Dental School receives federal Hispanic Center of Excellence designation
The Dental School recently was awarded status as a Hispanic Center of Excellence, making the Health Science Center the only one in the country to have Hispanic Centers of Excellence in both medicine and dentistry.
Thanks to the work of Dr. Ramon Baez, associate professor of general dentistry and director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence-Dentistry, the Dental School's minority relations programming is gaining national recognition. He also was just named director of the Dental School's multicultural programs.
With the Hispanic Center of Excellence designation, the Dental School received a three-year grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, to be a catalyst for institutionalizing a commitment to Hispanic students and faculty. The Hispanic Center of Excellence-Dentistry primarily will concentrate efforts to develop a competitive applicant pool, enhance academic performance, recruit and retain minority faculty, facilitate faculty and student research, expand information resources and curriculum enhancement, and provide community-based clinical training opportunities to dental students.
Dr. Baez also is head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Translation of Oral Health Sciences into Clinical and Public Health Practice. This summer, the World Health Organization redesignated the Dental School as a Collaborative Center for four more years.
This year the Academy of Dentistry International awarded Dr. Baez its highest honor, the International Dentist of the Year Award.