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ATSU-KCOM, founding school of osteopathic medicine, celebrates class of 2024

A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM), the founding school of osteopathic medicine, marked the graduation of students from the class of 2024 with a commencement ceremony May 18 in Kirksville, Missouri.

ATSU-KCOM awarded 156 students their doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees, while 13 students graduated from ATSU-KCOM’s Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences program.

George Pipes, DO, ’76, and Elaine Pipes served as grand marshals. Dr. Pipes is a family medicine physician who currently oversees residents at Kirksville Family Medicine, and Elaine serves as office manager for the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Jennifer McArthur, DO, ’93, associate member, Division of Critical Care Medicine, Department of Pediatric Medicine, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, delivered the commencement address. Dr. McArthur was also awarded an honorary doctor of science degree. 

Speakers included Norman Gevitz, PhD, senior vice president-academic affairs, with the greeting, John Thurman Jr., DO, ’12, with the Board of Trustees welcome, ATSU-KCOM Dean Margaret Wilson, DO, ’82, with the welcome and introductions, and John Sutton, DO, MACOI, FEAA, CCD, ’89, president, Kirksville Osteopathic Alumni Association (KOAA), with the KOAA induction.

ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, provided the closing remarks.

The ceremony also included the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Jonathan Kirsch, DO, HPF, ’96, associate professor, OMM and chair of ATSU-KCOM’s faculty senate, and a performance of “America the Beautiful” by ATSU’s student a capella group, the MEDleys. 

Watch the complete ATSU-KCOM 2024 commencement ceremony here.

A.T. Still University’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) celebrated the class of 2024 Friday, May 17, with a commencement ceremony in Kirksville, Missouri. 

The ceremony saw 62 students receive their doctor of dental medicine degree, while four also received master in public health degrees. 

Maxine Clark, founder, Build-A-Bear Workshop, CEO, Clark-Fox Family Foundation, inspirator, the Delmar DiVINe, provided the commencement address. Clark was also presented with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree. 

Speakers included Norman Gevitz, PhD, senior vice president-academic affairs, with the greeting, ATSU-MOSDOH Dean Dwight McLeod, DDS, MS, with a welcome message, and Caitlin Rosemann, DMD, MPH, ’21, with the alumni induction.

ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, provided closing remarks. 

Click here to watch the complete ceremony. 

A.T. Still University-College of Graduate Health Studies (ATSU-CGHS) Doctor of Health Sciences (DHSc) program student Courtenay Stewart-Reiner, EdD, MS, MA, BSPE, already has an impressive list of credentials to illustrate a life dedicated to advancing her knowledge. 

But Dr. Stewart-Reiner isn’t satisfied. As program director for a psychology and health sciences program, and having seen how health sciences interact with psychology, she felt pursuing the DHSc program at ATSU-CGHS was an important next step in her career.

ATSU-CGHS’ DHSc online program is designed for students looking for professional advancement, evidence-based knowledge, and practical research experience. Consisting of 70 credit hours of study, the DHSc curriculum is flexible, as well as rigorous, preparing students to critically analyze ongoing national and global challenges relating to healthcare access, cost, education, and quality. The coursework builds competencies required to skillfully evaluate, plan, and implement solutions to pressing healthcare concerns and culminates with an Applied Research Project designed to enhance the health of society.

For students looking to earn a terminal degree without a dissertation, the Doctor of Health Sciences online degree offers a comprehensive and supportive program led by diverse and experienced full-time and adjunct ATSU faculty. DHSc degree alumni agree that the program and its stellar faculty prepared them for leadership roles in healthcare and academia.

Dr. Stewart-Reiner was attracted to ATSU-CGHS by the University’s reputation, and online programs are her preferred way of learning. Strong organizational skills are a key to her success.

“I make sure that I plan out my week every Sunday night so that I am aware of what needs to be completed and then I also do the same thing every night in case events arise, so I am able to make sure I am able to get everything done,” she said.

Dr. Stewart-Reiner expects to complete her program in fall 2025, and she’s excited to continue working with ATSU-CGHS’ supportive and responsive faculty and staff while opening new doors in her career.

“The faculty and staff are great. Anytime I have had questions, they have responded almost immediately and are always there to help,” she said. “This program allows me the ability to teach and offer more classes in health sciences.”

A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) is preparing Klaire Heald, OMS II, to be a future provider of whole person healthcare in her community.

“I hope to be a resource for my future community and provide holistic healthcare,” Heald said. “ATSU-KCOM prepares you for that through the osteopathic medicine curriculum and by reinforcing how we can treat the patient as a whole rather than looking only for disease.”

Heald is from Drakesville, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor’s of science in human physiology. Having the founding school of osteopathic medicine less than an hour from her hometown gave Heald a familiarity with the institution, and it ended up as a perfect fit.

“I knew it was an inviting community and it shows throughout campus,” she said. 

Heald has been a member and held leadership positions with the Lifestyle Medicine Club, Family Medicine Club, and Internal Medicine Club, in addition to serving as a student ambassador. 

“I became a student ambassador because I wanted to help prospective students feel welcomed here and offer advice from my experience in medical school. I enjoy this role because it reminds me what I love about ATSU and how grateful I am to be here,” she said.

In her free time, Heald enjoys cooking, having recently learned how to make sourdough. When on campus, she enjoys working with her fellow students.

