SOURCE: Western University of Health Sciences

Western University of Health Sciences

December 16, 2009 19:56 ET

Dental Medicine Dean Lauded for Leadership

POMONA, CA--(Marketwire - December 16, 2009) - College of Dental Medicine Founding Dean James Koelbl, DDS, MS, MJ, will receive national recognition for helping give a voice to dental educators in the health care reform debate.

Koelbl will receive a 2010 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Presidential Citation on Feb. 28, 2010 in Washington, D.C. He was nominated by ADEA President Ronald Hunt, DDS, MS, for, most notably, serving as chairman of the Legislative Advisory Committee and helping to formulate the association's health care reform stance, said Jack Bresch, ADEA associate executive director and director of the Center for Public Policy and Advocacy.

Beginning in May 2007, the Legislative Advisory Committee formulated a public policy statement and several principles that ADEA would follow in pursuit of health care reform, Bresch said.

"This is recognition of his leadership in legislative activities and getting our association deeply involved in health care reform," Bresch said.

Koelbl facilitated discussion within ADEA's membership on the policy statement and principles. The ADEA House of Delegates ratified the policy statement in March 2009.

"Our statement is that oral health care has to be part of health care reform," Bresch said. "We are engaged in the health care reform debate because we are providers. As with physicians, hospitals and nursing homes, we have a stake in the health care system."

ADEA has also developed principles for curriculum innovation, Koelbl said. As a newly developing program, the College of Dental Medicine can take these ideas and put them into practice to show what really works and what needs alterations.

"People in dental education are looking at the development of new dental schools as an opportunity to really advance dental education and, ultimately, the profession of dentistry," Koelbl said. "When I receive this award I'm really receiving it on behalf of a lot of people -- ADEA, ADA, WesternU. I'm the point person."

About Western University of Health Sciences

Western University of Health Sciences (, located in Pomona, Calif., is an independent nonprofit health professions university, conferring degrees in dental medicine, health sciences, nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistant studies, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine. In 2010, the university will admit students to a new degree program in biomedical sciences.

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