Oral Health in Childhood and Adolescence
The Oral Health in Childhood and Adolescence Transdisciplinary Core seeks to identify and remove the educational, political, psychological, social and nutritional barriers to the prevention and treatment of dental caries (tooth decay) in the children and adolescents of Richmond. Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease. Youth who suffer tooth decay have lower academic achievement in school and are at higher risk for systemic diseases as adults.
Improving oral and overall health for children and adolescents
This transdisciplinary core promotes teamwork toward innovative solutions for improving oral and overall health outcomes for children and adolescents. This core also provides a rich environment for the recruitment and engagement of diverse and underrepresented faculty and students to work and learn through solving oral health problems that disproportionately affect underserved populations.
Core leadership team
- Sarah Jane Brubaker, Ph.D.
- Associate professor, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
She is responsible for the core’s activities and collaboration with the teaching and research faculty. She also contributes her expertise in public policy related to health, economics or poverty, and advancing welfare and social justice.
- Carolyn Watts, Ph.D.
- Richard M. Bracken chair and chair, Department of Health Administration, School of Allied Health Professions
She provides expertise in health care management and finance, leadership, community strategies, economics, health information technology and health policy related to oral health.
- Humberto Fabelo, Ph.D.
- Associate dean for academic and student affairs, associate professor and interim Ph.D. program director, School of Social Work
He will assist the tenure-track teaching and research faculty who possess the skills needed to understand the child and family viewpoint of oral health from macro- to micro-biopsychosocial perspectives that encompasses social, cultural, political and economic factors, as well as factors related to individual and family functioning and well-being.
- Harold Fitrer, Ed.D.
- President and CEO, Communities in Schools of Richmond
He will collaborate with the VCU term faculty working within his organization, as well as work with the core, to better understand the oral health needs of students and families. He will help connect CIS-R with the core’s activities and create the multidimensional community partnership to address the oral health needs of Richmond’s children.
- Tegwyn Brickhouse, D.D.S., Ph.D.
- Associate professor, research director and chair, Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry
She guides the partnerships for core activities within the university, health system and community to improve and integrate this oral health core into overall health and health care. She works to broaden access to education in oral health careers for students, create an inclusive environment for faculty and foster innovative oral health services research and solutions to improve the oral health of children.
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