New dental center provides hub for continuing ed, charitable work
A little more than a year after its creation, the Oregon Academy of General Dentistry Foundation has a permanent home — in the iHeart Radio building visible at the split of Highway 217 and Interstate 5.
Located at 13333 S.W. 68th Parkway, the new $2.6 million Oregon Academy of General Dentistry Foundation Center is the only Academy of General Dentistry constituent that merges continuing dental education with charitable programs in the United States.
"We've talked about it for a long time," said Laura Seurynck, executive director of the center, said about creation of the facility. "This is the first time we've had our own space, so it's a big deal."
Seurynck said the money for completion of the center was raised in about a year and a half.
Meanwhile, the Tigard building will serve as the headquarters for the Oregon Academy of General Dentistry, which was previously housed in downtown Portland and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Both the foundation and academy are non-profit organizations with the foundation having tax-exempt status.
The Oregon Academy of General Dentistry formed the nonprofit foundation last year and the new dental center will serve as a hub for charitable dentistry programs.
"The Oregon (Academy of General Dentistry) is an association that supports general dentists in their professional development," said Seurynck. She said the mission of the association is to be the premiere provider of continuing dental education.
In addition, the center is expected to create more equity by providing a state-of-the-art facility where uninsured and underserved people can receive the highest quality dental services.
"We're unique, and we are excited to begin serving Oregonians," said Seurynck. "This will really be a hub for networking the dental community."
The 7,000-square-foot facility includes 12 patient dental chairs, a 100-seat auditorium, a dental simulation laboratory with 3D X-ray imaging and administrative offices.
Dr. Scott Hansen, president of the foundation board, said he and other Oregon Academy of General Dentistry members have taken countless continuing education courses over the years and most want to help those "whose circumstances have made it difficult to receive quality dental care."
"The new OAGDF Center will give us a place to accomplish both using the best equipment in an environment unlike any other," said Hansen. "And to be part of something that has never been done anywhere in the country is exciting beyond measure."
According to a fact sheet, the new center will support "dental health days" for groups like children and at-risk women, allowing them to get checkups and treatment at a minimal cost.
In addition, the Oregon Academy of General Dentistry Foundation Center will house dental equipment that can be loaned out for dental humanitarian programs. Officials predict that there will be 400 unique visits by Oregon's dentists to the center each year.
The center also will collaborate with the Oregon Dental Association, Dental Foundation of Oregon, A-dec, Permanente Dental Associates and other groups to ensure that charitable programs are targeted to those most in need.
In addition, Seurynck said with a shortage of dental assistants throughout the state, the center is exploring plans to develop a dental assistant training program, working closely with Dr. Hal Oien, a major donor to the dental assistant training program, and Dr. Kim Wright. A new dental assistant training program is expected to be up and running by September 2021.
"(We're) just absolutely elated," Seurynck said of the center's opening. "We're really excited and really grateful to all the dental companies who donated."
Among those are: A-dec (who donated all the equipment, cabinetry and dental chairs), Patterson Dental, Permanente Dental Associates, Oregon Dental Association, Columbia Bank, Kavo Kerr Porter Instruments, Porter Instruments, Acteon, SciCan and WEO Media.
A grand opening celebration at the new center, located at 13333 S.W. 68th Parkway, Suite 010, is planned for Nov. 21 at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 503-228-6266.
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