An Educational Foundation

With the opening of the new Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, the University of the Pacific and Heartland Dental collaborate to expand educational opportunities

Doctors

Originally founded as the College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1896 and officially joining the University of the Pacific in 1962, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry has always been committed to providing a progressive dental curriculum, including comprehensive patient care and competency-based education. The institution’s core values are based upon humanism, leadership, collaboration and ongoing innovation. With the ever-changing landscape of the dental industry, this educational philosophy is a key factor for success.

From the beginnings of dentistry to now, technology and techniques have evolved tremendously. Today's dentists have the materials and know-how to provide a level of lifetime care like never before. With evolution of dental treatment, education evolves as well. Advances in technology will be meaningless to up-and-coming dentists if they are not educated on how to use them. Advances in technology and treatment are not the only factors to consider in education either. Today's new dentists must be so much more than clinicians. They must be leaders, excellent communicators and have an understanding of the business side of dentistry. Having a well-rounded knowledge and skill base will help young dentists provide the highest level of care possible, form an effective team and create a successful, fulfilling career.

Simulation Lab

Understanding these educational needs of tomorrow’s dentists, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry empowers students to further themselves. This is directly in line with the vision and values of Heartland Dental, which supports both new and experienced dentists in furthering their education, knowledge and skills. In early 2014, the two joined forces with a similar goal in mind – delivering optimal education.

Collaboration

The collaboration between the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and Heartland Dental began many years ago with two men: Dr. Pat Ferrillo and Dr. Rick Workman. Current dean of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, Dr. Ferrillo has more than 30 years of experience in dental education. Early in his career as an instructor at Southern Illinois University Dental School, he taught then dental student Rick Workman, now founder and chief executive officer of Heartland Dental. The two have maintained contact over the years: Dr. Workman eventually founding and leading Heartland Dental, and Dr. Ferrillo serving in various capacities in dental education. Dr. Ferrillo previously worked as vice provost for the Division of Health Sciences and founding dean of the University of Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine. His academic experience also includes a tenure at Southern Illinois University, where he started as a clinical assistant professor in 1978 and rose through the ranks, eventually becoming dean of the dental school in 1987, at age 36.

Dental Lab

"It has been a pleasure and honor to have had extensive experience with the educational side of dentistry. At the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, we have built a culture that is unique to dental schools. This culture is based on a humanistic environment where everyone is treated with respect and equal importance throughout the organization. Students are treated as student doctors; they are respected and engaged within our institution," explained Dr. Ferrillo. "From meeting Dr. Workman while he was attending dental school and continuing our relationship since, we have always shared many of the same values and goals when it comes to education. I see the same humanistic approach we are taking within Heartland Dental, in placing value to everyone in their organization. I believe and Dr. Workman believes that if you create this healthy type of environment, then people will be much more eager to take part."

Dr. Workman used knowledge he gained from Dr. Ferrillo when creating what is now Heartland Dental, the largest dental support organization in the country. Today, Dr. Workman continues to share the knowledge and values with all affiliated dentists, team members and employees of Heartland Dental.

"Starting out, Dr. Ferrillo gave me great insight on what it took to practice at an optimal level and helped me understand the importance of being a lifelong student. Throughout the years, I've continued to learn from his advice," said Dr. Workman. "When first starting Heartland Dental, I knew that supporting continuing education had to be a major priority, and it has remained a main focus through our years of growth. Seeing the amazing things Dr. Ferrillo has done at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, I'm thrilled our team has the opportunity to support them with some of the knowledge and experience we have gained over the years."

"Seeing the amazing things Dr. Ferrillo and the faculty of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry have done, I'm thrilled our team has the opportunity to support them with some of the knowledge and experience we have gained over the years.”

Rick Workman, DMD

Rick Workman, DMD
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland Dental

The shared goals and objectives of both the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and Heartland Dental naturally led to collaboration. This past March, Heartland Dental clinical directors and educational leaders presented a customized course for faculty at the University of the Pacific on ideal communication. This course covered a variety of communication topics, including reaching the highest level of communication possible with both team members and patients, listening effectively, delivering messages clearly and powerfully, confronting conflict without stress, remaining open to feedback and mastering non-verbal communication. The presentation featured Heartland Dental clinical directors and practicing dentists Dr. Mark Hodge and Dr. Anna Singh, along with Julie Thomas, director of operations for affiliation and de novo integrations at Heartland Dental, as well as Brant McQuitty, Susan Hodge and some other Heartland Dental key presenters.

"Their team did a fantastic job, and the communication topics they discussed were extremely beneficial for attending faculty and support staff," said Dr. William Sands, vice chairperson of the clinical practice strand. "Going back to the partnership with Dr. Ferrillo and Dr. Workman, our institution and Heartland Dental possess the same vision and values. We are not satisfied with success as we know it today; leading dental education today is only significant if we continue leading it 10 years from now. With building strong relationships as we are with Heartland Dental, we are able to move forward in accomplishing this vision."

The course was a great success with an excellent turnout. Around 130 faculty and staff members enthusiastically participated. The Heartland Dental team looks forward to supporting the students and faculty of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in the future, as the school celebrates the recent opening of their newly relocated school.

"The Heartland Dental team could not be happier with the results of the course," explained Julie Thomas. "The level of interaction, energy and participation was outstanding. The members of the Dugoni family that we have been fortunate to work with are truly top notch. We can’t wait to see what other opportunities we can partner on in the future."

Stairs  Building

A New Home for Dental Education

Since January 2012, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry has been constructing a new, state-of-the-art facility. This past July, the new facility officially opened to kick off the 2014-2015 academic year.

