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Thacker and Clemmons Accept New Leadership Roles at ACOM

On behalf of the Dean’s Cabinet, we are pleased to announce Richard R. Thacker, DO, MACOI, has been named associate dean of Clinical Sciences and Martin Sinclair Clemmons, DO, FACOI, will assume the role of interim associate dean of Clinical Resources.

Prior to taking over his new role, Dr. Thacker served as associate dean of Clinical Resources for more than two years. As associate dean of Clinical Sciences, he will oversee clinical curriculum, including collaboration with the clerkship directors, course directors and the Curriculum Committee.

In addition to his new role Dr. Clemmons will continue as department chair of Primary Care in the division of Clinical Sciences. As interim associate dean of Clinical Resources, he will oversee third- and fourth-year clinical training through ACOM’s expansive network of hospitals, clinics and preceptors.

Please join us in congratulating and supporting Dr. Thacker and Dr. Clemmons in their new leadership roles.

Thacker and Clemmons Accept New Leadership Roles at ACOM2023-10-24T17:07:10-05:00

Sara-Bethany Weir, DO Joins ACOM Ashford Clinic

Southeast Health and the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) are pleased to announce that Sara-Bethany Weir, DO, board-certified in Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, has joined the Ashford Clinic medical team.

In addition to practicing at the clinic, Dr. Weir is also an assistant professor of Family Medicine in the Clinical Sciences division at ACOM.

Dr. Weir, a 2018 graduate of ACOM and a native of Ozark, comes back to the Wiregrass from Lansing, Michigan, where she served as a family practice physician at Sparrow Medical Group Holt, which is part of Sparrow Hospital. She completed her residency at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan.

In addition to earning her medical degree at ACOM, Dr. Weir received her dual Bachelor of Science degrees in biomedical and nutrition science from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.

The ACOM Ashford Clinic is managed by the Southeast Health Medical Group with clinical support provided through the medical college. The clinic’s medical director is Justin G. Hovey, MD, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. The clinic also allows ACOM medical students a hands-on patient experience in a rural clinic setting.

Dr. Weir’s husband, Connor Weir, DO, who is also an ACOM graduate, is a general surgeon at Southeast Health Surgery Clinic.

Sara-Bethany Weir, DO Joins ACOM Ashford Clinic2023-10-13T11:09:36-05:00

ACOM Received Prestigious Diversity Award

DOTHAN, Ala – The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) is proud to announce it has received the 2023 Health Professions Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award. The award was announced earlier today by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education.

The HEED Award is a national honor recognizing U.S. health colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. ACOM is proud to be one of 62 other recipients nationwide that will be featured in November/December issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine.

This accolade is a testament to ACOM’s pursuit of excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).  The application process for this award is a comprehensive and rigorous self-evaluation that required us to delve deep into our policies, strategies, programs, initiatives, demographics, and protocols.

“At ACOM, we believe in the profound impact of embracing diversity, which enriches the very fabric of our community and elevates the educational experience, Susie White, MA, contracts and policy manager/interim DEI officer. “We hold in high regard and celebrate the unique perspectives, backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences that each member brings to our institution.  This fosters a unifying environment where every individual is treated with the utmost respect and dignity.”

“The Health Professions HEED Award process consists of a comprehensive and rigorous application that includes questions relating to the recruitment and retention of students and employees — and best practices for both — continued leadership support for diversity, and other aspects of campus diversity and inclusion,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We take a detailed approach to reviewing each application in deciding who will be named a Health Professions HEED Award recipient. Our standards are high, and we look for schools where diversity and inclusion are woven into the work being done every day across their campus.”

Other recipients of the 2023 INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions HEED Award are:

T. Still University of Health Studies

Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, University of California, Davis

Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

California State University Los Angeles, Patricia A. Chin School of Nursing

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

FDU Health at Fairleigh Dickinson University

Frontier Nursing University

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College

Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston, Texas

Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

Kansas City University

Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine

Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

MGH Institute of Health Professions

New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing

Nova Southeastern University College of Optometry

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Purdue University

School of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

State University of New York at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine

State University of New York College of Optometry

Texas A&M University Irma Lerma Rangel School of Pharmacy

The Medical College of Wisconsin

The Medical University of South Carolina

The Ohio State University College of Medicine

The Ohio State University College of Nursing

The Ohio State University College of Optometry

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy

The Ohio State University College of Public Health

The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix

The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York

Tulane School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

University of California Riverside School of Medicine

University of California Irvine School of Medicine

University of California, Davis, School of Medicine

University of Cincinnati College of Nursing

University of Cincinnati James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy

University of Cincinnati College of Allied Health Sciences

University of Florida College of Dentistry

University of Florida College of Pharmacy

University of Houston Andy and Barbara Gessner College of Nursing

University of Kentucky, College of Medicine, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

