Bulletin of Dental Education

Around the Dental Education Community - August 2012

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ADEA Selects Dr. Janet Guthmiller as New Associate Editor of MedEdPORTAL Publications 

ADEA and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) have appointed Janet Guthmiller, D.D.S., Ph.D., as the new Associate Editor of MedEdPORTAL Publications—a free online international publication venue from AAMC that allows educators in the health professions to publish and share educational resources. 

In 2008, ADEA and AAMC formed a partnership to expand MedEdPORTAL’s medical education collection to include dental education resources. As an Associate Editor, Dr. Guthmiller will apply her extensive experience in dental education, research, service, and administration to encourage submissions, secure reviewers, and promote MedEdPORTAL Publications to the dental education community.

 “Dr. Guthmiller’s leadership and innovation in dental education and scholarship will go a long way toward the continued growth of MedEdPORTAL, which has become an invaluable resource in the dental education community,” says ADEA Executive Director Richard W. Valachovic, D.M.D., M.P.H.   

Beyond the university, Dr. Guthmiller is a board certified periodontist and practiced for 14 years. She has served on a number of national and regional committees. Last year, she represented academic deans for U.S. dental schools at an ADEA Commission on Change and Innovation in Dental Education (ADEA CCI) meeting at the ADEA Fall 2011 Meetings.  

“Dr. Guthmiller values ambition, critical thinking, high-quality research, and collaboration in the dental education community, all of which are essential to the work of AAMC and MedEdPORTAL,” says Chris Candler, M.D., Ed.D., MedEdPORTAL Editor-in-Chief. “We are thrilled to appoint such an accomplished voice in the field.” 

“I’m excited about this opportunity within MedEdPORTAL,” says Dr. Guthmiller. “It will be invigorating to promote MedEdPORTAL and encourage submissions by dental faculty as well as collaborative efforts of health affairs faculty regarding interprofessional educational models and assessments.” 

Dr. Margherita R. Fontana Receives Presidential Award at The White House 

Margherita R. Fontana, D.D.S, Ph. D., Associate Professor in the Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences, and Endodontics at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, received one of the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government during a ceremony at the White House on July 31, 2012. 

Dr. Fontana received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) for her studies on the prediction of caries risk for toddlers in underserved communities. The PECASE is awarded to outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. Dr. Fontana was nominated by the National Institutes of Health. Her research focuses on oral health care inequities among underserved and minority preschool-aged children in the United States, specifically related to dental caries. She is developing a tool that can be used in primary medical health care settings to identify children aged 1 to 4 years old, who have the highest risk of caries. The long-term goal of Dr. Fontana’s research is to reduce oral health disparities by developing preventive and therapeutic strategies that can be used interprofessionally by dentists, physicians, and other health care professionals. 

New Jersey Dental School Wins $2.5 Million U.S. Government Grant 

The University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey New Jersey Dental School is helping to address what is perhaps dental education’s greatest challenge ever: a critical, nationwide shortage of faculty members.  

After receiving a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the school is initiating a program to recruit and train 45 practicing general, and pediatric dentists to become faculty members at dental schools throughout the middle Atlantic states (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania). The school will place special emphasis on cultural competency and successfully treating underserved and special needs children and adults. The end result of this training will be a highly skilled workforce that will help increase access to care for everyone who seeks it.    

The school’s new two-year program, “From Practice to Preceptor,” will teach a broad set of skills, enabling those who enroll to not only teach, but fulfill administrative and leadership roles, provide evidence-based dental care, address oral health care disparities, and conduct research in an academic environment. The program is free and participants will receive a small stipend. 

“Recruiting new, talented faculty is the lifeblood of any educational institution. Because dental education is extremely labor intensive, it is doubly important for us,” says Cecile A. Feldman, D.M.D, M.B.A., Dean of the University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, New Jersey Dental School (NJDS). “A group of very dedicated, talented NJDS faculty and staff worked very hard on this grant proposal. Their tireless efforts resulted in NJDS being one of only a handful of dental schools in the country to receive an award.”  

