Philadelphia – Penn Dental Medicine has introduced a reorganization and expansion of faculty within its Department of Preventive & Restorative Sciences, welcoming new faculty to the School and announcing new roles for some existing faculty to lead the clinical instruction groups within the School’s restorative care centers and community care sites. The changes, being implemented for the 2020-2021 academic year, are one outcome of an extensive review of the School’s clinical education over the past year with the goal of enhancing both the students’ clinical instruction and patient care. Penn Dental Medicine has also increased the hours of patient care treatment to improve access to care for all of its patients.
The new model has created six primary care unit (PCU) student/faculty/coordinator groups for clinical instruction of predoctoral DMD students within the School, led by full-time faculty members, along with a full-time Dental Director of the School’s expanded community sites. In addition, this new model has added a new full-time Director of Operative Dentistry to oversee both preclinical student education and the integration of that education into the School’s patient care facilities.
Taking on the leadership roles of Primary Care Unit Directors are: Drs. Karina Hariton-Gross, Margrit Maggio, Patrice Ierardi, Vincent Mayher, Glenn Rochlen, and Marie Congiusta, who will also have additional administrative responsibilities to ensure best practices in the delivery of patient care and consistency in faculty calibration and standardization. Appointed to the new position of Primary Care Leader/Dental Director of Community Dental Care Centers is Dr. Leonard Jensen, and Dr. Josephine Lomangino-Cheung joins Penn Dental Medicine as the new Director of Operative Dentistry.
“Our priority is to ensure we are providing a patient-centered, evidence-based clinical educational experience for our students, along with providing excellence in patient care,” says Dr. David Hershkowitz, Division Chief of Restorative Dentistry. “This new structure helps to support that goal. Having full-time faculty leading the groups allows for a more unified teaching philosophy and reducing the number of groups from 12 to 6 improves scheduling to better support patient access to care and promotes continuity of care.”
With this new organization, students are also more frequently scheduled in the clinical environment, resulting in approximately a 25% increase in general dentistry clinic time per year for all students relative to the previous model.
Among these new appointments, Dr. Hariton-Gross, Dr. Maggio, Dr. Ierardi, Dr. Mayher, and Dr. Jensen, are all long-time members of the Penn Dental Medicine community.
- Dr. Hariton-Gross, Associate Professor of Clinical Restorative Dentistry, joined the School’s faculty in 2007; originally from Venezuela, she earned a DDS there in 2000 and her DMD from Penn Dental Medicine in 2010. Dr. Hariton-Gross has been a PCU Group Leader since 2012 and has been Director of the Fixed Prosthodontics Module of the Restorative Dentistry Lecture Course and the Treatment Plan Seminar Courses since 2016.
- A 1987 graduate of Penn Dental Medicine, Dr. Maggio, Associate Professor of Clinical Restorative Dentistry, has been on the faculty since 1996, including having served as Director of Preclinical Dentistry, Director of Operative Dentistry, and the Director of the Advanced Simulation Laboratory as well as Preclinical Laboratory Director and Preclinical Group Leader.
- Dr. Ierardi, Assistant Professor of Clinical Restorative Dentistry and a 1984 DMD graduate of Penn Dental Medicine, first taught at the School from 1986-1987, and returned in 2014, most recently serving as Assistant Director of Comprehensive Care Clinics.
- Joining the faculty in 2012, Dr. Mayher, Assistant Professor of Clinical Restorative Dentistry, has served as a PCU Group Leader since 2018. A 1978 graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Dentistry and past-President of the Academy of General Dentistry (2007-2008), Dr. Mayher maintained a practice in general dentistry in Haddonfield, N.J., from 1985 until 2020.
- A 1977 DMD graduate of Penn Dental Medicine, Dr. Jensen, Assistant Professor of Clinical Community Oral Health, was first part of the School’s faculty from 1977-1985 and then returned in 2007, teaching since then within the Department of Preventive & Restorative Sciences, including having served as a PCU Group Leader. In his new role as Primary Care Leader/Dental Director of Community Dental Care Centers, he is overseeing clinical instruction of students in the community settings where Penn Dental Medicine students provides care.
PCU Directors Dr. Rochlen and Dr. Congiusta, and Director of Operative Dentistry Dr. Lomangino-Cheung have all come to Penn Dental Medicine from New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry.
- Dr. Rochlen, Associate Professor of Clinical Restorative Dentistry, holds a dental degree from NYU and was a Group Practice Director there since 2009, where he also served as an assistant group leader (2007-2009), a key faculty member for the School’s After Hours Emergency Care Program, and a co-investigator on various research endeavors. An invited presenter at American Dental Education Association (ADEA) meetings, he also holds a national office in ADEA and has served on various clinical educational committees.
- Dr. Congiusta, Associate Professor of Clinical Restorative Dentistry, also earned her DDS from NYU (1987), joining the NYU dental faculty in 2007 as an Assistant Professor and becoming a Group Practice Director there in 2017. Among her scholarly activities, she co-authored various dental abstracts and served as Director of the D1 Multidisciplinary course.
- Dr. Lomangino-Cheung, Associate Professor of Clinical Restorative Dentistry, was part of the NYU dental faculty since 1999. Starting as an unpaid volunteer, she rose through the ranks to full-time Director, overseeing General Dentistry II (D2 operative dentistry), Preclinical Aesthetic Dentistry, D3 Advanced Operative, and Advanced Standing courses. She had also been a Co-Investigator of numerous research studies at Bluestone Research Center, NYU, since 2014. A frequent presenter at the ADEA national meetings, she also holds a national office in ADEA. In the new role of Director of Operative Dentistry, she will oversee instruction of both preclinical and clinical operative dentistry at Penn Dental Medicine.
“It is exciting to launch these new teaching roles in our Department,” adds Dr. Hershkowitz. “I’m confident they will all contribute greatly to our students’ preclinical and clinical education and help us provide the best care for our patients.”
The official faculty appointments of Drs. Ierardi, Mayher, Jensen, Rochlen, Congiusta, and Lomangino-Cheung are pending the approval of the appropriate School of Dental Medicine committees, the University’s Provost Staff Conference, and the Trustees.