Back in December of 2012, Local officials and Administrators from East Carolina University broke ground for the news Community Service Leaning Center for ECU’s School of Dentistry. The $3 million, 7,700-square-foot center, located next door to the Jackson County Rescue Squad just above the Jackson County Senior is nearing completion and should be ready for occupancy within the next 60 days. The center is the third of ten centers that East Carolina University plans to open across the state. Each center contains 16 dental chairs and state-of-the-art general dentistry facilities.
ECU School of Dental Medicine faculty members, post-doctoral residents and dental students will provide patient care, giving the residents and students experience practicing in a community setting. The center will also employ local staff members. Medicaid and other forms of insurance will be accepted by the center.
Paula Carden, director of the Jackson County Health Department, stated at the ground breaking, “Dental health is essential for overall health, and many are being left out. I’ll be happy when we can refer patients to the center.”
The School of Dental Medicine intends to place fourth-year dental students in rotations in community service learning centers throughout the state. Also, the centers will provide various state of the art dental services to a wide range of patients. They will also serve as opportunities to encourage graduating dental students to set up a practice in rural areas of the state upon completion of the program.
“We are proud to be a part of this initiative by East Carolina,” said Chuck Wooten, Jackson County Manager. “Our hope is that the dental center will help more students in our region consider dental professions and that some of ECU’s dental students who work here will fall in love with the mountains and want to stay.”