Bulletin of Dental Education

Dr. Robert Laughlin Named Interim Dean of LSUSD

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Robert Laughlin LSURobert M. Laughlin, D.M.D., Chair of the Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Dentistry (LSUSD) Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, was named school’s Interim Dean on May 19, 2020 by LSU Health Chancellor, Larry Hollier, M.D., FACS, following the unexpected death of Dean Henry A. Gremillion, D.D.S., MAGD the day prior.

Dr. Gremillion recruited Dr. Laughlin as Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery a year ago. Dr. Laughlin will work closely with Sandra Andrieu, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs; John Gallo, D.D.S., Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs; and Paul Fidel, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research, to sustain the school’s academic, patient care and research missions. 

Dr. Laughlin earned his D.M.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine in 2002 and completed his residency at LSUSD and Charity Hospital in 2006. He has received fellowship training in head and neck surgery and microvascular reconstruction at the University of Michigan and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.

Dr. Laughlin is no stranger to disaster response. He was a chief resident on call at Charity Hospital during Hurricane Katrina, coordinating the survival of patients, residents and staff. He knows what it is to be on the front lines. Afterwards, he worked hard to continue the department’s service in Baton Rouge. For his extraordinary service as acting chief resident at Charity Hospital during Hurricane Katrina, he received the John Kent World Famous OMFS Award in 2005 and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Community Service and Leadership Award for Residents in 2006.

Dr. Laughlin served with the U.S. Air Force from 1990-1998 and then joined the U.S. Navy in 1998. After completion of his training in 2007, he joined the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, where he served as attending surgeon, residency program director and department chairman.

In 2008, he received the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Award, and in 2014, he became the first oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the Navy to receive the Master Clinician Award from the Naval Medical Center in San Diego.

Dr. Laughlin has already made great contributions to the pandemic response. He is leading efforts at the dental school to make reusable, comfortable, custom-fit masks for health care workers with the highest level of protection. He and his colleagues have ramped up 3D printing.

Dr. Hollier notes, “Although we are all still in shock and reeling from the sudden loss of Dr. Gremillion, our dental school needs leadership at this crucial time when decisions must be made to move forward during the pandemic. While no one could ever replace Henry, I have appointed an interim dean to carry on his work. Dr. Robert Laughlin, Chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, has agreed to serve in that role.”

Courtesy of Joanne Courville, Louisiana State University Health New Orleans School of Dentistry

Published on June 10, 2020

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