And the Award Goes To

AOA honors leaders and groups for advancing the osteopathic profession

Presidential citations, STAR awards and a medical writing award were presented during the House of Delegates meeting.


On Saturday, the AOA recognized leaders of the osteopathic medical profession for raising its visibility through brand awareness, research, access to care around the world, and osteopathic medical education. The following supporters were honored at an awards luncheon.

AOA Presidential Citations

AOA President Mark Baker, DO, honored three leaders in the osteopathic medical profession with Presidential Citations, the AOA’s highest honor. They are:

  • Clinton E. Adams, DO, has led an exemplary career of military service, outstanding osteopathic medical education, and advocacy on behalf of the profession. Dr. Adams is President and Chief Executive Officer of Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Me­dicine and the former dean of the Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. Dr. Adams served in the U.S. Navy, where he was a command surgeon and attained the rank of rear admiral.
  • AOA Past President Karen J. Nichols, DO, has dedicated her career to advancing osteopathic medical education through outstanding leadership. Dr. Nichols is the former dean of Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, and also previously held several key academic positions with Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. She was the first woman to serve as president of the AOA, the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association and the American College of Osteopathic Internists.
  • AOA Past President George Thomas, DO, has demonstrated steadfast leadership, vision and commitment to advancing osteopathic medicine. Dr. Thomas is a dedicated advocate and expert on health care policy who has chaired both the AOA Bureau of State Government Affairs and Bureau on Federal Health Programs. Dr. Thomas has also served as the AOA’s representative to the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Dr. Thomas is also the former president of the Ohio Osteopathic Association.
  • AOA Senior Vice President and General Counsel Joshua Prober, JD, has dedicated the majority of his legal career to protecting and advancing the AOA and the osteopathic medical profession. Prober has served the AOA since 2004; since joining the AOA, he has taken on additional responsibilities beyond his legal duties, including leading the American Osteopathic Information Association and the AOA’s international activities. In a rapidly changing health care landscape, Prober has consistently advocated for the osteopathic medical profession to promote and protect its core tenets. He was also instrumental in helping forge a historic agreement to transition to a single graduate medical education accreditation system.

Shining STARs

The Strategic Team Award and Recognition, known as “STAR,” recognizes contributions made by state and specialty affiliates; osteopathic medical schools; OPTIs; and nonpractice affiliates that enhance the AOA’s strategic plan and advance the osteopathic medical profession. Award recipients are:

  • American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO) for investing in the future of osteopathic medicine by creating an instrument to assess the readiness of physicians applying to residency programs that have osteopathic recognition. Developed in collaboration with the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, the secured, proctored exam is now administered at centers worldwide and will be available electronically in September. This is a valuable tool for both physicians and program directors evaluating residency candidates.
  • Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine (RVUCOM) for its commitment to stewardship and leadership in osteopathic medicine at every level. RVUCOM supports state osteopathic associations in Colorado and Utah by providing speakers for CME events, free membership and medical equipment for educational and service activities, and financial support. RVUCOM is commended for its efforts to address diversity and gender equality and its focus on leadership in its new Academic Medicine and Leadership elective track.
  • Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS) for promoting the osteopathic profession nationally and internationally and for providing a knowledge resource for its members. MAOPS created a consortium to plan and promote continuing medical education and developed CMEprn, an app that makes it easy to find CME events. Association member Logan Banks, DO, and his family led a mission in Burundi that trains medical students to provide medical care in underserved areas. The association’s “Keep the Lights on in Kibuye” campaign began to raise $350K for a solar generator.
  • Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) for building strong relationships with the AOA and collaborating to support and engage students. SOMA’s new branding campaign centers on helping students better understand SOMA and its relationship to the AOA. This year, the SOMA Fall Convention and OMED will be fully integrated, and SOMA will coordinate the Student and Resident Track at OMED. SOMA is also integrating AOA leadership and other leaders from the profession into its Summer Leadership Meeting.

George W. Northup, DO, Medical Writing Award

The Northup Award, bestowed annually to an exceptional article published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA) the previous year, recognizes contributions to the JAOA that have the potential to change the way DOs think, practice medicine and conduct research. This year’s award recognizes the article “First-Time Sports-Related Concussion Recovery: The Role of Sex, Age, and Sport,” which appeared in the October 2017 issue of the JAOA.

The study, led by John Neidecker, DO, with coauthors David Gealt, DO; John Luksch, DO; and Martin Weaver, MD, examined records of male and female middle-school and high-school athletes who sustained a concussion while playing sports. The researchers found that female athletes remained symptomatic for 28 days—more than twice as long as males. This difference was observed regardless of age or sport played. This study provides important evidence that the effects of a concussion linger longer for women, pointing to the need for more research to identify the causal factors for the difference.

Leave a comment Please see our comment policy