Thomas Curtin, M.D.

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – A.T. Still University-School of Health Management (SHM) proudly announces that Thomas Curtin, M.D., will deliver the keynote address at SHM graduation at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 28, at the Ophelia Parrish Performance Hall on the campus of Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo.

Dr. Curtin serves as senior vice president and chief medical officer of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). NACHC works with a network of state health center and primary care organizations to address the widespread lack of access to basic healthcare through Community Health Centers (CHCs) that serve 20 million people at more than 7,000 sites located throughout all 50 states and U.S. territories.

Prior to joining NACHC senior management in 1996, Dr. Curtin was medical director of the East Jordan Family Health Center, a CHC in East Jordan, Mich. He has a B.S. in psychology and an M.D. from Michigan State University.

Dr. Curtin spearheaded efforts to build work force and leadership development programs for America’s Health Centers, was a key component of the CHC accreditation initiative, and played a key role in designing and implementing the Health Disparities Collaboratives, a national health center program that independent studies cite as a successful treatment model in reducing chronic disease in medically underserved communities.

Kimberly O’Reilly, D.H.Ed., M.S.W., dean of SHM, calls Dr. Curtin “one of the most influential and respected healthcare professionals in the country. The fact that CHC’s serve the underserved fits squarely within the mission of SHM and ATSU.”


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MESA, Ariz. – A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) held its spring commencement ceremony for six online programs March 5 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz. Approximately 222 students earned a master of science or doctoral degree at the ceremony.

Graduates received degrees in human movement, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, audiology, doctor of health sciences, and physical therapy. This was the first time most students had met each other in person, as they all acquired their degrees through online courses.

“These graduates demonstrated their commitment to their profession and to life-long learning,” said ASHS Dean Barbara Maxwell, PT, D.P.T., M.Sc., Cert. THE, ’06. “As working healthcare professionals their learning has greater impact as it transcends immediately to the clinical setting and directly to patient care.”

Founded in 1995, ATSU-ASHS is committed to educating and preparing its students to practice at the forefront of a rapidly growing healthcare system.

During the commencement ceremony, a keynote address was given by Ellen Owens-Summo, M.Ed., DTR, director of health education, professional development at the Greater Valley Area Health Education Center (GVAHEC).

During her address, Owens-Summo spoke highly of the importance of mentoring in the healthcare career pipeline. “Mentoring is not always about giving advice, it is also about taking time to listen, provide words of encouragement, and being willing to advocate on the behalf of others,” she said. “Without mentors, we would be less likely to take risks, strive to do a better job, and lack accountability for reaching our goals.”

Owens-Summo holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University as well as an undergraduate degree in nutrition from Ball State University in nutrition and dietetics. She is a member of the National Wellness Institute and assisted in the development of the Arizona Living Well Institute. She is a member of the American Public Health Association, and currently serves as president of the Arizona Public Health Association.

GVAHEC focuses its work around three overarching goals, which have been determined by the state Area Health Education Center office. They are: recruitment into health careers, interdisciplinary and inter-professional community-based training for health professions students, and promoting the delivery of quality healthcare for Arizona’s rural and urban medically-underserved communities, including health promotion and prevention programs.


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484 students earn master of science or doctoral degrees

Randy Danielsen, Ph.D., PA-C, DFAAPA, delivers his keynote address at ASHS' commencement ceremonies Saturday, Aug. 7.

MESA, Ariz. – A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) celebrated commencement ceremonies Saturday, Aug. 7 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Ariz. A total of 484 students received either master of science or doctoral degrees at the dual ceremonies.

This was the third time that ATSU-ASHS has held two separate ceremonies in one day. All 321 online graduates celebrated at the 10 a.m. ceremony, and the 1 p.m. ceremony was for the 163 residential program graduates.

Graduates received degrees in human movement, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, audiology, health sciences, physical therapy, and athletic training.

As part of the ceremonies, Professor Emeritus status was awarded to keynote speaker Randy Danielsen, Ph.D., PA-C, DFAAPA, senior vice president of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants Foundation and former dean of the Arizona School of Health Sciences.

“I am honored to have been awarded Professor Emeritus for my long and distinguished service with ATSU,” he said. “I shall cherish that tribute for the rest of my life. Being asked to be the commencement speaker this year was an exciting culmination to my service with the University.”

