University of the Pacific has received a $4 million lead gift from Stephen and Pamela Thorne to help create the Pacific Dental Services Health Care Collaborative, an innovative teaching and patient care facility that will be one of the first of its kind at a university.
The project will include construction of a new clinical and academic facility on University of the Pacific’s Sacramento Campus designed to provide comprehensive health care services to the public, alongside integrated teaching and learning environments for students.
The clinical model, designed around value-based personalized care, will offer students who are training to be dentists, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists, occupational therapists, nutritionists, social workers and other health care providers the opportunity to learn and work together.
Stephen E. Thorne IV is the founder and CEO of Pacific Dental Services, one of the nation's leading dental support organizations with more than 875 supported practices located across the United States. One of the company’s main initiatives is raising awareness about the critical link between oral health and overall health, and being a leading voice in advocating for better collaboration among medical and dental professionals to improve health outcomes for patients.
“Pacific Dental Services cares about supporting dentists and creating a perfect patient experience, but we also strive to mentor and assist the next generation of health care professionals to become the leaders of tomorrow,” Thorne said. “This new center will serve as the future of oral health and is an example of the dental-medical integration that will provide better health care to the patients who will utilize this amazing new facility.”
University of the Pacific holds special significance to the Thorne family. Stephen E. Thorne III, the donor’s father, graduated from the university’s School of Dentistry in 1966. Two of Stephen Thorne’s brothers also are alumni.
The Thornes’ gift was made to University of the Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, which is collaborating with the university’s School of Health Sciences to develop the project. The initiative will include expansion of the Dugoni School’s successful International Dental Studies program as well as programs in the School of Health Sciences such as the highly sought-after Physician Assistant Studies.
In addition to the integrated dental-medical care approach, the facility will serve as a safety net for vulnerable and underserved populations in Sacramento’s Oak Park and surrounding neighborhoods. It will offer patients preventive, acute and ongoing dental and medical care, conveniently located in one setting. Approximately 20,000 medical patients and 10,000 dental patients from across the northern Central Valley region will be able to be served annually.
“This generous gift from Stephen and Pamela Thorne will help us build a visionary health care complex to serve the needs of thousands of people in Sacramento for many years to come,” University of the Pacific President Christopher Callahan said. “With a long-standing reputation for excellence in health sciences and a growing health care academic portfolio, the university is uniquely positioned to integrate medical and dental care in this forward-looking model.”
Callahan said the health care collaborative was the brainchild of Dugoni Dean Nader A. Nadershahi.
“Thanks to the generosity of Stephen and Pamela Thorne, we are a giant leap closer to our vision for equitable access to a collaborative delivery model focused on overall health for our community and training leaders for the future of healthcare delivery,” the dean said.
Architectural plans for the facility are currently being developed. The Pacific Dental Services Health Care Collaborative expects to break ground in 2023 and open in 2024.