Monday, March 14


The Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors, Huw F. Thomas, B.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., awarded Citations to nine individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to ADEA and the dental education community. Dr. Thomas presented the Citations Sunday morning during the ADEA Opening Ceremony with Awards and Plenary Session.

“I feel fortunate to have worked with each of these individuals—some recently, others over the course of many years—and I am grateful for the chance to recognize them today. Each has enriched ADEA by contributing a unique blend of talents, skills, hard work and unwavering commitment to the advancement of dental education,” Dr. Thomas says.

In addition to the Chair of the ADEA Board of Director’s Citations, Ronald L. Rupp, D.M.D., received ADEA’s premier award—the ADEA Distinguished Service Award. The ADEA Board of Directors presents this award to an ADEA member who has made an extraordinary contribution to dental education through research, teaching or service.

Chair of the ADEA Board of Directors Citations:

Ellen Barclay, M.A.
President, ADEAGies Foundation
Senior Vice President for Corporate Relations
American Dental Education Association

William Butler, M.S.
Director, Continuing Dental Education/Alumni Affairs
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Dentistry

Irina Dragan, D.D.S.
Assistant Professor
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

Mark Gonthier, M.S.
Executive Associate Dean
Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

Susan Kass, M.Ed., Ed.D., RDH
Professor and Program Coordinator
Miami Dade College

Monique Morgan, CMP
Senior Manager for Governance
American Dental Education Association

Karen Novak, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Professional Development & Faculty Affairs
University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston

Desi Nuckolls
Dental Science Relations Manager
The Procter & Gamble Company

Denice Stewart, D.D.S., M.H.S.A.
Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Professor of Community Dentistry
Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry



Summiting Everest One Step at a Time

Sunday’s Opening Plenary started the 2016 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition on a not just a high, but a vertiginous note, as Alison Levine described her experience leading the first Everest expedition by a team of American women in 2002.  The mountaineer (who is also a businesswoman, philanthropist and author) detailed the arduous process of becoming acclimated to the altitude and the stresses that sap the human body of strength—and ultimately life—above 18,000 feet.  

Her team had a remarkably smooth ascent until a storm rolled in as they stood on the South Summit. They turned back a few hundred feet from the summit of Mt. Everest and spent the night in a white out at 26,000 feet.  The next day, they descended to base camp and their two-month-long journey came to a close.

If you’re going to take big risks and try new things, you may not always achieve them the first time around, Levine observed, and shared other lessons she learned along the way.  Among them:

  • Nobody gets to the top of this summit by themselves.
  • You have to be able to react quickly in environments that are constantly shifting and changing.
  • Fear is okay.  Complacency is what will kill you.
  • If the conditions aren’t right, turn around, cut your loses and walk away.

Years later, Levine decided to return to Everest to pay tribute to a recently deceased friend.  This time she made it to the top.  She attributes her success to having a previous failure under her belt, and she laments the lack of failure tolerance in today’s world.

Her biggest message: Keep climbing. 

“You don’t have to be the best, most skilled, strongest climber to make it to the top of the mountain,” she concluded. “You just have to be relentless about putting one foot in front of the other.” 

IPE Successfully Grows at Schools Across the Country

In 2012, data from a survey showed that 66% of dental schools made interprofessional education (IPE) voluntary. Recent data show that number has changed—69% schools require IPE as part of their educational program. While this change can be attributed to modifications in accreditation standards, there is slow and steady movement toward IPE becoming an integral part of dental education.

A 2011 Institute of Medicine report, Advancing Oral Health in America, stated that nondental health care professionals had to step up and increase their role in oral health care. At the time, dental schools had already begun to dip their toe into the world of IPE. The report also encouraged educators to break down silos by creating teams to educate their students. The Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC), composed of six disciplines, outlined competencies that all students should demonstrate in values and ethics, roles and response, IPE communications, and teams and teamwork.

