HRSA grant brings new opportunities for college faculty and curriculum

Health Resources and Services Administration (H.R.S.A.), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, recently awarded a $2.5 million, five-year grant to the University of Florida College of Dentistry to support faculty development and a D.M.D. curriculum revision.

The grant targets faculty teaching in the predoctoral dental educational program, and also supports faculty development for faculty teaching in the primary care disciplines of pediatric dentistry, public health, general dentistry residency training programs as well as dental hygiene faculty at state colleges in Florida.

“We will give special attention to cultural competency, motivational interviewing, risk factors for systemic and oral health disparities, pedagogy including use of new technologies and critical thinking, as well as expanding the pipeline of individuals considering academic careers in primary care disciplines,” said Linda Behar-Horenstein, Ph.D., a professor at the UF College of Education.

Behar-Horenstein is a co-principal investigator for the grant along with Frank Catalanotto, D.M.D., a professor at the UF College of Dentistry.

“This grant opens multiple pathways for faculty development and also supports the major curriculum revision process in progress for the D.M.D. program which will help meet revised accreditation standards from the Commission on Dental Accreditation,” Catalanotto said.

He added that the faculty grant dovetails nicely with a grant the college received in 2011 to develop and expand curriculum in several areas including the behavioral sciences.

Some additional highlights include:

  • Faculty development projects will close gaps in diversity and cultural competency.
  • Funding will provide tuition support for faculty members who seek additional degrees in public health or in other areas that promote the goals of the grant.
  • Programs will support the programmatic revisions of the overall college curriculum, support faculty teaching in its DMD program, college primary care residency programs and in four collaborating dental hygiene education programs.
  • Support innovative curriculum and teaching in the college’s predoctoral dental education program, as well as pediatric, public health and general dentistry, and dental hygiene.
  • Expand and enhance dental faculty development programs in predoctoral dental education, general and pediatric dentistry, public health dentistry, and dental hygiene by coordinating a new faculty orientation that highlights college curricular innovations and promotes the faculty development programs available to support their efforts.
  • College TEAM leaders and pediatric faculty will participate in development programs that include content on cultural competency (including risk factors for systemic and oral health disparities), teaching pedagogy (including use of new technologies), and effective methods of motivational interviewing.
  • Provide financial assistance and special programming for predoctoral dental students and dentists to pursue training to enhance their ability to teach in predoctoral dental, general dentistry, and pediatric and public health dentistry programs. The grant will fund up to four D.M.D. students each year in the ADEAGies Foundation/AADR Academic Dental Careers Fellowship Program (ADCFP) and specific college curricular programs. The grant provides funding for six students each year to spend six weeks in a rich learning environment such as a federally qualified community health center or country health department.
  • By June 2017, the grant will provide a stipend and tuition support for four dentists who are working in or interested in an academic career to enter the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions MPH program.
  • By June 2013, and each year following, the grant will cover the costs of books and course materials for at least one DMD faculty member to enroll in a UF (non-thesis option) enhanced certificate/traineeship emphasizing curriculum development and instruction, instructional technology, educational leadership, research, program evaluation and methods, health administration or public health.

Program Team

Two co-program directors will lead a team of 11 during the grant time frame.

  • Catalanotto will have overall responsibility for implementation and management of this project. He will handle all administrative and financial reporting to HRSA and other agencies, coordinate Advisory Council meetings, and act as liaison to the participating committees and key individuals within the college and outside the college In addition he will oversee the student-to-faculty programs.
  • Behar-Horenstein will share administrative and implementation decision making with Catalanotto and will oversee faculty development programs in Cultural Competency and Motivational Interviewing, implement the pedagogy faculty development programs including teaching with technology and will handle all evaluation activities.
  • Gail Childs, R.D.H., M.P.H., will organize the administration of faculty development events and programs, and interface with the UF Health Science Center Faculty Development Committee. Childs will assist Behar-Horenstein with collection and dissemination of quantitative and qualitative evaluation of faculty development activities within the grant.
  • Elizabeth Lense, D.D.S., M.S.H.A., will implement cultural competency faculty development objectives.
  • Micaela Gibbs, D.D.S., will implement several objectives relating to dental students including a summer work program, act as liaison with Area Health Education Centers, and the ADEA GIES component.
  • Scott Tomar, D.M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., will focus on public health related aspects of the project including those that focus on DMD students and dental residents.
  • David Culp, Ph.D., will oversee faculty development programs in case based learning (the design of 20 patient/problem based learning cases.
  • Lisa Merlo, Ph.D., M.P.E., who works in the UF College of Medicine, will serve as the motivational interviewing director, lead the team in development of motivational interviewing training program and will provide the trainings.
  • Charisse Hudson-Vassell, a graduate assistant, will conduct literature reviews, attend focus group interviews and debrief with Behar-Horenstein following focus group interviews, transcribing audio-taped focus groups interviews, analyzing qualitative and quantitative data, manuscript writing, preparing conference presentations, applying data analytical skills, importing data into excel spreadsheets, running analyses on SPSS and consulting with the College of Education’s statistician about specific techniques for running analyses.
  • Phil Weinstein, Ph.D., will serve as a consultant in the development of the training for pediatric dentists to prevent early childhood caries.
  • Cynthia W. Garvin, Ph.D., will serve as a consultant assisting Behar-Horenstein in the evaluation of all project components of this project by providing statistical services, running analyses and writing sections of manuscripts and conference presentations as appropriate.

Advisory Committee

An Advisory Committee, chaired by Teresa A. Dolan, dean of the college, includes internal and external members and will make recommendations to the grant program team about the types of faculty development programs that are needed.

  • There will be one member contracted from the Academy for Academic Leadership. The other external member will be Dr. Dom DePaola, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Nova University.
  • Additional members include the chair of the college’s Curriculum Committee; a member of the Faculty Development Committee; Dr. Boyd Robinson, associate dean for Clinical Affairs and the TEAM leader; Dr. Nini Sposetti, associate dean for Education; Dr. Nancy Zinser- an associate dean of Health Sciences at Palm Beach State College who will represent the dental hygiene collaborating institutions, and the two HRSA grant co-program directors, Drs. Frank Catalanotto and Linda Behar-Horenstein.

For further information, please contact Frank Catalanotto at 352-273-5970 or or Linda Behar-Horenstein at 352-682-0768 or Also attached is a pdf of a power point presentation about the grant and opportunities it presents to faculty.  HRSA_FD_PPT0904_2012