Dental Foundation of North Carolina

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Why support pediatric dentistry?

Pediatric dentists are specialists that provide oral health care for infants, children and adolescents, including those with special health care needs. Children with special health care needs include those with conditions such as autism, cerebral palsy, developmental disabilities, mental handicaps, congenital heart anomalies, organ transplants, cancer and a host of diverse genetic and metabolic conditions.

The goal of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is to ensure these diverse populations receive the very best in oral health care. This goal is achieved by providing excellence in a variety of diverse programs including:

  • Patient care
  • Education
  • Research
  • Community engagement
  • Advocacy

The Department of Pediatric Dentistry has a variety of funds that sustain our educational, research and patient care programs. Your support will help insure continued excellence in our efforts to ensure that all children are given an opportunity for optimal oral health.

Funds Supporting Professorships

Endowed professorships allow the recruitment and retention of the very best clinicians, educators and researchers in the field of pediatric dentistry. Once endowed, they provide support for salary, research and other professional activities directed at fulfilling our mission.

James W. Bawden Distinguished Professorship Fund: This professorship honors Dr. Jim Bawden, a pediatric dentist who served the specialty and UNC-CH School of Dentistry through his extensive research endeavors and leadership roles, including Dean. This professorship was fully funded through a grass roots effort that established a permanently endowed professorship in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Tim Wright currently holds the Bawden Distinguished Professorship.

William W. Demeritt Distinguished Professorship Fund: This Professorship honors Dr. “Willie” Demerit who served as the first chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the UNC-CH School of Dentistry and was recognized as a great clinician and educator. Dr. Demeritt stated in his “Jungle of Weeds” speech that – “if we neglected our plants as we do our children’s oral health we would soon be living in a jungle of weeds”. This professorship is fully funded and Dr. William Vann currently holds the William Demeritt Distinguished Professorship.

Dr. Donald and Mrs. Alexandra Henson Distinguished Professorship Fund: This professorship honors Dr. Donald Henson and his wife Alexandra who are committed to helping ensure educational excellence in pediatric dentistry. The Henson’s dedication to improving the oral health of children is perpetuated for future generations through this professorship. Dr. Michael Roberts currently holds the Henson Distinguished Professorship.

Graduate Education Funds: Graduate education funds are used to support specialty education in pediatric dentistry. The funds are used specifically to enhance leadership and educational enhancement opportunities in the areas of patient care, education, research, and child health advocacy. One hundred percent of gifts to the graduate education fellowship funds go directly to the residents to support their stipends and educational opportunities.

Mary Jean Breeland Fellowship: This fellowship was endowed by a planned gift from Ms. Breeland. It was her wish to support our pediatric dentistry residents that are natives of North Carolina or plan to remain and practice in North Carolina following completion of their residency. Ms. Breeland stated that she did not have good oral health as a child and wanted future generations to have the opportunity to have healthy smiles.

Phil Caldwell – John Christensen Fellowship: Drs. Caldwell and Christensen are both private practitioners that have taken time from their busy practices to serve as professors in the department and be heavily engaged in our teaching mission. They have both served in this capacity for decades and have touched countless residents with their unique teaching styles, common sense approaches and in depth knowledge of providing oral health care. This fellowship honors that dedication and commitment to serving our child patients by giving them the very best.

James Congleton Fellowship: Dr. Jim Congleton has long served as a community leader and champion of oral health locally and nationally. Interest from this fellowship provides leadership training support to pediatric dentistry residents, allowing them to work with national leaders and child health advocates while attending the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Jack Menius Fellowship: This fellowship honors Dr. Jack Menius who is a tremendous supporter and advocate of patients with special needs. Interest from this fellowship provides stipend support to pediatric dentistry residents who serve rotations and provide dental care at the Gateway Education Center (Greensboro, NC). Gateway is a school for children with special needs, such as cerebral palsy.

Theodore Oldenburg Fellowship: This fellowship is a tribute to Dr. Ted Oldenburg and his years of leadership and education in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. He served as the chair of our department and associate dean for the school of dentistry. In addition, Dr. Oldenburg was elected by his peers as president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He also served as a director of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. Interest from this fellowship provides stipend support to pediatric dentistry residents serving as Chief Resident-Hospital, and Chief Resident-Administration.

Sandy Marks Fellowship: This fellowship honors a beloved past faculty member of the department. Dr. Marks was instrumental in establishing a dental school in Africa and was well known for his work with special needs patients. This fund is used to provide additional educational opportunities and support for pediatric dentistry residents working with craniofacial patients.

F. Thomas McIver Fellowship: Established in 2007 by alumni and friends of the department, this fellowship honors the indefatigable Dr. F. Thomas McIver (DDS (‘65), MS (‘70), a beloved professor who dedicated his career to care for developmentally disabled persons. This fellowship provides stipend enhancement for residents in the department, while honoring Tom’s role as a leader in the school-based clinical program catering to children with special health care needs.

Diane C. Dilley Fellowship: Established in 2009 by alumni and friends of the department, this fellowship honors Dr. Diane Dilley of Cary, a 35-year long-time faculty member and favorite professor of many. This fellowship supports senior residents’ participation in the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry Review Course, honoring Diane’s passion for high standards and Board Certification.

Patient and Department Funds: Poor oral health continues to ravage our children – but it is preventable! Despite the startling facts about the oral health of our children in America, there are currently inadequate resources available to treat all children and to provide educational opportunities for oral health care providers of the future.

  • Dental decay is the most prevalent disease of childhood in America, surpassing asthma and hay fever.
  • North Carolina has a shortage of dentists and is ranked 48th in the nation for dentist/patient ratio.
  • Children with special health care needs continue to have unmet oral health care needs.
  • Optimal health care gives children the opportunity to grow and develop free of pain and infection.
  • Dental caries is preventable and all children can have the wonder of a happy, healthy smile.

These funds go to directly support treatment costs for children and the mission of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

Patient Treatment Fund: One of four children in North Carolina begins kindergarten with untreated dental decay, and dental caries in the 2 to 5 year old age group is increasing. Many children do not have access to dental care due to the family’s lack of financial resources. This fund supports dental care for children by covering the dental treatment costs of children who would otherwise not receive treatment due to a lack of finances.

Pediatric Dentistry Unrestricted Fund: This fund supports the general administration and programs of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.

You can support the kids and help ensure all children have a chance for a healthy smile by giving to any of the named professorships, fellowships and the patient treatment fund or through donations to the Pediatric Dentistry Unrestricted Funds. Additional information on how to make gifts and pledges to any of these funds or fellowships can be obtained by contacting Mr. Paul Gardner, Associate Dean of Advancement, at 919.966.4563.