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Associate Dean for Risk and Compliance Appointment

I am announcing the creation of a new administrative position of Associate Dean for Risk and Compliance. This position will provide strategic leadership, oversight, and management of compliance in the areas of safety & health, health records, and affiliation agreements and arrangements with external partners. The associate dean will ensure conformity with all university rules, laws, and regulations within the scope of the position. Working together with directors reporting to the associate dean, the incumbent will promote the prevention, detection, and resolution of events that threaten the school’s compliance standards. The associate dean will collaborate with administrators, students, staff and the faculty to ensure continuous quality improvement in meeting required compliance standards. Creating a culture of self-improvement will be a key responsibility. We worked closely with the university administration, legal counsel, and the Office of Integrity and Compliance in developing this new position.

Specific areas of risk and compliance oversight include:

  1. OSHA, blood borne pathogens, and HIPAA
  2. Health records quality assurance
  3. Community partnership agreement compliance
  4. Development and revision of applicable policies and procedures
  5. Assessment of emerging risks and regulatory changes
  6. Developing mechanisms for and enabling safe reporting of compliance concerns to foster a positive safety culture
  7. Prepare required reports for internal and external audiences
  8. Collaborate with legal counsel and the VCU Office of Integrity and Compliance to ensure we are meeting current standards and expectations.
  9. Ethics and professionalism compliance to affirm the University’s expectation of a positive work environment

I am very pleased and appreciative that Ms. Kim T. Isringhausen has accepted this position as the interim associate dean. Kim joined the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Dentistry in 1995. For seven years, she served as the Director of the Division of Dental Hygiene and as the Director of Service-Learning Programs for both dental and dental hygiene students. In 2011, she led the creation of a new department in the School of Dentistry, the Department of Oral Health Promotion and Community Outreach, and was appointed Department Chair in January 2012. For the past year, Ms. Isringhausen has served as Assistant Dean for Community and Collaborative Partnerships.

Ms. Isringhausen earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene and Master of Public Health both from VCU. Ms. Isringhausen also received specialized training through awarded teaching fellowships from the American Dental Education Association and Virginia Commonwealth University.

Currently, Ms. Isringhausen is course director of university designated service-learning courses for fourth-year dental and dental hygiene students. She also coordinates student involvement in community service, local and international outreach missions and study abroad programs. Ms. Isringhausen is the faculty advisor for the School’s Mission of Mercy projects.

Ms. Isringhausen is the current Chair of the Faculty for the School of Dentistry; she also serves on numerous committees in the School of Dentistry and the University. In addition, she holds membership in professional organizations including the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, Virginia Dental Hygienists’ Association, and the American Public Health Association. Ms. Isringhausen is a member of the Board Director positions with the Virginia Association of Free and Charitable Clinics and serves as Board Chair for the Piedmont Regional Dental Clinic.

Mr. Isringhausen’s extensive teaching, clinical, and administrative experience are an excellent match for the duties required of this new position. The associate dean will report directly to me as dean.

Fall happenings

Welcome Mary Pettiette, D.D.S., associate dean for admissions

Mary Pettiette, D.D.S., associate dean for admissions and professor of endodontics

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Pettiette, D.D.S., as associate dean for admissions and professor of endodontics. She will begin her duties in November. I want to thank the search committee, chaired by Clara Spatafore, D.D.S., M.S., for its diligent and thorough work in conducting a national search for this most important role in our school.  

Dr. Pettiette most recently served as associate dean of admissions and student life at the University of North Carolina Adams School of Dentistry in Chapel Hill. She is a board-certified endodontist, an educator and a leader. Committed to advancing dental education, Dr. Pettiette is passionate about recruiting the best students for the dental profession.

She earned her D.D.S. degree and Certificate of Endodontics from Louisiana State University. After completing her endodontic training, Dr. Pettiette held a part-time faculty position at LSU while engaged in private practice in New Orleans. She joined the UNC Adams School of Dentistry faculty in the Department of Endodontics in 1990.

