LMU dental college opens today

Sandra ClarkHalls, North Knoxville, Our Town Leaders

The Lincoln Memorial University College of Dental Medicine will open today (9/7/22) and will receive its first students on Sept. 12. The college is located in the LMU Tower at 1704 St. Mary Street. The building is part of the revitalization of the former St. Mary’s Medical Center campus.

Pete DeBusk, LMU board chair, has been on-site throughout the renovation. Earlier story here.

The mission of the LMU College of Dental Medicine is to develop competent oral health care providers who commit to serving the people of Appalachia and beyond.

Despite all we know about the importance of oral health to overall health, to people’s self-esteem and to their employability, state and federal policies continually sell dental care short, according to the College’s website.

Most states spend 2% or less of their Medicaid budgets on dental services. An estimated 164 million work hours are lost each year because of oral disease. The LMU program will focus on care for underserved communities.

Pete DeBusk stands on the balcony of LMU Tower.

DeBusk believes that by 2030, LMU-College of Dental Medicine will be recognized as a national and international leader in dental education with clinically based, patient-centered training that stresses preventive health and evidence-based science. Graduates will hold a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry degree.

The College has received initial accreditation from the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), and it has been holding weekly information Zoom sessions. Contact Trish Walker here to sign up.

DeBusk started what became DeRoyal Industries in his garage in Halls. He still lives just down the street, but has grown DeRoyal over almost 50 years to international status. He holds several patents. Products include acute care surgical accessories, wound care, implants, orthopedic boots and braces, and various textile and plastic products to assist physicians. Production facilities are based in Appalachia and abroad. His 2013 book, “The Rabbit’s Got the Gun,” tells the company’s story.

He has brought the same vision and leadership to his college alma mater, LMU.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.

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