Heritage College Executive Dean repeats as COCA chair

Also heads AACOM Assembly of Presidents
Sep 19, 2016

(ATHENS, Ohio) Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Executive Dean Kenneth Johnson, D.O., was recently re-appointed to his position as chair of the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation. This commission, part of the American Osteopathic Association, is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical colleges.

As COCA chair, Johnson is responsible for providing leadership and guidance to the commission, particularly in the area of policy development and review of existing policies.

The COCA chair appointment, like all appointments to the commission, is made by the president of AOA. Johnson was first appointed to this important position in 2014 by then-incoming AOA President Robert S. Juhasz, D.O. At the last AOA House of Delegates in July, he was re-appointed to another two-year term by newest AOA President Boyd R. Buser, D.O.

Johnson was also recently elected to serve as president of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s Assembly of Presidents, which is a position on the executive committee of AACOM’s Board of Deans. The Assembly of Presidents is an AACOM committee made up of chief executives of osteopathic medical schools, which advises the Board of Deans on AACOM policies, affairs and activities.

The Assembly of Presidents elects its leaders from a slate of candidates put together by a nominating committee. Johnson became Chair of the Assembly on July 1 when the previous chair’s term ended. He had been elected at an AACOM Board of Trustees meeting in April.

“I’m honored that incoming AOA President Buser has reappointed me to this important leadership position, particularly at a time when accreditation issues are front and center in the field of osteopathic medicine,” Johnson said. “I also look forward to continuing to help shape policies that will affect all our osteopathic medical schools in my new role with the AACOM Assembly of Presidents.”

New AOA President Buser is dean of the University of Pikeville Kentucky-College of Osteopathic Medicine and also serves as the university’s vice president for health affairs. KYCOM is one of three regional osteopathic medical schools, along with the Heritage College and Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tennessee, that are founding members of the Central Appalachian Consortium of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. CACCOM was created with the mission of improving health care access for medically underserved populations in central Appalachia.

Heritage College faculty member Jennifer Gwilym, D.O. (’03), an assistant professor of family medicine at the Heritage College, Athens, serves as an at-large member of COCA. Her three-year term runs through next year.