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Applications due Dec. 15 for Harvard minority oral health fellowship

By Jean Williams

 image of Dr.Henry

Dr. Henry

Boston — Applications are due Dec. 15 for the 2015-16 Joseph L. Henry Oral Health Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

The one-year program prepares oral health leaders to help improve the capacity of the health care system and address the health needs of minority and disadvantaged populations over time. Fellows earn a master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and are prepared to take leadership roles in minority health, health policy and oral epidemiology. During the fellowship year, they participate in leadership forums, practicums, seminars, site visits and journal clubs. Senior faculty and health leaders provide mentoring.

“Dr. Henry believed in the importance of mentoring and cared about the academic and career advancement of students, trainees and junior faculty without regard to race, ethnicity or gender,” said Joan Reede, M.D., dean for Diversity and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School. “He was the consummate teacher, clinician, researcher and role model.”

Qualified applicants must be dentists with an active dental license, who have experience and interest in addressing and improving health needs of minority, disadvantaged and vulnerable populations. U.S. citizenship or permanent residency is required.

The 2014-15 Joseph L. Henry Oral Health Fellow is Dr. Christina Rosenthal. She is owner and CEO of Paradigm Dental Center in Memphis, Tennessee. See her story in the ADA News Archive.

Past fellows include:

  • Dr. E. Elon Joffre, an orthodontist and founder of Axis Orthodontics, Waltham, Massachusetts, who completed the fellowship in 2010.
  • Dr. Shanta D. Richardson, a pediatric dentist in Ellicott City, Maryland, who completed the fellowship in 2006.
  • Dr. Brian Swann, chief of Dental Services at Cambridge Health Alliance and a clinical instructor, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, who completed the fellowship in 2009.

Two dentists completed the fellowship in 2002:

  • Dr. Cynthia Hodge, president of the National Dental Association Foundation and president and CEO of DeSti Consulting.  
  • Dr. Phillip D. Woods, a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, Bureau of Prisons, as well as national periodontal consultant, chief dentist, Federal Detention Center SeaTac in Seattle.

Dr. Joseph L. Henry, who died in October 2011, was a renowned and accomplished dental educator and thought leader as well as a national policy adviser on oral health care and other issues. He served in many roles at dental schools, including at Harvard, in such capacities as department chair, dean and board member. According to his biography on, his influence even transcended the realm of oral medicine: “The White House called on his service three times, not as a leader in dentistry or the health professions, but as a national figure known for his ability to grasp major issues. Accordingly, the White House asked him to serve on the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health, the White House Conference on Employment of the Handicapped, and the White House Conference on International Relations.”

 For information on how to apply, visit the Harvard website and contact Joan Y. Reede, M.D., dean for diversity and community partnership, at