Honoring leaders

Osteopathic leaders honored at AOA’s House of Delegates meeting

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

The osteopathic medical profession recently celebrated the notable and inspiring contributions of exceptional DOs, researchers and affiliate leaders during the AOA’s 2022 House of Delegates meeting. Following is a list of this year’s award winners and a short description of their work.

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is the AOA’s highest honor. The award recognizes contributions to the overall profession, including the advancement of the science and art of osteopathic medicine, education, philanthropy and other fields of public service.

This year’s recipients are Peter Allen Bell, DO, MBA, HPF, FACOEP-Dist., FACEP and J. Michael Wieting, DO, MEd.

Peter Allen Bell, DO, MBA, HPF, FACOEP-Dist., FACEP, serves as the Vice Provost and Dean of Medication Education and Professor of Family and Emergency Medicine at Baptist Health Science University in Memphis, Tenn. Currently, he is working to establish the Baptist University College of Osteopathic Medicine, with an anticipated goal of August 2024.

He has served in several leadership positions, including President of the Ohio Osteopathic Association, President of the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and National President of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians. In 2015, he was named Chair of the OUHCOM-CORE Board.

Dr. Bell has a long history of outstanding contributions to the practice and advancement of osteopathic medicine through research, education, philanthropy and other areas. For over three decades, he has been a guiding voice in both health policy and osteopathic education.

J. Michael Wieting, DO, Med, is recognized for his sustained level of outstanding service to the osteopathic profession at the local, state, national and international levels. In addition to his notable achievements and contributions in the areas of education, research and philanthropy, Dr. Wieting has also served, or is currently serving, in leadership roles in several international organizations, including the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine and the International Society of Communication in Medicine.

Dr. Wieting’s leadership and service to the AOA includes over 20 years of service to the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS), including serving as Chair of the Bureau of Osteopathic Education, the Council on State Health Affairs and the Postdoctoral Training Review Committee.

Presidential Citations

Presidential Citations awarded by the AOA 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, six individuals were recognized. The recipients of the 2022 presidential citations are Josh Prober, JD; David L. Broder, DO; Thomas A. Cavalieri, DO; J. Michael Wieting, DO; Michelle Winn Larson; and the American College of Osteopathic Internists.

Josh Prober, JD, is the AOA’s past Senior Vice President and General Counsel. He spent nearly 18 years of his career steadfastly serving the osteopathic profession. During his time at the AOA, Prober expertly advocated on behalf of osteopathic physicians and their patients for recognition of osteopathic credentials by hospitals and insurers.

He obtained multiple renewals of accreditation authority from the U.S. Department of Education while leading the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) and he played an integral role in establishing the American Osteopathic Information Association and AOIA-OPAC.

Prober has worked tirelessly to expand the reach of osteopathic medicine around the globe; he has secured practice rights internationally for U.S. DOs and he has coordinated with the International Labour Organization for increased recognition of osteopathic medicine. His sage counsel and leadership played an integral role in forging the historic agreement with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine to transition to a unified system for graduate medical education in the United States.

David L. Broder, DO, serves the osteopathic medical profession in several crucial leadership roles, including his role as Vice Speaker of the AOA House of Delegates. He also serves as President and CEO of the New York Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Educational Consortium and as an Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Education at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM), as well as a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at NYITCOM and the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York City.

While serving in these roles, Dr. Broder has played a pivotal role in advancing the distinctiveness and high quality of osteopathic medical education and teaching the next generation of osteopathic physicians.

Thomas A. Cavalieri, DO, currently serves as the Dean of Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM) and is a Professor of Medicine and the Osteopathic Heritage Endowed Chair for Primary Care Research at RowanSOM. He is a longtime leader in the osteopathic profession, and Dr. Cavalieri oversaw the successful integration of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic Medicine into Rowan University, a designated research university. Currently, he oversees the modernization of RowanSOM’s undergraduate medical education curriculum, facilitating a class size expansion and building the school’s endowment.

