ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 21, 2004) -- Two employees of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine are being remembered as gifted and dedicated educators and administrators in the aftermath of the crash of Corporate Airlines Flight #5966 that claimed their lives on Tuesday evening.
Bridget Wagner, assistant dean of the college's Northeast Ohio Center for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE) program, and Kathleen Gebard, CORE administrator for the Southwest Ohio program, were en route to a conference on humanism in medicine when the airliner in which they were passengers crashed on final approach in Kirksville, Mo.
"It is terribly difficult to lose two young people who were so important personally and professionally to our college," said Jack Brose, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. "Bridget was a dedicated student advocate and fighter for the medically underserved in this country and abroad. She was a skilled physician, loving mother and valued personal friend."
In remembering Kathy Gebard, Brose said, "Kathy was a truly unique individual who cannot be replaced. She was a wonderful friend to students, faculty and administration and was a dedicated wife and loving mother. She had an uncanny ability to bring people together even when dealing with difficult issues."
Wagner, D.O., was a 1994 graduate of the college and joined the university in 2001. As CORE assistant dean, she served as the academic officer for medical students in their third and fourth years. In addition, she also was the liaison for the CORE system and its affiliated hospitals and colleges of osteopathic medicine.
Gebard joined Ohio University in 1989 and as administrator in the Dayton area, she provided advising and guidance for medical students in their third and fourth years, monitored their progress and coordinated medical training opportunities.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Bridget and Kathy and to all those who lost family and loved ones as a result of this tragedy," said Ohio University President Roderick McDavis. "I know that our medical school faculty and staff are a very tight-knit family and while that makes this loss so profoundly difficult, it will also be a source of great strength in the days and weeks ahead."
Plans for a memorial service remain incomplete at this time, but the university will fly flags at half-staff through the upcoming weekend in remembrance of Bridget Wagner and Kathy Gebard.
The Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE) system is a medical education consortium comprised of 11 Ohio osteopathic teaching hospitals, the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine and three other osteopathic colleges – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center and the University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kansas City, Mo.
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Media Contact: Associate Vice President of University Communications and Marketing Hub Burton, (740) 593-2200, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793; Pager: (740) 290-4479
Note to media: Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Jack Brose, will be available to answer questions at 1 p.m. today in the office of the dean, 204 Grosvenor Hall.