Awards, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

School Receives $1.35 Million Grant

Pipeline Profession & Practice: Community-Based Dental Education

The University of North Carolina School of Dentistry is the recipient of a 5-year grant ($1,349,000) as part of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pipeline, Profession & Practice: Community-Based Dental Education initiative. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative involves 10 dental schools across the United States and the program office is located in New York City at Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery.

The UNC at Chapel Hill project is entitled: UNC Dentistry in Service to Communities: Education, Service and Workforce Development. This new effort is being generated because North Carolina has a dental workforce shortage and is making plans for increased dental enrollment at UNC. The project seeks to make changes in clinical education at community sites in underserved settings, in the School’s curriculum in social science, and in minority and disadvantaged student recruitment. Curricular innovation will improve cultural awareness and ready students to be involved in the community.

Over the five years of the project, UNC’s Dental School plans to gradually increase community-based clinical education to 60 days in the Senior or fourth year. The goal will be to provide dental students opportunities to achieve skill in the delivery of patient-centered care that is both focused on populations at substantial need for dental services and is rendered in a kind, but efficient and cost-effective care system. UNC does not anticipate owning or managing external facilities, rather it seeks mutually beneficial partnerships with existing facilities that may serve as sites for both care and education.

This project involves collaboration between the UNC School of Dentistry and community partners including: The NC Area Health Education Program (AHEC), UNC School of Medicine’s Medical Education Development (MED) Program, NC Oral Health Section (NCHHS), Guilford County Health Department (Greensboro), Wake Medical Center (Raleigh), Tri-County Community Health Center (Newton Grove), Orange County Health Department (Hillsboro, Carrboro), FirstHealth Dental Care Centers (Southern Pines, Troy, Raeford), Wake County Human Services (Raleigh) and the Old North State Dental Society.

The Project will be led by Dr. Ronald P. Strauss (Principal Investigator), Dr. Jan et Southerland (Co-Principal Investigator), and Dr. Eugene S. Sandler (Director, UNC Dentistry in Service to Communities (DISC) Program.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton , NJ , is the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grantmaking in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to basic health care at reasonable cost; to improve care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse – tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs.

For further information contact:

Ronald P. Strauss DMD, PhD
Dental Friends Distinguished Professor and
Chair, Department of Dental Ecology
Professor of Social Medicine
Principal Investigator, RWJ Pipeline Project at UNC- Chapel Hill
(919) 966-2788