OOA Mourns Loss of Alison A. Clarey, DO

OOA Past President Alison A. Clarey, DO, 63, died October 28, at her home in Dayton after a two-year struggle with breast cancer.  In 1977, she became the first female surgeon practicing in Dayton and, in 2007 she was elected president of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (ACOOS), the first woman to hold that position. 

Clarey Memorial Service

"Dr. Clarey was part of a dynasty of women leaders from Dayton who were nurtured by Mary L. Theodoras, DO,"  said OOA Executive Director Jon F. Wills. "While Dr. Theodoras was fighting for women's rights on the AOA Board of Trustees, Dr. Clarey was quietly earning the respect of her male colleagues in the operating room."


Drs Cass Bennett and Clarey 2010 AOA House




Cleanne Cass, DO, Barbara A. Bennett, DO, and Alison A. Clarey, DO, all from Dayton, are shown here during the 2009 AOA House of Delegates, waiting to congratulate Karen Nichols, DO, after being elected as the first woman to serve as President-Elect of the American Osteopathic Association.  The three started a tradition of sponsoring an annual reception for women delegates, hosted by the Ohio Delegation, until Dr. Nichol's installation in 2010.

Dr. Clarey became president of the Ohio Osteopathic Association when the OOA was celebrating its 100th birthday from 1999 - 2000 -- bridging the profession's distinguished past and the challenges of the new millenium.  Devoted to the world community and those less fortunate, she later received the OOA's Humanitarian Award for her annual surgical mission trips throughout the world. (Read more about her accomplishments in this obituary from the Dayton Daily News.)

 "Dr. Clarey was an avid writer and retreated to the Cayman Islands to pen and later publish numerous mystery novels," said Wills, "so, the most fitting tribute we can give is to quote from her inaguaural address:"

We dare not forget that we are the heirs of that first meeting 100 years ago.  We are proud of our distinguished past, and we must be unwilling to witness or permit the decline of osteopathic medicine in Ohio.  The bricks and the mortar of the hospitals may be disappearing, but we are stronger in number than we have ever been.  Our school is flourishing, and our way of practice is a standard for medical care.  We must stay committed to our principles and meet the challenges ahead.

I began with the ancient words of Hippocrates and so I will close with his words:  'While I continue to keep this Oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the practice of the Art, respected by all men, in all times.'  As President of the OOA, I will do my best to enhance osteopathic medicine in Ohio and to represent your vision and dreams.  We are the physicians of the next century, the new millennium.  We are the heirs of the OOA founders of a century ago.  As we think kindly on those who have gone before us, let us dream of what we can do for those who follow.

"What more we can say, but, thank you, Dr. Clarey for representing the OOA's vision and following your dreams."

A memorial service is scheduled at Grandview Hospital, December 9, at 2 pm.  Memorial contributions may be made to the Grandview Foundation, 405 Grand Avenue, Dayton 45405.  


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Eric Goldsmith, D.O. President, American College of Ossteopathic Physicians on Monday 11/14/2011 at 05:16PM wrote:

Alison will be remembered as a world class educator, leader, physician. I am very proud to have known her!

Karen J. Nichols, DO on Saturday 11/19/2011 at 06:20PM wrote:

What a loss. Allison really showed us how it was done, in every thing she did. She was first class in every aspect of her life. She will be long remembered. Thanks Allison.

William G. Anderson, D.O. on Monday 11/28/2011 at 11:24AM wrote:

I will long remember aaison Clarey as a multi-talented surgeon, writer and leader. She never ceased to amaze me for her dedication and commitment to the osteopathic profession and the college of osteopathic surgeons. She will be missed.

John Crosby, JD, AOA Executive Director on Monday 11/28/2011 at 02:16PM wrote:

On behalf of the entire American Osteopathic Association, and speaking personally as well, our hearts go out to the entire osteopathic family in Ohio on the passing of Alison Clarey, DO.

Dr. Clarey’s many accomplishments speak for themselves. I have never met a kinder or more friendly DO in my career with the AOA. She was always gracious, compassionate, helpful, and supportive of the osteopathic profession. We will miss her greatly.

With deep sorrow and sincere respects to all,
John Crosby and the AOA family

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the comments shown above are those of the individual comment authors and do not reflect the opinions of this organization.

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