Dr. Edward E. Elko, a beloved figure at TCOM, passes away

Dr. ElkoDr. Edward E. Elko, one of the most legendary individuals in the history of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, passed away Wednesday at age 92. Elko retired in 1996, but his name remains engrained in medical education at The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Elko, and our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family during this time,” said Dr. Frank Filipetto, TCOM dean. “He mentored countless TCOM students for more than two decades, and his impact and legacy will live on through the Elko Advisory College. Dr. Elko is forever part of TCOM’s history.”

Elko began his career at TCOM as a guest lecturer until 1978, when he was hired full time and joined the faculty in pharmacology. While he was a faculty member, he was awarded the M.L. Coleman Pre-Clinical Professor of the Year Award for 1988-89.

In addition to his work on the faculty, he served as associate dean for basic sciences from 1981 to 1986 and associate dean for student affairs from 1989 to 1996.

Dr. Elko and the Elko Advisory College FlagAlthough Elko retired in 1996, his name continues to play an integral role in HSC medical education. In 2011, the Elko Advisory College was named after him.

Each year, a group of TCOM students is placed in Elko College, one of six advisory colleges that serve as mentoring networks and a learning community for students, as well as promote greater interaction between faculty and students.

Upon retirement, Elko was awarded the rank of Professor Emeritus, and the following year, he was the recipient of the Mary E. Luibel Distinguished Service Award.

He remained active even in retirement, serving as an accreditation site visitor for U.S. colleges of osteopathic medicine. Elko also volunteered his time at HSC Health. In 2021, TCOM announced the creation of the Dr. Edward E. Elko Endowed Scholarship to coincide with his 90th birthday.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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