Fellowship to honor Rees, advance stomatology center

June 24th, 2013

rees-titleStomatology is no mystery at A&M Baylor College of Dentistry, where the Stomatology Center in the Department of Periodontics has been solving countless challenging cases for nearly three decades.

Dr. Terry Rees ’68 (Perio), professor and founding director, is still serving patients and students in the center since his appointment in 1984. A new endowment fund in Rees’ name honors his extraordinary contributions to this referral and training site for the diagnosis and treatment of rare mouth problems that are often severe and difficult to diagnose and manage.

The generosity of Dr. Bettye Whiteaker-Hurt ’68, ’70 (Perio), made the establishment of the Dr. Terry Rees Endowed Fellowship in Stomatology/Periodontics at Baylor Oral Health Foundation possible. When the endowment goal of $200,000 is reached, the fund will provide for fellowships in stomatology and, ultimately, a graduate program in oral medicine overseen by the department. Plans are to offer a series of fellowships in varying lengths – three months, six months or one year – limited to one fellow per program, initially restricted to periodontists. Stipends will be provided for fellows of six months or longer to offset tuition and living expenses.

“I can’t think of a better way to honor such a leader in our profession,” said Dr. Jeffrey Rossmann, professor and department chair.  “Dr. Rees’ energy, dedication and exceptional skills have established the Stomatology Center as one of the best in the world.”

The Stomatology Center, which is one of only three such centers in the United States, was established in 1984 under the leadership of Dr. William C. Hurt, then chairman of the Department of Periodontics. It has served more than 7,800 patients, with approximately 1,000 patient visits each year. Most patients are from Texas and the Southwest, but others have visited the center from at least 45 states and 14 foreign countries. More than 35 diseases classified by the National Institutes of Health as rare or orphan conditions have been diagnosed and managed in the center.

“We are counting on contributions from alumni and friends to help us reach our endowment goal,” said Rossmann, who is eager to see the Stomatology Center grow.  “Dr. Whiteaker-Hurt’s gracious gift is the foundation for what will be a lasting tribute to Dr. Rees and a great benefit to our profession.”

Gifts to the Rees Fellowship fund should be made payable to Baylor Oral Health Foundation and directed to the Office of Advancement, Communications & Alumni Relations; Texas A&M Baylor College of Dentistry; 3302 Gaston Ave.; Dallas, TX  75246. For questions or payments by credit card, please call 214.828.8214 or email ldees@tamhsc.edu. All contributions will be gratefully acknowledged in the Baylor Dental Journal.

— Carolyn Cox