“I enjoy how collaborative students are with each other – not only in our own class but from students in classes above and below,” Heald said. “It really helps create a supportive environment and reminds you that you are not alone.”

A.T. Still University-Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) student Samirah Zada, D2, and her family didn’t know much about the importance of preventive dentistry while she was growing up in San Mateo, California.

“I only went to the dentist if I had pain because my family did not know the serious nature of preventative dentistry,” she said.

That’s changed, as Zada completed ATSU-College of Graduate Health Studies’ Master of Public Health-Dental Emphasis program in 2021, following her graduation from the University of California, Merced, with a bachelor’s of science in biological sciences. It all led to her choosing ATSU-MOSDOH to pursue her doctor of dental medicine degree.

“Through my master’s program at ATSU, I had the opportunity to develop and implement programs that educate people about the importance of oral health. I saw how ATSU’s mission lined up with my goals, so I knew ATSU-MOSDOH would be a good fit for me as a dental student,” she said.

Zada is vice president of Still Caring Health Connection, a student-led community outreach program which provides medical and dental screenings for underserved communities in northeast Missouri. 

“I conducted oral screenings, applied fluoride varnish, and engaged in oral health discussions with the Amish community,” she said. “I also had the chance to interact with participants of the Treatment Court Program in Adair County and provide oral health education.”

Zada also serves as a student ambassador and enjoys being one of the first people prospective students meet when visiting the Kirksville, Missouri, campus. 

“I have loved my time at this university, so I am always happy to answer any questions visitors have. I enjoyed interacting with student ambassadors when I was interviewing and wanted to make sure prospective students get the same opportunity,” she said. “Through ATSU-MOSDOH, I have met so many wonderful people. I have grown very close to my classmates and faculty members. ATSU is a very welcoming university, which made it easier to adapt to the rigors of dental school.”

Zada enjoys playing badminton and visiting nearby Thousand Hills State Park in her free time from preparing for a career in dentistry.

“ATSU-MOSDOH is helping me prepare to become a dentist that cares about patients, beyond what is happening in their mouth. I hope to be a dentist that can educate patients about how diseases in the body can affect a person’s oral health,” she said.

A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-ASDOH) celebrated the class of 2024 on Friday, May 10, 2024, in Mesa, Arizona, where 78 students became doctors of dental medicine (DMD).

In addition to receiving their DMD degrees, nine students also received master of public health degrees. 

Lily T. Garcia, DDS, MS, FACP, dean of Texas A&M School of Dentistry, presented the commencement address. Students were also addressed by ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, ATSU-ASDOH Dean Robert Trombly, DDS, JD, and Norman Gevitz, PhD, senior vice president, academic affairs. Austin Shackelford, DMD, ’18, assistant professor, led graduates in the Oath to the Profession.

George Blue Spruce, DDS, MPH, assistant dean, American Indian affairs, gave the commencement blessing, while Mai-Ly Duong, DMD, MPH, MEd, ’12, associate professor, ATSU-ASDOH, performed the national anthem. Danielle Barnett-Trapp, DO, ’11, member, Board of Trustees, welcomed those in attendance, and Claire Anderson, DMD, MS, ’13, inducted graduates into the ATSU-ASDOH Alumni Association. 


Click here to watch the full ceremony.

A.T. Still University (ATSU) students in Kirksville, Missouri, took part in a Mass Casualty Incident training event, featuring numerous partnerships with local first responders.

The event, part of the University’s Advanced Disaster Life Support course, featured Kirksville Police and Fire departments, Adair County Ambulance District, Northeast Regional Medical Center, University of Missouri Health Care Air Medical Service, and ATSU Campus Safety.

Students learned about the various services and strategies provided and utilized by the various entities in emergency situations, and received hands-on training in several different emergency medicine techniques one would use in the field during an actual disaster. The day concluded with students partaking in an actual disaster simulation, in which individuals portrayed patients with various injuries, while students worked with emergency responders to administer care.

A.T. Still University (ATSU) students who are members of the Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) chapter in Kirksville, Missouri, hosted the annual STILL Shave for a Cure event May 3, 2024, to benefit the St. Baldrick’s Foundation.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer and donor powered charity committed to supporting the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

Check out photos from the event here…

A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) class of 2026 members marked their transition from didactic to clinical years with a special ceremony April 25, and students pinned their peers with The Arnold P. Gold Foundation’s Gold Humanism Honor Society pins, an organization which champions humanism in healthcare.

Margaret Wilson, DO, ’82, dean, provided the welcome, and alumnus Baydon Hilton, DO, ’19, delivered the keynote remarks. Peggy Gerhold, a standardized patient at ATSU-KCOM, spoke about encounters with the students, while Yohei Norimatsu, PhD, associate professor, physiology, provided the campus faculty farewell, and Jeffrey D. Davis, DO, CMD, ’00, assistant dean, clinical affairs, gave the clinical faculty welcome.

Students closed the ceremony be reciting the Class of 2026 Oath.

A team of A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) students recently took first place in a Regional Simulation Competition hosted at ATSU’s Drabing Human Patient Simulation Center.

The team of Cassadi Forman, OMS I, Angelina Hein, OMS I, Alex Kim, OMS II, and Erin Martin, OMS II, took the championship after posting the best scores from four different simulation scenarios. Teams were given 15 minutes in each simulated encounter, while judges watched from the control room.

ATSU welcomed teams from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

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