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Osteopathic medical education and health care access in Appalachian Ohio expands with grant from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation

$2.3 million grant will create a Center for Clinical Training and Assessment and Free Community Health Care

From staff reports

April 8, 2009 

(Athens, OH) Osteopathic medical students will soon benefit from a state-of-the art clinical skills training facility, and patients of the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Free Clinic will receive medical services in a contemporary, permanent location, all as a result of a grant from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation.

The $2.3 million grant is the second largest in the history of the college. This week, Richard Vincent, president and CEO of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation; Roderick McDavis, president of Ohio University; and Jack Brose, D.O., dean of OU-COM, announced that the funding will enable construction of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Center for Clinical Training and Assessment and  Free Community Health Clinic. Planning for construction is underway, with completion of the project scheduled for early 2011. 

The facility will unite a clinical skills training space for medical students and space for the college’s Community Health Programs’ Free Clinic into one newly renovated space in both Grosvenor Hall and Grosvenor Hall West at Ohio University. 

“The community needs the health services that will be provided in the clinic setting and it will also benefit from the enhanced training received by the medical students and allied health students on campus,” said Vincent.” Ohio University is a significant asset to the community-at-large and an objective of the Foundation is to support the College of Osteopathic Medicine in graduating top quality, highly trained physicians who will remain in the State to care for the citizens of Ohio.” 

The Osteopathic Heritage Foundations support osteopathic medical education and biomedical research, nationally, and the health and quality of life for vulnerable populations in central and southeastern Ohio.  Since 1999, the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville have approved a total of over $107 million designed to advance the science of osteopathic medicine and support measureable improvements   in the health and quality of life of its targeted communities.

This most recent grant brings the Foundation’s total approved funding to Ohio University to $17.8 million dollars, which includes $10 million for the construction of the new Ohio University Academic & Research Center and $1.5 million for the J.O. Watson, D.O., Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research.  The Osteopathic Heritage Foundation is the largest benefactor to the college, with funding to create a research office for the Centers for Osteopathic Research and Education, support for diabetes education, bio-medical research and physician training as well as interdisciplinary neuromusculoskeletal research.

"Through the support of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, Ohio University's College of Osteopathic Medicine will continue to strengthen its service to this region of southeastern Ohio," McDavis said. "This gift will directly benefit our students and, equally important, the community members who receive services at the Center. We thank the Foundation for its longstanding support and its confidence in the University’s mission. We pledge to strive to retain the Foundation’s respect in serving the community and enhancing the educational experiences of the student body."

 “The Foundation’s support has made possible incredible advancements in osteopathic medical education, research and service to our communities,” Brose said. “Educating osteopathic physicians, serving the health care needs of our communities, and improving  health and quality of life stand at the very center of our  shared vision.

“This new facility will accomplish so many wonderful things,” Brose added. “It will dramatically increase the quality of our student’s educational experience, provide a first-rate facility for our Free Clinic, help us develop new integrated educational programs in our proposed Academic Health Center, and develop closer ties to Athens health care providers.  It is truly a gift to the College, the University, and the entire Athens community.”

 Brose estimates that the new space for the Free Clinic will allow the college to maximize —and possibly double—the amount of time that college physicians are able to contribute on a volunteer basis. With the expanded and more efficient space, the number of patients that can be seen by volunteer health care professionals will increase. This space will also allow the Free Clinic to extend operating hours and provide additional services.

Howard R. Lipman, vice president for University Advancement and president and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation, said that philanthropic foundations play a vital role in the university's ability to achieve its vision of excellence and serve the region.

“Our fundraising staff has made osteopathic medical education and research a priority,” said Lipman. “Clearly, support from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation has already made a significant difference in the university’s national leadership role in bio-medical research and osteopathic medical education, and with this grant, there will be immediate benefits to our community members in need of health care.”

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Last updated: 01/28/2016