At UNC, she provided endodontic education at the undergraduate and graduate levels. After a return to private practice, she resumed her position on the endodontic faculty at UNC where she served as the associate clinical professor in the Department of Endodontics until becoming assistant dean of admissions and pre-doctoral education. Prior to her VCU arrival, she served as associate dean of admissions and student life.  

Dr. Pettiette is active at the state and national levels of endodontic governing bodies. She served as president of the North Carolina State Endodontic Society, a member of the board of directors for the American Association of Endodontists and a trustee on the board of the AAE Foundation. Currently, she is president of the AAE Foundation Board (2018-2020).

Dr. Pettiette is an active researcher and recipient of external grant funding. Her interests focus on biologic implications of endodontic practice. Her study showing a relationship between statins and pulp chamber calcification received considerable attention and led to a podcast interview by the Journal of Endodontics. Her latest research “MicroRNA Expression Profiles in External Cervical Resorption” was featured on the front cover of the September 2019 issue of the same journal. 

Please be sure to give her a warm VCU School of Dentistry welcome in November.

Stanford clinical train-the-trainer program participants recognized

I’m happy to recognize Michelle McGregor, director of our dental hygiene program, and Sharon Lanning, D.D.S., of our periodontics division of general practice, as participants in The Stanford School of Medicine’s Train-the-Trainer Program for Clinical Teaching.

This program, created in 1986, offers career development opportunities for individual faculty participants and a mechanism for institutional advancement. The 1-month training provides background knowledge and leadership skills required to deliver a series of seven 2-hour seminars. The training is a non-prescriptive approach for improving clinical teaching.

Michelle McGregor completed a pilot program in the spring and received her certificate in clinical teaching. Dr. Lanning is a member of the fall program brought to VCU as part of the university’s Vision by Design education initiative.

We look forward to our faculty members bringing that education back to our school and improving our clinical teaching.

Students present research at Pierre Fauchard Academy breakfast

From cleaning 3D printed orthodontic aligners to preventing bur stick injuries, our students are breaking new ground through innovative research.

Charles Phillips, Payton Cook, Nischal Dalal, Dan-Kanh Dao and Maria Jividen enjoy the annual Pierre Fauchard Academy breakfast. Also pictured, Tyler Perkinson (D.D.S. Class of 2006), third from right, who was inducted into the international honor dental society at the VDA annual meeting. Not pictured, Jennifer Hankle, D.D.S., who was also inducted at the event.

Here’s a brief snapshot of their work:

Five of our dental students presented their research at the annual Pierre Fauchard Academy breakfast at the VDA meeting in Richmond last month.

Payton Cook  – The Effectiveness of Different Cleaning Methods on Removing Residual Material from 3D Printed Orthodontic Aligners 

Nischal Dalal – Dimensional Accuracy of Stereolithography Implant Surgical Guides at 50 and 100 μm layer printing

Dan-Kanh Dao/Maria Jividen – Secured Bur Block and Protective Handpiece Shield 

Charles Phillips – Identifying Oral Health Priorities, Use of Services, and Inclusive Understanding of Oral Health Providers among the LGBT Community

We applaud our students’ research and wish them much success in their efforts.

Additionally, thanks go to our faculty presenters at the VDA meeting: Omar Abubaker, D.M.D., Ph.D., professor and S. Elmer Bear Chair, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Dean DeLuke, D.D.S., M.B.A., professor and director of the oral and maxillofacial surgery pre-doc surgical program and Sonali Rathore, D.D.S., M.S., assistant professor, oral diagnostic sciences. Thank you for all that you do to promote oral health and education.

Awards and recognitions

The Virginia section of the International College of Dentists awarded its annual scholarship to Sara Holston, a D3 student. I was proud to witness the announcement made by Mark A. Crabtree, D.D.S., our Virginia section regent.

