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From CHCs to mentoring: 2004 Institute class members unveil projects

Members of the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership class of 2004 launched 12 personal leadership projects this past year.

  • Dr. Dionne Michelle Colbert, Atlanta—Dr. Colbert's project, "The Downward Trend in Dental School Minority Enrollment," includes a survey of dental schools to evaluate progress under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation "Pipeline" grant program.
  • Dr. Nava Fathi, Gilroy, Calif.—In "Alumni Practice Opportunities and Mentoring Program," Dr. Fathi brings together alumni, juniors and seniors of the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
  • Dr. Gordon C. Fraser Jr., Peachtree City, Ga.—"Dental Information Portal" introduces as Georgia's first dental portal. Dr. Fraser's project created the site that serves as an information vehicle for dentists and patients.
  • Dr. Shaila Garasia, Rochester, N.Y.—In "Shortage of Clinical Dentists at Community Health Centers," Dr. Garasia raises awareness of dental career opportunities with CHCs to extend care to underserved patients. A dental journal article she wrote on CHC careers is slated for publication in the near future. Dr. Garasia's efforts are showing early results: she has already had two interviews with candidates seeking CHC employment.
  • Dr. Cedric Takeo Lewis, Honolulu, Hawaii—In "Opening Doors and Changing Lives," Dr. Lewis advances culture competency among the dental workforce, identifies interested students from underrepresented and disadvantaged populations, establishes a student mentoring program leading to dental school and an annual scholarship program.
  • Dr. Wilma Luquis-Aponte, El Paso, Texas—"In Route to Dentistry" is a pilot program to help high school guidance counselors work with students who are interested in dental careers. The project involves surveying counselors and providing a one-day seminar on dental career options. Dr. Luquis-Aponte went on to found a local Explorer Post, part of the national Learning For Life initiative that identifies young adults with an interest in dental careers.
  • Dr. Pat Mason-Dozier, Kansas City, Mo.—A dental director at a CHC, Dr. Mason-Dozier’s project, "Dentists in Private Practice and Community Health Centers," builds an understanding of the mission of CHCs. Using common interests such as legislative issues, she sought avenues of collaboration between CHCs and the practice community. Dr. Mason-Dozier went on to become a board member of National Network for Oral Health Access. "I used to defer to leaders, now I'm a spokesperson," she said. "In that role, I try to guide discussion and foster better communication between the practice community and community health centers."
  • Dr. Mary Anne Navitsky, Sitka, Alaska—In "Alaskans and Health Careers," Dr. Navitsky identifies ways to further an understanding of the barriers and opportunities for attracting more Alaskan youth into dental careers.
  • Dr. Andres Pinto, Chadds Ford, Pa.—In "Pediatric Obesity: An Epidemic," Dr. Pinto assesses the prevalence by ethnic groups in dental school settings and clarified the relationship between overweight status, oral health and consumption of high fructose soft drinks.
  • Dr. Teodoro Regus, New York, N.Y.—"Keeping Diversity in Organized Dentistry" is a multimedia proposal for dental societies in the New York metropolitan area to host "Diversity Nights." The events would bring together a wide spectrum of dentists and their families to celebrate and learn about a specific cultural group and become better acquainted. Dr. Regus will also explore state and national events.
  • Dr. Rosie Roldan, Gainesville, Fla.—"Healthy Mother, Healthy Baby" created outreach to serve pregnant women in their second or third trimester and assists new mothers in establishing a dental home.
  • Dr. Brian Shue, El Centro, Calif.—In "Dental Licensure by Credentials in California: A Health Disparities Successful Innovation," Dr. Shue devised outreach strategies promoting special license reciprocity to encourage dentists to work in California community dental centers.