Santa Fe Group Mission
The Santa Fe Group fosters policy and initiates actions to improve the health and well-being of the public. The Group accomplishes this mission by analyzing and disseminating health program and policy information, by creating networks of concerned citizens from all walks of life, and developing advocacy programs to promote change for improved health.
Santa Fe Group Vision
To help shape the future of health through an action-oriented think tank that has a passion for the public good.
Santa Fe Group History
More than twenty years ago a group of five dental educators and scientists began to meet regularly to discuss the future of healthcare with special reference to oral health, dental education, and research in the United States. These five individuals – Drs. Larry Meskin, Dominick DePaola, Michael Alfano, Harold Slavkin, and Arthur Dugoni (the “Founders”) – were well positioned collectively as educators, researchers, policy advocates, professional association and federal program and corporate leaders. Accordingly, they began to address some of the challenging health problems, as well as to seize key opportunities, in the interest of improved health through the integration of oral and general health strategies.
The first issue emphasized by the group, early and effective oral cancer detection, is a good example of the manner in which the group addressed a public health issue to promote health. Armed with national data indicating that, although all dentists are formally trained in the performance of clinical examination to detect oral cancer, only a small percentage actually conduct these examinations regularly on their patients, the group used a variety of tools to begin to change the cancer diagnostic paradigm.
Slowly, these efforts, combined with those of many others, began to make a difference in the perception of dentists and patients about the importance of oral cancer detection. Importantly, subsequent surveys showed that the rates of oral cancer examinations increased significantly. Moreover, other individuals and groups, such as the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF), were launched around that time and a synergistic expansion of the importance of oral cancer detection ensued.
The success of the Oral Cancer campaign inspired the Founders to appreciate the catalytic power of their focus, and energized them to expand their efforts. The expansion led directly to the creation of the Santa Fe Group as several new thought-leaders – Drs. Dushanka Kleinman, Linda Niessen, Richard D’Eustachio and Mr. Steve Kess – joined the five original founders at Dr. Meskin’s home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, shortly before the turn of the century to plan the future of the group. During an intensive three-day working visit to Santa Fe, operating policies and by-laws were written and the mission of the newly minted Santa Fe Group (SFG) was refined.
Santa Fe Group members are interprofessional highly accomplished individuals that include dentists, physicians, nurses, public health advocates, business leaders, and scholars. We are organized as a not-for-profit corporation (501c3). Importantly, the SFG serves as a neutral convener of various thought-leaders and stakeholders who focus on the key evolving issues of the day in an invitation-only small meeting conducted in the French tradition of a salon.
In recent years, the Group has taken on a variety of critical issues including reform of dental education, the role of dental professionals in childhood obesity, the effect of periodontal care to reduce total healthcare costs, and most recently, the importance of adding a dental benefit to Medicare. As the issues have expanded, so have the approaches that the Group uses, which now include salons, white papers, a comprehensive website and expanded social media activity; editorials; consortium building, and direct engagement with federal entities including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Congressional Budget Office.
Members and Fellows
Michael C. Alfano, DMD, PhD (President)
A successful researcher, educator and business person, Dr. Alfano was also a founder of the Friends of NIDCR, Nexus Magazine, and the Santa Fe Group. He is recognized for insightful thinking, for innovative approaches to education and improving communications among the academic, government and business sectors.
A successful researcher, educator and business person, Dr. Alfano was also a founder of the Friends of NIDCR, Nexus Magazine, and the Santa Fe Group. He is recognized for insightful thinking, for innovative approaches to education and improving communications among the academic, government and business sectors.
