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Funded Projects

Grant Status: Completed

Grant Title: Leadership Training in Pediatric Dentistry

Project Director(s):

Burton L. Edelstein, BA, DDS, MPH
Program Director
Columbia University
College of Dental Medicine/Community Health
601 West 168th Street Suite 32
New York, NY  10032-3709
Phone: (212) 342-3505
FAX: (212) 342-8558
Email: ble22@columbia.edu


Insufficient pediatric dental leadership addressing the poor oral health of children and youth made vulnerable by special needs/ social condition. This is in part due to lack of training that promotes alternative careers in academic public service targeting at-risk children and their families.

Goals and Objectives:

Goal 1: Establish and manage an innovative Pediatric Dentistry Residency and Fellowship training program that promotes alternative careers in pediatric dentistry. Objective 1: Within 1 year, revamp, merge, and expand existing program for 10 residents and 1 leadership fellow. Objective 2: Goal 2: Promote and facilitate Columbia and Region II trainees' entrance into alternative careers in pediatric dentistry. Objective 1: Over 5 years, triple the number of Columbia program completers who elect careers addressing the needs of MCH populations (from a base of 3 to a target of 9). Objective 2: During each of 5 years, provide regional continuing education that highlights and promotes alternative careers for approximately 150 Region II pediatric dentistry trainees in the greater New York region.


Goal 1 related activities: Revamping the current Pediatric Dentistry Residency (PedDent) while retaining its clinical strengths, and adding a new LePed Fellowship that focuses on innovative and alternative careers in pediatric dentistry requires new curricula development, staffing modifications, clinical experiences adjustments, faculty skill set training, administrative structure change, and trainee recruitment modifications to attract appropriate residents and fellows. We will thereby enhance the training components on leadership, public health, interdisciplinary care, cultural competency, family centered care, research, and emerging issues. Maintaining the established Head Start liaison and expanding it to other community sites also requires a range of activities involving networking, negotiation, program planning and implementation. Goal 2 related activities: Activities planned for facilitating career awareness, interest, and planning for transition from training into employment in non-traditional positions that support MCH populations involve establishing intensive mentoring, advising, and education for our trainees. We will provide annual education programs for Region II pediatric dentistry trainees who comprise 1/4th of all trainees nationally.


This training serves children and families who are also served by many local, state and national MCH programs. Coordination is planned for CYSHCN and other vulnerable populations as we develop the Leadership Fellowship. Planned are outreach and coordination with other MCHB-sponsored trainees nationally and in New York and dissemination through MCHB Resource Centers.


Success meeting the Project's objectives will be assessed through a process and outcomes approach using specific measures for each objective. Qualitative and quantitative methods to be used with trainees, faculty, families, and product end-users include interviews, surveys, real-time data tracking, focus groups, and pre-post intervention knowledge testing.

Experience to Date:

We continued biweekly didactic seminar series in PY4. Research Methods guides trainees through each phase of their required research project. Trainees disseminate research findings at 3 venues. Whole Child discusses pediatric oral health issues beyond the clinical scope. Video conferencing was effective in increasing trainee-exemplar interaction. PY4 exemplars (n=9) included community clinic dentists, a social anthropologist, a clinical nutritionist, and dentists serving Medicaid populations. Our 3rd annual Regional Leadership in Pediatric Dentistry Convocation was held on 4/27/11. Theme was "Health Care Reform and Implications to the Pediatric Dentist". Speakers included AAPD President, a DC Lobbyist and Dr Burton Edelstein. 80+ attendees from 12 pediatric dental training programs attended. PY4 Leadership Fellow, Anu Tate served as a senior policy fellow at the Children's Dental Health Project. Dr. Tate continues to pursue her MPH at Johns Hopkins and complete a correlation study of state oral health practice acts. PY2 & PY3 Fellows have completed their MPH and excel in alternative careers at the NYC department of health and overseas in service to children of US military families. Our PY5 Fellow, Dr Tray Brown, is pursuing his MPH at Columbia University. LePed trainees have benefited from collaborative activity with HRSA Title VII pre-doc & post-doc training grant awards and recent accreditation for Columbia residency program in dental public health.

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