A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) is one of the best colleges in the nation to work for, according to a new survey by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

GCTFThe results, released today in The Chronicle’s eighth annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of 281 colleges and universities.

In all, 86 of the 281 institutions achieved “Great College to Work For” recognition for specific best practices and policies. Results are reported for small, medium, and large institutions, with ATSU included among the medium universities with 3,000 to 9,999 students.

ATSU won honors in two categories: compensation and benefits, and work-life balance.

“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized for such a distinguished tribute. ATSU is devoted to our internal community; and we are committed to fostering an environment where faculty, staff, and students feel valued, empowered, and supported both in and outside of the workplace,” said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO.

The survey results are based on a two-part assessment process: an institutional audit that captured demographics and workplace policies from each institution, and a survey administered to faculty, administrators, and professional support staff. The primary factor in deciding whether an institution received recognition was the employee feedback.

“The institutions that the Great Colleges program recognizes provide innovative educational experiences – while also offering their employees outstanding workplace experiences – and we are eager to help readers learn more about them,” said Liz McMillen, The Chronicle’s editor. “The selection process is rigorous and being named to the list is a tremendous accomplishment, but it also positions colleges and universities well to recruit the people that make them a success.”


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ceph_mastA.T. Still University’s College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS) announced its Master of Public Health and Master of Public Health-Dental Emphasis programs received accreditation by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) extending through July 1, 2020.

“It is a great honor to have ATSU’s public health programs accredited by CEPH,” said Don Altman, DDS, DHSc, MPH, MBA, MA, dean of ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies. “This specialized accreditation avows the quality of the University’s online master’s in public health programs and commitment to adequately prepare students. Graduates are recognized as being knowledgeable and competent to carry out public health functions in local, state, national, and international settings.”

CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, that accredits schools of public health and public health programs. It is the only agency recognized to accredit graduate schools of public health and graduate public health programs outside schools of public health.

To earn and maintain accreditation, schools and programs must meet specific educational quality standards defined by CEPH. These standards relate to the school or program’s organization and instructional programs. The school or program’s creation, application and advancement of knowledge, and faculty, staff, and students are also standards defined by CEPH.

The programs received the maximum initial accreditation of five years. CEPH currently accredits 56 schools and 108 programs.

“The accreditation process requires commitment from administrators, faculty, staff, students, and other constituents,” said CEPH Executive Director Laura Rasar King, MPH, MCHES. “The Council recognizes the efforts of A.T. Still University to make ongoing improvements to ensure that students receive a high-quality education that advances them toward their career goals.”


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A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) announced today that it is the recipient of a $1.7 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to strengthen interprofessional education among dental, medical, and physician assistant students.

The grant will support significant expansion of interprofessional education at ATSU. In which specifically, dental students will engage collaboratively in clinical settings with medical students from ATSU’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona and physician assistant students from ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences.

“This funding will greatly enrich interprofessional education at ATSU,” said Jack Dillenberg, DDS, MPH, dean, ATSU-ASDOH, grant project director . “Funding will support development of clinical curricula and experiences, bringing together three health professions to fully realize Dr. Andrew Taylor Still’s vision of whole person healthcare.”

Interprofessional education has remained a main focus area at ATSU and is an essential step in preparing collaborative, practice-ready health professionals. Over the course of five years, nearly 8,500 vulnerable and underserved patients will be served by 1,950 students and faculty through the enhanced workforce training initiative supported by the HRSA grant, “Expanding Dental Workforce Training Within Collaborative, Team-Based Care Targeting Federally Qualified Health Centers and Underserved Populations.”

“The future success of healthcare delivery worldwide will be built on a foundation of team-based, collaborative care centered around patients and communities. This grant will make a significant difference in how health professions students are educated,” said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84.

