A Landmark Event
A Landmark Event
Members of the School of Dentistry’s inaugural class of dental therapy students donned caps and gowns for a Campus Club ceremony on December 3 to celebrate the completion of their bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in dental therapy. The students are the first dental therapists in the nation to graduate from an accredited school of dentistry. More than 100 family members, friends and faculty were on-hand to participate and applaud the honorees as pioneers of a new profession.
Karl Self (Director, Division and Program in Dental Therapy) served as the master of ceremonies for the event, welcoming guests to a celebration of great accomplishment. Interim Dean Judith Buchanan addressed the group, recalling her earliest meetings with each student and acknowledging their courage and commitment in “being the first” and “leading the way”.
Dental therapy student and class president Meghan Meyer reviewed the highlights of the students’ education program and friendships formed throughout their course of study. Kim Johnson (Primary Dental Care-Dental Hygiene) welcomed each class member into the School of Dentistry Alumni Society. And Patrick Lloyd, immediate-past dean, reminded of two important principles the new professionals carry into practice: 1) The best approach to caring for patients is the team approach; and 2) There is only one standard of care. “Because of where and how you were educated, you have an opportunity and an obligation to ensure this standard.”
Guests of honor attending the ceremony included State Representative Kim Norton (R-Rochester) who co-authored the final version of the dental therapy legislation, along with representatives from the Minnesota Department of Health, the Minnesota Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, the Minnesota Board of Dentistry, and the Minnesota Dental Association. Several of these representatives were members of the workgroup tasked with providing recommendations to the legislature about the scope of services for dental therapists.
Prevous stories on the Dental Therapy program:
BOD Approval of Dental Therapy Program
Dr. Karl Self to Head Up Program in Dental Therapy
Workshop for Future Employers of Dental Therapists
Minnesota to Become First U.S. Dental School to Educate Dental Therapists
Visiting Dental Therapist Training Programs in Canada, New Zealand and England