HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Cabell Huntington Hospital have been approved to begin a one-year, general practice dental residency.
The Commission on Dental Accreditation approved the new program in February with an official launch date of July 1 for up to three residents.
“Approval of a dental residency and creation of a new department for the school of medicine is a pivotal step in our continued growth,” said Dr. Joseph I. Shapiro, dean of the school of medicine. “This residency, sponsored by Cabell Huntington Hospital, allows us to bring academically strong dental care to our region, an area historically plagued with oral health disparities.”
Dr. Paulette S. Wehner, vice dean for graduate medical education, said development of the new program means better health care for the area.
“We are fortunate to be able to work with Cabell Huntington Hospital on this new residency,” Wehner said. “The addition of dentists to perform comprehensive oral services is an excellent complement to our existing medical education residency programs. An increase in the availability of important dental services is imperative in order to provide more comprehensive care to our patients.”
Shapiro and Wehner went on to congratulate Dr. Raj K. Khanna and his team for the program’s successful application. Khanna, who is a professor of surgery and has been with the school of medicine since 2002, will lead the program and Jumana Abboud will serve as program administrator.
“I am thankful for our local dental colleagues for their overwhelming support and commitment to volunteer their time and expertise to educate our residents,” Khanna said. “I’m looking forward to this endeavor, which will not only bring much-needed oral health care to our area, but will also give the school of medicine the opportunity to forge new relationships.”
Dental residents will experience an intensive 12-month program designed to train general dentists in the management of medically complex situations and special needs patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
They will gain experience in all aspects of general dentistry. The residency will be completed after graduation from an accredited dental school.
“We are pleased to partner with Marshall to bring a dental residency to our region,” said Kevin N. Fowler, president and CEO of Cabell Huntington Hospital. “More than an attractive smile, good dental health can help prevent serious health problems of the entire body, including heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. Through the new dental program, we hope to increase awareness of dental health, enhance access to preventive services and help address the clinical challenges of the region.”
The new dental clinic will be housed in the Fairfield Building, located at 1616 13th Ave. in Huntington, which recently underwent an approximate $1.5 million renovation to accommodate the new program.