Bulletin of Dental Education

ADEA Allied Dental Program Directors Conference Focuses on Cultural Competency

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The 37th Annual ADEA Allied Dental Program Directors Conference was held June 12-15 in Vancouver, British Columbia, with almost 200 program directors, guests, and corporate sponsors in attendance. “This conference provides a major learning and networking opportunity for our allied dental program directors,” said Dr. Richard Valachovic, ADEA Executive Director. “Both experienced and less experienced allied dental directors continue to say they benefit significantly from this opportunity.”

This year’s conference theme was cultural competency in allied dental education. Keynote speaker Dr. Edward O’Neil, Director of the Center for Health Professions at the University of California, San Francisco, shared valuable insights about the challenges of diversity in health care in his address.

Other parts of the conference presented the rationale for diversity training in the health professions including an overview of health disparities, national and professional demographics, discrepancies between clinicians and existing health disparities, and the dimensions of culture. Models for eliciting patients’ beliefs and practices were demonstrated through the use of vignettes, videos, and experiential exercises. As the final component to the workshop, discussions were conducted on what to teach, where to begin, templates for teaching cultural competency, the knowledge and awareness skills needed, and available educational resources. The final facilitated breakfast session allowed time for discussion among attendees about strategies for implementation of concepts presented in the workshop. The workshop was facilitated by Carol Allen, M.A., and Sunita Mutha, M.D., both from the Center of Health Professions at UCSF, and Prof. Mary George, Director of Dental Programs, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

For the first time at this conference, an orientation session for new directors and first-time attendees was held, on the recommendation of last year’s attendees. Additional parts of the conference included discussion groups on topics ranging from management issues for new directors to leadership challenges in higher education today. Discussion groups had the opportunity to report out and share significant issues and directions. In addition, all registered directors had the opportunity to attend two of the 15 lunch/breakfast and learn presentations this year. An additional workshop for programs being site-visited in 2004-05 was sponsored by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation.

This conference was generously supported by the following corporate sponsors: A-dec, American Eagle Instruments, Inc., Cardinal Health, Colgate-Palmolive Company, DENTSPLY International, Inc., Discus Dental, Inc., G. Hartzell & Son, Inc., Hu-Friedy Manufacturing Company,  Oral-B Laboratories, OraPharma, Inc., Philips Oral Healthcare, Inc., Procter & Gamble Company, Stage Front Presentation Systems, Sunstar Butler. Inc., Two-Ten Health, Ultradent Products, Inc., Waterpik Technologies, Young Dental Manufacturing, and Zimmer Dental. Corporate sponsors in attendance had the opportunity to meet with directors during the Corporate Meet and Greet session.

Next year’s conference is scheduled for June 11-14, 2005 at the Sagamore Resort, Lake George, NY. Information will be posted to the ADEA website in the fall.

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Immediately preceding the Allied Dental Program Directors Conference was the Second ADEA Allied Dental Faculty Leadership Conference, held on June 9-12 also in Vancouver. Fourteen allied dental faculty and directors from across the country were selected to attend this conference and participate in activities designed to develop and enhance leadership skills. The participants were introduced to different ways to think about leadership, professional development and career planning, personal preferences in leadership, the use of multi-rater assessment instruments, and the art of negotiation. They also received feedback from several assessment instruments during the conference. Peer group discussions, team building exercises, and case analysis were used extensively to develop leadership skills and concepts.

The graduates of this year’s program were Josette Beach, R.D.H., M.S., Portland Community College; Ethel Campbell, C.D.A., R.D.H., M.S., University of North Carolina; Ginny Cathcart, Dip. D.H., M.Ed., Vancouver Community College; Margie Coleman, R.D.H., M.S., University of Detroit Mercy; Elaine Dettle, R.D.H., M.P.H., University of Oklahoma, Tri County Technology Center; Renee Fiquet-Freeman, R.D.H., B.S., State Fair Community College; Kari Gould, R.D.H., M.P.H., Northeast Texas Community College; Nancy Keselyak, R.D.H., M.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City; Carolyn Roberton, R.D.H., B.S.D.H., Pierce College; Kathy Schlotthauer, R.D.H., M.Ed., Harrisburg Area Community College; Cindy Sensabaugh, R.D.H., M.S., Procter & Gamble Company; Donna Stach, R.D.H., M.Ed., University of Colorado; Laura Webb, C.D.A., R.D.H., M.S., Truckee Meadows Community College; and June Wolken-Vierra, C.D.A., R.D.H., M.B.A., UH Maui Community College.

Conference facilitators included Dr. N. Karl Haden, ADEA Associate Director and Director of
the Center for Educational Policy; Dr. Linda Hanlon, Special Liaison to the Council of Allied Dental Program Directors; Dr. Joseph Wittemann, leadership consultant and author; Ms. Ann Battrell, Director of Education, ADHA; and Prof. Pamela Zarkowski, Execu-
tive Associate Dean, University of Detroit Mercy Dental School. Professors Wendy Kerschbaum, University of Michigan, and Cheryl Westphal, University of New York, both former ADEA Leadership Institute Fellows, served as advisors to the group.

This conference was generously supported by Colgate-Palmolive Company, DENTSPLY Professional, Sunstar Butler, Inc., Oral-B Laboratories, Procter & Gamble Company and Tom’s of Maine. ADEA looks forward to hosting the next Allied Dental Faculty Leadership Conference in Chicago, June 7-10, 2006.

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