OMED Alumni Reception
Monday, Oct. 19, 6 p.m., B.B. King's Blues Club, Orlando, Florida. Want to attend? Contact Laurie Lach at

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As we approach our 40th anniversary, the Heritage College is planning a yearlong birthday bash. Even as we focus on the future, we will reach back through our past for stories of how we built the foundation for today's success and tomorrow's promise.


We need your help!  


Get involved now by taking our interactive online survey to share your memories, test your knowledge of the Heritage College, and possibly even win a prize. We want to know: What's your fondest memory of medical school? Who left a lasting impression on you? Where was your favorite hangout?  


Take the quiz here.


Learn more about the Heritage College's 40th Anniversary here.

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message from the Society of Alumni & Friends 
As my medical school turns 40, I'm very proud of its achievements
Ashley Simpson,
DO ('10)
Dear alumni and friends,

2015 marks an exciting year in our college's history. In July, we welcomed our first class at the Heritage College, Cleveland, part of the college's largest incoming class ever. This year also marks our 40th anniversary. I am thrilled to be celebrating this milestone, because our college has flourished in such a short amount of time. It's amazing to see and hear the stories of transformation, beginning with the first class, which entered in 1976 with 24 students, to our most recent white coat ceremony with 240 students. With this much momentum, I can only imagine what the next 40 years will bring for the future of osteopathic medicine.

As a proud graduate with two degrees from Ohio University, I always look forward to an excuse to return to Athens. Walking the halls of Grosvenor Hall brings back so many great memories of the friendships I've made while also learning the ways of A.T. Still. It gives me such pride to see the advances the Heritage College has made in the short time since I left Athens - renovations to Grosvenor Hall, including the anatomy and OMM labs, and the Academic and Research Center (ARC). These are now world-class facilities enabling our students to become the next generation of leaders in health care.

Our Dublin and Cleveland campuses are equally amazing, with the latest technology and resources available to our new students. I recently had the opportunity to tour and visit with the students of the Cleveland campus, and all I have to say is WOW! I don't know if I was more impressed by the facilities or the caliber of our students, but either way, I think our motto "Care Leads Here" couldn't ring more true. If you haven't had the chance to reconnect with our alma mater, I strongly encourage you to make the trip to our campuses in Athens, Dublin or Cleveland, I promise it's worth the trip.

Go Bobcats!
college news
Heritage College family joins in OHIO Homecoming Parade 

Heritage College faculty, staff, students, alumni and family members showed their Bobcat pride by accompanying the college's Mobile Clinic in Ohio University's Homecoming Parade on Saturday, Oct. 10. They also gathered for a tailgate party afterward. On the gridiron, the Bobcats trounced arch-rival Miami 34-3.
See more photos on Facebook>>

Dublin's Burke is honored for role in training Chinese physicians
William J. Burke,
DO ('88)
The dean of the central Ohio campus of Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has been recognized by a province in China, for his work there in helping to improve the training of primary care physicians.

William J. Burke, DO, F.A.C.O.F.P., dean of the Heritage College, Dublin, has been invited to China to receive the Tianfu Friendship Award, conferred by the government of China's Sichuan Province. The award is presented annually to persons from other countries who have made outstanding contributions to Sichuan's economic and social development. The Sichuan Province, the country's fourth largest province, is located in southwest China and has a population of over 81 million people. The award was presented on Thursday, Sept. 17.

Komen race in Athens builds on long partnership with college
The Komen Athens Race for the Cure on Sunday, Oct. 25, will mark the first time the prestigious Race for the Cure, which raises money toward finding a cure for breast cancer, comes to Athens. But the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine's involvement with Susan G. Komen Columbus® is far from new.

Building on its longstanding relationship with the organization, the Heritage College will serve as a sponsor of next month's race and has organized a team, "Passionate Soles for a Cure," to compete in the event. Heritage College medical students, led by Assistant Professor of Family Medicine
Tim Law, DO ('94), M.B.A., also will staff medical aid stations for runners and walkers.

