Bulletin of Dental Education

Around the Dental Education Community - May 2013

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FEMA Awards $1.2 Million to Help Rebuild LSU Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry Physical Plant

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced an additional $1.2 million in recovery aid to Louisiana Facility Planning and Control to rebuild the physical plant at the  Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Dentistry  (LSUHSC School of Dentistry), including mitigation measures to help prevent damage from future storms.

“The LSU School of Dentistry has been a New Orleans landmark since 1972,” says FEMA’s Louisiana Recovery Office Deputy Director of Programs Andre Cadogan. “The school educates a significant number of future dentists, hygienists, and lab technicians and could not afford to be lost to Katrina. We have all worked together to bring this school back, not only as it was before but with added mitigation efforts to strengthen it against future hurricanes.”

LSUHSC School of Dentistry, located near New Orleans City Park, was flooded with approximately five feet of water from Hurricane Katrina. The water stood in the facility for two weeks, damaging, among other things, the physical plant’s architectural, mechanical, and electrical components. Following Katrina, the school relocated to the South Campus of LSU in Baton Rouge until it was able to return to New Orleans in August 2007.

Prior to the hurricane, the physical plant, built in 1971, generated and supplied chilled water, soft water, hot water, compressed air, and building steam to the administration and clinical buildings. As part of the renovation process, the school proposes to use FEMA’s Public Assistance mitigation funding to elevate mechanical, electrical, and plumbing equipment and the incinerator. Additionally, mitigation will fund environmental control generators to provide power during a similar storm event.

“We are most appreciative of this next step towards a return towards normalcy of our campus and anxiously anticipate FEMA approval of the next important mitigation project related to our clinical and research facilities,” says Henry A. Gremillion, D.D.S., MAGD, Dean of the LSUHSC School of Dentistry.

More than 4,000 dentists, hygienists, and lab technicians have been educated at LSUHSC School of Dentistry, equating to 75% of the dental health care workers in Louisiana having been trained at the school. In 2008, LSUHSC School of Dentistry was honored at the William J. Gies Awards for Vision, Innovation, and Achievement for Outstanding Innovation-Dental Education Institution. School leadership led the institution through a two-year process of relocating after Hurricane Katrina's destruction, establishing a new clinic in Baton Rouge and keeping faculty, staff, and students together as a new facility was built in New Orleans.

Louisiana Facility Planning and Control owns the School of Dentistry facility, which is part of the larger LSUHSC complex. To date, FEMA has obligated approximately $188.9 million in public assistance funding for Hurricane Katrina-related recovery work at LSUHSC. This figure includes the recent $1.2 million in funding. 

Dr. Dominick DePaola Dies at 70

Dominick P. DePaola, D.D.S., Ph.D., a renowned dental educator and researcher, died April 16 at his home in Florida.  “This is a sad day for dental education and research,” says ADEA President and CEO Richard W. Valachovic, D.M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. DePaola was elected to the office of ADEA President in 1991. He also was President of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the first person to hold both the ADEA and AADR presidencies. Throughout his career he received many honors and awards, including the ADEA Presidential Citation Award in 2003, the ADEA Distinguished Service Award in 2005, and the ADEAGies Foundation’s William J. Gies Award for Outstanding Achievement – Dental Educator in 2009.

At the time of his death, Dr. DePaola was Academic Dean of the Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine. Previously he served as Dean of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School; the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Dental School; and the Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry.

He was highly regarded for his research on nutrition as it relates to oral health and disease—work that earned him an honorary membership in the American Dietetic Association, the only dentist so honored.

Dr. DePaola earned his dental degree in 1969 from the New York University College of Dentistry. He also earned a doctorate in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. DePaola is survived by his wife, Rosemary, and their daughter, Alexis.

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