Boston dental school lays off, furloughs 20% of staff

Boston-based Tufts University School of Dental Medicine on Aug. 25 disclosed its plans to lay off or furlough nearly 20 percent of its employees, according to The Boston Globe.

The dental school said it will lay off 77 employees and place 26 employees on furlough for four months. This is the school's first round of staffing cuts since the pandemic began, a decision made to offset the $22 million in losses it has undergone since the beginning of the pandemic.

These financial woes resulted from having to close all but one of its clinics during the state's period of mandated dental office closures. The sole clinic remained open to serve just 12 emergency patients a day during this time, but the school's clinics used to provide dental care to 625 patients a day.

The losses also stem from purchases the school had to make to ensure safe operations amid the pandemic, such as plexiglass shields, personal protective equipment and air flow systems, Tufts representatives told The Boston Globe.

"Our priority throughout this process has been maintaining the quality of our core education, clinical, and research missions," Nadeem Karimbux, DMD, the dental school's dean, said in a message to staff. "We are confident that the education and care we provide, and the research we conduct, will continue to be of the highest quality."

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