The American College of Dentists named Tonya Spangler, a D4 student, the 2019 outstanding student award winner and Rick Archer, D.D.S., M.S., associate professor and associate dean of clinical education, outstanding dental faculty member.

Congratulations to you all for your contributions to the VCU School of Dentistry.

Heart Walk raises more than $3,000

The School of Dentistry and VCU Dental Care raised $3,260 through the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk on October 5. Thank you to all who contributed, who walked, who help organize the event and who supported these efforts in every way. Together, we helped fight heart disease and stroke.

“Thank you” goes a long way

Imagine getting this many thank you notes for a gift you gave. It’s quite a stack isn’t it? That’s the stack of student thank you cards in my office. Each recipient of a general scholarship here at the school hand wrote their heartfelt thanks for generous acts of kindness. Scholarships help students meet many needs as they make their way along the path to becoming a dental professional.

Your gifts matter. Thank you.

Publications

If you haven’t taken a look at the latest Dentistry magazine and our special Giving Issue, make sure to visit our website.

The Dental Fill-In

Be sure to follow the school on social media including our YouTube channel where you’ll find current and past entries of The Dental Fill-In.

Respect, Tolerance, and Inclusiveness in the School of Dentistry – 2019

Dear School of Dentistry Community,

I have posted a similar message in the past – about once per year – not necessarily on a schedule but when I sense a need. I am motivated to update my message when failures of respect, tolerance, or inclusiveness make there way to me.

Intolerance and bias comes in all forms such as religious, racial, sexual orientation or identity, age, gender, and educational or social status.  Yes we have a duty to report concerns when we have factual information. We also have a duty to not spread rumors or unsubstantiated accusations. It is important for us to demonstrate our exemplary character and values in all we do, to all we meet, and to all with whom we interact. As an academic and healthcare institution, intolerance should never find a home at the School of Dentistry.  The expectation is all people that learn, work, and receive care at the School of Dentistry and VCU Dental Care are treated with respect and dignity, provided privacy of their health and personal information, and enjoy freedom of expression without fear of retaliation.  This is my expectation and I ask that everyone join me in that expectation.  The establishment and maintenance of a humanistic environment is everyone’s responsibility and each and every person must take ownership of ensuring a school culture of inclusiveness and tolerance.

According to the VCU Creed: Philosophy for a University Community

“Academic institutions exist, among other reasons, to discover, advance and transmit knowledge and to develop in their students, faculty and staff the capacity for creative and critical thought.  At Virginia Commonwealth University, members of the community should strive to exemplify the following specific ideals in addition to other worthy ideals:

  • To demonstrate academic and personal integrity.
  • To respect the rights and property of others.
  • To be open to others’ opinions.
  • To uphold academic freedom and freedom of intellectual inquiry.
  • To appreciate diversity and to value and learn from the uniqueness of each person.
  • To uphold the right of all persons to be treated with dignity and respect and to refrain from all forms of intimidation, harassment and illegal discrimination.
  • To demonstrate and respect intellectual courage in situations that demand it.”

The VCU Code of Conduct is explicit and defines Real Expectations of all employees.  Similarly, the VCU Student Code of Conduct sets expectations for students.   All members of the VCU Community are required to engage in responsible social conduct that reflects credit upon the University community and to model good citizenship in any community.

The deans in the dean’s office are there to help any student who feels they need to discuss any problem, including those related to respect and inclusion. Employees can obtain help from the School of Dentistry Human Resources Office and/or VCU Employee Relations.  In addition, these are resources available to student, staff, and faculty at VCU to discuss or assist you with these issues:

Division of Inclusive Excellence  (http://www.inclusive.vcu.edu/)
University Counseling Services (http://www.students.vcu.edu/counseling/)
Wellness Resource Center (http://thewell.vcu.edu/
The VCU Dean of Students, Dr. Reuban Rodriguez (vcudean@vcu.edu)
Equity and Access Services and Title IX Compliance (http://equity.vcu.edu/)
VCU Employee Relations (emprel@vcu.edu or 828-1510)
VCU Dental Care Employee Relations (828-8873)
VCU Ombudsperson (http://ombudsperson.vcu.edu/)
VCU Helpline (www.vcuhelpline.com)
VCU Employee Assistance Program (http:// www.anthemeap.com)
VCU Dental Care Employee Assistance Program (1-800-327 2255)

I welcome your thoughts on this message and the accompanying expectations.  Please take a moment to view this short video of what your fellow VCU community members said “What does respect look like at VCU?”

