Dr. Kara O'Karma, D.O., recently was presented with the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine's Outstanding Specialty Preceptor Award for the Northern Region.
O'Karma, who graduated from the school in 2000, practices obstetrics and gynecology at Weirton Medical Center.
Preceptors assist and provide guidance to WVSOM medical students in their third- and fourth-year clinical rotations. During the annual graduation awards ceremony, recognition was awarded to preceptors from each of the six statewide campus regions who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and mentoring.
These health professionals have also demonstrated a commitment to community wellness and service, according to officials.
WVSOM President Michael Adelman, said physicians willing to offer guidance as preceptors provide a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to students.
"Historically, a preceptor was a teacher responsible to uphold a certain law or precept," Adelman said.
"The physicians across medical specialties who contribute their time and expertise to WVSOM students play an invaluable role in shaping the type of doctors they will become in their own practices. This award is one small way we can show our appreciation for their efforts."
Roughly 50 hospitals, clinics and medical centers across the Mountain State participate in WVSOM's Statewide Campus Program. Outstanding Primary Care and Specialty Preceptor awards were given to physicians in each campus region.
Franciscan University of Steubenville alumnus Tom Needham has been promoted to vice president of digital marketing for the Inspiration Networks.
In his new position, Needham is responsible for all marketing efforts in and on the networks' digital properties and social, SEM and SEO initiatives, including emerging media platforms and partnerships.
He will oversee all digitalmarketing initiatives and is the go-to digital strategist for INSP, Halogen TV and La Familia Cosmovision.
Needham became the first director of the Inspiration Network's Web Center of Excellence and was tapped to lead INSP's digital efforts when the network launched its New Day programming initiative in 2010.
His efforts have led to a 350 percent growth in web traffic and a 730 percent growth in newsletter subscribers.
He now assumes similar responsibilities for the organization's other networks, Halogen TV and La Familia Cosmovision.
Needham has operated in the digital space since the late 1990s, when he spearheaded the launch of two start-up companies before joining American City Business Journals, where he worked in the online editorial space for SportsBusiness Journal before moving to the Business Journals, where he oversaw e-mail operations, client services, advertising operations and analytics.
A published author, Needham has written three inspirational children's books and was a recipient of the West Virginia Associated Press Best Sports News Writing Award.
He is a member of the Cable Television Association for Marketing PromaxBDA and holds a HubSpot certification in inbound marketing.
Needham, who earned a degree in English from Franciscan University of Steubenville, lives in Charlotte, N.C., with his wife and two daughters.