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VISN 12 - VA Great Lakes Health Care System


Great Lakes Allied Health Programs

The VISN 12 Dental Clinics proudly hold affiliation agreements with several external dental programs. Our educational mission stretches beyond the walls of our VA clinics, and we aim to provide training experiences for undergraduate dental students, dental assisting students, and dental hygiene students.

The schools/programs that we are affiliated with include:

  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WI – Dental Hygiene/Dental Assisting
  • Fox Valley Technical College, Appleton, WI – Dental Hygiene
  • Milwaukee Area Technical College, Milwaukee, WI – Dental Hygiene/Dental Assisting
  • Waukesha Area Technical College, Waukesha, WI – Dental Hygiene/Dental Assisting
  • University of Illinois at Chicago – Undergraduate Dental

Zablocki VA Great Lakes Advanced Education in Dental Hygiene

Most substantially, regarding Allied Health programs and partnerships, the Zablocki VA has created a unique postgraduate advanced dental hygiene residency program/internship.

The Zablocki VA Great Lakes Advanced Dental Hygiene Residency is a post-graduate dental hygiene education program designed to facilitate the professional growth of recent dental hygiene graduates.  Our program is designed as a one (1) year course of study (July 1 – June 30).

As our name implies, this residency is designed to mentor the skills required by a Dental Hygienist. It strives to enhance the understanding, management, competency/proficiency of various dental hygiene procedures, manage medically compromised dental patients and help the resident function effectively within this complex federally run regional medical center.  For over 40 years the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin has provided excellence in post doctorate dental education via its Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program.  Our current educational staff is extremely proud of this heritage.

The Zablocki VA Great Lakes Advanced Dental Hygiene Residency enrolls one dedicated and talented postgraduate learner at the Zablocki VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, and one at the Milo C. Huempfner VA Health Care Center in Green Bay, WI.

The objective of this residency is to enroll the professional growth and development of individuals who truly desire to be exceptional dental hygienist. Our residency will be overwhelmingly patient oriented and clinically focused.  The teaching staff believes that its role is to help each resident refine raw clinical skills and then challenge the resident to greater clinical and decision-making capability.  Fledgling residents/clinicians soon realize that each and every course taught during their dental hygiene training is extremely important.  Our patients and staff expect evidence bases answers to clinical questions as they arise.  Prospective residents can expect that initial efforts to dredge pertinent information from their memory banks will be difficult and will require after hours literature review and study.  Training is conducted under the direction and supervision of attending full and part-time staff. Attending instructors are educationally and clinically qualified to provide up-to-date practical instruction and are consistently present during clinic and seminar sessions for consultations. 

Seminars are conducted throughout the year to build upon the knowledge gained during dental school.  New developments are explored through literature reviews and patient management seminars.  Excellent library facilities are available.  Our interlibrary loan system is exceptional and allows essentially unlimited access to literature.  

Our program is demanding.  Residents are expected to use non-clinic time and evenings to review journal articles, presentations and complete assignments and complete online didactics to work towards obtaining a 12 credit Health Care Leadership certificate.  Prospective residents must also understand that as part of a major institution there are medical center obligations which must be fulfilled by all residents and staff.  The Advanced Dental Hygiene residency is not an “extra year” of dental hygiene school nor is it a time of unsupervised practice.  This residency is designed as a transition for residents to enhance clinical skills under faculty mentorship and at the same time learn to understand and respect the expectations of dentistry as a business within this federal healthcare network.  Prospective residents must understand that any residency has an obligation not only to matriculated residents but to the patients served by the institution.  Residents of this or any institution play an integral role in the delivery of care to the patients served.  The statement “I don’t want to do that” or “I am not interested in doing that” is not in our resident’s vocabulary.  Prospective residents should take note that a salary is paid and tuition is charged for the certificate program.

Our patients are indeed complex.  Their needs tax and challenge every dental provider whether attending staff or resident, yet our standards are high.  It is expected that residents will work efficiently within the framework of the participating facilities to effectively meet the needs of the veterans we serve.  It is anticipated that if each resident truly attempts to meet the needs of the veteran seeking treatment under their care, the resident will be provided unlimited opportunities to enhance his/her professional growth and development.      

 For more information about the Dental Hygiene/Allied Health Residency, you may use the “Contact Us” form on the website or directly contact:

Kristine Schedler, DDS
Director, Advanced Education in Dental Hygiene/Allied Health Program
Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center
5000 W. National Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53295
Phone:(414) 384-2000, ext. 42965

Residency Information:

For The VA Great Lakes Dental Residency Graduate Education Bulletin in Graduate Prosthodontics Residency program, please contact us.

For more information, specific to the program, please inquire to the program director, or use the contact us option to seek more information.