Dr. Cavalieri is an advocate for older adults and has raised the bar on the standard of care for the senior population and is the Founding Director of the Center of Aging, which has grown into the Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology-New Jersey Institute for Successful Aging at RowanSOM. He is the author of more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and abstracts, many of which focus on end-of-life issues. He has been named a Top Doc in geriatrics by Castle Connolly, the Consumer Union Checkbook, Philadelphia Magazine, New Jersey Monthly, South Jersey Magazine and SJ Magazine.

J. Michael Wieting, DO is the Senior Associate Dean at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) and a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine at LMU-DCOM. He previously served as a Residency Program Director, a Program Medical Director and Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Wieting is a graduate of the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine and holds a master’s degree in professional medical education and Educational Assessment from the University of Central Oklahoma. He has also served extensively on a variety of AOA committees, including his most recent post as the Chair of the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists.

Michelle Winn Larson is an influential osteopathic affiliate leader who has served as the Coordinator at the Association of Osteopathic State Executive Directors (AOSED) for over 25 years. She also serves as the Executive Director for the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association (FOMA), where her leadership throughout the pandemic helped achieve unprecedented growth and high convention attendance numbers.

Under Larson’s direction, FOMA quickly transitioned to offer virtual CME and now produces full hybrid dynamic programs to ensure uninterrupted service to all its members. Additionally, she plans the logistics and activities for the AOSED Annual and Fall meetings in collaboration with the AOA and serves as a Board Member for the Tallahassee Society of Association Executives. Larson has an excellent reputation of working collaboratively with other state affiliates and serves as an example of the incredible executive leadership that can be found in the osteopathic profession.

The American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI) is one of the largest specialty colleges within the osteopathic profession. The ACOI has proudly promoted high-quality, distinctive osteopathic care for patients through all phases of adulthood. Additionally, the ACOI has served as a true leader in ensuring that DOs maintain their osteopathic distinctiveness.

For more than 80 years, the ACOI has excelled in training the highest caliber of osteopathic physicians. Throughout this time, the college has nurtured the development of thoughtful and engaging leaders in the osteopathic profession..

Bob E. Jones, CAE, Award

The Bob E. Jones, CAE, Award, established in 2001, recognizes outstanding state and specialty executive directors who continually contribute to the AOA and the osteopathic profession as a whole.

This year’s recipient is Suzanne Frederick, Executive Director of the Idaho Osteopathic Physicians Association. She has fostered mutually beneficial and collaborative partnerships with other organizations, healthcare coalitions and osteopathic partners to offer value to osteopathic physicians and the profession.

During her time with the Association of Osteopathic State Executive Directors (AOSED), Ms. Frederick served as President and expanded influential leadership appointments for affiliate leaders and emphasized the important roles of affiliates to AOA leadership. She is always willing to share her innovative ideas with colleagues and has been a driving force in the creation of several new COM campuses.

AOIA/OPAC James M. Lally, DO, Scholarship

The AOIA’s Osteopathic Political Action Committee (OPAC) awards this scholarship to the most politically active OPAC student member. This year’s recipient is Brianne Howerton, OMS-IV. Howerton attends Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). She has been involved in many advocacy and political campaigns. Howerton is a member of SOMA, the political honor society Omega Beta Iota, COSGP and serves as an ambassador of the AOA’s Osteopathic Advocacy Network.

AOIA/OPAC Oliva Circle Award

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 in 2010.

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 into this group receive an Oliva Circle pin designed by prominent Washington, DC, jewelry designer, Ann Hand.

This year, several individuals were inducted into The Oliva Circle: Robert Juhasz, DO; Richard Thacker, DO; Mark Baker, DO; Gregory James, DO; and William Silverman, DO. FOMA Executive Director Steve Winn accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Silverman.


  1. Robert S Juhasz, DO, MACOI, FACP

    Correction: I also was inducted into the Oliva Circle this year at the AOA HOD.
    Thank you… Bob Juhasz, DO

  2. Richard Thacker

    I too was inducted into the Oliva Circle this year at the AOA HOD with my other esteemed colleagues. Thank You for the honor.
    Rich Thacker DO MACOI

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