Canton, Ohio: Dental Services and the Dental General Residency Program (GPR) at Mercy Medical Center were recently presented with a $100,000 check from the Stark County Dental Society (SCDS) in conjunction with the society’s centennial anniversary. “To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the SCDS, the members and Board of the society wanted to donate $100,000 to establish the first designated fund at Mercy to support the future of the GPR and Dental Services,” explained Thomas Paumier, DDS, of the SCDS. Income generated by this “endowment” will aid Mercy’s Dental Services by helping to defray the cost of technology upgrades, reimburse for indigent care, provide resources to allow residents to treat patients with excellent “teaching cases” and support faculty. According to Paumier, this gift to Mercy will, “ensure the highest quality residency training available anywhere”.
Mercy’s Dental Services is a by-product of the General Practice Residency (GPR). “We are a post-graduate residency and a dental service,” said Andrew M. Wojtkowski, DMD, FAGD, FAAHD, DABSCD, Program Director of Dental GPR/Dental Services at Mercy Medical Center, “We are fully accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA), which is a validation for a very viable residency /dental service.” Wojtkowski adds that although the dentists at Mercy could be in their own private practice, they elect to do additional comprehensive training at the clinic for surgery, trauma, implants, TMJ, pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and more.
“We had over 16,900 patients from January 2007 to April 26, 2010,” added Wojtkowski, “Unlike many other dental offices, we take special needs patients into the operating room and do complete comprehensive care; this has proven to be a vital need in our community as we have a 3-month back log of cases.” He added that Mercy’s Dental GPR is a state-of-the-art, modern post-graduate facility as well as a clinic for the delivery of the dental healing arts. Maintaining such a facility is costly. According to Lisa Shannon, Manager of Dental Services at Mercy Medical Center, the clinic has given more than one million dollars in charity care/reduced fee care since its inception in 2007.
The establishment of the Dental General Practice Residency at Mercy Medical Center fulfilled a long-term goal of the SCDS. “The commitment and generosity of Mercy Medical Center, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton, the Stark County Dental Society and their members, as well as many other local foundations have enabled the GPR and Mercy Dental Services to be established and maintained,” explained Paumier, “The ability to provide post-graduate education in a hospital setting to graduate dentists while at the same time providing much needed dental care to many who otherwise would not have access, serves the mission of Mercy Medical Center and the SCDS.” This gift to Mercy was in addition to the previous contribution of more than $100,000 from the SCDS and member dentists when the General Practice Residency was started in 2007.
Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carrollton, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, see cantonmercy.org.
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