Summer updates

New dental clinics

VCU Health’s new adult outpatient facility is coming out of the ground and floorplans for our dental clinics have been approved. Now comes the fun part where spaces become “reality” through the developmental design phase. All of our clinics with the exception of pediatric dentistry will occupy the eighth and ninth floors of the new building.

The elevator shaft is out of the ground from the parking deck area and soon steel will be going up to create the framework of the building.

Be sure to visit our YouTube channel to see what it looks like in the latest edition of The Dental Fill-In vlog.

You can also track the construction progress and see a time-lapse video.

Administrative changes

Mark Barry (D.D.S. ’85)

We’ve had some administrative changes this summer with the merger of the Departments of Prosthodontics and General Practice. Mark Barry (D.D.S. ’85) is now serving as interim chair of the combined departments.

There are a number of reasons we’re doing this and a lot of it has to do with the new way we’re teaching restorative dentistry, particularly the integration of CAD/CAM and digital dentistry and the way we need to evaluate the competency of our students in these areas. All in line with changing technology and the way dental practice and education is evolving. Whenever you merge groups together there’s always lots of tension that needs to be managed and we thank Dr. Barry for stepping up to the plate and helping the transition become a smooth one.

Strategic planning

The research portion of our new strategic plan is complete and our next steps are to develop our service and educational components. We’ll be launching the complete plan in about a year.

New pediatric dentistry clinic

Our new pediatric dental clinic in the Children’s Hospital of Richmond Pavilion on the 6th floor has been designed and construction bids have gone out to get the work done. The clinic is expected to move in a year or so.

Good luck and welcome

Congratulations and the best of luck to our 2019 D.D.S. and D.H. graduates and to our residents who’ve completed their time with us.

Please join me in welcoming our new residents, who are already here, and our D.D.S. and D.H. students who just arrived this week.

The last orientation event for the Class of 2023.

We’re happy for all of you and wish you much success.

Presidential Medallion

Frank Macrina, Ph.D., recipient of the 2019 Presidential Medallion

Congratulations to Frank Macrina, Ph.D., who was awarded the Presidential Medallion at the May VCU Commencement. We’re proud of Frank, a retired dental faculty member, who rose to direct the entire VCU research operation. It’s a real feather in our cap and we’re very proud of his dental school roots.

Don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel where you’ll find my latest vlog post.

Welcome Home Alumni and News Around the School

Welcome Home Alumni

Blast from the Past Bash!

Reunion 2019 begins in just a few days, so we’re rolling out the red carpet for our alumni and looking forward to their visit.

From Friday’s Golf Tournament, individual class parties, and school tours, to a Jamaica Project luncheon, the Bash from the Past and our 50-Year Memorial Service and Brunch, it’s a weekend of memories and of rekindled friendships. We hope to see YOU at Reunion. Photos from this weekend’s events will be posted on our website in several weeks, so be sure to take a look.

Planning for the future

This summer begins our strategic planning process, based, in part, on a very extensive project published in the Journal of Dental Education in 2017 and 2018. Conducted for, but independently of, the American Dental Education Association, “Advancing Dental Education in the 21st Century,” covered an array of factors impacting dental education including student debt and the number of graduates, to the number of dental schools and the roles of faculty.

To streamline the data for use with our strategic planning process, I created my own summary notes of the ADEA project, which you’re welcome to review.

