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ECONOMIC IMPACT OF LMU-DCOM EXCEEDS $13 MILLION IN FIRST YEAR OF OPERATION



January 28, 2008 - Harrogate, Tennessee– A recent study examining the economic impact of Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) estimates that Tennessee’s newest medical school will add more than $13.4 million to the state’s economy in fiscal year 2007-2008.

The study, prepared by renowned economist Dr. Gerald Doeksen and his colleagues at the National Center for Rural Health Works at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa, examined four primary areas of economic impact: college operations, construction, student spending and visitor spending. The total economic impact of these activities is projected at $13,444,665 in fiscal year 2007-2008. The study also found that LMU-DCOM will add over $4 million dollars of retail sales into the economy during the current fiscal year.

“When Abraham Lincoln told General O.O. Howard to go there and do something for the loyal people of Appalachia, I’m sure he never imagined the impact those words and his legacy would have on this region. Nor do I think General Howard imagined that 110 years after he founded Lincoln Memorial University, that it would be home to a world class college of osteopathic medicine poised to combat the growing health care epidemic across the nation.” LMU President Dr. Nancy B. Moody said. “While this study clearly demonstrates the economic impact of LMU on this region, it is important to remain focused on the true impact of the mission of LMU which is to serve the underserved and to change lives.”

The report also examined LMU-DCOM’s economic impact on its primary service area. Located at historic Cumberland Gap National Park, where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia converge, LMU-DCOM’s primary service area is defined as three counties in Virginia (Lee, Scott and Wise), 10 counties in Kentucky (Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Laurel, Jackson, McCreary , Rockcastle and Whitley), and 14 counties in Tennessee (Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Knox, Scott, Sevier, Sullivan and Union). The economic impact on LMU-DCOM’s tri-state service region is estimated at $13.3 million in fiscal year 2007-2008. When comparing the state economic impact to the regional economic impact, the impact of LMU-DCOM on the tri-state region is only slightly less than that on the state of Tennessee. The study’s authors found that this illustrates that most of the spending activity associated with LMU-DCOM occurs in the school’s primary service region.

“The mission of Lincoln Memorial University has always been to educate the people of this region,” said Dr. Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk, chairman of the LMU Board of Trustees. “By providing educational opportunities we also provide economic opportunities. An expanded workforce of highly-trained professionals infuses needed job opportunity and economic growth into the region. As we look ahead to the ways in which LMU can meet other needs of this area, we are pleased to have confirmation of the tremendous economic impact a school like this can have in just one year of operation."

Finally, the report looked ahead to the year 2011, when LMU-DCOM will graduate its first class of osteopathic physicians. LMU-DCOM estimates that 70 percent of its first graduating class will practice in Tennessee and 30 percent will practice in rural Tennessee. By remaining in Tennessee, the total economic impact of LMU-DCOM’s first graduating class is estimated at 3,675 jobs, over $114 million in income, $35.6 million in retail sales and over $2.4 million in sales tax collections. The total economic impact of the first graduating class on the rural Tennessee economy is 1,575 jobs, $49.1 million in income, $15.2 million in retail sales and $1.1 million in state sales tax collections.

“Our first priority for our osteopathic medical school graduates is and always will be to serve the healthcare needs of this region,” said Dr. Ray E. Stowers, vice president and dean of LMU-DCOM. “But it is wonderful to know the tremendous economic impact that just one physician can have on our service region – especially in the rural areas.”

A companion study examining the economic impact of LMU as a whole found that the total impact of the University on the state of Tennessee in fiscal year 2006-2007 was more than $68 million. The University’s economic impact on the tri-state service region was only slightly less, at $67.4 million, again illustrating that the overwhelming majority of spending activity associated with LMU occurs in the school’s primary service region.

LMU was chartered in 1897 as a living memorial to the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, with the mission of providing educational opportunities to the often underserved people of Appalachia. Since its founding, LMU has successfully addressed the challenges and goals of changing times with increased enrollment through expansion efforts in academic disciplines and at extended sites. The educational contribution of the University has long been clear. Often overlooked, however, is the economic impact that a university like LMU and its associated colleges has on the state and the surrounding region.

Doeksen, currently the Director of the National Center for Rural Health Works, has 40 years’ experience working with economic impact models. During his career, Doeksen has been published more than 50 times regarding impact analysis and has been involved with over 300 economic impact studies. Doeksen founded the National Center for Rural Health Works more than 10 years ago to train professionals across the country to measure the impact of health services on rural economies. The Center is funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy.

The full text of the economic impact study is available online at www.lmunet.edu/dcom.

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine is located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. LMU-DCOM is an integral part of LMU’s values-based learning community, and is dedicated to preparing the next generation of osteopathic physicians to provide healthcare in the often underserved region of Appalachia and beyond. For more information about LMU-DCOM, call 1-800-325-0900, ext. 7082, email dcom@lmunet.edu, or visit us online at www.lmunet.edu/dcom.

Economic Impact Study - LMU-DCOM

Economic Impact Study - Lincoln Memorial University

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