University of Louisville Health Sciences Center

University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Nursing

University of Michigan Medical School – Michigan Medicine

University of Minnesota School of Nursing

University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine

University of Rochester School of Nursing

University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

University of Virginia School of Medicine

University of Wisconsin–Madison, School of Pharmacy

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

Virginia Commonwealth University, College of Health Professions

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

Weill Cornell Medicine

For more information about the 2023 INSIGHT Into Diversity Health Professions HEED Award, visit For more information about ACOM, visit

ACOM Received Prestigious Diversity Award2023-10-11T12:02:05-05:00

ACOM Holds Open House For New Pavilion

The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) held an open house event recently to officially unveil their new open-air pavilion. This facility will serve as a multi-purpose space, seating up to 224, and will be available for student and staff events, teaching opportunities, recreation, and more.

This project was approved by the ACOM Board of Directors in mid-2022, and groundbreaking on the pavilion took place Fall of that year. This pavilion is conceptualized to also include a still-in-progress community garden, which will include fruit and vegetable-producing plants. This addition is the campus’s latest expansion that will offer unique opportunities for learning.

The new pavilion and community garden were envisioned and planned with the assistance of many faculty and staff. This project represents ACOM’s continued commitment to its core values through the development of innovative areas for enhanced learning and campus life.

ACOM Holds Open House For New Pavilion2023-10-10T10:37:48-05:00

ACOM Students Present at Grow Southeast Alabama Meeting

Cassandra Abrams and Lauren Feaster, second year students (OMS II) recently attended the monthly meeting for Grow Southeast Alabama to discuss their research on rural healthcare.

The ACOM students presented their research project during the meeting on access to healthcare in rural areas of Alabama and how a mobile clinic could benefit an area. Establishing medical care for underserved rural communities is a topic that is familiar to ACOM with a recent groundbreaking of a new clinic in Taylor, Alabama, which will join our existing ACOM Ashford Clinic in Ashford, Alabama. This passion is reflected in ACOM students like Cassandra and Lauren. Their passion and hard work on this research project is admirable, and their acknowledgment by Grow Southeast Alabama is a tremendous accomplishment.

Grow Southeast Alabama is an organization representing 11 Alabama counties working together to market the region, also known as the “Wiregrass”, towards opportunities for cultural and economic growth and development. In addition to target industries such as aerospace, agriculture, fabrication, manufacturing, automotive, and logistics, Grow Southeast Alabama is also working towards promoting and advancing healthcare-related industries in southeast Alabama.

ACOM Students Present at Grow Southeast Alabama Meeting2023-09-25T14:42:34-05:00

ACOM Breaks Ground on Taylor Clinic

Southeast Health’s Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine recently broke ground on what will be the home to ACOM’s Taylor Clinic. The facility, located at 39 Windy Hill Road, will serve the Taylor community and surrounding areas and will allow for expanded service to our Wiregrass surrounding communities.

During the ceremony, which took place on September 7th, 2023, remarks were made by James C. Jones, DO, FACEP, Dean of ACOM; Justin G. Hovey, MD, who will serve as medical director of the clinic; and Taylor Mayor, Billy M. Snell Jr.

“People in rural areas have poorer health outcomes because of distance to care and even cost of care.” according to Dr. Justin Hovey.

The clinic will double as an opportunity for ACOM students to get hands-on learning experience at the clinic while delivering quality health care to the community.

The idea to bring the clinic to Taylor came in part from Mayor Billy Snell, as the facility is being built his family property. Many people in the city have to travel outside of Taylor for medical care, including Mayor Snell. This motivated him to find a better solution to best use the property.

Snell said it means the world to know that this clinic could potentially save lives and improve the overall health of the community.

Work on the clinic has already begun and it is expected to be completed in a years time.

ACOM Breaks Ground on Taylor Clinic2023-09-13T10:09:30-05:00

Public Notice: COCA Visit Information and Third-Party Comment Instructions

Preparing for a Comprehensive Site Visit with COCA

We’re pleased to announce that ACOM is in the midst of preparing for our upcoming Comprehensive Site Visit, an important evaluation by our accrediting body: the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). This event is scheduled to take place from December 4th to 7th, 2023.

The Comprehensive Site Visit holds importance as it serves as a comprehensive review aimed at addressing all COCA standards. This evaluation process involves an in-depth, on-site assessment, where COCA examines ACOM’s adherence to accreditation standards in detail.

Central to this visit is our dedicated Self-Study, an introspective report compiled by ACOM. This comprehensive self-assessment is submitted to COCA, showcasing our commitment to complying with all COCA standards. You may connect with COCA to share your thoughts on ACOM’s Comprehensive Site Visit and Self-Study:

Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation

Address: 142 E. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60611-2864

Phone: (312) 202-8124


Thank you for your support as we work diligently to achieve our accreditation goals and enhance the quality of education at ACOM.

