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LUCOM welcomes new faculty, administrators to join dean in advancing the mission

Dr. Donald Raleigh is the new Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for Liberty University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.

With the recent announcement that Joseph R. Johnson, DO, FACOOG (Dist) has been named dean of Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine (LUCOM), the college is welcoming several new faces to help fulfill its vision of increasing academic opportunities and clinical experiences for students and resident physicians.

Since starting at LUCOM as interim dean in December, Johnson has been working with Liberty’s leadership on a new vision for the college and has identified faculty growth as a key focus area.

“This month, we are welcoming new individuals who will serve in multiple academic and clinical roles,” he said. “I am excited to welcome our new Senior Associate Dean for Academics and our new Associate Dean for Clinical Education and Graduate Medical Education, and their assistance will help us map out our future for clinical experiences and develop new graduate medical education programs with LUCOM.”

Johnson said bringing in new faculty hires was a team effort shared by Liberty University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Scott Hicks, LUCOM leadership, Liberty University Human Resources, and Merritt Hawkins and AMN Healthcare.

“Merritt Hawkins was instrumental in providing us quality Christian faculty candidates,” Johnson said. “We have gone through an intensive process in bringing the right selection of Christian faculty members who understand the importance of Christian mentorship to our medical students, and to those of our students who may not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I am confident that our faculty, both new and current, through sharing their own life experiences, will help our students grow into Champions for Christ and be equipped to take their medical gifts into the osteopathic profession.”

Johnson also identified two main goals for LUCOM: to increase the medical knowledge of the student-doctors by providing them with key resources to learn medicine and promote their optimal preparation for graduate medical education; and to fulfill a new community-based clinical care and education mission with the opening of new services for the Liberty University family and the entire region.

“We have a fantastic, wonderful university where each of us are part of a family of God’s goodness and blessing that we have the opportunity to share in. … God is good all the time and all the time God is good,” Johnson said. “Proverbs 27:17 tells us that, ‘as iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.’ We are all friends in Christ, and I look forward to us working together.”

In support of those goals, Liberty Mountain Medical Group (LMMG), a multispecialty academic medical practice that serves as the home for LUCOM clinical faculty, welcomes the following new members this month:

Donald R. Raleigh, EdD, joins LUCOM as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, working with LUCOM faculty and colleagues on multiple aspects of the first two years of osteopathic medical education. Dr. Raleigh comes with decades of experience since starting his educational career in 1988, including having served as President of the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators in 2019-20 and as Chairman for the Oklahoma Advisory Council in 2016-18. He currently serves as a member of Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister’s Advisory Committee, on the committee to “Develop, recruit and retain Oklahoma’s Workforce,” on the Oklahoma Character.org Board of Advisors, and on the Mid-American Industrial Park Workforce Development Council. He also has served on the Oklahoma Standards Setting Steering Committee.

While serving as superintendent of Pryor (Okla.) Public Schools for the past 13 years, Dr. Raleigh was named the 2017 Oklahoma Association School Administrators (OASA) Oklahoma Superintendent of the Year and the OASA District 6 Superintendent of the Year three times (2012, 2015, and 2017). He was also named the 2014 Oklahoma Administrator of the Year by the Oklahoma Advisory Council and has been honored as the 2006 Coca-Cola Joseph B. Whitehead Educator of Distinction. He earned his B.S. in Natural Sciences from Northwestern Oklahoma State University, where he was inducted into its Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014, and received his M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction and Ed.D. in School Administration from Oklahoma State University.

At LUCOM, Raleigh will focus on creating and strengthening a culture of osteopathic learning that prepares student-physicians for their clinical experience and equips them to complete their future mission of healing from a holistic approach.

Randy Litman, DO, joins LUCOM as its new Associate Dean for Clinical Education serving directly within the Dean’s suite to assist and facilitate LUCOM moving to the next level of outcomes expected of osteopathic medical schools, including licensing exam scores, standardizing clinical curriculum delivery across all community-based sites, and working with the dean’s team to further develop graduate medical education. He brings previous experience from undergraduate and graduate medical education to LUCOM.

