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Renew Today!

It's that time of year to consider renewing your membership to the Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association, or joining for the first time.  We are here to support you as well as the osteopathic profession in general.  But don't take our word for it.  Hear what Pam Kolinski, AAOA President-Elect has to say about why she continues to return year after year.

"I joined the AAOA when I became a member of the SAA back in 1998(!!).  AAOA Past Presidents, Linda Adams and Shelley Weiting were two of the advisors who encouraged me from the beginning.  In addition, AAOA Past President, Rita Baker came to one of the first Michigan conventions I attended, and her energy, positivity and message inspired me.

The relationships that I've made through the AAOA will be life-long.  Among all of the other reasons to belong, the people I now call friends is my number one reason."




OMED 2015 is Coming!

Don't forget to mark your calendars for the upcoming OMED convention, and join the ADVOCATES  in all their fun!  Festivities will begin in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, October 17 and run through Monday, October 19.  These dates apply to the ADVOCATES schedule only.  

Now is a great time to already start planning for the Advocates Fore You Golf Tournament as well as the Still Fit For Life Fun Run.  For more information, see the links below.

Advocates Fore You Golf Tournament is scheduled for Saturday, October 17, 2015.


Still Fit For Life Fun Run is scheduled for Monday, October 19, 2015.

Janet Burns with the newly installed AMOA Board of Directors.

Warm Osteopathic Welcomes

by Janet Burns, AAOA President

Summer is here, or at least here in Florida.  I had a wonderful visit to three big osteopathic states this Spring: Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan.  The Ohio Symposium in Columbus was an amazing collaboration with the Ohio Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Go Bobcats!  The Advocates in Ohio held a fun meeting, and I was so impressed with the amazing work they do with their safety children’s book program, which is very osteopathic in its “prevention” content. Thank you to Barb Wills and the AOOA Board for a wonderful visit to my home state. I was truly honored to address the OOA HOD and share our upcoming OMED plans. 

APOMA is in good hands with the President Caryn Helhowski, and new Board including, Laura Hildebrand and Liz Swallow, AAOA Director.  They held a fun auction and greeted the Mummers with dancing shoes!  We had a cooking demonstration, and were able to eat the evidence of our attempts.  I was so honored to address the POMA HOD, sharing that the growth in social media is a true success of the AAOA.  APOMA has a bright future with this Board that can truly “dance all night.”  What a fun and generous group!  APOMA Rocks!
Michigan is home to our AAOA President-Elect, Pam Kolinski, and home to a full AMOA Board who are fun and dedicated Advocates.  The AMOA had a raffle, and with a little digging, I was honored to pull the winning ticket for a wine basket for Michigan’s favorite dean, Dean Strample.  The AMOA House of Delegates was impressive as they conducted their business, and incoming AMOA President Lynette Goldberger is without a doubt the most dedicated Advocate of the Osteopathic profession I have ever met.  Lynette provides organization services to the County Osteopathic Society, and has done this since 1984.  Thank you Lynette for making Michigan a better osteopathic state!  Your work is appreciated. Thanks to President Elect Jenn Magnatta, Secretary Ardis Soye and Treasurer Jo Ann Sefcik for your leadership.  We had dinner in downtown Detroit with AOA President-Elect John Becher and his wife Paula, and I can tell you personally that downtown Detroit is alive and well!  Beautiful city and beautiful people!
Into summer we go with the next stop at the Chicago July House of Delegates July 16-19.  Then when your weather gets chilly this fall, plan to attend the OMED Convention here in Orlando October 16-21, where we will still be enjoying summer.  


Special Projects:  
Deadline is Approaching

by Liz Swallow

Our Special Projects Fund is now accepting applications and the June 1 deadline is quickly approaching!  The purpose of the Special Projects Fund is to provide financial support to AAOA and its affiliates to aid in the development of projects that support Osteopathic Medicine.  The AAOA will provide a grant or matching funds up to $3,000.  For more information and to view the application materials, check out our website here.

We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to fund your project and support the osteopathic profession.  Proposals will be reviewed and then selected based on how well they match the mission of the AAOA.  If you have any questions, please contact us at

Special Note:  To keep with our new tradition of highlighting past Special Projects recipients, I encourage you to read on for more great osteopathic projects that were made possible with the assistance of AAOA.


As Janet mentioned above, the Advocates for the Ohio Osteopathic Association (AOOA) are working to distribute their children's safety activity books.  It has not been a quick project, but it is one that is filled with valuable information and will be worth all the hard work in the long run.  This is a book that has been distributed in past years, but they are working to get necessary approvals and updates to both the content and the accompanying images.  The children's safety book is an ongoing project and the Advocates are working to continue to make it better and better every year.


