Effective July 1, Dr. Lewis Lampiris began his appointment as clinical associate professor in the Department of Dental Ecology and director of the UNC School of Dentistry’s Dentistry in Service to the Community (DISC) program.
The DISC program, which was the first of its kind when it began more than 40 years ago, is a required aspect of the school’s D.D.S. curriculum. Designed to provide care to underserved populations while exposing dental students to a variety of cultures and practice settings, the DISC program requires rising fourth-year dental students engage in two month-long rotations and provide care at various locations. This summer, program sites include 39 locations within North Carolina, 20 in other U.S. locations and two international sites.
“I’m looking forward to serving as director of such an important part of the school’s D.D.S. curriculum,” said Lampiris. “The UNC DISC program has long been a model that other dental schools follow. Clinical skills are honed and, of equal if not greater importance, the ethical obligation to serve a greater good is cultivated and the rewards of serving a diverse patient population are experienced. I’m excited for the opportunity to continue that legacy and help students understand the environmental and social determinants that impact individual and population health, and to commit themselves to both health equity and social justice.”
As program director, Lampiris plans to collect both qualitative and quantitative data that can be used for programmatic improvement within the context of both internal and external opportunities. He will work with the rotation sites and the D.D.S. students to maximize the benefit of community based service learning for both.
“We’re thrilled that Dr. Lampiris has chosen to join our school in this capacity,” said school Dean Jane Weintraub. “We’re confident that he’ll continue the strong reputation of the program. We also look forward to his implementation of new program initiatives in conjunction with our overall curriculum improvements in the coming years.”
After earning his D.D.S. in 1977 from Temple University School of Dentistry, Lampiris served as a U.S. Army dental officer until 1981, when he entered private practice in Chicago, Ill. He earned his Master of Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1997, at which time he began working for the Illinois Department of Public Health where he worked as chief of the oral health division. In 2006, he began working with the American Dental Association as director of the Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations; he held this appointment until 2012. He is a recipient of the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors Distinguished Service Award (2007), an American Dental Association Presidential Citation (2010) and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry’s Distinguished Service Award (2013).