Transforming the Future of Oral Health Education

The Dugoni School of Dentistry is positioning itself to move to even higher levels of prominence as a leader among academic dental institutions. Our living strategic plan provides the framework as we meet the challenges and opportunities that present themselves in today’s rapidly changing educational and healthcare environment. Since we began implementation of the Strategic Plan in 2018, we have made many advances toward Transforming the Future of Oral Health Education. Below are five strategic priority areas and a few examples of steps being taken to support these goals:

  • Improving Experiences and Outcomes While Lowering the Costs of Healthcare Education
    • An Outcomes Assessment team was formed to collect and analyze data for meaningful use in patient care, educational outcomes, and financial management
    • Growth of endowments to support student scholarships and program support, with fundraising campaign reaching nearly $62M toward its $65M goal
    • Increase in grant activity to support the Special Care Clinic
  • Prepare Confident, Competent Oral Healthcare Providers for Current and Future Practice Models
    • Developing opportunities for Inter-Professional Education and extramural rotations and launching tele-dentistry/virtual screening visits to give students experience with new technology to meet the needs of patients during COVID
    • Rapid shift to on-line learning models during the pandemic to keep our curriculum current and dynamic
    • Preparing faculty and students to give COVID-19 vaccines
  • Embrace Advances in Medicine and Dentistry to Create a Dynamic and Visionary Curriculum
    • Curricular reform to include new content and to foster greater collaboration across disciplines
    • Curricular enhancements such as development of our emergency medicine and clinical simulation education programming
  • Retain, Recruit, Support and Develop Diverse Faculty and Staff with Demonstrated Expertise to Improve Clinical Outcomes and Student Education
    • Recruited diverse group of new leaders and filled key roles that include new Department Chairs for Preventive and Restorative, Pediatric Dentistry, Endodontics and Oral Surgery
    • Robust Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainings and opportunities, supported by DEI committee and a new outreach and diversity manager
  • Expand the Role of the Dugoni School as a Community Partner in Health and Wellness 
    • Assumed a leadership role during the pandemic by providing targeted COVID-19 vaccine clinics in San Francisco through partnership with SF Department of Public Health, SF Mayor’s Office on Disability and other groups
    • Promotional collaborations with SF Muni and local media to enhance visibility for the school’s community outreach and clinical services

In many ways, the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic required the Dugoni School to implement our transformation much more quickly than we might have otherwise. And, as we move ahead, we will look to leverage those learnings and innovations as our plan continues to grow and evolve. Thank you to the entire school community for engaging and working together to achieve our priorities. Together, we will continue to advance our vision for the Dugoni School — to improve health and wellness through innovation in programs, partnerships and people — and to fulfill our purpose of helping people lead healthy lives.  

Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, MBA, EdD 

June 2021