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ECU cuts ribbon on dental school home

East Carolina University officials gather for the official ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 12 to open Ledyard E. Ross Hall, where the School of Dental Medicine will reside. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

ECU cuts ribbon on dental school home

Oct. 12, 2012

By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services

Local, state and university leaders cut the ribbon Oct. 12 on one of East Carolina University’s most significant buildings in recent years: Ledyard E. Ross Hall, the home of the School of Dental Medicine.

The 188,000-square-foot building rises four stories on its northwest side and three stories on its east side on ECU’s Health Sciences Campus. It houses classrooms, dental clinics, administrative offices and teleconference rooms. Its fourth floor is yet to be completed, but plans are for it to house offices and research space.

Dr. Ledyard E. Ross, who donated $4 million to the ECU School of Dental Medicine, is shown in front of the building that bears his name.

“Ross Hall not only provides a world-class learning facility for our students, it represents the completion of our promise to build a unique dental school that serves every area of North Carolina that is currently without sufficient oral  health  care,” said Dr. Steve Ballard, ECU chancellor.

“It is also symbolic of ECU’s historic mission to make a difference for North Carolina.”

Ballard also praised Dr. Ledyard E. Ross’ commitment to the community, calling him a “great friend of ECU.” Ross, a retired Greenville orthodontist, donated $4 million to the school.

“I’m fortunate to be able to help the dental school,” said Dr. Ledyard Ross. “I am very lucky to have the financial means to do so.”

Officials expect the school to help ease the statewide shortage of dentists, especially in eastern North Carolina. Three eastern counties – Tyrrell, Hyde and Camden – have no dentists. The new school will aim to educate dentists who want to stay in the state to practice, particularly in rural areas.

“Our new dental school and Ross Hall symbolize the state’s commitment and East Carolina University’s commitment to improving the quality of life of North Carolinians,” said Dr. Gregory Chadwick, dean of the dental school. “We look forward to not only educating future practitioners but to providing care across the state. Today is a celebration of the cumulative efforts of literally thousands of individuals who have made the ECU School of Dental Medicine and Ross Hall a reality.”

The first two classes total 104 students. They began their studies in the Brody Medical Sciences Building, home of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.

“Following the ‘grow your own’ philosophy established by ECU’s School of Medicine, all students accepted into the School of Dental Medicine are North Carolina residents with a demonstrated commitment to serve the people of their home state,” said Tom Ross, president of the University of North Carolina system. “Once again, ECU has put our university system in a positive national spotlight, and other states are already taking note and learning from our new model for dental care and training.”

First-year dental student Drew Jordan of Greenville praised the new building.

“It’s very modern and very welcoming, not just for us but for patients,” he said.

Second-year students, such as Alex Crisp of Burlington, began their dental studies last year in classrooms and labs in the Brody Medical Sciences Building, home of ECU’s medical school.

Smiling, Crisp said he feels like “I finally moved off my brother’s couch and got my own apartment.”

The school is continuing to hire faculty and staff. Its innovative curriculum uses technology to improve traditional dental education. Outside Greenville, the school’s first community service learning center opened this year in Ahoskie, and the second one should open by the end of the year in Elizabeth City. Centers will also be built in Lillington, Spruce Pine, Sylva and Davidson County, and up to 10 are planned for the state. At those centers, faculty members, dental residents and fourth-year dental students will provide care. Students and residents will learn what running a practice in an underserved area is like.

Construction on Ross Hall began in the summer of 2010. ECU officials are seeking Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver certification for Ross Hall. Design elements that make it a green building include the atrium that allows natural light to penetrate more parts of the building, a parking lot designed to minimize stormwater runoff, the use of regional materials to reduce freight and the use of materials with recycled content for a significant portion of the building structure, roof and walls.

Officials expect to announce plans in November for beginning patient care in the new building.

North Carolina general construction firm Balfour Beatty built the dental school, which cost $68 million. Architects were Raleigh-based BJAC and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Nisha Ganaesh demonstrates how to perform a dental filling during a tour of Ross Hall after the Oct. 12 dedication ceremony. Ledyard Ross, at left, observes the demonstration.

Chadwick named dean of ECU School of Dental Medicine


Chadwick named dean of ECU School of Dental Medicine

GREENVILLE (9/21/12)—Dr. Gregory Chadwick has been named permanent dean of the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine.

“Dr. Chadwick has been a major force behind the School of Dental Medicine, so this appointment is richly deserved,” said ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. “More than any other single person, Dr. Chadwick saw the necessity and the value of creating a statewide dental school with 10 service learning centers. This is a national model for serving underserved populations.”

Ballard announced the appointment at today’s ECU board of trustees meeting.

Chadwick came to ECU in 2005 to lead the effort to obtain approval from the University of North Carolina system and the state legislature, as well as funding, to establish the school. He served from 2008-2011 as associate dean for planning and extramural affairs as the school began hiring faculty and staff and admitted its first class. Since August of last year, he has served as interim dean.

“I’m extremely pleased and honored with the appointment and the opportunity to work with our great faculty, staff and students,” Chadwick said.

One of Chadwick’s signatures on ECU’s dental school is the community service learning centers. He championed the centers as a better way to prepare future dentists and dental residents to work in rural, underserved areas. ECU opened its first center this summer in Ahoskie and will open the second in Elizabeth City in the coming months. ECU has announced plans to build four others in underserved communities: Lillington in central North Carolina, Davidson County in the Triad, and Spruce Pine and Sylva in the mountains. Officials plan to build up to 10 centers across the state.

