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Timothy D. Ernst Scholarship
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Dr. Ernst and Crew
Dr. Ernst Bio
Award Info
Award Criteria
Submission Info
Annual Memorial Walk/Run
Winners Spotlight

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The Timothy D. Ernst’s Memorial Scholarship is designated to provide residents with an opportunity to attend the AOCA Annual Convention.  Dr. Timothy D. Ernst had a passion for education and always strived to help and mentor the residents.  Dr. Ernst wanted to provide a way to carry on his legacy, and thus, a scholarship was set up to facilitate his wishes.

Dr Timoth D. Ernst and the Kirksville Crew     (Back to Top)





From the left, Jonathan Easterwood, Tim Ernst, Curtis Roof, (three of the four owners at the time), Erick Schuermann, and Levi Kelly.






When the crew learned Dr. Ernst would start chemo treatments, they decided to surprise him by shaving their heads too.  Levi Kelly, one of the Kirksville Anesthesia Associate CRNA’s, along with some others, came up with the idea. That idea spread, and by the end of the day, there were O.R. nurses, staff, surgeons, residents and medical students with the same “haircut.”  Missing from the picture were Theresa Rickelman, the other owner, who also shaved her head, and Ben Schrant, an employee at the time and now one of the partners.

More on Dr. Ernst Bio/background:     (Back to Top)

Timothy D. Ernst, D.O. graduated from Rockwell City High School in 1975 and attended a one year college majoring in Agriculture Business.  He then farmed for two years with his father-in-law until moving to Kirksville, Missouri.  He graduated from Northeast Missouri State University receiving a degree as a veterinarian technician in 1980.  In 1983 he completed his bachelors of science in Nursing from the same college.  As a nurse, Dr. Ernst worked at the Laughlin Hospital in Kirksville as a surgical technician and then at the Kirksville Osteopathic Hospital in the Critical Care Department.

In 1990 Dr. Ernst graduated from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine.  Following a residency in Anesthesiology in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the Metropolitan Hospital, he returned to Kirksville where he joined Kirksville Anesthesia Associates and became both a residency program trainer as well as a trainer for a nurse anesthesia program.  In addition, he joined the faculty of Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, becoming an Assistant Professor of Anesthesia and teaching Anesthesia to medical students and actively participating in the admissions process of the college.

Dr, Ernst was a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the American Osteopathic College of Anesthesiologists, where he received the distinction of Fellow of the College, and the Northeast Missouri Osteopathic Association where he served as treasurer for many years.

Traveling, hiking, camping, shooting, classic cars, and running were some of the activities Dr. Ernst enjoyed and participated in.  In his later years he enjoyed running half-marathons with his wife, Peg, and they also enjoyed fine foods as members of the Kirksville Gourmet Club.  His other interests included being a master gardener and acquiring fine whiskeys, bourbons and scotches.  Of all these, however, his greatest love was for his family and friends where his ready smile and pat on the back to all who knew and loved him was a familiar and welcome sight.

Prior to his passing, Dr. Ernst expressed a desire to continue his legacy in the form of a scholarship for residents wanting to attend educational meetings provided by the AOCA.  His passion for teaching, mentoring and the Osteopathic profession were the driving force behind the establishment of this scholarship*.


*Funding for the Timothy D. Ernst Memorial Scholarship is made possible through generous donations to the Timothy D. Ernst Memorial Fund.  Those wishing to donate to this excellent cause may do so by clicking the secure donation button at the bottom of this page, or donations can be made online


Award Info:     (Back to Top)

Winner(s) of the Timothy D. Ernst Memorial Scholarship will be awarded $500 towards transportation and four (4) nights lodging at the Annual Convention and will be spotlighted at the Conclave.

Award Criteria:     (Back to Top)

  • The Timothy D. Ernst Memorial Scholarship will be awarded, annually, up to two (2) Resident members based on their scholarship, leadership, and commitment to the osteopathic profession
  • All nominations MUST be made by a Program Director
  • Letters of Nomination should be sent to the Awards & Honors Chair as well as the AOCA Office
  • DEALINE for Submission is January 15
  • All awards are reviewed by the Board of Governors for final approval


Submission Info:     (Back to Top)

Please submit all nominations to the Awards & Honors Chair, Suzanne Huffnagle, by email AND to the AOCA office by email


Annual Memorial Walk/Run:     (Back to Top)

This is a family event so be sure to bring the whole family!  The AOCA will host a Memorial Walk/Run at the Annual Convention to raise awareness and funds for the Timothy D. Ernst Memorial Fund.  This is a great event to take part in and honor the vision and legacy of Dr Ernst.





