Crestview loses dentistry school to DeFuniak Springs

Published: Friday, April 19, 2013 at 09:02 PM.

CRESTVIEW — A Bradenton-based dental school that last spring considered opening a branch campus here announced it has selected DeFuniak Springs instead.

This week’s announcement by Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine comes more than a year after school administrators toured Crestview with Mayor David Cadle and Dr. Durell Peaden, a LECOM board of trustees member.

Peaden, who was instrumental in luring a Florida A&M University School of Pharmacy campus here, had said, “Rural and underserved areas like Northwest Florida” interest LECOM.

LECOM selected DeFuniak Springs when a former neurosurgery clinic and an adjacent, three-year-old motel went on the market.

"The Lord sent us that," Peaden said, adding the site can serve people from 80 miles away. "It was ideal as a dental school and was already approved by state."

The former motel will serve as a student residence hall when the LECOM School of Dental Medicine patient clinic opens in 2015, Peaden said.

The $975,000 school will provide 24 jobs, including a full-time dentist and 12 part-time faculty members, a LECOM news release stated.

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