By Victoria Doll —
The University of Louisville School of Dentistry (ULSD) and Western Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) are collaborating to create a new dental clinic in western Kentucky.
The clinic will be on the second floor of the Anderson Technical Building on the WKCTC campus because of its central location to the western Kentucky population. The clinic will have a full-time licensed dentist managed by ULSD where all students can work and gain experience.
This will be a clinical learning site for fourth year U of L dental students while the WKCTC students will be dental assistants from its dental assisting program.
U of L President Neeli Bendapudi said, “The important work of the university is not only educating future health care professionals, but also teaching students to become culturally competent providers.”
Dr. T Gerard Bradley, dean of the U of L School of Dentistry, said, “Our goal is to develop a network of community-based partner clinics in a variety of locations across Kentucky. These externship sites enhance our clinical curriculum while meeting the oral health needs of underserved populations.”
ULSD will provide expert dental oversight from a local, trained professional. Management of the dental operations done by students will include the establishment of all dental fees, billing and collections.
While the goal of this partnership is to strengthen both schools’ dental programs, the main focus is to help those who typically can’t afford regular dental care.
Carrie Hopper, dean of WKCTC’s Allied Health and Personal Services and dental assisting program coordinator, said, “This collaboration will help serve the underinsured, underserved population in our service region. I am beyond excited to begin this partnership with U of L School of Dentistry.”
This program mirrors other partnerships that U of L has with Red Bird Mission and Red Bird Clinic in Beverly, Ky. U of L has another partnership with Shawnee Dental Clinic, located in an underserved area of Louisville, that has helped educate the university’s future health care providers.
Graphic by Alexis Simon // The Louisville Cardinal