Pacific Northwest College of Wellbeing Sciences in Yakima has a new dean to just take its prepared faculty of dental medicine from a vision into a actuality.
Dr. Fotinos Panagakos will provide as the founding dean for PNWU’s college of dental medication, which is however in the progress stage, a information release claimed. The new dental university will coach dentists for rural and underserved communities.
“I’m just incredibly honored to have been selected. Dental educational institutions do not open up each individual other day, it is more of a rarity,” he said in an interview. “And to be requested to take on this responsibility and acknowledging how crucial it is not only for the university, but for the Yakima Valley and the broader Pacific Northwest.”
Panagakos stated the up coming step is to recruit extra school members.
Soon after that will come the accreditation procedure, which can consider close to 12 to 18 months, he stated. School leadership want to acquire establishing files and post them to the Fee on Dental Accreditation.
“I wouldn’t want to start out recruiting learners till we know we had that accreditation in hand,” he explained.
There is no business opening date for the school, but Panagakos anticipates drop 2025 as a acceptable time to welcome its initial class.
Want for rural dentists
The University of Washington at this time has the state’s sole college of dental medicine, while many dental hygiene educational institutions exist on the two sides of the Cascades. While UW’s dental school has a rural outreach application for its students, information and facts from the Rural Overall health Facts Hub reveals gaps in treatment stay.
The entirety of Jap Washington — other than for part of Grant County — is thought of a dental care lack region, according to the RHIH.
An growing older workforce of rural dentists, combined with the usually large price of dental educational facilities and the require to fork out off student financial loans contribute to the difficulty, Panagakos explained.
PNWU’s dental school will one particular day practice a dental workforce to enable alleviate the dilemma.
“We’re likely to be education major treatment dentists, to go out into these underserved communities and present oral wellbeing as perfectly as common well being providers,” he reported. That involves screening for diabetic issues and superior blood tension, supplying nutritional counseling, and figuring out behavioral or emotional concerns.
The purpose of PNWU’s dental school is reflective of the university’s more substantial objective to coach capable well being treatment industry experts to provide rural and underserved spots, Panagakos stated.
Panagakos now serves as associate dean for exploration and publish-doctoral affairs at the West Virginia College College of Dentistry, but PNWU’s altruistic eyesight is part of what captivated Panagakos to the Yakima university.
“That mission definitely resonated with me in this article in West Virginia,” he explained. “We have a identical challenge with underserved populations in very rural communities.”
His place with PNWU starts remotely in early May well, he mentioned. He will stay in West Virginia to see out the remainder of its educational 12 months and commencement.