Built by Continental Development Corporation in 1973 for Crocker National Bank, the original structure was designed for 24-hour data and client service operation. At that time, it was one of the most technologically advanced, large floor plate office buildings in San Francisco. However, the school was ready to update the facility to represent its strategic vision.

With a renovation investment of $151 million, the updated facility will allow them to completely implement their Helix curriculum, integrating multiple disciplines in the context of small-group, case-based learning. The new facility reinforces the dental school's commitment to preparing students with an outstanding clinical experience offering better support to their community and culture and greater accessibility to patients, ultimately setting a new standard for dental education worldwide. The new campus also offers additional space for university programs in audiology, music therapy, data analytics and food studies, allowing the University of the Pacific the opportunity to enlarge its overall footprint in San Francisco.

"We are not satisfied with success as we know it today; leading dental education today is only significant if we continue leading it 10 years from now. Building strong relationships as we are with Heartland Dental, we are able to move forward in accomplishing this vision."

William Sands, DDS

William Sands, DDS
Vice Chairperson of the clinical practice strand at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

Key advantages of the new facility include:

  • Flexible space for modern learning environments
  • New dental clinical spaces to support the small group practice model currently being implemented
  • State-of-the-art technology, including a simulation laboratory with custom dental manikins
  • A more convenient location accessible via public transportation for patients
  • Communal space to better support the school's culture
  • Environmentally efficient facilities built to LEED Gold standards

"We already had an excellent educational system in place, but with our updated facility, we can really take our educational standards and practices to the next level for both faculty and students," said Dr. Sands. "The Pacific Dugoni approach integrates multiple areas of study together to form an encompassing curriculum, including integrated clinical sciences, integrated pre-clinical techniques, integrated medical sciences, clinical practice and a personal instruction program of the student's choosing."

Specifically, the seven-story, 395,000 square foot structure features a variety of cutting-edge educational facilities that will benefit both students and patients immensely, including:

  • Large lecture hall (200 seats) configurable into multiple uses
  • Research labs and support spaces
  • Seminar rooms with open, flexible design to accommodate various group sizes
  • High-tech dental simulation laboratory
  • Anatomy laboratory
  • Digital kiosks to facilitate patient check-in and security
  • Operatories with greater privacy to increase patient comfort
  • Eight small-group clinics offering general dentistry and emergency services
  • Specialty areas including Orthodontics Clinic, Oral Surgery Clinic, Pediatric Dentistry Clinic, Radiology and operatories for special-need patients
  • "Huddle rooms" for faculty and students near each clinic

"Instead of one large clinic, we now have the ability to support eight different private practices, which sets us apart from other educational institutions and gives us the means to help even more patients. Our new facility also allows for a more active participation from students. This accommodates both large classes and smaller groups for case reinforced learning. Our new facility has also moved us downtown, centrally located in the hub of transportation. This provides our type of clients with easier access to our facility," said Dr. Ferrillo. "In addition, we have now developed a new simulation lab which provides students with a more realistic form of hands-on training. Using our added resources, we now feature next-gen patient simulation, including an accurate clinic environment and cutting edge manikin heads that replicate real life patients."

"With the steps we have taken to revamp our facility and curriculum, as well as the relationship we are forming with Heartland Dental, I’m excited to see what the future holds."

Pat Ferrillo, DDS

Pat Ferrillo, DDS
Dean of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry and Heartland Dental Board Member

With this updated facility, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is demonstrating a dedication to improving the overall experience of dental students and preparing them to provide the best patient care possible. Heartland Dental shares this mentality.

"As the doctors, faculty and team of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry have set a new standard for dental education, it’s our goal to do the same for continuing education supported by Heartland Dental," explained Patrick Bauer, president and chief operations officer at Heartland Dental. "Each year, we take steps forward with incorporating the latest technology, techniques and systems into our continuing education offerings. With both of us working toward the same objective, this collaboration makes perfect sense."

Advancing Future Education

Over the past 40 years, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry has become a nationally renowned institution of higher learning. Now that their new facility is up and running, the opportunities to continually enhance their level of student education are endless.

"I'm extremely proud of what our institution has been able to accomplish and the standing we have earned within the dental community. We have helped so many young dentists gain the knowledge and skills needed to find success. But there is much more to accomplish. With the steps we have taken to revamp our facility and curriculum, as well as the relationship we are forming with Heartland Dental, I'm excited to see what the future holds. With implementing a new curriculum, there are still areas we need to advance in. We prepare students to be practice ready, and do an incredible job in preparing them on the scientific and technical aspects of dentistry. We do prepare them on the business side of dentistry as well, but there is much room for improvement. No matter if students become solo practitioners, group practitioners or affiliate with a DSO, they need to be better business people. We can accomplish this with Heartland Dental’s assistance," said Dr. Ferrillo.

"I want to thank everyone at the University of the Pacific and the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry for this wonderful opportunity. Working together, we have a chance to make a positive impact on these up-and-coming dentists," added Dr. Workman. "Mentoring is a big focus at Heartland Dental. Our young affiliated dentists have benefited tremendously from learning from both the successes and shortcomings of our more experienced affiliates. Now to be able to spread that valuable information to these young students is a huge step in advancing dental education."

As dental education continues to evolve, the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is well positioned at the forefront of innovation and learning. With state-of-the-art methods and an understanding of what today’s dentists need, they have the ability to educate students like never before. Heartland Dental's focus on mentoring and proven methods partnered with the school's unique approach will make for a dynamic, exciting relationship—one that all started with mentorship.

Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry