people that make them a success.”

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