Karen M. Yoder, PhD, MSD,

Karen M. Yoder, PhD, MSD,
Karen M. Yoder, PhD, MSD,

Director, Civic Engagement and Health Policy
Professor of Preventive and Community Dentistry


Contact Info

Phone  (317) 278-7872
Fax       (317) 274-5425 

Office Address

Indiana University School of Dentistry 
1121 West Michigan Street  DS130
Indianapolis, IN 46202-2876

Karen Masbaum Yoder, PhD, MSD is Director, Civic Engagement and Health Policy and Professor of Preventive and Community Dentistry. Other roles include Adjunct faculty appointments in the IUPUI School of Public Health, and at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne. Dr. Yoder is a member of the Community Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Consultancy Network.  Previous appointments include Research Associate, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Region V Head Start Oral Health Consultant. 

Her responsibilities at IUSD include promoting and coordinating service-learning and community engaged scholarship. She was the founder of SEAL INDIANA, IUSD’s state-wide mobile dental sealant program. Since 2003, using a 40’ mobile dental clinic and portable dental equipment SEAL INDIANA has provided services for more than 24,000 children from low-income families throughout Indiana.

In 2008 Dr. Yoder received the Indiana University Thomas Ehrlich Award for Excellence in Service Learning and the Distinguished Hoosier Award from Governor Mitch Daniels. Other honors include: Partner of the Year, Goodwill Industries of Indianapolis; IUPUI Boyer Scholar; IUSN Fellow of the Institute for Action Research in Health; Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honorary Society, IUSD Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award; Indiana Dental Association Charles W. Gish Award. 

Dr. Yoder began her dental career as a dental hygienist. She was in clinical dental hygiene practice for 10 years in Indiana following which she, her husband, Dr. Keith Yoder, and their four children lived in Tanzania, East Africa where they worked in dental public health for five years. After the Yoders returned to Indiana she became a consultant for the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) until 2002. During the 1980s and 1990s she completed the MSD in dental public health and a PhD in dental science with a minor in health policy and health of the community. Her dissertation research explored the causes of severe dental and skeletal fluorosis among residents of an area of East Africa where there was negligible fluoride in the water supply. She joined Indiana University School of Dentistry as a full time faculty member in 2002.

Selected Publications

Yoder KM, Maupome G, Ofner S, Swigonski N. Knowledge and Use of Fluoride Among Indiana Dental Professionals. Journal of Public Health Dentistry Vol.67(3)140-147 Summer 2007 

Yoder KM, Mabelya L, Robison VA, Dunipace AJ, Brizendine EJ, Stookey GK. Severe dental fluorosis in a Tanzanian population consuming water with negligible fluoride concentration. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 1998; 26:382-93 

Yoder KM. A Framework for Service-Learning in Dental Education. Journal of Dental Education. 2006;70(2)115-123 

Yoder KM. Indiana’s Dental Workforce: Distribution and Related Issues. JIDA 2007; 86(2)10-15 

Yoder KM. The Status of Kindergarten and Middle School Entry Dental Examinations in Indiana, JIDA 2005; 83(5)15-18 

Garetto L, Yoder KM. Basic Oral Health Needs: A Professional Priority? Journal of Dental Education. 70(11)2006: 1174-1179. 

Yoder KM. Community Oral Health, Chapter 31, in Dentistry for the Child and Adolescent. Editors, McDonald and Avery. Mosby, 7th edition. 2000 

Academic Background

PhD Major: Dental Science. Minor: Health Policy and Health of the Community 
MSD Dental Public Health 
BS Public Health Dental Hygiene 
ASDH Dental Hygiene