Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry and the Oregon Academy of General Dentistry (OAGD) have announced a unique partnership to transform continuing dental education in Oregon. The partnership is the first of its kind in the nation.
"We are so excited about this new collaboration," said OHSU School of Dentistry interim dean Gary Chiodo, D.M.D. '78, F.A.C.D. "This kind of arrangement has never been tried anywhere before and we think it's an optimal and cost-effective model that will be a win-win for everyone in the Oregon dental community. Oregon AGD values continuing education and life-long learning as a foundational element of its mission. This partnership will join the forces of two great organizations in an effort to move the continuing dental education enterprise forward on an impressive trajectory."
The partnership is expected to breathe new life into continuing dental education offerings in the state with more and varied speakers and courses, and a new method of delivering continuing dental education to remote parts of the state.
"This is an amazing opportunity," agreed Aaron Tinkle, D.M.D. '06, Oregon AGD president for 2012. "The partnership combines OAGD's well-recognized expertise in speaker and study club management and administration with OHSU's name recognition and continuing education classroom and clinic space for a very mutually beneficial arrangement that will advance both organization's missions."
Under the agreement, OHSU's continuing education clinic, located on the ground floor of the School of Dentistry, will become the OHSU/OAGD continuing education department at the Kenneth Cantwell Continuing Education Clinic, explained Phyllis Beemsterboer, M.S., Ed.D., associate dean for academic affairs. Kris Wessel, Ph.D., a longtime health care education consultant, has been named director of the new department.
"Our first goal is to move to an online course registration mechanism, which is incredibly exciting," said Beemsterboer. "Once we get the administration down, we will begin to add innovative new courses and speakers. By combining our resources, OHSU and OAGD will be able to bring more nationally recognized speakers to Oregon, which will provide more opportunities for Oregon oral health professionals, saving them time and money by not having to travel for their dental education."
The partnership discussions began about one year ago, said 2011 OAGD president Scott Hansen, D.M.D. '87, M.A.G.D. "With the impending retirement of OHSU's continuing dental education director, who was managing the dental school's courses and speakers, and our continual need to obtain quality clinic space for our one dozen study clubs, Jack Clinton [D.M.D. '64, dean emeritus] and I realized that each of us already had what the other needed and the partnership idea was born," said Hansen. "But the ball really got rolling when OAGD made a $250,000 gift to the OHSU School of Dentistry for its new building on South Waterfront, so we could ensure there would be a space in the facility for continuing dental education."
At that point, said Hansen, the OAGD board agreed to proceed with a partnership and secretary/treasurer Kimberly Wright, D.M.D. '89, M.A.G.D., took the lead in drafting an agreement. "It is very unusual that two such groups as OHSU and OAGD have a symbiotic relationship; this is not the case in many other dental communities," said Wright. "Oregon AGD has been blessed to have a good working relationship with OHSU for all these years, and dental professionals benefit greatly from this relationship.
"Oregon AGD is looking to innovate how we educate not only our dentists, but the whole dental team to provide the best care to patients," said Wright. "We also have visions of more online continuing education opportunities as we move forward.
"We expect this to be a very fruitful and productive union to benefit dentistry in Oregon."