Dominick DePaola, DDS, PhD
The Santa Fe Group fondly remembers Dr. Dominick DePaola, DDS, PhD. Dr. DePaola was a founding member of the Santa Fe Group. His passion for the organization’s mission and vision was key to the success and influence achieved throughout the years. Dr. DePaola served as Academic Dean of Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine. He previously served as President and CEO of The Forsyth Institute in Boston, MA. He was the first person elected by his peers to serve both as President of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) and the American Association for Dental Research (AADR). Earlier in his career he served as Dean of three of the nation’s dental schools, Dean of a Graduate School of biomedical Sciences, and President of two academic campuses. Dr. DePaola received his undergraduate degree from St. Francis College and his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from New York University. He completed a general dentistry internship at Beth Abraham Hospital in New York City and was subsequently awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has received numerous awards and honors, in the U.S. and abroad, including three honorary degrees, and both the Distinguished Service Award and the ADEA/Gies Award from ADEA. Dr. DePaola is widely regarded as a visionary leader in health professions education and a frequent consultant to non-profilt boards, the academic community, the public sector and private industry, including the NIH, American Dental Association and the Dental Trade Alliance.
Dr. DePaola was academic dean emeritus of Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, as well as former president and CEO, The Forsyth Institute. In Memoriam (1942-2013).
Arthur Dugoni, DDS, MSD
Arthur A. Dugoni, DDS, MSD, is dean emeritus and professor of orthodontics at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. He was dean of the School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific from 1978 to 2006. He is past president of the American Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association, the American Board of Orthodontics, and the American Dental Association Foundation.
Dr. Dugoni received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Dental Association and American Dental Education Association; Pierre Fauchard Academy Gold Medal; Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, from University of Detroit – Mercy and University of Louisville; and Honorary Doctorate of Dental Surgery Degree, Louisiana State University, Health Sciences Center. He is one of only thirty living member dentists throughout the world who have been elected to the List of Honour, the highest award the World Dental Federation (FDI) can bestow.
In 2004, University of the Pacific bestowed the unusual honor of renaming its School of Dentistry after Arthur A. Dugoni. In 2008, Dr. Dugoni received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2009, the American Dental Education Association, Gies Foundation, presented the William J. Gies Award to Dr. Dugoni for Outstanding Achievement, in support of global oral health and oral health education. The American Dental Association awarded Dr. Dugoni with Presidential Citations for outstanding contributions in 1989, 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Orthodontics at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
Lawrence Meskin, DDS, PhD, MPH
The Santa Fe Group fondly remembers Dr. Larry Meskin, DDS, PhD, MPH. Dr. Meskin was a founding member of the Santa Fe Group. His passion for the organization’s mission and vision was key to the success and influence achieved throughout the years. Dr. Meskin served as Professor and Director of Continuing Education at the University of Colorado, School of Dentistry. He previously served as Dean of University of Colorado, School of Dentistry. In addition to a distinguished career in dental education, he served for eleven years as Editor of the Journal of the American Dental Association. He was Chairman of the Editorial Board of Dental Abstracts and a contributor to a number of medical and dental journals. During his practice and academic tenure, he served on numerous committees and advisory boards, representing a variety of constituencies that all sought to improve the oral health of the public. His major interests resided in the areas of development of dental public policy, financing of dental education, and advocacy for the early detection of oral cancer. Dr. Meskin received many national and international awards and honors in recognition of his contributions to professional dentistry and the health of the public in life. Dr. Meskin was beloved for his willingness to give generously of his time and talent to mentor health professionals from around the globe. Most importantly he was devoted to his family, and he was a colleague, mentor and friend to many of us.
Dr. Meskin was Professor and Director of Continuing Education at the University of Colorado School of Dentistry, as well as former Dean of the School of Dentistry and Dean of the Graduate School and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research for the University of Colorado System. In Memoriam (1936-2007).
Harold Slavkin, DDS
Harold C. Slavkin, DDS, is presently Professor and Dean Emeritus at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California (USC). As of June 2014 he retired from USC after 46 years on the full-time academic faculty. Previously, he served as Dean of the dental school (2000-2008). From 1995-2000, he served as the Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) within the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. One of the major accomplishments of his tenure at NIDCR was the completion of the first Surgeon General’s Report to focus exclusively on craniofacial and oral health; Oral Health in America was completed in May 2000. Dr. Slavkin’s interests in health care policy, craniofacial genetics and developmental biology, biomaterials, and tissue engineering are reflected in 445 peer-reviewed scientific publications and 75 contributed chapters to various books in biomedical research. He is a Member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (now re-named National Academy of Medicine), a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a member of a number of scientific and dental organizations. He is the recipient of 10 honorary degrees, including Georgetown University, University of Connecticut, University of Maryland, Mercy Detroit University, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, University of Paris, University of Montreal, McGill University, A.T. Stills University, and Peking University. Presently is serves as a elected Board Member for the Los Angeles Trust for Children’s Health, the Center for Oral Health, and the Liberty Foundation — each focuses on issues of equity for comprehensive K-12 education and health care/wellness. He and his wife Lois live in Marina del Rey, California.
