The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 8, 2013

WVSOM hosting Civil War medicine workshop

By Tina Alvey
Register-Herald Reporter

LEWISBURG — The West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine will host free workshops on Civil War medicine as part of the “Experience West Virginia” initiative for visitors to the National Scout Jamboree.

The American Civil War was a turning point in the history of medicine, the result of new weapons technology and the vast number of casualties.

Open to interested local people as well as visitors, the workshops will be conducted on July 17 and 23 at the school in Lewisburg. Program content is appropriate for ages 10 years and older, according to information provided by WVSOM officials.

Well-known Civil War enthusiast Dr. Kendall Wilson Jr., a WVSOM graduate who owns a private medical practice in Lewisburg, will educate and entertain the audience with a brief history of surgery and the influence of the war on modern medicine.

He will also explore the evolution of osteopathic medicine — which was developed during the Civil War — and explain how primary care physicians are trained to practice medicine in rural communities.

Wilson’s workshops will be staged from 9 to 10:30 a.m. both days.

A Civil War re-enactor for more than 10 years, portraying a southern contract surgeon, Wilson held the position of CEO and project director for the Battle of Lewisburg Re-enactment Weekend for six years.

Following Wilson’s workshops July 17 and 23, WVSOM staff will lead participants on tours of the school’s state-of-the-art medical facilities, including the robotic patient simulators.

Local residents and out-of-town guests are also invited to a walking tour of Lewisburg July 23, hosted by WVSOM professor emeritus Dr. Larry Davis. The tour starts at 1:30 p.m. and lasts two hours.

Davis will regale his audience with stories of local battles that occurred during the American Revolution and the Civil War, along with tales of Indian raids and the legendary Greenbrier Ghost — the only known court case in which a murderer was convicted on the testimony of a ghost.

The easy walking tour covers less than a mile and will include a visit to Lewisburg’s North House Museum. Cost of the tour is $8.

To register for an event, visit www.experiencewv .org/registration/workshops or call 304-685-0589.

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Experience West Virginia is an initiative hosted by colleges and universities located in southern West Virginia. During the 2013 Jamboree, faculty and staff from the schools will offer creative programming for visiting Boy Scouts and their families, as well as other visitors and local residents interested in learning more about the area.

Program coordinator Karen Vuranch explains that Experience West Virginia is designed to celebrate the mountain culture of Appalachia.

Participating schools include Bluefield State College, Concord University, WVSOM, and three community and technical colleges — Bridgemont, New River and Southern West Virginia.

Programs will focus on everything from science, history and literature to crafts, music and drama. There will be hikes, camps, workshops and tours to pique every interest.

For more information, including a full schedule of programs, go to

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