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News Release

Date: 7/24/08

Grant will help Arizona medical school train new cadre of family physicians and meet needs of nation’s underserved


KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – The School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona (SOMA) is a recipient of the Health Resources & Services Administration’s Pre-Doctoral Training in Primary Care grant funded at a rate of $723,210 through June 30, 2011. The grant will further SOMA and the National Association of Community Health Centers’ (NACHC) partnership to train a new cadre of family medicine and primary care physicians for underserved populations.

Under the guidance of project director Thomas E. McWilliams, D.O., FACOFP, the grant will focus on activities including developing, implementing, and assessing a didactic patient-centered family medicine curriculum; an innovative, longitudinal, integrated family medicine clinical training program modeled after the Harvard Medical School-Cambridge Integrated Clerkship; and cultural competence training.

“It is our goal” said Dr. McWilliams, SOMA associate dean, “to train compassionate family medicine and primary care physicians who are technologically adept, prevention oriented, and who are lifelong learners and teachers.”

A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona was established in 2007. Since its inception, SOMA has been creating a new paradigm of medical education meshing community/safety-net healthcare needs with the medical education process. SOMA’s purpose is to educate and graduate osteopathic medical students who are broadly skilled in the core competencies that transcend medical disciplines and are thus capable of reducing current barriers to care, as well as eliminating health disparities. SOMA’s commitment to community mirrors NACHC goals to expand healthcare access for America’s medically underserved through the community-based health center model. For more information about SOMA or the NACHC, visit or

This program is funded by the Pre-Doctoral Training in Primary Care Grant D56HP10312-01-00 between ATSU-SOMA and the Health Resources and Services Administration.


Founded in 1892 as the nation’s first college of osteopathic medicine, A.T. Still University provides graduate level education in whole person healthcare. Recognized internationally for its integrated approach, ATSU equips students with the knowledge, compassion, and hands-on experience needed to address the body, mind, and spirit. The University now comprises the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, the School of Health Management, the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, the Arizona School of Health Sciences, the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona, and the Postgraduate School of Osteopathic Clinical Research.