$24 million, 79,000-square-foot clinic will serve St. Louis residents in need while training dental students for careers in community healthcare

Opening MOSDOH Clinic STL-27ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Dental Education and Oral Health Clinic will open its doors for the first time today at 1500 Park Avenue near Lafayette Square. A pioneering collaboration between ATSU and Affinia Healthcare (formerly, Grace Hill Health Centers), the $24 million, 79,000-square-foot facility is expected to provide oral healthcare for thousands of underserved St. Louis-area residents while training third- and fourth-year students of ATSU’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) for careers in community dentistry and public health. The first ATSU-MOSDOH class, comprising 42 students, will begin working with patients under faculty supervision in early July. Affinia Healthcare, a community health center organization, will operate the 92-chair dental clinic.

Cannon Design and Musick Construction, both of St. Louis, were integral to the architecture and construction of the new facility. Musick Construction was chosen because of their success in meeting diversity requirements specified by city ordinance and the mayor’s Executive Order #46. The order mandates diversity in redevelopment projects supported with Tax Increment Financing.

Said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO, “The St. Louis community has been wonderful to work with during the planning, permitting, and construction process. ATSU looks forward to serving alongside Affinia Healthcare and others in providing greater access to oral healthcare for all.”

Opening MOSDOH Clinic STL-21The St. Louis Dental Education and Oral Health Clinic will be the primary clinical education site for students at ATSU-MOSDOH, which was founded in 2013 to address the disparities in oral healthcare in Missouri and across the nation. Following two years of classroom learning at the University’s Kirksville, Missouri campus, students will move to St. Louis to complete their final two years at the new dental clinic and work directly with patients under the supervision of ATSU faculty members. Students will give back as they learn; their ability to provide basic oral care will enable the clinic to serve thousands of patients each year.

This innovative model of oral health education offers students a first-hand view of, and experience in, community healthcare. The approach reflects ATSU-MOSDOH’s mission to train community-minded dentists who will help fill the gap in oral health practitioners working in underserved, rural, and urban communities. That mission is also reflected in ATSU-MOSDOH’s requirement that students earn not only a doctor of dental medicine degree, but a certificate in public health as well.

Alan O. Freeman, FACHE, president and CEO of Affinia Healthcare, said, “We are privileged to partner with ATSU in this groundbreaking endeavor. It is incredibly rewarding to be a part of the solution for the future of oral health access in Missouri and across the region.”

Opening MOSDOH Clinic STL-51The clinic will be staffed by healthcare professionals who will provide the full spectrum of oral health services. These include preventive care (checkups, cleanings), periodontics (the treatment of dental diseases), endodontics (root canal), prosthodontics (crowns, implants, bridges, and dentures), radiography (dental X-rays), oral surgery (extractions and other complicated surgical procedures), and the repair of dentures and implants. The clinic will also offer some orthodontic care.

In addition to providing basic and advanced dental care to adults, children, and the elderly, the clinic will offer specialty care dentistry and access to special needs communities. Experts in this critical specialty treat patients with complex oral health conditions or medically complex illnesses like cancer, cardiac disease, hemophilia, and kidney disease; patients who are on dialysis or who are diabetic; and patients with physical or developmental challenges such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia.

“By working directly with the full spectrum of dental professionals to care for patients in need, ATSU students will receive an education in community-based dentistry. Upon graduation, they will be uniquely equipped to become public health leaders dedicated to improving life for patients in need,” said Christopher Halliday, DDS, MPH, dean of ATSU-MOSDOH.

To make an appointment or for more information regarding payment options, please call 314.833.2700.


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Members of the stage party turn the dirt for at the clinic site.

Members of the stage party turn the dirt at the clinic site.

ST. LOUIS – A groundbreaking ceremony for A.T. Still University-Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health’s (ATSU-MOSDOH) new St. Louis, Missouri, dental education and oral health clinic was held on Friday, April 25, 2014. The new 79,000-square-foot building will be located at the intersection of Truman Parkway and Park Avenue, a short distance east of La Fayette Square.

“Not only will this school provide an incredible opportunity for students to get hands-on, real world experience in a clinic setting, but it will also provide oral health services that are in critical need in this community,” said Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.

Remarks were also made by several St. Louis dignitaries, including Mayor Francis Slay, as well as ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, and Christopher Halliday, DDS, MPH, ATSU-MOSDOH dean. Grace Hill Health Centers Inc., represented on stage by Alan Freeman, president and CEO, will manage the clinic in partnership with ATSU.

“On these grounds you will see individuals, families, and communities being taken care of,” said Dr. Phelps.  “When we see young men and women from these neighborhoods fulfilling their dream to become a healthcare professional, working in this clinic, and returning to this community to provide healthcare to the people of St. Louis and Missouri, we will have reached our ultimate goal.”

The groundbreaking concluded with a ceremonial turning of the soil by the stage party, ATSU’s Board of Trustees, and the 42 members of ATSU-MOSDOH’s inaugural class of 2017.

Musick Construction and Cannon Design, both of St. Louis, will serve as  the general contractor and architect for the project, respectively.  For more information on the new clinic, visit www.atsu.edu/mosdoh.


