FORT SMITH — The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education will have a new dean in the College of Osteopathic Medicine starting this summer.

Dr. Shannon Jimenez, the current senior associate dean for the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine, will become dean effective June 1. The College of Osteopathic Medicine is part of the Arkansas Colleges of Health Education.

The current dean, Rance McClain, has accepted a position as senior vice president of medical education for the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, a nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Md. He was appointed dean in 2019.

The association supports all of the accredited colleges of osteopathic medicine, said Susan Devero, executive director of marketing, communications and community relations at the colleges.

“It’s a great new position for him, and we are so proud. It is also a remote position, so he will be able to teach some classes” at the Fort Smith school, she said.

Jimenez previously served as inaugural chairwoman of clinical medicine and interim dean at Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Huntsville, Texas, and was the regional assistant dean and assistant professor of family medicine at Campbell University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Lillington, North Carolina. She received her training in family medicine in Michigan and spent 20 years practicing in rural North Carolina before moving to Texas.

Jimenez said she is honored and excited to lead the college as it continues to serve the region as a leading educator of osteopathic medical students.

Kyle D. Parker, Arkansas Colleges president and CEO, said he is thrilled to have Jimenez lead the college with her years of medical education experience.

“I have full confidence in Dr. Jimenez as she takes the role of dean from Rance McClain,” he said.

Jimenez and her husband, Antonio, have two grown children and make their home in Fort Smith.

Arkansas Colleges of Health Education is a private, not-for-profit institution located on over 500 acres in Fort Smith. The institution offers a doctorate of osteopathic medicine, doctorate of occupational therapy, doctorate of physical therapy, and master of science in biomedicine.

According to the American Osteopathic Association, osteopathic medicine doctors practice in all medical specialities, including primary care, pediatrics, OBGYN, emergency medicine, psychiatry and surgery.

The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education graduated its second class of 150 physicians from the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine last May. The school last year also started an occupational therapy degree program in January, completed the 8-acre Celebration Garden and Wellness Park and started construction on several on-campus student housing units.

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