Robert C. Ward, DO, FAAO, of East Lansing, Michigan, received the Distinguished Service Award from the Committee on Fellowship in the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO) on March 15 at the Academy’s annual Convocation in Orlando, Florida. The Fellow of the American Academy of Osteopathy (FAAO) Distinguished Service Award is presented to fellows who have distinguished themselves in contributions to osteopathic literature; development of osteopathic theories, methods or procedures; research; osteopathic education; service to the AAO; public relations; service to public health; or osteopathic medical economics and advocacy.
Dr. Ward’s work nationally and internationally will benefit generations of osteopathic physicians. He was the principal investigator of the Osteopathic Principles Education Project, sponsored by the Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles of the American Osteopathic Association and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and he was the executive editor of the first and second editions of Foundations for Osteopathic Medicine, the most widely used textbook in osteopathic education. In addition, he developed a glossary and other material seminal to the research and practice of osteopathic medicine.
He was president of the North American Academy of Musculoskeletal Medicine, and he also served as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Federation of Manual Medicine. He also served as a member of the Scientific Grants Review Committee for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health.
A graduate of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bioscience College Of Osteopathic Medicine in Missouri, Dr. Ward served as one of the earliest faculty members of the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, joining the college in 1970 when it was still a private institution in Pontiac, Michigan. He was the charter chairperson of the Department of Family and Community Medicine and instrumental in developing an osteopathic manipulative medicine residency. He served as director of special projects for the college, as a professor in the Office of Medical Education Research and Development, and ultimately, as a professor in the Department of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.
Dr. Ward was named a Fellow of the AAO in 1978. FAAO is an earned postdoctoral designation conferred by the AAO on those who have demonstrated outstanding understanding and execution of osteopathic principles. He was the 1998 recipient of the AAO’s Andrew Taylor Still Medallion of Honor, the AAO’s highest award. In 2002, he presented the Scott Memorial Lecture at what is now known as the A.T. Still University–Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM) in Missouri.