UW News

January 8, 2009

Best of 2008: School of Dentistry

The Northwest/Alaska Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparities, which was launched in 2002 with a federal grant, had its funding renewed for five more years in 2008. It received $5.6 million from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. This is one of six such research centers funded nationally, and it focuses on prevention and treatment methods for children in areas of the Pacific Northwest that have high levels of oral disease. The Oral Health Disparities Center is directed by Dr. Peter Milgrom, who is also principal investigator. Associate director is Dr. Colleen Huebner; principal investigators for the Oregon study are Dr. Christine Riedy and Dr. Philip Weinstein; lead biostatistician is Lloyd Mancl.

The Regional Initiatives in Dental Education program, a precedent-setting collaboration with the School of Medicine, enrolled its first class of eight students at Washington State University’s Riverpoint campus in Spokane in September. The dental students will study alongside medical and dental hygiene students. Along with time at the School of Dentistry’s Seattle campus, their four years of study will include clinical rotations at regional sites in underserved communities. RIDE’s collaborators include WSU, Eastern Washington University, community clinics and private dentists.

Dr. Wendy Mouradian, associate dean of regional affairs, co-chaired the first national summit on children’s oral health in Chicago in November. The meeting, sponsored by the American Association of Pediatrics, concluded with a new policy fully committing the AAP to pediatric oral health and enlisting pediatricians to help screen children for oral disease and take basic preventive measures.

Dr. Ross Beirne, chair of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and director of Hospital Affairs, received the William J. Gies Foundation Award for distinguished achievements in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the 2008 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in Seattle in September.

Dr. Douglas Ramsay, chair of the Department of Dental Public Health Sciences, has been accepted as a Fellow of the 2008-09 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Leadership Institute. He will join 21 other dental educators who are also enrolled in ADEA’s Ninth Class of Leadership Institute. Ramsay’s participation represents the first time a UW faculty member has attended the Institute.

The School of Dentistry’s Periodontics Department celebrated its 50th anniversary with a dinner at Seattle’s Columbia Tower Club in September. The department, which was the first academic periodontics program west of the Mississippi, was founded by the late Dr. Saul Schluger, a pioneer in periodontics and a UW professor emeritus. The dinner was preceded by a daylong periodontics symposium that featured several prominent speakers.

Rosana Bishai (Class of ’08) became the first UW student to win the Academy of Dentistry International Terry T. Tanaka Student Humanitarian Award, in recognition of her volunteer dental services.