Campbell Co., VA -Liberty University broke ground on a state-of-the-art Center for Health and Medical Sciences Friday. The center will train doctors here at home to serve here at home.
Liberty received a $20.5 million grant from Virginia's Tobacco Commission to build the school because of the university's commitment to train doctors to serve in Virginia's tobacco country.
The land has already been cleared on Candlers Mountain for Liberty University's Center for Health and Medical Sciences. The 138,000 square foot facility will be home to a College of Osteopathic Medicine that will graduate about 150 doctors each year.
According to the college's dean, Dr. Ronnie Martin, who is a D.O. himself, the LU med students will learn.
"A full practice of medicine discipline. We have specialists in every specialty and every discipline and people who practice," said Martin.
The center will also house a school of health sciences to educate.
"Nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, just any number of medical professionals will come from that school," said Jerry Falwell Jr., LU's chancellor.
Falwell Jr. says Southern Virginia is where these doctors and other health care workers could make the biggest impact.
"Our students are missions minded and I think you'll see a lot of them serving in Southside Virginia that need the help, that are underserved now."
That will further the mission of the university.
"The osteopathic tradition of emphasis on health and wellness for the patient requires a consideration of the body, mind and spirit and is consistent with the mission and vision of Liberty University," said Martin.
They hope to complete construction in Spring 2014 and welcome the first class of medical students to Liberty University that fall.