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COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

MOUTH WORD OF

SpRINg 2013


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COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

WORD OF

Word of Mouth is produced bi-annually by the Georgia Regents University College of Dental Medicine in collaboration with the Office of Communications and Marketing.

SPRING 2013

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DEpARtmENtS From the President ......... 2

Faculty Bites ....................... 7

News Bites ........................... 3

Development ................... 38

Student Voice .................... 5

Opened Wide THE COVER: Poster design by kruhu

Dean Connie Drisko, D.D.S. Provost Gretchen B. Caughman, Ph.D. GRU Senior Vice President, Office of Communications and Marketing David Brond

AUGUSTA

transcendental Works of Impression ..........................................9 Art Gallery Showcases Talent of Alumni, Dentists Statewide

A Decade of progress ...............................................................................16 Colleagues Reflect, Reminisce About Dean’s Tenure

A Culture of Research ..............................................................................22

College of Dental Medicine Communications Liaison Donna Bellino

Dental College Unveils Center to Conduct Clinical Studies

Editor Christine Hurley Deriso

teamwork ...........................................................................................................28

Art, Design and Production P.J. Hayes Design

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

Consolidation Q&A .....................................................................................8 Growth Paves Way for Top-50 Academic Health Center

Photographer Phil Jones Writers Christine Hurley Deriso LaTina Emerson Adrian Greer Georgia Regents University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran

IPE Prepares Students for Multidisciplinary Collaboration

pounding the pavement .........................................................................30 Students Set Standard in Half Marathon teachable moments ...................................................................................32 Distinguished Alumnus Revels in Helping ‘Those Coming Behind Us’

Dr. J. harold harrison, m.D. Education Commons .............34 Groundbreaking Ceremony Honors Alumnus

status, gender identity or expression, or sexual orientation in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with

meeting the Need ........................................................................................38 Donors Make Difference

Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other application statutes and university policies. ©2013 Georgia Regents University

gru.edu/dentalmedicine


FROm thE

DEAN

and Merritt Professor CONNIE DRISKO, DDS

Dear Readers,

It has been a privilege and a joy to serve as your Dean. Now . . . onto the next chapter!

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SPR I N G 2013

our building’s stunning new art gallery—the only one of its kind, to my knowledge, housed in a dental school. I am so gratified that, because of the generous donations to this gallery, beauty permeates the experience of everyone who enters our doors by showcasing our dental medicine family’s extraordinary talent. Read also about the passing of the man who set our college in motion—Dr. Victor E. Della-Giustina. When “Dr. Della” graced our city some 55 years ago, he wasted no time in upgrading standards of oral health care locally, statewide and beyond. Among his many other contributions, his efforts bequeathed us a gift that will serve mankind for generations to come: our College of Dental Medicine. I have been honored to play a role in perpetuating that legacy. And I am so honored to have served all of you. I will continue to serve you, of course, and offer my most heartfelt support and assistance in any endeavors that will advance our mission. n

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I have a confession to make: some of the pages of this edition of Word of Mouth are as much of a surprise to me as they are to you. I’m usually heavily involved in the production of this magazine, but one section in particular has been held close to the vest by the Word of Mouth staff. My understanding is that some members of our College of Dental Medicine community have shared their sentiments about my tenure as Dean and my imminent relinquishment of that title. Since you and I will be reading those sentiments at the same time, I can’t comment on them now. But may I take this opportunity to share my sentiments about you? What can I say about the students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends who have shared this priceless decade-long journey with me? You’ve been by my side every step of the way . . . sharing my vision for a remarkable new facility . . . fueling my passion for second-to-none education . . . bolstering my resolve for an unprecedented level of research . . . rolling up your sleeves to offer extraordinary service to the community . . . and the list goes on and on. Whatever I have offered you, I guarantee that you have returned the favor tenfold through your support, your dedication and your friendship. I am forever in your debt. And I will relish thumbing through the pages of this, the final edition of Word of Mouth under my deanship. Join me, won’t you, in reading about


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

FROm thE

pRESIDENt RICARDO AZZIZ, mD, mph, mBA

What does

progress

look like as it unfolds?

Professor, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Medicine and Medical Humanities; President, Georgia Regents University;

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

CEO, Georgia Regents Health System

This is our story. Thank you for sharing it with the world.

Does it look neat, tidy, staid and predictable? Of course not. Those adjectives don’t describe progress; they describe the status quo. Progress, on the other hand, is dynamic, fluid, bold and energetic. The process is sometimes messy, occasionally jolting and often surprising—yet eminently worthwhile. For the past few months, we members of the Georgia Regents University community have been the planners, designers, architects and construction workers of one of the most gleaming examples of progress in the history of higher education: consolidating two esteemed universities and creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Countless housekeeping decisions have characterized this undertaking—decisions related to nomenclature, accreditation, organization and myriad related details. This groundwork, of course, has been vital—but the real work, the real challenge, the real fun begins now. Now that the soil has been cultivated, our work begins in earnest: excellence in teaching, research and service. I am confident that our collective investment in the future of Georgia Regents University will be tremendous—a higherquality university for our community, a greater portfolio of offerings for our students and added collaborative opportunities for our faculty and staff, all built on the stellar foundation of the universities that came together to make this happen. In essence, by 2030, we will have a great university. That is the power of our consolidation. That is progress. As representatives of the state’s sole college of dental medicine, we need your help to tell others about this new and dynamic research university. Please spread the word that we are celebrating our proud and distinguished history to pave the way for an even brighter future. We are witnessing progress in the making. We are creating it. n

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NEWS BItES

RECOgNItION Seniors Jamie Kim, James maina, tyler Rathburn, Andrew Shoemaker and Ivan Stojanov have been inducted into the new GRU Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Charlina hollie-Blackwood, a junior dental hygiene student, has received the Women in Philanthropy’s 2012-13 Dr. Connie Drisko Scholarship. n

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ChRIStmAS ChEER Dr. Kevin Frazier, GRU Vice President for Student Services and Development, organized a group of College of Dental Medicine volunteers this past December to contribute to Operation Christmas Child, the world’s largest children’s Christmas program. Each volunteer compiles a shoebox of small, thoughtful gifts for a child in need. Millions of shoeboxes have been delivered to children worldwide in the past two decades through the program. n

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patients served by GRU dental students. Sponsor contributions enabled the raffle of a Sonicare toothbrush, two curing lights and many local gift cards and certificates to dental students. A silent art auction with paintings donated by senior Ben Popple raised an additional $250. n

ORAl SCREENINg The Department of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences hosted a free oral cancer screening April 17 in the Oral Medicine Clinic. The event, held in recognition of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, served all members of the GRU community. n

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WINE-tAStINg Nearly 200 dental students, faculty and staff raised approximately $2,000 for the CDM Give a Smile organization during a March 4 wine-tasting at Augusta’s Crums on Central restaurant. The organization helps offset expenses for needy


Students from the Colleges of Dental Medicine and Allied Health Sciences provided free dental treatment to more than 100 students from Collins Elementary School on Feb. 1 as part of the American Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile Day. n

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

GIVE KIDS A SMILE DAY

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StuDENt VOICE BRIAN SEllERS, ClASS OF ’15

