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OU-COM opens new training facility, community clinic
Made possible by $2.3 million gift from Osteopathic Heritage Foundations

Richard A. Vincent, Frederick L. Oremus, Ruth Purdy, D.O., George O. Faerber, D.O., and Tom M. Anderson, (‘83) D.O., represent the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations at the dedication for the new Heritage Clinical Training and Assessment Center & Community Clinic.

April 22, 2011

(ATHENS, Ohio) More than 60 people, including several members of the Ohio University Board of Trustees, attended the dedication of a new facility at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-COM) that expands both learning opportunities for medical students and medical services to southeastern Ohio residents with inadequate health care insurance.

The Heritage Clinical Training and Assessment Center & Community Clinic, made possible by a $2.3 million gift from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, features state-of-the-art medical technology and a new home for OU-COM’s free Community Clinics. 

“The foundation’s $2.3 million award is an investment in the future of the osteopathic medical profession and the future health and well-being of the communities we serve,” said OU-COM dean Jack Brose, D.O. “This new facility more than doubled the size of our previous facility, helping to accommodate our recent increase in class size.”

Norma and John E. Rauch, D.O., cut the ribbon to The Rauch Classroom, which was dedicated in honor of the leadership and service to Ohio by Dr. Rauch and his father, John E. Rauch, D.O. Dean Jack Brose, D.O., and Ohio University Provost Pamela Benoit, Ph.D., watch.


Richard Vincent, president and chief executive officer for the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, said simulated clinical training has been integral in the quality education provided to the medical students since the inception of the college.  “The former center was tired and in need of an upgrade, with some cosmetic surgery. It appears that the operation was a success and the center’s prognosis for a long life is good.”

“We are proud of the college and look forward to future projects that will serve the community and the state of Ohio,” said Vincent, who was joined at the ceremony by several members of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations Board of Directors.

Dean Jack Brose, D.O., observes as Robert J. Hampton, (’84), D.O., his wife, Suzanne Hampton, and Amanda and Chris Hampton cut the ribbon on the "Robert J. Hampton, D.O., Emergency/Surgical Simulation Laboratory Suite” in honor and memory of Dr. Hampton’s father, Donald V. Hampton, Sr., D.O."


“The gifts that supported the redevelopment of this facility ensure that we will be able to provide important, innovative medical education for the growing number of students entering OU-COM,” said Ohio University president Roderick McDavis, Ph.D. “An increase in class size is indeed important if we are going to address the predicted physician shortage that will quickly be upon us.”


This past year, OU-COM admitted a record 120 first-year students. The class entering in August will contain 140 students.

The new facility, as its predecessor, allows medical students to interact with patients during their first two years of medical school.

“One of the hallmarks of the educational experience at OU-COM is early clinical contact.  Within their first months of medical school, our students are shadowing community physicians, and equally important, they are learning to interact with patients in the Heritage Clinical Training and Assessment Center,” Brose said.

The new Heritage Center features a wide variety of state-of-the-art medical equipment and technology, including seven new mannequins that can be programmed to simulate various health conditions in order for medical students to practice various medical techniques. Other new features include an emergency/surgical laboratory suite, complete with a scrub station, six advanced life support cardiac monitors, an anesthesia machine, two central line intravenous pumps mannequins, five intravenous pumps and six crash carts. Electronic medical records have also been implemented as a teaching tool for students, further preparing them for clinical practice, and also for use by physicians, nurses and other staff members in Heritage Community Clinic.

The surgical suite, which features both an operating room and an emergency room, was made possible by a gift from 1984 OU-HCOM graduate Robert J. Hampton, D.O., and his wife, Suzanne, in honor of his late father, Donald V. Hampton, Sr., D.O., a former president of the American Osteopathic Association.


At the center, medical students work with standardized patients – community members who are trained to simulate medical and psychosocial situations in a believable, realistic manner.  Eventually, students from other health care programs at Ohio University will utilize the facility as well, said Ohio University Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit, Ph.D.


“Medical students and allied health care students alike need the hands-on experience of working with patients in order to develop their diagnostic skills as well as their rapport and trust-building skills with patients -- in a safe and realistic environment,” Benoit said.  

“Thus this Center will allow health care administration students, social work students, nursing students and nurse practitioners the chance to develop into outstanding health care professionals who know how to work together in the best interests of their patients.”


In addition to the new clinical training area, part of the facility is a working physician’s office, complete with a waiting room, patient registration and examination rooms. Inclusion of such an office was purposely designed because the center will be a fully functional community clinic, Brose said.


“One of the most exciting things about this newly renovated space is that we’ll be using it as the dedicated home for our free Heritage Community Clinic, again thanks to the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations,” Brose said.


One of Brose’s first goals on becoming dean at OU-COM in 2001 was to establish a free clinic program at the college, which occurred in 2005. The clinic, which last year served more than 400 southeastern Ohio residents with no or inadequate health insurance, is staffed by OU-COM faculty physicians who volunteer their services, said Brose, who himself regularly treats patients at the clinic.


“As one of the free clinic physicians, I can tell you that it is common to see patients with very serious illnesses and illnesses at advanced stages. Most have multiple serious or chronic conditions that require immediate care and treatment. No patients are ever turned away from the Community Clinic or denied services due to their financial status,” Brose said.


“Many of these patients are people who work full-time -- many working at minimum wage jobs without health benefits” Brose said. “They are self-employed people, part-time workers, and the unemployed whose full-time job may be taking care of aging parents, young children and other family members who often require special care. Often, the free clinic is their only source of care.”


In 2010, the college’s community clinic linked patients to over $146,000 in care at no cost to them. The clinic also dispensed prescriptions to their patients valued at $20,000; some of these included critical diabetes medications that the patients otherwise could not afford.


In 2008, college physicians contributed 575 hours of service in the clinic. Brose said that clinic services and physician volunteer hours are expected to “expand significantly in this new space.”


A classroom in the center was dedicated in honor of John E. Rauch, D.O., and his father, Charles F. Rauch, D.O., who with a combined 86 years of service as physicians, served Hocking County residents, in addition to their leadership positions in osteopathic medicine in Ohio. Dr. John Rauch is a former recipient of the Phillips Medal of Public Service, one of the highest honors bestowed by OU-COM.


“We extend our congratulations to the Hampton’s and Rauch’s for the much deserved recognition – and commend the university leadership, faculty, staff and students in another significant accomplishment. We are proud of you and look forward to future projects that will serve the community and the state of Ohio,” Vincent said.  

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