KCU names new medical school dean for Joplin campus

Jul. 8—Dr. Kenneth Heiles has been named campus dean for the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Kansas City University's Joplin campus, the university announced Thursday.

Heiles has been KCU's associate dean of graduate medical education and a professor of family medicine since 2019.

"As associate dean of graduate medical education and professor of family medicine, Dr. Heiles has been a motivated, collaborative and engaged leader since joining the KCU team. He has demonstrated his commitment to the KCU community as a whole and has made significant contributions to the continued success of the Joplin campus," said Dr. W. Joshua Cox, executive dean of the KCU College of Osteopathic Medicine and vice provost for medical affairs, in a statement. "His established connections and relationships in the region and vast administrative experience in osteopathic medical education will ensure KCU's continued success with COM initiatives."

As campus dean, Heiles' primary responsibilities will include managing and directing the daily operations of the medical school as well as ensuring the well-being and academic success of students at the Joplin campus, KCU officials said. He will serve as a member of the KCU College of Osteopathic Medicine dean leadership team, which works to keep the two medical school campuses integrated.

He succeeds Dr. Laura Rosch, who had been named the Joplin campus dean in January 2019. Rosch recently returned to Chicago, where she is dean of the Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, a KCU spokesperson said.

Heiles previously worked as director of medical education and osteopathic family medicine residency director in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he was affiliated with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He also was associate dean of graduate medical education for the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University and founding dean of the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he helped guide the school through provisional accreditation. He practiced family medicine in Star City, Arkansas, before entering academics.

Heiles holds a doctorate of osteopathic medicine from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. A fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, he served as the organization's national president from 2010 to 2011. In October 2021, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine elected him to serve as the inaugural chair of the Assembly of Council Leaders.