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In everything we do, we are creating experiences and memories by which we will gauge our future accomplishments and failures. These reference points will determine our response to stress, our feelings of growth, and ideally our occasional comic relief as well. The easiest way to prove this theory is to look at our education progression. In elementary school, we were allowed nap time, snacks and recess. The teacher would take our hand at the doorway and escort us to the play area. As the day went on, we had lessons in the form of song and dance. By midafternoon, we retreated to homemade cookies and more playtime. Our biggest worry was having to share our toys. Then we moved to middle school. No naps. No snacks. No chaperones at the door. Next, we were shuffled along to high school, where everything changed. We were responsible for keeping up with our own work and reading outside of class. We wrote papers and did algebra and calculus. We were pressured about the future. What happened to the cookies? All we had known up to now was nothing like this. Even in our undergraduate studies, the changes kept coming. Now, we were required to work on our own—or worse, in small groups. Assignments had deadlines. We managed our own course loads. Did these people not know me? Yet nothing could possibly compare to our next adventure: dental school. We began receiving information not from a baby spoon, but from a fire hydrant. We left the comfort of two-a-day classes and added a plethora of lecture and labs. Our quizzes became tests, our tests became finals and our finals became ridiculous! Our point of reference has changed forever. No longer do we expect cookies, songs and dance. We have changed our requirements to silence and prayer for no Monday tests. So where is the feel-good portion of this essay, you ask? Well here it is: We survived. What seemed overwhelming in high school is now seen as the glory days. Our struggle in college algebra is a faint memory overshadowed by memories of fraternity parties and lost loves. Can you imagine how it will be when we move to the next stage of life? Surely we will get that break they keep dangling in front of us. But I fear that dream is a false hope as well. Our struggles will change from studies to business plans, from labs to offices. But our reference point is now higher than ever. We will not be as upset with the normal day-today struggles because we have survived the high-paced stress test of dental school. Someday, we will look back at this new reference point in one of two ways: We will realize how much we can truly accomplish or long for days that seem simpler. So embrace these new points of reference; they are the foundations your life will be built on. And always keep in mind: It is only bad until you have seen worse; you are only poor until you become poorer; and most of all . . . this, too, shall pass. n

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Life is about creating points of reference.

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this, too, Shall pass


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

Remembering ‘Dr. Della’ Co-Founder of Dental College Dies at 94

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

Editor’s note: This article is partially excerpted from The Augusta Chronicle.

DR. VICtOR E. DEllA-gIuStINA, co-founder of the College of Dental Medicine, died March 9 at age 94. A native of Springfield, Mass., he fought in World War II, earning five Battle Stars and the Bronze Star. He then earned his dental degree from Loyola University and moved to Augusta in 1957 as the city’s Dental Health Director. He was responsible for having fluoride added to the Augusta area’s water supply and adding mouth guards to football players’ protective gear. “Think of all the teeth he has saved,” said Dean Connie Drisko. But his highest priority was establishing a dental school—a goal that took on a sense of urgency as he assessed “the deplorable dental condition of schoolchildren,” according to Drisko. He met with the then-President of the Medical College of Georgia (now Georgia Regents University) and legislators to push for formation of the school. The school—the MCG School of Dentistry (now the Georgia Regents University College of Dental Medicine)—was authorized by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in 1965 and funded by the Georgia Legislature in 1966. “Without your major initial and continuing efforts, there would have been no history to record,” founding Dean Judson C. Hickey wrote in an inscription to Della-Guistina’s copy of a history of the school. “Thank you so much for all you have done for one school since then.” Known as “Dr. Della,” he served as an Associate Professor of Community Dentistry in addition to his public health activities. “He represents the epitome of what public health and dental health, oral health is all about,” Drisko said. “At the same time, he was a terrific role model for both our students and for the faculty because he was so very dedicated to public health and community health and really set a high-bar example for both the students and the faculty when he was associated with this school.” He went on to serve as a legislator, pioneering the law requiring identification of all dentures. He was a longtime volunteer at the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home, where the program “Dentists for Della” was created in his honor. The program provides monthly dental cleaning to veterans. Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Ellen, four children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. n

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F A C u lt Y B I t E S

DR. gARY E. ChIKE has joined the faculty as Assistant Professor of Oral Rehabilitation. He worked for several years in private practice and public health before joining GRU. DRS. KAthARINE CIARROCCA and JAN mItChEll have been accepted into the GRU Academy

DR. ChRIStOphER CutlER, Chair of Periodontics, traveled to Dubai, U.A.E. in March to review the postgraduate periodontics residency program at Dubai School of Dental Medicine-Dubai Healthcare City.

DR. ZOYA B. KuRAgO has joined the faculty as an Associate Professor of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences. She comes to GRU from the New York University College of Dentistry, where she served as an Assistant Professor.

DR. SCOtt DEROSSI, Chair of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences, recently completed the American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute course. He also recently completed the American Dental Association Evidence-Based Dentistry Program at Forsyth Institute in Boston. DR. mOhAmmED ElSAlANtY, Associate Professor of Oral Biology, has received an Extramural Success Award to study acute removal of bisphosphonate from bone. DRS. AllISON huNtER and SAJIthA KAlAthINgAl, Assistant Professor and Associate

of Educators, a university-wide organization of distinguished educators who have demonstrated sustained excellence in educational activities and scholarship. Ciarrocca, who recently received a grant funding new equipment

Professor of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences, respectively,

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DR. mARK E. pEACOCK has joined the faculty as an Associate Professor of Periodontics. He is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and previously practiced at the Wheeler Correctional Facility. DR. StEVEN ROBERtS, Associate Professor of Endodontics, discussed his field of dentistry on a March 7 segment of the radio program, The Voice 1550 AM. DR. KOBI StERN, Assistant Professor of Periodontics, has been elected a Fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy. n

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DR. RIChARD CAllAN, Chair of General Dentistry, has been named a Fellow of the American College of Dentists.

presented a poster titled “WebBased Mobile Application to Learn Anatomical Landmarks on a Panoramic Radiograph” at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofaical Radiology in Savannah.

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DR. BRIAN BERgERON has been named Program Director of the Advanced Education in Endodontics Program. He is certified by the American Board of Endodontics.

for the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home, is an Assistant Professor of General Dentistry, Oral Rehabilitation and Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences. Mitchell is an Associate Professor of Oral Rehabilitation.

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DR. IRWIN l. (lEON) ARONSON, a clinical faculty member in the Department of Orthodontics, has been elected President of the College at Large of the International College of Dentists, the world’s oldest and largest dental honorary society. His tenure began Jan. 1.


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

Consolidation Q&A Growth Paves Way for

tOp-50 Academic health

Q:

WHy DiD GEoRGiA HEALTH SCiEnCES UnivERSiTy ConSoLiDATE WiTH AUGUSTA STATE UnivERSiTy?

A:

Consolidation was based on a recommendation in January 2012 by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Consolidation, considered a bold and significant step in vaulting the university to a top-50 academic health center nationwide, became official following approval from the University System of Georgia Board of Regents this past January.

Q:

A:

AUGUSTA

www.asughsu.org or www.gru.edu.

Center

WHAT iS THE ACCREDiTATion STATUS of THE nEWLy ConSoLiDATED UnivERSiTy?

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

For more information, visit

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, GRU’s accrediting body, approved the consolidation after reviewing a prospectus describing the consolidated university’s major features. GRU submitted the prospectus to SACS last October. The accrediting body will make a site visit in the fall to ensure the new university is complying with accreditation principles and standards. Prior to the visit, university officials will produce a self-study, or an assessment of the school and its operations.

Q:

HoW DoES THE ConSoLiDATED UnivERSiTy’S miSSion DiffER fRom THAT of GEoRGiA HEALTH SCiEnCES UnivERSiTy?

