[October 22, 2020 – Ivins, UT] On Friday, October 16th, the American Osteopathic Foundation (AOF)—an organization that supports programs and initiatives that promote osteopathic medicine—hosted a virtual Honors Gala that recognized several physicians for their work in advancing the osteopathic profession. Among those recognized was David J. Park, DO, FACOFP, FAAFP, Vice President and Campus Dean of Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine - Southern Utah campus, who was awarded the W. Douglas Ward, PhD, Educator of the Year Award for his significant impact on the education of osteopathic students.
The recipient of the Educator of the Year Award must demonstrate a number of qualities to even be considered eligible for the honor including leadership skills, compassion as an educator, and a commitment to osteopathic medicine and the profession. In addition to establishing and overseeing the RVU-SU campus, Dr. Park has created the Academic Medicine and Leadership Track, which aims to develop future physician faculty and leaders in academic medicine, medical organizations, and in the overall U.S. healthcare system.
“He’s put a lot of work and effort to build this campus and he provided a great culture where we all felt welcomed and supported.”, states Emily Jensen, OMS IV. “He really emulated all the core values that our school stands for; one of those specifically was innovation.”
Samuel Zarbock, OMS IV, a student in the AML Track, was quoted as saying that “Throughout my undergraduate and graduate experience, I have never seen a professor—let alone a dean—invest in the personal development of a student like Dr. Park. He cares about each of us individually and takes time to praise, instruct, and build us individually.”
Most recently, Dr. Park was selected to serve a three-year term on the Bureau of Osteopathic Education, which oversees the full continuum of osteopathic medical education and makes recommendations directly to the American Osteopathic Association’s Board of Trustees. In this role, he will provide governance oversight on several issues related to graduate medical education and continuing medical education.
Dr. Park joined RVU in 2015 and was tasked with overseeing the opening of Rocky Vista University’s new campus in Ivins, Utah. Prior to RVU, he served as Chair of the Department of Primary Care and Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education at Touro University of Nevada College of Osteopathic Medicine and as Chief Academic Officer for the TUMEC Osteopathic Postdoctoral Training Institution. He was also the founding Program Director for the Family Medicine Residency Program at Valley Hospital in Las Vegas, NV.
The official award announcement from the AOF can be found here.