ATSU-ASDOH’s short-term goals include integrating a diverse group of non-dental partner agencies like the Greater Valley Area Health Education Center to facilitate both didactic and clinical team-based care. The school also plans to expand collaboration to HealthPoint – a University community health center partner campus located in the Seattle area. There, fourth-year dental students and second-, third- and fourth-year medical students will learn from and work with each other to improve the delivery of patient care.

“This grant will create potent opportunities for ATSU students to work together collaboratively in the reality of clinical practice, to learn about, from, and with each other,” said Director of Interprofessional Education and Collaboration Barbara Maxwell, PT, DPT, MSc, Cert. THE, FNAP. “Healthcare delivered by these interprofessional teams will improve the lives of those they serve.”

Acknowledgement and Disclaimer: This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number D85HP20045; grant title Predoctoral Training in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene; total award amount of $1,736,074; with 54 percent financed with nongovernmental sources. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.


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$24 million, 79,000-square-foot clinic will serve St. Louis residents in need while training dental students for careers in community healthcare

Opening MOSDOH Clinic STL-27ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Dental Education and Oral Health Clinic will open its doors for the first time today at 1500 Park Avenue near Lafayette Square. A pioneering collaboration between ATSU and Affinia Healthcare (formerly, Grace Hill Health Centers), the $24 million, 79,000-square-foot facility is expected to provide oral healthcare for thousands of underserved St. Louis-area residents while training third- and fourth-year students of ATSU’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) for careers in community dentistry and public health. The first ATSU-MOSDOH class, comprising 42 students, will begin working with patients under faculty supervision in early July. Affinia Healthcare, a community health center organization, will operate the 92-chair dental clinic.

Cannon Design and Musick Construction, both of St. Louis, were integral to the architecture and construction of the new facility. Musick Construction was chosen because of their success in meeting diversity requirements specified by city ordinance and the mayor’s Executive Order #46. The order mandates diversity in redevelopment projects supported with Tax Increment Financing.

Said ATSU President Craig M. Phelps, DO, “The St. Louis community has been wonderful to work with during the planning, permitting, and construction process. ATSU looks forward to serving alongside Affinia Healthcare and others in providing greater access to oral healthcare for all.”

Opening MOSDOH Clinic STL-21The St. Louis Dental Education and Oral Health Clinic will be the primary clinical education site for students at ATSU-MOSDOH, which was founded in 2013 to address the disparities in oral healthcare in Missouri and across the nation. Following two years of classroom learning at the University’s Kirksville, Missouri campus, students will move to St. Louis to complete their final two years at the new dental clinic and work directly with patients under the supervision of ATSU faculty members. Students will give back as they learn; their ability to provide basic oral care will enable the clinic to serve thousands of patients each year.

This innovative model of oral health education offers students a first-hand view of, and experience in, community healthcare. The approach reflects ATSU-MOSDOH’s mission to train community-minded dentists who will help fill the gap in oral health practitioners working in underserved, rural, and urban communities. That mission is also reflected in ATSU-MOSDOH’s requirement that students earn not only a doctor of dental medicine degree, but a certificate in public health as well.

Alan O. Freeman, FACHE, president and CEO of Affinia Healthcare, said, “We are privileged to partner with ATSU in this groundbreaking endeavor. It is incredibly rewarding to be a part of the solution for the future of oral health access in Missouri and across the region.”

Opening MOSDOH Clinic STL-51The clinic will be staffed by healthcare professionals who will provide the full spectrum of oral health services. These include preventive care (checkups, cleanings), periodontics (the treatment of dental diseases), endodontics (root canal), prosthodontics (crowns, implants, bridges, and dentures), radiography (dental X-rays), oral surgery (extractions and other complicated surgical procedures), and the repair of dentures and implants. The clinic will also offer some orthodontic care.

In addition to providing basic and advanced dental care to adults, children, and the elderly, the clinic will offer specialty care dentistry and access to special needs communities. Experts in this critical specialty treat patients with complex oral health conditions or medically complex illnesses like cancer, cardiac disease, hemophilia, and kidney disease; patients who are on dialysis or who are diabetic; and patients with physical or developmental challenges such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia.

