Karen Nichols, D.O., dean of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University, recently was sworn in as the 114th president and first female leader of the American Osteopathic Association, a Chicago-based organization with 41,640 members. Nichols, 61, replaces Larry Wickless, D.O., a Farmington Hills, Mich.-based gastroenterologist, who told AOA members that, regarding healthcare reform, "We've just completed round one of a 15-round fight." Martin Levine, D.O., who has family practices in Bayonne and Jersey City, N.J., was named president-elect. Levine's father, Howard Levine, was the 1997-98 AOA president. Nichols practiced for 17 years in Mesa, Ariz., and served as an assistant dean at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale before moving to Illinois. In her address, Nichols pledged to keep working for reforms that focus on team-based care through the patient-centered medical home, comprehensive medical liability reform and the permanent repeal of the sustainable growth-rate formula for Medicare reimbursement. "The thing we have to remember is that politics is like the air we breathe: You may not like the smell of it, but you still have to breathe," Nichols said. "There is no other process." Nichols also promised to help osteopathic physicians to run their practices like "a lean, clean, green machine," and to work toward markedly increasing the number of osteopathic residency and fellowship positions.
Nichols sworn in as AOA president
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