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Opening MOSDOH Clinic STL-27The St. Louis Dental Education and Oral Health Clinic will open its doors for the first time on Monday, June 15, 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-51The St. Louis Dental Education and Oral Health Clinic will be the primary clinical education site for ATSU-MOSDOH students. Following two years of classroom learning at the dental school in Kirksville, MO., which was founded in 2013 to address the disparities in oral healthcare in Missouri and across the nation, students will move to St. Louis to complete their final two years at the 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.”

The 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.

Opening MOSDOH Clinic STL-21In 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.

2015-04-22_Vikki-Driving-Hawk_01ATSU’s National Center for American Indian Health Professions (NCAIHP) is now under the leadership of Student Affairs. NCAIHP’s mission is to inspire, support, educate, and retain American Indian (AI) and Alaska Native (AN) students in the health professions to improve the health and wellbeing of their tribal communities by incorporating the osteopathic principles of body, mind, and spirit along with traditional healing. “The Center is dedicated to recruiting AI/AN students and provide support services during their academic and professional careers,” says Beth Poppre, associate vice president-Student Affairs and supervisor for the Center.

Vikki Driving Hawk, MEd, has been selected as director for the NCAIHP. She holds a master’s degree in education for counseling and human relations from Northern Arizona University. Driving Hawk worked previously at ATSU’s Arizona campus as the associate director for residential admissions in 2007. Driving Hawk also worked in Student Affairs since 1992 in financial services, admissions, recruitment, and retention services. She has worked with several tribal communities in both Arizona and Wisconsin. “Driving Hawk has already represented ATSU and NCAIHP at student recruitment events for AI/AN students and is getting to know the current ATSU AI/AN students,” said Poppre.

NCAIHP is assisted by an advisory council chaired by ATSU alumnus Ron West, DPT, ’04. The council, which represents five AI cultures, includes George Blue Spruce, DDS, MPH, founding chair; Chris Halliday, DDS, MPH, dean, Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health; Dr. Wayne Mitchell; Gwen Werner, DMD, ’08; and Rowin Begay, DO, ’14. The advisory council helps the Center network with tribal communities and provides mentoring for ATSU’s next generation of AI/AN healthcare professionals.

NCAIHP is located in Building 5835 on the Arizona campus. For more information on NCAIHP and events, contact Vikki Driving Hawk at vdrivinghawk@atsu.edu or at 480-219-6108.

Website: www.atsu.edu/american-indian
NCAIHP Facebook: www.facebook.com/ATSUAmericanIndian
NCAIHP Twitter: https://twitter.com/ATSUNCAIHP

Trudy Banta, EdD

Trudy Banta, EdD

The ATSU Office of Assessment & Accreditation and the University-wide Assessment Committee will be sponsoring the Inaugural Assessment Week virtually and on both campuses, April 13-16. Dr. Lisa Ncube, director of Assessment and Accreditation at ATSU, said that Assessment Week will be held annually, and the 2015 event will be broadcast via Zoom as well as recorded on Zoom. The theme of the inaugural event is Growing a culture of assessment across the University.

Some of the highlights include: a Town Hall panel with Norman Gevitz, PhD, senior vice president, Academic Affairs, and Ann Boyle, DMD, MA, associate vice president for academic innovation, discussing the core professional attributes; a keynote address by Trudy Banta, EdD, professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; a poster showcase; and a virtual resource fair with discussions regarding Higher Learning Commission and Tk20.

Dates and times of  events during Assessment Week can be found on the Inaugural Assessment Week flyer.

For additional information, contact Dr. Ncube at lncube@atsu.edu or 480.219.6132.


Employee-Recognition-Ceremony-7403-300x200Faculty and staff were honored at A.T. Still University’s (ATSU) Missouri and Arizona campuses during ATSU’s Employee Recognition Ceremony. Employees were recognized for years of service ranging from five to 45 years.

On the Missouri campus, Valerie Hamlin, curriculum coordinator; Ruth Chronister, administrative assistant; Brian McCarty, support specialist; and Judy Funk, graphic designer, were recognized as the 2014 Quarterly Excellence Award Recipients.

Rita Clem, printing tech, was presented with the Annual Distinguished Service Award.  With more than 29 years of service, employees noted Clem as being incredibly knowledgeable and always willing to uphold a strong and reliable work ethic. Employees also noted that Clem’s valuable insight, expertise, and attitude contributed to her being recognized with the award.

On the Arizona campus, Robin Michela, ATSU-SOMA; Courtney McCormack, Admissions; Michael Chang, University Advancement; and Erlinda Cisneros-Johnson, ATSU-ASHS (OT), were recognized as the 2014 Quarterly Excellence Award Recipients.

Ryan Yontanza, desktop analyst, Information Technology Services, was presented with the Annual Distinguished Service Award. Yontanza  has been with ATSU for 10 years and brings excellent knowledge, expertise and exceptional service to every client.

Congratulations to all!



Skills Lab with KCOM & MOSDOH-1545A.T. Still University’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) launched a new student elective course that focuses on primary care and diagnostics for dentists. The interprofessional course was designed to provide basic preventative primary care education to dental students to improve detection and management of chronic disease, as well as expand their physical examination skills and diagnostic capabilities.

The course also includes 10 weekly modules to be completed online and three labs to be held during evenings. The course will culminate with a standardized patient encounter that will allow ATSU-MOSDOH students to apply the diagnostic, evaluative, and treatment skills they learned.

“As our dental students move forward into their practice, they will be able to understand the breadth of the evaluation process from the perspective of a dentist and a physician,” said course director Dale DeWan, DMD, MS.

Dr. DeWan will be joined by medical education fellows from ATSU’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in teaching the course.

There are currently 20 students registered in the elective course. Kimberly Nguyen, D2, enrolled because of her interest in overall health and how it pertains to oral health.

“I wanted to have a better understanding in terms of taking vitals and really seeing the medical side of things,” states Nguyen. “This course is a prime example of how our school encourages interprofessional education. That’s something that drew me to ATSU to begin with, and courses like this really set us apart.”

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