Dr. Stephen Pachuta's message from the dean, September 2023

Dear Fellow Alumni and Friends of the School of Dentistry,

We are very excited to share that we received approval from the Commission on Dental Accreditation to start a residency program in Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Dami Kim, our program director, has spent the better part of two years working through the application and accreditation process. Congratulations and thank you to our amazing team of Pediatric Dentists – Dr. Gina Graziani, Dr. Dami Kim, and Dr. Meghan Bastin. They are a power-house who are making a significant and positive difference in meeting the needs of our West Virginia families. We will enroll our first class in July 2024.

Dr. Stephen Pachuta, DeanStaying on the topic of the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CoDA), our School’s comprehensive CoDA site visit is scheduled for April 2024. This accreditation visit will be a review of our predoctoral program, dental hygiene program, and the majority of our residency programs. Preparations for this site visit have been underway for some time and are a significant undertaking for our faculty and staff. We recently hosted a consultant to provide us some objective insight as to where we are with our preparations, as well as recommended actions we need to take between now and April. Having been through a number of various accreditations, we as an organization, welcome the opportunity for formal external review. These site visits ensure that we remain at the cutting edge of academic and clinical excellence to meet the needs of our students and our patients.

As Alumni, many of you will receive a survey requesting your observations and input on our programs. This feedback is an important and integral part of our accreditation visit. Please help us by completing the survey – we value and appreciate your input.

This week we are hosting the semi-annual meeting of our Leadership Council. The mission of the School of Dentistry Leadership Council is to help promote a diverse and dynamic learning environment that addresses the present and future oral health needs of our West Virginia families. Members of our Leadership Council are from various business and healthcare industries who are committed to quality dental education, research and service to communities throughout the of the state of West Virginia and nationally. Council members are volunteers and offer their expertise and counsel to School administrators on a variety of topics to include: educational, financial and clinical operations. I want to extend a personal “thank you” to Dr. Travis Wills, the current Chair of our Leadership Council, and to all of our Council members for their leadership and engagement on behalf of our School.

Thank you for all you do for our School and especially for our students.

Warmest regards,

Stephen Pachuta