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WhiteCoatEvent-205More than 300 ATSU students from the Arizona campus confirmed their professional commitment at the annual white coat ceremony at the Mesa Arts Center on July 10, 2015.

The Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health’s (ASDOH) class of 2019, the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona’s (SOMA) class of 2019, and the Arizona School of Health Sciences physician assistant (PA) class of 2017 and physical therapy (PT) class of 2016 were presented white coats in four separate ceremonies. Overall, the numbers of students who received their white coats were: 58 (PT); 108 (SOMA); 77 (ASDOH); and 70 (PA).

On July 11, 2015, the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) class of 2019 and the Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (MOSDOH) class of 2019 celebrated their white coat ceremonies with 172 KCOM and 42 MOSDOH students receiving their white coats at Baldwin Hall Auditorium, Truman State University in Kirksville, MO.



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A.T. Still University (ATSU), Truman State University, and East Central Missouri Area Health Education Center (ECMO AHEC) partnered together to provide a Summer Healthcare Career Experience (SHCE) for students interested in healthcare as a future profession. The inaugural event was a three-day, two-night program and involved hands-on activities at both ATSU and Truman State University.

High school students from four different schools were represented – Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School, Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, Hazelwood East High School, and Ladue Horton Watkins High School. The goal of SHCE is to provide the opportunity for participants to gain perspectives and experience in health professions.

“This was a great opportunity to show these kids from St. Louis that they have two terrific resources in Kirksville for their education. We hope to make this an annual event and provide high school students a chance to see what Kirksville, ATSU and Truman State have to offer,” said ATSU Assistant Vice President of Admissions Dave Koenecke, DC, MEd.

The students experienced a plethora of activities at both ATSU and Truman State University. At ATSU, they were able to partake in dental simulation lab activities with relation to basic oral exams. In addition to activities pertaining to oral health, students also engaged in basic life support exercises, ultrasound lab activities, and osteopathic manipulative medicine demonstrations.

At Truman State University, students attended a bandaging bracing clinic for athletic training purposes and also workshopped nursing and exercise science techniques.

ATSU, Truman State University, and ECMO AHEC will continue to work together annually to provide the Summer Healthcare Career Experience for students interested in health professions.


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.

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