Bulletin of Dental Education

Dr. Sandra Andrieu Forecasts Increased Collaboration and a Focus on Interprofessional Education

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Dr. Sandra Carlin Andrieu addresses the 2010 ADEA House of Delegates meeting in Washington, DC Dr. Sandra Carlin Andrieu, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Louisiana State University School of Dentistry (LSUSD), was installed as President of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) on March 3, 2010, at the 2010 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in Washington, DC.

Dr. Andrieu has been active in numerous ADEA committees and sections. Aside from her duties as ADEA President, she is also a member of the ADEA Commission on Change and Innovation in Dental Education (ADEA CCI) and the ADEA Section on Academic Affairs, where she has held all officer positions. Dr. Andrieu has been a dental educator for over 30 years, beginning her career as a dental hygiene faculty member at LSUSD. She has served on numerous LSUSD committees, including those with responsibility for academic performance, advancement, development of competency statements, accreditation, strategic planning, and curriculum.

The oldest of three siblings, Dr. Andrieu credits her parents with instilling her love of learning and education. "An education is priceless," she commented. "It is something that no one can take away from you, and the act of learning can never be exhausted - there is always something more to learn." She firmly believes that education gives a person choices that nothing else on earth can offer. Dr. Andrieu considers earning her Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans as a major highlight in her career before her installation as ADEA President.

Dr. Andrieu believes one of the biggest challenges facing dental education today is faculty recruitment and retention, and that interprofessional education (IPE) can be key to addressing this challenge. "I believe that life is interdependent by nature and that overall health is interdisciplinary in nature," she said. "Therefore, the health of the public is better served by health care education programs that are fundamentally interprofessional in design and delivery." IPE involves students and faculty of all health professions in learning and teaching complementary knowledge and skills for patient care. Through such collaboration, mutual understanding and respect is created and linked to a higher quality of patient care. IPE supports the idea that the future health care needs of the public will best be met through team-based, patient-centered care.

She sees ADEA CCI as one of ADEA's key channels for advancing IPE. "ADEA CCI is an appropriate group to promote the concept of IPE, and I envision the work of the ADEA CCI Liaisons as key individuals in sharing this message," said Dr. Andrieu. She also looks forward to summer 2010, when she will work with the ADEA Board of Directors in a strategic planning process to set goals and action plans for ADEA from 2010 through 2013.

Already excited about the 2011 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in San Diego, California, Dr. Andrieu believes the event's theme of "Interprofessional Education: Teaching and Learning Together for Better Health" is critical to the future of health care and educators. "In my vision of the future of dental education, dentistry would be at the table with medicine, nursing, pharmacy, and allied health professions, treating the whole patient collaboratively," she explains. "I believe that professional collaboration is the key to disease prevention, maintenance of health, and optimum patient care. When health care professionals treat a patient in a collaborative manner, I believe that the ultimate goal of overall patient care will be addressed more efficiently and effectively than with professionals treating a patient independently." The invitation to submit abstracts for educational programming  is open, and Dr. Andrieu anticipates including several new and exciting programs from across the health care community in the conference.

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