Steven Halm takes helm as new COM dean

Steven J. Halm, D.O., FAAP, FACP, brings a wealth of clinical practice, teaching and service experiences to DMU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine (COM). On July 8 he took the helm as the college’s dean, a move he describes as “easy to decide professionally.”

“Coming here is a way to have an influence on others for positive outcomes,” he says. “It’s an opportunity to influence the future.”

Steven J. Halm, Des Moines University Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dean Halm had served since 2015 as assistant dean and chair of simulation medicine at Campbell University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine. He concurrently was associate professor of internal medicine and pediatrics and the faculty advisor for the Campbell University Community Care Clinic, a student-run free clinic.

“The clinic was very interprofessional. Osteopathic medical students, physician assistant students and pharmacy students provided supervised care, and undergraduate students helped triage patients,” he says. “The students did the patient scheduling and follow-up and managed the finances.”

In his new role, Dean Halm is working to gain a good understanding of DMU’s culture, identify areas of challenge and potential improvement in the college and assist with the University’s transition to its new West Des Moines campus in 2023.

“The campus move is a great challenge to have,” he says.

Prior to his work at Campbell University, Dean Halm was the medical director of the Clinical Evaluation Center (Simulation Center) and associate professor of clinical sciences for the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. Earlier, he served as chief of service for the medical staff for Cone Health in Greensboro, NC. He also ran his own private practice in Reidsville, NC, Triad Medicine and Pediatric Associates PLLC. 

“I transitioned to full-time medical education about eight years ago, because I found I was spending more time enjoying teaching while caring for patients,” he says. “I’ve loved it.”

His training and career inform his teaching. He earned his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine after graduating with a bachelor of science degree in biology from Allegheny College. He also completed an American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine/American Osteopathic Association Health Policy Fellowship at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

“That exposed me to numerous aspects of the health care system, including its financial, governmental and educational issues,” he says. “I also developed relationships with some national leaders in health care.”

One of the biggest challenges he sees in the industry is ensuring that health care providers preserve their hands-on patient care expertise during a time of increasing use of virtual medical technologies.

“In osteopathic medicine in particular, touching a patient makes us distinctive. We need to come up with ways to maintain that connectedness with our patients,” he says.

Beyond his DMU responsibilities, Dean Halm enjoys listening to music – Boz Scaggs is his “all-time favorite” musical artist – and fly fishing. He and his wife, Kathy, have two grown children, and they’re excited about engaging in the DMU community.

“We’re thrilled to be part of the family,” he says.

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