Dean Emeritus and Professor at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California (USC).
Stephen N. Abel, DDS, MSD
Dr. Abel served as principal investigator of several HRSA-sponsored grants addressing the training needs of dental students and improving access to care for special populations, including those with developmental disabilities, victims of domestic violence, and persons living with infectious diseases. He has developed programs addressing the oral health needs of underserved populations and supported initiatives whereby dentists can better integrate into primary care team models. He served on President Clinton’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS from 1996-2000.
Dr. Abel received his BA degree in biology from Harvard University and DDS from the New York University College of Dentistry. He completed a general dental practice residency at the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, New York, and was awarded an MS in periodontology from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.
Associate Dean for Student, Community and Professional Initiatives at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.
Teresa A. Dolan, DDS, MPH
Dr. Teresa Dolan serves as Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for Dentsply Sirona. In her role as Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Dolan provides strategic direction for global Dentsply Sirona professional education activities in accordance with ADA CERP standards and guidelines. She also is actively engaging with the various business units to support their unique clinical initiatives and strategies.
Dr. Dolan joined Dentsply Sirona after serving as professor and dean of the University of Florida College of Dentistry from 2003 until 2013. As chief academic officer, she managed a $62M operating budget, with $13.7M in research funding and revenue from more than 100,000 annual patient visits. Dr. Dolan joined the University of Florida in 1989 as the faculty director of the geriatric dentistry program, focusing research and publication in areas of geriatric dentistry: access to care and oral health (promotion and appropriate outcomes) for older populations. She is recognized for her contributions to the image of women in dentistry and as a champion for diversity.
Dr. Dolan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rutgers University; she earned a DDS degree from the University of Texas and an MPH degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Dental Health Services Research Scholar and completed a Veterans Administration Fellowship in Geriatric Dentistry.
Vice President & Chief Clinical Officer, Dentsply Sirona.
Peter A. DuBois, JD
Peter A. DuBois joined the California Dental Association as Executive Director on March 1, 2003. In addition to serving as CDA’s Executive Director, he also serves as CEO of its holding company, President and CEO of The Dentists Insurance Company and Vice Chair of the boards of CDA’s subsidiaries and charitable foundation. His preparation for these diverse responsibilities includes degrees from Amherst College and Harvard Law School, as well as experience in state and national public policy research and advocacy, high technology manufacturing, government service, and management of large academic medical and dental practices. Mr. DuBois has served on the ADA’s Hillenbrand Fellow Selection Committee. He is also a member of the executive committee and board of Californians Allied for Patient Protection. Before joining CDA, he was Executive Director of the UCSF Medical Group and the Physician Foundation at California Pacific Medical Center, a Sutter Health affiliate. In addition, he has served as Chief Executive Officer of University Children’s Medical Group at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, a USC affiliate. His volunteer interests have focused on service to vulnerable children and adolescents. He has served as a director and officer for several statewide child advocacy associations. His current service is with the California State University Foundation Board of Governors.
Executive Director for the California Dental Association.
Claude Earl Fox, MD, MPH
Claude Earl Fox, MD, MPH, serves as Professor Emeritus at the University of Miami and teaches in the Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Fox also served in 2011 on the Institute of Medicine study entitled “Advancing Oral Health in America” and finally as the Chair of the Statewide Florida Oral Health Coalition.