A:

The consolidated university’s mission*, approved by the Board of Regents in May 2012, speaks to the institution’s enhanced stature as one of four comprehensive research universities in Georgia with a full complement of undergraduate and graduate offerings.

Q:

HoW WiLL ConSoLiDATion BEnEfiT THE CoLLEGE of DEnTAL mEDiCinE?

A:

With nine colleges, nearly 10,000 students, more than 650 acres of campus, nearly 150 buildings, more than 1,000 fulltime faculty and a $1.4 billion economic impact, every individual segment of campus will benefit from the institution’s vastly increased scope and breadth. In addition to enhanced national and global renown, consolidation will offer countless new benefits in education, multidisciplinary research, campus activities and pipeline opportunities, to cite just a few advantages.

Q:

WHAT UnivERSiTy nAmE WiLL BE on STUDEnTS’ DiPLomAS?

A:

All May 2013 graduates will receive the official Georgia Regents University diploma. Graduates who matriculated to Georgia Health Sciences University will have the option of a commemorative diploma from GHSU.

Q:

WiLL THE UnivERSiTy’S HEALTH SCiEnCES AGEnDA CHAnGE?

A:

Yes, but only for the better. Even before consolidation, steps were underway to significantly increase the class size of both the medical and dental medicine colleges. As the state’s only dental school, the GRU College of Dental Medicine already trains one in four Georgia dentists, and the percentage will rise as the class size grows to 100 by the year 2016. Support for the health sciences mission is clear through initiatives such as construction (the state-of-the-art College of Dental Medicine building will soon be supplemented with the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons), growth of medical partner and satellite campuses and Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s vision of a hub-and-spoke model for health professions, with GRU serving as the hub. n

*Mission of Georgia Regents University: To provide leadership and excellence in teaching, discovery, clinical care and service as a student-centered comprehensive research university and academic health center with a wide range of programs from learning assistance through postdoctoral studies.

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PHOTOS COURTESY SHANNON RIKARD

ARt gAllERY WORD OF

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Showcases Talent of Alumni, Dentists Statewide

BY LaTinA EmERSon

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COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE AUGUSTA GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

An eight-foot wooden carving of a ship by Dr. Travis Smith, Assistant Professor of General Dentistry, won a statewide competition.

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AS thE StAtE’S only dental school, the College of Dental medicine now has a new addition to its list of

DEAN CONNIE DRISKO AND gRu pRESIDENt RICARDO AZZIZ

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“To the best of our knowledge, ours is the only dental school nationwide to house a large art gallery,” said Dean Connie Drisko. More than 175 pieces of art, including paintings, photography, wood work, blown glass and metal sculptures, line the walls of the dental building’s gallery, named Transcendental: Works of Impression. The art was donated by alumni, dentists statewide and even GRU President Ricardo Azziz. Some of the donated pieces are museum quality, as well as limited editions, artist prints and autographed copies. “Dr. Azziz is really a gifted artist, and he was very pleased to have donated one of the first pieces that we had,” Drisko said. “The seed was planted in my mind about 10 years ago when I visited Eastman Dental Clinic’s new dental building in London. They had been told they must set aside a percentage of the cost of the building to spend on art.” Drisko and her staff, enthusiastic participants of GRU’s nationally renowned patient- and family-centered care philosophy, incorporated patient feedback into the design of the new building, including parking, furniture and wayfinding. “One thing they told us was they didn’t want it to look like an institution. They wanted it to be warm, colorful, soft, welcoming and inviting,” Drisko said. “We intentionally picked neutral colors so that we could put any kind of art that we wanted on the wall.” They appointed a committee soliciting art donations from Georgia dentists, alumni and friends. The college has been collecting art over the last 18 months. “We were particularly interested in dentists who were artists giving us an

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accomplishments: an art gallery.


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GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY AUGUSTA

COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE


example of their work. We have two dozen or more pieces where the dentists were actually the artists, some of whom have given up dentistry and are doing their art now,” Drisko said. “That’s not too surprising, because dentistry is very much an art and a science. It’s about color, shape, aesthetics and dexterity. So people who have that eye often also have artistic ability, either in visual arts or performing arts.” Other donations came from those sharing works from their own collections. The college hosted a reception March 1 for the donors, with a brochure identifying the location and artist for each piece. “We tried to put most of the art in the public spaces where anybody could walk around and look at them,” Drisko said. Drisko invites alumni and other members of the public to visit the gallery, and she’s always in search of new additions. n

To donate a piece, contact the Dean’s Office at 706-721-2117

building, a chandelier in the lobby, was created by Augusta artist Paul Pearman. Drisko had seen his mosaic tile work on a friend’s fireplace and contacted Pearman about creating a piece for the new building. Pearman created the 26-foot chandelier, housed in the atrium, to complement the overall building design. Pearman’s mosaic piece has received an international award.

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The first piece of art in the

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or cdm_deans_office@gru.edu.


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GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY AUGUSTA

COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE


A RIpplE EFFECt ONE pIECE of artwork on display in the College of Dental Medicine is a sculpture called “Ripples” by Dr. L. Travis Smith, Assistant Professor of General Dentistry. The sculpture, gifted by the Dental Faculty Practice Group to Dean Connie Drisko, includes a dragonfly and lotus perched on lily pads, all floating on a body of water with ripples surrounding them. “Each has symbolism and meaning,” Smith explains. For instance, the dragonfly belongs to the family Odonata, Greek for “tooth.” Also, “the dragonfly symbolizes change,” he said. “The association of dragonflies with water also represents an act of going beyond what is on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life.” The lotus, he notes, “is pertinent to [Dean Connie] Drisko’s tenure because it represents rebirth and creation. Egyptian scholars observed that in the nighttime the lotus closed its blossom and sank into the water, and came up with a fresh and different appearance the next morning.” The lotus is also associated with death, allowing for resurrection—such SPR I N G 2013

as the opportunity for growth and new life that emerged when the college outgrew its old building and created a

wrote in a brochure accompanying his sculpture, “you came as a dragonfly: the representative of change, lit upon the lily pads of conscious thought, unencumbered by the past, and led us to this beautiful lotus of the new College of Dental Medicine building. You have touched our lives and the lives of millions even into the future generations and we are forever grateful.” n

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Discoveries in Progress

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“Connie,” Smith

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new one.


GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY AUGUSTA

COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

A Decade of PRoGRESS

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Colleagues Reflect, Reminisce About Dean’s Tenure WhEN DEAN CONNIE l. DRISKO leaves her leadership role in July, she will pass down a brilliantly bright torch to her SPR I N G 2013

successor. highlights of her tenure, which began when she became the third Dean of the gRu College of Dental medicine in

> Helped lay groundwork and obtain funding for J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons, which will be shared with the Medical College of Georgia > Oversaw construction of state-of-the-art College of Dental Medicine clinical facility, which opened in 2011 > Obtained college’s full accreditation twice by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association

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> Oversaw growth expected to accommodate 400 students, 78 residents and 100-plus faculty by 2016

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2003, include:


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

> Received national renown for student diversity programs that prepare underrepresented minority and low-income students for dental practice > Oversaw consistently exemplary National Board scores and retention, on-time graduation and licensure exam pass rates > Established Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency program > Opened Interdisciplinary Center for Esthetic and Implant Dentistry > Established Center for Clinical and Translational Research > Opened art gallery, “Transcendental: Works of Impression,� in College of Dental Medicine clinical facility > Expanded global outreach to China, Peru, France, Italy and Africa > Extended student rotations and patient care regional outreach to 34 sites in 15 Georgia counties > Increased average annual faculty and student research by 40-plus percent CAREER mIlEStONES > Sixteen-year career as dental hygienist before earning dental degree

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> 1980 graduate, University of MissouriKansas City School of Dentistry

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

> General Practice Dentistry Certification, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Kansas City, Mo. > Periodontics Certification, Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Leavenworth, Kan.

