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Student Societies

At Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, students are supported academically and emotionally through the Societies program, which is the core component of the Wellness program. Students are randomly assigned to one of the ten societies from the Fort Lauderdale Campus or of the seven societies from the Tampa Bay Regional Campus upon matriculation.  The Fort Lauderdale Societies are: Anderson, Burns, Klein, Lippman, Silvagni, Silverman, Still, Terry, Turner, and Zafonte and the Tampa Bay Regional Societies are: Blavo, Hanbury, Howell, Johnson, Patel, Sandhouse, and Wallace.

The Societies make up small communities each consisting of approximately 25 students from each class. They also consist of one Faculty Leader, two Academic Advisors, several Faculty members, and several dedicated students who serve as Peer Mentors. Students stay in the same society for the four years of medical school, which creates a more personal experience on multiple levels.

Anderson Society

William G. Anderson, DO

Dr. Anderson, who was the first African American president of the American Osteopathic Association in 1994-95, has spent his professional life enhancing, promoting, and leading osteopathic medical education and the osteopathic professions in a number of ways.  From his days as a surgeon and leader of the Civil Rights Movement in Georgia when he worked beside Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Anderson has focused not only on improving the health of his individual patients but on improving the health of the society in which his patients live.

View Anderson Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Blavo Society

Cyril Blavo, D.O., M.S., M.P.H., T.M., FACOP

Dr. Cyril Blavo, assistant dean of preclinical education at NSU-KPCOM’s Tampa Bay Regional Campus, has worked at Nova Southeastern University for more than 30 years in a variety of leadership roles and as a professor of pediatrics and public health. Dr. Blavo has received many accolades for his teaching, research, and service, including winning seven Golden Apple awards for excellence in teaching and receiving the Arnold Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award for exemplary compassion, competence, and respect in the delivery of care. He is very active in community service and is extremely passionate about global health. In his role as president and CEO of International Health Initiatives, Inc., Dr. Blavo leads several humanitarian projects around the world, including in India, Nepal, Ghana, and Haiti. Dr. Blavo, who was born in Ghana and educated in Ghana, the United Kingdom, and the United States, is proud of his tribal name Mawushie (God’s hands), which symbolizes his deep commitment to service and caring for others. The symbolism of the Blavo Society, Ut OmnesUnum (Latin for “That All May Be One”), reflects this sincere spirit.

View Blavo Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Burns Society

Louisa Burns, D.O.

One of the first women to rise to a position of prominence in osteopathic medicine was Dr. Burns, who graduated from Pacific College of Osteopathy in 1903 and became the foremost researcher in osteopathic medicine. She joined the faculty of Pacific College in 1906, where she taught physiology and acted as a clinician for the next eight years.  As her career progressed, Dr. Burns continued to hold leadership positions with osteopathic organizations such as the A.T. Still Research Institute and the Louisa Burns Osteopathic Research Laboratory.

View Burns Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Hanbury Society

George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D.

George L. Hanbury is the sixth president of Nova Southeastern University—the largest, not-for-profit, private university in Florida. He assumed the role of president and CEO in July 2011. One of his first accomplishments as president was to refocus the university’s mission and vision and lay out eight core values to guide the university into 2020 and beyond. Prior to his appointment as president, Dr. Hanbury served NSU for 12 years as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Before entering higher education administration, he had a successful 30-year career as city manager of the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Portsmouth, Virginia; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and as assistant city manager in Norfolk, Virginia. Dr. Hanbury has received numerous accolades in his career, including being a 2017 Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Laureate and City of Fort Lauderdale Walk of Fame inductee, a 2015 Sun Sentinel Excalibur Award winner, and the 2014 South Florida Business Journal Ultimate CEO honoree. He also commits much of his time to civic activities by serving on numerous boards, including the Broward Workshop Executive Committee and the Sunshine State Conference.

View Hanbury Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Howell Society

James T. Howell, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. James Howell, assistant dean of professional relations and professor of public health at NSU-KPCOM, earned his M.D. degree from New York Medical College. He served as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Services Corps and as chief of the Preventative Medical Division at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. After completing a preventive medicine residency in Palm Beach County, Florida, Dr. Howell earned a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government certificate program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. During his distinguished career, he has served in numerous senior health positions in Florida, including being the first secretary of the Florida Department of Health. Dr. Howell, who joined the NSU-KPCOM faculty in 1999, has enjoyed his second career as a medical educator, which allows him to work with outstanding future physicians, serve as a faculty adviser to clubs and societies, and assist the college’s global health activities, as well as the students’ political advocacy efforts.

View Howell Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Johnson Society

Kenneth E. Johnson, D.O, FACOOG, and Michelle Johnson, D.O.

Drs. Kenneth and Michelle Johnson both received their medical education from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Michelle Johnson completed her first two years of medical school at NSU-KPCOM and then transferred to the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she graduated with honors in 1996. She completed her family practice training at Palmetto General Hospital. Dr. Kenneth Johnson graduated from NSU-KPCOM in 1991 and then completed his OB/GYN training at Columbus Medical Center, an affiliate of Northwestern University’s medical school in Chicago, Illinois. They have dedicated their medical careers to training future osteopathic physicians and improving health care through medical research.

View Johnson Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Klein Society

Robert Klein, D.O.

Dr. Klein, who passed away in 2004, graduated from NSU-KPCOM with highest honors in 1991 and spent over a decade serving as a highly esteemed and much-beloved faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Klein, whose acute intellect led him to finishing first in the nation on levels I, II, and III of the COMLEX board exams, has a truly impressive command of medical knowledge.  However, he is best remembered for being a kind, gentle, brilliant, respected, and dedicated friend, son, colleague, and physician.

