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Higher Learning Commission seeks third-party comments about ATSU

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

ATSU will host a visit Nov. 12-13, 2018, on the Kirksville, Missouri, campus from a team of peer reviewers representing HLC. The team will review the University’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation. ATSU has been accredited by HLC since 1994.

Comments must be in writing and must address substantive matters related to the quality of the University or its academic programs. All relevant comments will be referred to ATSU prior to the site visit.

Submit comments to HLC at or mail comments to the address below. All comments must be received by Oct. 12, 2018.

Third-Party Comment on A.T. Still University
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

Future-focused learning

Innovation is alive and well at ATSU. Dating back to the University’s launch, starting with the American School of Osteopathy in 1892, innovation has been critical to succeeding. Student and faculty academic environments, ATSU’s Teaching and Learning Center, and patient care centers offer opportunities for cross-generational idea exchanges, scholarly activity, partnerships with public and private organizations, and interprofessional collaboration.

We are very thankful and proud of our faculty and staff willing to embrace new ideas and innovations. During recent dinners with ATSU students and graduates, I became familiar with how they learn together and individually. In keeping with the University’s Mission Statement, which encourages a learning-centered educational environment, many faculty, staff, and deans have worked together to incorporate technology and active learning into classrooms and labs. Our students greatly appreciate having various options to fit their learning preferences and lifestyles.

In this issue, you will find a link to ideas submitted for ATSU 2142, a 125th anniversary project. Additional ideas continue to arrive and are included in the linked list. Please feel free to send me your comments and additional ideas. The listed items also provide a nidus for ATSU’s future strategic planning.

2017-2018 focus areas

Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation preparation 

ATSU’s HLC Steering Committee continues preparation for this year’s site visit in November. Thank you, Ann Boyle, DMD, MA, associate vice president, academic affairs, and everyone collaborating on this important endeavor.

Information technology

Security, planning, and budgeting remain priorities in the ever changing and challenging IT landscape. The University’s IT team and related committees are actively engaged in supporting academics and services.

ATSU patient care centers

Norman Gevitz, PhD, senior vice president, academic affairs, continues working with deans from ATSU-KCOM, ATSU-SOMA, ATSU-ASHS, ATSU-ASDOH, and ATSU-MOSDOH to develop best practice guidelines, effective patient experience surveys, and University branding and marketing.

ATSU’s next 125 years

Healthcare and health professions education continue to develop at a rapid pace. To remain relevant and successful, ATSU will need to provide students, faculty, and staff opportunities to learn, innovate, and develop skills necessary to succeed today and in the future. ATSU’s core professional attributes help students build a foundation based on critical thinking, cultural proficiency, interprofessional collaboration, interpersonal skills, and social responsibility.

Ideas submitted to ATSU 2142 by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and stakeholders span a wide range of topics including nanotechnology, roles of current and future healthcare providers, continued emphasis on osteopathic tenets and philosophy, disease prevention, wellness, and improving our students’ campus and virtual experiences.

Congratulations once again to Brandi Buchanan, OTD, OTR/L, program researcher and adjunct associate professor, winner of the iPhoneX drawing. Please view all ideas for ATSU 2142 (PDF).

Cultural proficiency initiative

Cultural proficiency is essential to becoming a successful healthcare provider, student, faculty member, or staff member, and is a core professional attribute and strategic plan goal. To assist with developing cultural proficiency, ATSU recently completed its first comprehensive cultural proficiency climate study.

Three themes emerged from the study.

  1. Overall, ATSU students, faculty, and staff thought highly of the University as a place to learn and work.
  2. ATSU will need to continue providing additional educational opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to further communicate policies, procedures, and practices. Our University community members deserve continued easy access to resources and services guaranteeing their rights and safety.
  3. Acceptance and inclusion are essential to developing cultural proficiency and provide a strong foundation for individuals and ATSU to build on successfully.

Clinton Normore, MBA, associate vice president, diversity & inclusion, and Annlee Burch, PT, EdD, MPH, vice dean, ATSU-ASHS, will continue guiding our cultural proficiency initiative to assure ATSU remains a great place to learn and work. For more information, please view the complete study and results.

ATSU-SOMA accreditation visit

ATSU-SOMA’s site visit from the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) was held Jan. 17-19. We are happy to report the School received Accreditation with Exceptional Outcomes, granting 10 years of reaccreditation. Thank you to Dean Jeffrey Morgan, DO, FACOI, and his team for their hard work.

125th community project updates

Many community projects have taken place throughout the academic year. Below is a list of the projects completed and those still in progress.

