New Fort Sill dental clinic opens
March 15, 2012
FORT SILL, Okla.-- The Army's newest dental clinic opened with a ribbon cutting March 9 at Fort Sill.
The Col. James J. Weeks Dental Clinic features 22 dental treatment rooms, its staff can perform all dental specialties, and patients will be assigned to a dental team and have their own dentist--all in an environmentally friendly building.
Four members of the Weeks family cut the ribbon and unveiled a plaque during the ceremony, which was a rededication of the Weeks Dental Clinic. The orginal Weeks Clinic served the post from 1970 through 1994.
"Its wonderful to see the new, modern facilities," said Ken Weeks, of Elk River, Minn., who is the grandnephew of Colonel Weeks. "It's a great joy and pleasure to have my great uncle recognized."
Colonel Weeks was an Army dentist who helped shape the foundation of the dental corps, according to the program narrator. He retired in 1946 with 29 years active duty; he died in 1953, at age 63. The ceremony occurred on the 122nd anniversary of his birth.
Weeks Dental Clinic was designed as a medium-sized clinic, said Col. Mary Jo Corbett, Fort Sill Dental Activity commander. Its dental staff will serve about 5,500 Soldiers from the post's three Forces Command brigades: the 75th and 214th Fires brigades, and the 31st Air Defense Artillery Brigade.
She described the clinic as "the jewel of the dental command" where no Soldier will be left untreated.
"Every Soldier is a VIP here, this is your dental home," said Corbett, in her speech.
Maj. Gen. David Halverson, Fires Center of Excellence and [JUMP]Fort Sill commanding general, called Weeks a great leader. He said the clinic is a world-class facility that will take care of Soldiers.
"That's really important because as a warfighter you need to be fit to fight," the general said.
Groundbreaking for the Weeks Clinic began Dec. 7, 2010, by the Korte Construction Company of St. Louis. It was completed on schedule to coincide with Weeks birthday, March 9, 1890, said Dr. Daniel Bates, Weeks Clinic officer in charge.
The Weeks facility is the first "green clinic" at Fort Sill. All of the lights are demand-driven compact fluorescent bulbs with auto shut off, a solar array helps heat water, and a geothermal units heats and cools the building, Bates said.
The patient waiting area features a large-screen TV, a dental education kiosk, as well as TRICARE information, he said.
Bates said the Weeks Clinic is the most technological dental facility that he's seen.
"It's been planned out very well for the patients, doctors and staff," he said. It's also set to incorporate future technologies.
And, the clinic's location in Building 2640 near Sheridan and Miner roads is in an ideal site close to the brigades it serves, said Bates.
"It makes it a lot easier for the troops to get over here," he said.
During the ceremony, American Indians from the Comanche Veterans Association, performed a cedar ceremony to bless the new facility.
Although she doesn't have a start date at Weeks, Nico Ross, Cowan clinic dental assistant, said she is looking forward to working there.
"I'm very excited to part of the new 'green clinic,' she said. "The new (treatment) chairs are going to take some getting used to."
So, too, was Capt. Hanane Seaton, general dentist provider.
"It will be a great environment to see patients because we have modern equipment," she said, "and we'll be able to serve a lot more patients."