Stowers to Retire as Dean of Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

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Founding dean of medical school stepping down January First

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Dr. Ray E. Stowers

Dr. Ray Stowers has served LMU as a dynamic leader, passionate advocate, pioneering innovator and a great recruiter for the past decade.

November 24, 2014— Ray E. Stowers, D.O., founding dean of Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine(LMU-DCOM) will retire from that post effective January 1, 2015.

“Dr. Ray Stowers has served LMU as a dynamic leader, passionate advocate, pioneering innovator and a great recruiter for the past decade,” LMU President B. James Dawson said. “He has enhanced our academic community one hundred fold, building strong and robust medical education programs, recruiting world class faculty, building innovative and state-of-the-art facilities and enhancing the reputation of Lincoln Memorial University. While his presence will be missed on campus, his legacy will live here for generations to come.”

Stowers, an American Osteopathic Association (AOA) board-certified family physician, joined LMU in 2005, and since then he has been helping to groom future generations of osteopathic physicians (DOs) as the vice president for health sciences and founding dean of LMU-DCOM. He also serves as a professor of family medicine.

Prior to joining LMU-DCOM, Stowers was an associate dean and associate professor of family medicine and director of the Division of Rural Health at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences in Tulsa.

“When I first arrived in Harrogate in 2005, I was initially unsure of what we would be able to accomplish,” Stowers said. “But under the leadership of Pete DeBusk and the LMU Board of Directors, and with the hard work and dedication of a committed faculty and staff, we have built a tremendous medical school. Our graduates are predominately in primary care fields, and are working to help the underserved in this region and beyond. It has been my distinct honor to serve as the founding dean of LMU-DCOM. I am thankful to have had this opportunity, and I look forward to staying in touch with the students, faculty, staff and alumni of LMU-DCOM and watching the great things that lie ahead.”

Stowers’ advocacy for rural health care delivery can be traced back to his 25 years in practice in Medford, Oklahoma, where he founded the state’s first rural health clinics. He then served as director of the Oklahoma Rural Health Policy and Research Center.

On a national level, Stowers has advised Congress on health care issues through his appointments to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, better known as MedPAC, and the Physician Payment Review Commission. It was during his service to MedPAC that he first encountered LMU Board Chairman Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk. DeBusk recruited Stowers to act as a consultant to LMU while explored the possibility of founding a medical school on its rural campus and later convinced him to move to Tennessee to become the dean of the school.

“I have had the privilege of knowing Doc for 15 years. His knowledge of the medical world is unchallenged,” said DeBusk. “I will always appreciate what he has done for LMU in establishing this fine medical school. He is a great friend.”

A longstanding member of the AOA, Stowers has served on the Board of Trustees since 2000. He was named president-elect of the AOA in July 2011 and served as president from July 2012-July 2013. In addition, he has been involved with several other osteopathic professional organizations, including the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, which honored him with the A.T. Still Award of Excellence in 2008; the Northwest Oklahoma District Osteopathic Association; and the Oklahoma Education Foundation for Osteopathic Medicine. In 2006, he was named Family Physician of the Year by the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians. Furthermore, the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association honored Stowers as the recipient of the 2011 Paul Grayson Smith, Sr. Physician of the Year Award.

Stowers has received several honors from the students and graduates of LMU-DCOM, including being the inaugural recipient of the Dr. Ray E. Stowers Legacy Award and being named an Honorary Member of the LMU-DCOM Alumni Association. In addition he was recognized by LMU in 2013 with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award and by the Knoxville Business Journal in 2014 with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Upon graduating from what is today known as the Kansas City (Mo.) University of Medicine and Biosciences College of Osteopathic Medicine, Stowers completed his postdoctoral medical training at Tulsa Regional Medical Center.

Stowers and his wife, Peggy, have four children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

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 admissions(at)lmunet(dot)edu.

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Kate Reagan
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