Physical therapy program to launch in 2021 |

Western University of Health Sciences has moved up the launch of its Doctor of Physical…

Physical therapy program to launch in 2021 |

Western University of Health Sciences has moved up the launch of its Doctor of Physical Therapy program in Lebanon.

Originally slated to begin in 2022, the first 60-student class will instead begin taking classes in July 2021.

There has also been a change in plans for the location of the program. Western University of Health Sciences originally proposed construction of a new building on the Samaritan Health Services campus in north Lebanon near the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, Northwest.

“We are moving in another direction now. Our intent is to purchase and renovate an existing building in Lebanon,” said Dr. Dee Schilling, Dean of the Western University College of Health Sciences.

The location of this building has not yet been announced, but Schilling confirmed that a large space is needed to fill all of the future needs. The physical therapy program will grow to 180 students at full capacity and in 2023 Western University plans to launch a Doctor of Occupational Therapy program in Lebanon, as well. This program will have the same structure as the school of physical therapy, with 60 students admitted each year to the three-year program.

So within a few years, there will be 360 new students, with the accompanying faculty and staff.

Dr. Chad Lairamore, the chair of Lebanon’s Doctor of the Physical Therapy program, said applications are currently being received for the inaugural class and there is great interest in the new school.

“We have more applicants than we have spots,” Lairamore said, adding that applications will continue to be accepted through February 1. But the priority deadline for admission was October 1 and interviews of prospective students will begin soon.