Oregon Dental Association Donates $250,000 To New OHSU School Of Dentistry

07/08/04    Portland, Ore.

The Oregon Dental Association (ODA) has pledged $250,000 to support construction of a new dental school facility at Oregon Health & Science University. The ODA announcement comes just weeks after OHSU announced that it plans to build an enhanced campus for interdisciplinary education on donated land in the South Waterfront district. The new dental school likely will become the first building constructed on the new campus, which will be known as the OHSU Schnitzer Campus.

This commitment from the ODA -- which represents more than 2,100 of the state’s dentists, the majority of whom are OHSU graduates -- is a strong endorsement of the OHSU School of Dentistry’s value to the region and also is a vote of confidence in the school’s future.

“Without the OHSU School of Dentistry, we could not deliver quality care to the citizens of Oregon,” said Mark Jensen, D.M.D., president of ODA. “As the voice of dentistry in Oregon, the Oregon Dental Association recognizes our responsibility to support the school that educates the vast majority of the region’s dentists. Our commitment will help to ensure dental education and ultimately access to care for all Oregonians.”

OHSU School of Dentistry administrators believe this gift from the most important professional association of Oregon dentists will inspire additional philanthropy.

“This gift from the leaders of dentistry in Oregon represents the foundation upon which our campaign will be built,” said Jack Clinton, DMD, dean of the OHSU School of Dentistry. “We are grateful to the ODA for this most recent indication that it supports the school and its mission. The ODA’s endorsement is critical to us.”

Other leadership gifts in the multi-million dollar private fundraising campaign to construct a new dental school include $1 million from A-dec, the world’s largest manufacturer of dental equipment, and $500,000 from The ODS Companies, Oregon’s leading dental insurer.

The school’s current building was built in the late 1950s, and its clinics, research labs and educational programs are outdated and overcrowded. Every year the school attracts many more qualified applicants than it can accept. A new building will allow more students to be admitted and ultimately help address the dental workforce shortage.

Pending additional fundraising, the new OHSU School of Dentistry will provide space for up to double the current annual enrollment. Plans for the new space include sophisticated simulation labs, including state-of-the-art equipment to replicate the high-tech environment that students will encounter as practicing professionals. The student clinic will serve patients, including some of Oregon’s most underserved populations.

The Oregon Health & Science University Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization securing private philanthropic support for Oregon Health & Science University. The foundation raises funds from individuals, companies, foundations and organizations, and invests and manages gifts in accordance with donors’ wishes.

The Oregon Dental Association is the state affiliate of the American Dental Association. The ODA’s mission is to provide the leadership that serves the needs of its members, unites the profession and promotes an environment that enables its members to improve the oral health of the public.