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LMU READIES CAMPUS FOR H1N1 FLU



August 19, 2009 - Harrogate, Tennessee, August 19, 2009- As students at Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) arrive back on campus to begin another school year, a new message has accompanied the routine memos about obtaining parking permits and completing class registrations: “Healthy LMU and U: Keeping U Healthy Keeps LMU Healthy.”

University officials debuted the “Healthy LMU and U” campaign during the University’s annual faculty/staff conference in August after months of preparation by LMU’s H1N1 Task Force. Composed of faculty members of LMU’s DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM), the “Healthy LMU and U” campaign involves an extensive campus management plan for coping with an H1N1 flu outbreak as well as an aggressive communications campaign to educate the campus community about H1N1 and their individual roles in prevention.

The overall message of the “Healthy LMU and U” campaign centers on disease prevention and early detection. The campus community is reminded to practice good hygiene, including regular hand washing and use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Individuals who develop symptoms on campus are directed to make use of LMU-DCOM’s Department of Outpatient Services, which provides medical treatment to students, faculty and staff. Arrangements have been made for LMU security personnel to escort sick students to the Department of Outpatient Services to help expedite diagnosis and treatment. Most importantly, individuals who are sick are strongly encouraged to stay home until seven days after a confirmed H1N1 diagnosis or for 24 hours after symptoms have disappeared, whichever is longer.

Individual H1N1 fact sheets have been created for key constituencies on campus, including faculty, housekeeping/maintenance, security, dining hall staff and resident directors/resident advisors. Every student has been given a fact sheet and pocket card outlining the symptoms of H1N1 and the key on-campus numbers to call should a student become sick. “Cover Your Cough” posters developed by the Minnesota Department of Public Health have been distributed around campus, and soon masks and gloves will be available in academic buildings for sick students as needed. H1N1 status updates and reminders will be communicated to the campus community through a variety of mediums as needed throughout the flu season.

“As a campus we have been aggressive in our approach to H1N1 flu planning,” said Dr. Ray E. Stowers, vice president and dean of LMU-DCOM. “With the medical school as a resource, we have been able to develop a comprehensive education plan and deploy that plan in time for the students’ return to school.”

The H1N1 Task Force is composed of LMU-DCOM faculty members Dr. Howard S. Teitelbaum, professor and chair of preventive and community medicine, who has decades of experience in the field of public health; Dr. Michael Wieting, professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, who worked with the American Red Cross for many years of his career; and Dr. Michael Seaman, assistant professor of emergency medicine and family medicine, who has extensive disaster planning experience through his service in the United States Air Force and in his career as an emergency room physician. The “Healthy LMU and U” campaign was designed to complement the University’s existing crisis management plan as well as the Claiborne County (Tenn.) crisis management plan. The H1N1 Task Force has met regularly with both LMU and local government officials to ensure cooperation at all levels of the plan’s implementation.

LMU’s “Healthy LMU and U” campaign materials are available for download at www.lmunet.edu/dcom/h1n1.shtml. The resources are available to area organizations and schools that may need assistance in their own H1N1 planning.

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 dcom@lmunet.edu, or visit us online at www.lmunet.edu/dcom.

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Caption: The “Healthy LMU and U” logo.

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