Las Cruces dentist announces giveaway for prospective Hunt School of Dental Medicine students

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Release of the TTUHSC El Paso

In an effort to develop future Paso del Norte dentists in and out of the classroom, the president of the New Mexico Dental Association announced a personal donation of $25,000 to the Hunt School of Dental Medicine on Friday. March 4.

Kim Martin, DMD, presented the gift in honor of her children during a ceremony at the Texas Tech Dental oral health clinic. The funds will go to the Dental Excellence Fund, which supports the education of current and future dental students.

“I am so honored to donate to the dental school in your names, not only to mark our contribution, but to recognize any other students who may be juggling families, spouses, aging parents or just trying to balance our crazy lives, in general,” Dr. Martin said in a letter to his children, which was read at the ceremony. “We’re all in this together.”

Dr. Martin is a longtime dentist in the Las Cruces area. She currently serves patients at University Family Dental, where her niece, Patricia Martin, DDS, also practices. In addition to her role as President of the New Mexico Dental Association, Dr. Martin is a member of New Mexico’s COVID-19 Dental Advisory Team and is a past member of the New Mexico Dental Health Care Council. Mexico.

In recognition of Dr. Martin’s generous donation, TTUHSC El Paso has named a pediatric suite at the Texas Tech Dental Oral Health Clinic in honor of Dr. Martin’s two children, Jackson and Maeson. Both children were born early in Dr. Martin’s journey to becoming the dentist she is today. Jackson was born during her first clinical semester in dental school and she would bring him to the lab while she worked. Maeson was 18 months old when Dr Martin opened his dental practice and therefore it was common for her to accompany her mother to work.

“You are the ones who have truly sacrificed having a working mother,” Dr. Martin wrote. “In my journey to help other dental students through this gift, I want to serve as an example that sometimes God just puts the good souls in your life.”

Dean of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine, Richard C. Black, DDS, MS, said the pediatric gift and suite are just the latest examples of the strong partnership the Hunt School of Dental Medicine has with Dr. Martin and the New Mexico dental community.

“Dr. Kim Martin is an exceptional member of the Las Cruces dental community and has helped prospective pre-dental students by allowing them to observe him in his office,” said Dr. Black. “Dr. Martin has also taken time out of his busy practice to come to the Hunt School of Dental Medicine and interview potential students with us throughout the fall application cycle.

Dr. Martin was one of 35 area community dentists who assisted faculty at the Hunt School of Dentistry in interviewing students for the inaugural course. The school has received over 900 applications for just 40 spots in the class of 2025. Dr. Martin also plans to dedicate her time as a community faculty member at the Hunt School of Dental Medicine, as a clinical instructor volunteer.

This is great news for students, according to Felisha Vallabh, a student at New Mexico State University who had the chance to follow Dr. Martin in her second year. She called Dr. Martin a role model for pre-dental students and women, not only because of her dedication to her profession, but also because of the way she treated staff and students as if they were family members.

“Dr. Martin goes above and beyond to connect personally with each of her patients. She will put a blanket over a patient if they are cold, turn on their favorite TV show, and do anything to ease their anxiety before starting treatment,” said Vallabh, past president of NMSU’s pre-dental society. “As a woman in what was once a male-dominated career, Dr. Martin is a shining example of what it means to break the ceiling of glass in dentistry. She taught me that women can be successful business owners and take on leadership positions in the dental world and in our community. She is a phenomenal woman and inspires young women like me to taking dentistry by storm.

Thanks in part to Dr. Martin, Vallabh applied to the Hunt School of Dental Medicine, hoping to be part of the school’s class of 2026. She also hopes to work with her mentor again in the near future.

The Hunt School of Dental Medicine, opening in 2021, is the first dental school on the US-Mexico border and the first in Texas in over 50 years. Its location on the Texas-New Mexico border will also benefit southern New Mexico, especially since the state currently does not have a dental school, according to the New Mexico Dental Association.

In October 2021, the New Mexico Department of Higher Education (NMHED) and the Hunt School of Dental Medicine announced an agreement in which the agency will cover the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition. state for two New Mexico students who would otherwise be required to pay the highest out-of-state tuition to attend the Texas school. The funds, provided by the New Mexico Legislative Assembly, will cover up to $20,000 in tuition per student.

One of the goals of the Hunt School of Dental Medicine is to alleviate the shortage of dentists in the region. Since most graduating dentists locate their practices near their dental schools, the Hunt School of Dental Medicine will help alleviate the severe shortage of dentists in the Paso del Norte and southern New Mexico areas.

As part of efforts to improve accessibility to oral health care in the region, the Hunt School of Dental Medicine is offering reduced-cost dental care at its 38,000 square foot public dental clinic, Texas Tech Dental. Oral Health Clinic. The clinic is equipped with 145 treatment chairs where students work with faculty to provide high quality oral health care to residents of the Borderplex area.

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