Communication Home

Dean Johnson named to chair national accreditation commission

(ATHENS, Ohio — Aug. 5, 2014) Several physicians and educators connected to the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine were named to leadership positions within the American Osteopathic Association during last month’s annual meeting of AOA’s House of Delegates in Chicago.

As one of the appointments made by incoming AOA president Robert S. Juhasz, D.O., Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth H. Johnson, D.O., was named to a two-year term as chair of AOA’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. Johnson also was re-appointed to a seat on the commission as a public college dean.

“I’m incredibly honored to have been chosen to serve in such a significant leadership position for the profession,” Johnson said.

COCA Secretary Konrad C. Miskowicz-Retz, Ph.D., said as chair, Johnson’s responsibility will be “to give leadership and direction to the commission, particularly in areas of policy development, or review of existing policies in connection with revised standards and procedures.”

Also during the AOA House of Delegates meeting, Dr. Juhasz, president of Cleveland Clinic’s South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights, was installed as AOA’s 118th president. A longtime advocate for the college, Dr. Juhasz recently served as associate dean for the Heritage College’s northeast Ohio campus and is an associate clinical professor of medicine at the college. He was awarded the Heritage College’s Phillips Medal of Public Service in 2011.

In addition to Dr. Johnson’s COCA appointment, numerous other individuals associated with the Heritage College were also named to positions of responsibility within the professional membership organization for the nation’s more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians and osteopathic medical students.

The strong showing by members of the Heritage College family comes at an important time for the osteopathic medical profession. At the July meeting the delegates voted to support an historic resolution by the AOA Board of trustees to pursue a single accreditation system for graduate medical education, covering colleges for both D.O.s and M.D.s.

Joining Dr. Johnson as a new COCA member at-large will be Jennifer L. Gwilym, D.O., an assistant professor in the college’s Department of Family Medicine. Continuing in his COCA at-large appointment is Isaac J. Kirstein, D.O., dean of the Heritage College, Cleveland, which is set to open in July 2015.

William J. Burke, D.O., (’88), dean of the Heritage College, Dublin, was re-appointed to another three-year term on the AOA Board of Trustees and selected to chair the association’s Department of Educational Affairs. This places him on the board’s executive committee and brings with it seats on other bodies including the Department of Business Affairs’ Finance Committee and the Department of Educational Affairs’ College Accreditation Standards Task Force. Dr. Burke was also named to chair the Department of Educational Affairs’ Standards Review Coalition and to a membership on the trustee board’s Specialty Standards Committee. Dr. Burke continues in his appointment as chair of the Department of Professional Affairs’ Bureau of Communications.

Robert A. Cain, D.O., (’88) associate dean for graduate medical education at the Heritage College, was appointed a member of the Department of Affiliate Relations’ Bureau of Osteopathic Medical Educators through his role as president of the Association of Osteopathic Directors and Medical Educators. Dr. Cain was also named an at-large member and vice chair of the Department of Educational Affairs’ Council on Postdoctoral Training.

Peter Alan Bell, D.O., M.B.A., assistant dean, Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education (CORE), Central Ohio CORE, was named to chair the appeals committee of the Department of Business Affairs’ Bureau of Healthcare Facilities Accreditation. Dr. Bell was already a member of the bureau, in a seat representing emergency medicine.

Jay H. Shubrook Jr., D.O., (’96) an associate professor of family medicine who among other roles serves as the Heritage College Director of Clinical Research, was re-appointed to a seat on the Department of Research, Quality and Public Health’s Bureau of Osteopathic Clinical Education and Research. The AOA subsequently announced that Shubrook has also been appointed as associate editor of The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA).

James E. Preston, D.O., assistant dean, CORE, Firelands Regional Medical Center, continues in prior appointments as vice chair of the Department of Educational Affairs’ Council on Continuing Medical Education and at-large member of the Department of Research, Quality and Public Health’s Council on Palliative Care Issues.

Heritage College student Valerie J. Van Ravenswaay, OMS-IV, was named to a non-voting position on the Department of Educational Affairs’ Council on Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institutions.

Nicholas A. Elliott, OMS-III, was appointed to a student seat on the Department of Governmental Affairs’ Bureau of State Government Affairs.

These are the Heritage College-related appointments of which the Communications office has learned; if there are others that have been overlooked, please share this information by emailing


  Office of Communication
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
210 Irvine Hall, Athens, Ohio 45701
Tel: 740-593-2346 FAX: 740-593-0343
Copyright Ohio University (Home)
Last updated: 01/28/2016