ADEA - W. K. Kellogg Foundation Minority Dental Faculty Development

About the Minority Dental Faculty Development (MDFD) Program

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) first funded the ADEA Minority Dental Faculty Development (ADEA MDFD) program from 2004 to 2010 with a $2.4 million grant (MDFD I).  In 2012, ADEA expanded the program’s critical efforts to improve diversity among populations of dental students and faculty with a new $200,000 WKKF grant (MDFD II).  Most recently, WKKF awarded a $400,000 grant to the program to enhance the formation of academic and community partnerships for dental health professionals, and ultimately reduce oral health disparities for vulnerable children and communities (MDFD III). As the program evolves, a crucial purpose of MDFD continues to be increasing student diversity and the recruitment, retention and leadership development of underrepresented minority (URM) faculty.

ADEA serves as the Central Program Office (CPO) for the grant oversight, administration and  reporting. As CPO, ADEA conducts institutional and virtual site visits with dental schools for communication and reporting updates. ADEA also holds virtual call-meetings with program leaders to provide oversight and advice regarding outcomes and sustainability.

MDFD highlights the importance of leadership, institutional climate, mentoring and valuing diversity, academic and academic/community partnerships.  MDFD also provides a framework for mission-driven activities in diversity programming. Current grant goals include: 

  1. Training support for URM allied dental health (dental hygiene) professionals.
  2. Developing cultural competency in URM allied dental professional program.
  3. Recruiting allied health professionals to reach a minimum of 250 children per grantee in medically underserved communities.
  4. Allied health professionals and MDFD schools building relationships and preventative dental services with school-based programs and remote care sites in underserved communities (where dental caries prevention and sealants can be provided).

The MDFD “family” now includes 13 dental schools:


MDFD I

  • Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
  • New York University College of Dentistry
  • Oklahoma University College of Dentistry
  • Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine
  • Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry  
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry
  • University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine
  • University Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry
  • University of Michigan School of Dentistry  
  • University of Rochester Eastman Institute for Oral Health 

MDFD II

  • Howard University College of Dentistry 
  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry 

MDFD III

  • Georgia Regents University College of Dental Medicine
  • Howard University College of Dentistry
  • University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry



MDFD I (2004 to 2010)

MDFD I had a dental faculty leadership development focus and included six dental schools: University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry (UABSOD), Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry (TAMBCD), Howard University College of Dentistry (HUCD), The University Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry (UICCOD), and the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry (OUCOD) and one consortium, New York State Academic Dental Centers (NYSADC) of the five schools in NY State (Columbia University College of Dental Medicine (CDM), New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD), Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine (SBDM), University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine (UBDM) and University of Rochester Eastman Institute of Oral Health (EIOH). These MDFD I schools also placed strong emphasis on URM recruitment and academic/community partnerships for both service learning and patient care. MDFD I grantee schools, for example, were involved in outreach programs with team-based delivery care. 

MDFD I provided models for inclusion of allied dental faculty in outreach programs with team-based delivery of care. Experiential learning from the community partnerships contributed to cultural competency and related skills for both dental and allied dental students. Lessons learned from MDFD I continue to be of value as new perspectives and opportunities emerge.

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    MDFD II (2012)

    MDFD II included two dental schools (University of Detroit Mercy and Howard University).  MDFD II focused on allied dental leadership, which has been both visionary and timely as we transition to precision medicine and team-based healthcare in the future.  As with MDFD I, the two MDFD II schools also placed strong emphasis on URM recruitment and academic/community partnerships for both service learning and patient care. 

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    MDFD III (2013-2015)

    MDFD III is a two year grant (2013-2015). MDFD III Year 1 (2013-2014) includes partnerships between three dental schools and allied dental programs at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDMSD), Georgia Regents University (GRU) and Howard University College of Dentistry (HUCD).  UDMSD, GRU and HUCD used funds primarily to support URM allied leadership development, academic/community partnerships that provide screening and preventive dental care to improve the health and well-being of children and URM communities, and a variety of recruitment and service partnerships that strengthen the URM student academic pipeline and improve the understanding of oral health to general health. 

    The three model schools in this grant are also developing allied dental leadership for their roles in patient centered care, preventive health and team-based care that is being implemented throughout the U.S. Allied providers will be key to access in underserved dental shortage area communities of the U.S.

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      Leadership Training Programs

      WKKF provides funding for MDFD leadership training programs. ADEA coordinates these one and a half day workshops. These leadership training programs provide a forum for creative thinking with regards to diversity and inclusion. They also promote change and provide the foundation for the long term commitment required for successful program outcomes.

      Presenters are both participants and role models for diversity leadership. Program sessions have include presentations, discussions on MDFD survey results, panels of dental school deans, leaders of dental access projects and interprofessional education, and MDFD program leaders. Participants have also engaged in group exercises of exchanging ideas and approaches in order to develop storytelling as messaging, behavior modification, and communication skills.

      ADEA will support continued use of MDFD I leaders in training of new leaders.   

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