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Department Profile: Dental Supplies – feeling pride in their work

Dental Supplies at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry is supported by a small and mighty team. Wayne Baxter, Mike Trela and Gary Venus take pride in their work and their ability to maintain a smooth operation while supporting the students, faculty and staff in Dentistry.

The dedicated trio of the Dental Supplies department engage in many aspects Dentistry's work, from ordering everyday supplies, to collaborating with faculty and staff for student-centred projects.

Located on the Lower Ground level of the Dental Sciences Building, their work space resembles a museum with drawers of fragile implants and shelves of tools and materials. The mood, however, is spirited as they engage with almost everyone in the School.

While most of their functions help to maintain day-to-day activities, they are also involved in major projects. The team was recently involved with the set up of the new Dentistry Simulation Laboratory set to officially open at the end of November.

While they work as a team, they each have specific responsibilities. Venus is responsible for receiving couriers and mail for all School departments inhabiting the Dental Sciences Building, Medical Sciences Building, and Health Sciences Addition. Meanwhile, Trela supports the Dentistry department with inventory control, student kit assembly, denture tooth distribution, and locker assignments for students. Trela and Venus support the laundry operations for Dentistry, and support each other when extremely busy. 

As the supervisor Baxter, liaises with faculty and staff regarding the everyday needs of Dentistry and supports Venus and Trela in their roles. A 17-year veteran of the School, he brings a strong history of dedication to the department.

Baxter feels a deep sense of pride for the accomplishments of the team. “We deal with a wide variety of things from ordering supplies, supporting policy enforcement and helping out to ensure materials are available for classes,” he said. “You can’t teach without supplies and you can’t run a clinic without supplies. We do a lot of little things that are very important to the place and I think we should be proud of what we’ve been able to do,” he added.