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New UTHSC Pediatric Dental Clinic at Le Bonheur a Win for All

The new UTHSC pediatric dental clinic at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, which opened with a “floss-cutting” Wednesday afternoon, is a plus for the institutions involved and for the community. Pictured from left, Craig Volk Vinall, DDS, MDS, clinic director; Phil Wenk, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee;  Michael Wiggins, MBA, FACHE, president of Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital; James C. Ragain, DDS, dean of the UTHSC College of Dentistry; Michael Ugwueke, DHA, FACHE, president and CEO of Methodist-Le Bonheur Healthcare; UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD; and Larry Dormois, DDS, MS, chair of pediatric dentistry at the UTHSC College of Dentistry. (Photo by Allen Gillespie/UTHSC)

UTHSC College of Dentistry Dean James Ragain, DDS, PhD, Wednesday said the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Pediatric Dental Clinic at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital is a “win-win situation” for the university, for the hospital, and for the community.

The dean was speaking at a “floss-cutting” (ribbon-cutting) ceremony that officially opened the new dental clinic located in Suite L900 at the hospital at 848 Adams

“This is really a very exciting time in the life of our College of Dentistry,” Dean Ragain said. “This has been years in the making. It has been a wonderful team effort with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, the UTHSC College of Dentistry, and Delta Dental of Tennessee all coming together.”

The clinic will be staffed by UTHSC pediatric dental faculty and senior residents. It will serve patients in the hospital, as well as the patients cared for by Le Bonheur-based pediatric practices, and children from Midtown, Downtown, and surrounding areas. The clinic will provide a full range of pediatric dental services, including routine well visits and check-ups, cleanings, and restorative care for patients ranging in age from newborn to young adult.

Dean Ragain said the clinic allows dental educators the opportunity to do what they do best — treat patients. The clinic also provides a potential dental home for area residents who might otherwise not have access to oral health care. “This reaches out into the community,” he said.

The clinic was funded by a grant from Delta Dental of Tennessee, the College of Dentistry Dean’s Reserve Fund, UTHSC alumni gifts, and Le Bonheur. Phil Wenk, DDS, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Tennessee and chair of the UTHSC Advisory Board, was present for the opening ceremony. “It is a true pleasure to know that public and private (entities) can get together to make things happen,” Dr. Wenk said. He said Delta Dental believes the clinic is another step toward achieving better health for all who live in Tennessee.

UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD, said the clinic is another example of the terrific partnership between Le Bonheur, Methodist, and the university.

“This is a great day for our hospital as we focus on improving the lives of children,” said Michael Wiggins, MBA, FACHE, president of Le Bonheur. He welcomed the College of Dentistry as the hospital’s newest neighbor.

The clinic will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, please call 901.448.5437 or 901.448.KIDS.