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Museum of Osteopathic Medicine receives highest national recognition, awarded accreditation from American Alliance of Museums

The Museum of Osteopathic Medicine at A.T. Still University (ATSU) in Kirksville, Missouri, has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies, and to the museum-going public.

Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards, and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for 50 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices which enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

“The Museum of Osteopathic Medicine is the world’s repository of items related to the history of osteopathic medicine and philosophy of osteopathy,” ATSU President Craig Phelps, DO, ’84, said. “Receiving AAM accreditation helps assure the museum will continue to preserve this important history of a healthcare movement originating in America.”

“Not enough can be said about our current museum staff, which as a team deserves accolades for our AAM Accreditation achievement,” said Jason Haxton, MA, Museum of Osteopathic Medicine director. “They are consummate museum professionals in their daily work and future plans for the museum.

“With our AAM Accredited designation, we look forward to new opportunities in growth, outreach, and funding for our museum work.”

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, fewer than 1,100 are currently accredited. The Museum of Osteopathic Medicine is one of only 20 museums accredited in Missouri, a list which includes The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, and Saint Louis Art Museum in St. Louis.

Accreditation is a rigorous but highly rewarding process examining all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. The Alliance’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

The collections of the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine include more than 80,000 objects, photographs, documents, and books dating from the early 1800s to the present. The core of the collection consists of artifacts from the professional and private life of A.T. Still, DO, most of them donated by Dr. Still’s daughter, Blanche Laughlin, and members of the family.

The Museum of Osteopathic Medicine is open 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 660.626.2359, email museum@atsu.edu, or visit the website.

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