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Historically, medicine and oral health have been separate professions, leaving many people to have access to a medical provider but not a dental provider. What is striking about this professional separation is that the mouth is not separate from the body. Oral health is key to overall health, and yet for many Americans and people around the world disparities in outcomes is a reality. In this presentation, we will consider how to tackle inclusivity around oral health, addressing workforce and population-health outcomes, challenges in science and methodologies which limit the degree to which we can advance equity in research, and finally, the barrier of inclusivity in translational science. Just as we cannot separate from mouth from the body, oral health must be considered as we promote equity through workforce solutions, science, and research.
Eleanor Fleming, PhD, DDS, MPH, FICD
Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dental Public Health
University of Maryland School of Dentistry
Dr. Eleanor Fleming is a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health. She earned her dental degree from Meharry Medical College, completed her dental public health residency at Boston University, and earned her PhD from Vanderbilt University. She completed additional post-graduate training as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer where she investigated disease outbreaks and conducted studies to promote health equity. Over the course of her career, she has developed subject matter expertise on infectious and chronic disease epidemiology, and previously served as the dental epidemiologist overseeing the Oral Health Component of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. She has been the principal investigator on a number of studies and has informed public health surveillance at state, national, and international levels. She holds leadership positions in the American Association of Public Health Dentistry and the American Public Health Association; she was also actively involved in the National Dental Association serving on its Coronavirus Task Force.