ATSU-KCOM: Mental health awareness and outreach

The project sponsored the Kevin Hines presentation about mental health and suicide prevention at Truman State University on Tuesday, March 27.

ATSU-MOSDOH: Dentures for veterans

The project is continuing in St. Louis and Kirksville. To date, 39 veterans have received dentures free of charge.

ATSU-CGHS: Corbin’s Legacy back-to-school health fair

The health fair was held Wednesday, Sept. 27, and provided Title I elementary school children with medical, dental, vision, and hearing screenings. It also provided treatments and referrals, as well as school supplies and food and clothing gift cards.

ATSU-ASDOH: Community dental event with CARE partnership

On Saturday, Nov. 11, the event provided dental screenings, dental cleanings, dental sealants, fluoride varnish applications, silver diamine applications, and dental education.

ATSU-ASHS: Ramping up quality of life

A home access ramp was built for a retired veteran on Saturday, Nov. 11, and the Falls Prevention appreciation gala was hosted on Wednesday, April 4.

ATSU-SOMA: Nutrition and health awareness

As part of its community project, the School held the ATSU Family FitFEST on Friday, May 18, on the Arizona campus. Students in ATSU’s medical, dental, and health professions programs taught nutrition and health lessons for children of all ages. In addition, student volunteers are leading a nutrition and health awareness program for kids at Superstition Springs Elementary School.

Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association

The project will provide upgrades to Circle the City Family Medicine Clinic and convert a procedure room to an osteopathic manipulation room. In addition, it will offer two pop-up exhibits (branded and equipped with Doctors That DO and osteopathic wellness promotional materials) and registration funds for students to travel and use at philanthropy events

Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS)

Health screenings were provided for employees and their families of Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri, during MAOPS annual conference. Students from the MAOPS chapters at each of the three Missouri osteopathic schools were encouraged to participate. MAOPS members participated in screenings and supervised students as well.

Update on employee benefits

In November 2017, the University enacted a new policy, 90-329: Bachelor’s Degree Completion Bonus. Under the new policy, ATSU will award a $5,000 bonus to employees upon completion of a bachelor’s degree program, if they meet certain conditions. To view the full policy, visit the Human Resources department page through the ATSU portal.

Also, ATSU has added a number of employee benefits over the past 24 months. These benefits are mentioned below.

Health plan

  • Telemedicine for Cigna members, effective Jan. 1, 2017
  • Long-term disability – increased max benefit to $10,000/month; hourly employees are eligible upon date of hire (rather than after one year), effective July 1, 2017
  • Basic life – increased benefit to $120,000 for all employees regardless of salary; hourly employees are eligible upon date of hire (rather than after one year), effective July 1, 2017
  • 90-day retail pharmacy benefits, $0 generic maintenance drugs, effective Jan. 1, 2018
  • Long-term care voluntary benefits, spring 2018
  • Cigna employee assistance program


In addition, beginning in 2017-18 and each year thereafter, all full-time faculty members will receive $2,500 in professional development funds.

ATSU collaborated with Missouri Training Institute to offer a supervisory certificate series. The series started in December 2016 and has been offered twice on each campus.


Recently, ATSU-MOSDOH received approval from the Commission on Dental Accreditation to increase its class size from 42 to 63 students. The expanded class size will take effect in July 2019. In addition, the class of 2018 completed the Western Regional Examining Board examinations with a 100 percent pass rate.


ATSU’s Teaching and Learning Center hosted its second SparkTank competition on the Arizona campus Thursday, Feb. 22. Six projects promoting innovative ideas were pitched to a panel of six judges. The top three proposals were “Foundations of Competency Based Education: Building an Infrastructure to Promote a Learner-Centered Experience,” presented by Cailee Welch Bacon, PhD, ATC, assistant professor, ATSU-ASHS, and Kirsty Gaither, MA, distance support librarian; “Portable Ultrasonography,” presented by Uday Gulati, OMS IV, and Abbas Charlies, OMS IV (faculty sponsor, Norma Villaneuva, MD, MPH, clinical associate professor, ATSU-SOMA); and “The Use of Collaborative Whiteboards in Interactive Education,” presented by John Olson, PhD, professor, ATSU-SOMA.

Upcoming white coat ceremony dates

ATSU-ASHS Physical Therapy

Friday, July 6
Mesa, Arizona

ATSU-SOMA, ATSU-ASDOH, and ATSU-ASHS Physician Assistant Studies

Friday, July 13
Mesa, Arizona


Saturday, July 14
Kirksville, Missouri

ATSU-ASHS Audiology

Saturday, Sept. 8
Mesa, Arizona

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).