“By working directly with the full spectrum of dental professionals to care for patients in need, ATSU students will receive an education in community-based dentistry. Upon graduation, they will be uniquely equipped to become public health leaders dedicated to improving life for patients in need,” said Christopher Halliday, DDS, MPH, dean of ATSU-MOSDOH.

To make an appointment or for more information regarding payment options, please call 314.833.2700.


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ATSU President's Perspective - header

Commencement – A time for celebration

We are in the midst of another exciting graduation season at ATSU. Students, friends, and family gather alongside faculty and staff to celebrate one of life’s greatest accomplishments. This year it was especially exciting for me as we welcomed back one of my professors, honorary degree recipient Richard Cenedella, PhD, professor emeritus, ATSU-KCOM.

Many alumni remember Dr. Cenedella’s contributions to student knowledge, faculty advancement, and ATSU’s success. It was great to see him along with our new graduates.

Dr. Cenedella receives an honorary degree at ATSU-KCOM’s 179th Commencement Ceremony.

Dr. Cenedella receives an honorary degree at ATSU-KCOM’s 179th Commencement Ceremony.

2014-15 strategic initiatives update

 Student clinical rotations and residencies
Dr. Gevitz’s team is putting together results from nearly 11 months of in-house data analysis and information gathering. A white paper including recommendations will be available in July 2015.

Global initiatives
For the first time, ATSU is developing a global strategy to assist students, faculty, and staff with seeking safe and appropriate learning opportunities. Opportunities for ATSU’s brand within the global online educational realm are also being explored.

Assessment, 3-D printing, and exploring new learning platforms are a few examples of the innovation currently underway at ATSU. To promote innovative faculty-led initiatives through the Teaching and Learning Center, $250,000 has been allocated for the upcoming 2015-16 academic year. Marsha Ham, PhD, will join ATSU on August 1, 2015, as the inaugural director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Ham comes from University of New Haven in Connecticut where she is associate vice president and dean of the College of Lifelong Learning and eLearning. Prior to joining University of New Haven, Dr. Ham was executive director of lifelong learning and distance learning at Ohio University.

ATSU’s Strategic Plan 2016-20

Thank you to all who participated in developing ATSU’s new strategic plan recommendations. ATSU’s Board of Trustees is reviewing the recommendations. Vice President of Finance/Chief Financial Officer Rick Rieder, MBA, MM, and staff will be analyzing costs and funding options. The new plan will be unveiled November 2015, and implementation will begin July 2016.


Thanks to our alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students, ATSU has been blessed with a successful fundraising year.

While fiscal year 2014-15 final numbers will not be available until July 1, it has been a remarkable year for Advancement.

ATSU’s largest individual bequest has been developed. Pending market performance, the gift may approach or exceed $10,000,000 at maturity.

Faculty/staff Annual Fund Campaign has raised $182,698 fiscal year to date. These gifts provide scholarships, update facilities, and support faculty endeavors and strategic initiatives.

Total funds raised through April 1, 2015, were $3,358,595. This represents an 84 percent increase over the same time period last year. An additional $1.4 million is due over the next six months in estate gifts. Proceeds from a charitable life insurance policy, $1,034,000, have also been received; however, due to accounting rules, the amount is not included in the above total.

Shaun Sommerer, PhD, vice president, university advancement, is putting together a University Advancement strategic plan for presentation in July 2015.

Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health

ATSU-MOSDOH’s second-year students will soon transition to St. Louis, Mo., to begin their clinical experiences. The St. Louis Dental Education and Oral Health Clinic is nearing completion, and the official grand opening will be held June 10. ATSU-MOSDOH completed a second accreditation site visit in March from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA). Please visit atsu.edu/mosdoh to learn more about ATSU-MOSDOH’s revolutionary dental education model.


Faculty and students provided dental care and education to more than 450 children in northeast Missouri for the annual Give Kids A Smile event in February.

