VCOM 2022 Annual Report

Taking Root in Local Communities

Heath Parker, DO Auburn Campus Dean

T he vision that brought the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine to the Auburn University (AU) Campus is finally bearing fruit. Physicians from the first VCOM-Auburn graduating class in 2019 are emerging from residency and taking root in local communities, helping to alleviate the primary care shortfall. As an example, it was recently announced that two Class of 2019 graduates, Andrew Wilkins, DO, and Mallory Waller Willis, DO, have begun their practices with East Alabama Medical Center in nearby Opelika. It is a joyous accomplishment to see VCOM-Auburn alumni begin their practices and make a difference in the lives of Alabama’s citizens and beyond. Anticipated collaborative research and educational efforts were another important part of the initial vision that brought VCOM-Auburn to the AU campus. Our faculty work alongside their peers at AU on various collaborative research projects, along with shared educational opportunities. VCOM has ongoing partnerships with the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Harrison College of Pharmacy, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the School of Kinesiology and others. These partnerships promote efforts like anti-cancer vaccine research with the College of Veterinary Medicine, urinary tract biosensor infection detection research with the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and a Culinary Medicine curriculum that was developed with the College

of Nursing. This past year, VCOM-Auburn and the Harrison College of Pharmacy strengthened ties by creating the Auburn-VCOM Institute for Clinical Research, a collaboration that seeks to advance clinical research. This institute will support and nurture large-scale faculty research efforts through training, networking, mentoring and information dissemination. Another important partnership with the University includes the VCOM-Auburn Sports Medicine Fellowship program. This one-year fellowship program is an outstanding opportunity that allows physicians to care for Division I athletes, engage in research and teach medical students, while honing their sports medicine diagnostic and treatment skills. VCOM-Auburn is honored to partner with numerous community volunteer organizations to provide health screenings for citizens and assist with efforts to help those in need. We are especially grateful for our healthcare partners throughout Alabama and the Southeast. They are a critical part of our student learning process. Serving as dean of the Auburn campus is the greatest privilege of my life and I am proud to be a part of the VCOM-Auburn family. In this endeavor, we are so thankful for our partners. Know that we are focused on and passionate about fulfilling our mission in Auburn, throughout Alabama and beyond.


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