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United Federation of Osteopathic Societies (UFOS)


Leadership Biographies

Karen J. Nichols, D.O., MA, MACOI, CS - Chair

Karen J. Nichols, DO, MA, MACOI, CS-F is most recently the Dean of the Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine serving since 2002 until stepping down July 2018. She took a leave to serve as President of the American Osteopathic Association 2010-2011. Prior to serving as Dean, she was Assistant Dean, Post-Doctoral Education and Division Director (chair), Internal Medicine at the Midwestern University/Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine since 1997. She was in the private practice of internal medicine and geriatrics in Mesa, Arizona from 1985 through 2002. A graduate of the Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCU-COM) with a DO degree, she holds a Master's degree in Management with a specialty in Healthcare Administration from Central Michigan University.

Dr. Nichols has received numerous awards. In 2015, she was selected for the highest honor given by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the Distinguished Service Award as well as receiving a Presidential Citation in 2018. In 2015, she received the Robert A. Kistner, DO Award and then in 2020, received the Dale Dodson, DO Award, the two highest honors bestowed by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Nichols received the 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association. Her awards include being named as the recipient of the first Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association Physician of the Year Award, Physician of the Year from the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society (twice) and presenting the J.O. Watson named Lectureship from the Ohio Osteopathic Association (twice). She was the 2012 recipient of the KCU-COM Alumna of the Year award. She has received Distinguished Service Awards from the Illinois Osteopathic Medical Society, Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine Alumni Association and the KCU-COM Alumni Association, holding an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from that same institution. Dr. Nichols also holds honorary degrees from University of Pikeville - College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University – College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences – College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, A. T. Still University – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, Des Moines University and Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas.

She has served as President of the American Osteopathic Association, President of the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association and President of the American College of Osteopathic Internists and was the first woman to hold all those positions. She is Past President of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago Board of Governors. Dr. Nichols is one of the two first DOs nominated by the AOA and elected to the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education board serving from 2015 to 2022. She served as the Chair of that board  from 2020 to 2022. 

Dr. Nichols has served on the boards of the Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Osteopathic International Alliance and the American Osteopathic Foundation. By invitation she frequently speaks nationally on leadership, end-of-life care and outreach issues for osteopathic medicine. She is also authoring a book on Leadership for Physicians.

In 2004 Dr. Nichols created the endowed Costin Institute for Osteopathic Medical Educators, sited at Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, a one year hybrid fellowship which has graduated over 300 medical educators. Dr. Nichols teaches nationally and internationally on the topics of end-of-life care, physician leadership, and women leaders in medicine.

Norman E. Vinn, D.O. MBA - Vice Chair

Norman E. Vinn, D.O. MBA, Vice-Chair, is a board-certified family practitioner. He is the founder and Medical Director of Housecall Doctors Medical Group, and CEO of The Residentialist Group, management services organization with clinical networks in California and Pennsylvania. Dr. Vinn is considered a leader in Residentialist care, which focuses on the care of homebound and access-challenged patients. He embraces the tradition of the family doctor making housecalls, enhancing this tradition with an interprofessional model of team-based care and state-of-the-art technologies. Dr Vinn is a native of Houston, Texas, where his father practiced osteopathic medicine for 44 years.

After receiving his undergraduate degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, Dr. Vinn earned his osteopathic medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his postdoctoral medical training at what is now Beaumong General Hospital in Farmington Hills, Mich. He later attended the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, where he obtained a master of business administration degree. Dr. Vinn has a longstanding legacy of commitment to the osteopathic profession. He served 13 years on the Board of Trustees of the American Osteopathic Association. In 2013, he was honored to be the one hundred seventeenth president of the AOA. Dr. Vinn is passionate about the unique perspective DO’s bring to patient care. He remains active in professional leadership, and currently serves as board chair for the American Osteopathic Information Association. Dr. Vinn resides in San Clemente, California with his wife, Marsha.

Scott S. Cyrus, D.O., FACOP - Secretary/Treasurer

Scott S. Cyrus, D.O, FACOP is a board-certified pediatrician teaching at the Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (Burrell College) in Las Cruces, NM. He’s a professor and chief of pediatrics and serves as the pediatric clerkship director for both third and fourth years.

Dr. Cyrus has received numerous awards. He was selected as the George W. Northup Educator of the Year in 2020 by the National Student Osteopathic Medical Association and in 2019 he was named Physician of the Year by the Osteopathic Founders’ Foundation in Tulsa, OK. He received the Osteopathic Advocacy Award in 2013 by the Tulsa Osteopathic Medical Society and was selected as the AOA mentor of the year finalist and was inducted to the AOA Mentor Hall of Fame in 2009.

He has served on the Board for the New Mexico Osteopathic Medical Association is a past President of the association. He is proud to represent New Mexico Osteopathic Medical Association as a delegate to the AOA House of Delegates. He serves as a board member to the American Osteopathic Foundation and serves on the Bureau on Federal Health Programs.

As a graduate of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Cyrus has served as President of his local, state osteopathic organizations as well as the American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians. He’s president of his pediatric practice in Tulsa, OK and enjoys caring for children and serving the osteopathic profession and the UFOS.

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