Class Year News


Thomas Ely, DO, FACOFP, FAAFP (COM ‘80) has been named president-elect of the American Osteopathic Association. He will lead the national organization as 2020-21 president. Ely has been on the AOA Board of Trustees for the past 13 years and is a past president of the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association and also served on Tennessee’s osteopathic medical licensing board for nine years.

A commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Medical Corps., he completed a family medicine internship and residency at DeWitt Army Community Hospital in Fort Belvoir, Va. After retiring from the Army in 1988 as a lieutenant colonel, Ely went into private practice in Clarksville, TN and spent 13-years as chief medical officer for Gateway Medical Center.


Dr. Ron Holt, DO (COM ’93) was among four individuals honored as Outstanding Alumni at Wayne State College on Oct. 4. In December 2016, Holt released his first book on Amazon entitled “PRIDE: You Can’t Heal if You’re Hiding From Yourself.” In 2017, he and his husband, Dr. William Huggett, released their first LGBTQ-themed coloring book. Since then they have published several coloring books both supporting LGBTQ people and helping physicians with stress reduction through meditation and coloring. In March 2017, Holt left his corporate medicine job to further his community service and devote more time to writing. In May 2019, he was elected to Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, which is the highest honor the APA can bestow upon a member.


Dan McCarty, DO (COM ’98) will become the Kansas Association of Osteopathic Medicine (KAOM) president in 2020. He completed his Internship at Tulsa Regional Medical Center and his residency at Oklahoma State University Health Care Center.


Col. Patrick T. Birchfield, DO (COM ‘02) assumed command of Blanchfield Army Community Hospital and the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Fort Campbell during a change of command ceremony in June.

Birchfield graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Biology from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1995. He served as an airborne treatment platoon leader and company executive officer with the 261st Area Support Medical Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. After graduating from KCU, he completed a transitional internship at Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center in 2003, and in 2004 earned a master of public health degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Birchfield completed his aerospace medicine residency at the Naval Operational Medicine Institute in 2006 and in that same year became board certified in aerospace medicine from the American Osteopathic Board of Occupational and Preventive Medicine. From there, he served as the battalion flight surgeon for the 6-101st Aviation Regiment. During that time, he served a year in Afghanistan as the Task Force Shadow flight surgeon stationed at Bagram Air Base. From 2009 until 2011, he served as the Brigade flight surgeon for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade during which time he served as the Task Force Destiny flight surgeon for a year at Kandahar Air Base in Southern Afghanistan.


Colonel Andrew B. Hyatt, DO (COM ’03) was appointed the State Air Surgeon, Missouri Air National Guard, Jefferson City, MO. As the Missouri State Air Surgeon Colonel Hyatt serves as the Chief Medical Officer of the Missouri Air National Guard and as primary liaison for the individual medical/aeromedical units/homeland response force/critical care air transport units, the Center for Sustainment of Trauma and Readiness Skills (CSTARS), the Adjutant General, the Air Surgeon of the Air National Guard, and the Missouri Army National Guard Chief Surgeon on force protection medical issues, aspects of homeland security, and other medical matters.


Paul Perry, DO (COM ’09) has joined St. Luke’s Internal Medicine Associates in Minnesota as a hospitalist. Dr. Perry completed his residency in internal medicine at Beaumont Hospital in Trenton, Mich.


Ian Cassaday, DO (COM ‘10) joined SSM Health St. Anthony Health Medical Group in Oklahoma City, Okla. Dr. Cassaday is board certified in general surgery. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Iowa State University. After graduating from KCU, he completed his general surgery categorical internship and general surgery residency at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, El Paso, TX.

Brent Knudson, DO (COM ‘10) recently joined Trinity Health, in North Dakota, with expertise in joint replacement of the knee, hip, and shoulder. He also has a passion for taking care of sport-related injuries and routine fractures. He completed residency training through Michigan State University at McLaren Oakland and served for five years as a flight surgeon with the Air Force and Air Force National Guard.


Courtney Cockerell, DO (COM ‘12) recently joined the staff at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Fenton, Mo. Dr. Cockerell completed her residency at St. Louis University School of Medicine. She is a board-certified gastroenterologist and is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.


Joshua Weir, DO, (COM ‘14) joined West Virginia University of Medicine from the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center Stephenson Cancer Center, where he completed a residency in radiation oncology. While at KCU he was a Research Fellow/Cancer/Biology/Cancer Immunology followed by a position as a Research Scientist at the University of Kansas Medical Center.


John Miller, DO (COM ’16) has joined Clinton Memorial Hospital, in Wilmington, Ohio as an emergency medicine physician. Dr. Miller completed his residency at St. Vincent’s Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, OH.

Austin Dalrymple, DO (COM ’90), was named the Arthritis Foundation’s medical champion for 2019. Dalrymple is a pediatric rheumatologist and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Dalrymple practices at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital. Dalrymple graduated from Pittsburg State University, Kansas City University and completed his residency, chief residency, and fellowship at Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

KCU Remembers

In memory of the alumni and friends we have recently lost.

Donald Arlinsky, DO (COM ‘64)
Paul E. Armstrong, DO (COM ‘57)
Oscar J. Bailes, DO (COM ‘52)
Robert G. Bebout, DO (COM ‘77)
Ray E. Bishop, DO (COM ‘ 46)
Richard D. Chandler, DO (COM ‘65)
Richard J. Filippi, DO (COM ‘63)
A. John Geiger, DO (COM ‘77)
Paul J. Gerardi, DO (COM ‘79)
Bernard Greenspan, DO (COM ‘66)
Emerson W. Ireland, DO (COM ‘77)
Ben S. Johnson, DO (COM ‘81)
James J. Jungels, DO (COM ‘79)
Robert W. Moore, DO (COM ‘78)
Robert M. Osborn, DO (COM ‘69)
Jalil Parsa, DO (COM ‘57)
Daniel M. Pontius, DO (COM ‘72)
Margaret A. Porcelli, DO (COM ‘77)
Anthony E. Scardino, Jr., DO (COM ‘64)
Kathleen K. Schultz, DO (COM ‘74)
James G. Swad, DO (COM ‘67)