Public Notice: COCA Visit Information and Third-Party Comment Instructions2023-08-24T09:32:41-05:00

Southeast Health Named to the Forbes Best-in-State Employers 2023 List

DOTHAN, Ala – Southeast Health is proud to announce for the second year in a row, we have been named to the Forbes list of Best-in-State Employers.

This prestigious award is presented by Forbes and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider. The awards list was announced today, and it can currently be viewed on the Forbes website.

America’s Best-in-State Employers 2023 were identified in an independent survey based on a vast sample of Americans working for companies with more than 500 employees in the USA. Participants were asked whether or not they would recommend their employer to friends and family, and to evaluate their employer based on criteria including working conditions, diversity, salary, potential for development and company image.

“There is no complicated formula to becoming a Best-in-State-Employer. Simply put, it starts and ends with great employees who are committed to providing excellent patient care in a safe environment, as well as educating future physicians. It is their dedication to this organization and community that allowed us to receive this prestigious award.” said Rick Sutton, chief executive officer of Southeast Health. “I am proud of our Southeast Health team for giving of themselves daily in service to the community, our patients and our students. We don’t do it for awards or recognition, we do it because service is in our heart, and we believe every patient and student deserves access to your very best.”


Sutton went on to say, unsolicited recognitions like this confirm we are moving in the right direction to improve quality and safety, along with patient and student satisfaction. As we continue to garner awards for quality, safety and Best-in-State employer, we enhance our reputation as a preferred healthcare provider and top osteopathic medical school.


About Southeast Health

Southeast Health, which includes the region’s largest not-for-profit hospital, is a community-based academic health system dedicated to improving health and wellness for residents of southeast Alabama, southwest Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. Southeast Health system includes the Medical Center, Medical Group, Foundation, Statera Network, and the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM). The Medical Center is a 420 bed regional referral center serving more than 460,000 residents. It is one of three certified Comprehensive Stroke Centers in Alabama, and is recognized as a Level II Trauma Center and Chest Pain Center. In addition, Southeast Health has the region’s only NICU with specialty trained neonatologists

Southeast Health Named to the Forbes Best-in-State Employers 2023 List2023-08-22T14:15:27-05:00

ACOM Brings Home Fifth National Simulation Championship in Seven Years

The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) continued its dominance last week of the national simulation competition by claiming its fifth national championship in the last seven years.

Since 2017, ACOM has also won three international championships.

The most recent national championship came June 15-17 in Phoenix, Arizona as ACOM bested seven other teams vying for the crown, which included two teams from ACOM. The other schools represented were: Armed Forces College of Medicine/Egypt, University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), Universidad Autonoma de Gaudalajara School of Medicine (UAG Owls), Yale School of Medicine and Instituto Technologico de Santo Dimingo.

The “Biohazards,” which was comprised of all first-year female students, included, Hannah Rose Mixon (Captain), Sireen Salin Hilo, Sandra Fanous, Sanjana Rasamsetti and Sonia Patel.

“I’m proud of this team of first-year students,” John T. Giannini Jr, MD, associate professor of Internal Medicine/director of Simulation said. “This championship speaks to the simulation program and the integral component it plays in ACOM’s curriculum and training. They are seeing the same cases in the simulation lab that they are learning about in the classroom.”

In addition to Dr. Giannini, the simulation program faculty includes Jim Nolin, FNP-C, instructor of Primary Clinical Skills, Dianne Walker, simulation curriculum coordinator, Justin Bonds, simulation technology specialist and four sim fellows.

“We are proud that this success represents the solid and strong foundation of medical education that all of our students receive,” said James C. Jones, DO, FACEP, ACOM Dean. “This is reinforced through their training in the simulation center.”

Dr. Giannini, Mr. Nolin and Ms. Walker, who head ACOM’s program, are well respected in the simulation world.

ACOM Brings Home Fifth National Simulation Championship in Seven Years2023-06-22T15:12:44-05:00

ACOM Faculty and Alumni Present at DO Day 2023

The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM) was the most represented osteopathic medical school at this year’s DO Day event, with personnel featured in three different informational sessions.

Dr. Richard Thacker, ACOM’s Associate Dean of Clinical Resources, presented on the bill-making process, as it pertains to healthcare and education-related bills. Meanwhile, ACOM Alumni Dr. Aerial Petty and Dr. Shawn Hamm presented during the Strengthening the Physician Workforce, and The Current State of Congressional Committee Work sessions, respectively.

DO Day is an advocacy event held annually by the American Osteopathic Association. It is the profession’s largest public policy and advocacy event and is hosted in conjunction with National Osteopathic Medicine Week (NOM Week). This year’s event took place from April 15-20, and included a virtual conference as well as in-person congressional meetings.

ACOM Faculty and Alumni Present at DO Day 20232023-06-20T10:58:29-05:00
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