Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) in Fort Smith has continued to work on making advancements in healthcare and medical education amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particular with a group overseas.


“Despite the shut-downs forced by COVID-19, we are adapting and moving forward to fulfill our mission to improving medical education by using innovative collaborations,” Kyle D. Parker, J.D., chief executive officer at ACHE said in a news release. ”Our work with Jaseng Hospital in Seoul, South Korea, is continuing to move forward.”


ACHE announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Jaseng Hospital in November and finalized the agreement in December. The MOU will connect ACHE’s education institutions with the hospital and its medical education division to provide cultural learning exchanges between the institution’s first college, Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) and the Jaseng Hospital providers.


The relationship is a result of the work by ACHE President Brian Kim, J.D. Kim, born in South Korea, originally developed a relationship with the hospital while working with the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). ACHE representatives, including, executive members of the ACHE Board of Trustees were scheduled for a visit to Seoul in March to celebrate Jaseng’s 34th anniversary and to meet face-to-face for future collaborations. The ban on international travel due to COVID-19 has forced a delay in the trip, but the interactions are continuing in a virtual capacity. Plans are tentatively underway for a visit to Seoul in 2021 for the Jaseng Continuing Medical Education (CME) Conference.


Rance McClain, D.O., dean of ARCOM, is currently working on a research project that will compare and contrast the similarities between Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) and Chuna manipulative medicine, a technique of Korean traditional medicine. Both are non-invasive manipulative therapy and considered to be a holistic treatment to help with a variety of symptoms without invasive surgery.


“The use of manipulative medicine is a practice used by many doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) as a way to treat a person without having to prescribe additional medications, including opioids,” McClain explained. “While OMM is used to treat the whole body, Chuna is more directly related to spine related pain. This research should help demonstrate the effectiveness of these types of alternative medicine.”


Textbook translation


A second planned research project, also under the supervision of McClain, is translating a medical textbook currently available only in Korean into English to be used in the education of physicians and medical students in a course being developed through the collaboration between ARCOM and Jaseng.


An ARCOM faculty member and an ARCOM medical student will assist in translating the textbook to English.


“This is an exciting project that will form the basis of learning for students and physicians for generations to come,” McClain added. “As a physician who is board certified in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, I have spent a lot of time looking at how other forms of medicine use similar techniques to those I have learned as a DO. This project will allow Osteopathic physicians to broaden their learning and understanding of what manipulative medicine can accomplish.”


Medical Director Dr. Jinho Lee of Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine commented, “We wish to contribute to the improvement of global health by providing high quality education on Jaseng’s non-invasive spinal treatments to both Korean and overseas physicians.”


Kim stated, “Our institutions are working to exchange academic, research, and clinical experiences for our students and faculty with the providers at Jaseng Hospital. Together we intend to create educational programs and establish integrative medicine. For our students, we want to give them the opportunity to provide them with a broader depth of experience in global health.”


Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) is a private, non-profit institution located on 430 acres in Fort Smith, Arkansas. ACHE’s first college, the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM) welcomed its inaugural class of 150 osteopathic medical students in August 2017. Construction is now complete on the new 66,000 square foot facility that will be the home to Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physician Assistant degree programs. ACHE is the first and only private institution in Arkansas that is dedicated solely to healthcare and wellness. For more information about the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education and our programs, visit www.acheedu.org.