May 5, 2006 - Harrogate, Tennessee—Lincoln Memorial University is a step closer to opening a College of Osteopathic Medicine after the celebration of the groundbreaking for the building that will house the proposed DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DCOM) on Friday. The 25-million dollar facility will be located on LMU’s campus in Harrogate, Tenn.

LMU trustees, faculty, staff, students and invited guests gathered at the base of the building site behind the current campus center for the program. Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and namesake of the DCOM, O.V. “Pete” DeBusk joined University President Nancy B. Moody, Vice President and Dean of the DCOM Dr. Ray Stowers and Trustees Sam Mars, Jr., and Dr. Joseph Smiddy to turn the traditional first shovelfuls of dirt. Other trustees, DCOM faculty and staff, University officials and DeBusk’s family also participated in the ceremony.

“This is a very historic day for Lincoln Memorial University and the people of the Appalachian region,” DeBusk said. “This building and the College of Osteopathic Medicine it will house is destined to be a landmark in this community. LMU has always been committed to serving the people of this area by providing educational opportunities. Today we celebrate the deepening of that commitment with promise of generations of doctors and medical professionals to come.”

The University announced plans to pursue accreditations for the DCOM on January 18 after it was granted pre-accreditation status by the American Osteopathic Association’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (AOA COCA) in mid-December. The new program represents LMU’s first Level V (doctoral/professional) degree program and requires approval from both the Commission on Colleges (COC) of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and AOA COCA. LMU has notified SACS of its intent to initiate a COM and seek accreditation at Level V and is working closely with SACS COC and AOA COCA to insure successful implementation of the new DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. Recruitment of students will begin following the approval of both accrediting agencies. A targeted goal for the beginning of classes is the fall semester, 2007.

The idea of a medical college at the University has been a long time dream for DeBusk, who has been a guiding force behind the endeavor. The need to provide health care professionals grew to a crisis level across the nation a generation ago. Lincoln Memorial University’s first measure for alleviating the crisis was to launch a high quality nursing program in 1974. Over the 32 years of service of the Associate of Science Degree in Nursing, the program has grown in size and is now offered at multiple sites in the institution’s service area and now includes a baccalaureate completion program for RN’s. Further enhancement to the program will be the initiation of a new Master of Science in Nursing degree program in the fall. The program offers a concentration for Nurse Practitioners and is designed to produce much-needed healthcare extenders in the for the Appalachian region.

The state-of-the-art DCOM building is estimated at 105,000 square feet with four floors and will house lecture halls, faculty and administrative offices, laboratories, research space, examination rooms and classroom space. The DCOM facility will rival medical education facilities found at much larger universities throughout the nation.

State-of-the-art technology is planned throughout the building to meet curricular goals and objectives. There will be two lecture auditoria located on the first floor, each holding a capacity of over 200 with stadium-seating. Instructors will have the equipment to show PowerPoint slides, documents using a document camera, the internet to access web-based instruction, media and videoconference ability with remote sites. A large screen for the LCD projection of lecture visuals is planned for the front of the auditorium with accompanying large monitors spaced evenly along the aisles.

The first floor will also be home to the telemedicine distance learning center, where the hub for all video and media control will be housed. A media personnel and technician in the center will assist faculty members in the development and delivery of recorded distance learning modules and facilitate live interactive videoconferencing between training sites. This floor will include a learning resource center networked to the main Medical Library and its resources, a quiet study area for medical students and 15 small group classrooms.

The second floor is designed for faculty offices and classrooms for preclinical instruction and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) courses. An anatomy, histology and clinical skills lab to accommodate half of the class is structured for small and large group learning. A designated OMM lab is planned on second floor as well as a clinical testing and simulation lab with 10 patient exam rooms and a student lounge. The lounge will serve as a gathering place for medical students for the purpose of recreation, relaxation and fellowship and will feature a pool table, ping pong table, couches, chairs, television, snack machines, small food service and a dinning area.

The third floor will house the administration offices and conference rooms. LMU plans to move its nursing programs to the DCOM building and its faculty and staff will occupy offices on the third floor. A simulation lab will serve as a shared area for both nursing and medical students. Full-bodies simulation manikins will provide learners the opportunity to work in teams to respond to emergent patient care situations and individual clinical presentation simulations.

The fourth floor will be used for research and future expansion.

“Dr. Ray Stowers and his dean’s council have spent an enormous amount of time working with the architects and contractors to ensure that this facility will meet and exceed the program’s every need,” Dr. Moody said. “When the project is complete, LMU will have one of the most technologically-advanced facilities in the country.”

Sparkman and Associates have worked tirelessly on a design that will compliment the University’s existing structures. Merit Construction from Knoxville have been contracted to build the structure and work is already underway. The completion date for the new DCOM building is set for July 2007.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at

CAPTION: LMU Trustee Dr. Sam Mars, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Trustees O.V. “Pete” DeBusk, President Nancy Moody and Vice President and Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine Dr. Ray Stowers turned the traditional first shovelfuls of dirt at the LMU DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine Groundbreaking. The 25-million dollar facility is slated to be complete by July 2007.

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