Dentistry Wins 2.5 Million for Faculty Development

Published: October 15th, 2012

Category: Featured Article, profile

The College of Dentistry was recently awarded a five year, $2.5 million dollar grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Drs. Frank Catalanotto, Professor and Chair of Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences and Linda S. Behar-Horenstein, Distinguished Teaching Scholar and Professor in the College of Education are the co-PIs. The grant team includes Drs. Micaela Gibbs, Scott Tomar, and Elizabeth Lense, Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Lisa Merlo, College of Medicine, Dr. David Culp, Oral Biology Mrs. Gail Childs, Community Dentistry and Behavioral Sciences, Dr. Cynthia Garvan, Nursing and Mrs. Charisse Hudson-Southwell, a doctoral student who is assisting Dr. Behar-Horenstein.

One goal of the grant is equip dental faculty with pedagogical and experiential knowledge for building cultural competence, integrating new technologies and expanding critical thinking among dental students. Another major impetus of the grant is to support the DMD curriculum revision process. Other foci of the grant include: a) augmenting the expertise of faculty and/ or 4th year students; b) providing tuition assistance for dental students who are considering academic careers in primary care disciplines and c) offering pre-doctoral students experiences with culturally diverse underserved or un-served patient populations prior to beginning their studies in the College of Dentistry.

Each year, either a 4th year predoctoral dental student or faculty who wants to pursue a Master’s in Public Health will be provided with a $25,000 stipend and tuition support. The stipend will pay for release time from clinic or didactic teaching and will cover their books and materials. The grant will also fund an opportunity for one faculty member to pursue a certificate program with concentrations in educational leadership, instruction, instructional technology, curriculum development, research evaluation and methods, or health administration.

To encourage students to enter academic careers, the grant will fund four DMD students through the ADEAGies Foundation/AADR Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program (ADCFP), annually. ADEA will announce the  student recipients at annual 2013 meeting. Following a year of training and mentoring by a UFCD faculty, these students will be available to assist faculty with teaching and will be awarded a $1,000 for their services. Additionally, up to six students will be afforded an opportunity to spend six weeks working in a federally qualified community health center. They will be mentored by the local Area Health Education Center (AHEC).

Using a technique called motivational interviewing, to reduce the prevalence of Early Childhood Caries, developed by Dr. Phil Weinstein at the University of Washington in Seattle, Dr. Merlo will work with the pediatric dental faculty to reduce infant/oral caries and with the TEAM leaders to increase tobacco cessation. This technique is another way to provide patient-centered communication and promote patient advocacy for their own oral healthcare. The grant targets the primary faculty teaching in pediatric, public health and general dentistry, as well as primary faculty at off-campus and community sites.

Overall Catalanotto will provide grant oversight, while both he and Behar-Horenstein will work collaboratively to ensure success of the grant. Behar-Horenstein will be responsible for evaluation and reporting study outcomes.


 from the Human Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, to support faculty development and assist in the D.M.D. curriculum revision.