American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

American Osteopathic Association Strengthens Commitment to Research & Development with Hire of Public Health Research Leader Kenya D. McRae

Oct. 16, 2014

(CHICAGO) — The American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the national professional membership organization for the nation’s more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students, welcomes Kenya D. McRae, JD, PhD, as vice president of research and development, a newly created position. 

McRae, an adjunct assistant professor and researcher at the University of Illinois-Chicago and former attorney, is an accomplished community health advocate who has worked at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spearheading minority health programs, the American Cancer Society (ACS) managing education programs and analyzing cancer data, and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) as the vice president of grants. At the AOA, McRae will lead efforts to broaden the association’s commitment to research and development, especially in patient care and general public health.

“With a doctorate in public health, a law degree and an MBA, Kenya brings a strong analytic foundation to the AOA and our executive team. Her broad experience with research institutions, such as the NIH, ACS and the OREF, provide a unique perspective to help us expand our research capacity across the country,” says AOA Executive Director and CEO Adrienne White-Faines, MPA, FACHE. “With the dynamic changes in health care and the growth of osteopathic medicine in this country, Kenya is an asset to the AOA, and our strategic commitment to advance osteopathic medical research.”

Currently, the AOA represents one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation as the number of DOs has grown more than 500% over the past 30 years. Today, more than half of DOs are under the age of 45 and more than a third are women. With more than 60% of DOs in active practice specializing in one of the primary care areas of medicine, the osteopathic medical profession has a strong tradition of training and serving in community-based settings, as well as rural, urban and medically underserved areas.

“I am passionate about improving people's lives and view health as the key component. Research and education provide the opportunity to enhance as well as develop new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat health issues that so many people face every day,” says McRae. “At the AOA, I hope to establish a strong portfolio of research grants and programs, build a collaborative community of osteopathic investigators and obtain funding from a wide range of public and private research supporters.”

McRae will also assist with the AOA’s Osteopathic Graduate Medical Education Development Initiative and help to preserve and increase osteopathic training capacity, funding, and payment equity.

A Chicago resident, McRae earned her Bachelor of Arts in international studies from DePaul University in Chicago.  She went on to receive two doctorate and two master’s degrees:  a Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration from American University in Washington, D.C.; a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and her PhD in community health services from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

What is a DO?

DOs are licensed physicians who can prescribe medication and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery, in the United States. They complete approximately four years of medical school followed by graduate medical education through internship and residency programs typically lasting three to eight years. In addition, DOs receive extra training in the musculoskeletal system, providing them with an in-depth knowledge of the ways that illness or injury in one part of the body can affect another.

About the American Osteopathic Association

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) proudly represents its professional family of more than 104,000 osteopathic physicians (DOs) and osteopathic medical students; promotes public health; encourages scientific research; serves as the primary certifying body for DOs; and is the accrediting agency for osteopathic medical schools. More information on DOs/osteopathic medicine can be found at



Media Contact:

Nicole Grady
(312) 202-8038

Twitter: @AOAforMedia


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