ADEA/Academy for Academic Leadership Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program Held in Atlanta 

Department chairs and other academic administrators traveled from around the world to attend the ADEA/Academy for Academic Leadership (AAL) Chairs and Academic Administrators Management Program (CAAMP) that was held on July 19–22, 2012, at the Emory Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. CAAMP is an interprofessional, open-enrollment course designed for administrative leaders in health professions education. The program focuses on imparting the skills needed in these positions so they can balance the demands and priorities they face, while meeting the needs of their institutions, departments, and academic programs. Since its inception in 2009, more than 200 department chairs and academic administrators have participated in the program. 

“In order to grow as a leader, you must take the risk of asking your peers, managers, and those who report to you for honest, constructive feedback on your skills and capabilities. This program provided both a supportive environment to receive that feedback with specific tools to become a better leader,” said Debora Matthews, Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry. “I would strongly recommend this workshop to anyone considering becoming, or currently is, an academic leader, regardless of the level of leadership. It is packed with valuable gems from best practices to present legal issues, to mentoring junior faculty, to personal development as an effective leader. Furthermore, the after-hours discussions with very interesting people from a variety of health sector fields was energizing and validating.” CAAMP participants developed their leadership abilities through personal assessments, and through professional and peer coaching.  

CAAMP 2012
2012 CAAMP participants at the Emory Conference Center, Atlanta, Georgia.


Other program sessions included academic legal issues, faculty performance and assessment, strategic planning, conflict management, work life balance, and building interprofessional education initiatives. CAAMP is held annually each summer in Atlanta, GA. To learn more about the program, visit www.academicleaders.org/CAAMP

Connecticut Dental Community Provides More Than $190K in Dental Services to Kids

“Give Kids A Smile” is more than just a day, providing children throughout Connecticut with oral health education and free dental services. Connecticut’s dental community donated their time to help reinforce the importance of oral health care and provided $190,792 worth of donated dental services to 627 children throughout the state.

The Give Kids A Smile program was implemented in Connecticut in 2004. This national program is sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA), and kicks off each year in February as part of National Children’s Dental Health Month.

“Oral health plays a key role in overall health and it is important to teach our children about how to obtain and maintain good oral health starting at a young age,” says Elise M. Cozzi, D.M.D., Chair of the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) Give Kids A Smile program. “The Give Kids A Smile program is about providing children and their families with the resources they need to lead healthy lives.”

“This year, 97 Connecticut dentists joined together with the common goal—to increase the oral health care of children in our state,” says Carolyn J. Malon, D.D.S., President of the CSDA. “Connecticut children are able to receive dental services throughout the year from programs such as Give Kids A Smile, Connecticut Mission of Mercy, and other free dental days offered by private offices, as well as screenings at local health fairs. Although these types of programs serve as wonderful resources, it is imperative that Connecticut continues to work toward improving access and utilization for both children and adults.” 

Baylor College of Dentistry Opens New Center of Excellence With NIH Grant

A Center of Excellence to advance diversity in faculty and students at Baylor College of Dentistry, The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center, has been established through a new $3.4 million grant to the college from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers of Excellence program.

Awarded through the department’s Health Resources and Services Administration, the competitive grant program for health professions schools was developed to strengthen the national capacity to produce a quality health care workforce with racial and ethnic diversity that is representative of the U.S. population.

Starting with first-year funds of nearly $700,000, with recommended renewal for four additional years, the five-year grant is titled “Bridge to Dentistry: Awareness to Practicing, Teaching and Research” and will be led by Ernestine S. Lacy, D.D.S., M.A., Professor and Director of Student Development in the Office of Student Development and Multicultural Affairs. The Center of Excellence will provide the college with the opportunity to further increase the numbers of underrepresented minority students that it enrolls and faculty that it appoints and retains by providing support that enhances the success of these individuals.   