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Caption: Dean Connie L. Drisko (front row in blue jacket) with her faculty.

pREVIOuS pOSItIONS

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Clinical Dental Hygiene Instructor, Tyler Junior College and University of Oklahoma; Associate Professor of Periodontics, University of Missouri-Kansas City; Associate Dean for Research, Associate Dean for Academic Planning and Faculty Development, Director of Dental Education and Research Center, University of Louisville School of Dentistry; former Mentor, American Dental Education Association; former Chair, American Dental Education Association Women’s Advisory and Legislative Advisory Committees

DIplOmAtE American Board of Periodontology FEllOW American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, Pierre Fauchard Academy, Executive Leadership Academic Medicine Program > 2011 Woman of Distinction Award, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia > 2013 Commencement Speaker, Caruth School of Dental Hygiene n

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Omicron Kappa Upsilon, Dean’s Council, Gies Board of Trustees, ADEA Leadership Institute Faculty, American Dental Association Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations, Georgia Society of Periodontists Executive Committee, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and CSRA Board of Directors

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mEmBER


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

...

DEAN CONNIE DRISKO “Dr. Drisko’s service has been exemplary by any standard, and her leadership supporting the development and construction of a state-of-the-art new building will ensure her legacy for generations to come.” GRU PRESiDEnT RiCARDo Azziz

“I admire and respect our Dean. She is a self-determined sovereign moral agent who gracefully made a plan, visualized her achievement, worked very hard and defined her end point. We have a beautiful dental school and a promising future, thanks to her extraordinary dedication. No better role model than that!” DR. JAmIE A. DE StEFANO, ASSIStANt pROFESSOR OF pERIODONtICS

Editor’s note: Following are thoughts, observations and

“Connie is the most effective Dean that I have ever had the pleasure of working for. She is warm, caring and generous of spirit, all the while being a decisive leader.” DR. ChRIStOphER W. CutlER, pROFESSOR AND ChAIR OF pERIODONtICS

“Dean Drisko was at the helm during a historic time for dentistry in Georgia. She had a mission and she accomplished it. I am happy that I was on the team to participate and witness this momentous accomplishment.” DR. lEON ARONSON, ASSOCIAtE pROFESSOR OF ORthODONtICS AND pRESIDENt, INtERNAtIONAl COllEgE OF DENtIStS

“I was on the Dean’s Search Committee when we recruited Dr. Drisko. In my opinion, she was the right person at the right time for the right job.  She was largely responsible for persuading [former MCG President Daniel] Rahn, the Georgia Regents and the legislature that we needed a new larger College of Dental Medicine to support training more dentists to deliver dental care to Georgians.  We will always be indebted to her for giving so much of her time to serving the CDM.  Thanks, Connie.” DR. DAVID pAShlEY, EmERItuS REgENtS

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

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pROFESSOR OF ORAl BIOlOgY

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anecdotes about College of Dental Medicine Dean Connie Drisko as she prepares to conclude her tenure as Dean, a position she has held since 2003.

“I was attracted to GRU because of Dr. Drisko’s leadership and her vision for the dental school. The results are beyond my most optimistic expectations. Dr. Drisko is leaving an exceptional legacy with the most dedicated faculty team and staff who provide an absolute first-class education to the dental students, and we now have the most beautiful dental school facility in the country.” DR. gERARD J. ChIChE, thOmAS p. hINmAN ENDOWED ChAIR OF REStORAtIVE DENtIStRY AND DIRECtOR, CENtER FOR ESthEtIC AND ImplANt DENtIStRY

“Dr. Drisko is one of those very rare leaders with the ability to balance the needs of the individual with the mission and goals of a large organization. Her energy and selfless concern for others are quickly evident to everyone she meets. In this often pessimistic world, her many accomplishments are solid proof that a positive approach to life and our fellow human beings is still valid and very worthwhile.”

“I am proud of being present during the development of the old and the new dental schools. Dr. Drisko’s leadership in developing a second-tonone new school is deeply appreciated. Her legacy will remain forever.”

“Dr. Drisko is a powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm!”

DR. phIlIp S. BAKER, DIRECtOR, ADVANCED

DR. mOhAmED ShARAWY,

DIAgNOStIC SCIENCES

EDuCAtION pROgRAm IN pROSthODONtICS AND

pROFESSOR OF ORAl BIOlOgY

DR. SAJIthA KAlAthINgAl, ASSOCIAtE pROFESSOR OF ORAl hEAlth AND

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WORD OF

REFlECtIONS ON A DEAN

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DIplOmAtE, AmERICAN BOARD OF pROSthODONtICS


BY LaTinA EmERSon

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

A Culture of Research

DR. CRIStIANO SuSIN, DIRECtOR, CENtER FOR ClINICAl & tRANSlAtIONAl CRANIOFACIAl RESEARCh

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CENTER FOR

CLINICAL & TRANSLATIONAL CRANIOFACIAL RESEARCH

The studies, whose funding sources include the national institutes of Health, private companies and intramural grants, are:

necessary approvals for studies conducted within the research center.” The center was the brainchild of Dean Connie Drisko, who included it in the design of the dental building. Previously, researchers in the College of Dental Medicine conducted studies in their spare time and in various locations. The center has formalized the process by centralizing all clinical research and offering researchers administrative support. For instance, the center assists researchers with administrative details such as Institutional Review Board submission; develops cost analysis for the clinic operations; supports budget negotiations with sponsors and principal investigators; and aids with subject recruitment, patient care and reporting, Susin said. The goal, he said, is to create a culture of research, identifying new research areas, funding and sponsors. “Unless you have a culture of research, it’s really hard for us to do clinical research. We

have to be able to attract the best and the brightest. We have to be able to give them the time, right environment and appropriate incentives so that they thrive doing research,” Susin said. Currently, the center has four clinical studies, and Susin hopes to add more and diversify the areas of research in the future. The ongoing studies are exploring dry mouth, oral health/systemic health and peri-implantitis, with several being the first of their kind. “We are fortunate to have all these studies going on already in such a short period of time. Most research centers start with nothing. We started with four,” Susin said. “Clinical research, or what we call nowadays translational research, is one of the most important things if you want to bring all the basic knowledge that we are trying to create in the lab to the patient. The only way you can really learn the true impact of your discoveries is by conducting clinical and translational research.”

