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Class notes


Thomas Miller, D.O., ’41, Fountain Hills, Ariz., accepted the first Lifetime Achievement Award from USA Triathlon COO Tim Yount at the National Duathlon Championships held in Oro Valley, Ariz., in April.

Having raced for more than two decades, Dr. Miller dominated the World Championship scene in the 1990s, with gold medal wins at Cathedral City, Calif. (1991), Frankfurt, Germany (1992), Dallas, Texas (1993), Tasmania, Australia (1994), Cancun, Mexico (1995), and Guernika, Spain (1997). He also earned gold medals at the National Duathlon Championships in Santa Fe, N.M. (1991), Phoenix, Ariz. (1992), and Marlboro, Maine (1999).

Leonard E. Staff Jr., D.O., ’45, was honored during the AzOMA convention in April in Scottsdale, Ariz., as the oldest osteopathic physician still licensed and actively practicing at age 96.


E. Lee Foster, D.O., ’61, Corland, Ohio, clinical professor of family medicine at St. Joseph Health Center, has been selected by Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM) as a recipient of the college’s Master Faculty Award. Bestowed once every five years, the award recognizes exemplary faculty members of OU-COM’s system of affiliated teaching hospitals located throughout Ohio. The award honors their committed service and ongoing contributions to clinical education programs. Dr. Foster specializes in family medicine and in 2002 and 2003 was awarded the CORE Outstanding Faculty Award.


George Thomas, D.O., ’72, Garfield Heights, Ohio, was awarded Physician of the Year at the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians’ annual convention in San Antonio.

Philip Slocum, D.O., ’76, received the Robert A. Kistner Award at AACOM’s annual meeting in Baltimore. Dr. Slocum is immediate past dean of ATSU-KCOM.

Robert Zee, D.O., ’77, has joined Samaritan Hospital in Ashland, Ohio, as a part-time hospitalist.


Elliot Hix, D.O., ’80, a physician at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis, Mo., landed a spot on the Best Doctors in America® list for 2011-12. Only 5 percent of doctors in America earn placement on the list.

Dr. Kenneth E. Jones

Kenneth E. Jones, D.O., ’83, received the prestigious title of fellow of the American Osteopathic College of Radiology in April at the 2011 AOCR Annual Convention in Palm Beach, Fla. Dr. Jones became an active member of the AOCR in 1988 and has served on the Membership Committee and the Revisions Committee. He is also an active member of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons. He has served on many of their committees and as president in 2002. This involvement led him to serve as the Missouri delegate to the AOA House of Delegates since 1995 and as the Missouri caucus chair since 2008.

Dr. Jones is currently director of radiology at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital in Clinton, Mo. He has presented several lectures at various state specialty meetings and served as clinical professor of diagnostic radiology at Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville, Ky., from 2003-07.

Darrell Lovins, D.O., ’83,is the new president of William Carey University in Mississippi. “I feel humbled. I’m a gentleman who never envisioned in his wildest dreams that I would be doing what I’m doing,” said Dr. Lovins, who was hired by William Carey in 2008 to be the school’s associate dean of clinical sciences. Before coming to William Carey, Dr. Lovins taught at various places, including Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine, the University of South Alabama, and the University of Washington.

Rob Vandergraaf, D.O., ’83, became a Fellow of the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists at the group’s annual convention held in October 2010. Dr. Vandergraaf currently practices in northern California.

John Wycoff, D.O., ’85, served on a panel of experts for a one-day seminar sponsored by Health Dimension and Michigan-based companies to introduce families to doctors who are part of the Michigan Physicians Autism Network, which treats autistic patients with biomedical therapies.

Dr. Wycoff is board certified in family medicine and has served as chief of staff at St. Lawrence Hospital. He also is the founder of Wycoff Wellness Center in East Lansing and has studied alternative ways to improve health and wellness naturally.

Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine faculty member and family medicine physician Michael Clary, D.O., ’87, Blacksburg, Va., shared his expertise on whooping cough in the town of Floyd, Va., on local TV. He also was recently featured in Our Health Magazine’s “Best Bedside Manner” awards for his work as a family medicine physician at Lewis Gale Montgomery Hospital. Dr. Clary received “New River Valley-First Place” by his patients and members of the local community.

Dr. David Abend

David Abend, D.O., ’89, Oradell, N.J., received a Humanitarian Service Award from the American Red Cross – Northern NJ Chapter for treating workers for their back and neck discomfort while working at the Staten Island Landfill in the wake of 9/11.

Dr. Abend worked four to five hours, two days a week for about six months at the site, donating his skill and time to those workers from a variety of organizations who were sifting through rubble and experiencing a great deal of stress.

He also was asked to provide OMT at a family restaurant called “Nino’s,” about a block from Ground Zero, where workers could get a meal any time of day from volunteer staff.

Says Dr. Abend: “After my family medicine office hours in Emerson, N.J., on any Saturday, I brought a portable osteopathic treatment table – the same I used when former President Nixon visited me for back pain in 1993 – to the restaurant, set it up in a corner there and treated hundreds of people before, during, or after their meals/shift.

“Unfortunately, Nino’s was closed down, but a lot of memories and great friends were made. I gained a whole new respect and admiration for how New Yorkers came together to help one another. I also saw the unique power of touch and healing that I could offer and appreciated the medical training I received from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine that I learned throughout my medical school and post-graduate medical training years. I have a new found pride in my role as an osteopathic physician providing primary care and osteopathic manipulation for neck and back pain for my patients in Bergen County.”

Dr. Abend was among 17 honored by the Red Cross in May. He was the sole D.O. For more information, go to

Scott Alan Weber, D.O., ’89, received the 2011 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. With this honor, Dr. Weber is now a member of the Gold Humanism Society, an international society with 92 established medical school chapters.

Dr. Weber has been in practice at Yankton Medical Clinic, P.C., since April 2002. He is currently a clinical assistant professor at Sanford School of Medicine, The University of South Dakota, Sioux Falls, S.D.; director of sports medicine at Mount Marty College, Yankton, S.D.; and board certified in family medicine and sports medicine.


Michelle McElroy, D.O., ‘94, has joined the faculty of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences as a clinical professor. Dr. McElroy will join the college as a clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology. She is board certified and has been in practice in women’s healthcare since 1998, most recently in Arizona. She is a board member and junior fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Kristin A. Severson-Solberg, D.O., CMD, ’99, is president of the Wisconsin Association of Medical Directors. The group of Wisconsin nursing home medical directors and extended care professionals is dedicated to quality care in Wisconsin extended care facilities through education, legislative dialogue, and cooperation with other providers. This is a two-year position.

Salma Syed, D.O., ’99, Selden, N.Y., is program director of the pediatric infectious diseases fellowship program at SUNY at Stony Brook, N.Y.


Gregory Janik, M.S., ’00, associate clinical professor of athletic training at King’s College, received the 2011 Young Professionals’ Committee National Distinction Award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) at the NATA Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia held in New Orleans in June.

After an internship with the Philadelphia Eagles, Janik began teaching at King’s in 2000. He currently teaches orthopaedic evaluation courses and serves as and the head athletic trainer with primary responsibility for the football and women’s lacrosse teams.

Janik is president of the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society and volunteers with numerous organizations, including the American Red Cross, Keystone State Games, Special Olympics, and the Middle Atlantic Conference Athletic Trainers Committee.

Dr. Juliette Sterkens

Juliëtte Sterkens, Au.D., ’06, received the Larry Mauldin Award for Excellence in Education from Beltone Electronics at the AudiologyNOW! Convention in Chicago in April. The Mauldin Award is unique because honorees are solely nominated and selected by their industry peers.

