Dr. Christopher Loyke Named Dean of LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Christopher Loyke, Dean, Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) President Clayton Hess has announced the appointment of Christopher Loyke, DO, FACOFP, as dean and chief academic officer of LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM), effective following the departure of Brian A. Kessler, DO, FACOFP, in May.


In his new role as dean and chief academic officer of LMU-DCOM, Loyke will lead operations at the institution’s two sites in Harrogate and Knoxville, Tennessee. In that capacity, he also will serve on Hess’ President’s Cabinet. A member of the LMU-DCOM faculty since 2018, Loyke currently oversees LMU-DCOM’s clinical education as the associate dean of clinical affairs and associate professor of family medicine.


Brian A. Kessler, DOKessler, LMU-DCOM’s second dean, will be leaving to return home to be with his family in North Carolina and begin his newest role at Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine in Buies Creek, North Carolina. Kessler has served LMU since 2015 and was instrumental in expanding LMU-DCOM to a second site in Knoxville, Tennessee, as well as developing the Doctor of Occupational Therapy and Doctor of Physical Therapy programs that will welcome their inaugural classes in May.


“This is an important time in our institution’s history. The continued growth and expansion of LMU-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine has been central to the health and well-being of our University and allowed us to impact the health and well-being of the communities where LMU-trained physicians serve,” Hess said. “Dr. Brian Kessler has made tremendous contributions to LMU and LMU-DCOM throughout his tenure and we wish him well in his appointment at Campbell University. It is a testament to the faculty that he has assembled that his successor is already in the University’s ranks.”


Loyke received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OUHCOM) in Athens, Ohio. He completed his residency at Brentwood Hospital, and is board certified in general practice by the American Osteopathic Board of General Practice. Loyke currently serves as Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps. He has deployed to multiple foreign and domestic environments to provide care to soldiers and local populations.  Loyke has served as chief medical officer, director of medical education, and staff physician at the University Hospitals Parma Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, where he practiced family medicine for over 25 years. Loyke is a member of various professional and scholarly organizations, including the American Osteopathic Association, the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association. His honors and awards include OUHCOM’s outstanding family preceptor awards and being named one of Cleveland’s “Best Doctors” as ranked by his peers for five consecutive years.


“We built this medical school to make a difference in communities in Appalachia and beyond by preparing practice-ready physicians who are called to serve, especially in medically underserved areas. I can think of no better individual to lead these efforts than Dr. Christopher Loyke,” LMU Board of Trustees Chair Autry O.V. “Pete” DeBusk said. “Dr. Loyke is an experienced and caring physician with over 25 years of experience treating patients in both the hospital and clinical setting. He’s an exceptional physician and leader. We are fortunate that Dr. Brian Kessler had the foresight to recruit him to join our faculty and administration. I wish Dr. Kessler the best as he returns to North Carolina to be closer to family and I am excited to see how Dr. Loyke will continue Kessler’s legacy and vision here.”


“My two greatest passions, professionally, are service and teaching,” Loyke said. “To be associated with an institution whose mission emphasizes caring for the most vulnerable in our community and to have a hand in educating future osteopathic physicians is a dream come true. Moving forward, LMU-DCOM will continue to recruit, expand and emphasize our mission by producing the best physicians who are focused on service to humanity.”


Kessler plans to participate in the LMU-DCOM Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 15. He received his osteopathic medicine degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pennsylvania. After completing a traditional rotating internship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and an osteopathic family medicine residency in Cleveland, Ohio, he practiced with the Cleveland Clinic and the University Hospitals of Cleveland. Kessler worked as the inaugural associate dean of clinical affairs at Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine. He is the former chief academic officer and director of medical education at Cleveland Clinic South Pointe Hospital, in Cleveland, Ohio. Kessler is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, an AOA Health Policy Fellow, an Academic Leadership Fellow, and a member of the inaugural cohort of AACOM Senior Leadership Development Fellows. He currently serves as a commissioner on the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation, a board member of the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, and a Governor of the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians.


“I am truly excited for Dr. Loyke and LMU-DCOM. It is with great honor I welcome a long-time friend, confidant and colleague as the newest dean at LMU-DCOM,” Kessler said. “I know in my heart he is the right person for LMU, and it is crucial now more than ever for him to guide LMU-DCOM into the future. The students, faculty and staff will enthusiastically embrace his leadership, and I will always cherish the opportunity to have worked closely with Dr. Loyke.”


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies.  The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at [email protected].

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