The following alumni were recognized during the KOAA Luncheon and Assembly Meeting at the AOA convention in San Francisco.
Michael F. Brooks, D.O., ’66, and his wife, Berna, were presented the Honored Patron lifetime giving award ($15,000-$24,999). Dr. Brooks is a psychiatrist specializing in addictive diseases in Brighton, Mich.
Gary H. Campbell, D.O., ’71, and his wife, Joyce, were presented the Honored Patron lifetime giving award ($15,000-$24,999). The Campbells live in Chesterfield, Mo., where Dr. Campbell specializes in family and community medicine.
Toni R. Smith, D.O., ’79, was presented the Distinguished Patron lifetime giving award ($25,000- $49,999). Dr. Smith specializes in anesthesiology and is an associate professor and chair of Surgery at ATSUKCOM. She is also anesthesiology residency program director at Northeast Regional Medical Center.
Stanley E. Grogg, D.O., ‘71, a pediatrician, and his wife, Barbara, were presented the Diplomate lifetime giving award ($50,000-$99,999). The Groggs live in Tulsa, Okla.
Philip C. Slocum, D.O., ’76, and his wife, Sandy, were presented the Diplomate lifetime giving award ($50,000-$99,999).
John Heard, Ph.D., and his wife, Barbara, were presented the Honored Patron lifetime giving award ($15,000-$24,999). Dr. Heard is vice president for Research, Grants & Information Systems at ATSU, and assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at ATSU-KCOM.
ATSU Senior Vice President — Academic Affairs Douglas L. Wood, D.O., Ph.D., and his wife, Janet, were presented the Distinguished Patron lifetime giving award ($25,000-$49,999).
ATSU President Jack Magruder presented Alliant Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Pete Detweiler with the university’s Honored Patron ($15,000-$24,999) lifetime giving award in recognition of the bank’s continued support of ATSU. Detweiler is a former member of ATSU’s Board of Trustees.
William H. Voss, D.O., ’58, was presented the Honored Patron lifetime giving award ($15,000- $24,999). Dr. Voss, retired from practice in internal medicine, is a medical officer for the Missouri State Board for the Healing Arts in Jefferson City, Mo.
Robert W. Sparks, D.O., ’83, was presented the Distinguished Patron lifetime giving award ($25,000- $49,999). Dr. Sparks is a family physician in Kirksville.
Kenneth L. Read, owner of Heritage House Realty Inc., was thanked for his recent gift to the ATSU Kirksville campus dental campaign. Read has attained the A.T. Still Fellow lifetime giving recognition level, recognizing those who have contributed in excess of $100,000.
Douglas N. Smith, D.O., ’78, and his wife, Cynthia, were presented the Honored Patron lifetime giving award ($15,000-$24,999). The Smiths live in Columbia, Mo., where Dr. Smith specializes in urgent care and family practice.
The Sparks family has watched ATSU grow from one school in Missouri to multiple schools on two campuses, and it all started in rural northeast Missouri. While growing up, Robert W. Sparks, D.O., ’83, saw firsthand how his family’s osteopathic physician took care of them. “He was just a good guy, and he inspired me,” notes Dr. Sparks, while reminiscing about what motivated him to become an osteopathic physician, just like his uncle, John R. Sparks, D.O., ’74.
“The best investment is one’s own education,” he says, “which has allowed me to have an incredibly rewarding and wonderful career, while making friends with patients and colleagues.”
Dr. Sparks truly enjoys helping others and serving the public, and he attributes this to the high quality of his education and experiences at KCOM. From this naturally flows his longtime financial support of multiple ATSU schools. “KCOM is not only the first osteopathic medical school – it is the best,” he adds with a passion that is infectious. He believes that “the university’s mission is headed in the right direction, especially with its expansion into dentistry, as it goes hand in hand with osteopathic medicine.” Dr. Spark’s zeal for osteopathic medicine and his alma mater, as well as his service to the local community, is shared by his family, including his sons, Andrew and Aaron, who are pursuing careers in healthcare. Andrew is a second-year dental student at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, and Aaron has been accepted into the 2011 fall class at KCOM. Serving the public is a passion also shared by his wife, Delores, who works with the Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities.
For Francis X. Francis, D.O., ‘59, giving to his alma mater doesn’t just help move the university forward. Giving is a personal point of pride and his way of reflecting the support shown to him as a student. In fact, if it hadn’t been for the help of faculty, staff, and fellow students, he might never have become an osteopathic physician.
