Retooling for Change

The ADEA/WKKF (W.K. Kellogg Foundation) Building Leadership Teams for Sustainable Academic and Community Partnerships Training Session was held June 13-14, 2013 at the Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel in Washington D.C. The day and a half training program brought together the leadership from MDFD (Minority Dental Faculty Development) I and MDFD II with Community Catalyst Dental Therapist Program leaders from four programs and the Dental Health Aide Therapist (DHAT) program in Alaska. Training focus was in two areas: “Storytelling“ as a leadership tool and the new National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) in Health and Health Care. The revised CLAS Standards were released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) April 24, 2013.

ADEA/WKKF/MDFD I included six dental schools (Alabama, Baylor, Howard, Illinois at Chicago, and Oklahoma) and one consortium (NYSADC) of the five schools in NY State (Columbia University, New York University, Stony Brook University, University at Buffalo and University of Rochester). MDFD II included two dental schools (University of Detroit Mercy and Howard University). MDFD I had a dental faculty focus while MDFD II has an allied dental faculty focus.

The two MDFD II programs place strong emphasis on URM recruitment and academic/community partnerships for both service learning and patient care. The Community Catalyst Dental Therapist programs provide care primarily to underserved communities throughout the U.S. with dental therapy models in 5 states: Vermont, Ohio, New Mexico, Washington and Kansas. The day and a half meeting provided an opportunity for the sharing of mutual interests with regards to access to care and community based programs. Skills sessions were designed to improve Storytelling skills as a leadership tool and to increase understanding of the revised CLAS Standards. A roundtable of MDFD I program leaders discussed sustainability as an evolving leadership challenge that incorporates new ideas and trends such as Interprofessional Education and the CLAS standards (HRSA). The role of the deans in diversity programming was identified as key to the institutional climate and to resource allocation. Presentations from two deans, Drs. Leo Rouse (Howard) and Mert Aksu (UDM) included: challenges in Interprofessional Education and Community Service Learning. Leadership in the Changing Workforce Environment, from a Corporate Perspective was the keynote address by Dr. Ivan Lugo (The Procter & Gamble Company).

A roundtable discussion from the MDFD I project leaders 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 the MDFD I Experience were shared:

  1. The Dean’s Leadership is critical to success.
  2. Clearly articulated diversity policy statement(s) are major drivers for resource support.
  3. Diversity is seen as numbers (compositional). Understanding and use of curricular and institutional components of diversity and inclusion are evolving concepts that change thinking and behaviors.
  4. Mentoring programs are needed for predoctoral and advanced dental education trainees and for faculty.
  5. Academic climate changes require supportive resources and opportunities for social and inclusive interactions.
  6. A diversity executive leadership pipeline is missing (e.g., second tier and dean’s “team”) in dental education.
  7. Cultural competency concepts require the inclusion of social determinants that affect behavior and policies.
  8. Logic modeling and GAP analysis—strategic planning to provide understanding on where you are, where you want to be and how you’re going to get there—are effective tools for strategic planning, messaging, and outcomes assessment.
  9. Be innovative in considering interprofessional education collaboration, resource sharing and leadership development opportunities.
  10. The value of short-term strategies to achieve long-term goals is being realized at MDFD grantee institutions. Constant Vigilance is required as the work in progress continues toward the long-term goal of diversity and inclusion in the dental workforce.

A dental therapist team led by Dr. Mary Williard from the Alaska Dental Health Aide Therapist program presented the role of the dentist and the therapist in the delivery of care to underserved families using both direct supervision and remote technologies. The practice-oriented session focused on how patient care is managed in team inter-actions between dentist and DHAT.

Models for expanded access to care in needy communities were presented by David Jordan, Community Catalyst at an evening working session.

Allied career laddering through distance learning technologies presented a range of career options for special skills needed to complement foundation knowledge and thereby enhance career development for dental hygienists.

CLAS Standards were released April 24, 2013. The new standards include culturally competent care, language access services (mandates and organizational supports for policy, organizational plans and management oversight). CLAS Standards are expected to improve treatment outcomes through improved health literacy.

Storytelling for Organizational Transformation was the venue for the Interactive Leadership Training Session led by Dr. Joseph West, consultant.

MDFD Survey results were shared in group discussion. Suggestions for IPE implementation include:

  • Shared clinical experiences during the predoctoral curriculum.
  • Policies agreed on by the departments and set in place by the academic dean and dean of clinical affairs.
  • Grand Rounds presentations on a specific topic.
  • Reworking the class schedules.
  • Create stronger ties between schools.
  • Create a committee for IPE research.
  • Need to get a sense of urgency and the rank and file clinical faculty need to see the importance and benefits of IPE.


Program– June 13-14, 2013 PDF


MDFD I Alabama Model – Dr. T. Madelyn Coar PPT

MDFD I University of Michigan – Dr. Kenneth May PPT

MDFD I Oklahoma CDHC – Dr. Dunn H. Cumby PPT

MDFD II Progress Report UDM – Dr. Deidre D. Young PPT

MDFD II Progress Report HUCD – Dr. Donna Grant-Mills PPT