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Tooke-Rawlins Named VCOM President

With the recent retirement of James Wolfe, PhD, founding president of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (VCOM), the College is pleased to announce the promotion of Dixie Tooke-Rawlins, DO, FACOFP, to the position of President.

Prior to this position, Dr. Tooke-Rawlins served as the founding dean for the College in 2001 when the first campus was established in collaboration with Virginia Tech. Dr. Tooke-Rawlins also served as the founding dean for the Spartanburg, South Carolina branch campus of the college. She served as provost when establishing a second branch campus in collaboration with Auburn University, which will welcome its first class of medical students in 2015.

Under the leadership of Dr. Tooke-Rawlins, VCOM has grown to become one of the largest medical schools in the country, boasting graduates with top board scores and 100% residency placement. Having grown up in a rural community of 2,300 in Missouri, Dr. Tooke-Rawlins has focused most of her career on the promotion of rural health, osteopathic medicine and care for medically underserved populations. Under her leadership, the college has over 1,300 graduates, with over 60% entering the field of primary care and greater than 61% practicing in Appalachia. VCOM is also nationally recognized for its Appalachian and international outreach programs.

The college has also developed many new residency programs for graduates. Dr. Tooke-Rawlins stated, “As President, my focus will move from assuring the academics to assuring the success and consistency of our campuses overall.  I plan to focus much of my efforts in the coming year on growth our research programs and research collaborations, and growth of our student scholarships.”

Dr. Tooke-Rawlins is a graduate of Truman University with a Bachelor of Science and received her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM). She completed post-graduate training in Dayton, Ohio, and in 1994 completed a faculty development fellowship from Michigan State.  She received board certification in both family medicine and emergency medicine in 1991.  She has also achieved fellowship status from the American Osteopathic Family Physicians and holds the academic rank of Professor of Family Medicine. Before coming to Virginia, she held many academic roles including family medicine faculty for KCOM; family medicine residency director in Grand Rapids, Michigan; director of medical education for St. Luke’s Hospital in Allentown, PA;, associate dean for clinical affairs at  KCOM; and served as KCOM’s interim dean before assuming the role of founding dean for VCOM in 2001.

Dr. Tooke-Rawlins has received numerous national honors and awards for her role in medical education, including the 2008 Northrup Educator of the Year Award by the Student Osteopathic Medical Association, the 2008 National Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award by the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), the 2009 AMWA National Legends Award displayed by the National Library of Medicine of the Smithsonian, the 2012 National Minority Access Role Model Award, the 2011 National Educator of the Year Award from the American Osteopathic Foundation, and the Mentor Hall of Fame by the American Osteopathic Association. In Virginia, she received the Rural Health Association’s Charles Crowder Rural Health Award, and the Service to the International Community Award by the Medical Society of Virginia. She also received the KCOM Alumni’s Distinguished Service Award. 

Dr. Tooke-Rawlins serves on the Southwest Virginia Healthcare Authority and the Virginia Governor’s new Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse. She has also served on the Governor’s Task Force on Health Reform and the Virginia Healthcare Workforce Authority.  She is a member of the Board of Governors for the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) from 1998 to 2014, and now the Council of Presidents.  She is past President of the Virginia Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians. Dr. Tooke-Rawlins is a Team Chair and Inspector for Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and served as a member of the Council for Osteopathic College Accreditation from 1994-1999.