Deans from many of the 29 U.S. colleges of osteopathic medicine visited the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, Calif. Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.

For the first time in WesternU’s 35-year history, COMP and Dean Clinton Adams, DO, MPA, hosted the 2012 American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) Board of Deans Retreat and Meeting at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Calif., Nov. 15-17, 2012.

Thursday night capped a Board of Deans dinner that included a tour of the campus by COMP students. The group made stops in the Health Education Center Research Center, Health Professions Center Clinical Skills Lab, the Health Science Center anatomy lab, and the Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (NMM/OMM) lab.

“”The opportunity to be able to share the progress of our programs with all of the deans helps us improve as a profession,”” Adams said. “”They were very excited to find out what we are doing with the Academic Progress Portal (APP) and Interprofessional Education (IPE).””

Adams said students and senior faculty’s interaction with the AACOM deans would enhance communication across the many osteopathic campuses, enabling them to establish regular contacts, improve programs and share best practices.

Gary Gugelchuk, PhD, WesternU provost and COO, welcomed the deans. Susan Mackintosh, DO, MPH, COMP associate dean of Academic Affairs, and Paula Crone, DO, COMP-Northwest executive associate dean, via videoconferencing, spoke about IPE. Scott Helf, DO, MSIT, chief technology officer and assistant dean of Academic Informatics, explained the University’s Academic Progress Portal (APP), which is software Helf helped create that allows faculty and staff to track student academic progress in real time throughout the student’s education.

Former COMP Associate Dean and Associate Professor Kay Kalousek, DO ’89, who on July 1, 2012 became dean of A.T. Still University of Health Sciences, School of Osteopathic Medicine (SOMA) in Mesa, Ariz., returned to campus as part of the Board of Deans group.

“”It’s always good to achieve new goals and see things from another perspective at another school,”” Kalousek said. “”It’s wonderful being with the Board of Deans this year, especially because the governing systems for allopathic and osteopathic medical residencies recently announced they will create a single, unified system for Graduate Medical Education (GME).””

The WesternU Chamber Singers performed during dinner, and second-year COMP student Amir Tabibnia played the piano. AACOM Board of Deans Chair Marc Hahn, DO, executive vice president, Academic and Medical Affairs, provost and dean at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences’ College of Osteopathic Medicine, said the deans gather annually to conduct business near one of their colleges, enabling them to see what’s happening in the field and explore other programs at the university.

“”I think a lot of exciting things are happening on your campus,”” Hahn said. “”You have a profound impact on health care in this part of California, and you are a leading program in interprofessional education in this country. I’m very impressed with the amount of growth of the University, but the amount of programmatic growth is more impressive.””

AACOM President and CEO Stephen Shannon, DO, MPH, said not only is this a time for the Board of Deans to come together to discuss different types of development, policy-making and innovative medical education, it’s also a way to highlight what WesternU has been doing.

“”WesternU has done amazing things since Dr. Pumerantz founded the place,”” Shannon said. “”It’s just blossomed into a highly respected, nationally recognized institution.””