New adult outpatient facility

Meeting with space planners and architects to design the new dental clinics.

After jump-starting the planning process – thanks to our new architectural team – we now have floor plans showing the dental clinics in the new VCU Health adult outpatient facility. This new facility is coming out of the ground at the corner of North 10th and East Leigh streets where the former Virginia Treatment Center for Children once stood. It’s good to have something tangible in hand that shows our two dental floors. I suspect there will be adjustments before I can unveil the completed plans, so stay tuned. The new building is slated for completion in late 2020.

News around the school

Opioid prescribing policy

Concurrent with Virginia’s dental practice act and regulations, we’re developing an opioid prescribing policy for the school, which will provide guidance to providers prescribing opioid treatment in outpatient and emergency settings. This work is in line with current national policy and legislative reviews

HIPPA updates

We’re updating our HIPPA policies and making sure everyone is aware of the changes in those policies and what’s required by law.  This is a constant educational process to make sure we’re on top of the requirements and that we’re all protecting the health information of our patients. Thanks to Wendy Montague, our HIPPA compliance specialist, for leading these efforts.

White Coat ceremony

Pamela Zarkowski, J.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Detroit, Mercy, joined me to celebrate our students at the 2019 White Coat Ceremony. Earlier in the day, she had presented “Go- Stop- Yield: The Intersection of Law and Ethics” as part of the School’s annual Mirmelstein Ethics Lecture series.

It’s always a pleasure to be a part of our White Coat Ceremony. Celebrating this student milestone makes us all very proud. The 2019 ceremony for the Dental Hygiene Class of 2020 and the Doctor of Dental Surgery Class of 2021 was held on March 1. Congratulations!

I enjoyed spending time with Legacy Luncheon students as part of the White Coat Ceremony.

 

For more news around the School of Dentistry, be sure to check out my latest Vlog – The Dental Fill-in for March 2019.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDV7vHLcmFs

Farewell to Jim Burns

With much appreciation for his robust 47-year career in oral health and with my personal thanks for his friendship and guidance along the way, I am honored to pay tribute to Jim Burns.

While we already miss him here at school, I have no doubt that he and his family – wife Karen and four sons – will enjoy his well-deserved retirement.

Jim was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland. He received his bachelor’s degree in biology from VMI, his DDS degree from VCU, a master’s in education from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from VCU. He completed his oral pathology residency at VCU as well.

His military career included a rotating dental internship at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco. He received the European Outstanding Clinician Award and was Assistant Dental Clinic Commander in Baumholder, Germany. He retired from the U.S. Army Dental Corps at the rank of major.

Please join me in expressing gratitude for Jim’s service to our students, to our faculty, to our staff and our friends.

Celebrating the “First 100”

As Black History Month comes to a close, I’m especially proud to announce an upcoming celebration of accomplishments, achievements and trailblazing.

The “First 100 Dentists of Color” Celebration Brunch on Saturday, April 27, at Richmond’s Black History Museum and Cultural Center, recognizes Erma Freeman (D.D.S.’77), the school’s first black female graduate.

And because several of our “First 100” are paving the way for the “Next 100” through scholarships for students who are members of the VCU Chapter of the Student National Dental Association, we’ll be celebrating their efforts at this special event.

Attendees will hear from Darriel Cannon, the school’s first African American class president, who will share his experiences and vision for the future of African Americans in the oral health profession. His Class of 2019 peers elected him president all four years of their time in dental school.

Through his consistent commitment to community service, access to oral health care, and leadership, Darriel is a source of pride for all of us and we wish him great success as he enters the oral surgery residency program at UCLA this fall.

For more information about the “First 100 Dentists of Color” Celebration Brunch and the “First 100 Dentists of Color” initiative, get in touch with Barbara Payton at (804) 827-1537 or bpayton@vcu.edu. As Director of Development for Major Gifts in our Advancement Office, Barbara can share the rich history of the initiative and how it came to be a major driver in our efforts to provide scholarships, mentorship and fellowship for the “Next 100” and beyond.

