BRADENTON, Fla. — After more than a year of investigating the need to open a dental school in Florida, administrators and the Board of Trustees at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) announced plans to open a school at its Bradenton, Florida campus.
The projected costs of building the facility are estimated at $52 million.
“LECOM recognizes that dentists have become an integral team player in improving the health of their patients,” said Silvia Ferretti, senior vice president and dean of Academic Affairs. “The role they play in preventive medicine corresponds with the osteopathic principals of total health care as taught by the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the School of Pharmacy.”
The Dental School received unanimous provisional approval from the Florida Commission for Independent Education and awaits initial accreditation in February from the Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Once accredited, the college is expected to recruit students for the Dental School for its first semester in 2012, which will be only the third in the state, according to a statement from the university.
The school will enroll 100 first-year students in its first class, and within four years of its inaugural class, the School of Dental Medicine will enroll 400 students, the university stated.
The school expects the direct impact of institutional, employee and student spending to reach about $14 million dollars in the Bradenton area, and as much as $35 million through direct and indirect spending statewide.
The Dental School will employ about 200 individuals, and will provide dental clinic care to underserved patients, staffed by faculty and students, for up to 600 individuals daily.