Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Lab


Officials Celebrate Opening of NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University

June 2, 2016

Leaders from New York Institute of Technology, Arkansas State University, and government cut the ribbon today on the new home for NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University (A-State) in a ceremony celebrating the two universities’ partnership and commitment to educating physicians to help improve the health of Arkansas and Delta region residents.

Historic Wilson Hall, which previously housed social sciences and humanities departments at A-State’s Jonesboro campus, was rededicated to serve as NYITCOM’s new location, where 115 students will begin classes in August. During the past 18 months, the Art Deco-style building underwent a comprehensive renovation to incorporate new medical education classrooms and laboratories, an auditorium, study spaces and offices, and modern technology that connects the facility to NYIT-Old Westbury.

“We do think we have the best partner possible,” said NYIT President Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., who joined A-State and NYIT leaders, Congressman Rick Crawford, and Governor Asa Hutchinson in the ceremony and lauded the “progressive collaboration” between the two institutions. “We’re proud to be part of this. Human capital is what we create, and it’s needed in the community. It’s a blessing to have that opportunity.”

A-State Chancellor Tim Hudson said R.E. Lee Wilson would be proud of the renovation, restoration, and preservation of the elegant building that bears his name.

“Wow. What a day and what a journey,” Hudson said. “We’re not just transforming a building, we’re indeed transforming an entire region.”

Charles Welch, Ed.D., president of the Arkansas State University System, called NYIT “the crème de la crème of medical education” and “the absolute best partner we could have ever had.”

A crowd of more than 250 watched Guiliano, Welch, Hudson, and other university administrators, the local health community, and those responsible for the building renovation cut a red ribbon to officially rededicate Wilson Hall. New medical students joined the celebration and enjoyed tours of sunlit labs outfitted with large wall-mounted screens and shiny new equipment.

A public-private medical education partnership

Barbara Ross-Lee, NYIT Vice President for Health Sciences and Medical Affairs and founding dean of NYITCOM at A-State, noted the “remarkable progress” of securing approval from the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, recruiting students, and opening the location just three years after the two universities initially met.

Ross-Lee said numerous partners, including elected officials, regional federal authorities, the Jonesboro business sector, ASU alumni, healthcare institutions in the state and region, and health insurers – specifically Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arkansas – contributed to making NYITCOM at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro a reality.

“We have the awesome responsibility to educate our students not just for today but for the way medicine will be practiced seven to 10 years from now,” she said, adding that in a decade, nearly 1,000 new physicians will be in the pipeline as student-doctors or graduates from the new location; many are expected to remain in the community to help improve local and regional healthcare.

NYITCOM has admitted 124 students and has a waiting list of more than 150 competitive applicants for the inaugural class. Forty-eight percent of admitted students are from Arkansas, 88% are from Arkansas and other Delta states, and 14% are under-represented minorities. The new students will receive their white coats, marking their entry into medical education, in a ceremony on Aug. 5.

Governor Asa Hutchinson praised NYIT and A-State for a partnership that will help meet the state’s needs. “You’re doing it in an innovative way that doesn’t strain the budget,” he added. “We appreciate your investment and partnership here.”

“We’re so unbelievably blessed”

Prior to the ceremony, Guiliano, Ross-Lee, Vice President for Medical Affairs and Global Health Jerry Balentine, NYITCOM Dean Wolfgang Gilliar, D.O., and Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs Shane Speights, D.O., welcomed newly admitted students in Preview Day activities. Students watched a demonstration of osteopathic manipulative medicine and participated in a case study presentation by Peter Dane, D.O.

Gilliar said the renovation of Wilson Hall was a “renaissance” that changed the building’s interior structure to fulfill its function of preparing doctors of the future, much like osteopathic medicine celebrates and recognize the connection between structure and function within the human body.

“If you ask me, I know exactly what the future of medicine will look like – it will look like you,” he told nearly 75 students and their parents. “The U.S. badly needs a people-centered medical system.”

As they toured the building and admired its new classrooms and facilities after the ceremony, soon-to-be roommates Landon Jackson and Jackson Bagby talked about their enthusiasm to be among the members of the inaugural class.

“I’m just ready to start the path to fulfill a lifelong dream,” said Bagby, an Arkansas resident. “I’m excited to see osteopathic medicine come to Arkansas. We’re so unbelievably blessed.”

“NYIT offers one of the best medical educations in the nation,” added Jackson, a resident of Greenbriar, Ark. “I am incredibly excited and super-pumped.”