Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has announced that Arthur J. Sesso, DO '81, professor and chair, surgery, and Abdul A. Walters, MS/Biomed '16 (DO '20), and Kathleen E. Ackert (DO '20), are this year’s recipients of the OJ Snyder Memorial Medal and the Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medals, respectively.
Both Dr. Sesso and Ms. Ackert will be honored at the College’s annual Founders’ Day ceremony on Friday, January 24 at the Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue. Mr. Walters will be honored at a separate ceremony in the spring at PCOM Georgia.
Senior Associate Dean of Osteopathic Curricular Innovation and Oversight; Chairman and Professor, Department of Surgery; Program Director, General Surgery; Director of Graduate Medical Education, Surgical Services; Medical Director, Clinical Learning and Assessment Center; Course Director, SEENT, CRIBS, and I2C; and Chairman, Curriculum Committee
Dr. Sesso has taught at the College since 1986 and has chaired PCOM’s Department of Surgery for 15 years. His duties include surgery clerkship director; program director, general surgery residency program; chairman, PCOM curriculum committee; medical director, simulation services; and academic coordinator of PCOM’s undergraduate surgery course and Introduction to Clerkship course. His career spans more than 40 years and is dedicated largely to medical education and mentorship at PCOM. He heads the College’s committee focused on transforming physician training with more hands-on learning and less classroom time—and with more focus on wellness, communication and understanding how to run a system-based practice. Learn more about Dr. Sesso.
Ms. Ackert has made her passion for storytelling part of her medical education, and she plans to make it part of her practice as an obstetrician/gynecologist. She is a winner of The Moth’s Grand Slam storytelling event in New York and has been published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association and the Philadelphia Inquirer for her stories about her experiences as a medical student. Ms. Ackert also created Teaching Introductory Study Skills Utilizing Experience (TISSUE), a two-week program designed to ease anxieties and create a sense of community among incoming first-year medical students. Learn more about Ms. Ackert.
During his years at PCOM Georgia Mr. Walters emerged as a student leader, holding multiple positions on that campus including president of the DO Student Council. He also helped found the Latino Medical Student Association, and volunteered with summer programs designed to instill a love of healthcare in Metro Atlanta youths. Nationally, he served on the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine’s Mental Health Task Force Committee, which had a campaign focused on addressing the pressures medical students and physicians face in their field. Learn more about Mr. Walters.
The OJ Snyder Memorial Medal is presented in memory of the co-founder of PCOM and is the College's highest award, which recognizes leadership and service to the osteopathic profession and to the institution. The Mason W. Pressly Memorial Medal is presented to students for their outstanding achievement and service to the College, the community and the osteopathic profession. Recipients are selected by representatives of the overall College community.
PCOM Alumni Association Certificate of Honor recipient
Also receiving honors at this year’s Founders’ Day celebration is Monique A. Gary, DO '09, medical director of the cancer program and breast surgical oncologist at Grand View Health/Penn Cancer Network, who will receive the PCOM Alumni Association Certificate of Honor. Learn more about Dr. Gary.
Founders’ Day celebrates the birth of PCOM in 1899 by Drs. Snyder and Pressly, who sought to bring the osteopathic philosophy of whole-person healthcare to Philadelphia. In addition to the January 24 ceremony, the founding of the College will be celebrated at all three of the College’s locations in Philadelphia, Suwanee and Moultrie.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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