A brand new $38 million dental school and clinic opened Wednesday at Lackland Air Force Base. But it provides much more than just your average teeth cleaning.
For Jan Coughlin, it’s a dream nearly three decades in the making.
In a sea of military uniforms, Jan stands out. So did her vision for the new facility. Jan worked at the clinic for 32 years and every year, she asked for the same thing.
“When I would put my budget in every year, they would say 'Gee, what do you need?’” said Jan. "And I would say, 'I need a new building!'”
It is a request that finally got the attention of the right people.
Inside the roughly 56,000-square-foot facility, not only will patients receive dental care, but 74 residents will continue their training.
State-of-the-art prosthetics are also made at the facility, like bridges and dentures.
But the technology goes far beyond dentistry.
Labs at the new facility also create models that can help treat deformities or heal wounded warriors.
“They have 3D technology that they can use to make models of ears, eyes, noses … just about anything they need to make,” said Lt. Col. Jeffery Casey, director of Senior Resident Education and Training.
Jan is now retired, but this is one last order of business she had to see through.
“It’s a dream come true," she said.