HARROGATE, Tenn. — Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk, chairman of the Board of Trustees of Lincoln Memorial University (LMU), was honored at the Rural Health Association of Tennessee (RHAT) Regional Conference with the Al Grant Award on Nov. 19 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. The award is bestowed upon an individual who has exhibited above and beyond exemplary initiative in forwarding the cause of rural health in Tennessee over the person’s career.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” DeBusk said. “Our mission at LMU is to train doctors, physician assistants and nurses to help meet the needs of rural Appalachia, and it is absolutely wonderful to see that we are meeting that mission. And we are going to continue to work hard towards the goal of training future health care workers to meet the needs of the people here in East Tennessee and beyond.”
LMU has over a $500 million impact on the region’s economy annually. The University is home to one of the largest, if not the largest, and most revered nursing programs in the region that offers a variety of nursing degrees from associates to doctoral. LMU furthered its commitment to health care in 2007 with the founding of LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM). LMU-DCOM offers a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Nearly a decade later, LMU-DCOM has grown to have the largest medical school enrollment in the state of Tennessee, and by far the largest Physician Assistant Program.
Al Grant, for whom the award was named, was an instrumental figure in the birth and growth of State Rural Health Associations across the nation. There are 36 state associations in total. He was truly a proponent of rural life and the ideal embodiment of the citizen legislator, combining his public health knowledge with political savvy and persistence to better the state of Tennessee and its citizens. This recipient should display the ability to bring together multi-faceted individuals to the common good of the health of all rural citizens of Tennessee.