A new normal.
That’s what we are experiencing now.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges in our lives, but my heart swells with pride that The Dental College of Georgia has risen to each challenge with courage, dignity and aplomb. Many aspects of our operations, protocols and facilities have changed in response to the virus. While each modification required vast amounts of effort, we believe they have made the Dental College stronger and better than ever before. Many of the changes will be permanent.
For instance, as detailed in the article on page 10, our building now has an air-purifying system and thermal sensors at entrances to ensure the most hygienic environment possible for our students, patients, faculty, staff and visitors. We want everyone to feel safe, comfortable and relaxed in our “home,” and we will continue to go above and beyond the strictest disease control and mitigation protocols to ensure that is the case.
Some changes have been more challenging. As I note in the article, one of the toughest aspects of the past few months has been the absence of many of the events that bring us together as a family. How I miss our gatherings! You might notice that this edition of the magazine lacks our usual photo displays showcasing recent or upcoming events, because so many of them have been postponed, canceled or adapted to a virtual format. We know it is only prudent to avoid gathering in large groups, but I sure miss seeing your smiling faces en masse. The pandemic has sharpened our focus of just how special it is come together for celebrations and milestones, and we can’t wait to resume them when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, know that we are still right here for you — our students, alumni, patients, faculty and staff — and we hope you are reminded of just how special our DCG family is by thumbing through the following pages. For instance, I challenge you to read Kim Capehart’s story on page 24 without getting a lump in your throat or even shedding a tear. Every member of our DCG family is special, and we love showcasing their unique stories, talents and achievements.
Thank you for hanging in there with us as we navigate our new normal, and believe me when I say that the best is yet to come.
-Dr. Carol Lefebvre, Dean of the Dental College of Georgia