The Dr. Monty MacNeil Patient Welcome Center at the UConn Dental Care Center was dedicated on June 3. The space honors the legacy of the former dean of the School of Dental Medicine, R. Lamont MacNeil, DDS., who stepped down June 2018 after 12 years. MacNeil’s official portrait was unveiled at the event as well.
“The naming of the Dr. Monty MacNeil Patient Welcome Center is a prominent and fitting tribute to the esteemed Dr. MacNeil and his profound passion for advancing dental medicine,” said CEO and Executive Vice President for Health Affairs Andrew Agwunobi, MD.
The UConn Dental Care Center was completed in late 2018. Investment in UConn Health through the state-backed Bioscience Connecticut initiative transformed dental clinics with all new spaces and equipment. The Dr. Monty MacNeil Patient Welcome Center in the main lobby at UConn Health centralizes registration, reception, and waiting areas that used to be spread across eight separate areas.
“I am especially thankful for the naming of this particular space in my honor,” said MacNeil. “When we started this project, we wanted to create a defined entry point—a front door, so to speak—for the School of Dental Medicine, a place that patients and visitors would easily recognize and find welcoming. That new front door now ends up carrying my name, and I am both honored and humbled by this recognition.”
He added, “But more than that, our accomplishment speaks to the hard work and commitment of faculty, staff, and students during this demanding project and to the support of the Connecticut State Dental Association, alumni, and other supporters.”
The Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) named the space with a generous gift commemorating MacNeil’s tenure, during which he oversaw the most significant physical transformation in the School’s half-century history and elevated the academic, research, and patient care programs.
“One of Monty’s greatest legacies is his commitment to students. As a faculty member, I have seen first-hand the advances in the curriculum and the total student experience,” said David Fried ’86 DMD, immediate past president of the CSDA.
The UConn Dental Care Center serves 75,000 patients and is the state’s largest provider for underinsured and uninsured patients.
“We are immensely grateful to the members of the CSDA for their generosity and loyalty to both Dr. MacNeil and the School of Dental Medicine,” said Sharon Gordon, DDS, MPH, Ph.D., dean of the School. “One of Dr. MacNeil’s most important legacies is the culture of connection he fostered. Giving of time and talent through teaching, mentoring, and philanthropic giving is at the core of the School’s identity.”