photo5-300x224Mesa, Ariz. – Ninety-eight new doctors of osteopathic medicine crossed the stage at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., on June 7, marking their completion of four years of study in a unique medical school curriculum model. A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-SOMA) is one of a handful of medical schools across the country utilizing the clinical presentation-based medical education model where students are immersed in clinical care beginning in their second year of medical school.

“You have been pioneers in the future of a medical education model in this country,” said Thomas McWilliams, DO, FACOFP, associate dean for graduate medical education, ATSU-SOMA, and keynote speaker at commencement. “This ceremony is a celebration of your journey,” added ATSU-SOMA Dean Kay Kalousek, DOMS, FACOFP.

One hundred percent of the graduating class will be furthering their education as residents. Sixty-eight  percent will be in primary care, and 92.9 percent will be in National Association of Community Health Center-identified needed specialties, which include the primary care residencies and general surgery, psychiatry, and emergency medicine. 

Dr. McWilliams concluded his keynote speech addressing graduates with these words, “You have truly captured the “heart of SOMA”.  My parting request is that you keep this spirit alive during your residency training and beyond.  Your healing touch is exactly what the nation needs at this critical place and time.”

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Wright Center for Graduate Medical EducationA.T. Still University


New model addresses America’s shortage of primary care physicians and changes in federal funding for medical training

Mesa, AZ: February 19, 2013 The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education (Scranton, PA) more than $4 million to launch a national family-medicine residency program in partnership with A.T. Still University of Health Sciences’ School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (Mesa, AZ). The groundbreaking multi-state, centrally run medical residency program will place up to 29 medical school graduates per year over three years (87 graduates) in community health centers around the country as part of a residency program in family medicine.

The new program is a potential model for residency programs across the country in that it addresses two of the nation’s most pressing healthcare challenges — the shortage of primary care physicians trained to work with America’s most vulnerable populations and the potential changes in federal funding which may leave thousands of new doctors without a place to complete their training.

The program’s objective is to create a pipeline of doctors trained to work with underserved rural and urban populations and in team-based practices that emphasize keeping entire communities healthy. With research showing that new doctors tend to practice in the communities where they have done their residencies, there is a glaring need to create opportunities for residents to train in these communities.

Unlike most residency programs, which both take place in and are managed by individual hospitals or medical centers, the Wright Center-ATSU collaboration will be a multi-state but centrally run effort spread among healthcare organizations in five states — Arizona, Ohio, Oregon, New York and Washington – and the District of Columbia.  The residency program will deliver an innovative curriculum with a strong community focus combined with comprehensive training and unique opportunities.

Applications for the new residency program are currently being reviewed. The 29 residents chosen to participate in the first year of the national family-medicine residency program will be divided among six community health centers located in medically underserved areas. The learning centers are the Virginia Garcia Memorial Healthcare Center (Hillsboro, OR), Lutheran Family Health Centers(Brooklyn, NY), HealthSource of Ohio (Milford, OH), HealthPoint (Renton, WA), the El Rio Community Health Center (Tucson, AZ) and Unity Health Care (Washington, DC).

Said Thomas McWilliams, DO, Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at A. T. Still University of Health Sciences’ School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA), who helped develop the program, “Residents will receive the benefits of modern ambulatory training coupled with carefully selected hospital training experiences using an innovative, nationally-accredited residency curriculum led and supervised by The Wright Center and A. T. Still University.”

He continued, “These residencies will serve as a model for a new paradigm for training physicians to function effectively within a rapidly evolving healthcare system.  Physicians trained in these programs will become leaders in shaping medicine in this country and will be a force to improve the health of individual patients as well as the overall health of their communities.”

Said Wright Center President and CEO Linda Thomas-Hemak, MD, “Since 2011, The Wright Center has acted as a teaching health center GME consortium spreading our rich tradition of academic excellence in an educational infrastructure throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. We are privileged to have the opportunity — through collaboration with A.T. Still University of Health Sciences’ Schoolof Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona — to nationalize our efforts.”

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About The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education
The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education (WCGME) is an independent 501(C) (3) not-for-profit ACGME/AOA-accredited residency sponsoring institution. The Wright Center’s dual mission is to provide excellence in Graduate Medical Education (GME) in an innovative and collaborative spirit in order to deliver high quality, evidence-based and patient-centered care. The organization was founded in 1976 in Scranton,Pennsylvania, to promote professional healthcare self-renewal and continuous quality enhancement of our regional community’s healthcare delivery system through GME. As a testimonial to its community-driven mission governance, the Wright Center is proudly recognized as the most significant regional primary care manpower renewal force and has 260 graduates, including 160 practicing primary care physicians. For more information visitwww.thewrightcenter.org.

About A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU)
Founded in 1892 and the country’s first osteopathic medical school, A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) has grown into a comprehensive graduate health education institution with campuses in Mesa, Az., and Kirksville, Mo., as well as a broad range of distance-learning programs. ATSU offers graduate degrees in 14 healthcare disciplines, including osteopathic medicine, dental medicine, bioscience, public health, audiology and physical and occupational therapy. In keeping with its nonprofit mission to care for those with little or no access to healthcare, ATSU trains students to work in rural, inner-city and other underserved communities. For more information visit www.atsu.edu.