The ATSU-KCOM alumnus, who makes a gift of support each year, was slated to enter then-KCOS in 1954, but he had to withdraw just prior to starting because of a family issue. He was allowed to return the next year, but that wasn’t the end of the obstacles threatening to end the young student’s medical career.
“In my freshman year, I developed a ruptured appendix with peritonitis, which entailed two surgeries.”
Illness caused Dr. Francis to miss much of the second semester, and he expected to repeat the whole first year. However, he was allowed to complete all missed coursework during summer vacation. Even more amazing was the fact that an upperclassman anonymously paid his hospital bill.
“I feel that everyone at KCOM had been so kind to me that I can never fully repay the kindness shown me by the faculty, the administration, and my peers,” he says. “In some way, I would hope that my annual alumnus contributions help show my affection for my alma mater.”
KCOM alumnus and father of third-year SOMA student Jennifer Rosemore, Andrew Stuart Rosemore, D.O., ’71, supports the Dean’s Investment Fund and is a “Champion Parent.” On intergenerational differences in osteopathic medical education: “The delivery of educational material through podcasts and multimedia contexts is truly amazing. The quality of education improves with each generation, and digital delivery ensures more timely, detailed, and informative knowledge acquisition. By virtue of the quality of his osteopathic education, my son was able to complete internal medicine and gastroenterology fellowships at Johns Hopkins. (My son had to become a D.O. since he was born in Carson City Osteopathic Hospital!) My daughter is receiving an excellent education at SOMA, and I hope that she will also be afforded an opportunity to receive a challenging residency.”
Why he pays it forward: “I like to stay actively involved in ATSU after seeing the same dedication and commitment to excellence at SOMA as I did at Kirksville. I was raised with the colloquial tenet that you dance with the one that ‘brung’ you. ATSU had confidence in us by accepting us as students and ensuring that we received a quality education, and it is our responsibility to support the mission of the college that ‘brung’ us to where we are today.
On leaving a legacy: “I hope that I can leave a legacy that will encourage all our graduates to never forget the importance of representing our profession by setting a favorable example to our community. Our profession will only continue to grow by adopting the old-time precepts of treating the patient as a mind and body whole, not just a specific disease, and caring for patients, not just their insurance coverage. Also, we must instill in our graduates to never forget the homeless and less fortunate by being an advocate for those who often have no hope.”
At the time it happened, the sale of a southeastern Missouri osteopathic hospital seemed like yet another setback to the momentum of the osteopathic movement. But as fate would have it, something positive for the future of the profession has since emerged.
The rural community of Farmington, located about 70 miles southwest of St. Louis, was home to Mineral Area Regional Osteopathic Hospital, founded by a group of seven D.O.s in 1952. As a not-for-profit, it served the community well until 2006, when changes in the dynamics of providing healthcare resulted in its sale to a for-profit company. Proceeds of the sale were channeled into creating the Mineral Area Osteopathic Foundation. Its stated mission is to provide support through grants and scholarships to promote and improve the health of people in the foundation’s service area, and to promote interest and influence in the science of osteopathy and of the osteopathic profession.
Under the direction of a sevenmember board of trustees chaired by Dwayne N. Damba, D.O., ’97, the foundation now provides significant financial support to institutions training healthcare professionals.
During 2009-2010, a grant of $329,279 provided scholarships to 32 ATSU-KCOM medical students. Additional scholarship funding is planned for 2011.
Other ATSU-KCOM alumni serving as foundation trustees include Victoria A. Damba, D.O., ’97, and Michael D. Zaricor, D.O., ’73.
Without much fanfare, a dedicated group of osteopathic physicians is quietly and consistently striving to strengthen the educational experiences of those who would follow in their footsteps.
The not-for-profit Northeast Missouri Osteopathic Charitable Trust is an 18-year-old venture directed by caring doctors who recognize the rapidly changing training needs in today’s medical school environment, invest much of their own lives in the education of student doctors, and exist to provide funding for osteopathic medical education.
Formation of the trust in 1992 originated with a group of osteopathic physicians in Kirksville, many of whom were deeply involved with the training of medical students at ATSU-KCOM. Since that time, the trust has provided unprecedented financial support benefiting Kirksville and KCOM.
