Awards Honor Staff Member, 3 Faculty at Annual IU School of Dentistry Conferences

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Indiana Dental Association past president Dr. J. Mark Thomas (left) and IDA Executive Director 
Doug Bush (right) with honorees Drs. Angeles Martínez-Mier and Steven Blanchard

Four awards recognizing outstanding employees were presented at the Indiana University School of Dentistry’s annual conferences for faculty and staff.

INDIANA DENTAL ASSOCIATION FACULTY AWARDS

Indiana’s dentists honored two Indiana University professors for their achievements in dental education.

Angeles Martínez-Mier, Ph.D., D.D.S., associate professor of preventive and community dentistry, received the Indiana Dental Association’s Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year award, which recognizes an educator’s body of work. Achievements that serve as centerpieces of her career are the dental component of the IU service-learning program in Calnali, Mexico, and the Binational/Cross-Cultural Health Enhancement Signature Center, which is under the umbrella of the Indiana University-Purdue University (IUPUI) campus.

A decade ago she helped pioneer the IU dental school’s international service-learning program by creating, and then over the years expanding, a much-needed dental services component for an IU medical school program serving persons in need in rural Mexico.

In 2007, she was awarded one of IUPUI’s first 19 experimental Signature Centers, which were designed to support interdisciplinary collaborations among faculty across campus and with community partners. Dr. Martínez-Mier’s center, whose members have been awarded grants totaling about one million dollars, addresses biological and cultural issues, among others, that impact the health status of communities where Hispanics are born and where they live in Indiana. IUPUI designated the unit an official, permanent center in 2010.

Steven Blanchard, D.D.S., associate professor of periodontics, received the Indiana Dental Association’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in recognition of his accomplishments during the 2009-2010 academic year. In addition to his extensive involvement in teaching, including his work as periodontics graduate program director, Dr. Blanchard has also been moving into the upper tiers as a national leader in his specialty. In 2009, he accepted a six-year term as one of the directors of the American Board of Periodontology.

Dr. Blanchard has also demonstrated an ongoing commitment to providing care for underserved populations, both locally and abroad. Working a couple of years ago on an idea originally suggested by dental student Matthew Rowe, now a periodontics graduate student, Dr. Blanchard created an IU School of Dentistry international service-learning program in Comayagua, Honduras, where Dr. Rowe had previously served with dental outreach groups from Fort Wayne, Ind. Dr. Blanchard mentored his first group of students on a visit in 2009, and in 2010 he returned with his wife, part-time IU dental hygiene Prof. Jane Blanchard, and seven dental students. Together, the 2010 volunteers saw more than 400 patients in need.

DONALD W. JOHNSON COMMUNITY SERVICE FACULTY AND STAFF AWARDS

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Award recipients Rose Hinesley (left photo) and Dr. Stuart Schrader
(at left) with faculty award presenter Dr. Tim Carlson

Rose Hinesley, a research technician in Preventive and Community Dentistry and clinical laboratory coordinator at the Oral Health Research Institute, received the Johnson staff award. Ms. Hinesley, who has been a member of IUSD since 1997, was cited for her humanitarian work with Burmese refugees. For years, the Burmese have been fleeing their homeland (now known as Myanmar) after decades of conflict and strife there. “In Burma, we have minorities who are from 217 ethnic groups, and each group speaks its own language,” she said. IUSD faculty and staff may recall that a group of refugees from the Karen ethnic minority group in Myanmar were the primary participants in the dental school’s Give Kids a Smile charitable dentistry program in 2008. Ms. Hinesley assists one Burmese family at a time, helping them to transition to American life. She is president of the Burma Culture Club of Indianapolis and has been a member of the Nationalities Council of Indiana, which sponsors the annual Indianapolis International Festival.

Stuart Schrader, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of behavioral science in Oral Biology, received the Johnson faculty award in recognition of several programs and projects he has implemented to increase access to care for underserved populations, most notably the HIV HOPE (Oral Health Patient Engagement) program and Oral Health Care for Cancer Patients (OHCCP).

HIV Hope strives to give IU dental students the tools and information they need in order to provide patients living with HIV/AIDS with care that promotes not only the patient’s oral health but also a healthy patient-practitioner relationship. About a dozen community volunteers who either live with HIV or work in HIV/AIDS care coordination agencies have collaborated with dental faculty to teach students to recognize their own potential stereotypes or concerns about HIV/AIDS patients, and to understand that many such feelings are attributable primarily to a lack of first-hand knowledge about people living with HIV/AIDS. The program won the 2010 national Orna Shanley Prize for Enhancing Access to Care, co-sponsored by the American Dental Education Association and the International Federation of Dental Educators and Associations. Dr. Schrader has contributed to advisory groups to address HIV consumer needs in Indiana and elsewhere for nearly two decades.

In 2010, he launched an Oral Health Care for Cancer Patients website, which serves as an educational resource for cancer patients, dentists, and other healthcare providers involved in the treatment of cancer patients. Other goals of the OHCCP include empowering cancer patients to seek oral healthcare before, during, and after cancer therapies, and advocating for increased access to oral healthcare for underserved cancer patients.

The Donald W. Johnson Community Service Awards are named for a 1956 dental graduate of IU. Dr. Johnson, of Carmel, Ind., is a retired public health dentist and longtime supporter of the IU School of Dentistry’s community dentistry programs.

Nov. 16, 2010