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Tarah Castleberry (1)

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) is pleased to announce Tarah L. Castleberry, DO, MPH, ’98, as  keynote speaker for the 178th commencement. Dr. Castleberry serves on the Kirksville Osteopathic Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Dr. Castleberry currently serves in several capacities at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Aerospace Medicine Division, including assistant professor, family medicine/preventive medicine, & community health, aerospace medicine residency program director, and general preventive medicine residency program director. She is board certified in family medicine and aerospace medicine and was active in the U.S. Naval Service from 2000-07.

In addition to her teaching career, Dr. Castleberry worked for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration serving as flight surgeon and aerospace medicine specialist, deputy crew surgeon and physician support of U.S. and international partner astronaut training activities in Russia. She has also been published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine and served as principal investigator for several residency and training research grants.

Commencement will be held at 10:00 a.m. on May 17, 2014, at Baldwin Hall on the Truman State University campus. The event is not open to the public.


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eblast - Lecture on Aging 2014This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Aging Studies Project’s annual Lecture on Aging at A.T. Still University (ATSU).  It all began in 2003 with the first Lecture on Aging.  Alternating between ATSU’s Kirksville, Mo., and Mesa, Az., campuses, each year’s free, public lecture features a nationally recognized expert on an important topic in aging. This year’s lecture, “So Many Drugs, So Little Time: A Focus on Polypharmacy,” will be given by Joseph Flaherty, MD, a professor of medicine at St. Louis University and assistant program director for the St. Louis University Geriatric Medicine Fellowship program. This milestone lecture will take place in Missouri at noon and be telecast on the Arizona campus at 10:00 a.m.

The Aging Studies Project (ASP) has grown exponentially over the last decade. ASP’s goal is to bring all students into direct contact with community-based elders, expand learning resources for students and community members, and provide opportunities for interdisciplinary clinical interaction to strengthen student capacity for the interprofessional teamwork needed especially for geriatric care. This University-wide program emphasizes interactive, experiential learning for students and offers community outreach to elders and service agencies. By bringing students into direct contact with elders, it expands the learning opportunities for students and community members, as well as demonstrates the interprofessional teamwork needed for geriatric care.

Students have participated in programs like Service Saturdays, where they spend time on Saturdays working with residents in nursing homes and independent living centers on topics like nutrition education. Other programs and partnerships with community agencies over the years have included independent living, geriatric finance, drug therapy, death and dying, heart medications, patient safety and more. Most recently, a collaboration between ASP, Northeast Regional Medical Center, ATSU, and Truman State University is developing free heart health education programs on how to reduce sodium in the diet.

For more information on the ASP, visit http://www.atsu.edu/aging-studies-project/.


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1,500 Arizonans have participated in community-outreach program

MESA, AZ – On Wednesday, January 8, Mesa’s A. T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) will kick off the sixth year of its highly successful Still Standing Fall Prevention community-outreach program – the largest university-based fall-prevention initiative in the country. Since its launch in 2008, roughly 1,500 Arizonans have completed the life-saving program, 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 death in Arizonans 65 and older.

Sixty students from ATSU’s graduate programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiology, athletic training, and osteopathic medicine will fan out across the Valley to teach the eight-week Still Standing course to approximately 400 older adults at more than 30 medical centers, rehabilitative facilities, and retirement homes and communities. They will be joined by nursing students from Phoenix’s Grand Canyon University, which ATSU enlisted to participate.  All of the student teachers have completed an eight-hour training program.

Arizona seniors who have participated in Still Standing report dramatic changes in their level of mobility and their attitude toward life. Typical are stories like the one shared by a Mesa woman who was so afraid to go out after falling in the street that she did not leave her apartment for a year. Persuaded to sign up for Still Standing, she now has the confidence to leave her home again. “My life became totally different,” she says.

Senior citizens are not the only ones benefiting from Still Standing. ATSU students, who receive community-service credit for participating, consistently report that teaching the course has given them invaluable insight into the sociological, psychological and economic challenges of aging.

ATSU’s program, which has been recognized locally by Governor Jan Brewer and nationally by the National Council on Aging, uses an award-winning curriculum called A Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls developed by Boston University.

Said Elton Bordenave, Director of the Aging Studies Project at ATSU’s Mesa campus and creator of Still Standing: “Our goal is to offer ATSU’s students a meaningful way to engage with older adults. This is a population with which many of our future graduates will work as doctors, audiologists, physical and occupational therapists and other healthcare specialists. The better they understand the challenges our older citizens face, the more productive and gratifying those relationships will be.”

Added Patricia League, National Program Manager for A Matter of Balance: “ATSU has been a light showing the path for other universities. Because of them, more and more universities around the country are creating ways for those involved in healthcare professions to interact with adults who want to remain independent and fully engaged with their communities.”

Arizona’s renowned Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute and Banner Health system are among the 12 partners at whose facilities Still Standing will be offered. Classes will be taught in Spanish, Mandarin and American Sign Language as well as English.

ATSU’s other partners are Apache ASL Trails, The Centers for Habilitation, East Valley Adult Resources, the Good Samaritan Society, Hometown America Retirement Communities, Native Health and the cities of Fountain Hills, Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe.

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