Mitchell Kasovac, DO, a former dean and professor at Western University of Health Sciences, died April 5, 2014 after a lifetime serving the community as a family physician, educator, mentor and friend.

Dr. Kasovac began working at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific (COMP) as an adjunct clinical faculty in 1980. Throughout his time at COMP he was involved in several committees, including the Student Conduct Committee and the Institutional Strategic Planning Committee, and he chaired the Curriculum Committee for four years.

“Mitch Kasovac was one of the earliest supporters of the concept of our osteopathic college,” said WesternU Founding President Philip Pumerantz, PhD. “And he was a very smart, dedicated osteopathic physician who became a part of my early leadership team. We will all miss him very much.”

Dr. Kasovac served as Assistant Dean of Clinical Sciences for six years. During this time, he was named the Director of Post-Graduate Training and was promoted to Professor of Family Medicine. He was responsible for contacting all of the hospitals and developing clerkships for third- and fourth-year osteopathic medical students.

He became COMP Dean in 1995, and made multiple connections with hospitals in California and across Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, and Washington. He spent much of his time working to develop clinical training for COMP students and post-doctoral program development, and contacted several former DOs who became MDs for support in residency programs for COMP students. He advised DOs to maintain a respectful relationship with MDs, encouraging them to maintain their osteopathic medicine principles and practices and be willing to share them with their fellow physicians in an opportunity to expand the osteopathic profession. He retired as COMP Dean in 2000.

Dr. Kasovac earned his DO degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1963, and completed his postgraduate training at Phoenix General Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz. He opened and operated a family practice for more than 15 years and also served as director of medical education at Phoenix General Hospital for more than nine years, according to A.T. Still University.

Throughout the course of his career, Dr. Kasovac was very active in local, state, and national professional organizations, including the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, Association of Hospital Medical Educators, American Osteopathic Directors of Medical Education, and the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). He served on the AOA Board of Trustees for more than 16 years, and was the 1990-91 AOA national president.

Dr. Kasovac served as a faculty member at A.T. Still University of Health Sciences’ School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona from 2007 to 2012.

“Mitch was a true professional, teacher, mentor and friend,” A.T. Still University President Craig M. Phelps, DO, said in a statement. “In fact, he was one of my first preceptors as an osteopathic medical student. His example of selfless service and dedication to patients, students, residents, and the osteopathic profession is and will continue to be an inspiration to many.”