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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership Education in Pediatric Dentistry (LEPED)

Web Site: University of Washington Project Exit Disclaimer

Project Director(s):

Penelope J. Leggott, DDS, MS
University of Washington
Department of Pediatric
1959 NE Pacific St. HSC B242
Box 357136
Seattle, WA  98195-7136
Phone: (206) 543-4885
FAX: (206) 616-7470
Email: chez@u.washington.edu


Profound disparities exist in the prevalence of dental disease nationally and in our region. Dental workforce shortages, gaps in training, policy, and research undermine efforts to improve oral health. Leaders in pediatric dentistry are needed to address these complex problems effectively.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Provide training in pediatric dentistry for leadership roles in education, research, public health administration, advocacy and public service related to the oral health of MCH populations. Objective 1: Provide advanced specialty training in pediatric dentistry following standards and guidelines prescribed by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation. Objective 2: Provide a core curriculum in pediatric dentistry with varied clinical, interdisciplinary, and leadership experiences which emphasize preventive, diagnostic, treatment / management, and follow-up care within the context of family and community systems. Goal 2: Improve oral health for pregnant women, new mothers and infants through workforce development, delivery of services and development and dissemination of new approaches to care. Objective 1: Provide interdisciplinary training in evidence-based knowledge and skills for trainees and faculty in oral health issues that impact women and children, for example, patient-centered communication styles such as Motivational Interviewing. Objective 2: Develop partnerships with Family medicine and other primary care physicians at sites serving culturally diverse and vulnerable populations including families with CSHCN, and teach physicians to provide oral health screening, education and referral. Goal 3: Improve access to care for CSHCN and vulnerable populations through service learning and collaboration with local and national MCH resource centers. Objective 1: Trainees will provide oral health services for increased numbers of CSHCN of all ages in diverse clinical settings. Objective 2: Provide trainees with expanded training and leadership experiences with patients and families whose children have special health care needs; for example, develop oral health fact sheets for children with PKU in collaboration with the MCH Oral Health Resource Center and UW LEND nutrition faculty. Goal 4: Improve the oral health of economically disadvantaged infants, toddlers and children through innovative strategies to increase the number of dental providers willing to see these children. Objective 1: Work to increase the number of dental providers in our region willing to see low income infants and children by providing Access to Baby and Child Dentistry (ABCD) training to all dental students at UW with the expectation that these future practitioners will become ABCD champions. Objective 2: Increase awareness of existing organizations which provide health and educational services to young children among ABCD dental providers in Washington State through curriculum development. Goal 5: Provide regional/national resources for MCH health infrastructure; develop and disseminate curricula, teaching models and other resources to advance oral health care and services for the MCH community Objective 1: Provide collaborative experiences for trainees with other UW-MCH Leadership Training Centers locally and externally, including the other two Leadership Centers in Pediatric Dentistry.


Six trainees per year enter the advanced education program in pediatric dentistry at the University of Washington. Two Yakima-based trainees per year receive a Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry (CPD) and two Seattle-based trainees per year also receive a CPD and an MS in dental science (2 yrs). Two Seattle-based trainees per year enroll in the 3-year MCH Leadership program and may select from different tracks: a concurrent MSD/MPH with a CPD; an MSD, with a CPD and Leadership in Education and/or MCH certificate; a concurrent MSD/MHA with a CPD. All trainees receive education to meet accreditation standards, and interdisciplinary training in family-centered, culturally-competent care, public health competencies, research methodologies and MCH leadership. Training is accomplished through didactic sessions, clinical rotations, service-based learning and interdisciplinary team experiences that expand required curricula. The UW Center supports a variety of educational offerings and has piloted educational materials in cultural competency and other areas; it collaborates with other MCH centers to develop curricula jointly, plan meetings and exchange faculty/trainees.


Coordination takes place with an advisory board composed of members from State Title V agencies, UW-MCH Training Centers, UW dental and other departments, foundations, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, and community organizations. In addition, a LEPED committee meets every other week to oversee the day-to-day requirements of the training program.


The Center's trainees are evaluated regularly on a variety of competencies, including specific MCH leadership competencies, via preceptor interviews, formal testing, and trainee self-efficacy assessments. We have developed innovative outcomes measures in cultural competency and leadership training, and document and evaluate collaborations. In addition all graduates are followed via a yearly survey instrument to assess short/long term outcomes.

Experience to Date:

In June of 2011, Dr. Ameera Thomas completed her concurrent MSD/MPH and graduated from our program. Dr. James Cannava will complete his concurrent MSD/MPH in June 2012 and Drs David Avenetti and Mai Dinh, who are in the second year of the concurrent degree MCH track, will complete their concurrent MSD/MPH degrees in June 2013. We have two first year trainees, Drs Kari Sims and Jane Stieber, who are enrolled in our three-year program and will begin their MPH studies next year. Both of our MCH-supported trainees who graduated in 2010, Drs Jessica De Bord and Travis Nelson, were appointed as academic faculty at USC and UW, respectively. Dr. Anne Reeves graduated from our program in 2011 and was an MCH graduate from the UW School of Public Health. Dr. Joseph Kelly, one of our first two MCH graduates, was named Director of Dental Medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital. Our new clinic, called The Center for Pediatric Dentistry -- a state-of-the-art facility, opened in September of 2010. Our trainees see patients in this outpatient clinic, including children with special needs. Our Chair, Dr. Joel Berg, a former MCH trainee, is president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

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