Students at Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine celebrated the completion of 11,231 community service hours through the TOUCH program at its annual TOUCH Hours Awards Ceremony.
“We know that students at LMU-DCOM volunteer for various organizations, but when you step back and look at the numbers, it really shows how much our students love this community,” said Casey Bassett, PhD, associate dean of students at LMU-DCOM.
TOUCH, which stands for Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health, is a program started by the Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents to encourage osteopathic medical student involvement in community service activities. Through this program, students are recognized for their hard work and dedication in serving others during their years spent in medical school.
The TOUCH year lasts from April to March and students are recognized based on the number of hours they accrue over the year. Twenty-five LMU-DCOM students logged over 100 hours of community service and received Gold-level recognition and 71 LMU-DCOM students logged over 50 hours and received Silver-level recognition.
Each year, one student is chosen from each school by the COSGP as a top participant with Platinum-level recognition for community service on a local, national and international level. The Platinum recipient at LMU-DCOM was second-year osteopathic medical student Emmanuel Okenye, of Cleveland, Tennessee. Okenye completed 375 hours of community service which included participation in the LMU-DCOM community wellness program at local schools, as well as internationally through a school that he founded in Nigeria.
Over the last year LMU-DCOM students have held a Kids’ Pediatric Health Fair, given free health screenings at several events, mentored students at Middlesboro Elementary School, helped create a community wellness program at Forge Ridge School and volunteered through Servolution and Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps. Hundreds of students also got together to make baby blankets and hats for newborns at Middlesboro ARH and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.