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Kansas City University names Dr. James Koelbl vice provost to assist with new dental school

March 18, 2019
Photo of Dr. Koelbl
Dr. Koelbl
Kansas City, Mo. — In his new role as vice provost for oral health initiatives, Dr. James Koelbl will help conduct a feasibility study for opening a new dental school at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, the university announced Feb. 27.    
The new dental school is planned for the university's Joplin, Missouri, campus and will serve the "four-corners" region of southwest Missouri, northwest Arkansas, northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas, according to a news release.

"Dr. Koelbl is a steady and experienced hand in this work," said Marc B. Hahn, KCU president and chief executive officer, in a news release. "He has extensive knowledge of oral health needs and understands the resources required to establish a successful community-based college of dental medicine."
The feasibility study began in 2018 in response to a shortage of dental health providers in the region, according KCU. The vast majority of counties within a 125-mile radius of Joplin, Missouri, are designated as Dental Health Professional Shortage Area.

"Building on the osteopathic philosophy of 'whole health,' the addition of oral health education would help bridge the gap between medical and dental care, more fully integrate oral health into primary care, and expand access to preventive services for children and adults in the region," Dr. Koelbl said in a news release. "I am extremely please to have the opportunity to assist KCU in pursing this innovative, community-based dental education program on its Joplin campus."

Previously, Dr. Koelbl served as founding dean for both the University of New England College of Dental Medicine in Portland, Maine, and Western University Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine in Pomona, California. Dr. Koelbl also served as dean for West Virginia University School of Dentistry.

In addition, Dr. Koelbl served as associate executive director of the ADA, with responsibilities for the divisions of dental education, dental practice and science. He was also a member of the Commission on Dental Accreditation, serving as vice-chair and chair.