Kenneth Heiles Named Dean of Proposed Fort Smith Osteopathic Medical School

by Lee Hogan  on Thursday, May. 15, 2014 10:39 am  

Kenneth A. Heiles, D.O.

The proposed osteopathic medical school at Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith now has a dean.

Dr. Kenneth A. Heiles, on Wednesday, was named dean of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education and the proposed Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Smith.

Kyle Parker, president and CEO of ACHE, said Heiles was "the key hire" needed to ensure the best program for the proposed school. Parker referred to Heiles as "one of the most respected and influential deans at both the state and national levels."

"He will be instrumental in developing graduate medical education in and for both the state of Arkansas and the nation," Parker said in the news release.

Heiles, currently the American College of Osteopathic Physicians Chair of the Committee on Education and Evaluation, said he was excited to have the opportunity to shape the future of the proposed medical school.

"This will be a tremendous asset to western Arkansas and the entire state and make great strides in helping fill the need for medical professionals," he said in the release.

Cole Goodman, M.D., president of Mercy Clinic in Fort Smith, said Heiles' hiring will fast-track the process of setting up a curricula and hiring faculty while the construction of the college begins.

"Dr. Heiles as dean of the osteopathic college is a major step in making the proposed COM a reality," Goodman said in the release.

In February, the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority donated 200 acres to the project. The Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation has also approved $58 million for the school, which is hoped to be opened in the fall of 2017.

"Our mission clearly states that we have a responsibility to fill gaps in health care and provide care for the medically underserved," Parker said in February. 

The project is supported by the Arkansas Osteopathic Medical Association.

Arkansas State University Osteopathic Medical School



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