OMNI's Clark receives $400,000 from NIH for back pain study
Brian Clark, Ph.D.
The economic toll of low back pain is significant, costing about $26 billion annually to treat the problem and $14 billion in lost wages. It also causes considerable pain and can lead to disability and reduced physical activity. A study called Back Exercises to Neutralize Disability (The BEND Study) at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is testing a promising exercise that may improve muscle size and function in patients with recurrent low back pain.

The BEND Study, funded by a $408,375 grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, is implementing Kaatsu training principles, a technique developed by a Japanese sports scientist that uses a device resembling a blood pressure cuff. Straps temporarily restrict blood flow to a particular area while a person exercises using low weights. Studies have found that muscle can strengthen more quickly using the restricted blood flow technique. Findings from a pilot study conducted by
Brian Clark, Ph.D., professor of neuromuscular physiology and executive director of the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI), also suggests that Kaatsu could be beneficial for certain individuals, muscle conditions or locations that can't safely use high weights.

Associate dean for research and innovation is chosen
Sonia M. Najjar, Ph.D.
Sonia M. Najjar, Ph.D., will join the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine as associate dean for research and innovation on Feb. 1, 2016. Najjar brings to the college two decades of research experience and a long affiliation with Ohio University through The Diabetes Institute and the Edison Biotechnology Institute.

As the head of the Heritage College's Office of Research and Grants, Najjar will help the college meet its research goals, which include expanding and strengthening its research mission while focusing on key health concerns of Ohioans; increasing funding and research support for faculty, staff and students; enhancing research infrastructure; and expanding opportunities for collaborative research at the regional, state, national and international levels. Najjar is currently the Frederick W. Hiss endowed professor in diabetes research and the founding director of the Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Research at The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences. She is also an academic consultant for the Middle East Diabetes Research Center, one of the first centers of its kind in the Arab region, which was created in partnership with The University of Toledo and the American University of Beirut.

College expands diabetes expertise with four research hires
The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine has hired four faculty with expertise in diabetes-related medical research. The new faculty, Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Chunmin Lo, Ph.D., Craig Nunemaker, Ph.D., and Vishwajeet Puri, Ph.D., are members of The Diabetes Institute and will be housed in the college's Department of Biomedical Sciences. They were brought on board with financial support provided through the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation's Vision 2020: Leading the Transformation of Primary Care in Ohio award.

"With the support of the OHF, we have recruited a high caliber of scientists to join our already strong faculty," said Kenneth H. Johnson, DO, executive dean of the Heritage College. "Our four new researchers are part of a cluster hire intended to deepen our research around obesity, diabetes and related conditions. We see research as a critical part of our college's mission to address complex health problems and improve the well-being of the populations we serve."

Kopchick receives honorary degree from Danish university
John Kopchick,
One of the world's most prestigious universities has bestowed an honorary doctoral degree in medicine on
John Kopchick, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology and Goll-Ohio Eminent Scholar in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and at the Edison Biotechnology Institute at Ohio University.

Kopchick, one of the world's top experts on growth hormone and associated growth factors, is one of four researchers who received honorary Ph.D.s from Aarhus University in Denmark on Sept. 9. Though Kopchick has received honorary degrees from other universities, he said he was still deeply honored to be recognized by Aarhus, which is counted among the top 100 universities in the world in a number of influential rankings.

Article explores Kasich's role in Ohio Medicaid expansion
Daniel Skinner, Ph.D.
An article recently published online in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law takes a closer look at the contentious political maneuverings involved in the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio, including Gov. John Kasich's role.
The article's author, Daniel Skinner, Ph.D., an assistant professor of health policy in the Department of Social Medicine at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, explores the complicated politics in Ohio following the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius case that made it optional for states to expand Medicaid as authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In the article Skinner explains that states skewing strongly toward one political party or another mostly followed party lines when deciding whether to expand Medicaid. However, in swing states, the decision was more complicated. According to Skinner, the way Ohio dealt with the Medicaid expansion was unique and tethered to the political positioning of Kasich.