ECU School of Dental Medicine holds first convocation
ECU News Services
East Carolina University has lived up to its promise to educate dentists for rural and underserved populations, Chancellor Steve Ballard said Aug. 15 during the first faculty and staff convocation for the ECU School of Dental Medicine.
“We’re exactly on course. Exactly,” Ballard said. “And we’ve done everything we said we would do.
“But the proof is in the pudding when the school’s 10 community service learning centers are up and running across the state,” he continued. “We’re on our way.”
Ballard congratulated the school’s students, faculty and administrators for developing Ledyard E. Ross Hall, the school’s new 188,000-square-foot facility on ECU’s Health Sciences campus. He also noted the June opening of the first community service learning center in Ahoskie, where residents and a supervising dentist are already caring for patients.
“We’re working in the toughest climate I’ve ever seen in higher education,” Ballard said. “And we must each focus every day on ECU’s mission of service while showing the public that we are using funds wisely.”
Phyllis Horns, vice chancellor for ECU Health Sciences, echoed the chancellor by encouraging “creative partnerships between health sciences faculty to maximize resources and deliver health care that is as friendly to consumers as possible.”
School of Dental Medicine Interim Dean Greg Chadwick said the school is an extension of ECU’s mission of serving the educational and health needs of the state.
“We have been given a wonderful opportunity with unbelievably talented and committed faculty, staff and students,” said Chadwick. “We also have the support of our university, the UNC System, our legislators and, most importantly, the people of North Carolina.”
Chadwick listed more firsts for the school that are coming up this fall, including the grand opening of Ledyard E. Ross Hall, a white coat ceremony for the class of 2015, the opening of a community service learning center in Elizabeth City and the kick-off of a fundraising campaign.
About the school
The School of Dental Medicine recruits North Carolinians to its pre-doctoral program, leading to a doctor of dental medicine degree. Post-graduate programs include advanced education in general dentistry, general practice residency and pediatric dentistry residency.
Ledyard E. Ross Hall will serve both the learning needs of students and the dental needs of patients in the greater Greenville area.
Pre-doctoral students will transition from classes and clinical experience in Ross Hall to rotations in community service learning centers across the state during their fourth year.
The school plans to operate 10 sustainable community service learning centers. The Ahoskie center – which opened in June – will be followed by centers in Elizabeth City, Sylva, Lillington, Spruce Pine and Davidson County.
Additional locations have yet to be named.