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President’s Perspective – September 2012

Summer brought both joy and tears to our University, reminding each of us the importance of family, friends, colleagues, and community and living each day fully in the present. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” as Charles Dickens wrote in “The Tale of Two Cities.” Memorial services for John (husband of Mary Greer, PhD, OTR/L, assistant professor, occupational therapy, ASHS) and Dylan (son of second-year ASDOH student Charles Brown and his wife, Stephanie) were attended by many who came to support family members and remember two special lives. It was heartening to see our wonderful ATSU family come together and offer support to our colleague and student respectively.


On August 4, ASHS held two commencement ceremonies for more than 360 graduates at Phoenix’s Symphony Hall. Ron Gaber, EdS, dean emeritus of students and vice president emeritus of student affairs, gave keynote addresses and received the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters. Thanks, Ron, for all you have done and continue to do for ATSU.KCOM welcomed 172 students to the DO class of 2016. A promising new iPad initiative brought students, faculty, and staff together through a shared technology interest.ASHS also welcomed incoming residential classes in audiology, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.SHM graduated 108 master and 24 doctoral candidates in Kirksville on Saturday, September 8.

Faculty and staff

Congratulations to the following on his/her recent promotion:Allison Crutchfield, DMD, director of simulation clinic, ASDOH & MOSDOH

Malissa Ellsworth, executive assistant, ATSU

Charlyn Kellar, MS, curriculum coordinator, SOMAJames Lynskey, PT, PhD, director of research, ASHS

Patricia Sexton, DHEd, associate dean for curriculum, KCOM

Kelcey Smith, education coordinator, KCOM

Sally Van Snepson-Barnett, MSc, PA-C, director of clinical education, ASHS

Kudos to the following:

Randy Danielsen, PhD, PA-C, DRAAPA, dean and emeritus professor, ASHS, received the prestigious Patron of the Profession award from the University of Utah PA program.

Jason Haxton, MA, director, Museum of Osteopathic MedicineSM, was honored on Hollywood’s red carpet during the premiere of “The Possession.” Based on a true story, the movie’s concept was modeled on a book authored by Jason, “The Dibbuk Box.” He also served as a consulting producer. And to think we knew him when he was getting his start in ATSU’s museum.

Eric Sauers, PhD, ATC, CSCS, chair, interdisciplinary health sciences, was appointed to the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education.

Thank you, Tamara Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, CSCS, John P. Wood, DO, Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine, for facilitating ATSU’s presence on the Barrow Concussion Network. This network offers of our nation’s most comprehensive concussion programs.

Leisa Walter, public services library assistant, is the recipient of the quarterly ATSU employee excellence award.

Ted Wendel, PhD, vice president for Arizona operations and San Diego initiative, returned from a medical mission in southeast Asia aboard the USNS Mercy. Medical and dental care was provided to some of the world’s most underserved communities in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia. More than 2,000 civilian volunteers and military personnel from the United States and seven partner nations participated.

Best wishes

SHM Dean Kimberly O’Reilly, DHEd, MSW, ’08, will be leaving ATSU and returning to her hometown in Indiana. Thank you for all you’ve done for SHM and ATSU.

Deans and program chairs dream

Deans and program chairs were awarded funds for visioning their respective school and programs growth and development for the next 5-10 years. Funds may be used at the dean’s discretion for a variety of visioning acivities. From these visioning exercises, future projections for revenues, expenses, personnel plans, detailed facility plans, and additional resources will be developed.

2012-13 University strategic plan initiatives

Funds have been allocated this academic year to “kick off” three specific strategic plan initiatives.

· ATSU’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence

· ATSU’s Diversity Plan

· Interprofessional Education

Committees for each have forwarded or will be forwarding recommendations to bring each initiative to fruition. The University as a whole will be invited to comment on the recommendations.

If you are interested in serving on one of the three initiative committees, please contact your dean or program chair.

ATSU’s strategic plan annual review

The USP Implementation and Review Committee met in Kansas City to suggest strategic plan revisions and prioritization for the fiscal 2013-14 academic year. ATSU’s deans met in Mesa to provide additional review. Input will also be sought from the University community. Thank you, committee members and deans. If you would like to review ATSU’s Strategic Plan, please visit

ATSU San Diego

Thanks to a groundbreaking educational partnership with ASDOH and San Ysidro Health Center, San Diego residents will have additional access to special care dentistry. Efforts continue to evaluate and implement potential schools and programs in San Diego.

Coming soon

Presentations of Phase I of the campus facility plans for Arizona and Missouri Founder’s Day, October 19 in Arizona and October 25-27 in Missouri.

Yours in service,

Craig M. Phelps, DO


A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

800 W. Jefferson St.

Kirksville, MO 63501



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