FORT SMITH, AR (April 20, 2016) – The Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) has been granted Continued pre-accreditation by the American Osteopathic Association Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA) at its April 16-17, 2016 meeting held in Chicago, Illinois.   This decision gives ARCOM the ability to recruit students immediately for the inaugural class, with granting of provisional accreditation status effective July 1. This is a critical step in the development of the new College of Osteopathic Medicine located at 7000 Chad Colley Blvd. in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

“ARCOM has been in active development since 2014 and has worked tirelessly for this day,” states Kenneth A. Heiles, DO, Dean and Chief Academic Officer.  “We are very excited to begin the process of recruiting for a class of 150 students to start in August 2017.  We will begin rapidly expanding the number of faculty and staff hired to meet the needs of the school.”

“In March of 2013 the Fort Smith Regional Healthcare Foundation decided to ‘move the needle’ to help alleviate the shortage of physicians and to improve access to care,” stated Kyle D. Parker, JD, President & CEO. “From that day forward we received incredible support from the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, the City of Fort Smith, the EDA, the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce, and a $14,000,000 anonymous gift.  This allowed us to construct and equip one of the finest medical school facilities in the country. Today, we are no longer a ‘proposed’ school, we are now officially the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine. This is truly an economic and cultural game changer for the region.”

The mission of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) is to educate and train compassionate osteopathic physicians, skilled in the science of patient-centered osteopathic medical care, dedicated to the ethical and social principles of the osteopathic profession, committed to lifelong learning, and focused on service to the underserved.  This mission will be accomplished at the undergraduate and graduate medical education levels through excellence in teaching, research, service, and scholarly activity.

In keeping with the above stated mission, ARCOM continues to develop clinical rotations for students and Graduate Medical Education programs for residents. The goal is to keep the students and residents in the areas they train. With that goal in mind, ARCOM will be able to assist in alleviating the health care shortage in the state one physician at a time.

The school will be housed in a brand new, state of the art, 102,000 square foot building, located at Chaffee Crossing. The building is equipped with two large auditoriums, two small lecture halls and various other learning venues.  The integration of technology into the building will allow for the delivery of a system-based curriculum that relies heavily on team-based learning.  The facility has a large amount of space dedicated to simulation training as well as standardized student-patient interaction.  The building is anticipated for completion in June 2016.