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LECOM’s Richard A. Ortoski, D.O., FACOFP, installed as president of POFPS; re-elected as Chair of Erie County Board of Health

ERIE – Richard Ortoski, D.O., regional dean at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) has been installed as the president of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Family Physicians Society (POFPS), an organization that represents family physicians who hold the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree.

At LECOM, Dr. Ortoski also serves as chair of the primary care education department and clinical director for the primary care scholars pathway.

Dr. Ortoski speaking at "Valley Forge Casino" podium

Dr. Ortoski was installed as the president of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Family Physicians Society earlier this month.

Dr. Ortoski has served on the board of trustees for the POFPS for eight years, as co-chair of the annual POFPS Continuing Medical Education (CME) Symposium and as chair of the POFPS Mentor Committee. He is a fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians, the POFPS corresponding national organization.

As president of the POFPS, Dr. Ortoski will work with Pennsylvania’s osteopathic family physicians.

“My responsibilities include guiding the organization and the board,” said Dr. Ortoski. “POFPS gives recommendations to all the osteopathic family physicians in Pennsylvania and those recommendations provide guidance in managing their practices and meeting licensing requirements.”

With the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services investing in new primary health care programs to put the focus on primary care physicians, Dr. Ortoski hopes to see a more positive future for those doctors, especially in Pennsylvania.

“The government is trying to put more emphasis on primary care because many studies have shown that if you have a primary care doctor in your area and the patient is guided by a primary care doctor, their medical care and outcomes are better,” said Dr. Ortoski. “Instead of going to a specialist for everything, let the primary care physician guide you. I think the government is heading in the right direction.”

The majority of LECOM graduates become primary care physicians and U.S. News & World Report ranks LECOM sixth in medical colleges for graduating primary care physicians.

LECOM offers the Primary Care Scholars Pathway (PCSP), one of five of the nation’s only three-year medical degree programs. Dr. Ortoski serves as the clinical director of the PCSP which encourages medical students to pursue a career as a primary care physician to address the national shortage.

In addition to his installation as president of POFPS, Dr. Ortoski was recently re-elected as the Chair of the Erie County Board of Health. Dr. Ortoski has served with the Erie County Health Department since 1992 in various roles including assistant medical director, public health officer and STD clinic physician.

Dr. Ortoski is the Medical Director for the Northwest Pennsylvania Rural AIDS Alliance. He has also been a clinical consultant in HIV/AIDS for the State Correctional Institutions of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ortoski serves as a trustee for the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME), guiding the evaluation of osteopathic students and residents in protecting the public safety through patient care.