The Arkansas Colleges of Health Education (ACHE) in Fort Smith has hired Dr. Monica Rojas as medical director of international medicine and cultural education for the Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine (ARCOM).
Rojas will help ARCOM expand its international health opportunities, a news release said. Rojas will build international relationships and maintain systems for student cross-cultural learning experiences, including multilingual education efforts.
“We are making concerted efforts to increase our student participation and exposure in the area of international medicine. Dr. Rojas will help us identify and develop collaborative efforts with hospitals and clinics in other parts of the world in order to give our students opportunities for early clinical experiences as well as clinical rotations during their third and fourth year of medical school,” said Dr. Rance McClain, ARCOM dean.
Rojas will also focus on increasing research prospects is another goal of the new hire. Dr. Brian Kim, ACHE president, said the school wants “pursue potential research avenues on diverse styles of medicine practices around the world and how it compares to osteopathic medicine.”
“An example of this is our current relationship with Jaseng Hospital in South Korea, where students will be able to have hands-on research of comparing the traditional Korean practice of Chuna to Osteopathic Manipulative Treatments.” Kim said. “Dr. Rojas will also help us complete another aspect of our curriculum by incorporating medical Spanish into our teaching modules.”
Rojas was a family physician at Mission Activation in Costa Rica. She has more than 20 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations in at-risk communities in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico.
“I have participated on several occasions in preventive medicine and ophthalmology campaigns while intentionally developing my career in medicine and ministry to pursue my passion for helping those most in need,” she said. “The mission at ACHE to ‘serve the underserved’ aligns with the work that I have devoted my career toward achieving.”
Rojas said part of her work at ARCOM will be to develop a “fully integrated destination healthcare model” and assist in directing and leading all aspects of international health services. She also will give students a better understanding of a foreign language and cultural approach to ensure they are prepared for their cross-cultural experience, the news release said.
ACHE is a private, non-profit institution located on 430 acres in Chaffee Crossing. 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 developing programs: the School of Physical Therapy, the School of Occupational Therapy, and Physician Assistant Studies.