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AOA and AOIA honor leaders for advancing the osteopathic profession

Awards honor osteopathic physicians, researchers, and affiliate leaders for their contributions.

The osteopathic medical profession recently celebrated the inspiring and influential contributions of exceptional DOs, researchers, and affiliate leaders during the AOA’s 2021 virtual House of Delegates meeting. Following is a list of this year’s award winners and a short description of their work.

Distinguished service certificate

The distinguished service certificate is the AOA’s highest honor. The award recognizes outstanding accomplishments in the advancement of the science and art of osteopathic medicine, education, philanthropy, and other fields of public service.

This year’s recipient is Jeffrey S. Grove, DO, an AOA board-certified family physician who has held numerous leadership positions, including serving as the 2021 president of the American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF), 2013-2014 president of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP), and 2011-2012 president of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association. In addition, Dr. Grove has held critical leadership roles within the AOA, including chair of the AOA Council on Continuing Medical Education.

Dr. Grove serves as an adjunct clinical professor of family medicine at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Bradenton and as a clinical professor in family medicine at Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine.

As a champion for inclusion and diversity, Dr. Grove has established numerous programs aimed at addressing the needs of the LGBTQ+ community, including the AOF’s new Equity and Inclusion Initiative. At ACOFP, Dr. Grove founded a wellness committee to ensure that LGBTQ+ patients receive quality health care without discrimination.

Presidential citations

AOA presidential citations recognize individuals who have dedicated a significant portion of their life’s work to shaping the future of the osteopathic profession by advancing osteopathic medical education, caring for medically underserved communities, and relentlessly advocating for the betterment of DOs, osteopathic medical students, and the patients they serve.

This year’s recipients include Robert A. Cain, DO, Stanley E. Grogg, DO, and Barbara E. Walker, DO.

As president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Cain is helping maintain the distinctiveness and high quality of osteopathic medical education, as well as advocating for medical students at the state and federal levels.

Dr. Cain has also mentored and taught residents as a director of medical education at Grandview Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and as the director of the internal medicine residency at the same facility.

An AOA board-certified pulmonologist, Dr. Cain is also a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Internists and the Assembly of Osteopathic Graduate Medical Educators.

Dr. Grogg has represented the AOA as its liaison to the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for over 14 years. In this role, he has provided timely reports on ACIP meetings, which have helped the AOA keep DOs informed about the latest recommendations on immunizations, including COVID-19 vaccines.

Dr. Grogg has also helped provide health care to medically underserved patients around the world by leading roughly 40 DOCARE global health outreach trips to countries including Nicaragua, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, Kenya, Vietnam, India, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

An AOA board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Grogg is also a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dr. Walker was the first female physician to be deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division, an airborne infantry division of the U.S. Army. During her deployment in Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Dr. Walker served as an advocate and ally for female soldiers on the mission.

Dr. Walker also worked with the AOA to successfully advocate for the North Carolina Medical Board to accept osteopathic board certification and osteopathic board exams as criteria to qualify for physician licensure in the state.

An AOA board-certified family physician, Dr. Walker practiced family medicine in various settings for 30 years and is also a fellow of the ACOFP and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Bob E. Jones, CAE awards

The Bob E. Jones, CAE award recognizes outstanding leadership within AOA affiliate organizations.

This year’s award recipients include Pete Wertheim, former executive director of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association (AOMA), who received the honor posthumously, and Brian Bowles, executive director of the Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons (MAOPS).

Wertheim served as president of the Association of Osteopathic State Executive Directors (AOSED) and was instrumental in the review and formalization of policies, guidelines, and contracts for the organization. He also made significant contributions to the AOMA, where he served as executive director from 2014–2020. During his tenure with AOMA, legislative advocacy was one of his top priorities.

As executive director of MAOPS, Bowles’ accomplishments include virtual CME implementation, development of a Physician Wellness Weekend curriculum, installation of an A.T. Still bust at the Missouri Capitol Hall of Famous Missourians, overall improvements to MAOPS’ infrastructure and organizational efficiency, and his leadership among his peers. Bowles also previously served as president of AOSED.

George W. Northup, DO, Medical Writing award

The Northup Award, bestowed annually to an article published in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine (JOM) the previous year, recognizes contributions to the JOM that change the way DOs practice medicine and conduct research. Northup Award nominees are rated on the basis of clinical significance, scientific validity and content specific to osteopathic medicine.

The 2020 award recognizes the article “Osteopathic Medical Care With and Without Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain: A Pain Registry-Based Study,” which appeared in the February 2020 issue of the JOM. The study was authored by John C. Licciardone, DO, MS, MBA and Robert J. Gatchel, PhD.

The article assessed osteopathic medical care and the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment for chronic low back pain in a real-world setting, without the constraints of rigid research protocol.

AOIA/OPAC James M. Lally, DO scholarship

The AOIA’s Osteopathic Political Action Committee (OPAC) awards this $2,500 scholarship to the most politically active OPAC student member. This year’s recipient is Alicia Speak, OMS IV. Speak has participated in the AOA’s DO Day on Capitol Hill three times, served as a delegate at the AOA House of Delegates meeting, and regularly participates in campaigns through the Osteopathic Advocacy Network. Speak attends Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

AOIA/OPAC Oliva Circle award

In 2010, the OPAC Board of Directors voted to honor Marcelino Oliva, DO, the Chairman of OPAC, for his many years of service and leadership by establishing The Oliva Circle.

OPAC members who have contributed a lifetime total of $25,000 are eligible to become members of this assembly of the most politically active DOs. Members inducted to this group receive an Oliva Circle pin designed by prominent Washington, DC, jewelry designer Ann Hand.

Diana Ewert, CEO of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association, was inducted into the Olivia Circle during House of Delegates and is the first affiliate staff member to reach this honor.

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