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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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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) recently awarded a Year 3, $1.5 million grant (effective April 1, 2013) to A.T. Still University (ATSU) to assist the University with further development of its new and innovative dental school based in Kirksville, Mo. MFH has provided $1.5 million since 2011 to assist the University with the initial feasibility/planning and development phases. ATSU plans to open its innovative Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) with its first class of 42 students in the fall of 2013, pending accreditation.

The goal of ATSU-MOSDOH is to educate and produce a new generation of community-minded dentists who will help fill widespread oral healthcare workforce gaps in rural and urban communities, specifically within safety-net settings where outreach to underserved patients is achieved. The curriculum includes a focus on public health.

ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO, states, “MFH and ATSU have similar missions focused on improving and increasing access to oral healthcare among Missouri’s most vulnerable populations. With the ongoing support provided by MFH and the creation of strong partnerships with Missouri’s community health centers (CHCs), ATSU is confident its new community and public health-focused dental school will successfully fulfill its mission and increase opportunities for inter-professional education among providers statewide.”

“We are proud to partner with ATSU’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health and its commitment to increasing oral health services to Missourians,” said Robert Hughes, President and CEO of Missouri Foundation for Health. “The School’s dedication to serving the underserved has the potential to have an exceptionally significant impact on dental and oral health services in Missouri.”

Missourians, particularly high-risk populations, continue to struggle in terms of accessing dental care services. The state ranks 41st in the nation relative to adults who visit a dentist annually. In particular, adults aged 35-44 years with less than a high school education experience untreated tooth decay nearly three times that of adults with at least some college education. Access to care is compounded by a lack of dental insurance, geographic and financial barriers, and shortages of dental providers—among other factors. Approximately 70 dentists are retiring each year in the state, while only about 45-50 are starting new dental practices. In essence, Missouri’s overall supply of dentists is declining, while the state’s population and demand for dentists are rising. ATSU’s intent is to respond to this growing gap in oral healthcare.

Christopher G. Halliday, DDS, MPH, serves as the inaugural dean of ATSU-MOSDOH. Dr. Halliday’s vast professional experiences include serving the underserved in areas as remote as Barrow, Alaska, for three years; and serving seven years with American Indian populations in New Mexico and Arizona. In several posts in Washington, D.C., he was a leading advocate for access to dental care and possesses extensive expertise in the fields of oral/public health – a track record that sets a strong example for ATSU-MOSDOH faculty and incoming students.

“ATSU-MOSDOH will utilize a progressive curriculum, which fosters an inter-professional learning environment,” said Dr. Halliday. “We will train dentists to treat individual patients and assure that they are capable of developing oral health promotion and disease prevention programs for entire communities.”

ATSU’s emerging four-year dental curriculum in Missouri will involve two years of pre-clinical, interdisciplinary oral health education on the University’s Kirksville campus in a new 62,000-square-foot, $26 million, state- of-the-art educational facility—which is slated for completion in June 2013. The final two clinical education years will be delivered primarily in cooperation with Grace Hill Health Centers Inc. in St. Louis, Mo., via a new 50,000-square-foot, $23 million clinic and via collaborating CHC partner sites throughout Missouri and beyond. This community-based clinical model sets ATSU’s Missouri dental school apart from others and maximizes the best teaching resources of academic and public health dentists.

“During the third and fourth academic years, dental students will provide much needed care and service to disadvantaged populations by working in community-based clinics,” added Dr. Halliday. “Through community service and scholarly activity, our goal is to raise awareness within our graduates of the significant impact and role oral health has on the overall health status of vulnerable populations, thereby creating a new generation of oral healthcare providers for today’s complex healthcare environment.”

Successful ATSU-MOSDOH graduates will earn the doctor of dental medicine (DMD) degree plus a certificate (or optional master’s degree) in Public Health, the latter in cooperation with ATSU’s online School of Health Management. In addition to the public health emphasis, the curriculum interweaves human systems and dental science courses to enable graduates to understand, analyze, and make decisions about disease, which are in the best interests of their patients, patient families, and communities.

“We are grateful for the continued support provided from MFH during the development of Missouri’s newest dental school,” adds Dr. Phelps. “ATSU-MOSDOH has the potential to transform dental education by addressing
the shortage of dental providers and improving access to oral healthcare.”

Once launched, ATSU-MOSDOH will be one of only two dental schools in Missouri and the only dental school in the Midwest dedicated, at a mission level, to enhancing oral healthcare for the underserved.

