The two newest members of the DMU Alumni Association Board of Directors, David Best, D.O.’02, M.S., and Wynde Cheek, D.O.’03, FACN, each provide services in great need among patients – addiction medicine and neurology.
Dr. Best is a family medicine physician who offers addiction medicine treatment in the practice he and his wife, Lindsay Best, D.O., co-own, Best Medical Services, in Traverse City, MI. Board-certified in addiction medicine since 2014, he also sees patients once a week in Cadillac, MI, and has given lectures on addiction treatment since 2011 at local, state and national conferences.
“Our practice is designated an opioid health home, which allows us to treat Medicaid patients with opioid use disorder,” he says. “That’s helped us maintain our private practice and offer services for which there is an overwhelming need in the community. Our patients have a high level and range of health care needs, and as osteopathic physicians, we treat the whole patient and their family.”
Dr. Best has served on three different osteopathic association boards in Michigan in the last 15 years. He was president of the Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians (MAOFP) in 2012-2013, president of the Northern Michigan Osteopathic Association (NMOA) from 2015-2017, and most recently was president of the Michigan Osteopathic Association from 2021-2022.
He has written resolutions on approving Medicaid expansion in all states and on improving buprenorphine maintenance treatment (the standard of care for outpatient-based opioid use disorder treatment) coverage that passed at the Michigan House of Delegates. A resolution on improving buprenorphine passed at the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) House of Delegates (note: unfortunately, the Medicaid expansion resolution did not pass at the AOA House).
Dr. Cheek has a private neurology practice based in Helena, MT. She is board-certified in neurology with a Certificate of Added Qualification in neurophysiology. Past president of the American College of Neuropsychiatrists/American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists, she is a current board member of the Montana Osteopathic Medical Association and scholarship chair of the Northwest Osteopathic Medical Foundation.
Currently, Dr. Cheek is enrolled in the Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship Program, a year-long training program designed for osteopathic physicians and other individuals with an established connection to the profession to develop the skills they need to analyze, formulate and implement health policy on the local, state and national levels. The fellowship is primarily sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.
“Traversing the wake of a global pandemic hit everyone on a personal level. It changed the way we looked at disease, access, health care delivery and policy implementation across the board,” she says. “There is a need for people trained in health policy with an osteopathic emphasis to provide unbiased, expert information for people making policy decisions. I am privileged to be in a well-established, highly reputable program that hones these attributes.”
Dr. Cheek believes alumni engagement, including service on the DMU Alumni Board, is important for informing current and future students and employees to know the “solid foundation upon which this University exists.”
“We have the second oldest osteopathic medical school in the country, and our graduates are seen around the world in nearly every capacity,” she says. “They are making gains every day in health care and in their communities. Des Moines University produces graduates who are well-trained, confident and involved, and through alumni engagement we can share successes and celebrate our common roots at DMU. Our past supports the present, which supports the future.”
Dr. Best notes that with DMU’s new campus rising from the ground in West Des Moines, Alumni Board members have an “exciting opportunity to celebrate with fellow alumni.”
“It’s also a great time to promote the message of DMU’s high quality and its areas for future growth,” he says. “Serving on the Alumni Board is a chance to give back to the University where we received such good education and training that allows us to advance in our careers and develop additional expertise.”
Both new board members were students at pivotal points in DMU’s history. In Dr. Best’s first year, 1998, the institution – then the University of Osteopathic Medicine and Health Sciences (UOMHS) – marked its 100th anniversary. Dr. Cheek was in the last class to enter UOMHS, which changed its name to Des Moines University in 1999.
“Our class was given the option to have our diplomas list ‘UOMHS’ or the new DMU; we voted DMU,” she recalls. “The week after our graduation, the original amphitheater on campus was demolished to make way for the ‘new campus,’ which is now the ‘old campus.’ It’s amazing to see the advancement that DMU continues to incorporate into its long-term vision of the academic prowess that is the long-reaching arm of the DMU family.”