“We are ecstatic about receiving this highly competitive award,” says Lawrence E. Wolinsky, D.M.D., Ph.D., Dean of the Baylor College of Dentistry. “This will give Dr. Lacy and her team the opportunity to lead our college in the significant expansion of an already successful pipeline program. The grant also bolsters the dental school’s ability to serve as a national resource and educational center for diversity and minority health issues.”

East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine Opening New Clinic  

The new 16-station East Carolina University (ECU) School of Dental Medicine dental clinic will not open for a few weeks, but rarely an hour goes by without the phone ringing or someone hoping for an appointment that walks in through a door left unlocked by a contractor.  

“This is the biggest thing to happen here since Nucor opened the steel mill, and that was 12 years ago,” says Howard Hunter III, a Hertford County commissioner and Chair of the county’s public health authority. “I just hope they can keep up with the demand.” There are only a handful of local dentists in the multicounty area the clinic will serve. Many people simply drive to Virginia if they need to be seen quickly, Mr. Hunter says.  

The problem is common in many rural corners of the state. North Carolina has a shortage of dentists, with 4.5 per 10,000 residents, compared with a national average of about 6 per 10,000. The averages are lower in rural areas. Many counties have only a couple of dentists. As of 2010, there were four counties, all of them in the northeast corner of the state, with no dentists at all, according to data maintained by Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

That is why the new East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine is opening the $3 million clinic in Ahoskie, and making it a prototype for nine others that will be scattered across North Carolina. Those clinics are expected to be completed in the next two or three years. The clinics will be used to treat patients and to train dental students who are interested in small-town practices, which is part of the school’s mission. Indeed, the clinics are an integral part of the school, says Michael L. Scholtz, D.M.D., the Director of Community Dental Practices for ECU. “It’s like you lifted the fourth floor off of the dental school, chopped it into 10 parts and spread it around the state,” Dr. Scholtz says. “The model we will have is really unique in dentistry, and something that’s badly needed.”  

New Dental School Targets Missouri's Underserved Areas  

About 20 percent of Missouri residents live in areas where there aren't enough dentists, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In Kirksville, Missouri, A.T. Still University (ATSU) is tackling the problem by building a new school of dentistry, which, in a few years, will be graduating dozens of new dentists each year.  

The Missouri School of Dentistry and Oral Health at A.T. Still University will welcome its first class in the fall of 2013. Jack Magruder, Ed.D., former  president of the university, says the goal is in part to help address gaps in dental care in Missouri. “Missouri has six counties with no dentists, 12 counties with one. Missouri ranks 49th in the nation in the number of visits by children to the dentist and 47th in visits by adults to dentists. And then the dentists we have are distributed unevenly. Everyone wants to live in Kansas City, St. Louis, or Springfield.” The Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health is located in Mesa, Arizona, and it has successfully recruited students who want to serve in rural and underserved areas. The school regularly graduates the largest number of Native American dental students, who often work in clinics serving Native Americans after graduation.

Dr. Magruder says that experience can be replicated in rural Missouri. ”It's how you recruit the students. If you recruit the students from rural areas, they're going to tend to go to rural areas. We're going to recruit people that are already feeling that that's the way they'd like to serve, they have a calling to do this.”

Shelly Gehshan, Director of the Pew Children’s Dental Campaign in Washington D.C., says that graduating more dentists and focusing on recruiting students interested in working in underserved areas will help address the problem. “But it's only a drop in the bucket because the needs are so great. Most states are going to have to do a number of these things to reverse this trend.” “The problem,” she says, “is bigger than just the raw number of dentists, or even where they are located. The system really isn't designed to serve everybody. If you live in the suburbs and you have money and a car and you have general good health and you know what you're supposed to do for self-care, the system is set up for those people. Not for anybody else. Missouri is much like the rest of the country in that there are very big gaps. Missouri is one of the worst states really, with respect to the percentage of residents in the state that have no access to care whatsoever.” The new dental school in Kirksville, Missouri, will be the state's second school of dentistry.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Creates Dental Residency Program

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) announced an effort to create a dental residency program that it hopes will help expand dental care in areas of the state with few dentists. Arkansas does not have a dental school and UAMS says the state ranks 50th in the nation in the number of dentists available per 100,000 people in population. University officials state that the program could serve as a starting point to establish the state's first dental school. The program could lead to dentists conducting residency training by treating patients at Health Education Centers across the state.

