Fall Brings Transition

Fall Brings Transition

Gary ChiodoAugust 14, 2013

Dear School of Dentistry community,

In a few short weeks, Phillip T. Marucha, D.M.D., Ph.D., will officially take the helm as the ninth dean of OHSU School of Dentistry. We welcome Dr. Marucha and look forward to working with him over the coming months to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Some important milestones have been achieved over the past 20 months, ones that I hope will set the stage for future accomplishment. Some of these achievements include:

*A major budget turnaround. I am happy to report that we ended our past fiscal year (July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013) significantly in the black. An increase in patients, leading to more patient revenue, as well as new research grants, have helped us to balance our budget nicely.

*A growing Faculty Dental Practice. Our 15-year-old Faculty Dental Practice is growing by leaps and bounds. We had a record year in patient appointments and, with strategic marketing to OHSU employees, have hundreds of new patients on the books. We hope to grow this practice further in the coming year.

*A General Practice Residency program with teeth. We have made enormous progress in getting our General Practice Residency (GPR) program – slated to begin in fall of 2015 – off the ground. With the hiring of GPR Director Sean Benson, D.D.S., and GPR Assistant Director Pat Hagerty, D.M.D. `85, GPR `86, we are well positioned to re-ignite this essential hospital-based program that will ensure our residents get the training needed to treat a growing population of Oregonians with special needs.

*A leading role in OHSU’s Interprofessional Initiative. OHSU School of Dentistry is a key player in the university’s new interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum, which kicks off this month with an informative seminar and social event designed to bring first-year dental, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy students together. Our own Jeffery Stewart, D.D.S., M.S., is the co-leader of the IPE Initiative and his role, along with our 2014 move to the OHSU/OUS Collaborative Life Sciences Building on South Waterfront, will ensure the dental school is at the forefront of IPE’s success.

*Seed funding for Research. Research is an important part of our mission, but with fewer funding dollars, we have had to get creative to help research projects that need a boost. By offering dental school researchers funding for preliminary studies, bridge funding, and/or core costs through the Dean’s Fund for Research Support, we have been able to support three new promising projects that otherwise may not have been realized. 

*Increased community outreach. We are rapidly moving forward with additional extramural patient care opportunities for dental students, with a Wallace Clinic (Gresham) relationship likely to be the first of several Federally Qualified Health Care Center (FQHC) sites. We are exploring additional clinic sites in Albany, La Grande, Baker City, and Port Orford, Wash. We have also extended our patient care reach beyond Oregon’s borders, funding faculty/student oral health care missions to Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Chwele, and The Philippines.

*Emphasis on diversity. As part of the OHSU and School of Dentistry Strategic Plans, we have formed a diversity committee, led by Russell Street Clinic Director Jay Anderson, D.M.D., M.H.S.A., with the goal of increasing diversity within the dental student body and faculty. Minority recruitment was strengthened this fall with the help of a scholarship from the Provost’s Office that enabled us to partially fund three underrepresented minorities in the Class of 2017.

It has been my distinct pleasure and genuine honor to have been offered the opportunity to lead the School of Dentistry for the past 20 months. As a Gresham, Ore., farm boy, my greatest desire was to be accepted into this dental school and I worked hard to realize that goal. Once here, I worked even harder to be successful. Being asked to serve as interim dean was beyond my imagination and I am deeply humbled. The highlight of every day for me has been in meeting with dental students, staff, faculty, and alumni, whether to troubleshoot, strategize, and collaborate on dentistry …. or to discuss cars. I look forward to continuing our conversations in the months to come.


Gary Chiodo Signature

Gary Chiodo, D.M.D. `78, F.A.C.D.
OHSU School of Dentistry Interim Dean