Bulletin of Dental Education

Around the Dental Education Community - June 2012

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Georgia Health Sciences University Gets $8 Million Grant for New Lab

Georgia Health Sciences University has received an $8 million grant to help build a lab with simulation hospital rooms to train aspiring physicians, dentists, nurses, and health care workers.

The Augusta institution received the money from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation in Atlanta. The lab will be part of a $76.5 million "education commons" facility for the College of Dental Medicine and the Medical College of Georgia. The 160,000-square-foot building will include patient simulators for a variety of health disciplines. For more information, please click here.

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine Hosts 2012 Jay Siebert Tri-School Symposium

Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) hosted the 2012 Jay Siebert Tri-School Symposium on April 27 and 28, 2012, at the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center. Advanced-education residents from GSDM, New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry, and the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) School of Dental Medicine presented a wide variety of research related to periodontics and implant dentistry. Students and faculty from the periodontics and prosthodontics departments at each of the three schools attended.

"This tri-school symposium was an excellent opportunity for our periodontic and prosthodontic residents to learn about dental research that is taking place at NYU and UPenn and to network with their peers at these schools," says Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter. "I am very pleased that we had the opportunity to host this year's event, and I applaud all of the presenters and organizers of this event for a job well done." Learn more here.

UCLA Dental Students Go on Dental Mission Trip to China

One of the main goals for the students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), School of Dentistry is not only to learn how to become dental practitioners, but also to figure out how to use their education to help people around them. This mission has eagerly been taken up by 10 UCLA dental students, ranging from their first to third year in school, and two local dentists, who are all fervently planning a one-week long dental mission trip in Yanji, China.  For the third consecutive year, the UCLA Chinese Dental Student Association (CDSA) will plan the trip. The group's twofold goal is to bring dental care to an orphanage that relies on volunteers and to change the way people view oral health.

The House of Love currently serves about 80 to 100 children, whose ages range from newborn to 18 years old. The orphanage, which is run by one mother and one father, receives very limited funding from the Chinese government. Furthermore, the surrounding community is severely underserved in oral health care and lacks easy access to dental treatment. For the majority of people in the community, the House of Love represents their only source of care.

For the past three years, UCLA dental students and volunteer dentists have provided basic oral care for this community. Their focus at the orphanage has been on restorative services, (including composites), scaling and root planning, sealants, prophylaxes, topical fluoride applications, extractions, and oral hygiene instruction. This service has been instrumental in providing oral care and also teaching younger children the value of dental hygiene. For many of the people of Yanji, dental care is often neglected and the connection between oral and systemic health is lost. UCLA students have been able to positively affect this community by showing how proper oral care can greatly improve overall health and well-being.

From September 2 through 10, these 10 UCLA dental students and two dentists will renew the CDSA Dental Mission Trip to Yanji, China, and continue to provide oral care to the orphans of the House of Love. The volunteers will rely on donations of dental supplies from several dental companies and guidance from accompanying dentists to accomplish their mission.

UCSF Hosts First Ever All-Alumni Weekend

For the first time, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) hosted a campus-wide alumni reunion that united all four professional schools—dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy—and the Graduate Division. The fact that alumni represented 24 different states and three countries made the reunion the largest alumni event in UCSF history.

Designed as a celebration of the role of education in UCSF's international leadership in health sciences innovation, the multi-venue alumni weekend was held at San Francisco's historic Palace Hotel, and on the university's Parnassus and Mission Bay campuses. The reunion featured more than 60 activities, including a breakfast with UCSF Chancellor Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, campus and lab tours, and an evening at the San Francisco Symphony.

"It brings me so much joy when I think about my years at UCSF,'' says Dr. Sahar Mirfarsi, a 2008 UCSF School of Dentistry graduate who was among those attending the homecoming. Dr. Mirfarsi is practicing general dentistry in the Los Angeles area. She has served as a volunteer in numerous community organizations, including health clinics in underserved areas, and she currently holds leadership positions with the San Fernando Valley Dental Society and the Iranian American Dental Association.

"This event is an amazing opportunity for me to … visit my colleagues, mentors, and friends,'' Mirfarsi says. "Not only is it vital for our profession, but also individually to stay in touch, exchange ideas, and communicate with one another….What a great event to combine it all. I cannot wait to see my colleagues, especially my favorite mentors.'' For more information, please click here.

UNC at Chapel Hill Opens the Doors of New Koury Oral Health Sciences Building

Committed to enhancing the quality of dental education, research, patient care, and service within its home state, the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry formally dedicated its newest facility, the Koury Oral Health Sciences Building, after a four-year construction process. This addition will enable the UNC at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry to eventually expand D.D.S. class enrollment size and respond to 21st century opportunities, discoveries, and advancements in the field.

Key features of the project include:

  • A signature 220-seat grand lecture hall in the West Lobby complete with video conferencing and distance-learning technology,
  • Two 120-seat lecture halls,
  • A 105-seat simulation laboratory giving students the opportunity to learn and develop their clinical skills before providing care to patients,
  • Five 30-seat seminar rooms for graduate seminars and small group discussions, one equipped for distance learning via live lecture broadcasts over the Web or through direct audiovisual feed,
  • Laboratories characterized by movable casework (allowing different arrangements as the research changes) and by centralized, shared support rooms for fume hoods and equipment,
  • Office and conference spaces.