Missouri Foundation for Health is an independent philanthropic foundation dedicated to improving the health of people in our region. MFH works as a changemaker, educator and partner to promote community health and increase access to care for the uninsured and underserved.

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KIRKSVILLE, Mo.- The Museum of Osteopathic MedicineSM and A.T. Still Research Institute at A.T. Still University have received the Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association (AAOA) Special Project’s Grant.

The Museum of Osteopathic MedicineSM and the A.T. Still Research Institute (SRI) were awarded $2,000 for “The Legacy Project,” who purpose to systematically capture video-recordings and stories from osteopathic physicians and researchers whose careers significantly impacted the osteopathic profession through their leadership, clinical skill, teaching, mentorship, and research.

In 2011, the Cranial Academy Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to the museum and SRI to preserve the stories, documents, and other meaningful information regarding the work of Dr. Viola M. Frymann.

In early October, at the American Osteopathic Association’s annual conference in San Diego, Jason Haxton, museum director, met with three of the AAOA grant selection committee members. He was informed the museum’s work in preserving the history of the profession was unmatched, and it was with pride they supported the museum’s projects – this being the fifth grant the museum received from the AAOA.

“This grant from the AAOA Special Project committee will help further along our goal of collecting the history of those osteopathic physicians and researchers who have enriched the future of osteopathy,” says Debra Loguda-Summers, project director.

The AAOA Special Projects Committee awarded $12,000 to 12 different projects this year that aimed to support the osteopathic profession – the museum received the highest funding level.

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Funding establishes pediatric dental suite for underserved children

MESA, Ariz. – The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation has announced that A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) is a recipient of its premier Grand Slam Award given to non-profit organizations serving Arizona.

The $50,000 award establishes the Arizona Diamondbacks Pediatric Dental Suite at ATSU-ASDOH’s dental clinic in Mesa. The dental suite consists of two child-friendly rooms that offer a warm, nurturing environment for children to receive care.

“We are taking our young patients out to the ball park without leaving their dental chair thanks to the generosity of the Arizona Diamondbacks,” said ATSU-ASDOH Dean Jack Dillenberg, DDS, MPH. “Our pediatric patients will receive the best dental care in a fun environment with Baxter and views of center field.”

The pediatric dental suite will allow an increase in the existing clinic’s capacity by 19.9 percent from current levels as well as help ATSU-ASDOH students to improve their knowledge about the specialty of pediatric dental care.

A portion of the funds from the Grand Slam Award will go toward providing uncompensated oral care for children from low-income families. Children ages birth to 12 from working poor families receive care at ATSU-ASDOH’s pediatric clinic. Most of them are uninsured (93.77 percent) or have parents who are either unemployed or are struggling to pay their bills.

“We are proud of the new D-backs pediatric dental suite at A.T. Still University and are thrilled that this grant will assist families that are unable to afford proper dental care treatments,” said D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. “The suite looks fantastic, and we know that it will put smiles on the faces of many young D-backs fans in the years to come.”

The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation established the Grand Slam Awards in 2002 to make a larger impact on community organizations by providing a grant for up to $100,000. The D-backs will award five local organizations with Grand Slam Awards throughout the 2012 season, including A.T. Still University ($50,000), Make-A-Wish Foundation ($50,000), Kitchen on the Street ($100,000), Florence Crittenton ($100,000), and Children’s Museum of Phoenix ($100,000). The grants are made possible by fundraising efforts by the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation and by contributions from the D-backs partnership group.

About ATSU-ASDOH

The first dental school in Arizona and the nation’s first truly public health dental school, ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health has been educating dentists and serving the state’s oral healthcare needs since 2003. The school and dental clinic use an educational model that matches an exceptional team of motivated, experienced faculty with students in pre-clinical and clinical phases of their training.

ATSU-ASDOH places special emphasis on patient care experiences through simulation, integration of biomedical and clinical sciences, and problem-solving scenarios to achieve clinical experience and includes a strong component of public health, leadership, and practice.

In addition to oral health issues and dentistry skills, students are encouraged to be caring, community-minded healthcare providers. Graduates are expected to become leaders in their communities and managers of public, not-for-profit, and private sector oral health organizations.

