Oral surgeons give to thank Certified Dental Assistants

By Public Affairs | July 6, 2021

Okanagan Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates
Dr. Russell Naito, Dr. Richard Bell and Dr. Tom White in the new sterilization room at Okanagan College

A local oral surgery group with offices in Kelowna and Vernon is investing in the education of Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs) with a gift to Okanagan College’s Our Students, Your Health campaign.

Dr. Richard Bell, Dr. Russell Naito and Dr. Tom White of Okanagan Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates are donating $30,000 to support a state-of-the-art dental clinic in the College’s new Health Sciences Centre.

The surgeons say the gift is a way to recognize and celebrate the work of their current staff and past employees.

“We want to show our support for CDAs and the profession,” says Bell. “We also wanted to recognize what the College has done for our practice. We have more than 20 CDAs working with us and many of them received their education at Okanagan College.”

Naito is from Kelowna and started his post-secondary education at the College. While he remembers many of his outstanding professors, several of his classes were in portables at the time.

“To be able to contribute to this great facility for students to learn in and instructors to teach in feels incredible,” says Naito.

The gift will support a large and modern sterilization room for CDAs to practice disinfecting instruments and learn the importance of infection control. These skills are essential to any dental clinic and especially for CDAs at Okanagan Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates.

“We are so grateful to Dr. Bell, Dr. Naito and Dr. White for supporting students and their industry,” says Joanne Gibbons-Smyth, Chair of Okanagan College’s CDA program.

“This clinic is a perfect blend of teaching and real-world practice and the support from the dental community is helping make it a reality for students.”

CDAs are in high demand across the Okanagan and British Columbia.

The Okanagan College Foundation is $1.5 million away from reaching its $5 million fundraising goal to equip and complete the new Health Sciences Centre.

The Foundation is inviting the business sector to support the education of eight in-demand health care professions so the Centre is ready when students return to face-to-face learning this fall.

Visit www.OurStudentsYourHealth.com to learn more.

Tags: OC Foundation, Certified Dental Assistant, Health Sciences Centre, Health and Social Development, Inside OC



Sign up for weekly stories


Sean McFetridge
Meet Sean McFetridge, OC alumnus

November 1, 2021

After an intense wildfire season, heatwaves and droughts, the need for Canadians to conserve water is more crucial than ever. That’s where OC alumnus Sean McFetridge comes in. He and his wife, Alisha McFetridge, co-founded RainStick Shower, a WiFi-enabled smart shower system that aims to solve water and energy waste by up to 80%. We caught up with Sean to hear more about what he’s been up to since graduating from OC in 2011. Where is your hometown and where are you located now?Kelo...

Kelly Terbasket
kinSHIFT: a powerful—and local—way to learn about Truth and Reconciliation

September 27, 2021

Kelly Terbasket of IndigenEYEZ has created a new sister organization for allies—kinSHIFT. Launched this spring, kinSHIFT is a tailored set of workshops for non-Indigenous allies who want to take the next step. Designed in response to increasing requests from people who want to be genuine allies, kinSHIFT is a safer space to do the work.                                                                          ------------ As a person of mixed heritage, I've always felt the divide between cultures and wanted to be part of bridging awareness a...

English Professor Hannah Calder reads while sitting in her home office by a window
Why We Write: Poets of Vernon

September 10, 2021

The writing community of Vernon is taking centre stage in a new film produced by OC English Professor and self-proclaimed budding filmmaker Hannah Calder. For the last four years, Calder has been collaborating with Curtis and Silmara Emde on Why We Write: Poets of Vernon, a film project originally sparked in 2017. Curtis, an OUC alumnus, has stayed in touch with his first-year English professor, Tom Wayman, since completing his studies. When Wayman released his collection of music-...

Ty Sideroff story
Ty Sideroff

September 3, 2021

“I have always been interested in our anatomy and exercising so I enrolled in OC’s Kinesiology Diploma program. My first year was going really well, then COVID-19 hit. I was able to finish the first year in an online format. However, starting school in September completely online, I was struggling to stay engaged with my studies. Before COVID, many of our classes would be active and in the gym. I found it hard to stay present with everything online and not having the same convers...