Dr. Fox worked in state and local public health for over 30 years. He served as State Health Officer of the State of Alabama for 6 years. In 1992, he transitioned to the federal United States Public Health Service as Regional Health Administrator in Philadelphia, Pa. He later assumed the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary of Health as director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Healthy People 2000) in the federal department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC. In 1997 he was appointed the Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration, where he made oral health one of his top priorities.
Following his federal career, Dr. Fox was appointed Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health and was the founding director of the Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute. From 2006 to 2012 he served as Research Professor at the University of Miami School of Medicine and as founding director of the Florida Institute for Health Innovation.
Dr. Fox received his doctorate of medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and his pediatric residency at the University of Mississippi and the Johns Hopkins Hospital, with his MPH from the University of North Carolina.
President, Med Plus Disability Evaluations, Inc and Professor Emeritus, Miller School of Medicine at University of Miami.
Ralph Fuccillo, MA (Secretary)
Mr. Fuccillo's work experience includes President of the DentaQuest Foundation and the DentaQuest Institute. He served as Founding Director of the US National Oral Health Alliance and is a Past-President of the Massachusetts Health Council and the AIDS Action Committee Board of Directors. Mr. Fuccillo was Vice Chair, Road Scholar; Board Member, MDS Foundation; Editorial Board Member, Preventing Chronic Disease. He was also Co-Chair of HHS Region I, Regional Health Equity Council.
Principal, Cambridge Concord Associates.
Raul Garcia, DMD, MMedSc
Raul I. Garcia, DMD, MMedSc, is Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. He is also the Director of the Northeast Center for Research to Evaluate and Eliminate Dental Disparities, established at BU in 2001 and supported by the National Institutes of Health. The Center’s aims are to identify the determinants of oral health disparities and to design, test and implement community-based interventions to eliminate oral health disparities, with a current focus on children and their caregivers. Since 1991, he has also been the Director of the VA Dental Longitudinal Study, a long-term study of aging and oral health based in Boston. He has investigated the role that oral conditions may play as risk factors for cardiovascular disease and other systemic health outcomes, and how oral conditions may affect health-related quality of life. In the area of health policy, his department at Boston University has implemented new programs to enhance access to oral health care by under-served populations and to recruit students from under-represented groups to enter the oral health professions. He is a past Chair, and current member, of the Massachusetts Oral Health Advocacy Task Force. Since 2006, he has been a member of the Board of Directors of Health Care for All, Inc., a Massachusetts state-wide consumer-based advocacy organization. In 2010, he was elected President of Health Care for All. He is also a Past-President of the Hispanic Dental Association, the national organization whose primary mission is to improve the oral health of Latinos in the U.S. From 2002 to 2010, he was a Board Member of the American Dental Association Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the ADA. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Dental Service of Massachusetts, Inc., a not-for-profit dental benefits company. Dr. Garcia is a 1981 graduate of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where he received the D.M.D. degree summa cum laude. He completed his specialty training in Periodontology in 1984, and went on to receive a Master of Medical Sciences degree from Harvard in 1985.
Professor and Chair, Department of Health Policy and Health Services Research at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine.
Ronald Inge, DDS
Ronald Inge, DDS, is an experienced senior level dental benefits executive with exposure to all aspects of the dental industry. He is chief dental officer/VP of professional services for Delta Dental Plan of Missouri, where his responsibilities include all aspects of development and management of the dental and vision networks. He is the primary liaison with dental and vision providers, including the development and implementation of clinical policies and procedures. He also provides oversight and guidance in utilization management and quality management.
Previously, Dr. Inge was chief dental officer for Western Dental Services and Brident Dental. He provided oversight and implementation of the Western Dental Quality Improvement Plan. He also served as vice president of professional services and dental director for Washington Dental Service.
As past executive director of the Institute for Oral Health, Dr. Inge championed efforts to publicize innovative solutions to challenges to improving oral health. He also served as an associate executive director, Division of Dental Practice, at the American Dental Association (ADA). Before joining the ADA, he was Aetna Dental’s chief dental officer, overseeing Aetna’s dental clinical quality and utilization management programs. He was instrumental in conveying the value of the medical/dental integration and driving initial validation studies related to the integration concept. He gained his knowledge of managed dental care while working in California. He served as the vice president of professional services and chief dental officer for PMI, the managed dental care division of Delta of CA. Before PMI, he served as the senior vice president of provider relations at DentiCare of California. He also has 15 years of private practice experience as a general dentist. He received his DDS from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a bachelor’s in human biology from Stanford University.
