‘A unique opportunity:’ U of S thankful for over $1M donation for Prince Albert dental clinic

University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff speaks at an official groundbreaking ceremony for the Prince Albert campus on Sept. 16, 2019. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

“The dentistry school has never seen that kind of support before, ever.”

– Peter Stoicheff

University of Saskatchewan (U of S) representatives spoke about the importance of an affordable dental clinic at the Prince Albert campus during an official groundbreaking ceremony on Monday.

Last week, the U of S announced it received a $1,050,000 donation from Toronto-based dentalcorp. The funds are going towards construction and equipment costs for the dental clinic in the city’s campus.

The donation is the largest the College of Dentistry has received in its history.

“Our mission is to ensure that the dentists in this province are prepared properly to be able to provide care for everyone, and that includes people who don’t currently have access to care,” said Doug Brothwell, Dean of the College of Dentistry.

“That’s why it’s such a unique opportunity for this donation.”

According to the College of Dentistry’s website, patients—both adults and children—receive care at their clinics from students under the supervision of licensed dentists. The cost is reduced up to 40 per cent.

Brothwell said the College of Dentistry and dentalcorp have the same goal of access to care for everyone.

U of S President Peter Stoicheff said this will be their largest dental clinic outside of Saskatoon.

“We think of ourselves not only as the University of Saskatoon. We are the University of Saskatchewan, named after and for the province,” he emphasized.

“(The donation) confirms that many people understand the importance of having this kind of clinic here. The dentistry school has never seen that kind of support before, ever, in anything that it’s done from a single supporter.”

Premier Scott Moe also commented on the donation at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“That’s fabulous as well, not only for the service that will be provided in downtown Prince Albert, but for the opportunity that it provides our dentistry students…to practice in a live environment, if you will, practice and hone their skills,” he said.

The Prince Albert campus dental clinic will have seven chairs.

Brothwell said the donation will allow them to open the clinic at its ideal size. Without the funds, he said they would have been fundraising for a decade to expand it.

“With this donation, we were able to go all in right from day one,” he added.

The university offers several other clinics in Saskatoon, including the SWITCH (Student Wellness Initiative Towards Community Health) medical clinic and a legal clinic.

with files from Peter Lozinski