Yearbooks and Social Media

Dear School of Dentistry Students, Staff and Faculty,

We appreciate that there have been some informal discussions regarding events of this past week, which have cast public light on medical student behaviors, class yearbooks and the like. As President Rao affirmed earlier in the week with his university-wide communication, VCU has pride and commitment in enabling our learning environment to be a place of dignity, mutual respect and inclusivity. Additionally, in last week’s state of the university address, Dr. Rao highlighted the professionalism and accomplishments of our academic community as well as our commitment to be a university that is transparent, accessible and a true resource to our community.

Key to what we accomplish together is respect and professionalism for one another and behaving accordingly. The communities we serve count on us to be leaders and role models. Madeline Bell, CEO, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, observes, “As a leader, people are always watching you. They’re listening to you, they look at what you wear, what you say, your body language. I think that leaders sometimes forget that people watch them not just when they’re on, but all the time. I think that you have to really understand that and be intentional about how you carry yourself.”

Accordingly, it is important to remember in this digital age our memories are posted all around us for continual access. It is vital in this current era to refrain from any potentially hurtful communications that could be perceived as derogatory of race, ethnic group, religion, gender identity or other way an individual identifies oneself. I refer you to one of my previous blog posting regarding Respect, Tolerance, and Inclusiveness in the VCU School of Dentistry.

We know that you are proud of our school of dentistry and we are certainly proud of you – each of you as powerful ambassadors for our school and its wonderful reputation. Our past, both good and bad, informs our school’s reputation and helps us share the best for our future. Yearbooks are a part of our past and sadly sometimes reflect moments that we wish we had not had, done or said. Please know that yearbooks have ceased at our school but images and text continue to be posted on social media. We can’t erase our past, yet we can use it to inform and better our future.

As this public reappraisal of school yearbooks plays out in media communications, please know that we are grateful to you for your utmost ethical behavior as current students, faculty, and staff, and hopefully soon-to-be future leaders in our community. Thank for your continued commitment to the values and behaviors of our noble professions and to your support of the VCU School of Dentistry mission and values.

With the very best wishes for your success,

David C. Sarrett, DMD, MS
Dean, VCU School of Dentistry

Updates to close the calendar year

It’s been a busy time at the VCU SoD and it’s hard to believe the school year is halfway over.

Here are a few updates from around the School.

Patient experience is key for new clinics

Coming out of the ground at 10th and Leigh Streets is the new VCU Health Ambulatory Outpatient Clinic.

A new team of architects, space design, and work flow experts is working with us to make sure our patients’ experience is at the top of the planning list.

If you’re in the area, stop by the School and we’ll show you “the big hole in the ground” from which our new dental clinics will take shape.

At the moment, it looks like our Orthodontics and Faculty Practice clinics will move to the Perkinson Building while all others are making the move to Leigh Street.

Stay tuned for further updates and feel free to contact me at (804) 828-9184 should you have questions about our dental clinics in the new building or other matters related to the School.

Changing face of the MCV Campus

At the retirement announcement of the Dean of the School of Allied Health Professions, which is now the College of Health Professions, I’ve been serving as chair of the search committee to fill that key role. It’s been a pleasure.

It’s also been a pleasure to see their own new building come out of the ground, which houses all of their programs under one roof for the first time in the school’s history.

Clearly, the face of the MCV Campus is changing and the School of Dentistry and College of Health Professions are proud to be a part of this evolution.

Meetings around the world and back

Fall is usually a busy time for me and 2018 was no exception. Between ADA and VDA meetings, and our relationships with like-minded dental education institutions in China and Kuwait, it seems like I’ve been around the world and back.

I serve as an alternate delegate for the ADA representing Virginia, specifically District 16, which is made up of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. I traveled to Myrtle Beach to attend the District 16 caucus, where the meeting went smoothly.

