ETSU cuts ribbon on newly renovated Sturgill Family Dental Hygiene Clinic

Published 10:03 am Monday, October 30, 2023

East Tennessee State University’s College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences celebrated the naming and unveiling of the newly renovated Sturgill Family Dental Hygiene Clinic on Thursday, ushering in a new era for the university’s dental hygiene program, which was established more than a half-century ago.
The Sturgill Family Dental Hygiene Clinic is named for Drs. Jeremiah and Riley Sturgill, who own Sturgill Orthodontics and Sturgill Endodontics.
Jeremiah is a native of Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and owns dental practices in Johnson City and Norton, Va. He received degrees in biology and business administration from King University before earning his master’s degree in public health, orthodontics certificate and doctorates in dental medicine and health education from the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health.
Riley is a native of Piney Flats, and also holds degrees from King University and the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health. She practiced general dentistry in Phoenix before moving to Richmond, Virginia, to complete an endodontic residency program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Shortly after earning her Certificate in Endodontics and Master of Science in Dentistry, she opened Sturgill Endodontics, a private practice limited to endodontics and microsurgery. Riley and Jeremiah have three young children together.
Renovations were completed as part of the $26 million Lamb Hall renovation and include:
– A renovated student lounge
– An updated patient reception area and student receptionist workspace
– Renovations to the sterilization area
– New x-ray mannequins
– New x-ray chairs and x-ray sensors
– New paint and lights
“This moment not only encapsulates our pride in the program’s 50-plus-year history,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland, “but also our gratitude and admiration for the Sturgill family, whose commitment to dental health and education, both inside and outside the clinic, has made a meaningful impact for the people of our region and beyond.”
ETSU’s Dental Hygiene students have enjoyed a 100% job placement rate, and the program admits 24 students each year. In 2023, the program’s pass rate on the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam was 96%, and 92% of students passed the clinical exams on their first try.
As part of their education, students receive many opportunities for clinical education, with the dental hygiene clinic serving more than 1,600 patients each year. In addition to on campus clinical education opportunities, students also get clinical experience with other community partners such as Healing Hands, where the program has sent students for 20 years.
“As we cut the ribbon on the Sturgill Family Dental Hygiene Clinic at East Tennessee State University, we celebrate more than just bricks and mortar,” said Dr. Lynn Williams, interim dean of the College of Clinical and Rehabilitative Health Sciences, “we celebrate a commitment to oral health and a pledge to community partnerships.”
October is National Dental Hygiene Month, and ETSU’s Dental Hygiene Program is one of three entry-level programs in Tennessee.

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