UCI Success Story

In 2019, Dr. Kevin Ison, a passionate and experienced dentist and Orthodontist, along with Kaitlin Dougherty, a dental clinician completing her undergraduate degree for dental school, envisioned a transformative approach to dental education. Recognizing the growing demand for skilled dental assistants and the need for comprehensive training programs, together they founded Dental Medical Assistant Academy which is now the Union Centre Institute (UCI).

Dr. Ison and Kaitlin had a vision of creating a program that not only provided high-quality education but also fostered a sense of community among dental professionals. They believed that a well-trained dental assistant played a crucial role in the success of any dental practice and could significantly impact the overall patient experience.

Dental Assistant Academy began with a modest facility equipped with state-of-the-art dental technology. Dr. Ison and Kaitlin assembled a team of seasoned dental professionals to serve as instructors, ensuring that students received hands-on training and real-world experience. The curriculum was designed to cover a broad spectrum of skills, from chairside assistance and radiography to infection control and patient communication. Dental Assistant Academy held its first class in the fall of 2019 with two students and is now proud to have graduated over 300 students.

Over the years, the academy's success led to a growing network of alumni who were making significant contributions to the dental field. Dr. Ison and Kaitlin’s commitment to excellence and continuous improvement earned Dental Assistant Academy a reputation as a premier institution for dental education.

As the Dental Assistant Academy gained recognition for its excellence, Dr. Ison and Kaitlin’s vision expanded. They saw an opportunity to create a hub for not only dental education, but for the overall healthcare industry that went beyond assistant training. In response to the evolving needs of the healthcare industry, the academy gradually expanded its offerings to include courses in dental administration, medical assisting, CPR and nurse aides which in return created the Medical Assistant Academy to house all medical programs.

In 2024, to better reflect the institute's broader scope and commitment to advancing all healthcare education, Dental and Medical Assistant Academy officially became the Union Centre Institute. This transformation marked the beginning of a new chapter for UCI, as it continued to evolve and lead the way in shaping the future of all healthcare professionals. The institute's foundation story highlighted its dedication to empowering individuals with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the dynamic world of healthcare.