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Dr. Kathleen O'Loughlin Named American Dental Association Executive Director

Assumes duties June 1 at ADA Chicago Headquarters

Contact Information:

Telephone: 312-440-2806
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

CHICAGO, May 5, 2009—Kathleen T. O'Loughlin, D.M.D., M.P.H, of Medford, Mass., has been selected by the Board of Trustees of the American Dental Association to serve as the next ADA Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, effective June 1. Dr. O'Loughlin becomes the first female executive director in the ADA's 150-year history.

The announcement marked the end of an 11-month search for a new executive director. "Dr. O'Loughlin's background represents the right mix of experiences we sought in an executive director," said ADA President John S. Findley, D.D.S. "She has 20 years in private dental practice and public health dentistry plus 10 years' experience in dental education and a decade of key leadership roles in management, strategic planning and business operations."

Prior to joining the ADA staff, Dr. O'Loughlin worked briefly for United Healthcare as its chief dental officer after having served as a consultant to Tufts University School of Dental Medicine on curriculum development in preparation for expansion of the dental school facility and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene in preparation for their 2009 Accreditation.

She received her dental degree (summa cum laude) from Tufts in 1981 and a master's degree in public health and health care management from Harvard University School of Public Health in 1998. After starting in nursing school at Massachusetts General Hospital, she switched to Boston University, where she received her bachelor's degree in biology (cum laude) in 1973.

"I am incredibly honored to accept this position," Dr. O'Loughlin said. "It represents the pinnacle of my professional career. What a great opportunity to serve the profession I have loved for 30 years and what a tribute to my deceased father, who as a socially conscious practicing dentist was my role model and inspiration."

From 2002–2007, Dr. O'Loughlin served as president and chief executive officer of Dental Services of Massachusetts, Inc. (d.b.a. Delta Dental of Massachusetts) where, through her leadership, the company doubled its reserves, increased membership by 400 percent and executed a successful five-year growth plan.

Also during her leadership, Dental Services of Massachusetts made charitable contributions of $53 million, which included endowed professorships at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston University School of Dental Medicine and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science.

She also served as the president of the Oral Health Foundation of Massachusetts (now called DentaQuest Foundation) and is an assistant clinical professor in the Tufts Department of General Dentistry. She is a member of the Tufts University Board of Trustees.

For more than 25 years, Dr. O'Loughlin has been an active member in the American Dental Association and the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS). She is a member of the American College of Dentists and former editor of its New England Section. Other memberships include the International College of Dentists, the Santa Fe Group, Pierre Fauchard Academy, American Association of Women Dentists and the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine Alumni Association.

She has served as a member of the ADA Workforce Models National Coordinating and Development Committee, the MDS Council on Public Affairs, the Massachusetts Oral Health Advocacy Task Force and Health Care For All: For the People, campaign co-chair.
Dr. O'Loughlin also is a member of the boards of directors of Oral Health America, Biomedical Science Careers program at Harvard Medical School, and the Children's Dental Health Project, Washington, D.C.

She is married and the mother of four.

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.