PNWU in Yakima hires dean to build new dental college | Training

Pacific Northwest College of Health Sciences in Yakima has a new dean to acquire its prepared school of dental medicine from a eyesight into a reality.

Dr. Fotinos Panagakos will serve as the founding dean for PNWU’s school of dental medication, which is still in the development phase, a news release claimed. The new dental faculty will coach dentists for rural and underserved communities.

Dr. Fotinos Panagakos

Dr. Fotinos Panagakos will serve as the founding dean for Pacific Northwest University of Wellbeing Sciences’s university of dental drugs.

“I’m just really honored to have been picked. Dental colleges really don’t open every single other working day, it is more of a rarity,” he stated in an job interview. “And to be requested to get on this obligation and recognizing how crucial it is not only for the university, but for the Yakima Valley and the broader Pacific Northwest.”

Panagakos said the next phase is to recruit extra faculty customers.

After that will come the accreditation procedure, which can get close to 12 to 18 months, he said. University management require to produce setting up files and post them to the Fee on Dental Accreditation.

“I would not want to get started recruiting learners right until we know we had that accreditation in hand,” he stated.

There is no company opening day for the college, but Panagakos anticipates slide 2025 as a reasonable time to welcome its 1st class.

Need for rural dentists

The College of Washington now has the state’s sole college of dental medicine, though various dental hygiene educational facilities exist on both sides of the Cascades. While UW’s dental school has a rural outreach program for its college students, info from the Rural Overall health Details Hub reveals gaps in care continue to be.

The entirety of Jap Washington — other than for section of Grant County — is regarded as a dental care shortage place, according to the RHIH.

An getting older workforce of rural dentists, combined with the generally high price tag of dental schools and the have to have to spend off student loans add to the challenge, Panagakos reported.

PNWU’s dental college will a single working day prepare a dental workforce to aid relieve the challenge.

“We’re going to be training key treatment dentists, to go out into these underserved communities and give oral overall health as properly as common wellness solutions,” he said. That incorporates screening for diabetes and substantial blood force, offering nutritional counseling, and figuring out behavioral or psychological challenges.

The intention of PNWU’s dental college is reflective of the university’s larger goal to educate qualified overall health care gurus to serve rural and underserved regions, Panagakos reported.

Panagakos at this time serves as associate dean for investigate and submit-doctoral affairs at the West Virginia College School of Dentistry, but PNWU’s altruistic vision is component of what attracted Panagakos to the Yakima college.

“That mission actually resonated with me listed here in West Virginia,” he said. “We have a equivalent problem with underserved populations in incredibly rural communities.”

His situation with PNWU starts remotely in early May well, he stated. He will remain in West Virginia to see out the remainder of its academic yr and commencement.

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