Pictured second from left, Mrs. Peg Ernst, Dr. Toni Patterson, Dr. Theresa Rickelman, Mr. Patterson


Winners Spotlight:     (Back to Top)

Each year, we will post the winner(s) of the Timothy D. Ernst Memorial Scholarship.  We are hoping that with each passing year, the legacy that Dr. Ernst has left will make a difference in the lives of the winning Residents.

Timothy D. Ernst Scholarship Award Winners 

 Not Pictured

“I was greatly honored and also very humbled to receive the Timothy Ernst Memorial Scholarship. These emotions were felt more deeply at the Convocation and Convention in San Diego, where I otherwise would not have been able to attend. The caliber of the speakers and the amount of information was wonderful, and it was because of the Ernst Memorial Scholarship that I was able to be a part of it. It was impactful to me to hear people who knew him share stories about him before the "fun-run" and realize that I was now part of his legacy. Thank you again to the College for honoring me with this opportunity, and to all those who contribute to the Ernst Memorial Scholarship to allow opportunities like this to future residents.”

Daniel Grutter, D.O
2018 Scholarship Winner

“I consider it a great honor to be the first recipient of the Ernst Memorial Scholarship. Dr. Ernst was universally respected in and out of the perioperative theater. He remains a role model for many of us. His philanthropy allowed me to attend the 2015 AOCA Annual Convention in Orlando, which was my first opportunity to do so. It was an experience I will not soon forget! Thank you, Dr. Ernst, your legacy truly lives on through the scholarship bearing your name.”

Sean Sturm, D.O.
2018 Scholarship Winner



"I am honored to receive the Timothy D. Ernst Memorial Scholarship.  I would like to thank my mentor Dr. David Simons for the nomination and the committee for giving me the opportunity to attend the AOCA Annual Convention.  I have had the privilege of attending this convention in the past.  It was a great chance to further my education through informed up to date lectures provided by well qualified AOCA speakers.  Beyond that, I was able to meet influential leaders in Anesthesia who have imparted some invaluable advice and knowledge.  Dr. Ernst was one of those leaders who unfortunately I will not have the chance to meet.  He was a role model who strived to help the future generation of doctors through his educational mentorship.  Through this scholarship, his dream and legacy are honored, and I am very humbled to receive this opportunity.  Thank You.”

Ryan Cheng, D.O.

2017 Scholarship Winner


"Going to my first AOCA conference at the 2018 Mid-Year Seminar in Chicago was an amazing experience. Collaborative lectures allowed me to further build my knowledge base and add practical techniques to my anesthetic tool-set. What stands out most from my trip, however, was the feeling of being embraced into a community of Osteopathic Anesthesia providers and networking with resources spread throughout the country. As a resident, I’m especially thankful to those who generously donated to the scholarship fund which enabled me to afford the trip. While I never got the opportunity to meet Dr. Ernst, from the stories I’ve been told I know I would have enjoyed his company both in and out of the OR. I can’t think of a better way to honor the memory of such a great teacher than giving us residents the ability to share in the knowledge and camaraderie of his colleagues—I’m truly honored to be connected to his legacy."

Timothy Roberts, D.O.
2017 Scholarship Winner

"I wanted to express my gratitude in receiving such an honorable gift to attend the AOCA Mid-Year conference in Chicago, Illinois.  It was such an honor being chosen to receive this award.  Dr. Ernst, though I never got the chance to meet him, was a great role model for our profession.  He was friendly and a knowledgeable anesthesiologist that enjoyed teaching residents and peers what he had learned.  In receiving this award, it motivates me to improve upon my knowledge and skills in order to emulate his work.  I, too, now work with residents and try to impose on them some of the qualities Dr. Ernst was known for.  Although he has passed, he will certainly be remembered.  I was equally honored to attend the AOCA conference, learning from others in anesthesiology with high quality lectures and getting to know those in the country that continue to improve the safety and efficacy of anesthesia practice.  Thank you for allowing me to attend the conference in Dr. Ernst’s memory."

Manda Null, D.O.
2016 Scholarship Winner

I consider it a great honor to the first recipient of the Ernst Memorial Scholarship.  Although I never had the pleasure to work with Dr. Timothy Ernst, several of my colleagues did.  After I was nominated by my Program Director, I decided to do a bit of research.  I quickly realized I would not be disappointed.  I was regaled with stories of frivolity, friendship, and farming; ALL of which are traits I share with the late Dr. Ernst.  He was universally respected in and out of the perioperative theater.  Whether it be in his garden, enjoying the outdoors on a run, or back home with family, Dr. Ernst led an active life.  He remains a role model for many anesthesia providers.  His philanthropy allowed me to attend the 63rd Annual Conclave and Convention in Orlando in 2015, which was my first.  It was an experience I will not soon forget.  Thank you Dr. Ernst, your legacy lives on through the scholarship bearing your name.

Delano Proctor IV, D.O.
2015 Scholarship Winner



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