Midwestern University Partners with Rio Salado to Train Dental Hygiene Students

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September 27, 2023 | Glendale, AZ

MWU Dental Institute

Midwestern University's College of Dental Medicine-Arizona (CDMA) and Rio Salado College are proud to announce a partnership aimed at creating more opportunities for dental hygiene students. The collaboration promises to be a long-term endeavor that will significantly impact the education and careers of aspiring dental hygienists.

“We are very excited to partner with Rio Salado College,” says Sheri Brownstein, D.M.D., Dean, College of Dental Medicine-Arizona. “The Rio Salado faculty, staff, and administration have made this partnership seamless, and we are happy to see their students on our campus. During their training, the Rio Salado students will help care for our growing patient base in the Dental Institute.”

Monica Williamson Nenad, RDH, M.Ed., D.H.Ed., CHES, Faculty Chair of Dental Programs at Rio Salado College, expressed her excitement about the partnership, saying, "Everyone is so happy with this relationship. They've been wonderful partners to work with, and we’re really looking forward to making this a long-term partnership. This partnership signifies a significant step forward in addressing the growing demand for dental hygienists and enhancing the educational experience of Rio Salado College students "

The partnership addresses a critical need identified at the Midwestern University Dental Institute, which serves approximately 15,000 patients each year. Rio Salado dental hygiene students will complete required rotations at the Dental Institute, providing additional personnel to meet the growing dental needs of the community.

The inaugural cohort of ten Rio Salado dental hygiene students began their clinical experience at Midwestern University in early September. This partnership effectively increased the newest Rio Salado cohort size by a third, allowing ten more students the opportunity to kickstart their dental hygiene education. Furthermore, it promises to alleviate the two-year waitlist currently experienced by Maricopa Community Colleges for their dental hygiene programs, which is shared with Rio Salado.

Rio Salado College students have access to Midwestern University's state-of-the-art facilities, including the Simulation Clinic, radiography laboratory, and patient treatment units at the Dental Institute. Students will take their courses’ web sessions alongside their classmates on the Rio Salado Campus. A Rio Salado dental education professional will supervise the sessions on the Midwestern University Glendale Campus.

Key highlights of the partnership include:

  • Clinical experience for Rio Salado College students at Midwestern University facilities
  • Access to advanced dental equipment and resources
  • Supervision by experienced dental professionals
  • Enhanced learning opportunities for Rio Salado students

This new cohort will follow Rio’s accelerated program and graduate with their Tempe-based classmates in December 2024. Applications for participation in the program are accepted on an ongoing basis, with each cohort commencing in the fall.

For more information about the Midwestern University Dental Institute, visit https://www.mwuclinics.com/az. To learn more about the College of Dental Medicine-Arizona, visit https://www.midwestern.edu/academics.