GREEn TEA LozEnGES foR THE mAnAGEmEnT of DRy moUTH—Dr. Scott DeRossi, Chair of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences PERiPHERAL BLooD DEnDRiTiC CELLS AnD PERioDonTiTiS—Dr. Christopher Cutler, Chair of Periodontics mULTi-CEnTER PHASE 3 TRiAL foR SUBJECTS WiTH PERi-imPLAnTiTiS—Dr. Ulf Wikesjö, Interim Associate Dean of Research and Interim Chair of Oral Biology RiSk fACToRS foR PERi-imPLAnTiTiS—Dr. Ranjitha Krishna, Assistant Professor of Periodontics

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Medicine has unveiled a Center for Clinical & Translational Craniofacial Research to advance its growing emphasis on research. The center will bridge basic science research and clinical applications, said Dr. Cristiano Susin, Director. The 3,500-squarefoot facility on the fourth floor of the College of Dental Medicine building contains four dental operatories, two surgical suites, a small dental laboratory, a phlebotomy room, interview rooms, processing/secure storage space for biological samples and files, a large reception area and offices. “Our mission is to promote and support clinical and translational research within the College of Dental Medicine,” Susin said. “We strive to provide the ideal environment for investigators to perform hypothesis-generating studies and clinical trials testing new therapies. We help researchers and staff to design clinical studies and obtain the

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thE COllEgE of Dental

SPR I N G 2013

Unveiled


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE AUGUSTA GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

gREEN tEA lOZENgES FOR thE mANAgEmENt OF DRY mOuth DEROSSI began his study two years ago in partnership with Dr. Stephen Hsu, Professor of Oral Biology. DeRossi developed a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, funded by the International Association of Dental Research’s Innovation in Oral Care Award, one of three international awards sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline. This study is the only one of its kind in the United States, he said. “Our study is really true translational research, in my opinion. It started out as scientific discoveries by Dr. Hsu in oral biology at a molecular and cellular level,” DeRossi said. Hsu found that the salivary glands of laboratory animals with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects the salivary glands, showed reduced antioxidant capacity and oxidative damage. “Our assumption was that this oxidative damage reduced antioxidant capacity, which is associated with the inflammation that we see in patients with dry mouth,” DeRossi said. “Our group was able to develop an all-natural formulation of a product that includes xylitol and green tea polyphenols to determine how effective this would be to treat patients with dry mouth.” The study has enrolled 50 patients with dry mouth and will enroll 10 more. Patients participate for eight weeks, visiting the research center four times for oral exams and saliva collection. The patients also consume lozenges with green tea polyphenols four to six times a day. “We’re following them to determine if they get increased function of their glands and if they have improved quality of life,” DeRossi said. Dry mouth affects 65 percent of the elderly in the United States. Causes include medications, cancer therapies, Sjogren’s syndrome and other diseases such as diabetes, liver disease and kidney disease.

DR. SCOtt DEROSSI, ChAIR OF ORAl hEAlth AND DIAgNOStIC SCIENCES

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DR. ChRIStOphER CutlER, ChAIR OF pERIODONtICS

patients with periodontitis have an abnormally high number of dendritic cells, or white blood cells that signal the immune system of danger—a phenomenon he documented in a recent edition of the “Journal of Immunology.” Funded by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the study will include 25 participants with periodontitis. Half will receive a combination of short-term, high-dosage antibiotics and the others will be observed as a control group. Cutler hopes the antibiotics will normalize the volume of dendritic cells, particularly after a deep dental cleaning. Assisted by several periodontal graduate students and research assistant Angela Steen, he will continue

collecting data and samples for one to two years. “This is definitely a unique study,” Cutler said. “Other studies have looked at antibiotics and their effects on periodontal disease. This is the first study that has specifically looked at the ability of antibiotics to prevent a response of dendritic cells in the bloodstream. It may offer clues on how to prevent other diseases involving the loss of homeostasis of the dendritic cells. If these cells overly respond, they can cause autoimmune disease.” His study also has implications for heart disease. Cutler hypothesizes that bacteria in the bloodstream cause the dendritic cells to multiply abnormally and travel to places where they shouldn’t, such as the linings of the coronary arteries rather

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than lymph nodes. “There have been numerous epidemiologic studies that have shown that if you have chronic periodontitis, you’re at about a 30 percent higher risk of having cardiovascular disease,” Cutler said. “The most biologically plausible mechanism based on multiple clinical trials is bacteremia. When you have periodontal disease, or gum disease, small numbers of bacteria get into your bloodstream on a daily basis.” Bacteria have been found in the coronary artery plaques in people who have died from heart attacks. These patients also had periodontal disease, he said. Cutler is also collaborating with researchers at Boston University on a similar study in mice.

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CutlER is determining why

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pERIphERAl BlOOD DENDRItIC CEllS AND pERIODONtItIS


WIKESJö’S WORK—part of an international multi-center study--is evaluating whether a local antimicrobial delivery system, already used to treat inflammation around teeth, can remedy inflammation around dental implants. The powdery, antimicrobial product is applied to gum pockets that have developed inflammation around the implant. The study will determine if the product will reduce the microbial load in the gum pocket, resolving the inflammatory process. “If the inflammatory process is allowed to progress, this could affect not only the soft tissues around the implant, but also the bone that is anchoring the implant. The bone will then resorb and eventually the implant can be lost because of bone loss or peri-implantitis,” Wikesjö said.

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

multI-CENtER phASE 3 tRIAl FOR SuBJECtS WIth pERI-ImplANtItIS

DR. ulF WIKESJö, INtERIm ASSOCIAtE DEAN OF RESEARCh AND INtERIm ChAIR OF ORAl BIOlOgY

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The study will screen several hundred patients, or 20 per study site. Wikesjö started enrolling patients last fall. Wikesjö compares jaw bone to a wooden 2X4 and a dental implant to a screw. Termites, which are comparable to the inflammatory process, will attack a 2X4 and eat the wood around the screw, eventually loosening it. “Implants cost thousands of dollars. It’s a fairly large investment for a person. To lose an implant is a devastating and costly experience. It’s a process that sneaks up on you,” Wikesjö said. “This is going to be something that future dentists will need to pay a lot of attention to. Peri-implantitis affects 30 percent of the patients with dental implants. It’s very common.”


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thIS NAtIONAl multi-center study is the first clinical study of its kind examining risk factors for peri-implantitis. Funded by Nobel Biocare, the GRU team, in addition to Krishna, includes Wikesjö, Susin, and Dr. Jamie DeStefano, GRU Assistant Professor of Periodontics. “We do not currently have reliable means of treating dental implant infections,” said Krishna. “Our study is assessing people with infections around these implants after three to five years of placement and studying the risk factors that may increase their chances of having a dental implant infection.” The study will compare 78 patients with healthy implants to 78 with infection around implants placed three to five years ago. Krishna and her team will administer patient questionnaires; perform dental exams and X-rays; and collect blood, gingival crevicular fluid and plaque samples for immunological testing, microbiology assessment and genetics testing. They will gather information about the patient’s demographics, systemic health, habits and behaviors, genetics and any contributory local factors, enabling them to determine risk factors that could lead to infections around implants. The study should help dentists predict if their patients are good candidates for dental implants. “The goal is to prevent these infections. Infections around dental implants progress much faster than around natural teeth,” Krishna said. Krishna plans a follow-up study treating subjects with periimplantitis with different modalities. n

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“The goal is to prevent these infections. Infections around dental implants progress much faster than around natural teeth.”

