American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

Blaine Physician Elected to the American Osteopathic Association Board of Trustees

July 25, 2014    

(CHICAGO) — Jennifer Kendall Thomas, DO, a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician of Blaine, Minnesota, was elected to the Board of Trustees for 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. She was elected to this position representing new physicians in practice during the AOA’s Annual Meeting of the House of Delegates in Chicago.

“Three years ago, I had the pleasure of serving on the AOA Board of Trustees as its intern/resident representative,” says Dr. Kendall Thomas. “Now as a practicing physician, I continue to be inspired by my colleagues as we strive for even higher quality health care for our patients. It is this conviction I will keep in mind as I work with leadership to advance the osteopathic medical profession.”

As one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation, the number of DOs has grown more than 200% over the past 25 years. With more than 50% of DOs in active practice specializing in one of the primary care areas of medicine, the osteopathic medical profession also has a strong tradition of serving in rural and medically underserved areas.

Professional Background

Dr. Kendall Thomas works as an interventional spine specialist at HealthEast Spine Center and as medical director of HealthEast Optimum Rehab, both in Maplewood, Minnesota. She also is an adjunct assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Des Moines (Iowa) University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DMU-COM) and a clinical adjunct professor of the physician assistant program at the Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harrogate, Tennessee.

Honors and Awards

In 2011, Dr. Kendall Thomas received the University of Michigan’s Theodore M. Cole Award, which is given to the physical medicine and rehabilitation resident who best demonstrates an understanding of treating the whole person. In 2010, she was awarded University of Michigan’s Kathy Kielb Award, which is bestowed to a physical medicine and rehabilitation resident based on academics, research interests and professionalism.


Dr. Kendall Thomas received her degree in osteopathic medicine from DMU-COM. Prior to graduation she completed a one-year pre-doctoral fellowship in osteopathic manipulative medicine at Des Moines University. She then completed her osteopathic medical internship at Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and her residency training in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she also did a one-year interventional spine fellowship. Additionally she completed an undergraduate internship at the French National Bone Marrow Registry in Paris.

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. As one of the fastest-growing segments of health care professionals in the nation, the number of DOs has grown more than 200% during the past 25 years.

About the House of Delegates

The AOA’s House of Delegates, comprised of more than 500 delegates representing osteopathic state medical associations, specialty societies, interns, residents and students from throughout the country, meets annually in July to set organizational policies and elect new officers.

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 Contacts:   


Vicki Martinka
(312) 202-8159

Nicole Grady
(312) 202-8038

Twitter: @AOAforMedia


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