INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie presided over today's dedication of the James J. Fritts, DDS Clinical Care Center, a new state-of-the-art oral health care clinic at the Indiana University School of Dentistry at IUPUI. The 45,000-square-foot facility is part of a plan to ensure Indiana's only dental school is among the best in the world. The building bears the name of Dr. James. J. Fritts, a 1965 dental school graduate.
"This splendid new clinical care center will make the IU School of Dentistry one of the most technologically advanced dental schools in the United States," McRobbie said. "It is a facility of the highest quality that will help the school recruit and retain outstanding faculty and students. It will also allow our students to train in a state-of-the-art technological environment, and it will serve countless patients by promoting optimal oral health.
"I want to express our most grateful thanks to Dr. James Fritts, whose generosity will touch the lives of countless students, faculty, staff and patients and help the IU School of Dentistry continue to thrive for generations to come."
Other speakers at the dedication were IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar; IU School of Dentistry Dean Dr. John N. Williams; Fritts; Dr. Timothy Carlson, professor and clinical director; and Leah Stetzel, president of the dental student class of 2020.
"The Fritts Clinical Care Center is emblematic of the exceptional health sciences research and translational practice taking place at IUPUI," Paydar said. "As IU prepares to celebrate its bicentennial, and IUPUI commemorates 50 years as a campus, the Fritts Clinical Care Center embodies the university's mission by providing exceptional teaching, research and community oral health care," Paydar said. "It is a shining example of philanthropy used to improve the well-being of humanity."
The Fritts Clinical Care Center includes 125 new patient treatment chairs, which have been designed to maximize ergonomics for dental students and supervising faculty. The building design blends the contemporary building with the historic limestone façade of the original structure. The eastern exposure bathes the clinic floors in natural light. A covered drop-off and spacious lobby and waiting areas welcome patients. Artwork donated by Dr. R. Stephen Lehman, an alumnus of the dentistry and prosthodontics programs, decorates the walls and alcoves.
This is the first addition to the dental school in 40 years. A courtyard and a suspended walkway connect the Fritts Clinical Care Center with the dental school's three other buildings. The new clinical building is LEED Silver certified.
"Today, we celebrate the completion of a 21st-century clinic for a 21st-century dental school," Williams said. "We are immensely grateful to the supporters who enabled us to match a world-class facility with world-class dental education, research and clinical care."
The IU School of Dentistry raised more than $8.7 million of the approximately $21.6 million needed for the Fritts Clinical Care Center through For All: The Indiana University Bicentennial Campaign.
In 2017, students supervised by licensed faculty provided oral health care to more than 19,000 people during approximately 86,000 appointments. The Fritts Clinical Care Center also has capacity for extended hours of care.
About the Indiana University School of Dentistry
The only dental school in the Hoosier state, the IU School of Dentistry offers an extraordinary learning environment in which teaching, research and community service come together in the best way possible for the preparation of tomorrow's dental professionals. Founded in 1879 as the Indiana Dental College, the school is in the heart of the state capital of Indianapolis on the IUPUI campus. IUSD shares its location with the world-renowned IU School of Medicine and its partner, the IU Health academic health center, and services more than 19,000 clinical patients per year. More than 80 percent of the dentists in Indiana are alumni of the IU School of Dentistry.