Bulletin of Dental Education

Statements of the Nominees for 2018–19 Chair-elect of the ADEA Board of Directors

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Members of the ADEA House of Delegates will vote for the Chair-elect of the ADEA Board of Directors at the 2018 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in Orlando. The ADEA Board of Directors has accepted the recommendations of the ADEA Nominating Committee and slated two candidates for the 2018–19 Chair-elect: Henry A. Gremillion, D.D.S., MAGD, and Joan E. Kowolik, B.D.S., LDS, RCS Edin. Following are their personal statements.

Henry A. Gremillion, D.D.S., MAGD

Henry A. Gremillion, D.D.S., MAGD

This is truly an exciting time for the oral health professions. Never in history has there been a more rapid evolution of new technology and expansion of scientific knowledge. Importantly, the ever-increasing awareness of the importance of quality oral health has facilitated a greater appreciation for the dental team to be at the forefront of the primary health care team. The efforts of the ADEA leadership have fostered this awareness because of future thinking and innovation evidenced by our strategic initiatives. ADEA has been the guiding light in the representation of all members of the oral health care team. I am honored and grateful to be nominated for the position of Chair-elect of the 2018 ADEA Board of Directors. If chosen, I will seek to represent each member individually and through the ADEA Councils and to steadfastly support, communicate and foster the vision, mission, goals and strategic initiatives of ADEA. 

I became a member of AADS/ADEA in 1993. Early in my academic career, I was fortunate to be a participant in the AADS 1995 Summer Program “Career Development for Innovative Dental Educators: An Immersion Workshop.” This experience clearly demonstrated the commitment of the leadership of the organization to foster professional and personal growth opportunities for its members. More recently, I have been privileged to serve in various administrative positions on the Council of Deans Administrative Board, and currently serve as the Council of Deans representative on the ADEA Board of Directors. The experiences that I have gained have provided an important springboard to enhanced appreciation for and understanding of the many challenges and opportunities facing dental education today. The key to our strategic advancement is predicated on open and optimal communication. I perceive the role of Chair-elect of the ADEA Board of Directors as one of a conduit of potentiation of open dialogue and transfer of information. The importance and involvement of all ADEA Councils cannot be overstated. The incumbent must be able to represent the interests of ADEA to the fullest regarding its strategic initiatives and collaborations between the Councils.

Reflecting on the successes related to our current efforts, there is much to be proud of. The interprofessional education (IPE) initiative has been a success with the expansion of interprofessional collaborative care endeavors. An important step forward is the recently held IPEC inaugural Interprofessional Deans Leadership Program, which brought together 45 deans representing 15 different health care professions. It is expected that this and other events like it will further facilitate the intersection of the dental team with primary care as oral health, and the dental team, will take its rightful place at the table. ADEA has been the critical driving force related to change in the path to licensure and enhanced license portability. 

The first ADEA Commission on Change and Innovation in Dental Education (ADEA CCI) has greatly enhanced curricular reform. ADEA CCI 2.0 will provide for an important transformation of oral health education through a broad scope of perspectives in the domains of technology, health care systems, demographic shifts, higher education, and physical and political environmental change. Globalization of ADEA’s efforts will be enhanced by our continued collaboration with colleagues in Europe, Asia, South America and beyond. 

The upcoming year will herald a renewal of the ADEA strategic planning process. Core initiatives will be fostered and refined. Efforts related to student debt concerns, nurturing students as future faculty, redefining the oral health care team’s role in primary health care, and licensure reform will continue. However, it is critical that we recognize the rapidly changing environment and proactively address areas of greatest opportunity and challenge. As new initiatives are developed and evolve to maturity, they will serve as a scaffolding for empowerment and engagement of the entire ADEA family. It is critical to the future of the organization, and in the true spirit of team, that all Councils are vested in the process. This is an ideal opportunity for instituting the concept of intra-organizational education and collaborative effort. It is this premise on which our future successes will be based. This is in keeping with the theme of the 2019 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition, which celebrates our collaborations within and outside of the organization.

