University of Washington closing Center for Pediatric Dentistry to control costs: 5 key points

Seattle-based University of Washington is closing its Center for Pediatric Dentistry as the school faces a $36 million deficit, according to The Seattle Times.

Here are five key points:

1. University of Washington Provost Jerry Baldasty said the school's deficit will likely increase by $10 million to $16 million over the next fiscal year if the school fails to act immediately.

2. Despite accumulating expenses, 43 members of the Washington State Legislature sent Mr.  Baldasty a letter imploring him not to proceed with serious measures. The school's dental school is the only one in the state that ranks among the top five dental schools in the U.S.

3. UW School of Dentistry cares for a large number of Medicaid patients, which added to the school's growing deficit.

4. In October, Joel Berg, DDS, resigned from his position as dean of UW School of Dentistry in Seattle. The Seattle Times reports some recommended Dr. Berg's replacement due to his part in insufficiently managing the school's finances. Dr. Berg built the Center for Pediatric Dentistry during his tenure as dean.

5. University of Washington School of Dentistry named James D. Johnson , DDS, UW School of Dentistry's chair of endodontics and dean, as interim dean. He said the following about the dental school: "We're not going to close. But, we've got to control costs — that's the bottom line."

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