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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. (July 1, 2014) – A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) announced today its School of Health Management is now named the College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS).

The renaming is a result of ATSU combining all of its non-discipline specific online health studies programs within a single entity to gain efficiency and improve quality, access, and affordability for its students. Two online programs previously offered by ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences, the Doctor of Health Science and Master of Science in Kinesiology (formerly Human Movement), will now be offered through ATSU-CGHS.

“Since 1999, ATSU has provided online programs within two separate schools,” said CGHS dean Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, MPH, MBA, MA. “By uniting ATSU non-discipline specific online programs together under a single entity, the message will be clear: ATSU is the online place to go for health professionals to enhance their education.”

ATSU-CGHS offers a variety of master’s and doctorate-level health-related distance learning programs, including:

  • Doctor of Health Administration
  • Doctor of Health Education
  • Doctor of Health Sciences
  • Master of Health Administration
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Public Health – Dental Emphasis
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology
  • Master of Science in School Health Education (2015)

ATSU will offer new programs through the College of Graduate Health Studies as appropriate opportunities arise, including a new Master of Science in School Health Education in 2015.

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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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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. – A.T. Still University (ATSU) President Craig Phelps, DO, has announced the appointment of Norman Gevitz, PhD, as the University’s new senior vice president – academic affairs, effective July 2013.

“Dr. Gevitz will be joining ATSU at a very pivotal time in our history,” President Phelps said in his announcement. “He brings us tremendous depth and strength in all the right areas. He has had a distinguished career in health sciences teaching and scholarship, a long and proven track record of securing and sustaining funding, and years of outstanding academic leadership. Also, in true ATSU fashion, Dr. Gevitz has a deep and abiding commitment to community service.”

GevitzDr. Gevitz served as an educator, researcher and leader for more than thirty years in both private and public institutions. He is currently at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) – College of Osteopathic Medicine where he served as professor of history and sociology of medicine and director of the Academic Medicine Scholars Program.

Prior to his time in New York, Dr. Gevitz served for 12 years as chair of the Department of Social Medicine at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. He has held various academic administrative positions, including co-director of the undergraduate rehabilitation counseling degree program at the Illinois Institute of Technology and director of the medical humanities program at University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

Dr. Gevitz is the author of The DOs:  Osteopathic Medicine in America; and he has extensively published results of his research in peer-reviewed journals focusing on the history and future of osteopathic medicine, and the history of dentistry, pharmacy, and medical ethics. In addition, Dr. Gevitz has been involved in numerous grants, both public and private, including funding for research, health science training programs, and community service projects since 1983.  For the last 15 years, he has served as faculty for the nationally known Health Policy Fellowship and more recently as Associate Director of the Program.

“As the chief academic officer for the University, Dr. Gevitz will continue to strengthen ATSU’s growing academic programs and our unwavering commitment to excellence in all we do,” President Phelps said. “I am abundantly confident that Dr. Gevitz is prepared for this critically important leadership role, and I look forward to working with him in implementing ATSU’s Strategic Plan, including key initiatives of interprofessional education, a center for teaching and learning excellence, and diversity.”

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MESA, Ariz. – On March 1, A.T. Still University (ATSU) and community partners celebrated the grand opening of the AFA Balance & Hearing Institute, an ATSU center of excellence generously funded by the Audiology Foundation of America.

The ATSU-affiliated AFA Institute offers a full-range of audiology services through traditional and innovative patient care, while also integrating the whole-person approach into treatment.

Patients can expect to receive diagnostic and rehabilitative healthcare, access to a full line of hearing aids and assistive listening devices, as well as other specialized hearing and balance services.

Most major insurance carriers are accepted, and patients of all ages seeking hearing or balance care may qualify.

The AFA Institute is designed to be a center for teaching and learning, which means students at ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS) seeking their Doctor of Audiology Degree are able to directly assist licensed audiologists in patient care.

“I’m most excited about being able to give our students an outstanding educational experience while also reinforcing the importance of community service,” said Troy Hale, AuD, institute director. “The AFA Institute offers ATSU-ASHS’ students hands-on clinical training, business practice experience, collaborative interdisciplinary learning, research opportunities and community interaction.”

ATSU’s AFA Institute is a nonprofit facility, which means that any revenues generated will go toward worthy endeavors like student scholarships and community service projects.

The AFA Institute mission aligns with ATSU in providing exceptional whole-person patient care and leadership in a comprehensive healthcare education setting. For more information on the AFA Balance & Hearing Institute, visit www.theafainstitute.com.

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