Chief Dental Officer/VP of Professional Services for Delta Dental Plan of Missouri.
Dr. Judith Jones is an Associate Dean for Academic Administration at the University of Detroit Mercy Corktown Campus School of Dentistry. She completed a Dentist-Geriatric Fellowship Program with the VA and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1985, and directed the VA Geriatric Fellowship Program, the Geriatric Dental Program, and served as chief of the Dental Service. Her honors and accolades include a VA Career Development Award in Health Services Research, the Distinguished Scientist Award in Geriatric Oral Research from the International Association for Dental Research, and the American Dental Education Association’s Gies Award for Outstanding Innovation for a Dental Educator.
Associate Dean for Academic Administration at the University of Detroit Mercy Corktown Campus School of Dentistry.
Steven William Kess, MBA (President-Elect)
Steven William Kess, M.B.A., is widely recognized for his critical insight and ability to synthesize public and private coalitions, as well as business and public policy issues. He is both an entrepreneur and an executive of Henry Schein, Inc., a Fortune 250 global health care distribution company, where he was instrumental in developing Henry Schein Cares, its corporate social responsibility program. Mr. Kess is the Founding President of the Henry Schein Cares Foundation. He serves on the Boards of The Forsyth Institute, Columbia University School of Dental Medicine, Tel Aviv University School of Dental Medicine, Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry, Alliance for Oral Health Across Borders, The University of Illinois at Chicago, and the American Medical Association Foundation. In addition, Mr. Kess has served on the strategic planning group for the American Veterinary Medical Association Vision 2020 and FDI’s Vision 2020 Program Task Force for developing its strategic plan and defining the explanation of oral health.
Mr. Kess has been married for 49 years and lives in New York City with his wife, Sharon. They have one daughter, Meredith Millen and two grandchildren, Benjamin and Alexandra.
Vice President, Global Professional Relations for Henry Schein, Inc.
Dushanka Kleinman, DDS, MScD
Dushanka V. Kleinman, D.D.S., MScD, is the Associate Dean for Research and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland College Park. Prior to this position Dr. Kleinman completed 28 years of government service, where she most recently served as Deputy Director, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, NIH, and Assistant Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. In 2006 she also completed a five-year term as the 15th Chief Dental Officer, USPHS. She earned a D.D.S. from the College of Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, interned at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics, and received an M.Sc.D. in dental public health from the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine at Boston University. Dr. Kleinman is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and has served as president of the board, the American Association of Women Dentists and the American Association of Dental Public Health.
Associate Dean for Research and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland College Park.
Nicholas G. Mosca, DDS, Dr.P.H. (Treasurer)
Dr. Mosca's work experience includes serving as State Dental Director and Director of the STD/HIV Office for the Mississippi State Department of Health. He also directed a hospital-based dental clinic that provided care to medically compromised patients at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He served as the Harry W. Bruce, Jr. Legislative Fellow for the American Dental Education Association and as a U.S. Public Health Service Primary Care Policy Fellow in 2005. Dr. Mosca is Past President for the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and has received President’s Awards from the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry.
Dr. Mosca received his dental degree from Loyola University School of Dentistry in 1987 and completed a General Practice Residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. In 2014, he received the Doctor of Public Health degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Quality Manager for CrescentCare, a Federally Qualified Health Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Wendy Mouradian, MD, MS
Wendy Mouradian, M.D., M.S., is Strategic Advisor for Regional Affairs and Professor Emerita of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Washington (UW) School of Dentistry, where she has also been appointed in the Schools of Medicine and Public Health. Formerly she was the Associate Dean for Regional Affairs and Acting Associate Dean of Academic Affairs. She played a major role in visioning the School’s recent curriculum innovations. She was also founding Director of the UW Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) program, a distributed model of dental education in rural and underserved areas of the state, and retains a consultancy role in that effort.