“The opportunities are nearly endless,” Chadwick said.

Dr. Phyllis Horns, ECU vice chancellor for health sciences, praised Chadwick’s work in starting the school, the relationships he has developed statewide on behalf of the school and his vision for the school.

“Dr. Chadwick has a commitment and passion for the School of Dental Medicine, the unique curriculum model we are putting together and the service learning center model we have developed,” she said. “Students, faculty and staff reassured me that Dr. Chadwick is a good leader and would make an excellent dean.”

ECU enrolled its second class of 52 students in August. The school has a total of 104 students and is moving into its new home, the 188,000-square-foot Ross Hall, this fall. The North Carolina General Assembly has appropriated approximately $92 million to establish the new dental school.

A North Carolina native, Chadwick received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served in the U.S. Naval Supply Corps for four years before entering dental school. After graduating from the UNC School of Dentistry, he practiced general dentistry in a community health center before entering his residency in endodontics. He earned a master’s degree in endodontics from the UNC School of Dentistry in 1976 and practiced endodontics in his hometown of Charlotte for 30 years.

He is a former president of numerous dental organizations including the American Dental Association, the North Carolina Dental Society, the Second District Dental Society and the Southern Endodontic Study Group. In addition, he is a fellow of the American and International Colleges of Dentists, the Academy of Dentistry International and the Pierre Fauchard Academy and a founding member of the Holiday Dental Conference.

His recent international involvement in dentistry includes serving for six years as speaker of the General Assembly of the FDI World Dental Federation in Geneva.

A diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics, he served for 18 years as a part-time clinical professor at his alma mater and for 14 years as chair of the endodontic section at Carolinas Medical Center, where he served on the faculty for more than 25 years.

Chadwick and his wife, Knox, have two adult children, Stephen and Jane, both of whom are general dentists.

ECU School of Dental Medicine holds first convocation

ECU School of Dental Medicine holds first convocation

Aug. 29, 2012

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 2012 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.

Healthcare partners join forces

Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center  (RCCHC) and East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine are joining together in an official Groundbreaking Celebration for the new Ahoskie Comprehensive Care Center on Health Center Drive in Ahoskie. The outdoor event, held in conjunction with the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce, ‘s Business after Hours event, is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, Aug. 23 and will be held behind the current corporate offices of RCCHC at 113 Hertford County High Road in Ahoskie.

Read the full story.

ECU to build dental center at Davidson County Community College

ECU to build dental center at Davidson County Community College

By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services

Dr. Gregory Chadwick, interim dean of the ECU School of Dental Medicine, speaks at Davidson County Community College on Friday, June 1. Photos by Cliff Hollis
THOMASVILLE, N.C.  (June 1, 2012)  —  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.

Once open, the center will provide a variety of services, including general, preventive and emergency dental care and will include services such as crowns, root canals and bridges.

The setting will provide students and dental residents with an opportunity to learn what practicing in a community setting is like. The school admitted its first class in 2011, and all students are North Carolina residents. Goals of the school are to improve access to dental care, to educate minority dentists and to produce dentists who have a desire to practice in underserved areas.

“The ECU approach – educating students and residents in our community service learning centers – could become a future model for dental education,” Chadwick said. “Community service learning centers are more than just dental clinics. They are an integral part of our dental school where our seniors will spend much of their fourth year.”

North Carolina ranks 47th out of the 50 states in the number of dentists per capita, according to the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Many people without good dental care live in rural areas, where North Carolina averages three dentists for every 10,000 people. That compares to urban areas of the state, where the ratio is nearly five dentists for every 10,000 people. Four counties, all in the northeast, have no dentists: Gates, Tyrrell, Hyde and Camden.

Nationally, the ratio is six dentists for every 10,000 people.

Davidson County has fewer than 2.6 dentists for every 10,000 people, according to the Sheps Center. Several of the dentists are over 70 years old, and a few are in their 80s, said Dr. Mark Davis, a Lexington dentist, DCCC trustee and former chair of the Davidson County Board of Health. He said the center should help recruit new dentists to the area.

“We’re hoping as we get the (dental students and residents) here, we can get them to stay here,” Davis said.

ECU hopes the centers will help improve the status of dental health in the state while adding an innovative educational aspect to dental school.

“We’ve taken the fourth floor of the dental school – the senior year clinical area – we’ve stretched the wires and we’re moving that part of our dental school to communities across the state where dental services are needed,” Chadwick said. “We are not only providing much needed care, but we are also educating our future dentists in areas similar to where we hope they will practice.”

ECU dental student Diana Luckhardt of Summerfield in nearby Guilford County agreed that working in the centers will help broaden her dental education.

“If you don’t get out and experience it, you don’t see the need,” she said. Luckhardt added that working in the centers will help teach students how to operate a dental practice.

The center will be built on the main DCCC campus in Thomasville. Construction will be paid for with funds appropriated by the state to ECU. Additionally, the CSLCs will generate revenue through patient care each of the centers will provide.

Founded in 1963, Davidson County Community College offers studies in more than 50 degree programs.

ECU dental student Diana Luckhardt speaks about how the community service learning centers will broaden her dental education.

ECU dental student Diana Luckhardt speaks about how the community service learning centers will broaden her dental education.

Here is an architectural rendering of the community service learning center ECU will build in Thomasville. Image courtesy ECU School of Dental Medicine

Dr. Gregory Chadwick, interim dean of the ECU School of Dental Medicine, speaks at Davidson County Community College on Friday, June 1. Photos by Cliff Hollis
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