News>Services collaborate on dental residency program to improve patient care
Army Cols. Thomas Temple and Craig Willard, Air Force Maj. Gen. Byron Hepburn and Air Force Col. Grant Hartup gather to sign a memorandum of agreement establishing the integration of the 59th Medical Wing and Fort Sam Houston Dental Activity’s oral and maxillofacial surgery residency programs. The signing took place April 2 at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. Temple is commander of the Fort Sam Dental Command, Willard is commander of the Army Dental Activity, Hepburn is the San Antonio Military Health System director and commander of the 59th Medical Wing, and Hartup is director of the Air Force Dental Operations, Air Force Medical Operations Agency. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Courtney Moses)
Nancy Hanson and Army Maj. Thomas Gunnell fit an ear prosthesis on Marine Capt. Ryan Voltin. Hanson is an anaplastologist and Gunnel is a maxillofacial prosthetics fellow. The Air Force and Army oral and maxillofacial surgery residency programs at the 59th Medical Wing and Fort Sam Houston Dental Activity were recently merged and will now function as the San Antonio Military Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nicole Mickle)
by Senior Airman Courtney Moses
59th Medical Wing Public Affairs
4/10/2013 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas -- A major milestone in the expansion of oral and maxillofacial surgical dentistry was achieved recently with the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the 59th Medical Wing and the Fort Sam Houston Dental Activity.
Air Force Maj. Gen. Byron Hepburn, director of the San Antonio Military Health System and commander of the 59th Medical Wing, Col. Grant Hartup, director of the Air Force Dental Operations, Air Force Medical Operations Agency, along with Army Col. Thomas Temple, commander of the Fort Sam Dental Command, and Col. Craig Willard, commander of the Army Dental Activity, gathered to sign a Memorandum of Agreement establishing the integration of the 59th Medical Wing and Fort Sam Houston Dental Activity's Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Programs at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas April 2.
The MOA establishes specific terms and conditions required to integrate the services' oral and maxillofacial surgery residency programs.
Currently, the Air Force program is directed by the 59th Medical Wing at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center while the Army program is commanded by the Fort Sam Houston Dental Activity at the San Antonio Military Medical Center on JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. These programs will be combined and referred to as the San Antonio Military Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Residency Program.
The program combination will not only merge the expertise of the surgical teaching staff, but will also combine the operating and sedation room facility access as well. This program will improve efficiency and patient services by enhancing clinical experiences of graduating surgeons while increasing the availability of the oral and maxillofacial surgery staff for the patients.
The residency, which is a four year program, will begin this upcoming July. Five residents will be selected every year, totaling twenty residents enrolled in the program at any given time. Each graduating class will result in five fully trained oral and maxillofacial surgeons who will be assigned or deployed throughout the world providing surgical health care.
"This marks an exciting opportunity for continued collaboration between the Air Force and Army. Within the SAMHS we have made tremendous strides in the last two years to improve efficiency in health care," said Hepburn. "This MOA proves our continued commitment to optimizing our dental training programs while developing our young professionals to work in a joint environment both stateside and overseas."
Oral and maxillofacial surgeries correct a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects that afflict the head, neck, face, jaws, and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. A recognized international surgical specialty, oral and maxillofacial surgery is one of the nine specialties of dentistry.
"Our actions today will translate into world class health care for thousands of military beneficiaries as well as civilians in the months and years to come," added Hepburn.