Soon after, I attended the ADA’s annual meeting in Hawaii then headed off to the Stomatological Hospital in Qingdao, China, where I presented the latest news in U.S. dental education.

During my visit to China.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This relationship is part of our International Educational Exchange program with oversight by Ms. Kim Isringhausen, assistant dean for community and collaborative partnerships.

Recently, I returned from a visit to Kuwait where many of our alumni are practicing excellent dentistry. Nearly 100 Kuwaiti students have walked these halls here at the dental school over the years in preparation for their careers in oral health.

Students get a taste of organized dentistry

At the 16th District caucus in Myrtle Beach, I was happy to take two of our students to that meeting.

Here’s what they had to say about that experience:

From Brittany Henderson, Class of 2019

“Attending the 16th District Caucus was such a positive experience. Each delegate was welcoming and extremely knowledgeable. It was great being able to participate in discussions about issues currently impacting dentistry. I especially enjoyed hearing speeches from this year’s ADA president-elects. Thank you for the opportunity.”

From Liara Vinson, Class of 2020

“The ADA’s 16th District Caucus was nothing short of incredible. Seeing the various minds come together on topics that affect the dental profession and its patients was largely inspiring. As an ASDA member, having this exposure incited me to think beyond just my career as a dental student. Moreover, hearing what some of the concerns are on a larger scale has certainly opened my eyes to the bigger picture of dentistry. The need for ASDA members to become official ADA members post-doc is of great importance. We are the future of dentistry, and our involvement in the ADA is not only welcomed – it is strongly encouraged. I truly appreciate the members of the 16th District for welcoming me to this meeting, and I look forward to attending many more – as an ADA member, in the future. Thank you so much for the opportunity to gain insight and exposure to something like this.”

Kirk Norbo, left, ADA 16th District trustee, with our students, Liara Vinson and Brittany Henderson, at the ADA meeting in Myrtle Beach. I was proud to be there with them.

Dental care where it’s needed most

Providing access to dental care is critical to overall good health and I couldn’t be more pleased to announce the opening of the Family Dental Clinic at the new Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill, Virginia.

For the past four years we’ve been working to create this new dental clinic and to see it as part of a collaborative medical environment is outstanding.

Our own Natasha Grover (D.D.S.’17/D) is the inaugural director of the dental clinic. Congratulations Dr. Grover. We couldn’t be more proud.

At the CMH Family Dental Clinic grand opening in Nov. 2018. Left to right, Dean David C. Sarrett; Scott Burnette, CMH CEO; Brenda Palmore, CMH VP of practice management and business development; and Dr. Natasha Grover, inaugural director of the dental clinic, VCU D.D.S. Class of 2017.

Recognition for stellar service

Congratulations to Margaret Poland, manager of research administration and industry relations, who was named the 2018 Dorris Douglas Budd Award winner at the annual VCU recognition and awards ceremony.

Margaret Poland accepts her well-deserved honor from VCU President Michael Rao.

Thank you for your service! We’re very proud.

Class notes?

Your career and your life is important to us. Please keep us up to date by submitting a class note. We’d like to hear from you. From this link, go to “Update Your Information” and tell us what’s been going on.

Richmond Marathon

It’s not unusual to see our faculty, staff and students out in the community doing great things. Many of them are athletic and sports fans. Congratulations to those who ran in the 2018 Richmond Marathon and Half-Marathon.

  • Erica Brecher
  • Ronke Akinkugbe
  • Tegwyn Brickhouse
  • Janina Lewis
  • Claire James
  • Ross Blevin
  • Erin Block
  • Jacob Mirpanah
  • Oonagh Loughran

Warm wishes

As our calendar year comes to a close, I’m touched by the professionalism and dedication of our students, faculty and staff. Please enjoy your break and have wonderful holidays with those you hold close.

I know you’ll come back refreshed and ready for 2019.

Thank you for all that you do.

