Dean’s Message

Peter Michael Loomer, BSc, DDS, PhD, MRCD(C), FACD

Dear friends,

I hope this 2021 edition of Salute magazine finds you, your family and friends doing well as this often-challenging year comes to an end. The School of Dentistry is doing great, and I would like to share with you some of the outstanding accomplishments of your alma mater! It has truly been a banner year for the School of Dentistry, and the entire UT Health San Antonio campus.
Our educational programs have all flourished thanks to the creativity of our faculty and staff. The resilience of our students enabled us to surpass the top academic standards that we have always had. We returned to in-person classes, and clinics were modified to ensure patient and clinician safety. In addition, most clinics significantly increased their patient volumes over pre-pandemic 2019 levels. We also saw a 100 percent first-time passing rate in the dental licensure examinations for both our dental and dental hygiene students. The advanced education specialty students had a highly successful year with numerous students winning national awards and completing their diplomate certifications.

Another area of dramatic growth was in our research funding which surpassed $10 million this past year. We are growing our current research missions as well as developing a new venture that will result in more studies in community health. This ties well into UT Health San Antonio’s plans for a new School of Public Health in collaboration with The University of Texas at San Antonio. We will be a main player in the new school because of our work to improve oral health as part of overall quality of health that addresses the severe health disparities in our community. The new school received approval from the UT System Board of Regent in November. It will be a real game changer for our campus, expanding new educational opportunities such as combined degrees and necessary community research and outreach.

We also are proud to share that we are the official provider of dental care for the athletic program at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). This expansion into athletics is a new venture for us. In addition, we are expanding our dental hygiene degree programs to The University of Texas Education and Research Center at Laredo (UT Center at Laredo), which is now under the oversight of the UT System.

We are presently in the process of developing the Dr. Phil and Karen Hunke Special Care Clinic at the Center for Oral Health Care and Research. The design for the clinic has been finalized; construction will start soon. We appreciate the generosity and investment by Phil and Karen for whom the clinic is named. They are great supporters of the school. We also have financial support from Texas Health and Human Services. In addition, alumni and friends of the school are helping to make this clinic a reality for special patients who deserve excellent oral health care in a clinical setting designed especially for their cognitive and physical needs. Giving opportunities for this clinic and for other programs and specialties are also available.

The School of Dentistry is excited about the construction of the UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital, which is being built next to our center on Floyd Curl Drive at its intersection with Wurzbach Road. This $430 million hospital will allow us to expand our multidisciplinary care of patients who need intricate specialty care.

As we reflect back on the past year’s achievements and exciting plans for the future, we would like to wish our alumni and friends a happy and healthy year ahead. We wish you all the best in 2022 and hope to see you in person soon.

Warmest wishes,

Peter Michael Loomer, BSc, DDS, PhD, MRCD(C), FACD
Professor and Dean
School of Dentistry
UT Health San Antonio


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In the 2021 issue of Salute

Salute is the official magazine for the alumni and friends of the School of Dentistry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Read and share inspiring stories highlighting our dental alumni, faculty and students who are revolutionizing education, research, patient care and critical services in the communities they serve.

View the 2021 issue

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