The hiring of a dental clinic director will allow more individuals in Paducah and surrounding areas to receive needed oral health care. The University of Louisville School of Dentistry has hired Gregory Lord as clinic director of the UofL Dental Clinic located on the West Kentucky Community and Technical College campus.
Lord owned Lord Family Dental in Louisville for 10 years before joining the faculty at the UofL School of Dentistry, and practicing general dentistry at UofL Dental Associates. A graduate of the UofL School of Dentistry, Lord has been a dentist since 2004.
“We’re so excited this position has been filled,” said Carrie Hopper, dean of the allied health and personal services division at WKCTC. “I know with all that COVID-19 has delayed or canceled, people in our region have been concerned this partnership would not take place, but with the hiring of Dr. Lord, we know this project is moving in the right direction to start our dental clinic here at WKCTC.”
Officials from both schools announced in January 2020 the unique collaboration between UofL and WKCTC will allow students from both institutions to work together in a dental clinic, while providing services to residents of the Jackson Purchase region.
A memorandum of understanding between UofL and WKCTC allows the School of Dentistry to operate the mutually beneficial dental clinic on the second floor of the Anderson Technical Building at the WKCTC campus. T. Gerard Bradley, dean of the UofL School of Dentistry, says partnerships like these provide dental services to communities, and are an essential component of UofL’s dental curricula.
“We are so pleased to begin our outreach in the Paducah community through the hiring of Dr. Lord. He is a valuable member of our faculty, and his leadership and clinical expertise will help fulfill our educational mission and partnership with WKCTC,” Bradley said.
With a full-time licensed dentist overseeing the operation, the clinic will serve as a clinical learning site for fourth-year UofL dental students. WKCTC will provide dental assistants from its existing dental assisting program, along with use of existing dental equipment and chairs. UofL will provide expert dental oversight, supervision and management of the dental clinic operations, including the establishment of all dental fees, billing and collection.
The UofL School of Dentistry is engaged in a similar collaboration with the Red Bird Mission and Red Bird Clinic located in Beverly, Kentucky. Dental students work under the direction of a local dentist, providing the students an opportunity to treat patients in a rural community and culture. Students also rotate through similar externship sites in urban settings, including the Shawnee Dental Clinic located in an underserved area of Louisville.
Lord will first work to set up the clinic and hire a clinic manager and assistant. Officials expect to have the clinic setup and ready to serve patients by early spring.