Since 1992, trust grants total nearly $743,000, with $667,000 directly benefiting osteopathic students and post-graduates in Kirksville. Addressing rapid change in the technology of medical teaching and student learning has been a top priority for trust grants. In the past three years, the college has benefited from nearly $135,000 donated for ultrasound equipment and patient simulators, which have allowed the college to offer Advanced Trauma Life Support classes without outside expense.
The remaining original doctors, who first set the mission of the trust, continue a resolute focus on fostering a better understanding of osteopathic theory and practice. Currently serving are trustees Lloyd Cleaver, D.O., ’76, Charles Pritchard, D.O.,’70 (Chr.), and Paul Williams, D.O., ’64. Serving as Policy and Financial Committee members are Kent Blanke, D.O.; Jack Bragg, D.O., ’81; Philip McIntire, D.O., ’78; Jeffrey Morasco, D.O.; Sydney Ross, D.O., ’59; Kevin Suttmoeller, D.O., ’91; and Michael Willman, D.O., ’65.
Sacramento dentist Michael Rex Favero, D.M.D., didn’t enjoy his dental school experience and wanted a better experience for his children. So when he began searching for a dental school for his daughter, he was attracted to ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health because it was exactly opposite to the dental education he received as a youngster.
“I met the top administration at ASDOH, and they had a whole different outlook. They were trying to uplift students, elevate their experience, and make them better human beings and not just dentists,” he says.
“If my dad’s dental school or mine had treated students like this, they would still exist, and I would be donating money to my school and my father would, too.” Both schools have now closed.
Dr. Favero’s daughter, Tiffany Favero Holladay, D.M.D., ’08, has since joined his practice, and his son, Blake Favero, will graduate from ASDOH in 2013.
According to Dr. Favero, whose father, Dr. Paul Favero, established Favero Family Dentistry in Sacramento in 1961, “Dentistry is a wonderful life experience that helps improve people’s lives.” For youngsters interested in pursuing the profession, he tells them to forget about debt payments and dollars and instead focus on improving the lives of patients.
“Help every patient who comes to the door,” he says. “The dollars will take care of themselves. It’s almost like magic. When you help patients instead of focusing on your debt, pretty soon your waiting room will be full of people.”
Dr. Favero says his Mormon faith and love of family prompts him to continue a legacy of inter-generational giving to ASDOH. “As long as ASDOH maintains the same model of education to its students, I’m all for spending money on my children and grandchildren to obtain a quality education and will do all I can to continue supporting the school.”
Investing in ATSU’s social mission to reach out to the underserved, the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health expanded Dental Care West (DCW) to provide greater access to oral care for children, the elderly, and families in the West Valley in Arizona. The expansion increased patient capacity at DCW by 44.4 percent, added four operatories, and provided three new healthcare jobs to the West Valley.
The formal opening, held Dec. 10, 2010, attracted interest from a community that has seen a surge in demand for oral care from residents in Sun City and other northwest Phoenix areas.
A $75,000 gift from Thunderbirds Charities helped ASDOH partially fulfill the expansion program. ASDOH Dean Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., M.P.H., thanked Thunderbirds Charities for its significant investment in improving the oral care needs of individuals in the West Valley. In 2008, Thunderbirds Charities supported ASDOH with a $150,000 gift to establish the Thunderbirds Special Care Unit at DCW, a dedicated wing serving patients with special needs.
Dean Dillenberg also thanked the BHHS Legacy Foundation for its continued support of ASDOH. The foundation gave $35,000 to provide care for patients with special needs in the West Valley.
The full-service community dental clinic provides oral care for families, children, elderly adults, and people with special needs. In fiscal year 2009- 10, more than 5,700 patients received care at this facility.
ATSU-ASHS’ Department of Audiology soon will launch the Audiology Foundation of America (AFA) Institute, and the search is on to hire a director to lead this premier facility.
The institute is being launched following AFA’s decision to end its operations and donate an estimated $650,000 to ATSU-ASHS in cash and securities. For 21 years, the AFA worked to transform audiology to a doctoring profession, and that goal has been accomplished.
The premiere institute will facilitate clinical learning within the full scope of audiology, business practice experiences, community clinical services and outreach, and interdisciplinary collaboration models. Once launched, this institute will serve three core purposes:
1. Establish a model audiology practice for the education of ATSU students
2. Create a revenue source to fund scholarships for audiology students
3. Provide opportunities for students to conduct community outreach