The chief executive officer of Southeast Alabama Medical Center says the arrest of a top medical professional will not detract from a planned medical college in Dothan. CEO Ron Owen made his comments in a written release on the day after the arrest of Dr. Craig Lenz, dean of the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Lenz was charged with DUI over the weekend in Bay County, Florida following a traffic stop. He was hired in 2010 as dean of the college, which is under construction. SAMC is the developer of the school.
"The ACOM faculty and staff along with Southeast Alabama Medical Center will appropriately support Dr. Lenz while the charges are under investigation," said CEO Ron Owen. The statement does not address Dr. Lenz's future with the college.
"We are steadfast in doing everything that is in the best interest of our academic program at ACOM. The need for physicians is great and we will open a world-class medical college in less than nine months," Owen said. "We are very encouraged by the more than 2,000 applicants for our inaugural class in August 2013."
Lenz, according to reports, was arrested in Mexico Beach after an officer, responding to a reckless driving report, observed the doctor's late model Yukon being operated in an erratic manner. Upon stopping the SUV, the officer detected the smell of alcohol.
The incident report indicates Lenz refused to take a breathalyzer test which usually results in temporary loss of driving privileges.