"The new Koury Oral Health Sciences Building will provide an impressive gateway for the university's southern entrance. Students, faculty, and visitors will appreciate the efforts that have been made to design and construct a building that is not only attractive and functional, but also environmentally friendly," says Dr. Kenneth N. May, Jr., Vice Dean. "The school's missions of education, research, and services will benefit tremendously from the broad array of facilities that this building will add to our dental complex." For more information, please click here.

WVU Invites High School Students to Dental Seminar

High school students interested in becoming dentists can participate in a free four-day program this summer at West Virginia University (WVU).

The WVU School of Dentistry will provide information about dental career opportunities from June 19 through 22 in Morgantown. The program will enable students to learn about the art and science of dentistry, while also strengthening their understanding of the academic skills and personal attributes needed to attend dental school. Dental faculty and students will have opportunities to mingle during interactive seminars on oral health topics, hands-on workshops, and dental laboratory demonstrations. Applications are due on or before June 5, 2012, and can be obtained by calling (304) 293-5226. To learn more about this program, click here.

ECU Dental Center at DCCC Will Fill a Need, Student Says

Ms. Diana Luckhardt knows all too well the necessity for dental care in rural and underserved areas of North Carolina. Growing up in Summerfield, Ms. Luckhardt's family didn't have dental insurance. Twice a year, she and her parents would go to Guilford Technical Community College for dental cleanings. "The line was always really long," Ms. Luckhardt says. "I know that there's definitely a need in lots of areas in Guilford County, and a lot of areas throughout North Carolina."

Fast forward to May 2012. Ms. Luckhardt has just wrapped up her first year as one of the five Triad students in the 52-member inaugural class of the East Carolina University (ECU) School of Dental Medicine . She expects to graduate as a D.M.D.

The ECU program, which started last year, only accepts students from North Carolina in the hopes that the dental school's graduates will stay in the state after graduation. ECU has also said that it will partner with 10 rural areas across the state to establish dental centers that will serve as training facilities for fourth-year dental students as well as provide dental services to communities in need. The Business Journal reported that ECU plans for one of those centers to be located at Davidson County Community College's Lexington campus.

North Carolina averages about 4.4 dentists for every 10,000 people and places 47th out of 50 states for dentist-to-population ratio, according to Dr. D. Gregory Chadwick, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine at ECU. "This will be providing a resource for our state, for the people of the state, not only with educating dentists in these environments, but we're also providing care in these environments as part of the dental school," Dr. Chadwick says.

The dental center will allow Davidson County Community College to establish dental assistant and dental hygienist training programs, which the school would never have been able to afford otherwise, according to Dr. Mary E. Rittling, President of the college.

Dr. Chadwick says ECU sought out a regional approach to serve a broader need. "We basically looked at every county in the state," Dr. Chadwick says. "We're focusing on general dentistry. We're focusing on primary care, and rural and underserved areas of the state." These focus areas give students broader exposure from what they'd normally see in a private practice.

"Just from shadowing a predental student, you don't see the stuff you'd see in rural areas or underserved areas," Ms. Luckhardt says. "Shadowing really helps widen your range of what you learn, and what you see. ... You're going to see people who haven't been to the dentist in 10 or 20 years, because they're far away, or just haven't been able to afford it."

While the care provided at the Davidson County center won't be free, it will be at a lower cost than a private practice dentist, Ms. Luckhardt says. She says she's looking forward to working out in communities for her fourth-year training rotations. "I realized how big the need is," Ms. Luckhardt says.

ATSU Announces Naming of the Jack and Jamie Learning Center

Dr. Jack Magruder, A.T. Still University of Health Sciences (ATSU) President, has announced the naming of the Jack and Jamie Learning Center at its Center for Advanced Oral Health Education. Jack Dillenberg, D.D.S., M.P.H., inaugural Dean of ATSU's Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health (ASDOH), donated $50,000 to the creation of the multi-use facility that will serve as a classroom, a continuing education center, and a community hub.

"I am very grateful for Dr. Dillenberg's generosity. This philanthropic gift shows the passion within each of us to educate students who are caring and compassionate," Dr. Magruder says. The naming of the Jack and Jamie Learning Center was announced at an employee recognition event at ATSU's Arizona campus.

The 3,400-square-foot Jack and Jamie Learning Center honors Dr. Dillenberg and educator Jamie Moret. It is the latest addition to the 22,000-square-foot Center for Advanced Oral Health Education, located at ASDOH.

"I am humbled by the opportunity to be part of this great University and filled with pride and joy at ASDOH's success. This gift is for our students—who are our best ambassadors—and is a tribute to their achievements," says Dr. Dillenberg, marking his 10 years of service to ASDOH.

The Center's first phase, which is currently in operation with a 22-chair orthodontic clinic, will soon be home to an advanced care clinic that will provide treatment for individuals with complicated oral health needs. Learn more about The Center for Advanced Oral Health at www.atsu.edu/asdoh/caohe.

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