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Lake Land College and Heartland Dental representatives unveil a new sign for the Heartland Dental Dental Hygiene Lab during a grand opening ceremony Sept. 28 as part of the college’s Laker Homecoming weekend. Pictured left to right are: Lake Land College President Josh Bullock, Heartland Dental Director of Dental Hygiene Lisa Kallis, Heartland Dental Chief Financial Officer Travis Franklin and Heartland Dental Director, Payroll, Micky Will.

MATTOON -- Lake Land College and Heartland Dental celebrated the new Heartland Dental Dental Hygiene Lab during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 28 in the Northwest Building. The event was part of the Laker Homecoming weekend.

The ceremony honored Heartland Dental for its gift to the Lake Land College Foundation that allowed for the purchase of all new equipment for the lab, which will now be called the Heartland Dental Dental Hygiene Lab.

“We are honored to give this gift to Lake Land College in support of training future generations of dental hygienists,” says Travis Franklin, Heartland Dental chief financial officer. “These opportunities are truly some of the most rewarding aspects of being part of Heartland Dental.”

“We are truly grateful to Heartland Dental for partnering with Lake Land College and investing in our students’ future,” Lake Land College President Josh Bullock said.

Heartland provided a cash gift to the Lake Land College Foundation and worked with its vendors to maximize the purchasing power of that cash gift. In total, Heartland Dental has made an $850,000 impact with its gift allowing the foundation, with approval from the Lake Land Board of Trustees, to name the lab the Heartland Dental Dental Hygiene lab for a period of five years, at which time it may be extended for an additional period of time.

“We are grateful to community partners such as Heartland Dental who enhance learning opportunities for students with state-of-the-art training equipment and experiences. Significant investments in our students and academic programs such as dental hygiene help our faculty provide relevant training in high demand skills. In turn, this creates a qualified workforce that allows area employers to grow and prosper,” Lake Land College Board of Trustees Chair Dave Storm said.

The Lake Land College Dental Hygiene program is a regional program that attracts students from throughout the state of Illinois. Students in the program advance through a rigorous academic program that prepare them to provide preventative dental care to patients in a clinical setting.

Lisa Kallis, representing both the Lake Land Foundation Board of Directors and Heartland Dental where she serves as the director of dental hygiene, said, “The Lake Land College Foundation is an important partner with the college in creating opportunities for our students. This gift is just an example of how the Foundation serves as a facilitator for donors like Heartland, to make a difference in a way that the college might struggle to attain. The Foundation works with donors to find a way to make concepts and dreams a reality in a way that best fits each donor’s situation. So thank you to Heartland Dental for allowing the Lake Land College Foundation to assist you in making a difference!”

The new equipment has already had a positive impact on students and patients, Lake Land College Dental Hygiene Instructor/Dental Hygiene Program Director Debbie Thomason said.

“We have had several long-time patients come in and comment on how professional and inviting the lab looks. Working on the latest equipment available to industry is preparing our students for a seamless transfer to a professional office. As faculty, we have been energized by the enthusiasm of our students who regularly share their gratitude for Heartland Dental’s donation with our patients.”

Lake Land College students provide dental cleanings, X-rays and education to patients in the Dental Hygiene Lab on campus in the Northwest Building. The gift provided for new dental units, chairs and equipment that allow students to receive hands-on training and experience found in the workplace. With the new units, the college was able to install computers in the stations that allow students to utilize software to chart electronically, enter patient information and data and receive training on technology current to many offices in the industry.

The Lake Land College Dental Hygiene major is a competitive, special admission program. Students are admitted to the college in a track program and begin working on pre-requisites prior to the application period. The Lake Land College Dental Hygiene program is fully-accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation. For more information, look for the Academics tab at lakelandcollege.edu.

With headquarters in Effingham and founded by Rick Workman, DMD, Heartland Dental offers supported dentists and team members continuing professional education and leadership training, along with a variety of non-clinical administrative services including staffing, human relations, procurement, administration, financial, marketing and information technology. For more information, visit Heartland.com.

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