Faculty and students provided dental care and education to more than 450 children in northeast Missouri for the annual Give Kids A Smile event in February.

Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine

Last Saturday, a new class of 157 osteopathic physicians graduated. The class of 2015 included 70 females and 87 males. Ten graduates received their master’s in biomedical sciences. Dr. Cenedella received an honorary doctor of science degree, and Mark D. Pressley, DO, ’92, MPH, ’03, FAAFP, delivered an outstanding commencement speech.

ATSU-KCOM’s class of 2015 celebrates commencement Saturday, May 16.

ATSU-KCOM’s class of 2015 celebrates commencement Saturday, May 16.

Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health

ATSU-ASDOH served as the national host for Give Kids A Smile in February, shining the spotlight on the School’s wonderful students, faculty, staff, and alumni. More than 400 children received interprofessional compassionate care on the Mesa, Ariz., campus, setting the record for ATSU-ASDOH’s highest attendance to date. Please listen to national dental leaders comment on the event.

ATSU-ASDOH’s commencement will be held Friday, May 22, and Jeffrey A. Parker, MPA, will give the commencement address. Seventy-four doctor of dental medicine degrees and 22 master of public health degrees will be conferred.

ATSU-ASDOH faculty and students provide free dental care to children during Give Kids A Smile.

ATSU-ASDOH faculty and students provide free dental care to children during Give Kids A Smile.

School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona

ATSU-SOMA recently prepared an annual report and mid-cycle report for the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. Both reports were accepted at COCA’s April meeting without any additional requests from the School.

ATSU-SOMA’s commencement will also be held Friday, May 22. Winston F. Wong, MD, MS, will be the commencement speaker, and Ron Yee, MD, MBA, FAAFP, chief medical officer for the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), will provide a welcome message to graduates. One hundred four students will receive their doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees.

Dr. Yee discusses ATSU and NACHC’s innovative research partnership to improve health of communities across the country.

Dr. Yee discusses ATSU and NACHC’s innovative research partnership to improve health of communities across the country.

Arizona School of Health Sciences

ATSU-ASHS celebrated its 20th anniversary on Saturday, January 24. Nearly 200 friends of ATSU, including board members, alumni, faculty, staff, and students, reunited on the Arizona campus for the event. The School has graduated approximately 8,000 healthcare professionals, and today, offers 15 residential and online programs.

ATSU-ASHS commencement is scheduled for Friday, August 7, at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Jim Farris, PhD, PT; Linda Wheelis; Bucky; and Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA, celebrate ATSU-ASHS’ 20th anniversary.

Jim Farris, PhD, PT; Linda Wheelis; Bucky; and Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA, celebrate ATSU-ASHS’ 20th anniversary.

College of Graduate Health Studies

ATSU-CGHS hosted a CODA site visit in April for the Dental Public Health Residency program. The site visit report will be sent to CODA recommending full accreditation with no reporting requirements. Results from the Council on Education for Public Health accreditation site visit in fall 2014 will be posted this summer. In addition, a new program is coming to the College this fall. A master’s degree in school health education will be offered for educators teaching or leading school health education programs.

ATSU-CGHS’ Commencement Ceremony will be held Friday, June 5, with ATSU-ASHS Dean Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA, providing the commencement address. This is the first time the ceremony will take place in Arizona.

Faculty and staff accomplishments (as of April 30, 2015)

Congratulations on recent promotions
Read the complete list of employee promotions.

Accomplishment kudos
Read the complete list of accomplishment kudos.

A special thanks to all contributors who made ATSU’s inaugural Assessment Week a success. Please review the complete list of contributors.

Well wishes to faculty and staff celebrating anniversary milestones
Read the complete list of employee anniversaries.

With gratitude

Thank you for taking a few moments to catch up on the latest happenings around the University. Best wishes to our new graduates as they continue to build upon the knowledge and skills developed while attending ATSU and making a positive impact in their communities.

Yours in service,




Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84


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