NOTE: For updates about openings and closings over the holidays, be sure to visit our website at dentistry.vcu.edu and check our Facebook page at VCU Dentistry.

Tune In

Don’t forget to tune in to my latest Vlog on YouTube: The Dental Fill-In where you’ll find more news from around the school, new building updates, and more. And if you’re not already subscribed to our YouTube Channel (dentistryatvcu) please do. You won’t want to miss a single video!

Student YouTube Stars

Speaking of our YouTube channel, I had the pleasure of chatting with many students as the school year hit the halfway mark. You can find those conversations on our YouTube channel, so tune in. See what they’ve been up to.

Never Forget. Always Respect.

On this day of 9-11 remembrance, I thought it appropriate to re-post an entry from 2016.

Because every day marks an opportunity to see the world with clear and open eyes, I hope that this timeless message encourages you to reflect, refresh and respect.

Posted on Nov. 8, 2016:

Dear VCU School of Dentistry Community,

Intolerance and bias comes in all forms such as religious, racial, sexual orientation or identity, age, gender, and educational or social status.   It is important for us to demonstrate our exemplary character and values in all we do, to all we meet, and to all with whom we interact. As an academic and health care institution, the VCU School of Dentistry should never be a home to intolerance.  The expectation is all people that learn, work, and receive care at the VCU School of Dentistry and VCU Dental Care are treated with respect and dignity, provided privacy of their health and personal information, and enjoy freedom of expression without fear of retaliation.  This is my expectation and I ask that everyone join me in that expectation.  The establishment and maintenance of a humanistic environment is everyone’s responsibility and each and every person must take ownership of ensuring a school culture of inclusiveness and tolerance.

According to the VCU Creed: Philosophy for a University Community

“Academic institutions exist, among other reasons, to discover, advance and transmit knowledge and to develop in their students, faculty and staff the capacity for creative and critical thought.  At Virginia Commonwealth University, members of the community should strive to exemplify the following specific ideals in addition to other worthy ideals:

  • To demonstrate academic and personal integrity.
  • To respect the rights and property of others.
  • To be open to others’ opinions.
  • To uphold academic freedom and freedom of intellectual inquiry.
  • To appreciate diversity and to value and learn from the uniqueness of each person.
  • To uphold the right of all persons to be treated with dignity and respect and to refrain from all forms of intimidation, harassment and illegal discrimination.
  • To demonstrate and respect intellectual courage in situations that demand it.”

The VCU Code of Conduct is explicit and defines Real Expectations of all employees.  Similarly, the VCU Student Code of Conduct sets expectations for students.   All members of the VCU Community are required to engage in responsible social conduct that reflects credit upon the University community and to model good citizenship in any community.

As I stated last evening during the Dean’s Dinner with our student leadership, the deans in the dean’s office are there to help any student who feels they need to discuss any problem, including those related to respect and inclusion.  In addition, these are resources available to student, staff, and faculty at VCU to discuss or assist you with these issues:

Division of Inclusive Excellence  (http://www.inclusive.vcu.edu/)
University Counseling Services (http://www.students.vcu.edu/counseling/)
Wellness Resource Center (http://thewell.vcu.edu/
The VCU Dean of Students, Dr. Reuban Rodriguez (rbrodriguez@vcu.edu)
The VCU Student Assistance and Support Team (safetycasemgr@vcu.edu)
Equity and Access Services and Title IX Compliance (http://equity.vcu.edu/)
VCU Employee Relations (emprel@vcu.edu or 828-1510)
VCU Dental Care Employee Relations (828-8873)
VCU Ombudsperson (http://ombudsperson.vcu.edu/)
VCU Helpline (www.vcuhelpline.com)
VCU Employee Assistance Program (http:// www.anthemeap.com)
VCU Dental Care Employee Assistance Program (1-800-327 2255)

I welcome your thoughts on this message and the accompanying expectations.  Please take a moment to view this short video of what your fellow VCU community members said “What does respect look like at VCU?”

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