WesternU College of Dental Medicine

WesternU & Chaminade University Sign New Linkage Agreement

Western University of Health Sciences and Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii signed a linkage agreement Monday, May 4, 2015 on WesternU’s Pomona campus, paving the way for students from a private Catholic Marianist college in Hawaii to become College of Dental Medicine (CDM) students. From left, CDM Dean Steven W. Friedrichsen, DDS, WesternU Provost and Chief Operating Officer Gary M. Gugelchuk, PhD, Chaminade Associate Provost Patricia M. Lee-Robinson and Chaminade President Bro. Bernie J. Ploeger, SM, PhD, signed the agreement.

(Story & Photo provided by the Department of Public Affairs)


AAWD Hosts “Eat Your Art Out” Event

The American Association of Women Dentists at WesternU hosted their annual “Eat Your Art Out” fundraising/social event on Saturday, April 25th from 2-5 pm at the home of Dr. Sandra Farah-Franco. The faculty, staff, and students enjoyed a relaxing afternoon filled with food, fun, and a chance to view her priceless art collection! This event was also a great opportunity to say one last “Congratulations” to our graduating 4th year students.

ASDA National Lobby Day 2015


Written by Laine Janzen, DMD 2017

This year at ASDA National Lobby Day, we met with US senators and their staff to ask for co-sponsorship and support for two different bills: Action for Dental Health Act (H.R. 539) and Student Loan Refinancing Act (H.R. 649).

The “Action for Dental Health Act” bill would allow programs such as Give Kids a Smile and Missions of Mercy, such as CDA Cares, to access existing CDC grants currently being allocated to state health departments. This bill would not cost taxpayers any money and simply allows more oral health programs to apply for these grants. This is a bi-partisan bill that most senators we talked to were happy to support.

The “Student Loan Refinancing Act” would allow individuals to refinance their federal student loans more than once at a lower interest rate. This includes Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans and Federal Grad PLUS Loans. We lobbied that when healthcare education becomes more affordable for students, we are more likely to choose to practice in underserved areas, as we don’t become solely concerned with practicing in an area where we can make enough money to pay our crippling student debt. This is also a bi-partisan bill that most senators we talked to were happy to support.

The chance to meet with senators and their staffers was a wonderful opportunity to learn about some of the current issues facing dental students and it was an incredible experience to feel as though I’m truly making a difference in the dental school experience for my peers and myself. I’m very excited to hold our second annual Advocacy Academy this year and bring what we have learned to other students in District 11 ASDA!

CDM Dean Elected to the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)

Dean Dr. Steven Friedrichsen

Dr. Steven W. Friedrichsen, Dean of the College of Dental Medicine, was elected to a four year term on the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA) by the American Dental Education Association House of Delegates at the 2015 ADEA Annual Session in Boston.  Dr. Friedrichsen will serve a “red-shirt” training and observation year following the American Dental Association meeting in November 2015 and will start his service on the Commission the following year.

The Commission on Dental Accreditation works to maintain the highest professional and ethical standards in the nation’s dental schools and programs.  CODA employs a collaborative peer review accreditation process to evaluate the quality of over 1,450 dental and dental-related education programs nationwide, including dental, advanced general dentistry, advanced specialty, clinical fellowship and allied dental programs.

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


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