In closing

Thank you for your continuous support of ATSU, whether through survey feedback, innovative ideas, and/or dedicated service. I hope you feel proud of our University’s success and enthusiastic about our future and the opportunities ahead.

Yours in service,

Craig Phelts

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
Office of the President |
ATSU Communication & Marketing |

Making a difference each day

The holiday season has arrived, and you can see and feel the cheer on our campuses. Like many organizations, it is difficult to navigate ATSU’s hallways without encountering a box or tree for donated toys, food, or clothing on the way to those in need.

Over the past several months, I have had many opportunities to visit with students, alumni, employees, and supporters to discuss a range of topics, from individual learning styles to improving our facilities and services. While our conversations vary depending on topics and individuals, one consistent theme is a thankfulness for being part of a university doing its best to make a difference.

From those boxes and trees in ATSU’s hallways to community service projects commemorating our 125th anniversary, our faculty, staff, students, and alumni continue to make lives better each day. When my family has the opportunity to enjoy dinner together, we go around the table and share if we did something during the day to help someone. It’s a small table, as there are only three of us. My son, Zach, usually has the quickest response relating to his fourth-grade class, perhaps letting a classmate have his place in line, forfeiting his place in tag to be “it,” or sharing part of his lunch (usually a vegetable). Sometimes, a little ashamedly, it takes me a while to think of something I did that day. Our dinner-sharing stories are a nice reminder for me to not let a day go by without a kind word, gesture, or act to make someone’s day a little better. Fortunately, I work at a university that picks up the slack should I stumble, and dinner is never without recalling an act of kindness when sitting down with those in our University family. Just walk around and look at all of those boxes and trees.

ATSU in 2142

Bold ideas and innovation led to the founding of osteopathic medical education and the American School of Osteopathy (now A.T. Still University-Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine). Since 1892, we have grown into a comprehensive graduate health sciences university with more than 28,000 alumni. This fall, we have more than 3,700 students enrolled and 1,900 part- and full-time team members (faculty and staff).

What will ATSU, healthcare, and education look like during the next 125 years? To help shape ATSU’s future, we invite you to share your bold and innovative ideas. Please email your ideas to

All ATSU employees, alumni, and students submitting an idea by Monday, Jan. 15, 2018, at noon (MST) will be eligible to enter a drawing for a new iPhone X. If you would like to enter the drawing for a new iPhone X (donated by an ATSU alum), please include your name and email. Please remember state and federal taxes may apply and are the winner’s responsibility. Prize drawing will take place Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.

2017-2018 focus areas

1. Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation

Thank you to everyone involved in preparing for ATSU’s fall 2018 HLC site visit. HLC team members will visit Missouri and Arizona campuses and interact with faculty, staff, students, Board of Trustees members, and community partners. Important work continues in preparing ATSU’s assurance argument for submission prior to Oct. 15, 2018.

University Staff Council has brought innovative ideas to involve staff members in the accreditation process, including mission awareness. Council members are promoting “Understanding Our Mission,” a multifaceted campaign aimed at mission education and highlighting everyone’s contribution to fulfilling the University’s purpose. One activity is the Mission Statement Challenge for employees, and the recent winners are Brenda Williams, clerical support, academic & clinical educational affairs, ATSU-KCOM, on the Missouri campus and Jeni Rogers, coordinator, ATSU-SOMA, on the Arizona campus.

2. ATSU patient care centers and wellness and prevention opportunities

With more than 101,000 patient visits to ATSU care centers in fiscal year 2016-17, opportunities exist to provide excellent care and share ATSU’s unique story. Norman Gevitz, PhD, senior vice president-academic affairs, is working with deans to collaborate regarding quality patient care initiatives, safety, compliance, best practices, effectiveness, branding, patient satisfaction, risk management, interprofessional opportunities, access to care, and innovative healthcare strategies.

 3. Information technology

John Heard, PhD, vice president, research, grants, & information systems, and team members continue refining ATSU’s technology strategic plan to meet the needs of our faculty, staff, students, and educational partners. The team has been evaluating themes within information technology, including cyber security, accessibility, effective use, future trends, software as a service, and affordability.

Audiology White Coat Ceremony

ATSU’s Arizona School of Health Sciences held a white coat ceremony for 14 incoming students on Saturday, Sept. 9, in Mesa, Arizona.