Dr. Mouradian has played a national role in calling attention to the importance of children’s oral health among medical and other health professionals, and has served as an oral health advisor to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). She organized and chaired The Face of a Child: Surgeon General’s Conference on Children and Oral Health in 2000 on behalf of NIDCR, and organized other key conferences on children’s oral health, including the AAP’s National Summit on Children’s Oral Health in 2008. She served as Special Advisor on Oral Health in Primary Care at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) from 2010-11, and worked with the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) defining oral health competencies for medical students. Dr. Mouradian has published on a variety of issues related to oral health, including ethical issues in oral health care, interprofessional education, oral health education for medical professionals and quality of life in youth with craniofacial conditions. Dr. Mouradian has also served as Director of the Craniofacial Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital and practiced general and developmental pediatrics. Dr. Mouradian is a graduate of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed her internship, residency, and fellowship in developmental pediatrics at the University of Washington. She has a certificate in Health Care Ethics from the University of Washington and was a fellow in the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program in 2006-7. In 2015, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry recognized Dr. Mouradian's work by bestowing the distinguished Public Health Service Award.
Dr. Mouradian acknowledges her debt to Santa Fe Group founding members, including the late Dr. Larry Meskin, for his invaluable contribution to the development of the RIDE program; and the late Dr. Dominick DePaola for his special mentorship in dental education.
Professor Emerita at the University of Washington (UW) School of Dentistry and Founding Director of the UW Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) program.
Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, MBA, EdD
Dr. Nadershahi has been involved in milestone projects such as the design and implementation of the school’s integrated curriculum, strategic planning and implementation, development of the school’s San Francisco facilities, and accreditation oversight. He also serves on University of the Pacific’s Council of Deans, a group of senior academic leaders from Pacific’s three Northern California campuses. Dr. Nadershahi has been actively involved in organized dentistry and dental education through leadership roles at the California Dental Association, American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, and other groups. He has been actively involved in leadership development, accreditation, national licensure, and the evolution of oral health education. He is a fellow of the American College of Dentists, Academy of Dentistry International, International College of Dentists, and Pierre Fauchard Academy.
Dr. Nadershahi earned his DDS degree in 1994 from the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, and completed GPR training at the Palo Alto VA Hospital. He also earned an MBA from Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business, as well as an EdD from the Benerd School of Education. He is active in alumni activities, and in 2013 the Dugoni School’s Alumni Association awarded him a Medallion of Distinction in recognition of his many years of service.
In addition to his teaching and administrative responsibilities, Dr. Nadershahi owned and operated a private general dental practice in San Rafael and San Anselmo, California.
Dean of University of the Pacific’s Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
Linda Niessen, DMD, MPH, MPP
Dr. Linda Niessen serves as Dean and Professor for Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine was founded in 1997 and was the first new dental school to open in 25 years in the US, the first dental school affiliated with an osteopathic medical school and the first private dental school in Florida. Since opening, NSU’s College of Dental Medicine has focused on innovative clinical education incorporating state of the science dental technologies into the dental curriculum. With academic excellence and student-centerness as core values, the College of Dental Medicine has focused on caring for underserved children and adults, medically complex and special needs populations.
Dr. Niessen is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and the American Board of Special Care Dentistry. As a clinician caring for medically complex and geriatric patients, Linda has authored numerous papers in peer reviewed journals and has been an invited speaker at meetings throughout the world on these topics. As a member of the faculty at Baylor College of Dentistry (now Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry), she launched a 2 minute dental news segment, “Dental Health Check” focusing on oral health. “Dental Health Check” aired weekly on WFAA-TV (Dallas’s ABC affiliate) for 15 years, providing oral health news for consumers.
Dr. Niessen has served as president of the Dallas County Dental Society, American Association of Women Dentists, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry. She currently serves as a member of the US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry. She previously served as Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer for DENTSPLY International, where she oversaw the global clinical education and professional relations activities for the $2.9 billion dental manufacturing company.
