The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, the premier clinical dental education program in the nation, has been housed in its uniquely shaped building on Stonewall Avenue since 1976. Since opening its doors, the College of Dentistry building has remained vitrually untouched. The College of Dentistry, however, has been constantly growing and now exceeds the capacity of its existing building, resulting in the need for a major renovation.
In recent years, some renovations and technology upgrades have been made to improve how patient care is delivered and how we educate oral health professionals. However, a complete renovation is not only necessary, it is critical. Today improvements in clinics and technology must be made. The proposed renovations are necessary to allow the College to integrate a comprehensive and patient-centered clinical delivery system and to provide students with a state-of-the-art learning and clinic environment.
Improved facilities are necessary to provide the most appropriate learning environment and to allow the College to continue to recruit and retain the best students and top faculty. The proposed renovations are critical to the College's continued success in meeting the University mission of providing the best possible educational experience for students through excellence in teaching, research, creative activity and service to the state and society.
The College of Dentistry began an analysis three years ago to determine if it can continue with the same infrastructure in place and the same building in use. The answer came in the form of a question: "How can we shape the legacy this school leaves for the future of oral health care in Oklahoma?" Enter the Legacy Project.
In 2011, the College launched the Legacy Project after an extensive evaluation of the external dental education environment, curriculum content, delivery of patient care, and new teaching and clinical technologies.
Results of this evaluation identified five key initiatives needed to maintain the College's reputation of clinical excellence and provide our students with a state-of-the-art facility and technology so they will be able to provide high quality care to their patients today and in the future.
To address these initiatives, the College has modified the academic calendar to improve student learning and provide more patient-centered care. The curriculum is in transition with some courses being added, deleted and re-sequenced to address new accreditation standards and a better learning experience. Implementation of the electronic health record and digital imaging went live in the predoctoral clinics in August 2012. Acquisition of the new clinic management system (AxiUm) and digital imaging was made possible, in part, with support from a previous gift from a donor.
However, to integrate a comprehensive and patient-centered clinical delivery system and to provide students with a state-of-the-art learning and clinic environment will require extensive renovation of our current facility, which, as noted earlier, has not been significantly modified since opening in 1976.
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