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Dedication on Display at Global Oral Health Symposium 2014

May 12, 2014

Global Oral Health Symposium 2014The theme of UCSF Dentistry's Global Oral Health Symposium 2014 was "Global Oral Health: a Life Course Perspective", and was a kind of valedictory for Associate Dean for Global Oral Health John S. Greenspan, BSc, BDS, PhD, FRCPath who announced in April that he will retire and step down from his leadership of the Global Oral Health program at the UCSF School of Dentistry at the end of June.

UCSF Dentistry Dean John D.B. Featherstone, MSc, PhD thanked Dr. Greenspan in his remarks at the top of the afternoon, and once again at the close of the event in a surprise presentation of a plaque "for his service to global oral health, and in gratitude for his service as Associate Dean for Global Oral Health."

In between was an afternoon of engaging presentations by a range of panelists dedicated to global oral health, including one by longtime friend of the program Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, MD, MPH, Associate Clinical Professor, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, substituting at the last minute for a presenter who was unable to attend, and already on the program to receive a UCSF Faculty Award for Achievement in Global Oral Health.

Associate Dean Greenspan was effusive in his thanks to Dr. Sokal-Gutierrez for stepping up to the challenge of presenting on short notice and doing so superbly.

Symposium panelists and presentations included:

Paula Braveman, MD, MPH, Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine; Director, Center on Social Disparities in Health, School of Medicine, University of California San Francisco.  What is a Life Course Perspective on Health – and is it Relevant to Oral Health?

Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, MD, MPH, Associate Clinical Professor, UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program.  Observations from the Field: The Importance of Considering Life Course in Early Childhood Caries

W. Murray ThompsonBSc, BDS, MComDent [Otago], MA [Leeds], PhD [Adel], FICD, FADI, Professor of Dental Epidemiology and Public Health, The University of Otago, New Zealand.  Life Course Research in Action: The Dunedin Study

Late in the afternoon a lively panel discussion of the day's presenters was moderated by Stuart Gansky, MS, DrPH, John C. Greene Professor of Primary Care Dentistry, Division of Oral Epidemiology & Dental Public Health and Director, Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health (CAN DO).

Concluding the day, the second annual Global Oral Health Awards were given to one faculty member and one student "as a tribute to those working here on Global Oral Health and to encourage excellence in this emerging field."

2014 UCSF Global Oral Health Awards were presented to:

Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, MD, MPH: UCSF Faculty Award for Achievement in Global Oral Health
Wendy Yang, DDS, MS: UCSF Student Award for Achievement in Global Oral Health

Associate Dean Greenspan remarked that this fourth Global Oral Health Symposium "was the best of the four," adding that "we all learned so much, and I predict that several new projects will result from the contacts made."

Benjamin W. Chaffee, DDS, MPH, PhD, Division of Oral Epidemiology & Dental Public Health and the Center to Address Disparities in Children's Oral Health, suggested the theme of this year's event, and observed that "the enthusiasm from our students and residents was fantastic. Many of them have embraced global health as a critical component of their training, which bodes extremely well for UCSF’s future reach in advancing oral health on a broad scale."  Concluded Chaffee: "We owe a huge thanks to Dr. John Greenspan for his creativity and vision in building the Global Oral Health program at the School of Dentistry. The symposium has grown tremendously under his leadership."

Jaime Sepulveda, MD, MPH, DrSc, Executive Director, UCSF Global Health Sciences, offered an apt summary of the value of the annual symposium and of and the Global Oral Health program as a whole, in his welcoming remarks: "UCSF is a great place to make [the] interdisciplinary approach happen. Our expertise in basic science, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry and global health will allow us to reduce the burden of disease – not just here, but worldwide."

Pictured

Top to bottom: Karen Sokal-Gutierrez; panel discussion with (left to right) Karen Sokal-Gutierrez, W. Murray Thompson, Paula Braveman, and Stuart Gansky; Dean Featherstone presenting Associate Dean for Global Oral Health John S. Greenspan with a surprise plaque of appreciation; Dr. Deborah Greenspan poses a question to the panelists

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