April 23, 2008 - Harrogate, Tennessee, April 23, 2008 – Dr. Ray Stowers, vice president and dean of Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM), along with his wife, Peggy, traveled to the New Orleans area recently to volunteer at a community health fair for the residents of St. Bernard Parish, an area still struggling to rebuild following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

The Stowers’ went to New Orleans with a group of osteopathic physicians who serve on the Board of Trustees for the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). Dr. Stowers has been a member of the AOA Board of Trustees since 2000. The group worked in collaboration with St. Bernard Health Center and Heart to Heart International to conduct a basic health and wellness screening clinic for the residents of St. Bernard Parish. Services offered included: blood pressure, anemia, cholesterol, basic eye exams/screenings, diabetes, kidney disease, blood glucose and osteopathic manipulative therapy.

The osteopathic physicians used Heart to Heart’s Mobile Medical Unit to provide the free screenings. Heart to Heart International is a global humanitarian organization that works to improve health and to respond to the needs of disaster victims worldwide. The Mobile Medical Unit was parked at the site of temporary St. Bernard Health Center, currently located in a Wal-Mart parking lot. In addition, several of the osteopathic physicians, their spouses and AOA staff members worked with the St. Bernard Project to restore and rebuild houses in the Parish.

“It was a privilege to provide medical care to an area in such need,” Dr. Stowers said. “It was truly a rewarding experience. It is hard to understand the magnitude of destruction in the lives of the people of New Orleans without witnessing the area for yourself and hearing the victims’ stories first-hand.”

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, approximately 67,000 people called the Parish home. According to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, 100% of the homes and businesses in the Parish received significant structural damage during Katrina. The St. Bernard Project reports that the Parish endured standing water of anywhere from four to twenty feet for four weeks after Katrina hit. Located just southeast of New Orleans, St. Bernard Parish is adjacent to the Lower Ninth Ward. A wide variety of organizations believe that St. Bernard Parish suffered the greatest amount of damage from Hurricane Katrina.

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, e-mail, or visit us online at

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Caption 1: LMU-DCOM Vice President and Dean Dr. Ray Stowers (second row, third from right), and his wife, Peggy (front row, second from right), pose with other volunteers during a recent medical mission trip to New Orleans. (Photo courtesy the American Osteopathic Association)

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