From today’s ATSU news release (watch video):
At a press conference this morning on the Kirksville campus of A.T. Still University, Chair of the ATSU Board of Trustees Carl G. Bynum and University President Jack Magruder announced that the proposal for a dental school in Kirksville will move forward. President Magruder said, “A dental program on the Kirksville campus of ATSU is perfectly aligned with the mission of the University and the vision of the Board to address an unmet patient need in Missouri and to serve rural locations and underserved populations.”
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon sent the following message in support of the ATSU initiative:
“I am extremely pleased that the A.T. Still University Board of Trustees has decided to bring a branch of its school of dentistry and oral health to Kirksville. When it comes to higher education, Kirksville is truly a center of excellence in Missouri, and this new dental program will add to that existing strength. A.T. Still University has a long history of educating outstanding medical professionals, and providing care to individuals in need. We are proud to have this fine institution expanding here in Missouri. I congratulate the A.T. Still University Board of Trustees, President Magruder and the people of Kirksville for taking this important step forward for our state.”
President Magruder thanked the residents of Kirksville and the region for their generous support for establishing the dental program. Through the independent group Community Friends for ATSU Dental, numerous local businesses, organizations, and citizens raised over $1 million to help ATSU start the program in Kirksville. He also thanked the faculty and staff of ATSU, who gave generously in support of the new program. “That million dollars makes a tremendous statement,” Magruder said.
The Kirksville program will be a branch campus of the innovative and successful model of dental education at ATSU’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health in Mesa, Arizona.
Assuming capital requests are approved by the Board in order to proceed with construction of a building on the ATSU Kirksville campus, and the program receives accreditation, the first group of students will enter the program in fall 2013 and graduate in May 2017. It is anticipated that the size of the first class will be between 40 and 50 students, with the possibility of future expansion.
The new dental program will partner with Community Health Centers (CHCs) around Missouri, including one in Kirksville run by the Northeast Missouri Health Council. These partnerships will ensure that students receive the proper training and be exposed to all levels of patient procedures. Students will study in Kirksville for the first two years of the program and rotate into training slots at CHC locations around the state, including the one in Kirksville. Faculty and staff will need to be hired for the first two years’ instruction, as well as for supervising students in the third- and fourth-year CHC rotations.
“This is a wonderful and important development for the city of Kirksville, northeast Missouri, the State of Missouri, and A.T. Still University,” said President Magruder. “I am proud to be a part of this initiative and grateful to everyone who has played a role in bringing a dental program in Kirksville to this point.”
- Kirksville Daily Express, with a follow-up article here.
- Watch this news video at KTVO.
- ATSU has now posted a video of the announcement here.
- See Laura’s informative post on her blog.
Congratulations, Dad! This was reason enough to come out of retirement.