And the award goes to …

AOA recognizes leaders, researchers and groups for advancing the osteopathic medical profession

Awards honor osteopathic physicians, medical students, affiliate organizations and researchers for contributions during the past year.


A highlight of AOA’s OMED conference each year is the awards ceremony, highlighting four AOA awards, when stories of amazing research and impressive achievements remind attendees why the osteopathic community thrives.

This year’s OMED21 award recipients continue that trend in a big way. In fact, it’s a larger group of winners because of the AOA’s commitment to expanding the awards program.

More students, osteopathic physicians and affiliate leaders will be recognized for innovation and their tireless efforts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23. If you haven’t registered for OMED21, please click here and secure your spot for this virtual event.

In this year’s ceremony, six different sets of award winners will be recognized for advancing the profession through research in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine. The winners are a diverse group of academic professionals, osteopathic students and DOs.

An osteopathic physician and a College of Osteopathic Medicine will each be recognized for moving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts forward. A story of selfless mentorship will be told. And finally, the AOA will tell you how three of our affiliates improved osteopathic medicine through member benefits and innovation.

Below are this year’s award winners. Please watch the awards ceremony for more details:

Journal of Osteopathic Medicine Research Awards

Social Determinants of Health Research Award
Corresponding Author: Robert E. Davis, PhD
Issue: February 2021
Title: “Associations between stress, anxiety, depression, and emotional intelligence among osteopathic medical students”

Innovations Research Award
Corresponding Author: Santiago Lorenzo, PhD, MS, MS
Issue: June 2021
Title: “Effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment and bio-electromagnetic energy regulation therapy on lower back pain”

Health Policy Research Award
Corresponding Author:
Todd Fredricks, DO
Issue: March 2021
Title: “A survey on health professionals’ understanding of federal protections regarding service dogs in clinical settings”

Quality Improvement in Education Research Award
Corresponding Author:
Kevin Moriles, MS
Issue: March 2021
Title: “The use of 3D printing for osteopathic medical education of rib disorders”

Clinical Research Award
Corresponding Author:
Marcel Fraix, DO, MBA
Issue: January 2021
Title: “Osteopathic manipulative treatment in individuals with vertigo and somatic dysfunction: a randomized, controlled, comparative feasibility study”

Junior Faculty/Young Investigators Research Award
Corresponding Author:
Sahar Amin Bhai, OMS III
Issue: May 2021
Title: “The flipped classroom approach to physical examination skills for osteopathic medical students”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Unification Awards

Individual Winner
Jay S. Feldstein, DO
President and CEO, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Created the “Commission on Racial Justice: Transforming Campus Culture.”
  • Created PCOM’s 2025 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan

Organization Winner
The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Partnered with the Cherokee Nation to open the first medical school on tribal land
  • Established the college’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lead by an Assistant Dean of Diversity in the Fall of 2020, and in January, this college will host its Inaugural Summit for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Outstanding Affiliate Awards

The Michigan Osteopathic Association

  • Developed the new online MOA Learning Center, which houses on-demand CME from prior live sessions that can be accessed at any time
  • Launched a Women’s Leadership Institute, created by the Women of Excellence Committee
  • The Council of Interns and Residents (CIR) debuted a new monthly Speaker Series

The American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians

  •  CATALYST for CORTEx (the Clinical Osteopathic Recognition Training Exam) is a formative stand-alone OPP/OMM exam that will fulfill the Osteopathic Recognition ACGME requirement. This assessment was successfully delivered on NBOME’s new CATALYST platform, which provides test questions and stores their answers.
  • Launched the Podcast Channel
  • Introduced the #FaceoftheFamily photo campaign to engage members, highlight diversity in the profession, and demonstrate ACOFP’s relevancy for everyone

The American Osteopathic College of Radiology

  • Formed a Membership Model Task Force to evaluate how to increase value to members. After several studies and financial review, the Board approved a proposal that includes CME that is not on-location and provides a deeper discount for on-location meetings
  • Launched the AOCR Connect online community
  • Partnered with the AOA and participated in OMED for the first time since 2010

Mentor of the Year

Joanne Kaiser-Smith, DO, FACOI, FACP
Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education
Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine

  • “She has a passion to teach and motivate those around her to be better. She is a life-long learner who passes on her knowledge to providers like me who want to give back to the medical professional through mentorship and education.”
  • “As I have progressed throughout my years in practice, I always ask myself in difficult times “what would she do in this situation?”
  • “Everything I learned about being a leader came from her.”

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