IU School of Dentistry
IUSD: Brief Introduction
The Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) is one of the oldest dental schools in the United States and the only dental school in Indiana. The school offers degrees from undergraduate to post-doctoral levels. IUSD also has an established International Dentist Program for dentists who received their degree from non-US accredited schools and want to practice in the US. With nine academic departments and approximately 300 faculty members, IUSD is at the forefront of dental health innovation. Since its establishment in 1879, the school has pioneered oral and public health education, contributing to significant public health breakthroughs such as the invention of the first fluoride toothpaste and research in dental informatics.
IUSD Office for Global Engagement
The IUSD Office for Global Engagement is actively involved in the pursuit of global development through the creation of multidisciplinary opportunities in partnership with global communities in order to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). From teaching, research, service programs and projects, oral health addresses SDGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 16, and 17.
Pursuing SDG 3: IUSD Curriculum
SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being within all age groups. This goal aligns with IUSD’s mission “to advance the oral and systemic health of the people of Indiana and globally through excellence in teaching and learning, research and creative activities, patient care, civic engagement and service.” To fulfill this mission, the school’s behavioral sciences, ethics and professionalism curriculum is taught from a relationship-centered care vantage point, a paradigm for enhancing population health management.
Pursuing SDG 6: Research and Collaboration
SDG 6: Ensure availability, and sustainable management, of water and sanitation for all. IUSD is actively engaged in addressing this sustainable development goal through various research and advancement initiatives. Key examples include:
- Loai Hazzazi (Photo 1) is conducting his PhD dissertation on water filtration systems, fluoride in water for caries prevention, and water insecurity in the US and Saudi Arabia. His mentor is Dr. Frank Lippert.
- Guillermo Tamayo-Cabeza (Photo 2) (supported by Fulbright) is studying exposure to toxicants in water and salt in Mexico. Hisproject, which is NIH funded, will include data on water availability, sanitation, and insecurity. Dr. E. AngelesMartinez Mier is his mentor.
- Gina Castiblanco (Photo 3), a Post-Doctoral Fellow, is preparing an NIH submission to study the effect of environmental toxicants on bone health in women in Mexico. Her study will also includeissues of sanitation, including toxicants in water.
Pursuing SDG 11: Community Engagement and Partnerships
SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. In pursuance of this goal, IUSD has forged partnerships with community organizations to foster sustainability in health care. Community engagement is a key domain in IUSD’s strategic plan which aims to enhance IUSD’s impact throughout Indiana, and globally, through excellence in community engagement and interprofessional collaboration that builds on community assets and improves health equity.
Promoting Globally Engaged Health Practitioners
IUSD’s curriculum focuses on educating students about the social determinants of health in the communities they will serve, their responsibilities for supporting community health initiatives, and their responsibilities for health promotion and disease prevention.
Topics included in IUSD courses that align with the SDG goals are:
- Social determinants of health and oral health inequalities
- Culture stereotypes, biases and prejudices in clinical care
- Lifespan and mental health
- Childhood development and access to care issues
- Diversity, equity and inclusion
- Access to care for LGBTQ+
- Patients living with HIV
- Human trafficking
IUSD is also embarking in curricular mapping and redesigning to ensure that their students receive instruction and experiences to support the SDGs as dental professionals upon graduation.