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President’s Perspective – October 2018

October 5, 2018
Posted In: President's Desk

President's Perspective from the desk of Craig M. Phelps, DO, president

Graduates continue to give back

A.T. Still University (ATSU) has nearly 20,000 graduates, and wherever you may be, an alum is probably not far away. I often hear stories of chance meetings with graduates at patient care centers, conferences, social settings, and just about any other event or gathering. If you happen to be in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, for a professional sports event, there is a good chance an ATSU alum will be providing care as a physician or athletic trainer. If you are visiting a patient care center, military base, community health center, or corporation involved in healthcare services, look for a graduate providing leadership, management, or direct patient care.

Recently, a classmate from ATSU’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine called to let me know he will be entering the Doctor of Education in Health Professions program at ATSU’s College of Graduate Health Studies to pursue educational opportunities after 35 years in family practice. He will join many of our graduates with multiple ATSU degrees who serve key roles in healthcare and education. It is heartwarming and humbling to see many of our alumni educating future generations of healthcare providers and keeping the osteopathic approach to health alive and well.

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation update

Ann Boyle, DMD, MA, associate vice president, academic affairs, continues to lead faculty, staff, and students in preparation for hosting HLC accreditation representatives. The HLC accreditation site visit will be held November 9, 2018, on the Mesa, Arizona, campus and November 12-13, 2018, on the Kirksville, Missouri, campus. Thank you to all who contributed to the HLC mock site visit, open forums, and assurance argument. We look forward to sharing the wonderful accomplishments of ATSU’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni with HLC’s representatives.

2018-2019 strategic focus areas

Student clinical experiences

ATSU wants to ensure students have adequate quality clinical experiences. Norman Gevitz, PhD, senior vice president, academic affairs, and Leonard Goldstein, DDS, PhD, assistant vice president, academic affairs, continue working with each school and college to assess, support, and strategize efforts to develop and retain quality clinical education sites. If you are an ATSU graduate or friend interested in educating the next generation and know of clinical educational opportunities, please email or

Developing cultural proficiency

Our graduates live and work in an ever-changing world. Striving for cultural proficiency – a way of being that enables individuals and organizations to respond appropriately in different cultural settings – is critical to personal and professional success and places ATSU at the forefront of healthcare, education, and innovation. This academic year, Clinton Normore, MBA, associate vice president, diversity & inclusion, and Ann Lee Burch, PT, EdD, MPH, vice dean, ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences, continue to provide experiences to encourage cultural proficiency of the University community. In February 2019, discussions regarding understanding and preventing unconscious bias and microaggressions will be available for students, faculty, and staff.

ATSU branding and marketing

Representing the founding college of osteopathic medicine and a modern health professions university, stewarding ATSU’s brand is an important charge. This year, ATSU will be working with a branding consultant to identify key goals and objectives promoting and protecting the University’s brand.

ATSU patient care centers

In 2017-18, ATSU hosted more than 100,000 patient visits. Year two of this initiative focuses on developing synergy among patient care centers and providing common policies, practices, and procedures throughout ATSU. Dr. Gevitz and Matt Heeren, JD, vice president & general counsel, will continue working together with ATSU deans to optimize best practices and effective use of University resources, assuring quality care and meaningful educational experiences.

California Physician Assistant Studies program

Ted Wendel, PhD, senior vice president, university planning & strategic initiatives, continues to lead efforts toward a 2020 opening of a new ATSU physician assistant studies program in California. The program is being developed in partnership with community health centers to meet the significant shortages of providers in America’s underserved rural and urban communities.

Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM) 2018

Thank you to all faculty, staff, students, and administrators who volunteered their time to help people in need of dental care. More than 100 ATSU volunteers participated in the two-day event, including board members Tisha R. Kice-Briggs, DDS, who served as MOMOM co-chair, and Bertha Thomas. This is the first year MOMOM was held in Kirksville, Missouri, and the event provided more than $815,000 in free dental care to 1,200 patients.

ATSU volunteers at the Missouri Mission of Mercy event

MOMOM 2018

Faculty and staff updates

Congratulations on recent promotions

Please view the complete list of employee promotions (PDF).

Accomplishment kudos

Please view the complete list of accomplishment kudos (PDF).

Well wishes to faculty and staff celebrating anniversary milestones

Please view the complete list of employee anniversaries (PDF).

Ideas or concerns?

Continue submitting your ideas to Each email will receive a personal response from me. Ideas are only shared with the sender’s permission.

If you see something you are worried about, please contact the anonymous Fraud Hotline to report situations or behavior that compromises ATSU’s integrity. The hotline is available 24/7 at 1.855.FRAUD.HL (1.855.372.8345) or

In closing

On behalf of ATSU students, faculty, and staff, thank you for taking a few moments to catch up on some of the remarkable people, events, and programs that make our University a great place to learn and work.

Yours in service,

Craig M. Phelps, DO signature





Craig M. Phelps, DO, ’84

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences
800 W. Jefferson St., Kirksville, MO 63501 | 660.626.2121
5850 E. Still Circle, Mesa, AZ 85206 | 480.219.6000
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