During his addresses, Dr. Danielsen urged graduates to remain committed to maintaining life-long learning skills and to put the interests of their patients above their own. “You must strive to treat patients with the highest possible standards, to respect the values, culture, and dignity of every patient, and to work respectfully with other health professionals to ensure the best care for your patients,” he said.

Founded in 1995, ATSU-ASHS is committed to educating and preparing its students to practice at the forefront of a rapidly growing healthcare system. ATSU-ASHS has 450 students enrolled in its five residential degree programs and approximately 1,500 in online programs.


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Arizona’s first dental school graduates its fourth class

MESA, Ariz. – Friends and family cheered as A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health’s (ATSU-ASDOH) class of 2010 entered the Ikeda Theater at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Ariz., for commencement ceremonies on June 12.

The 55 members of ATSU-ASDOH’s fourth graduating class received their doctor of dental medicine (D.M.D.) degree, 12 of whom also received a master in public health (M.P.H.) through ATSU’s School of Health Management. In addition, four ATSU-ASDOH postgraduate orthodontic program residents received their doctor of health sciences (D.H.Sc.) degree. The residents will receive their certificate in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics on August 12.

According to ATSU-ASDOH Dean Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., M.P.H., ATSU-ASDOH’s class of 2010 has the highest percentage of graduates going to practice in community healthcare settings, as well as the highest pass rate in the Western Regional Examining Board (WREB) exam compared to previous classes – 96 percent. “We are proud of this extraordinary class, and are looking forward to the contributions that they will make in the communities where they choose to practice and serve,” he said.

“The class will be remembered for its many great accomplishments benefiting our community and university. Free Family Health and Wellness Day, a free community health project serving over 1,000 Arizonans to date, is just one example,” said ATSU Provost Craig M. Phelps, D.O., FAOASM. “ATSU looks forward to a life-long relationship with each graduate and wishes them well as they begin a new life chapter.”

ATSU President Jack Magruder presented an honorary doctor of humane letters degree to keynote speaker Jonathan E. Fielding, M.D., M.P.H., M.A., M.B.A., Los Angeles County Department of Public Health director and health officer. Dr. Fielding, an accomplished expert and active advocate for public health and preventive medicine, spoke to the graduates about the importance of being not only great clinicians, but also ambassadors for the profession and for underserved patients who need access to quality care.

“I am so impressed with your university, with the incredible progress that it has made…progress that you have made as students, including the commitment to community dentistry, which is one of our most urgent and widespread needs,” said Dr. Fielding. “Bring people into your profession, stand tall, and remember that you are the safeguards of the next generation, and the generation after that. I salute you.”

An annual awards brunch was held June 10 at the Hilton Phoenix East Mesa. Thirty-seven awards were presented, including the International College of Dentists Student Leadership Award, which went to Brock Lorenz; and the American College of Dentists Outstanding Student Award, which went to Katie Rebecca McNutt.


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Many students to visit Kirksville for the first time to receive degrees

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – On June 5, A.T. Still University’s School of Health Management (ATSU-SHM) will graduate its latest class of master’s degree recipients in geriatric health, public health, health administration, and health education; and doctoral degree recipients in health education. The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at the Ophelia Parrish Fine Arts Center at Truman State University.

The school, which opened in 1999, seeks to meet the nation’s growing demand for administrators, managers, and teachers in healthcare settings.

“Spending a weekend with our graduates face to face is a rewarding experience,” said SHM Dean Kimberly O’Reilly, D.H.Ed., M.S.W. “These students have worked hard to meet their educational goals, and I am humbled to be the person who gets to shake their hands and congratulate them. As this class of outstanding men and women embark on their new journeys with fresh perspectives compliments of their ATSU degrees, I am confident they will help improve the state of healthcare and preventative health policy for many years to come.”

Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., M.P.H., inaugural dean of ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, located in Mesa, Ariz., will provide the keynote address. Dr. Dillenberg is recognized at local, state, and national levels as an expert in the area of public health leadership, health program development, social marketing, oral health issues, health center design, training of community health workers, community organizing, and lecture presentations.

Since SHM’s programs are delivered mostly online, many of its students have not visited ATSU’s Missouri campus. Following commencement and a luncheon/awards ceremony, graduates will have the opportunity to tour the campus.

“I am delighted with the fine professionals graduating from our health management programs and congratulate them on their achievements,” said ATSU President Jack Magruder. “I value each and every graduate of these high-quality online curricula and look forward to maintaining a relationship between them and A.T. Still University throughout their careers.”


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