Foundation Hosts First Confluence of Northwest States With A Focus On Osteopathic Education

In April of 2005, the Foundation hosted the first of a number of “Confluence of Northwest States” which were designed to create a shared vision for the future of osteopathic medicine in the northwest.

Foundation co-Presidents Edward Heusch DO and Terry Connor DO worked for almost a year for an event they hoped would bring together 20 to 25 people. The event was a huge success when over 70 gathered together in Portland! Attendees included representatives from the five northwest osteopathic state associations (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington), leadership from national osteopathic organizations and osteopathic medical schools, and pre-med advisors from colleges and universities in the Northwest. “The validity and necessity of this confluence can be found in those numbers,” said Dr. Heusch.

“The goal of the Confluence was to enhance osteopathic medical education in the Northwest and to encourage greater opportunities to think and act regionally.” Edward Heusch DO

“It will be a mutual accountability process that will hold us all together because it will encourage as honest engagement between the Board of Directors in Portland and the Foundations’ shareholders all across the Northwest.
“It is not simply a question of having a vision and great strategies, it is a question of whether each of us, every osteopathic entity which lives in or does business in the Pacific Northwest will be motivated to consistently think and act upon what is best for the osteopathic medical profession in the Pacific Northwest.”
Terry Connor DO

What came from this first of several Confluence events hosted by the Foundation was a belief and commitment that the osteopathic community would work in partnership to develop the following:

  • More and better coordinated 3rd and 4th-year osteopathic clinical rotation
  • Additional Graduate Medical Education programs
  • Expanded Continuing Medical Education opportunities
  • Regional and local programs for pre-med students and support for pre-med advisors highlighting osteopathic medicine
  • The development of Northwest Osteopathic Medical Schools

More than 15 years later, the Northwest is one of the fastest-growing regions in osteopathic medicine, thanks to our four medical schools and continuing growth in graduate medical education. The Foundation certainly can’t take credit for everything that has happened in those years, be we can certainly take pride in being at the root of much of this growth.