As we anxiously anticipate the future of ADEA it is important that we recognize the opportunity that exists as the entire ADEA community is fully engaged and empowered to shape the future of dental education. Aristotle stated that “The sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.” As ADEA moves forward, let’s keep our dialogue open and understand that deliberations and actions should be fueled by the unwavering recognition that we are stronger together.

ADEA is a very special and unique organization. The common purpose of its membership is complimented by healthy diversity in interests and perspectives. As Chair-elect, it will be my priority to engage all stakeholders as we strive to become an even more powerful voice for dental education. 

Thank you for your consideration.

Joan E. Kowolik, B.D.S., LDS, RCS Edin.

Joan E. Kowolik, B.D.S., LDS, RCS Edin.

My career has been dedicated to improving the oral health of children, especially those of the working poor; firstly in the United Kingdom and then since 1999 in Indiana and the United States, where I have made my contribution primarily through the education and mentorship of dental students. For the past 12 years, I have been the Director of Pre-doctoral Pediatric Dentistry at the Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD), and have been an active ADEA Member since 2002. My elected leadership commitment to ADEA began in the ADEA Section on Pediatric Dentistry, subsequently the Administrative Board of the ADEA Council of Sections (ADEA COS) and continued through to the ADEA Board of Directors. While on the ADEA COS Administrative Board, I worked with the membership on the ADEA “Strategic Directions and Key Priorities” as well as ADEA’s 10 Strategic Initiatives, which are our roadmap as we move forward. To me the opinions of each member are significant and important, so we can then develop with a unified voice.

After attending the ADEA Leadership Institute, I received the distinct honor of being appointed as the ADEA/Sunstar Americas Inc. Harry W. Bruce Legislative Fellow, which changed me forever. Under the mentorship of Jack Bresch and his colleagues, I learned so much about the workings of the Association as well as the value and power of advocacy, especially during the struggles to convince the legislators of the value of good oral health care, leading finally to the reauthorization of the SCHIP Bill. I was also the ADEA representative to the HHS Primary Healthcare Policy Fellowship, which led to several years as an active advocate for dental education and primary health care. During this fellowship, I learned the value of interprofessional education (IPE) and practice (IPP), as I worked with several professions to impact health care policies. As we increase IPE, we must be careful to improve the intra-professional approach to oral health, involving all members of the team. 

I have served my school, my university, my state and ADEA in many different capacities. However, the mentorship of the students remains foremost and most important to me and can be measured by the number of the students who have progressed to specialist training. As the IUSD liaison and mentor for the ADEA Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program (ADEA ADCFP), I am expanding that mentorship to new and future faculty. I am passionate in my belief in dental education and the role of oral health in overall health. I know that oral disease and oral health are the same across the world, and I have introduced a study abroad experience for the students at IUSD. A group of students from each dental school in Indianapolis and in Newcastle, England “meet” by video conference every two weeks during the semester, and then my students visit England for a two-week onsite experience. The English students then return to Indianapolis for a similar experience. This is the small beginning of a greater international interaction. 

Another international experience, which has illustrated to me that the world is becoming “smaller,” was being part of the Oral Health Delegation to Havana, Cuba earlier this year. This was a two-way learning experience. I was impressed by the description of the community health service, which included oral health and how reduction of childhood caries was achieved by the concerted effort of the government. The data collection might be on paper and not electronic, but it was available and inspiring. Prevention can work. The first joint meeting in London of ADEA and the Association of Dental Education in Europe in May 2017 illustrated this too, and was very successful.

ADEA is only as strong as the members, from fresh student members to seasoned deans, and depends on the work, enthusiasm and dedication of the leaders to guide the path of development. I am ready to step up and work to make a significant contribution to all aspects of dental education and to the oral and general health education of professionals, students and the community. 

Published on December 13, 2017


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