MCG School of Dentistry continues to surpass goals

Private funding for the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry has more than doubled over the last year, Dean Connie Drisko said Oct. 21 during her annual State of the School Address.

“We have an all-time high of our research funds right now,” Drisko said.

While the number of research proposals submitted for funding decreased by 6.7 percent, the number selected for funding increased by 13.3 percent. Total extramural and grant funding increased 17 percent to approximately $3.9 million, and National Institutes of Health funding increased 130 percent to almost $900,000.

“We’ve been very successful in increasing our fundraising, even over last year. Some of that has been from our own freshman classes as they’ve come in. The freshmen understand that giving back is part of their professionalism,” Drisko said. The class of 2014, for example, has already pledged $30,000. In addition, clinical revenue has grown year over year.

“That was the goal we set five years ago, and I’m happy to report that we’ve not only met that goal, we’ve exceeded it, thanks to the hard work of everyone in this school – many of whom are in this room,” Drisko said.

Overall clinical revenue has grown an average 10.4 percent a year since 2006, exceeding the school’s goal of 10 percent. Drisko also touted educational initiatives in the school, including the development of six applications for iPhones and iPads, along with 35 videos available for download.

Other advances in education include the school’s participation in MCG’s Quality Enhancement Plan, an accreditation requirement intended to enhance education campuswide far into the future, and the development of mobile curricula. Such progress, she said, demonstrates the school’s statewide reach – a reach that is broadened by ongoing outreach initiatives.

“I think our engagement with the community through our service at 23 sites all over the state and the fact that we are truly the state’s dental school is important for people to know,” she said.

She also presented artist’s renderings of the new School of Dentistry building and education commons, noting that the new facilities should eventually increase clinical visits to over 100,000 a year.

“You all make this happen,” Drisko said. “I just get to present it. Without all of your leadership and dedication, we wouldn’t be
able to do what we’re doing. We’re still looking ahead at some difficult budget cuts, and I don’t know what those are going to be yet. But I think the future is good.”

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