Defense Grant Enhances Dental Assisting DegreeNov 15th, 2003 | By tcj | Category: 15-2: Reclaiming Native Health, Tribal College News
The Salish Kootenai College Dental Assisting Technology Program is upgrading and adding new equipment, thanks to a $150,000 grant from the Department of Defense. Prior to the grant, the student clinic at the college in Montana had four dental chairs and two x-ray units, according to Donna Kotyk, director of the Salish Kootenai College (SKC) program. The grant provides two new dental chairs and a digital radiography system (computerized x-rays). “All the students will have an opportunity to be trained in this state-of-the-art system,” Kotzk said.
SKC’s dental assisting tech program is the only one of its kind at a tribal college and is accredited by the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. Students who qualify may be accepted by Kicking Horse Job Corps and receive full tuition and financial assistance covering books, uniforms, clothing, and incidentals. At the clinic, students assist dentists with patients two afternoons per week. The clinic is available the rest of the time for classes and for practice.
Located in Pablo, MT, SKC also offers most pre-requisites for both dental and dental hygiene school. The SKC program has an agreement with the newest dental school in the country, the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Mesa, AZ, which works with families of students to encourage more American Indian/Alaska Natives to enter dental school. The dean and assistant dean at the Arizona school, Dr. Jack Dillenberg and Dr. George Blue Spruce, Jr., visited the SKC campus to lay the foundation for working together. Blue Spruce was the first of the 85 American Indian dentists in the country.
For more information about the program, call the college at (406) 275-4908.