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Three faculty members in ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies are examining telemedicine patient education to note the effectiveness of using the distance education Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework model. Joan Leafman, PhD, associate professor, Doctor of Health Sciences program (DHSc), Kathleen Mathieson, PhD, associate professor, DHSc program and Still Research Institute Scientist, and Kellie Bliven, PhD, Kinesiology, are researching the “Application of the Community of Inquiry distance education framework to telemedicine patient education.”

The CoI framework was developed (Garrison, Anderson and Archer, 2000) to enhance successful online communication with focus given to the comprehensive teaching and learning cycle. The CoI is a validated distance education framework which contends that for an optimal teaching and learning experience, three presences (cognitive, teaching and social) must exist.

Drs. Leafman, Mathieson and Bliven are working in partnership with Phoenix Indian Health Services-Joslin Vision Network (IHS-JVN) at Phoenix Indian Medical Center (PIMC), where tele-ophthalmology exams are performed on diabetic patients annually to assess for risk of diabetes-related vision loss; and patients and caregivers who belong to any of the 35 online patient support communities established by Ben’s Friends, an organization which facilitates virtual support communities for people with rare diseases.

The results of the study to date have demonstrated that telemedicine is a favorable medium for patient education.  According to Dr. Leafman, “This research is important because the practice of telemedicine is well-defined and rapidly expanding. In contrast, telemedicine patient education, an integral part of the telemedicine process, is not well-defined.  Without a meaningful understanding of how to comprehensively engage patients effectively, telemedicine practices and applications may be unsuccessful”.


ATSU vert blue blockA.T. Still University’s Athletic Training (AT) program has been selected by MomsTEAM Institute, a leading youth sports health and safety think tank and watchdog group, for a pilot program of MomsTEAM’s innovative SmartTeam™ initiative.

The pilot program will focus on sports injury and concussion risk management associated with the Mesa Youth Football League. ATSU marks one of only six programs nationwide.

Modeled on the community-centric approach to improving youth sports safety highlighted in MomsTEAM’s PBS documentary, “The Smartest Team: Making High School MomsTEAMFootball Safer”, the Mesa Youth Football League will be coordinated by ATSU’s Athletic Training Director, Tamara McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA, and students of the AT program.

Over the course of the fall 2014 football season, Dr. McLeod and ATSU students will provide parents, coaches and officials in the Mesa Youth Football League program with ongoing education on how they and their child’s program can help keep them safe. ​

Read more at MomsTEAM.org.


Dr. ParkJae Hyun Park, DMD, MSD, MS, PhD, director, postgraduate orthodontic program at A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics (JCO). Dr. Park’s article, “Orthodontic treatment of an adult patient with severe crowding and unilateral missing premolars,” was co-authored by Kiyoshi Tai.

The article was selected to be the cover page for the July 2014 issue of JCO. The JCO is one of the most widely-read orthodontic journals in the world.


Geoffrey Hoffa, PA-C, ’00, DHSc, ’14, chair of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences Alumni Board, recently had an article published in the Teamster’s Benefits magazine. The article (p. 48), “Taft-Hartley health funds face many challenges including ACA,” was based on Dr. Hoffa’s applied dissertation for his DHSc program.

From left, Dr. Jae Park and Dr. Paul Castelein

From left, Dr. Jae Park and Dr. Paul Castelein

Jae Hyun Park, DMD, MSD, MS, PhD, director, postgraduate orthodontic program, A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, was recently invited as an American Board of Orthodontics (ABO) Examiner. He graded the ABO clinical exam as an Examiner at the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, August 6-10.

The ABO was founded in 1929 and is the oldest specialty board in dentistry. The ABO was first established by Dr. Albert Ketcham and several colleagues who believed that the specialty of orthodontics should have a certifying body. Dr. Castelein, current ABO President, mentions that the original objectives of the ABO were stated in the charter of incorporation as the following “to elevate the standards of the practice of orthodontia; to familiarize the public with its aims and ideals; and to protect the public against irresponsible and unqualified practitioners.”

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