RISK FACtORS FOR pERI-ImplANtItIS

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DR. RANJIthA KRIShNA, ASSIStANt pROFESSOR OF pERIODONtICS


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

teamwork

Inter-Professional Education Prepares Students for Multidisciplinary Collaboration SEVERAl hOuRS each month, a small group of dental and other health care students from across campus convene to learn about other professions and practice for real-world health care. They’re volunteers for a pilot program at Georgia Regents University called Inter-Professional Education. Still in its inaugural year, IPE is a campuswide initiative to teach students how to communicate effectively with other health care professionals and empower them to assess their patients holistically. The College of Dental Medicine expects about 60 dental students to participate

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

BY LaTinA EmERSon

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during the program’s pilot year, said DR. mAhmOOD S. mOZAFFARI, GRU Oral Biology Professor and College of Dental Medicine IPE Faculty Representative. During a recent IPE session, 10 students gathered around a table with a faculty moderator to explain their course of study and what they can offer professionally to their peers. The group included two senior dental students, along with medical, nursing and physician


patients’ needs. Based on the World Health Organization’s definition, IPE occurs when students from two or more professions come together to learn about, from and with each other with the ultimate goal of improving health care delivery and outcomes, Mozaffari said. “The irony of the whole thing is that when they graduate, they are expected to communicate with one another. They’re expected to collaborate, but interestingly, while they’re on campus for four years, there is almost no communication. I’m surprised that IPE has not been implemented earlier,” Mozaffari said. A committee of faculty members from the College

faculty. They would also like to include other health care disciplines. “Ultimately, the idea is that IPE activity would be something that every student coming through each program will have to go through and experience,” Mozaffari said. The J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons will provide the perfect IPE setting because it will house both dental and medical students, said Dr. Carol Lefebvre, Vice Dean and GRU Professor of Oral Rehabilitation and Oral Biology. The IPE initiative isn’t only benefiting students. During a recent faculty retreat, the College of Dental Medicine faculty learned about IPE,

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DR. CAROl lEFEBVRE responded to a questionnaire about other health care professions and discussed cases together. “It was really interesting because the perception of some of our professional colleagues of dentistry, which is an eight-year program, was that you complete four years after high school and you’re a dentist,” Lefebvre said. “We had to answer questions about nurse practitioners and nurse anesthetists, and we didn’t have a good appreciation of what they do either. We learned how much we really didn’t know about our colleagues here on campus. All the more reason to implement IPE at GRU.” n

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of Dental Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, College of Allied Health Sciences and College of Nursing began meeting last spring and implemented the IPE pilot program last summer. Students volunteer for the five-hour commitment, which includes an online pre-simulation activity, a three-hour session with peers and an online post-simulation activity. The case selected for the three-hour session is designed to incorporate as many students as possible from the group. As the initiative moves forward, the committee must determine how to incorporate larger groups of students and

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“We learned how much we really didn’t know about our colleagues here on campus. All the more reason to implement IPE at GRU.”

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assistant students. Though they will one day be required to work together in health care settings, this was the first opportunity for most of them to interact with peers from other disciplines. After the discussion, the group made a list of goals and characteristics of a successful interprofessional team, then worked in groups to treat a “patient” in a simulation lab. While one group worked in the lab, the other remained in the conference room to watch their interaction on a screen. Instead of being evaluated on clinical skills, the students were observed for their ability to work together effectively. Overall, the students performed well, but they also realized they had some things to learn about working together. “It’s really an educational experience to be able to understand the roles that everyone has, at least in this room, and how we can all tie everything together,” said senior dental student Dustin Kilby. “It’s going to be neat to see what kind of treatment plan we come up with here and how we handle this case.” Matt Smith, also a senior dental student, appreciated the chance to see firsthand the roles that other professions play in patient care. “It’s a great learning experience to learn more about what other people do,” Smith said. GRU’s IPE initiative started at the request of the university’s senior leadership and was embraced by Dean Connie L. Drisko. The concept of IPE, now accepted nationwide and abroad, has become increasingly popular following an Institute of Medicine report noting that a siloed approach to health care education is inadequate to meet


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

Pounding the pavement Students Set Standard in Half Marathon

BY ADRiAn GREER

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

Editor’s note: As successful as Augusta’s half-marathon was, we somberly acknowledge that this edition of Word of Mouth went to press amid reports of the Boston Marathon tragedy. The College of Dental Medicine extends its most heartfelt sympathy to victims of the bombings. The university will soon publish accounts of members of the GRU community affected by the tragedy.

GRU COLLEGE OF DENTAL MEDICINE STUDENTS STEWART HELTON AND BRIDGET LYONS FINISHED FIRST IN THEIR RESPECTIVE CLASSES IN THE AUGUSTA HALF MARATHON.

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gRu Augusta half marathon by the Numbers Date: Feb. 24 Next year’s event: Feb. 23 total runners: 1,319 Runner increase over last year: 29 percent Distance: 13.1 miles Winning times: Stewart Helton 1:14.46, Bridget Lyons 1:20:23 First challenged athlete division this year One athlete competed in a wheelchair

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National Championships and the USA Championships. She planned to run in the Olympic trials but was sidelined by a knee injury. “That is my goal now,” she said. “I want to try the Olympic Trials in 2016 in the marathon.” Based on past performance, the goal—requiring a one-hour, 15-minute qualifying time—is within reach. Lyons won last year’s Augusta Half Marathon with a time of one hour 18 minutes on a course that is quite difficult. But for now, Helton and Lyons are focused on dental school. They both hope to open their own practices one day. “I always liked the idea of building relationships with patients, and I think dentists often form very strong relationships,” Helton said. “I also want to focus on the community and promoting oral health.” Lyons became interested in dentistry while volunteering at a clinic in Athens as an undergraduate. “They needed a Spanish translator in the dental clinic and I just loved it,” she said. “After that, I wanted to go to dental school.” They both plan to continue running after graduation. “I will probably be out there every day, early in the morning before I see my first patient,” Helton said with a smile. n

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and to the showers to be in class by 8 a.m. And then it’s a full day of school.” But he said he wouldn’t have it any other way. Lyons’ workout schedule is very similar, running eight to 10 miles every day and a 15-mile run on weekends, which is when she sometimes runs with Helton. “I love it; I feel like it’s who I am,” Helton said. “But school still has to come first.” Helton likes the convenience and feel-good factor of running. “I like how I can do it all my life and it’s something that’s healthy,” he said. “All you need is a pair of shoes, and I always try to keep a pair in the car.” Helton has been running for 10 years and was on the high school team in northern Atlanta. He was one of the better three-mile runners in the state in Division II while at Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga. “I qualified for the national meet in cross country twice (at Columbus State),” he said. “I ranked as high as 12th in the nation in Division II in the 10K.” Lyons, a native of Evans, Ga., attended Greenbrier High School, then ran track at the University of Georgia where she won the SEC Championship in the 10K and finished second two times in the 5K. She also ran at the NCAA

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tWO gRu College of Dental Medicine students won the GRU Augusta Half Marathon on Feb. 24, which makes you wonder: What exactly are they putting in the water in the College of Dental Medicine? Stewart Helton won the race with a time of 1:14.46, nearly three minutes faster than second-place finisher William Rudisill. Bridget Lyons was the top-finishing woman and third overall, with a time of 1:20.23. Both winners are in the class of 2015 at the college and they even have classes together. “It’s not a graduation requirement that you have to run before class,” Lyons said with a smile when asked about why the top-two finishers come from the same class. “It’s just a coincidence.” But Lyons and Helton do train together sometimes on the weekend, and Lyons isn’t afraid to push the pace, according to Helton. “I feel like she’s pounding me into the pavement most days,” he said with a smile. “She is very competitive; some people are afraid to run with her.” But it appears that the friendly competition has paid off. Helton said he was excited to win and thought he could have a chance. The 13.1-mile event was comparable to Helton’s normal weekend runs, which are often 15 miles, and Helton runs about nine miles every day. But he did pick up the pace a bit for the Half Marathon. “I usually run miles in around seven minutes when working out, but I was hoping to average in the five minutes and 40 seconds [range] and go for the win,” he said. “I averaged about 5:42 in the race, and it was a very tough course, very hilly.” Helton and Lyons were both sore for a few days afterward but were back running two days later. Said Helton, “I get up at about 5:30 a.m. and go for a run with a friend, then I have to make it back


