Dr. Joan I. Gluch Receives PDA Public Service Award


Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP

Philadelphia – Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, Chief of Penn Dental Medicine’s Division of Community Oral Health, has been honored by the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) for her public service to the community as the 2021 recipient of the PDA Public Service Award. The award recognizes her commitment to underserved communities through her insightful innovations to improve their oral health.

As Professor of Clinical Community Oral Health and Chief of the Division of Community Oral Health at the School, Dr. Gluch has expanded community outreach programs and partnerships and established the academically based service-learning courses at Penn Dental Medicine, through which the School serves approximately 20,000 individuals annually. In addition, Dr. Gluch has secured significant funding sources to support the programs, including a grant to allow all predoctoral students to have clinical experience with children in their first five years of life. Penn Dental Medicine was one of 11 dental schools nationwide to receive the “first five” Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant.

Encouraging and building an interest in community service among students, Dr. Gluch also led the development of the School’s honors program in community oral health. The honors program allows motivated students to go beyond the basic community service requirements to receive an intensive experience in developing and implementing community health programs from an interdisciplinary perspective.