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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ceph_mastA.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS) announced its Master of Public Health and Master of Public Health-Dental Emphasis programs received accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) extending through July 1, 2020.

“It is a great honor to have ATSU’s public health programs accredited by CEPH,” said Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, MPH, MBA, MA, dean of ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies. “This specialized accreditation avows the quality of the University’s online master’s in public health programs and commitment to adequately prepare students. Graduates are recognized as being knowledgeable and competent to carry out public health functions in local, state, national, and international settings.”

CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, that accredits schools of public health and public health programs. It is the only agency recognized to accredit graduate schools of public health and graduate public health programs outside schools of public health.

To earn and maintain accreditation, schools and programs must meet specific educational quality standards defined by CEPH. These standards relate to the school or program’s organization and instructional programs. The school or program’s creation, application and advancement of knowledge, and faculty, staff, and students are also standards defined by CEPH.

The programs received the maximum initial accreditation of five years. CEPH currently accredits 56 schools and 108 programs.

“The accreditation process requires commitment from administrators, faculty, staff, students, and other constituents,” said CEPH Executive Director Laura Rasar King, MPH, MCHES. “The Council recognizes the efforts of A.T. Still University to make ongoing improvements to ensure that students receive a high-quality education that advances them toward their career goals.”

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A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) announced today it is the recipient of a $1.7 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to strengthen interprofessional education (IPE) among dental, medical, and physician assistant students.

The grant will support significant expansion of IPE at ATSU. In which specifically, dental students will engage collaboratively in clinical settings with medical students from ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona and physician assistant students from ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences. ATSU will also engage non-dental partner agencies, including the Veterans Affairs Health Care Clinics and Greater Valley Area Health Education Center to facilitate both didactic and clinical team-based care.

“This funding will greatly enrich interprofessional education at ATSU,” said ATSU-ASDOH Dean and Grant Project Director Jack Dillenberg, DDS, MPH. “Funding will support development of clinical curricula and experiences, bringing together three health professions to fully realize Dr. Andrew Taylor Still’s vision of whole person healthcare.”

Interprofessional education is a main focus area at ATSU and is an essential step in preparing collaborative, practice-ready health professionals. Over the course of five years, nearly 8,500 vulnerable and underserved patients will be served by 1,950 students and faculty through the enhanced workforce training initiative supported by the HRSA grant, “Expanding Dental Workforce Training Within Collaborative, Team-Based Care Targeting Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and Underserved Populations.”

“The future success of healthcare delivery worldwide will be built on a foundation of team-based, collaborative care centered around patients and communities. This grant will make a significant difference in how health professions students are educated,” said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO.

“This grant will create potent opportunities for ATSU students to work together collaboratively in the reality of clinical practice, to learn about, from, and with each other,” said Director of Interprofessional Education and Collaboration Barbara Maxwell, PT, DPT, MSc, Cert. THE, FNAP. “Healthcare delivered by these interprofessional teams will improve the lives of those they serve.”

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 D85HP20045; grant title Predoctoral Training in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene; total award amount of $1,736,074; with 54 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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