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

teachable moments Distinguished Alumnus Revels in helping ‘those Coming Behind us’

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

BY CHRiSTinE HURLEy DERiSo

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“My goal is to make dentistry even better.” ensure diversity. This year’s topranked senior will be one of our residents next year. We routinely get the cream of the crop.” Pruett maximizes the impact of teaching by videotaping “demo” surgeries. Students and residents observe the surgeries in real time from a conference room, asking questions and otherwise interacting with Pruett as he proceeds. He also co-directs an annual five-day dental implant course,

the award in the past, and they’re people I’ve always emulated,” Pruett says. He is also grateful to Dean Connie Drisko. “When Dr. Drisko arrived, she said no space was sacred, so if we could grow our programs, she would allow us to grow,” he says, noting that his clinic has grown from three to 19 chairs since he joined the faculty in 1998. “Without her support, that kind of growth wouldn’t have been possible.

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“I have the utmost respect for Dr. Drisko; her accomplishments have been tremendous,” he says. “I think the opportunities for growth here are awesome.” He never loses sight of the fact that he is living a dream that took root in second grade. He maintained his focus even amid the crushing blow of losing his mother to an aneurysm when he was just 16. She had always cheered him on, and he continued to draw from her inspiration even after her death. “I’m the first professional in my family,” he says. Daughter Morgan is a GRU student, and younger daughters Kylie and Anna Claire show amazing potential in fields including art and athletics, he says proudly. He and his wife Candy, a pharmacist, have tried hard to instill in their children a love of service, as well as a strong work ethic. That work ethic comes in handy, considering Pruett has two practices in small Georgia cities in addition to his GRU service. He and a colleague own an airplane, which Pruett flies, to handle the logistics. He is also active in the College of Dental Medicine’s Alumni Association— another priority he tries to instill in students. “I can only hope to help those in my class and those coming behind us by being active in the Alumni Association,” he says. “My goal is to make dentistry even better.” n

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drawing dentists nationwide for extensive hands-on continuing education. “The participants place 12 to 20 implants each, for a total of about 150 for the week,” he says, noting that the course also benefits patients by offering discounted rates. “I really like interacting with my colleagues in continuing education. It’s so fulfilling to teach people how to do something, then watch them master it. The success is like being a parent. I get as excited as they do.” He is flattered that several of his residents and colleagues nominated him for the Distinguished Alumnus Award. “It’s incredibly humbling, because I look back at people who received

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“My interest is in giving back to the profession,” says Pruett, Assistant Professor of Oral Rehabilitation, a 1992 College of Dental Medicine graduate and the college’s 2013 Distinguished Alumnus. “By teaching and influencing the dentists of tomorrow, the benefits to our profession and our patients increase.” By almost any standard, he is an incredibly prolific and influential teacher. He directs the college’s General Practice Residency program, “one of the most successful in the country,” he says proudly. “We train nine residents a year, about half from GRU and the other half from different areas of the country to

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s

DR. mIChAEl pRuEtt is very gratified to know that when he treats a patient, the patient benefits. But when he teaches the same procedure to students or colleagues, his gratification grows exponentially—because the beneficiaries grow exponentially.


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE AUGUSTA GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

J. Harold Harrison, m.D. Education Commons Groundbreaking BY CHRiSTinE HURLEy DERiSo

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standing-room-only groundbreaking ceremony. “We would not be here today if he was not imbued with the motivation to make life better through medicine.” President Ricardo Azziz concurred. “Harold Harrison was a true friend and a true visionary who recognized his gift would change the shape of health care in Georgia,” he said, citing the importance of the building in increasing the class sizes of GRU’s College of Dental Medicine and Medical College of Georgia to meet the workforce needs of the state. The 172,000-square-foot building will include ample classroom space for both colleges, two 300seat auditoriums, an interprofessional simulation center and much more. The total construction cost is $76.5 million. The state of Georgia is providing $42 million in bond funding, and the university raised the additional $34.5 million through private philanthropy, including an $8 million gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, which supports charitable, scientific and educational activities. “Without our donors,” said College of Dental Medicine Dean Connie Drisko, “we wouldn’t be in the envious place we are now, looking at our beautiful

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as a country boy done good, Dr. J. Harold Harrison never forgot his roots. But he sowed seeds for the future as well—both literally and figuratively. After the 1948 Medical College of Georgia alumnus retired from a 50year career as a vascular surgeon characterized by pioneering advances in repairing and replacing diseased arteries, he returned to his rural roots by embarking on a second career as a cattle farmer in Bartow, Ga. And while he was at it, Harrison ensured that the fruits of his labor would reap rewards for generations to come. “His legacy is that those who follow will have the same opportunities he did,” Harrison’s stepson, Scott Fitzgerald, said during the Nov. 28 groundbreaking ceremony of the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons. The facility, scheduled to open by fall 2014 adjacent to the new College of Dental Medicine building, honors Harrison, who died June 2, based on a $10 million leadership gift from him and his wife, Sue W. Harrison. “His gift will help young minds and bring about good,” his friend, Loran Smith, said during the

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ChARACtERIZINg himself throughout his life

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Ceremony Honors ‘Larger-than-Life’ Alumnus


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

new dental school and envisioning the building that will arise from this ground.” Donor support has never been more important than it is now, said University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby. “The Harrisons epitomize the kind of community concern and support that we’re looking to in the years ahead. What we’re here to do today is recognize another milestone for this university and its future development, but even more so for the future development of the state of Georgia.” The importance of the building in accelerating the growth of GRU and ensuring its national prominence, particularly after consolidation this January, has not gone unnoticed by key constituents, the speakers said. “This is a special day,” said Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. “What it really culminates is the investment the state continues to make in this great community. We know this university will continue to be elevated in a national platform.” The Augusta community will benefit from the investment for years to come, he said. “We want to continue to make strategic investments in Augusta because we know what it means. I look forward

mCg ClASS OF 2015 pRESIDENt lAEl REINStAtlER AND COllEgE OF DENtAl mEDICINE ClASS OF 2013 pRESIDENt BEN pOpplE to the exciting things that are going to happen in this great city.” Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver agreed. “This represents what can happen when people dream big and are willing

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to work together to make something happen,” he said. “We are once again at a transitional moment for the city of Augusta and I am so excited to see the shape of things to come.” MCG Dean Peter Buckley shared his excitement about what the new facility will mean for the university’s students. “The enthusiasm you see here today is infectious,” said Buckley, who along with Drisko was flanked by dozens of medical and dental students clad in their white coats. “People in Georgia are interested in signing on here for their training. We appreciate all the efforts that have gone into our future, and we will deliver on that promise.” Drisko particularly lauded the futureoriented mindset of those who planned the building. “One of the toughest things was to envision not what health care will look like tomorrow, but 30, 40, even 50 years from now,” she said. “Interprofessional education, or IPE, will become the norm on this campus, thanks to this building.” “The commons meets a very real need, enabling MCG and the College of Dental Medicine to train the health care professionals of the 21st century,” echoed Georgia Health Sciences Foundation Board Member Will McKnight. Student representatives at the ceremony shared their gratitude for this investment not only in their educations, but the educations of many generations of health care providers to come. “Students at our institution are supported like no other students,” said College of Dental Medicine Class of 2013 President Ben Popple. “The state of Georgia has blessed us with some of the best facilities in the country. This building creates a learning environment that not only optimizes dental education, but allows us to share ideas with our fellow students in medicine.” MCG Class of 2015 President Lael Reinstatler agreed. “With the new building, our faculty and students now have the ability to compete on a national level,” she said, noting that classroom space is currently dispersed all over campus. “Of all the things that we are thankful for most, finally having a home is


rewards; enjoy its small delights. To me, that sums up Harold.” MCG Foundation President and CEO James B. Osborne, describing Harrison as exceedingly modest yet “larger than life,” said, “This building will be a lasting tribute to an extraordinary man.” Nothing could be more fitting, Osborne noted, than to tangibly express Harrison’s stalwart support of his beloved alma mater. “I remember him saying, ‘I am so proud of MCG because they took a country boy and made a doctor out of him.”

