University of Southern California Receives $35 Million Donation to Dental School
University of Southern California (USC) graduate and trustee Dr. Herman Ostrow donated $35 million to the USC School of Dentistry in late January. It is believed to be the largest individual donation to a U.S. dental school.
Dean Avishai Sadan says that the school has been renamed the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC in Dr. Ostrow's honor. The money will be used to upgrade and renovate facilities, support dental and craniofacial research, hire additional faculty, and enhance programs that provide dental service to Los Angeles residents. "We are grateful and proud that an alumnus of our school has chosen us to carry his legacy," Dr. Sadan said. "Our tradition of excellence in clinical education, research and community outreach; our world-renowned, dedicated faculty and staff; and loyal alumni such as Dr. Ostrow will safeguard the lofty reputation of the school for decades to come."
Dr. Ostrow earned his D.D.S. from USC in 1945 and practiced dentistry for 17 years, both in private practice and with the U.S. Army Dental Corps. After leaving the dentistry field, he became successful in the Los Angeles construction and real estate market.
American Association of Public Health Dentistry Receives Grant from Kellogg and Macy Foundations
The American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) has received a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation is also a funding partner. The grant will develop a model curriculum for and make recommendations on issues related to implementing dental therapists who would receive two years of post-high school education.
Among the topics to be addressed are the educational setting and the types of curriculum advances required to prepare dentists to properly supervise and utilize the knowledge and skills of dental therapists. A career ladder for therapists will be recommended, and pathways for dental hygienists, dental assistants, and community health aides to expand their training and add therapist duties will be enumerated. Program accreditation and licensure needs, as they relate to current state practice acts, will be reviewed.
The project is headed by Caswell A. Evans, Jr., D.D.S., M.P.H. Dr. Evans is a member of the ADEA Legislative Advisory Committee. He also serves as Chairman of a related Kellogg Foundation Advisory Committee on the Evaluation Project under way for the existing Alaska Dental Therapists program.
Dr. Evans will head a panel of dental school deans and faculty. The project is expected to last 12 months. More information on the project will be provided at the National Oral Health Conference.
Western University of Health Sciences Health Education Center Opens
As part of its $100 million campus expansion project, Western University of Health Sciences (WesternU) recently opened an 18,000-square-foot Health Education Center (HEC). The HEC will bring together the Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, Dental Medicine, Optometry, and Podiatric Medicine under one roof.
"The fact that students are able to be instructed and to participate in this environment speaks volumes," College of Podiatric Medicine Founding Dean Lawrence B. Harkless said. This will create a culture of interprofessional education."
With the opening of the HEC and the establishment of an interprofessional education curriculum, WesternU looks to improve service to patients and enhance student training. First-year students will begin their interprofessional education curriculum this semester. The program will bring together all the disciplines on campus so students will understand other health professions, providing and promoting a team approach to patient care and health care management leading to improved patient care. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Malet, WesternU)
Southern Illinois University Introduces Rural Scholar Program
Southern Illinois University has introduced the Southern Illinois Underserved Children's Access through Rotational Education and Service (SIUCARES) Rural Scholars Program. Scholars receive supplemental training during school and after graduation that prepares them to provide care in the rural areas of central and southern Illinois.
The SIUCARES program requires additional curriculum hours focused on pediatric and community dentistry, including more extensive community-based clinical rotations throughout the four years of dental education. The additional training hours take place over breaks and weekday evenings. The three inaugural Scholars completed their first community outreach program, a three-day clinical rotation at the Southern Illinois Regional Wellness Center (SIRWC) in Washington Park, Illinois, over Thanksgiving break.
In 2009, the Illinois Children's Healthcare Foundation (ILCHF) granted $1.5 million to the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine to create and implement the SIUCARES program. Scholars receive an annual scholarship of $10,000 during their four years of dental education. They are required to participate in a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) residency program. A resident's salary is provided. With reduced educational debt, the program aims to allow Scholars to more easily take on practice in a rural setting.
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Completes Five-Story Vertical Expansion
Dedication ceremonies at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine celebrated an ambitious 22-month vertical expansion in one of Boston's most densely populated neighborhoods. University officials, City of Boston representatives, and community leaders came together at the grand opening of a five-story, 95,000-square-foot addition on top of the existing 10-story Tufts University School of Dental Medicine building in Boston's Chinatown.
"The additional space as a result of the vertical expansion will allow us to expand clinical areas to increase access to care and community programs, as well as create new state-of-the-art teaching space to train our students and offer continuing education," said Dean Lonnie H. Norris, D.M.D, M.P.H.
The original building, built in 1972, was designed to be a 16-story structure; however, the building plan was revised and only 10 floors were constructed at that time. The top five floors recently added include two new clinical patient floors, an expanded simulation laboratory, teaching facilities, a continuing education conference center, and administrative offices. (Photos courtesy of Alonso Nichols, Tufts University)
University of Michigan Awards First Online Dental Hygiene Bachelor's Degrees
The University of Michigan proudly awarded Bachelor of Science degrees in Dental Hygiene to the first seven people to complete the school's online Degree Completion E-Learning Program. The two-year curriculum, launched in January 2008, is the only 100% online learning program offered by the University of Michigan School of Dentistry that leads to a bachelor's degree.
The students met once at the School of Dentistry in December 2009 for a two-day orientation and to meet their online dental hygiene faculty and classmates face to face. They worked with agencies in their communities, nursing homes, and homeless shelters to develop oral health programs and complete coursework for the 36-hour program.
The Degree Completion E-Learning program provides dental hygienists the opportunity to continue their education to obtain the baccalaureate degree and prepare for leadership roles and expanded career opportunities. Graduates have the knowledge and skills for using sound scientific methods and accessing evidence-based information for making decisions and providing patient care.
The university cites the growing need for dental hygienists with a bachelor's degree as the reason for the implementation of the online program. "The bachelor's degree is a cornerstone requirement for dental hygienists who want to become educators. But the degree gives them other career options, such as public health and research, if that's something they also want to do," said Prof. Wendy E. Kerschbaum, Director of the school's dental hygiene curriculum.