Linda received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of New Mexico. She received her dental degree (DMD cum laude), her Masters in Public Health degree (MPH) and her Masters in Public Policy degree (MPP), all from Harvard University. Linda’s passion lies in identifying programs, models and partnerships that improve the oral health of the public, whether through education, research, new technologies and/or community service programs.
Dean and Professor for NOVA Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Fotinos S. Panagakos, DMD, PhD
Fotinos S. Panagakos, DMD, PhD, is the associate dean for research at the West Virginia University School of Dentistry. Prior to joining West Virginia University he served as the VP for scientific and clinical affairs at Geistlich Pharma, and as global director of scientific affairs and research relations within the Research and Development division of Colgate-Palmolive Co. Dr. Panagakos also served for 14 years as a faculty member at New Jersey Dental School in a number of administrative positions, including group practice administrator, director of environmental safety, and associate dean of academic affairs.
Dr. Panagakos received his DMD from University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Dental School and his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from UMDNJ-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in 1992. In 1999, he received his masters in education from Seton Hall University, and in 2007 he received his Master of Business Administration from Lehigh University.
Associate Dean for Research, West Virginia University School of Dentistry.
Gary W. Price
Gary Price is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dental Trade Alliance, an association representing dental manufacturers, distributors and laboratories. Mr. Price also serves as an officer of Dental Trade Alliance Foundation that supports programs to broaden access to dental care. He has been an active liaison with many professional societies in the dental community and provided leadership for successful public oral health awareness campaigns sponsored by many professional associations and managed by the Advertising Council.
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Dental Trade Alliance.
Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN
Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, is President of The John A. Hartford Foundation in New York City, a private national philanthropy dedicated to improving the care of older adults. She previously served as Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences and prior as the Erline Perkins McGriff Professor of Nursing and founding Dean of the New York University College of Nursing.
Dr. Fulmer is nationally and internationally recognized as a leading expert in geriatrics and is best known for her research on the topic of elder abuse and neglect. Her clinical appointments have included the Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the NYU-Langone Medical Center. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine).
President of The John A. Hartford Foundation in New York City.
Kathryn A. Atchison, DDS, MPH
Dr. Kathryn A. Atchison holds a professor appointment in the UCLA School of Dentistry’s Division of Public Health and Community Dentistry and is jointly appointed in the UCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy Management. Dr. Atchison served UCLA as the Vice Provost, New Collaborative Initiatives for UCLA from 2011 to 2016 and as Vice Provost Intellectual Property and Industry Relations from 2005 to 2011. From 1998 to 2004 she served as the School of Dentistry’s Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Management and was the School of Dentistry’s Residency Director for Geriatric Dentistry from 2000 to 2006. Dr. Atchison is the recipient of the International Association for Dental Research’s 2008 Distinguished Scientist Award for Behavioral Sciences, Epidemiology and Health Services Research. During 2014-15, Dr. Atchison was on special assignment to the Office of the Director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) in the National Institutes of Health, where she helped develop strategies aimed at strengthening NIDCR’s ability to translate research discoveries into new tools and treatment.
She is a fellow of the American Association for Dental Research. In 2016, Dr. Atchison was invited to prepare a Commissioned Paper for the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Health Literacy entitled “Integrating Oral Health, Primary Care, and Health Literacy: Considerations for Health Professional Practice, Education and Policy."
Professor of Public Health and Community Dentistry, University of California at Los Angeles.
Judith Haber, PhD, APRN, BC, FAAN
Judith Haber, PhD, APRN, BC, FAAN, is the New York University (NYU) leader of interprofessional education and practice, with a special focus on oral-systemic health, collaborating with interprofessional partners at NYU College of Dentistry and School of Medicine, where she co-chairs the NYU Interprofessional Research, Education and Practice (IPREP) Steering Committee. She is the executive director of a national nursing oral health initiative, the Oral Health Nursing Education Practice (OHNEP) Program, funded by the DentaQuest and Arcora Foundations, and the principal investigator on the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)-funded program Teaching Oral-Systemic Health (TOSH). She is the lead author of the landmark 2015 AJPH publication Putting the Mouth Back in the Head: HEENT to HEENOT.
Dr. Haber is a member of the Steering Committee of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH) and was a member of the HRSA expert panel that developed the 2014 Interprofessional Oral Health Core Competencies for Primary Care Providers. She was a member of the technical expert panel that developed the 2015 Qualis Health White Paper, Oral Health: An Essential Component of Primary Care. She was a member of the Pacific Dental Services Oral-Systemic Health Advisory Board and the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) National Steering Committee on Shared Principles. She is a member of the DentaQuest Institute More Care Program National Advisory Committee and the New York State Nurse Family Partnership Advisory Board and was recently appointed to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) committee to document progress in oral health since the 2000 Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health. She received the 2017 Health Equity Hero Award from the DentaQuest Foundation.
Ursula Springer Leadership Professor in Nursing, New York University.
Ira B. Lamster, DDS, MMSc
Ira B. Lamster, DDS, MMSc, received his dental degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1977), his MMSc from Harvard University (1980), and a Certificate of Special Training in Periodontology from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (1980). Dr. Lamster served as dean of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine from 2001 to 2012 and senior vice president of Columbia University Medical Center from 2006 to 2012. From 2012 until 2017 he was a faculty member in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Dr. Lamster is currently dean emeritus, Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, as well as clinical professor at the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine.
Dr. Lamster’s research efforts have focused on diagnostic testing and risk assessment for periodontal disease, the interrelationship of periodontal disease and systemic disease, the oral healthcare needs of older adults, and the future of dental education and practice. His research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, corporations, foundations, and non-governmental organizations.
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Dental Medicine at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine
Patricia A. Braun MD, MPH
Patty Braun, MD, MPH, Senior Founders Fellow, is a Professor of Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Public Health and Dental Medicine at the University of Colorado. For more than 20 years, Dr. Braun has been serving the underserved Colorado community as a practicing pediatrician at Denver Health, a large safety-net healthcare system. Braun also holds a research faculty position at the Adult and Children’s Consortium for Research and Dissemination Science where she conducts oral health disparity research. Dr. Braun received her MD from the University of Colorado, completed her pediatric residency at Yale University and received her MPH from the Colorado School of Public Health. Dr. Braun serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Section of Oral Health Executive Committee. She has received a variety of awards including Denver Health’s Outstanding Teaching Award and the University of Colorado’s Excellence in Curriculum Development Award.
Professor of Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Public Health and Dental Medicine at the University of Colorado.
Elisa Chavez, DDS
Dr. Elisa Chavez, Senior Founders Fellow, is Associate Professor at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco. She obtained her dental degree at UCSF and completed a Fellowship in Geriatric Dentistry at the VA and University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She has developed and directed clinical rotations that expose students to the challenges seniors face in maintaining oral health and place them in practice settings they might not otherwise experience, so they too can develop the skills and desire to treat this growing population. Honors and awards include the ADEA/International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations Orna Shanley Prize for Enhancing Access to Care.
Associate Professor at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco.
Astha Singhal, DMD, PhD
Dr. Astha Singhal, DMD, PhD, is Assistant Professor in Health Policy and Health Services Research at Boston University School of Dental Medicine. She is a board-certified dental public health specialist. Her research interests include health policy analyses, outcomes research and economic evaluation. Her recent work focuses on examining state-level variation in adult dental benefits under Medicaid and the ACA on access to oral health. Honors and awards include the Aubrey Sheiham Award for Distinguished Research in Dental Public Health Sciences by IADR, the Leverett Graduate Student Merit Award by AAPHD and the Jong Memorial Post-professional Award by APHA for her work. Dr. Singhal obtained her dental degree from Manipal University, India; MPH from SUNY, Albany; followed by a residency in dental public health at NIDCR, NIH. She earned a PhD from University of Iowa in 2015.
Assistant Professor in Health Policy and Health Services Research at Boston University School of Dental Medicine.