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Shining stars of profession honored during OMED 2018

By AOA Staff


During OMED 2018, the American Osteopathic Association recognized leaders of the osteopathic medical profession for their distinguished service and efforts to inspire and mentor the next generation of DOs.

The following leaders were honored at the conference:

Distinguished Service Certificate honorees

This award—the AOA’s highest honor—recognizes leaders who have made outstanding contributions toward advancing the osteopathic medical profession in science, philanthropy, education or other fields of public service. This year’s winners are Michael B. Clearfield, DO, and Kathleen S. Creason, MBA.

Dr. Clearfield, dean of the Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Vallejo, California, is nationally known as a leader in research on cholesterol management and prevention of cardiovascular disease. He was the co-primary investigator for the Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study, which found that using cholesterol-lowering statins in men and women with average cholesterol levels could prevent angina, heart attack and death. He has been honored many times as a research scholar and mentor, and has attributed his achievements in heart disease prevention research to the osteopathic approach.

He has held leadership roles in many organizations promoting osteopathic education and research. Prior to his position at Touro, Dr. Clearfield chaired the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine for 20 years. At both colleges, he stressed the importance of osteopathic medical education and research, especially encouraging scholarly activity demonstrating the distinctiveness of osteopathic medicine.

As the former executive director of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California (OPSC), Creason enhanced the position and visibility of osteopathic medicine in California through her strategic and successful direction of the state’s osteopathic medical professional association. During her tenure, Creason strengthened OPSC by doubling its membership, developing value-added programs and services, and achieving financial stability. Focusing on increased advocacy and public relations, she effectively educated decision-makers and the public about osteopathic physicians.

A leader at the national level, Creason served as president of the Association of Osteopathic State Executive Directors in 2009–2010. She won the 2009 Bob E. Jones Executive Director Award and served on several AOA committees and bureaus.

Mentor of the Year

Established in 2004, the Mentor of the Year award recognizes DOs who have gone above and beyond in promoting osteopathic philosophy, principles and practices among osteopathic medical students, interns, residents and new DOs. This year’s winner is Dan Miulli, DO, who practices in Colton and Riverside, California, where he is the program director of a neurosurgery residency program.

Stacey Podkovik, DO, one of six individuals to nominate Dr. Miulli, wrote in her nomination that she chose a neurosurgical residency in part due to his passion for advancing osteopathic medicine in the field.

“As a result of spending time with [Dr. Miulli] and observing the way he approaches complex problems, I have begun to push myself to think about how I can better my own understanding to truly help patients,” Dr. Podkovik wrote in her nomination.

Another nominator, Marc Billings, DO said Dr. Miulli’s guidance encouraged him to become a more active member of the profession, from serving on hospital committees to participating at a state and national level.

“He takes the time to understand people, their thought processes, and how they learn. His interactive instruction and mentorship is then individualized to what that individual needs to succeed,” Dr. Billings wrote in his nomination.