‘Deeply grateful’

WCUCOM classes resume following tornado

The Hattiesburg, Mississippi, osteopathic medical school takes steps toward recovery after a tornado destroys parts of the campus.

The William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, resumes instruction Jan. 25, four days after a tornado destroyed parts of the medical school.

No students or faculty were injured in the EF3 tornado, which killed four and injured 20 in Forrest County, Mississippi.

Faculty commitment

Classes will be held in an empty nursing school at the nearby University of Southern Mississippi, according to Dean James Turner, DO. The rapid recovery that belies the extent of the damage sustained on campus is a testament to his faculty’s commitment to students, Dr. Turner said.

The anatomy lab took the brunt of the storm and was leveled. Two other buildings require repair, but are structurally sound, and another is being evaluated. Rebuilding the school is expected to be an 18-month process.

As faculty prepared for students’ return, Dr. Turner expressed the campus’s gratitude for the immediate outpouring of support from the osteopathic community.

“We are overwhelmed by the generous offers of time, money and energy from the osteopathic family to help us recover and resume classes. I’m pleased to report that we are headed back to class, deeply grateful for the broad support and well wishes our community received,” Dr. Turner said.

How to help

There is no need for on-site assistance with recovery efforts, Dr. Turner said. But the American Osteopathic Foundation is accepting tax-deductible donations to assist WCUCOM students and faculty with their material losses.

Donors can visit aof.org/wcu2017 and make donations directly online. Or they can text 41444, enter the keyword WCU and the dollar amount (e.g. WCU 20). No additional language or symbols are required. Text donors will receive a response with a link to enter their donation.

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