PORTLAND, ORE. – The long-standing relationship with Willamette Dental Group and Portland Community College’s dental sciences programs has been further cemented.
Willamette Dental Group and The Skourtes Institute have donated $1 million to create the PCC Willamette Dental Group Endowed Dental Sciences Scholarship, which will fund dental science scholarships for years to come. Starting in Spring 2022, this new fund will support students in the new part-time Dental Assisting Certificate Program.
“Access to education is a highly held value at Willamette Dental Group, and this opportunity to participate was a perfect way to help in the vitality and economic growth of our industry with partners who have helped us educate our dental technicians in Portland,” says Eugene Skourtes, DMD, CEO and President of Willamette Dental Group and Chairman of The Skourtes Institute. “Dental Sciences students will graduate with hands-on training and practical experience, making a positive impact in the field of dentistry while earning a family wage job.”
“Financial burdens can often be a barrier to education, and we believe that assisting students will help allow for sustainable opportunities within the field of dentistry,” says Nick Skourtes, DMD, Vice President of Willamette Dental Group and The Skourtes Institute. “PCC graduates are consistently well-trained and willing contributors to our dental teams, and we look forward to growing our long-standing support of the PCC Dental Sciences program.”
As a result of the donation, the third floor of the new Vanport Building in Downtown Portland, where the dental sciences lab is now located, recognizes Willamette Dental Group’s support. PCC’s dental science offerings include the Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs.
“The generosity of the amazing gift will help students enter the oral healthcare field in a way that allows them to focus on their studies, without the worry of the economic hardships that paying for college brings. The Skourtes Institute and Willamette Dental Group’s dedication to the fields of dental assisting and dental hygiene ensures that more aspiring dental professionals will have access to this high demand career pathway,” says Josette Beach, Director of Dental Sciences and an alumna of both Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs at PCC.
In the spring of 2021, the PCC dental sciences programs returned to in-person training and moved to a new space in the Vanport Building. Located on Southwest Fifth Avenue and Montgomery Street, the 30,000-square-foot third floor area includes a low-cost dental clinic, four labs (which includes a simulation and radiology lab), three classrooms, a student lounge, faculty offices, and a waiting area for patients.
The new space is more than three times the size of its former working area in the Health Technology Building (built in the late 1960s) at the Sylvania Campus. PCC partnered with Portland State University, the City of Portland and Oregon Health & Science University to provide a range of health care services and community resources at this location.
For more information on the Portland Community College dental sciences program, visit their website at pcc.edu.