Delta Dental of Tennessee Donates $225,000 to UTHSC College of Dentistry for Equipment

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Delta Dental of Tennessee President and CEO Philip Wenk, second from left, presents a check to fund equipment needs in the UTHSC College of Dentistry. Pictured, from left, Love Collins, III, vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs; Wenk; Dr. James Ragain, UTHSC College of Dentistry dean ; Dr. Ken Brown, UTHSC executive vice chancellor and chief operations officer; Richard Pinson, Smile 180 Foundation board member; and Dr. Jeff Brooks, executive associate dean for the UTHSC College of Dentistry.

Delta Dental of Tennessee has donated $225,000 to the College of Dentistry at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to help fund equipment needs in the college.

Delta Dental President and Chief Executive Officer Philip Wenk, DDS, was at UTHSC in Memphis this week to present the gift to College of Dentistry Dean James Ragain, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operations Officer Ken Brown, and Love Collins, III, vice chancellor for Development and Alumni Affairs.

Dean Ragain has established a priority of equipment needs in the pre-clinical laboratories, pre-doctoral clinic, and graduate clinics. The donation from Delta Dental will pay for the top-priority item in each of the three areas.

“Generous gifts, such as this one from Delta Dental of Tennessee, provide the opportunity to upgrade our equipment to state-of-the-art, which is vital to us achieving our vision of clinical excellence in dental education,” Dean Ragain said.

Delta Dental is the single largest donor to the UTHSC College of Dentistry, with more than $15 million for capital improvements, scholarships, equipment, and more given by the company and its philanthropic arm, the Smile180 Foundation. The company has donated $7 million of the $46 million earmarked for the facelift planned for the College of Dentistry Building on the Memphis campus.

“It’s essential that Tennessee’s future dentists are trained in the best possible facilities, so they are prepared to treat their patients, and our members, when they begin their practice,” Dr. Wenk said. “We’re privileged to work with the College of Dentistry to provide the students access to this level of technology in the classroom and clinics.”

Dr. Wenk is a 1973 graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and a 1977 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry. He chairs the new UTHSC Advisory Board and received an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the UTHSC College of Dentistry Alumni Association in 2016.

He was also selected from more than 370,000 alumni as one of the University of Tennessee’s “Top 100 Distinguished Alumni” by Tennessee Alumnus, the University of Tennessee System’s alumni magazine