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An upgraded dental clinic means more experienced, employable students at IU South Bend

Sept. 11, 2013

IU South Bend's new Roger S. Pecina Dental Education Clinic opened at the end of August in the newly renovated Education and Arts Building.

The clinic includes 19 individual work stations, and is placed in a central location on campus. 

Dental clinic

IU South Bend dental hygiene student Meghan Rerick cleans the teeth of Judy Streitmatter during a clinic visit. | Photo By IU South Bend

“The upgrade in technology was a move from the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria to the Starship Enterprise," joked Kristyn Quimby, director of IU South Bend's Dental Hygiene Program.

For 40 years, the former clinic was located in Riverside Hall on the south side of campus along the St. Joseph River. The space was cramped, with a common shared area and dated equipment.

Sandra Peek, at instructor at the Dental Hygiene Program, said the new clinic gives the students valuable real-world experience.

“Last year the first-year students (in the Riverside clinic) learned how an office works when it keeps dental records on paper," she said. "This year they have the computers. They have both worlds because all dental offices won't have the same technology.”

Peek learning how to use the new computers has been a process.

“There have been glitches but the students grew up with technology, so the clinic classes are moving along smoothly," she said.

Meghan Rerick, a sophomore at IU South Bend who works in the clinic, said the new office provides a more comfortable experience for both the students and the patients. Rerick treated Judy Streitmatter, a South Bend resident who has been coming to the clinic since 1978.

"Everything is so bright in clean," Streitmatter said, adding that she appreciates the location change and the privacy of the stations. 

IU South Bend sophomore Aubrey Martinus said the paperless records are good for the environment.

“The students are learning a different system, which makes us more employable," she said. "The best part is that the clinic is important to the community because we provide low-cost dental care. We get a chance to give to the community.”

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