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Spring 2007

Coming soon...the new location for the UDM School of Dentistry

UDM School of Dentistry

Facility will help increase patient care and student enrollment 

The University of Detroit Mercy Board of Trustees approved plans for the University’s School of Dentistry to relocate to Detroit’s former Kindred Hospital near downtown Detroit on Martin Luther King Boulevard and I-96.

The School and clinic will remain in operation on the Outer Drive Campus until they move to the new location in January 2008.

The University recently purchased the Kindred property and has begun renovating the hospital for the new campus’ state-of-the-art needs. The facility will include a high-tech simulation lab, 190 patient operatories, a surgical suite and digital radiology units. The new location will be wired and wireless so students can work from laptops and use computerized equipment in most areas.

“One thing we discovered during the process of exploring a new location is that our home on Outer Drive is now too small to meet the needs of our larger School of Dentistry family,” says Mert Aksu, D.D.S., associate dean, Clinic Administration at the School of Dentistry. “In the time since moving to the Outer Drive Campus, we have increased our class size, increased the number of UDM post-graduate programs and residents, and formed partnerships with other post-graduate training programs. Our new site will allow us to more comfortably meet the needs of our programs, treat more patients, and provide care more efficiently.”

The UDM dental school is one of two in the state. One-third of all dentists in Michigan have graduated from the University and nearly half of the graduating class remains in Michigan. More than 15,000 Metro Detroit residents benefit from the dental clinic each year with 85,000 treatment procedures performed throughout the clinic.

“At UDM, it is crucial that we aspire to develop graduates who lead and serve in their community, and exciting new projects such as this will allow us to continue to prepare future dental professionals for our community,” says UDM President Gerard L. Stockhausen, S.J. “We choose to be committed to this city as our sponsors, the Jesuits and Sisters of Mercy, have from the University’s earliest beginnings, nearly 130 years ago.”

The UDM Board of Trustees approved moving ahead in a phased approach with plans related to the McNichols and Riverfront campuses as well. With the University’s strong strategic direction, as evidenced by such positive indicators as balanced budgets, increased full-time freshman student enrollment, academic achievement, and government and donor support, the University looks forward to an exciting future.

The board decisions allow UDM to enhance Michigan’s largest private Catholic university’s academic programs and physical environment in the city of Detroit with an initial $80 million investment in the three campuses. “To fully implement these critical investments in our city, we need the support of the State of Michigan, Wayne County, the city of Detroit, and our generous alumni and donors,” says UDM Chairman of the Board William C. Young ’64, president, Absopure Water Company. “We are proud to further our investment in our city with the projects on the new dental school campus, the Riverfront Campus and the McNichols Campus.”

The University’s dental school and clinic will take the lead in current projects. “Expanding from the current 125,000 square foot facilities to the new location with over 261,000 square feet will give the University an opportunity to educate additional dental professionals and care for more patients who are underserved,” Young adds.

The new dental school location was selected based on a variety of factors and their future implications for the School in providing a quality dental education to students and excellent dental care to patients. Factors included examining
demographic trends, current patient data, and financial information as well as opportunities to expand student enrollment and increase dental services within the community. The new location allows for an expanded faculty practice and will enable the School to develop service relationships with area businesses and insurers.

“The city of Detroit is excited and supportive of the University of Detroit Mercy’s decision to enhance and expand its presence in downtown Detroit and the McNichols Campus,” says Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. “The educational programs and services offered on the University of Detroit Mercy’s campuses will draw individuals from the greater Detroit metro area to this location and continue the great pace of downtown development.”

The new dental school and clinic also provides easy access for patients and staff from area freeways as well as ample parking for more than 700 cars. The patient-centered clinic provides complete dental care including orthodontics, endodontics, pediatric dentistry and oral surgery. Fees for care in the clinics are about half the cost of private dentistry.

The larger facility will allow the University to accept additional students in the dental program while seeing more patients. In addition, this will allow the School of Dentistry to expand its six-year dental program for talented high school graduates.

“To compete in a global economy, we must give every student the tools needed to succeed, while making education beyond high school affordable and accessible,” says Governor Jennifer Granholm. “The University of Detroit Mercy is doing its part to make that dream a reality for many.”

UDM remains strongly committed to the city. Its founding sponsors, the Jesuits, arrived in Detroit and started a liberal arts college in 1877, and the Sisters of Mercy came in 1941, offering liberal arts, nursing and education programs. Both schools consolidated in 1990 as University of Detroit Mercy, and the University’s commitment to Detroit and the region has never been stronger. The University employs over 820 employees with 33.2 percent minority faculty and staff members.

“The University of Detroit Mercy is both a great university and a wonderful community partner for Wayne County,” says Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano ’77. “As we prepare to meet the increasing global demands of the 21st century, the school’s strong commitment in educating our workforce is essential to our successful future.”