December 16, 2008

Owens Dental Hygiene Program and Dental Center of Northwest Ohio Establish New Partnership to Help Area Children

PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH – Owens Community College Dental Hygiene program students for the first time have the opportunity to expand their experiential learning off campus and provide oral health services to underserved children throughout the region as a result of a new partnership with the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio. The new collaboration enables second-year Dental Hygiene program students to conduct oral prophylaxis (dental cleanings), topical fluoride treatments, dental sealants and X-rays for area children as part of their clinical dental hygiene experience.

Owens’ new partnership with the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio, which is located on Madison Avenue in Toledo, allows dental hygiene students to provide clinical care as operators and assistants to patients off campus in addition to the dental services offered to area residents through the College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic. The 20-chair clinic is staffed by dental hygiene students and supervised by licensed dental professionals at Owens, and appointments are available during the Fall and Spring semesters.

“Access to dental care is a growing problem for underserved families across the nation,” said Beth Tronolone, Owens Chair of Dental Hygiene. “The new partnership is a win-win for the Owens Community College Dental Hygiene program and the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio. Not only do Owens students benefit from the experiential learning, but also area children in need of dental hygiene care. The Owens Dental Hygiene program is very appreciative to the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio and looks forward to a longstanding relationship with their organization.”

“The Dental Center of Northwest Ohio is very happy to work with the Owens Community College Dental Hygiene program and their students,” said Melinda Cree, President of the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio. “This new opportunity provides students with a unique real-world experience and expands access to health care.”

The dental services of the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio are provided by full-time and part-time licensed dentists, dental hygienists and support staff employed by the organization. During the Spring and Fall semesters, Owens dental hygiene students will offer dental care to underserved children within the facility’s Children’s Clinic.

The College’s Dental Hygiene program provides more than 40 students with a fully accredited, scientifically current and competency-based curriculum annually. Students receive classroom instruction as well as hands-on experience in the Dental Hygiene Clinic and now at the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio, while preparing to sit for the national, state or regional exam in dental hygiene. Owens Dental Hygiene program graduates currently serve as registered dental hygienists in private dental offices, hospitals and dental clinics throughout the region.

Since 1910, the mission of the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio has been to provide primary oral health services for underserved children and adults in Northwest Ohio, to promote the value of good oral health through education and to serve as an advocate for those with limited access to dental care. The Dental Center of Northwest Ohio provides service to over 20,000 patients per year residing in 18 Northwest Ohio counties.

Owens Community College is one of the fastest-growing higher educational institutions in Ohio. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 45,000 credit and non-credit students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.