Audiology White Coats Ceremony

ATSU-ASHS Audiology

125th anniversary events

Alumni, students, faculty, and staff gathered in Missouri and Arizona to celebrate Founder’s Day 2017. ATSU’s eighth president, Fred C. Tinning, PhD, provided the Tinning Founder’s Day Osteopathy Lecture in Kirksville, Missouri. ATSU students, faculty, staff, and family members enjoyed food, fun, and activities.

President Emeritus Fred C. Tinning, PhD,

Following his lecture, President Emeritus Fred C. Tinning, PhD, receives a standing ovation and a painting of the Tinning Education Center.

Arizona Campus celebrates ATSU's 125th at Founder's Day

Students, employees, and families enjoy the Arizona campus Founder’s Day.

Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Symposium

On Saturday, Nov. 11, the A.T. Still Research Institute hosted the annual Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Symposium (IBRS) on the Kirksville, Missouri, campus. John Schousboe, MD, PhD, MS, CCD, presented the Neil J. Sargentini, PhD, Memorial Keynote Address.

2017 IBRS award winners from ATSU:

Neil J. Sargentini, PhD, Award for Outstanding Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student Research

Zachary T. Siress, second-year biomedical sciences student, ATSU-KCOM

Outstanding Student Research Awards

Elyse C. Curry, second-year biomedical sciences student, ATSU-KCOM

Hiba Syed, second-year biomedical sciences student, ATSU-KCOM

Hannah Vetter, OMS IV, ATSU-KCOM

Outstanding Faculty Research Awards

William Brechue, PhD, chair, physiology, ATSU-KCOM

Deborah A. Hudman, MS, senior research associate, microbiology/immunology, ATSU-KCOM

Priscilla L. Phillips, PhD, assistant professor, microbiology/immunology, ATSU-KCOM

Bruce Young, PhD, associate professor, anatomy, ATSU-KCOM

Brett Frommer, a second-year biomedical sciences student, presents his research.

SparkTank is back

ATSU’s Teaching and Learning Center hosted its second SparkTank competition on the Missouri campus. Five project proposals promoting innovative ideas were pitched to a panel of seven judges. The top two proposals were “Dysfunction Dice,” presented by Caleb Marting, fellow, and “3-D Cervical and Lumbar Models for Epidural Placement Training,” presented by Zach Headman, OMS II, and Marcus Matson, OMS II. Each proposal received $5,000 for project funding.

SparkTank on the Arizona campus will be held Thursday, Feb. 22. Pre-proposals are due Sunday, Jan. 28, 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).

In closing

Thank you to alumni, faculty, staff, and students for a wonderful year celebrating the University. I hope you are encouraged by the many ways ATSU is making a difference in our communities and beyond. As we wrap up 2017, I wish you and your families a happy and safe holiday season.

Yours in service,

Craig Phelts

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
Office of the President |
ATSU Communication & Marketing |

Check out some interesting recently printed 3-D models from the two campuses!

From the Missouri 3-D Print Shop
Cranial models printed in red, one still on white support material and one completed, printed for students from ATSU-KCOM.

Photo credit: Debra Loguda Summers


Arizona 3-D Print Shop

Timpano, printed for students from the Audiology department.

Photo credit: Adrienne Brodie

For more information, please contact Debra Loguda-Summers (MO) or Adrienne Brodie (AZ).

The library continues to progress on its long-term redesign of the library’s website, and hopes that it may be ready to release in beta form sometime in the very early spring, or over winter break. It has already upgraded and redesigned significant parts of the search structure for Still OneSearch, which now includes a greater focus on clinical resources and easier access to the journal lists and library catalog. The library is also pleased to announce that it has greatly upgraded its database A-Z listing with additional information, a more uniform design, and recommended high-value free resources, in addition to our collection of subscribed databases and tools.

The library is also in the tail end of the process of converting our library catalog, which provides shared access to the library catalogs of a number of other libraries via a group called Lance, to a component of a bigger collaborative of libraries to be called Avalon. This will provide smoother access to a larger number of books available swiftly via interlibrary loan and additional numbers of e-books.

The Educational Technology Development Center continues to upgrade and expand the library’s collection of subject and tutorial guides. Susan Swogger, MLIS, substantially expanded the library’s online research FAQ, available at or linked from the database help guide linked on the library’s homepage. Swogger and Kirsty Gaither, MA, worked together to build and revise a number of faculty LibGuide pages, including working on a close collaboration with the members of the Department of Research Services to build a new department support group. This resource is available to faculty and staff via the ATSU portal.

