UNE Steps up fundraising efforts to make college of Dental Medicine a Reality | Health

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UNE Steps up fundraising efforts to make college of Dental Medicine a Reality
Health, Schools

On November 2, Maine residents voted yes in support of Question #2, which allows the issuance of a $5 million bond to increase access to dental care in Maine. This is in response to the well-documented critical shortage of dentists in Maine and northern New England, and the lack of a dental school in the region. 
 
The University of New England (UNE) plans to establish a College of Dental Medicine that will address both access to care as well as the need for more dentists in the state.  In November 2008, UNE’S board of trustees approved the academic program for the Doctor of Dental Medicine degree, and charged the university with securing the necessary funds to launch the college. 
 
UNE President Danielle N. Ripich states, “On November 2, Maine voters affirmed the need for dental access in our state and expressed hope for a solution.  By moving forward with our plans to open Maine’s first dental school, UNE will continue its leadership role to educate students for the health sciences in the 21st century, while simultaneously addressing the state’s most pressing health care workforce needs.”
 
The $5 million bond allocates $3.5 million to establish a dental school’s community-based teaching clinic and $1.5 million to expand or create dental clinics around the state.  The competitive award process for these funds will soon be under way, and UNE is in position to apply for the $3.5 million to establish a dental school. 
 
Even if awarded, UNE must raise additional funds to make the UNE College of Dental Medicine a reality, and it has an active campaign under way. Earlier this year, UNE received a lead gift of $2.3 million from Northeast Delta Dental in support of the UNE College of Dental Medicine.  With the addition of other generous gifts and pledges, UNE has secured $6.5 million toward launching the college, but to open its doors in fall 2012, up to $20 million is needed.
 
“As we prepare our application for state bond funds and for accreditation, it is essential that we continue our successful fundraising to demonstrate the capacity to open and sustain the new college,” says, Kneka P. Smith, UNE associate dean for planning.
 
Named one of the best regional universities in America by US News & World Report, UNE is a leader in health sciences education and biomedical research, offering student-centered, interdisciplinary programs in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Westbrook College of Health Professions, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Pharmacy, and College of Graduate Studies.   For more information, on the UNE College of Dental Medicine, visit www.une.edu.

Health, Schools