Among the medical schools he applied to, Robert Good, D.O.’77, MACOI, chose the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery (COMS) – now DMU – because of the people he met during his interview.
“I was so impressed with the people who cared about my image of medicine and what I thought,” he says.
As a student, Dr. Good served as director of the Iowa Hypertension Screening Program. “Hypertension was really just becoming understood in 1974. Our class members did screen blood pressure clinics in six Iowa communities. That was active education.”
That’s something Dr. Good and his wife, Brenda, champion. Six years ago, he was asked to serve as co-chair of curriculum of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine (CICOM), an institution launched in 2015 with a curriculum that incorporates basic sciences, clinical sciences, engineering and medical humanities. It emphasizes active, versus passive, learning to foster lifelong learning. That philosophy inspired the couple to make a gift to DMU’s Purple & Proud Campaign to name the Robert Good, D.O.’77, and Brenda Good Active Learning Practice Laboratory in the Edge of Advancement Building on the University’s new campus in West Des Moines, set to open in 2023.
“When we saw that a room is to be based on active learning, it was a natural fit,” Dr. Good says. “All our medical courses were sitting in a classroom, having someone tell you what to do. The new Active Learning Lab is consistent with my educational philosophy and the curriculum that I have set up at CICOM.”
CICOM is a partnership between the University of Illinois and Carle Health System, where Dr. Good served as the chief medical officer of medical management and health alliance medical plans until retiring in 2020. He now serves part-time as medical director of medical management with Carle Foundation Hospital, the Carle system’s flagship hospital in Urbana, IL.
“Carle is a fantastic organization. We’ve grown from 200 physicians to more than 1,000, with five hospitals,” he says. “I practice with a group of very high-quality colleagues. Carle allows good physicians to practice good medicine.”
Like the providers with Carle Health, the Goods make a fine team. When they were undergraduates at the University of Northern Iowa, Brenda, a math major, wrote the software programs and keypunched in the data for research that Robert, a biology and chemistry major, did on the effect of vitamin E on red blood cells. Their work culminated as their required undergraduate theses.
“We figured if we could get through that, we could get through medical school,” he says.
The couple graduated from UNI on May 25, 1974, married on June 1 and then struck out for Des Moines University. Brenda worked as manager of research at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa while Robert completed his osteopathic medical degree.
Their gift to name a lab on DMU’s new campus is the latest of many ways they’ve supported the University. Dr. Good has been a member of the DMU Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2017 and also is a member of Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK), a mentoring program for DMU students. In the couple’s 26 consecutive years of giving to the University, they have become members of the Founders Society, which recognizes donors for cumulative lifetime gifts of $100,000 and greater; the Legacy Society, which honors donors who make planned gifts or bequests to DMU; and the President’s Society at the Francium level, in honor of donors of $25,000 or more annually.
In addition, to support student education, Dr. Good chairs the student section of the American College of Osteopathic Internists (ACOI) and leads Students for Osteopathic Leadership in Internal Medicine Dialogue, or SOLID. He served as president of ACOI in 2013.
“That I chose to become a D.O. was the best decision in my life along with marrying Brenda,” Dr. Good says. “We’re very appreciative of DMU. It gave us the ability to have a good life. Now it’s time for us to support the next generation of students.”