The Educational Technology Development Center (ETDC) has expanded since our last newsletter! We’ve recently added a new librarian in Arizona to our staff to help expand our services. Samantha Maley, MA, has been training on ways to add interactive content into recorded lectures and can help you troubleshoot the software you’ve been using to record your lectures, including Zoom, Office Mix, and Camtasia.

On Aug. 18 in Arizona and Sept. 1 in Missouri, the ETDC also co-hosted the first of many Technology Happy Hours. We workshopped how to incorporate green screen to promote improved learning in clinical, in-person and online settings. Please stay tuned for our next Technology Happy Hour!

The ETDC is also proud to announce that starting in January, we will be producing bi-weekly 10 Minute Tech Talks, aimed at helping our faculty and staff navigate the masses of online technologies available to them. These mini online sessions will only take 10 minutes, so Zoom in live, or catch them later on the library’s YouTube channel.

Finally, we’d like to remind you that we are always available to sit down and talk about the technologies you are interested in! If there is a topic you’d like to see featured in a 10 Minute Tech Talk or a Technology Happy Hour please email us! We’d love to feature your ideas!

Jean Sidwell, MLIS, library director; Debra Loguda-Summers, public services manager; and Susan Swogger, MLIS, liaison librarian, authored a poster entitled “3-D Print in Research and Curriculum,” which was presented to the Missouri Library Association annual conference at the Sheraton Westport Chalet in St. Louis. The poster was well received and the only one on 3-D printing.

The poster described ATSU’s 3-D printing services and a five-question survey sent to all ATSU students, faculty, and staff regarding this service. The graphs show the results of the over 280 students, faculty, and staff who responded to the survey. While additional analysis is ongoing, initial results show that a majority of students and faculty appreciate and are interested in this service and can find ways to use it in their education and later clinical practice.

The service is currently subsidized, and thus available at no cost to users; results indicate that this should remain free if at all possible in order to promote experimentation and equity of access.

The library on the Missouri campus is hosting an exhibit from the U.S. National Library of Medicine traveling exhibits called “Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War.” The exhibit will be on site until Dec. 2 and is open to the public.

The exhibit discusses the brutality of battlefield operations and the challenges of caring for the wounded. It also covers examines the experiences of the injured soldiers during the conflict and the years afterward. Artifacts from the Adair County Historical Society & Museum, the Schuyler County Historical Society and the W.P. Hall Museum are also on loan for patrons to enjoy. Please come see it while it’s available!

The Missouri campus library is pleased to start a series of brief noon sessions focused on library and research skills and topics, open to everyone who is interested. Sessions will occur in the Swofford Computer Lab in the Missouri branch library from 12:05-12:30 p.m., on varying days per month. Most months will offer one or two sessions, but more will be possible if requested.

The library will offer attendees free coffee or hot cider or chocolate, as well as a brief overview of a topic, followed by open sessions to practice in the lab with librarian assistance as desired. The rest of the lab remains open during these sessions.

Susan Swogger, MLIS, liaison librarian, began the series with “Board Exam Prep Resources from the ATSM Library.”

Upcoming sessions:

  • Nov. 16, 12:05-12:30 p.m.: Board Exam Prep Resources from the ATSM Library
  • January: Request something!

We invite requests for additional topics. To submit a request, contact

The library proffers congratulations to Debra Loguda-Summers, 3-D print and work-study manager, who applied and received two monetary awards for the Missouri branch library. Included is a brief description of each award.

KOAA/KCOM Education Program Fund, $2,837.20. The library plans to use this fund to purchase five new anatomical teaching and study tools: Somso premium female skeleton; five-part eyeball anatomy model; four-part human skull with facial musculature; a human dental skull model with open mandible exposing tooth roots, vessels, and nerves; and a half-human skeleton and disarticulated half-human skeleton with loosely articulated hand and foot model. The goal of the library is to enrich the osteopathic medical and dental student ability to care for their patients. Objectives: 1) expand the representations of human anatomy model resources and 2) increase faculty and student utilization of anatomy models available in the Missouri campus library.

AAOA SPECIAL PROJECTS $3,000 is the maximum award available. Debra Loguda-Summers received notification Oct. 27 from Lawrence Cunningham, Director of Affiliate Affairs at the American Osteopathic Association, that the Missouri branch library had received the grant for anatomical models.

Susan Swogger, MLIS, liaison librarian, held a Coffee Chat teaching session on “Board Exam Prep Resources from the ATSM Library,” held in the Swofford Computer Lab at the Missouri branch library. Six students attended. This begins a series of regular brief Coffee Chat sessions to focus on library resources and skills; requests for topics are invited. For more information, contact