WesternU College of Dental Medicine

WesternU CDM at ADEA 2015


The 2015 ADEA (American Dental Education Association) Annual Session and Exhibition took place from March 7th through the 10th at the Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts – celebrating excellence in dental education. Below are highlights of the innovations and ideas our faculty and staff were able to share with the convention audience.

Faculty Development Marketplace: A Forum for Collaboration
Dr. Nithya Venugopal

This exploration of faculty development provided each speaker five minutes to summarize the role and purpose of faculty development at his or her institution, what programs are offered and how they are assessed.  While there are various faculty development efforts going on at dental schools across North America, the work of faculty developers is poorly understood and best practices have not yet emerged.  These short presentations enabled participants to spread ideas, provide updates about exciting developments, establish and foster collaboration, and trigger joined projects among institutions.

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Incorporating Dental Education for Primary Care through Interprofessional Collaborative Practice
CBDE (Community-Based Dental Education) Team

The health care delivery model has a paradigm shift toward team-based, patient-centered interprofessional care.  Evidence has shown the impact of one’s oral health on overall health.  Therefore, it is essential to incorporate dental education into other health professions education.  In this session, attendees learned how to effectively compose a curriculum to incorporate oral health education into primary care provider programs.  Attendees also learned to implement and evaluate this hands-on, evidence-based interprofessional collaborative practice.  Lastly, the session discussed the impact on the expansion of scope of practice in each profession and on the quality of care in the community.

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Beyond the Manikin: Transforming Simulation in a Digital World
Drs. Sandra Farah-Franco, James Ywom, Robert Hasel

When dental educators are expected to keep up with current trends in technology, given the new digital age as the backdrop, they often find themselves making difficult decisions regarding which technologies to adopt and in what aspect of the curriculum.  In this session, attendees learned how to implement and use several different technology-driven educational methodologies that help augment the student’s clinical experience in the simulation environment.  Attendees also learned how various approaches come with important considerations in terms of the time and financial investment at the faculty and administrator level.

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Interdisciplinary Education Model Using Gateway Program to Increase Dental Access
Karen Lee (Fourth Year Dental Student)


Karen Lee

Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (ICPC) at WesternU


Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP) is an important aspect of Community Based Dental Education (CBDE) at WesternU. IPCP is integrated within the curriculum for pre-professional students.  Dr. Jamie Parado and Dr. Wade Banner taught Physician Assistant (PA) students how to perform oral cancer screenings, oral assessments, and the proper application of fluoride varnish.  PA students obtain hands on experience by practicing on one another before transitioning to patients within the community clinics.


CDM Faculty & Staff Committed to WesternU Value of Lifelong Learning


On February 4th, CDM faculty and staff gathered for a development day that focused on topics such as goal setting and prioritizing.  Prior to the morning training sessions, Dean Friedrichsen gave his State of the College address, which emphasized our purpose here at CDM.  Members of the leadership team described various experiences of student achievements, reminding everyone that our success derives from our students.  The Dean also took a moment to reflect on the progress our college has made over the past six years and briefly discussed our direction moving forward.

In the afternoon, HEC and PCC staff members attended an Optum training on peer mentoring.  The faculty members assumed the student role as they listened to a lecture on Medical Emergencies.  Similar to the dental students’ module, faculty members were divided into groups where they discussed cases and participated in hands-on activities related to treating patients during an emergency.  Like every Faculty and Staff Development Day, sessions are designed to enhance skills and encourage interaction among individuals who do not typically work together on a regular basis.  CDM’s development days exhibit the college’s dedication to foster a culture of lifelong learning, a WesternU core value that faculty and staff hope to instill in our students.


Dr. Diana Folmsbee awarded Intramural Grant


Faculty member, Dr. Diana Folmsbee, has been awarded a WesternU intramural grant for her research proposal. The goal of the study, in collaboration with the WesternU Diabetes Institute, is to determine the relationship between HbA1c values in patients with diabetes mellitus, in addition to concentration of specific periodontal pathogens.

Dental Student Research Group Students Receive Recognition

Each semester the AADR (American Association for Dental Research) Dental Student Research Group recognizes students who have displayed continued dedication for research. Having focused on research in Periodontology for the Fall semester, on Wednesday, January 21st, four students (three from the College of Dental Medicine and one from the Graduate College of Biomedical Sciences) were recognized with a “Certificate of Research in Periodontology.” This group included Maya Popova (DMD 2015), Shifteh Iranmanesh (DMD 2017), Nataly Salazar (DMD 2018), and Sonoko Nakasato (MSMS 2015).

Following the recognition, the group began an Oral Cancer series, set to include various monthly activities, culminating with the beginning of national “Oral Cancer Month” in April, where a new set of students will be set to receive recognition.


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