PROVIDING QUALITY CARE
ECU to build dental center at Davidson County Community College
June 1, 2012
By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services
The Triad will soon be home to a facility that officials say will bring dental care to low-income underserved residents while providing educational opportunities to East Carolina University dental students.
That was the message today as leaders of Davidson County Community College and the ECU School of Dental Medicine announced plans to build a "community service learning center" on the DCCC campus.
ECU will build the facility on land donated by DCCC. The Davidson County Health Department has also been a partner on the project. Construction dates will be announced later.
At the center, the sixth ECU has announced since it began its new dental school in 2008, fourth-year dental students and dental residents will hone their patient-care techniques and learn the ins-and-outs of operating a community practice under the eyes of experienced faculty members.
The $3 million, 8,000-square-foot center is one of up to 10 ECU plans to build across the state. The first center is scheduled to open in Ahoskie later this month. Others are planned for Elizabeth City in eastern North Carolina, Lillington in the central part of the state, and Sylva and Spruce Pine in the mountains.
"We are very excited about our partnership with Davidson County Community College, the county health department and the local dental community and look forward to providing quality dental care to residents of Davidson and the surrounding counties," said Dr. Gregory Chadwick, interim dean of the School of Dental Medicine at ECU.
Mary Rittling, president of DCCC, said she's excited about the partnership with ECU. "At DCCC, we are truly a central gathering place for the county, and we look forward to offering yet one more service to the community," she said. "'Community' is the most important part of our name, and this dental clinic epitomizes our mission to serve the people of this region."
The center will have 16 dental chairs and will employ local staff members, including 1.5 full-time dental faculty positions, a business manager, five to six dental assistants, two to three dental hygienists and two general dentistry residents. Four to five students will be at the center for nine-week rotations.