“Her extraordinary contributions to the field of audiology and the hearing care industry are profound,” said Beltone President Todd Murray. “We are grateful for her ongoing efforts to improve our industry, and to benefit the people with hearing loss we serve, through continuing education, advocacy and innovation.”

Born and raised in the Netherlands, Dr. Sterkens is coowner of the Fox Valley Hearing Center, with locations in Oshkosh, Neenah, and Ripon, Wis. A recent recipient of the WSHA Wisconsin Audiologist of the Year Award, she also is past president of the Wisconsin Alliance of Hearing Professionals, past co-chair of the Wisconsin Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Association, and guest speaker at the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh School of Nursing.

Shu-No Chen, Au.D., ’07, is an audiology consultant for the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health.

James Pham, D.O., ’08, Jenks, Okla., and wife, Mikala, are parents to Braylon James, born Feb. 1, 2011, and daughters Tori and Alyssa.

Lorin S. Oden, Au.D., ’09, is an audiologist at the new Salisbury location of Hearing Lifestyles LLC in Salisbury, N.C. Dr. Oden worked for a major hearing device manufacturer for four years before establishing the audiology department of Audiology and Hearing Services of Carolina ENT Specialists in Concord, where she provided services for 21 years.

Originally from the Chicago area, she is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology, board certified in audiology, and licensed by North Carolina as an audiologist and dispenser of hearing devices.


Makoto Uchiyama, D.O., ’10, celebrated his 30th birthday as a new physician volunteer in the tsunami-damaged fishing town of Kesennuma, Japan, where he coordinates medical response and sees patients in their homes and in shelters.

He currently is completing a residency at Legacy Health System, in Portland, Ore., where he cares for patients at Emanuel and Good Samaritan hospitals. Born in Bangkok and raised in Malaysia, Dr. Uchiyama plans to specialize in critical care and says he wanted to be a physician “to be able to face people’s suffering.”

And he’s getting that opportunity firsthand as a physician who came to Tokyo through the Japan Primary Care Association, which promotes general medicine in the highly specialized nation. He began March 27 helping to coordinate disaster response.

“I’ve seen the importance of being selfless in a situation like this,” he says. “Dignity and self-discipline really help people recover.”

Former KCOM dean joins NBOME

The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME), the testing organization that provides the pathway to licensure for osteopathic physicians in the United States, announced Gerald G. Osborn, D.O., M.Phil., ’73, to the newly created position of senior vice president for cognitive testing. Dr. Osborn will be responsible for leading NBOME’s cognitive testing department and for oversight of NBOME’s cognitive examinations, including those in the COMLEX-USA licensure series (Level 1, Level 2-Cognitive Evaluation, Level 3). Dr. Osborn joined the NBOME in July and is based in Chicago.

Currently, Dr. Osborn serves as associate dean for international medicine, chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine, and director of behavioral neurosciences at Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, Tenn.

“My entire professional life has been dedicated to promoting osteopathic medicine and my time with the NBOME, especially the development and implementation of the COMLEX-USA, has been my most rewarding experience,” said Dr. Osborn. “To return to the NBOME in a position of senior leadership is simultaneously humbling and exciting.”

MAOPS honors KCOM alumni

The Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons (MAOPS) held its annual convention April 16. MAOPS’ 2011-12 officers were installed at the Annual President’s Banquet, including Victoria Damba, D.O., ’97, who was installed as president. Dr. Damba hails from Farmington, Mo., where she practices as a hospitalist for the Mineral Area Regional Medical Center.

MAOPS also honored physicians and friends of the profession at the banquet. More than 275 physicians and guests joined to honor those who have given so much to the osteopathic profession. Among those honored were KCOM alumni Tim Jennings, D.O., ’89 (Distinguished Service Award); Ken Jones, D.O., ’83 (Medallion Award); Stephen Coats, D.O., ’68 (District Leadership Award); and Rusty Bond, D.O., ’83 (District Leadership Award).


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