Fitzgerald, whose tribute to his stepfather included lavish praise for the role of his mother, Sue, said Harrison was a man “of conviction and tremendous heart. He never pretended to be something he wasn’t. He was one of the most genuine people I’ve ever known and was very comfortable in his own skin.” He was also perhaps the world’s most dogged Georgia Bulldogs fan. “I wish he was here to watch [the Bulldogs’ next game],” Fitzgerald said. “But then again, he has a much better view.” n

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“Without our donors we wouldn’t be in the envious place we are now, looking at our beautiful new dental school and envisioning the building that will arise from this ground.”

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what matters most.” But for all of the talk of a hightech facility, the prevailing mood at the groundbreaking reflected Harrison’s legacy of down-to-earth altruism. “Away from the operating room,” Smith said, “I find it uplifting that he loved being down on the farm. His work included surgery and corn on the cob, both done by his own hands.” Smith counseled the audience to follow Harrison’s lead of keen appreciation for the simple things in life. “Don’t fret about life’s great


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

BY LaTinA EmERSon

meeting the Need Donors Make Difference at College of Dental Medicine

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

thREE RECENt gIFtS from donors are making a huge difference in the lives of students and patients at the College of Dental Medicine. The gifts include $250,000 from the Hinman Dental Society, a $10,000 grant to the Give a Smile Foundation and a $600,000 charitable remainder trust from a non-alumnus who wishes to remain anonymous.

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The Hinman Dental Society has become the most generous organizational donor in the history of the College of Dental Medicine, said Dean Connie Drisko. The group has given more than $1 million, which has been used primarily toward scholarships. The society’s latest donation will fund an endowment for educational programs associated with the dental school’s Thomas P. Hinman Center for Lifelong Learning. It is the first and largest endowment of its kind for the College of Dental Medicine, Drisko said. “They’re tremendous friends of the school. They do things for faculty and students alike. They’re just tremendous supporters of the educational process and continuing educational process of dental health professionals. We’re just very pleased to have them favor us with their support,” Drisko said. The society, founded by a longtime Atlanta dentist who is now deceased, has more than 800 dentist members statewide. Its annual meeting attracts nearly 23,000 dentists and dental professionals each year. The organization is committed to the lifelong education of dentists and sponsors one of the top continuing dental education programs in the country. “Hinman is honored to be in a position to provide $250,000 to support educational programs at the school’s Hinman Center for Lifelong Learning,” said Dr. Bill Schroeder, Chair of the Hinman Dental Society Trustees. “Our mission as an organization is to support dental education, and the success of the annual Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting allows us to contribute in a significant way to programs such as these. “Continuing education was Dr. Hinman’s life’s work, and if he were alive today, he would be proud that the organization he founded has continued to support lifelong learning,” Dr. Schroeder added. “In addition, the fact that this center is located in Georgia at a school where many Hinman member dentists graduate would please him greatly. Over the years, Hinman has contributed more than $1 million to the College of Dental Medicine at GRU and this has included numerous scholarships awarded to students at the school spanning the last 26 years. We believe it’s important to support students as they truly are the future of the dental profession. We will continue to support the only dental


Society has given more money than any similar entity to the college. They fund our largest scholarships. Every year, they give three full-tuition scholarships, which total about $75,000.” DEAN CONNIE DRISKO

39

MOUTH

“Collectively, the Hinman Dental

WORD OF

school in Georgia and look forward to seeing these future dentists practice throughout our great state.” In 1986, the society created a scholarship program for dental students based on need and performance. Dental hygiene students were added in 1989 and laboratory technician students in 2003. In 2005, the society funded an endowed chair at the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry, now the GRU College of Dental Medicine, and added scholarships for dental assisting students. Over the past 13 years, the society has contributed nearly $6 million in scholarships and large gifts in support of dental education nationwide. The $10,000 gift to GRU’s Give a Smile Foundation comes from Delta Dental, America’s largest dental benefits carrier. The foundation, comprised of 35 students from the College of Dental Medicine, was formed about five years ago by students who were frustrated that some of their patients couldn’t afford the treatment they needed. Students with patients who can’t afford their basic care can present the need to the foundation committee and ask for up to $1,000 in financial assistance. Patients are asked to pay for some portion of their treatment. “We’re completely anonymous, so our patients don’t know about us,” said Wendy Cardenas, a senior dental student and President of the foundation. “We just tell our patients that we found a grant for them. It’s mainly for patients who don’t have some type of financial help already. We’re looking for people who are working, trying to get by and need a couple of fillings, which is a couple hundred dollars, and they can’t afford that. At the dental school, a lot of the treatment is highly reduced, but still some of the patients can’t afford just a basic exam.” The Delta Dental gift, she said, will ensure access to basic dental care for even more needy citizens. n

SPR I N G 2013

DEVElOpmENt


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE

Mobile

GEORGIA REGENTS UNIVERSITY

AUGUSTA

GRU mobile provides our students and faculty with the services and content they require — delivered when they want, where they want it and how they want it.

iPhone & iPod Touch

feature ATHLETiCS

mAPS

Services such as a map, directory, events, course listing and other features keep you connected to the university whether you are on campus or a world away using your mobile device.

DiRECToRy

EvEnTS

nEWS

imAGES

The future of GRU Mobile is the ability to deliver instruction and relevant content using mobile devices. The iSCOPE application provides a glimpse into the future of multimedia-rich content we will build upon to create a vast repository of instructional materials and references for our students. n

viDEoS

GET HELP PATiEnT & fAmiLy CEnTERED CARE mEDiCAL APPLiCATionS SUiTE

40

iPad

Android


COLLEGE of DENTAL MEDICINE OuR mISSION: To educate dentists in order to improve overall health and to reduce the burden of illness on society through the discovery and application of knowledge that embraces craniofacial health and disease prevention.

OuR VISION: To be a premier college of dentistry.


College of Dental Medicine GC5202 1120 15th Street Augusta, Georgia 30912

CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

MOUTH WORD OF

gru.edu/dentalmedicine SpRINg 2013

DAY OF SERVICE DR. KEVIN FRAZIER and pROVOSt gREtChEN CAughmAN were among the faculty, staff, students, and family members (including 57 members of the College of Dental Medicine community) who participated in

GRU’s inaugural Day of Service Feb. 9. The volunteers rolled up their sleeves for charitable organizations throughout the Augusta area.

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage

PAID

Augusta, GA Permit No. 210

Spring 2013 - Word of Mouth  

Word of Mouth is produced bi-annually by the Georgia Regents University College of Dental Medicine in collaboration with the Office of Commu...

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