By Anita Martin and Kim Corriher
When the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine presents its 29th class of physicians and surgeons on the morning of Saturday, June 7, it not only will mark the beginning of a bright future for 106 newly conferred doctors, but the continuation of OU-COM's tradition of serving Ohioans from every corner of the state.
The Class of 2008 will join a distinguished and notable alumni network of more than 2,300 doctors who serve in every field of medicine as well as in research, scholarship and community service. More than 62 percent of OU-COM alumni practice in Ohio, with some 44 percent working in rural and underserved communities of fewer than 50,000 residents.
"It has always been the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine's mission to keep the great state of Ohio strong, providing outstanding physicians to serve the medical needs of our state, especially in those areas that are underserved and lack access to quality medical care," said John Schriner, director of admissions and an assistant professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine. "We will continue in our efforts to recruit and admit exceptional students who will feed our mission and help meet the needs of our state."
The 10 a.m. commencement ceremony, to be held in the university's Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, will feature a keynote address by Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who shares the college's commitment to assisting underrepresented groups.
"The College of Osteopathic Medicine had the privilege of hosting Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner last year. Through our discussions, it became clear that she shares our college's dedication to improving health care among underserved areas like the Appalachian region," OU-COM Dean Jack Brose said. "We invited her to speak at our 2008 commencement based on our common goal of equitable, quality medical care in Ohio."
In 2006, Ohio voters made Brunner the state's first female secretary of state. In May, she received the 2008 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award -- the nation's most prestigious honor for elected public servants -- for taking decisive action to ensure that all Ohioans' votes count amid uncertainty about new electronic voting machines.