About the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation

Established in 1997, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation focuses its efforts in three main areas of need: homelessness, indigent healthcare, and children’s programs of all types, including education and youth baseball field development. Through fundraising activities, the team’s charitable arm has raised and donated more than $30 million to the Arizona community. The cornerstone of giving for the foundation is the “Diamonds Back” Field Building Program, which has built or refurbished more than 30 youth baseball fields in Arizona since 2000. The D-backs became the first professional sports team to win the inaugural 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award, which names the organization as the most positive team in the world and recognizes organizations that positively impact their community through corporate responsibility.

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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) recently approved a Year 2, $1,000,000 grant (effective April 1, 2012) to A.T. Still University (ATSU) to assist with further development of its new and innovative dental school based in Kirksville, Mo. MFH provided an initial Year 1, $500,000 grant award to ATSU to help the University complete its feasibility/planning phase. ATSU plans to open the dental school with its first class of 40 students in the fall of 2013, pending accreditation.

The goal of ATSU’s new Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) is to educate and produce a new generation of community-minded dentists who will help fill widespread oral healthcare workforce gaps, including practice in Community Health Centers (CHCs) and other safety-net settings to reach underserved patients.\Says Dr. Jack Magruder, ATSU president, “Adding the dental school to our ATSU Kirksville campus will not only enhance interprofessional education in our state, but also generate meaningful oral health outcomes, especially among Missouri’s most vulnerable populations. With this generous, ongoing support from MFH, we are confident that our dental program based in Kirksville—in partnership with Missouri’s CHCs—will be highly successful and will help fulfill the missions of both ATSU and MFH by bringing increased access to oral healthcare to our state’s most vulnerable populations.”

 Missouri has an emergent need for more oral healthcare providers, including dentists, particularly to care for high-risk populations. The state ranks near the bottom, 47th in the nation, in terms of residents with access to a dentist. Approximately 70 dentists are retiring each year in the state, while only about 45-50 are starting new dental practices. In essence, Missouri’s overall supply of dentists is falling, while the state’s population and demand for dentists are rising. ATSU’s intent is to respond to this growing gap in oral healthcare.

Christopher G. Halliday, DDS, MPH, has been selected as inaugural dean of ATSU’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health, effective July 1, 2012.  Dr. Halliday is one of the nation’s leading experts in oral/public health; he currently serves as rear admiral, assistant surgeon general, and chief of staff in the Office of the Surgeon General of the United States. Dr. Halliday earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from Marquette University School of Dentistry and his Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He obtained his BA degree in Liberal Studies from the University of California-Santa Barbara.

Dr. Halliday’s vast professional experiences include serving the underserved in areas as remote as Barrow, AK, for three years, and serving seven years with American Indian populations in New Mexico and Arizona. In several posts in Washington, D.C., he has been a leading advocate for access to dental care and to healthcare in general. He has dedicated his professional life to the underserved, which is an ideal fit with ATSU’s Missouri dental school mission. Dr. Halliday’s exemplary leadership record, philosophical commitment, and unprecedented expertise in the fields of oral/public health will enable ATSU-MOSDOH to reach its full potential.

 The emerging four-year Missouri dental curriculum is being modeled after the highly successful and innovative dental program at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) in Mesa, Ariz. Using a modified ATSU-ASDOH instructional model, the first two years of the Missouri pre-clinical, interdisciplinary dental school curriculum will be based in a new 61,000-square-foot, $26 million, state-of-the-art educational facility—which is slated for completion in the spring of 2013. The final two clinical education years will be distributed and delivered at collaborating CHC partner sites throughout Missouri and beyond, which sets ATSU’s Missouri dental school model apart. This evidence-based, collaborative educational model is designed to maximize retention of graduating dentists in Missouri CHCs. Successful graduates will earn the DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) degree and a certificate in Public Health, the latter in cooperation with ATSU’s School of Health Management.

Adds President Magruder,“We remain grateful for the tremendous support from MFH to assist in the development of the Kirksville-based ATSU dental school, which has the potential to transform dental education at both the state and national levels.”

Once launched, ATSU-MOSDOH will be one of only two dental schools in Missouri and the only dental school in the Midwest dedicated at a mission level to enhancing oral healthcare for the underserved.

This grant is provided by the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH), an independent philanthropic foundation dedicated to empowering Missourians to achieve equal access to quality health services. Established in 2000, MFH has provided grant funding and education, and fostered community partnerships to promote health improvement, especially for the uninsured and underserved.

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