Ongoing WVU School of Dentistry Renovations Boost Patient Education and Care | WVU today

A $ 1.5 million renovation project improved the patient reception and waiting area of ​​the emergency care clinic at the WVU School of Dentistry.
(Photo WVU)

Transformative renovations within the University of West Virginia School of Dentistry radically modernize facilities to improve patient care and oral health education for the next generation of dentists and dental hygienists in West Virginia.

$ 1.5 million project completed this fall updated WVU Dental care and reception areas with the support of alumni and friends. The work was financed by Transforming Oral Health: The Campaign for Facilities, a $ 15 million fundraising effort to support multi-phased facility upgrades for units in the School of Dentistry.

At the beginning of January, construction took place in three phases. Phase 1 involved the establishment of offices for diagnostic sciences and clinical affairs finance staff. It also placed experts in oral medicine, oral and maxillofacial pathology and forensic odontology in the immediate vicinity of the student clinic, Emergency care clinic, Endodontics clinic and oral medicine treatment area. Phase 2 updated the emergency care and radiology clinics, and patient reception and waiting area followed in phase 3.

Before the renovations, the patient reception and waiting area had remained largely unchanged since its construction in 1957. The space now has a modernized look, updated equipment, an improved reception function and enlarged, many seats for patients and physical doors that better identify the clinic from the Health Sciences Center.

“Thanks, in part, to the generosity of our donors, the emergency care clinic area has improved dramatically,” said student Hunter Palmer, Class 2023 president. “With patient chairs more comfortable, functional monitors in every unit and x-ray equipment in actual operating rooms, we are able to provide care more easily and use visual aids to provide important oral health education to our patients. This, combined with the updated imaging rooms and brighter lighting, makes the space welcoming and professional.

The School of Dentistry is working to determine the next phase of the renovations in conjunction with Management of WVU installations and the SmithGroup, an international architectural design firm. The SmithGroup is conducting a comprehensive review of existing spaces and working on a renovation plan that reintegrates the School’s postgraduate clinics, Faculty practice and Dr W. Robert Biddington Center for Dental Innovation in the health sciences center.

Dean of the School of Dentistry Stephane Pachuta said the changes will ultimately improve student education to benefit dental patients statewide. Over 80% of practicing dentists in West Virginia are graduates of the WVU School of Dentistry.

“It’s incredibly exciting to see the changes happening in our dental school,” said Pachuta. “The recently completed renovation of our emergency care clinic and central patient reception area is the first step in what we hope will be a complete renovation of our specialty clinics, our group dental clinic and our innovation center. We absolutely believe that the synergy that results from co-locating all of our clinics will provide an optimal learning environment for all of our students. Our renovation initiative is integral to meeting the educational needs of our students and supporting our families in West Virginia and neighboring states through 2050 and beyond.

Private financial support is essential to the success of future renovation efforts. Among other donations, WVU Members of the School of Dentistry Alumni Association have contributed $ 300,000 – including individual donations of $ 150,000 from Loring Ross, DDS, and $ 25,000 from Michael George, DDS – to support the work of the Emergency Care Clinic. The patient reception and waiting area is named in recognition of the generosity of the Alumni Association of the School of Dentistry.

Individuals and businesses interested in supporting the School’s fundraising campaign should contact Director of Development Karen Coombs at 304-216-3784 or kcoombs@wvuf.org. Naming opportunities are available for those who wish to honor a loved one’s legacy or explore other options.

All gifts are made through the WVU Foundation, the non-profit organization that receives and manages private donations on behalf of the University.

-WVU-

cr / 11/18/21

CONTACT: Cassie Rice
Communication specialist
WVU Foundation
304-554-0217; crice@wvuf.org

Call 1-855-WVU-NEWS for the latest news and information from the University of West Virginia at WVUToday.

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