Fellstone Foundation Commits $100,000 To AEGD Clinic Renovations
Bruce Barker has the best of both worlds. In addition to owning a private dental practice in Raleigh, he also stays involved with dental education by serving as a clinical adjunct instructor in Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) at the UNC School of Dentistry. This fall Barker pledged $100,000 to the AEGD Clinic on behalf of his family fund, the Fellstone Foundation. Funding provided by the Fellstone Foundation will be spread across the next four years in $25,000 increments.
The Fellstone Foundation, headed by Frank and Daryl Barker along with their children Bruce and Doane, was established nearly a decade ago and primarily benefits educational organizations. When it came time for the family to choose a new candidate for funding, Bruce suggested the AEGD program.
"Currently serving as a clinical adjunct instructor and having participated in post-doctoral education myself, I know the importance of the training offered by the AEGD program," Barker explained. "We hope the additional funding will raise the quality of education and offer residents more learning opportunities. My vision is that our new facility and the funding we are providing to help equip them will define this program as a premier post-doctoral educational program in dentistry."
First and foremost, the Foundation's donation will fund the purchase of new dental equipment and technology for the clinic. The decision to fund new technology was compounded by recent state funding cuts in public education.
"State funding provides the school with building renovations, expansions, and basic necessities, but today, more and more public universities depend on private funds to provide students with the professional edge they need to market their skills in the real world," said Barker. "That edge comes from gaining experience with new technologies and advancements in dentistry, and that type of equipment is an expensive provision for any educational institution.
Dr. Frank Brantley, the Harrell Distinguished Professor who heads the AEGD program, expressed his appreciation for the funding.
"While the Fellstone Foundation's gift represents the AEGD program's largest financial contribution to date, the Barker family has long contributed to the success of our program by virtue of the outstanding teaching efforts provided by Dr. Barker," said Brantley. "Our gratitude for his commitment is boundless and I can assure you that the impact of his gift will be profound in moving the AEGD program at the School of Dentistry to the forefront of postdoctoral general dentistry training."
The AEGD program at the School of Dentistry is a 12-month postdoctoral certificate program in general dentistry. As a residency program, it provides advanced training in clinical dentistry and refinement of skills. Graduates are exposed to the field of dentistry outside of the dental school setting. Residents learn new skills, practice with state-of-the-art dental technology, and gain the experience they need to work in private practices or as general practitioners. The program is approved and fully accredited by the Council on Dental Education of the American Dental Association.