Taking all of this into consideration, the introduction of IPE into the dental school curriculum can be a challenge with many barriers to implementation. Specifically, the lack of administrative and faculty support in some institutions has caused slow adoption rates. Most were comfortable with the silo approach to education, and suggested that students wanted a focused education.

But it begs the question—why should we think seriously about IPE? Group practices are growing, and that means at a minimum intraprofessional teamwork is critical. There are population needs that are yet to be met across the country. Large groups of children are now visiting dentists due to the Affordable Cart Act. The growing geriatric population also needs unique care. Pediatricians and family medicine practitioners are eager to learn about and provide care to children. And the introduction of new dental workforce types—dental therapists, community dental health coordinators, oral preventive assistants—has also indicated a growing need for IPE.

Mary Truhlar, D.D.S., M.S., Dean at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine (Stony Brook SDM), counts IPE as an integral component of her education. She has taken that with her through the years and spearheaded the Partnership to Advance Collaborative Education (PACE) Center for Senior Health and Wellness. Born out of a need shown by data collected at their Dental Care Center, the goal of the PACE Center is to build a partnership in which Stony Brook SDM could develop, implement and sustain an IPE collaborative practice environment that provided opportunities for IPE team building, collaborative problem-solving and care coordination. These are all deemed by the institution as important for maintaining health and quality of life.

As helpful as it is to geriatric patients in the community, the PACE Center also benefits students. They learn how to break through communication barriers by learning specialized vocabulary used by other health professions. They are also able to manage health care outcomes of an aging population more closely.

Students from the dental, nursing and physician assistant programs are offered rotations at the geriatric clinic and urgent care center. During a PACE visit, the students use standard protocols and a patient-centered approach to assess patients’ health. Participants are asked to fill out forms about their medical histories, family histories and demographics, among other things. The students provide a host of screenings and assessments, and work with the faculty during this visit to determine the best course of treatment and care.

Diane Brunson, RDH, M.P.H., Director, Public Health and Interprofessional Education at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine (CU SDM), also shared the IPE program in place at her institution. IPE is a part of the curriculum during all four years of their program.

The IPE Development (IPED) course features various programs over the course of a dental student’s time at CU SDM. IPED orientation day each year brings together 745 students and 38 faculty facilitators. They break into small groups and employ team-based learning. Besides the course and clinic work, they participate in peer evaluations that help them build proficiencies in IPE.

While the faculty at CU SDM is still struggling with buy-in, students are all in. They banded together and started an IPE clinic on their own: DAWN (Dedicated to Aurora’s Wellness and Needs).

Outcome questions remain. Competencies are subject to interpretation, as is the ability to communicate across disciplines. IPE is still at the beginning of this health care movement. With time and proven success, it is bound to shape health professions students for the better, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

UB SDM Implements The Buffalo Model as a New Path to Licensure

Over the years there have been many discussions about and efforts around the path to licensure for dentists. Dental schools have been diligent in reviewing those paths and proposing and implementing new and different routes that benefit dental institutions, students and live patients. The “best” way to licensure, however, is a long-standing issue in dentistry, with many schools developing alternative plans to that end.

In November 2014, planning began for a new model. This pilot program was the result of a collaboration by the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA), the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine (UB SDM) and the Commission on Dental Competency Assessments (CDCA). The focus of the new model is concern for the patient and continuity of care versus the traditional focus on the candidate. The Patient Centered Curriculum Integrated Format (CIF) exam, also know as The Buffalo Model, was the result of their work, and the first exam was administered in January 2015.

The Buffalo Model is a patient-centered approach to licensure, and addresses the ethical treatment of patients. The model provides comprehensive treatment plans that are followed closely to provide continuity of care and ensure that patients receive definitive treatment. 

While there was some pushback initially, Joseph Gambacorta, D.D.S., shared the thoughtful approach UB SDM took in implementing this model. They established a process for the change and involved stakeholders on all levels. It was important to have buy-in across the board in order to make this change a success. Modifying the exam was a challenge, as there were many moving parts to coordinate and reorganize.  