View Klein Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Lippman Society

Fred Lippman, Ed.D.

Dr. Lippman has made tremendous contributions to the osteopathic medical profession as well as the overall health care landscape. During his long and distinguished career, Dr. Lippman served as a 20-year member (1978-1998) of the Florida House of Representatives and became known as the “father” of Florida’s Area Health Education Center (AHEAC) Program. Thanks to his efforts, NSU-KPCOM’s AHEC Program was established in 1985, becoming the state’s inaugural AHEC.

View Lippman Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Patel Society

Kiran C. Patel, M.D.

Dr. Kiran C. Patel earned his medical degree in Ahmedabad, India, and practiced in Zambia before moving to the United States with his wife, Pallavi Patel, M.D., on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. He then attended New York’s Columbia University, where he earned a specialization in cardiology. After relocating to the Tampa Bay, Florida, area in 1982, Dr. Patel became recognized as a distinguished cardiologist, but he had a further mission— to make health care efficient, affordable, and accessible. In 2017, Dr. Patel and his wife made a $200-million commitment to NSU that allowed the university to expand its programs in osteopathic medicine and health care sciences. The financial commitment included a $50-million gift and an additional $150-million real estate and facility investment that led to the creation of the new Tampa Bay Regional Campus in Clearwater. Additionally, Dr. Patel is chair of the Patel Foundation for Global Understanding—a nonprofit organization that develops and funds a variety of programs in health, education, arts, and culture.

View Patel Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Sandhouse Society

Mark Sandhouse, D.O., M.S.

Dr. Sandhouse, an alumnus of KPCOM and the first OPP Fellow, has spent his professional life advancing the knowledge and use of Osteopathic principles in the practice of medicine. As a member of the KPCOM faculty, Dr. Sandhouse has worked with the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners and the Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles to codify osteopathic terminology and curriculum content on a national level; ensure that the national board examinations align with the nationally standardized curriculum; and maintain the integrity and validity of the board examinations. Dr. Sandhouse continues to advance the principles of Osteopathic medicine by serving as a clinical role model for students, residents and fellows.

View Sandhouse Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Silverman Society

Bradley I. Silverman, D.O.

Dr. Silverman, who passed away in 1999, was a beloved member of NSU-COM’s charter graduating class in 1985.  During his career, he became passionately involved in the breast cancer field and went on to becoming chief of surgery and then chief of staff elect at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center.  In 1998, Dr. Silverman made a significant contribution to the medical field by pioneering a new procedure called sentinel node dissection that helped make breast cancer surgical procedures significantly less invasive.

View Silverman Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Silvagni Society

Anthony J. Silvagni, D.O. Pharm.D.

Dr. Silvagni has implemented numerous innovative ideas to trigger the growth and accomplishments that have occurred since he became dean of NSU-COM in 1998.  As a result of his commitment to providing students with the most comprehensive educational experience possible, Dr. Silvagni has helped implement an array of enhancements that includes increased emphasis on local and international missions, establishment of an OSCE curriculum that uses standardized patients in medical student/resident training, and dramatic increase in faculty/student-driven research.

View Silvagni Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Still Society

A. T. Still, M.D. , D.O.

In 1874, Dr. Still established a new system of medicine called osteopathy, which centered on methods of diagnosis and treatment that relied on the belief that the human being should be treated as a unit.  Through experimentation and clinical observation, Dr. Still developed the art of osteopathic treatment, applied directly to the musculoskeletal system.  In 1892, he developed the first formal classes in the teaching of osteopathic medicine in Kirksville, Missouri, and established the American School of Osteopathy-the first osteopathic medical school in the nation.

View Still Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Terry Society

Morton Terry, D.O.

When Dr. Terry passed away on January 11, 2004, he left behind an extraordinary professional legacy that will continue to live on through the six colleges and numerous programs that comprise NSU’s Health Professions Division.  Throughout his legendary life, Dr. Terry masterminded a number of bricks-and-mortar successes, including Osteopathic General Hospital, Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine (SECOM), Southeastern University of the Health Sciences- and the historic merging of Southeastern University with Nova Southeastern University in 1994.

View Terry Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Turner Society

James Turner, D.O.

Dr. Turner, who graduated from SECOM-the precursor to NSU-KPCOM in 1988, has spent the past two decades establishing an illustrious career dedicated to service at the community, stated, and national level.  Dr. Turner served as director of emergency medicine at the Charleston Area Medical Center and as an emergency physician at New Century Emergency Physicians of West Virginia, Inc.  Other points of distinction for Dr. Turner encompass numerous publications, lectures, and accolades that include the NSU-COM Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award in 1999.

View Turner Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Wallace Society

Elaine M. Wallace, D.O., M.S., M.S., M.S., M.S.

Dr. Elaine Wallace, who serves as the fifth dean of NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been a lifelong leader in medical education. Her career highlights include developing new techniques in osteopathic manipulative medicine (torque unwinding), creating one of the first standardized patient programs in the United States, introducing a spirituality curriculum into osteopathic education, and developing and leading medical outreach programs. Dr. Wallace’s life work embodies the osteopathic attention to mind, body, and spirit.

View Wallace Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members

Zafonte Society

Ross Zafonte, D.O.

Although it has been over two decades since Dr. Zafonte graduated from the inaugural SECOM class in 1985, he has never lost touch with the institution that provided him with this entrée into the osteopathic profession.  In fact, he became the first alumnus to participate in NSU-KPCOM’s academical societies by making a sizeable contribution to a worthy cause.  Dr. Zafonte serves as a chairperson of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts and the chief of physical medicine & rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Dr. Zafonte also as principal investigator on a number of federal grants.

View Zafonte Society Leader, Advisors, and Faculty Members
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