ATSU invites community to learn about America’s healthcare disruptor

Baldwin Hall, Truman State University, 1938

A production portraying the founder of osteopathic medicine will be hosted by A.T. Still University of Health Sciences on Thursday, Nov. 7 at Truman State University’s Baldwin Hall Auditorium. Its mission: to draw widespread excitement for one of Kirksville’s most significant historical figures.

The Missouri premiere of “Dr. A.T. Still — America’s Healthcare Disruptor” is aimed at both entertaining and educating, as its host ATSU offers a chance to understand an integral part of Kirskville’s history. Devon Williams, ATSU Public Relations specialist, said the showing should be insightful both locally and beyond. 

“A.T. Still, DO, was a significant figure within the Kirksville, Missouri, community, however, he has a national and international footprint within the osteopathic profession,” Williams explained. “The premiere is designed to celebrate our founder and evoke pride within our community that Dr. Still chose Kirksville as the birthplace of osteopathic medicine.” 

Several aspects within A.T. Still’s life will be documented through the portrayal. His local and national impact, as well as his effect on the study of osteopathy, are some of the components to be depicted.

The representation seeks to not only celebrate Dr. Still, but also influence aspiring osteopathic professionals. Williams said that building a sense of curiosity and appreciation from the audience is its primary objective. 

“[Dr. Still] played a crucial role in growing the Kirksville community by delivering comprehensive and innovative healthcare,” Williams added. “The profession has grown over the years to encompass a national and international impact. It will always be attributed back to Kirksville, Missouri, and Dr. Still. To date, there are more than 145,000 practicing DOs and medical students, and there are currently 36 accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine in the U.S. with 55 teaching locations in 33 states.”

The event is intended to not only garner enthusiasm, but also unify students as well as members of the city. While Williams and the University anticipate the premiere to garner enthusiasm regarding the profession, their main goal is to give back.

ATSU President Dr. Craig Phelps wanted to thank Truman’s community in particular for the opportunity to bring the town together.

“ATSU and Truman State University have a long history of supporting the Kirksville community through volunteer projects, performing arts and raising funds for nonprofits,” Phelps said. “Celebrating the show’s premiere with our community is an honor. Those able to attend will find the history of osteopathic medicine and the Kirksville community linked to a profession now educating 1-in-4 students studying medicine in the U.S.” 

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the event will start at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to all.