Entries tagged with “KCOM”.

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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Kirksville, Mo.– On Feb. 11, 2013, A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) joined almost 60 medical schools and institutions from across North America in taking a stand for humanism in medicine by observing the third Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care.

This year, 23 first- and second- year osteopathic medical students from ATSU-KCOM visited Schuyler County Elementary School to mentor 55 sixth-graders on bullying, self-esteem, and achievement. This project, Leadership, Education, Ambition, Respect, No Limits (LEARN), was created so that kids could have positive role models who encourage them to not give up on their dreams. Through small group discussions and activities, the students learned about building trust and understanding and were encouraged to make goals for the future. All of the sixth-graders signed an anti-bullying pledge.

The LEARN project was created by ATSU-KCOM students Karrie Brondell, OMS II; Sarah Folks, OMS II; Jessica Lapinski, OMS Il;  and Meaghan Raney, OMS II, representing the National Osteopathic Women Physicians Association, Pediatrics Club, United Nations Children’s Fund, and Osteopathic Pride and Service Committee.

GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care was initiated after the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Ariz. to honor the humanistic actions of Randall Friese, MD, the trauma surgeon who first treated shooting victim Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Dr. Friese said the most important thing he did for Congresswoman Giffords in the emergency room was to take her hand and tell her that she would be cared for.

 To honor that spirit of caring, the GHHS of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation created GHHS Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care, where medical schools and healthcare institutions across North America create and undertake projects demonstrating the importance of empathy and compassion in patient care.

 GHHS is an international initiative of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation comprised of more than 15,000 medical students, faculty, and administrators recognized for practicing compassionate, patient-centered care. GHHS maintains a networked community which shares ideas, resources, and support to sustain and advocate for humanism in medicine.

The Arnold P. Gold Foundationworks to improve healing and healthcare outcomes by restoring the balance between the cutting-edge science of medicine and compassionate, patient-centered care.


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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) graduate Plato E. Varidin, D.O., was selected as one of the American Osteopathic Association’s (AOA) Great Pioneers in Osteopathic Medicine.

As part of the AOA’s Greatness Campaign, AOA members nominated D.O.s, basic scientists, and laymen who have pioneered new frontiers for the osteopathic profession. Dr. Varidin, a 1954 KCOM graduate, was nominated by his peers for this honor that encompasses his career body of work.

“I had no previous knowledge of the award. This is the third year AOA is giving it out and to my knowledge, I am the only practical physician to win the award.” Dr. Varidin said. “They want to mimic pioneers like A.T. Still with this award. That is one hell of an honor.”

Dr. Varidin co-founded Warren General Hospital in Warren, Ohio, in 1956 and served as chief of staff in 1968. In 1972, he founded the Florida Society of American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, which continues to be the largest and most active family medicine society in America. Dr. Varidin also founded the Lake Eerie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton Branch in 2000. He has graduated more than 900 students, interns, and residents since 1984 as director of medical education at Northside Hospital/Heart Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and University General Hospital in Seminole, Fla.

Dr. Varidin served as a member of the KCOM Board of Trustees from 1983-88 and KCOM Alumni Board from 1978-85, where he served as president from 1983-84.

Dr. Varidin’s late son, Mark Varidin, graduated from KCOM in 1984, and his grandson Anthony De Lucia is a 2008 KCOM graduate.

Dr. Varidin continues to practice part-time and lives in Seminole, Fla.


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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) Class of 2013 will begin their first year of medical school with new student orientation Friday, August 21, and will continue orientation activities through Thursday, August 27.

Students will participate in a full schedule of orientation activities, including a welcome message by KCOM Dean Philip Slocum, D.O., ’76 on August 21; the President’s Barbeque at Thousand Hills State Park with ATSU President Jack Magruder on August 24; and the University’s annual Taste of Kirksville event, featuring area restaurants and caterers August 27 at the Thompson Campus Center. Classes begin Tuesday, August 25.

Perhaps the most important event for KCOM’s newest class of medical students is the Induction and White Coat Ceremony. The White Coat ceremony was established in 1996 and impresses upon first-year students the significance and symbolism of wearing a white coat. Students will receive their white doctor’s coat, as well as body-mind-spirit lapel pin. Held in conjunction with orientation, the ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, August 22, in Baldwin Hall Auditorium at Truman State University.

“The White Coat ceremony symbolizes the admission into a professional class,” said KCOM Dean Slocum. “Students then have a greater expectation to act in a professional way – for the University, it represents a symbolic welcoming into the family of ATSU-KCOM and physician practitioners in training.”

This year, 3,231 applicants vied for the 172 positions in KCOM’s Class of 2013. The class includes 109 men and 63 women representing 30 states as well as Canada and Japan. The class has an average science GPA of 3.4 and cumulative GPA of 3.5.


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