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News Release

Date: 7/22/2007

New medical school hosts Opening Day event July 31 in East Valley

School educating doctors to serve Arizona's neediest populations

MESA (June 22, 2007) – On July 31, A.T. Still University will open the doors to its inaugural class of 106 students at the most innovative medical school in America. The opening will take place at 10:00 a.m. at A.T. Still University’s campus located at E. Still Circle and Sunview Drive (off Baseline Road) in Mesa.

“The establishment of this new medical school is good news for the state of Arizona and our nation, which are both experiencing critical shortages of physicians,” said James J. McGovern, Ph.D., president of A.T. Still University.  “We are committed to educating physicians who will not only address this shortage, but who will be providing their services, personally and compassionately, where they’re needed most – in medically underserved communities.”

Through its partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers, A.T. Still University’s new medical school will afford students the opportunity to begin clinical rotations in one of 11 Community Health Centers during their second year of medical school. At that time, the students will spend approximately half their time in the classroom and the other half observing doctors and applying their learning to direct patient care.

“With the opening of this new medical school, we are redefining medical education in America,” said Craig M. Phelps, D.O., the school’s provost.  “Ultimately, our goal is to graduate community-minded doctors who will return to serve the medically underserved populations.”

In addition to providing hands-on education in community health centers, A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona is the first medical school to base its curriculum – from inception – on the Clinical Presentation Model. This model concentrates on how patients present symptoms to physicians. Extensive research has found that patients present to physicians approximately 120 ways. Students will be taught how to address symptoms and terms of the mind, body, and spirit. Above all, the student doctors will be given exercises to improve their compassion and integrity.

Kevin Moley, Ambassador, U.S. Department of State, will present the keynote address at the opening. Moley served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1992, after which he held key executive leadership roles at PCS Health Systems and  Integrated Medical Systems. He returned to public service as ambassador and U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, and was involved in a variety of humanitarian and human rights efforts. Currently he serves on the Board of Directors of Merge Technologies.

Other featured speakers are:

Tom Curtin, M.D., medical director of the National Association of Community Health Centers. NACHC’s partnership with ATSU is an essential component of new medical school and the new curriculum.

Peter Ajluni, D.O., president of the American Osteopathic Association, and senior orthopedic surgeon at Mount Clemens Regional Medical Center in Michigan. Ajluni and the AOA were important partners in building a new medical school.

Claudia Walters, vice mayor, City of Mesa, Ariz. The University and the City of Mesa have worked together for much of the past decade in building A.T. Still University’s campus in Mesa.

A.T. Still University first established a presence in Arizona more than 60 years ago, when the University began Arizona-based clinical rotations for its medical students from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, located in Kirksville, Mo. Since that time, A.T. Still University has become a significant institution in the state. The School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona will join A.T. Still University’s other two graduate schools on its Mesa campus; its Arizona School of Health Sciences has graduated nearly 2,000 students since 1995 and its Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health graduated its first class in May 2007.


A.T. Still University is the leading institution at the forefront of multidisciplinary healthcare education founded on the principles of whole person care. It boasts Arizona’s first and only dental school, the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health,and the world’s first osteopathic medical school, the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. The University also provides osteopathic medical education through its newest school, the School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. In addition, it offers online health management training programs through its School of Health Management and trains healthcare professionals in several allied health fields through the Arizona School of Health Sciences in Mesa, Arizona.