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Five OU-COM faculty and staff members received Awards of Excellence during the State of the College address by Dean Jack Brose, D.O., on Oct. 7.

For the first time in college history, one the awards went to a CORE clinical faculty member, “because he is so spectacular,” Brose said.

Robert Cain, D.O. (’88), clinical professor of pulmonology, former program director for internal medicine, and current DME at Grandview Hospital in Dayton, earned the honor. In presenting the award to Cain, Keith Watson, D.O., associate dean of graduate medical education, said the Dayton physician and OU-COM alumnus has been an asset to the CORE. “He has done some wonderful things and energized and revised the RPACS,” Watson said. “He has helped us at CORE learn to rethink where we are going and what we are doing.” Cain is leading a strategic planning effort underway currently in the CORE.

Jen-Tzer Gau, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of geriatrics, is “the hardest working person I have ever known,” according to Wayne Carlsen, D.O., associate professor and chair of geriatrics. Besides an extensive volume of published research, Gau was credited for his seemingly tireless hard work and for being an excellent role model for students. “He does his work not just independently, but in collaboration with colleagues at OU-COM and other institutions.”

Missy Kemper, assistant director of AHEC and Community Health Programs, received the third excellence award given out. Kathy Trace, director of CHP, noted that she had the opportunity to hire Kemper for two different positions. “Each time, she has been a joy to work with,” Trace said. Kemper was nominated for her organizational efforts and follow-through on tasks, Trace said.

Peter Coschigano, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology, was called a “fine researcher and facilitator” by Audrone  Biknevicius, Ph.D., associate professor and biomedical science chair. Biknevicius noted that Coschigano has served the college for the past six years as its representative on the university faculty senate, not considered an easy posting.  “He serves as our eyes, ears and voice,” she said.

Biknevicius called the final award winner,
Susan William, Ph.D., assistant professor of anatomy, “a research powerhouse.” Williams developed new ways to observe and film animals in the field, Biknevicius said. “She has changed the spirit of the department and the first floor of Life Sciences. Her enthusiasm is absolutely infectious,” she said.

Dean highlights triumphs, outlines future during annual address

Also warns of continued budget challenges



By Richard Heck



Despite uncertainty over future state funding, Dean Jack Brose, D.O., outlined a list of 15 areas of focus for the next year for OU-COM.

After highlighting both the achievements and financial issues faced by the college during the past year, Brose concluded his annual State of the College address with a list of priorities that will drive the college’s continued success.

“It’s been a fantastic year, an exciting year, and a trying year. It’s never been boring,” Brose said.

Higher quality and larger numbers of applicants and new students; expansion of the CORE; completion of the Academic & Research Center (ARC); solid research funding and achievements; and continued health care outreach to the Southeastern Ohio community all are positive highlights of OU-COM’s efforts, Brose said.

Last year’s 3,444 applicants—a 7.7 percent increase—netted a record number of 120 first-year students this year, the highest in the college’s history, Brose said. As of last week, applications for next year are up by 12 percent, double the amount since 2003, he said.

The CORE, Brose said, continues to remain “vibrant and growing” with the addition of three osteopathic colleges—Midwestern University of Arizona, A.T. Still University of Arizona, and Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine. The creation of a new CORE site in Cincinnati means expansion to the one area of the state where OU-COM has not had a presence. “That is no longer the case,” he said.

In keeping with the college’s mission, and despite funding cutbacks by the state including elimination of funding for the OU-COM mobile vans for fiscal year 2010, community outreach and health care remain strong, the dean said.

During the past year, 348 patients were treated at the college’s free clinics and the vans traveled more than 11,000 miles, Brose said. OU-COM’s AmeriCorps group, COMCorps, provided more than 26,000 hours of service. Through the college’s Community Health Programs unit, 6,455 immunizations were given, 408 prenatal program clients were seen, and 327 breast and cervical cancer screenings were provided.

As for budgetary issues, Brose noted that in fiscal year 2009 the college saw an 8.8 percent—or $435,000—reduction in state clinical teaching subsidies and a 13.9 percent—or $216,000—reduction in other state funding. The college’s royalty/endowment investments lost nearly $2 million, Brose said. “That’s tough,” he noted.

The dean warned that further cutbacks are likely, as the state’s next budget relies on one-time federal stimulus funds. “We will be watching the situation carefully, but we have a good ability to adapt to adversity,” he said.

But despite the budgetary uncertainty, the upcoming year provides several opportunities as well as challenges, Brose said. Expanding electronic medical records and technology in the curriculum is “the direction we need to go to be cutting edge,” he said.  Also, the college must continue promoting diversity among students as well as staff, he said.

During the next few months, expansion and remodeling work will begin on the college’s anatomy laboratory, as well as the new Clinical Training and Assessment Center and Free Clinic in Grosvenor West. The new ARC is in the final stages of construction and is expected to open by winter quarter.

Finally, Brose outlined 15 areas of focus for the next year, including:

1.      Developing more scholarships

2.      Renewing the emphasis on training students for family practice

3.      Building a new clinic and clinical research center

4.      Promoting translational research

5.      Developing community based participatory research

6.      Preparing for additional state budget cuts

7.      Focusing the CORE strategic planning process to position the consortium  for continued growth

8.      Advantaging students for the COMLEX exams, especially students at risk

9.      Establishing special relationships with undergraduate programs

10.   Exploring new types of programs and partnerships with other universities

11.   Focusing on CORE competencies

12.   Developing an underserved populations curriculum

13.   Expanding medical informatics and health exchange

14.   Accelerating computerized testing development

15.   Emphasizing OU-COM’s pride in and support of the university, while communicating the importance of the college’s budget integrity.



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Last updated: 01/28/2016