Dr. Gambacorta explained the modifications to traditional licensure proposed, and eventually implemented, in this pilot program:

  • Faculty and curriculum integration—Both faculty and the American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) were present on exam day. This allowed them to work together to identify appropriate lesions for the exams that test various competencies. If candidates’ treatment was incomplete, patients received treatment to completion after the exam under faculty supervision.
  • Patient eligibility and procurement—Treatment was given only to patients of record, those who had a plan in place and who had a history with the student.
  • Multiple exam dates available—To ensure that patients receive treatment in a timely manner, exam dates were available over a five-month span. If a student did not pass the exam, they were given the opportunity to retake the exam at a later date.
  • Exam part of normal clinic day—The exam was given on a normal clinic day. This allowed for minimal disruption to faculty and student schedules. It also saved money as the school was not required to bring in staff at overtime pay. 

There are many benefits of this model. Patients benefit as they receive a much higher level of care. A doctor-patient relationship is built over time, and a rapport is established. The presence of known and trusted faculty can be helpful when students run into trouble. They are able to talk through failure with the student, and assist the patient with completion of care if necessary. And, as mentioned above, it can have positive financial implications for the schools when it comes to staff overhead on test days. 

While this process presented many benefits to all involved, there are limitations. It’s a labor-intensive process for faculty since they must dedicate an entire day to the exam. It’s critical that the proper amount of staff are available for the day, including assistants for students if they prefer to work with one. Clinic space at the school must also be available to accommodate all of the students who are required to complete the required examinations. Remediation of failed exams also becomes a challenge in how to handle and when to reschedule. 

The goal is to educate students to a higher level than the traditional exam. Students have reacted positively to this new method of testing. And while work goes on to standardize The Buffalo Model, Dr. Gambacorta is hopeful it will one day be adopted nationally as the path to licensure in dentistry.




Dental Office Emergency Simulation Labs

Tickets for Dental Office Emergency Simulation Labs are still available for sessions today—go to Registration to check availability.

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall is open from 9:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. today. Coffee will be available from 9:45 – 10:30 a.m., a complimentary lunch will be provided from noon to 1:00 p.m., and 20-minute presentations will be given in the New Idea Theater from 10:55 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. The raffle will happen at 1:00 p.m.; you must be present to win. 

Get Your Free Professional Headshot

Get your professional headshot today between 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the ADEA Showcase, Booth #300.

Office Hours

Today at the ADEA Showcase: from 9:45 – 11:00 a.m. Lynn Whittaker, Ph.D., Executive Managing Editor, will discuss manuscript writing; from 11:00 a.m. – noon; Sarah Burstyn, JDE Project Manager, will discuss the manuscript submission process; and from noon – 1:30 p.m. Marita Inglehart, Dipl.Psych., Dr. phil., Dr. phil., habil., Associate Editor, will discuss article topics of interest to the JDE.

ADEA TechExpo

From 10:00 a.m. to noon, see the latest technology applications developed specifically for dental education by your colleagues at the ADEA TechExpo (located in the Exhibit Hall). ADEA TechExpo abstracts are published in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of Dental Education.

ADEA Poster Presentations

Poster presentations will be given from 10:00 a.m. to noon in the Exhibit Hall. Poster presentation abstracts are published in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of Dental Education.

Registration Booth

If you’re arriving today, you must check in at the registration area and pick up your badge and conference materials before you attend any sessions. The registration booth is located in the A Lobby, Ballroom Level of the Colorado Convention Center, and is open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. today.

Continuing Education Credits

Gain CE credits by evaluating the sessions you attend today using the mobile app or by logging into the program planner

ADEA House of Delegates Booth Hours

Members of the  ADEA House of Delegates (ADEA HOD) can pick up their credentials today between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The ADEA HOD Booth is located in the Lower Lobby A, Ballroom Level, of the Colorado Convention Center. (If you're arriving today, please be sure to pick up your registration materials first.)