The medical school says its Dental Education Center will include an oral health clinic and postgraduate programs for dentists in advanced general dentistry and oral surgery. The university named Charles O. Cranford, D.D.S., as Director of the Center, which will be located within the UAMS College of Health Professions. That division already includes a dental hygiene program. K. David Stillwell, D.D.S., M.A.G.D., presently Assistant Director of general practice residency at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will direct the clinical program starting in September 2012. The oral health clinic will open with five treatment rooms initially. The clinic will add a dentist, who will treat patients with Dr. Stillwell when the oral health clinic opens. The Clinic will start treating patients early next year at the UAMS campus in Little Rock. The Center staff members will work with the Arkansas State Dental Association to develop continuing education coursework for dentists who are already practicing in the state. 

 “We need more dentists in Arkansas and establishing a postgraduate residency program in the state will increase the number of dentists beginning their careers in the state,” Dr. Cranford says. He likened the postgraduate program to a medical residency in which physicians often stay in the area after completing work. “Our overall goal is to try to get more dentists into underserved areas around the state,” Dr. Cranford says.

UAMS Chancellor Daniel W. Rahn, M.D., says that adding new programs, such as the dental center, falls within the school's mission of improving health care in the state.  “Access to adequate dental care in Arkansas is a health care problem that has far-reaching effects on the health of Arkansans,” Dr. Rahm says.

Dr. Stillwell will work to win accreditation for the program from the Commission on Dental Accreditation for a general practice residency at UAMS. The university hopes to start accepting dental residents in 2014. The oral health clinic is expected to have expanded to 15 treatment rooms at that time.

University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry Receives NIH Grant

The University of California, Los Angeles, School of Dentistry has received a $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create a research training program for oral health. Faculty members at the School of Dentistry have conducted multidisciplinary research that has led to major advances, ranging from stem cell science to saliva diagnostics, the school noted in a press release. The grant, from the NIH's National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, will allow the school to continue these efforts by creating a comprehensive research training program to cultivate the next generation of dentist-scientists and oral health researchers.

The grant establishes a pipeline that trains dentists in science and research to advance oral health and the dental profession. Prior grant cycles allowed only U.S. citizens and permanent residents to participate in the training programs, but the new five-year grant enables foreign dentists to benefit from the NIH funds. Trainees accepted into the programs will be mentored by current School of Dentistry faculty members in four areas: oral cancer and cancer biology, bone biology and bioengineering, microbiology and immunology, and stem cell and regenerative medicine.

High School Students Experience Dentistry

The third annual Penobscot Community Health Care (PCHC) Dental Academy, a dental careers exploration camp for high school students, was held June 19-21, 2012, at PCHC Dental Center. The Dental Academy is designed to introduce students to a variety of dental health professions and experience to promote the dental professions. The Dental Academy was open to all students who are preparing to enter grades 9 through 12. Participants were given a chance to shadow dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants during a variety of procedures. They also were able to learn how to make dental impressions, suture, practice on a dental simulator with the University of New England College of Dental Medicine, receive CPR certification, and take dental X-rays. They also learned about privacy laws, blood-borne pathogens and infection control, and career planning. The Dental Academy is sponsored by PCHC Dental Center, Eastern Maine Area Health Education Center, Maine Office of Rural Health, University of Maine-Bangor, and the University of New England.

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