The Nobel BioCare Oral Health Centre at UBC currently serves more than 38,000 patient visits annually and supports the educational training of more than 400 undergraduate students in clinical programs.
Given the increase in student applications and growing oral healthcare needs, UBC recognized the need to expand the Centre. UBC also said it has been planning on creating a new simulation and digital dentistry laboratory to transform dental education via state-of-the-art technology.
The new laboratory will provide a progressive learning environment that will allow students to learn complex clinical procedures using technologically advanced patient simulators and acquire digital dentistry knowledge and skills, UBC said.
The vision for this initiative required a substantial investment to enhance the school’s curriculum model and the right partner who shared the commitment to providing the very best in dental education, UBC said.
“The costs to outfit the new laboratory were significant and required the right partner who envisioned both immediate and long-term benefits for students and the future of dental education,” said Dr. Mary MacDougall, dean of the UBC Faculty of Dentistry.
“123Dentist was the right partner that matched our vision, values, and goals. This $1.25 million gift is significant. In fact, I believe it is the single largest donation to any Canadian university by a dental services organization in Canada,” MacDougall said.
Last December, MacDougal met with Dr. Amin Shivji, UBC Dentistry alumnus and CEO of 123Dentist. They discussed UBC’s vision of creating a simulation and digital dentistry laboratory in the footprint of the John B. MacDonald Building.
After reviewing with the 123Dentist board of directors, 123Dentist committed $1.25 million to support the laboratory and create a unique student lecture series to provide access to qualified expert speakers.
“123Dentist is committed to providing access to the very best patient dental care to communities across Canada. Vancouver is our home base, and the UBC Faculty of Dentistry has always been an important part of our vision,” said Shivji.
“When Dean MacDougall shared her plan and our shared values of quality dental education, it was a natural fit. This is the largest single donation 123Dentist has made to a university so far,” Shivji said.
“It reflects our dedication to students and to our profession. On behalf of all our partners, we are very proud to contribute to the future of dentistry and support the next generation of dental students in this way,” said Shivji.
“We continue to look forward to be leaders for our students and faculty. This commitment from 123Dentist is an incredible gift that will support the UBC Faculty of Dentistry to be progressive and dynamic in our educational model. I am so proud to have one of our own alumni champion this donation,” MacDougall said.
The vision is to begin initial refurbishing construction of the space in the summer of 2021. The 123Dentist lecture series is projected to launch in the fall of 2021, and it will be open to students, faculty, and staff.