About ATSU School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA)
More than an osteopathic medical school, A. T. Still University of Health Sciences’ School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) is a team of clinicians, educators, and students who share a passion and commitment for whole person healthcare. Established in 2006, its unique curriculum integrates clinical presentation and extensive clinical experience into a relevant and applicable program of study. For more information visit www.atsu.edu/soma.

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Media Contacts:

The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education
Brian Ebersole
570.343.2383, ext. 2311

A. T. Still University of Health Sciences
Alix Friedman
Linden Alschuler & Kaplan

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Dr. Craig Phelps

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – A.T. Still University President-designate Craig Phelps, DO, has been named to the Phoenix Business Journal’s 2012 Most Admired CEOs and Top-Level Executives.

Dr. Phelps was chosen as one of the Phoenix-area’s 25 most admired executives based on past achievements and ongoing outstanding leadership. Consistent values, vision, solid decision-making, and commitment to quality were among the criteria for this award. He was recently recognized at the 4th Annual Most Admired CEOs & Top-Level Executives Awards Dinner, which recognizes honorees for passion, inspiration, and motivation in their work and community.

Dr. Phelps currently serves as executive vice president for strategic initiatives and will assume the position of president following President Jack Magruder’s retirement July 1. Dr. Phelps is a 1984 graduate of A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Medicine and became provost of ATSU’s Arizona campus to develop ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (Arizona’s first dental school), and School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.

Dr. Phelps is the primary care physician for the Phoenix Suns.

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MESA, Ariz. – A.T. Still University (ATSU) is proud to announce the appointment of Dr. Kay Kalousek as the new dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA).

“We are very pleased that Dr. Kalousek will join ATSU as dean of the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona,” said Dr. Douglas L. Wood, Senior Vice President-Academic Affairs and founding dean of SOMA.  “Her extensive experience in medical education will guide her as dean and will help her continue to move SOMA in a positive direction.”

Kay Kalousek, D.O., M.S., AAHIVS, FACOFP, is currently the associate dean for academic and student affairs for the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif. She earned the D.O. degree from COMP, where she additionally serves as an associate professor of family medicine. As a frequent academic lecturer, Dr. Kalousek presents on a variety of health topics, including “Clinical Care of the HIV-infected Patient” and “Health Care for Minority Groups.”

“Dr. Kalousek will continue on the path of innovation and excellence as the new dean of SOMA. She will work closely with our other deans to help ATSU educate highly competent and compassionate healthcare professionals,” said Dr. Jack Magruder, ATSU president.  “She will be an excellent leader, and we are fortunate to have her join our university.”

In addition to her wide university-level background, Dr. Kalousek brings considerable clinical expertise to the dean’s position.  She has been a consulting and supervising physician in a medical group and clinic and holds staff membership in a West Covina, Calif., hospital.  She also has engaged in numerous volunteer activities to provide free medical care for the homeless.

“Dr.Kalousek brings significant educational experience and a passion for serving underserved populations to ATSU,” adds Dr. Craig Phelps, executive vice president for strategic initiatives and ATSU President-designate. “We welcome her to the ATSU family, and we look forward to working together.”

 Dr. Kalousek will assume her duties of Dean of ATSU-SOMA on July 1, taking over from Interim Dean Dr. Thomas McWilliams.

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MESA, Ariz. –The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (ATSU-SOMA) a $950,000  grant for pre-doctoral training in primary care. Frederic Schwartz, D.O., FACOFP, associate dean for ATSU-SOMA Community Campuses is principal investigator of the project; Mara Hover D.O., director of the ATSU-SOMA Clinical Affairs Unit is co-principal investigator.  “The project’s goals are to establish a master’s of public health (MPH) degree track for ATSU-SOMA trainees and to develop competency-based evaluation mechanisms for third- and fourth-year students’ clinical experiences,” said Dr. Schwartz.

ATSU-SOMA students spend three years completing their medical school education at one of 11 National Association of Community Health Center’s community campuses across the country.  Each community campus serves a unique population, which includes the homeless, migrant workers, uninsured families, and ethnically diverse patients in rural and urban settings.

“HealthSource of Mt. Oreb, Ohio and HealthPoint of Seattle, Wash., have already established articulation agreements with local colleges to enhance the referral of students who have both the ‘heart’ for service and the learning skills package for success in serving the underserved,” said Dr. Schwartz. Waianae Comprehensive Health Center in Waianae, Hawaii, is a partner with Honolulu’s Chaminade University in a similar agreement. All of the community campuses are working to enhance the training pipeline via articulation agreements.

“HRSA has been wonderfully supportive in recognizing our efforts to train physicians who will select needed specialties and begin practice in underserved communities,” said Thomas McWilliams, D.O., FACOFP, interim dean, ATSU-SOMA.  This grant expands opportunities in public health training and helps align our evaluation process with those that will be used during the student’s residency training.”

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Founded in 1892 as the nation’s first college of osteopathic medicine, A.T. Still University provides graduate level education in whole person healthcare. Recognized internationally for its integrated approach, ATSU equips students with the knowledge, compassion, and hands-on experience needed to address the body, mind, and spirit. The University now comprises the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, the School of Health Management, the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, the Arizona School of Health Sciences, and the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona.


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