Dr. Michael Neville, Pharm D, was hired as LUCOM’s Assistant Dean for Admissions and Student Life, working with Dr. Johnson’s team to build the pipeline of students to LUCOM and further develop student formation programming for their professional career pathways in medicine. He comes to Liberty with 25 years of experience in healthcare as a pharmacist and academic leader in clinical pharmacology in education and will also be teaching students through LUCOM’s Department of Pharmacology.  He has served as Assistant Dean at Wingate University and as a clinical, educational, and academic leader in multiples roles previously at Emory University and the University of Georgia, Athens.

Greg Heller, DO, joins LUCOM as its new Department Chair of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) and will be enhancing the curriculum delivery of principles and practice of osteopathic medicine across all four years of LUCOM medical education to further distinguish LUCOM outcomes and ensure that LUCOM’s students are learning real-world, clinical-oriented knowledge and skills in the field of musculoskeletal medicine. He will also be engaged as a preceptor for student-doctors and residents while seeing patients in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (ONMM) at the LMMG’s Wards Road location.

Raul Barroso, DO, MPH, is joining LMMG in pediatric and young adult medicine at a new community-based clinical care and educational site to serve the LU community, as well as enhance LUCOM’s clinical education in pediatric and young adult medicine. Dr. Barroso will be providing community-based medical education for medical students and residents as well as instruction in clinical skills for medical students at LUCOM.

Linda Gordon, MD, MPH, will be working with LUCOM faculty and colleagues in providing community-based medical education for LUCOM students and residents as well as assessing community needs for children and young adults.

Dr. Stephen Phipps, PharmD PhD, will be joining LUCOM’s Department of Pharmacology, bringing two decades of experience in clinical healthcare as a clinical pharmacist and instructional expertise in academic pharmacology in graduate education at the doctoral level. He will be working with colleagues to enhance the delivery of clinically relevant instruction to LUCOM’s students. He has most recently served in a number of roles at the College of Pharmacy at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.

David Jones, PhD, joined Liberty Mountain Medical Group as a Clinical Psychologist providing counseling services at the Wards Road location and providing clinical instruction for students and residents. He comes with 25 years of military experience in the Navy.

Lloyd Das, MD, a clinical faculty member at LUCOM, will carry out responsibilities as a teacher in family medicine and will also be engaged as a medical educator in the Lynchburg Family Medicine Residency Program as a clinician-educator and core faculty member in that setting.

Ben Ferry, MD, is joining LMMG as a sports medicine and family medicine trained physician and will be providing medical care for NCAA Division I Athletics at Liberty University, along with other senior colleagues in sports medicine and university athletics. He will also be engaged with LUCOM’s student-doctors and resident education at LUCOM and LUCOM Graduate Medical Education Services, respectively.

In addition to these new hires, the ONMM Residency Program of LUCOM Graduate Medical Education Services welcomed two new resident physicians in June 2021, Dr. Jackilyn Barr and Dr. Mark Unger.They joined the ONMM Residency to begin their three-year graduate medical education in Osteopathic Neuromusuloskeletal Medicine under the direction of Dr. Joy Palmer, DO, Dr. Nichole Thorsvik, and Dr. Shana Greven, DO, who will evaluate patients at Wards Road in Osteopathic Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and provide instruction to medical students and ONMM resident physicians in the ONMM Residency Program based there.

Lisa Estes, has been promoted to serve as Assistant Director of Clinical Education, overseeing the Office of Clinical Education for third- and fourth-year students and providing assistance with graduate medical education and all of the endeavors of Clinical Affairs at LUCOM. Estes brings many years of expertise in administrative management with extensive experience supporting C-suite level executives in corporate, legal, and nonprofit arenas. She previously served LUCOM for over two years as an administrative assistant in multiple roles and capacities to promote LUCOM’s mission.

Jay Bright has transitioned to the Office of Clinical Education to assist students with their studies in their clinical education years at LUCOM. He reports to Estes in this role while working within Clinical Affairs. Bright has been with LUCOM since August 2016, when he started serving as Administrative Assistant for Biomedical Sciences in the Anatomy Department while assisting with all of the aspects of anatomy and the preclinical curriculum.

Other notable staff who will be serving the effort to train the next generation of LUCOM physicians include:

David Freyre, Assistant Director of Admissions and Operations

Jessica Korn, Assistant Director of Medical Education and Operations

Bethany Shull, Administrative Assistant to Clinical Education

Adam Bundy, Academic Coordinator

Robbe Sisson, Administrative Assistant to Biomedical Sciences