The Student Advocate Association (SAA) of A.T. Still University - Kirksville College of Osteopathiic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) was yet another great project that was awarded 2014 Special Projects Funds.  This last December, they continued on with their annual Angel Tree Project, providing gifts to families in need during the holidays.  The funding received from the AAOA combined with assistance from the university and community allowed the organization to provide gifts for 340 children.  

IRAA Updates

by Ashley Gillis

From Medical School to Residency 
Many of our SAA members are transitioning into the residency years, and there will be a lot of adjustments as they venture into this new territory. We would like to highlight an article written by the AAOA's current Second Vice President, Tiffany Sweeney. This article, titled “Top Ten List for Surviving Residency,” will give you some beneficial tips for the next few years alongside your spouse or significant other. 

If you are currently in the process of finding a home or would like to learn more about the area you will be moving to, the AAOA can assist in helping connect you to a member in your local area. Complete our relocation form and get connected.


SAA Updates

by Angela Kalcec

On April 23, 2015 the SAA Committee hosted a Google Hangout video chat with six SAA groups around the country, and a total of approximately 45 people in attendance.  Topics covered:  What is the AAOA? What do we do at OMED?  How can SAA members get involved at OMED, and what to expect at the SAA workshop?

 The 2nd part of our “Google Hangout” was talking about National Osteopathic Medicine Week.  Each SAA group shared their ideas on how to support and advocate for their students. Some ideas were bake sales and designing and selling Final Exam Kits to family members of the medical students.  The Google Hangout was the first National event hosted other that the SAA workshop that normally happens at OMED.  We all felt that it was a great way to connect with each other across the country and the SAA committee looks forward to hosting more of these events!

In other news, I am planning our SAA workshop for OMED 2015.   We have a very exciting speaker for our SAA Workshop.  Our speaker is Kim Blackham, LMFT and her area of expertise is “Medical Marriages.”   Ms. Blackham is a marriage and family therapist.  As Ms. Blackham states, “my passion is to see the stigma of medical marriage changed. I want to help medical couples create the relationships they’ve always wanted – right now, not at some later arbitrary point when training is over/boards are passed/they’ve adjusted to practice/kids are grown, etc.”  Ms. Blackham also invites AAOA members to join her group, 
Nurturing Medical Marriages ™  Facebook Group and connect with other medical couples dedicated to their relationship.


Remembering Laura Cifala

Laura Celeste Amalfitano Cifala, born October 6, 1919, and a long time resident of Arlington Virginia, passed away peacefully at The Village at Orchard Ridge in Winchester Virginia on Sunday, March 22, 2015. Her son, Steven and his wife Dana were at her side.  She is survived by her six children, Toni Ann Spunar, John Cifala (Suneil), JoAnn Sciretta (Fred), Michael Cifala (Bonnie), Steven Cifala (Dana) and Celeste Cifala Roy (Rene), 17 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren and her brother, Dr. Albert Amalfitano, D.O. 

Laura was born in Wilmington Delaware to Candida and Aneillo Amalfitano, Italian immigrants from the island of Ischia. She was the oldest daughter of eight children and learned to speak English as a second language when it became necessary to pass first grade in an American school.  After earning her nursing degree from St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing, she completed her post-graduate work at the Catholic University of America and pursued her passion as an Obstetric nurse at the Columbia Hospital for Woman in Washington, DC. Laura became familiar with Osteopathic medicine while supporting her brother Joseph Amalfitano in his studies to become an Osteopathic Physician.  It was Joseph that introduced Laura to her husband, the late Dr. John A. Cifala, D.O. They were married in 1944 and celebrated 68 years together.  Laura helped to build, and managed Dr. Cifala’s practice for more than 60 years in Arlington, Virginia.  In 1985 and 1986 she served as President Elect and President of the Auxiliary to the American Osteopathic Association. To date there are ten Osteopathic Physicians in the Amalfitano family including Laura’s grandson, Edmund Matthew Sciullo III.

Along with her passion for the Osteopathic profession Laura was an avid chef and gardener, seamstress and loved the ocean. She especially cherished her time with her family at her beloved beach house in Ocean City, Maryland. Her family and friends will miss her bright smile, her keen intellect, her love of life and her warm heart that she so enjoyed sharing with everyone. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association, 142 East Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60611-2864.

Copyright © 2015 Advocates for the American Osteopathic Association, All rights reserved.
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