Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Oct. 4, 2019



Michelle Eubanks, UNA, at meubanks@una.edu, 256-606-2033 or 256-765-4392 

FLORENCE, AL – The University of North Alabama and the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine (ACOM), in Dothan, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides benefits for students at both institutions as well as residents in rural areas of the state. 

“We are so pleased with this partnership,” said Dr. Ross Alexander, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. “It’s an opportunity for our students to further their careers with pathways to enrollment at ACOM, which is highly competitive. Additionally, the Memorandum allows for their third-year medical students to complete their clinical rotations at Shoals-area hospitals, working closely with UNA students.” 

The Memorandum was signed by representatives from UNA as well as by Dr. James C. Jones, ACOM’s Interim Dean. 

“We are proud to partner with an institution that enjoys the great reputation and commitment to quality that UNA has,” said Dr. Jones. “We believe that our partnership will be a strong force to help in meeting the future healthcare needs of our state.” 

Dr. Vicki Pierce, the Dean of the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions, will be working directly with students from ACOM as they come to the UNA campus and the Shoals. 

“The Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions is excited about developing a relationship with the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine,” Pierce said. “We look forward to developing education experiences where nursing and medical students learn side-by-side. This can easily be accomplished in the simulation laboratory in our new facility, the Laura M. Harrison Hall, which is scheduled to open next spring. This relationship will increase the educational experiences of students in both institutions.” 

The simulation lab offers students in the ACONHP a chance to work in simulated healthcare settings before and during their clinical work in the field at local hospitals. 

Alexander said he anticipates that the partnership will evolve and will be of benefit to healthcare providers and patients locally. 

“There are similarities in our geography, with ACOM anchoring the southwest corner of the state while we occupy the northwest corner,” he said. “Further, this indicates a means to address some of the ongoing rural healthcare challenges we’re seeing and have been working to address through the ACONHP.” 

Dr. Heath Parker, Associate Dean of Clinical Sciences for ACOM, believes that nurses and doctors training together only helps out community hospital partners and patients. 

“ACOM is very excited about the partnership and growth opportunities with UNA,” he said. “We are proud to be working with such an established institution of academic excellence. Our innovative interprofessional education initiatives will be transformation for all of our students and further strengthen our patient-centered care teams in our communities.” 

Dr. Joy Borah, the Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and University Chief Accreditation Officer, will be working with students from UNA and ACOM as part of the relationship. 

“Partnerships such as this allow for early academic planning, thereby creating pathways for graduation and career success for our students and contributing to the workforce development needs of the state and region.” 


About The University of North Alabama 

The University of North Alabama is an accredited, comprehensive regional state university offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Sciences, and the Anderson College of Nursing and Health Professions. Occupying a 130-acre campus in a residential section of Florence, Alabama, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Muscle Shoals, Sheffield, and Tuscumbia. UNA Athletics, a renowned collegiate athletics program with seven (7) Division II National Championships, is now a proud member of the NCAA Division I’s ASUN Big South Conference. The University of North Alabama is an equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate in the admission policy on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, or national origin. For more: www.una.edu and www.una.edu/unaworks/ 


About the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine 

The Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, or ACOM, is one of 34 college of osteopathic medicine in the United States and the first osteopathic medical school in the state of Alabama. ACOM has a team of more than 60 faculty and staff that represents many academic and professional backgrounds. The College delivers a hybrid curriculum modes utilizing discipline and system-based clinical presentation approaches in the pre-clinical years