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    An instructional lab that will help train future dentists across the country is up and running in Alton.
    The $9.5 million John and Anna Markarian Multidisciplinary Simulation Laboratory was formally dedicated on the School of Dental Medicine campus this past month. The event at the facility of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville was attended by numerous dignitaries, including the family of the building’s namesakes.
SIUE-DENTAL-DEDICATIONSIUE School of Dental Medicine third-year student Erin Syzdek (with scissors) cuts the ribbon for the John and Anna Markarian Multidisciplinary Simulation Laboratory. From left: Deputy General Counsel for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Allen Mayer, Alton Mayor Brant Walker, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, Illinois Sen. William Haine, SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, Syzdek, John Markarian (partially hidden), Randall Markarian, SDM Dean Bruce Rotter, SIU President Glenn Poshard, Ronald Markarian and John Markarian.    John and the late Anna Markarian are the parents of three successful school alumni – Drs. John, Ronald and Randall Markarian.
    “The (Markarian) brothers stepped up early in the process and provided a lead gift to help equip the new simulation lab,” said school dean Bruce Rotter. “In honor of John and Anna, and to demonstrate our appreciation for the generosity, kindness and loyalty of the Markarian family, the new laboratory space is dedicated in their name.”
    “I am so proud to be a SIU School of Dental Medicine graduate,” said Randall Markarian, who spoke on behalf of the family. “My parents always stressed education for us, and my father admired dentists. He prodded us toward dentistry as a career. We are grateful for the lives that dentistry has provided for us.”
    Rotter also acknowledged Dr. Neal Roller and his wife, Marilyn, who also provided a generous lead gift to the project.
    “The new simulation units are a marked technological advancement for our educational program,” Rotter said. Students will get a more authentic simulation of a genuine patient treatment experience, he said.
    Construction of the structure began in October 2012. The School of Dental Medicine received $4.1 million from the state when Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn signed legislation in 2009 that created the $31 billion “Illinois Jobs Now!” plan.
    The lab will be a primary site of instruction for 100 pre-doctoral students in Year I and Year II. It contains 60 simulation units. The 18,000-square-foot addition also will include a ceramic reconstruction room, X-ray room, casting and dispensing areas.
    The project also included a new fitness center in the facility’s lower level.
    The SIU School of Dental Medicine students manage approximately 35,000 patient visits each year at its patient clinics in Alton and East St. Louis. In addition, students offer oral health treatment, screenings and education to more than 10,000 people annually through a wide variety of off-campus community outreach events. These training opportunities are critical to the dental school, which is the only one within 200 miles of the St. Louis metropolitan area.

IBJ Business News

AlignLife opens new clinic in Wood River

    AlignLife has opened its newest chiropractic and natural health franchise location at 203 E. Ferguson Ave., Wood River.
    Dr. Mike Harbison is the clinic director and practicing chiropractor.
    Harbison and his wife Kristina both graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in 2011.

Kwame to provides services to housing authority

    The East St. Louis Housing Authority has signed a two-year contract with Kwame Building Group to provide construction administration services on various public housing renovation projects.
    KWAME provided technical assistance on Phase I of the authority’s Villa Griffin Homes project and saved the ESLHA nearly $55,000, said ESLHA Modernization Manager Patricia Wright.
    KWAME assists the ESLHA in developing scope of work, estimating, scheduling, inspections, quality control, and punch lists on a variety of projects.

Boat and Sportshow coming to area

    The 60th Annual Progressive Insurance St. Louis Boat & Sportshow arrives on shore next month.
    The event will be held Wednesday, Feb. 26, through Sunday, March 2, at America’s Center and Edward Jones Dome, 701 Convention Center Plaza, St. Louis.
    Among activities are boating and outdoors classrooms, a Texas Bass Tank, a Paddler’s Party Cove and a Be a Diver Tank.
    Fred’s Shed will offer boat owners tips on maintaining their boat or engine. The show also offers Anchor and Ale with access to sample craft beers.
    For additional information visit http://www.stlouisboatshow.com/.