In July 2018, Katharine Ciarrocca, DMD, MSEd, began her appointment as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s director of interprofessional education and practice (IPEP). This role will be a function of the school’s Office of Academic Affairs.
“We are glad to have Dr. Ciarrocca lead our school’s work in interprofessional education and practice,” said Vice Dean for Education Ed Swift, DMD, MS. “She is passionate about this initiative and has a compelling vision for the integration of IPEP within both our school’s existing and new curricula. Dr. Ciarrocca will do a wonderful job as director of IPEP, and we are delighted to have her leading this effort.”
In this role, Ciarrocca will spearhead the school’s renewed commitment to IPEP and will report to Swift, who oversees the Office of Academic Affairs. Among her responsibilities, she will establish and maintain a school-wide IPEP committee, actively seek interprofessional education opportunities for students and faculty, and work collaboratively with the UNC-CH Office for IPEP and the University’s Assistant Provost for IPEP Meg Zomorodi, PhD, RN, CNL. Ciarrocca will continue many of her other current roles and functions, including teaching pre-doctoral students and serving on the school’s Curriculum Innovation Steering Committee, as well as her appointment within the school’s Department of Dental Ecology.
“Health care is becoming more collaborative by the day, and that makes this an ideal time to rededicate ourselves to excellence in IPEP at the UNC-CH School of Dentistry,” said Ciarrocca. “This is an exciting opportunity and I am thankful to have been tapped to lead this initiative.
“We have a lot of opportunities to reshape the IPEP experience of our students so that they learn with, about and from other professional students. Our students will be entering a world where collaborative practice is imperative for better patient outcomes. I am excited to leverage the geographic proximity of our professional schools and collaborate with colleagues at UNC-CH while working closely with Dr. Zomorodi in the University’s new Office for IPEP.”
Ciarrocca, whose career includes more than two decades of clinical instruction experience, came to the UNC-CH School of Dentistry in summer 2017 from the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University. While there, Ciarrocca was an associate professor in the Department of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences and received the university’s Certificate of Recognition for Interprofessional Education in 2016. Prior to her appointment at Augusta University, she worked in private practice and also as a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.
Ciarrocca is a diplomate of the American Board of Oral Medicine, and maintains active memberships in the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM), the American Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry.
Ciarrocca received her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where she also completed her Master of Science in education and her fellowship in oral medicine.
The UNC-CH Office for IPEP, run by Zomorodi, will oversee creation, implementation and dissemination of interprofessional education, research and clinical experiences designed to enhance collaborative learning across participating UNC-CH schools. These schools are expected to include the UNC-CH School of Dentistry, Kenan-Flagler Business School, the School of Education, the School of Medicine, the Department of Allied Health Sciences, the School of Nursing, the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the School of Social Work.