Agriculture, Dentistry Become Partners

Contact: Amy Gilliam

Photo of Larry Turner, Associate Director and Associate Dean College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension; Sharlee Shirley, assistant professor, UK Department of Oral Health Science; UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.; M. Scott Smith, dean, UK College of Agriculture; and Sharon P. Turner, dean, UK College of Dentistry
(l-r) Larry Turner, Associate Director and Associate Dean College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension; Sharlee Shirley, assistant professor, UK Department of Oral Health Science; UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.; M. Scott Smith, dean, UK College of Agriculture; and Sharon P. Turner, dean, UK College of Dentistry

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“The agreement combines efforts and resources that will lead to positive outcomes for the Commonwealth and expands our charge as a land-grant university. It will act as a channel to improve the oral and general health, the education, and the economy of Kentucky.

-- Lee T. Todd Jr.,
president,
University of Kentucky

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 26, 2004) -- An agreement was signed today that will further enhance and extend the land grant mission of the University of Kentucky by establishing an innovative and progressive multidisciplinary partnership between the UK College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service Health Education through Extension Leadership (HEEL) and the UK College of Dentistry Division of Dental Public Health and Center for Oral Health Research. The partnership will advance education, service and research programs aimed at improving the oral health and general health of Kentuckians.

Collaborative programming will emphasize public education on the relationships between oral health and general health as an important public policy consideration, not only for the health of Kentuckians but also for the advancement of education and economic development in the Commonwealth. Innovative service and research projects also will be developed as part of the multidisciplinary partnership.

“The agreement combines efforts and resources that will lead to positive outcomes for the Commonwealth and expands our charge as a land-grant university. It will act as a channel to improve the oral and general health, the education, and the economy of Kentucky ,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.

UK College of Agriculture Dean M. Scott Smith said, "This partnership signifies a major step forward in a significant trend. Agreements like this one allow us to broaden our mission and reach out to Kentuckians in a high-impact way."

"The College of Dentistry is eager to move forward with developing an innovative multidisciplinary oral health program that enhances the quality of life, education, health and economic status of the people of the Commonwealth," said Sharon P. Turner, dean, UK College of Dentistry. "This agreement combines our efforts and resources for better oral health throughout Kentucky."

In addition to the overall partnership memorandum, a specific agreement was executed to facilitate development of the partnership. Sharlee Shirley, dental public health hygienist and assistant research professor, UK College of Dentistry, will serve as Extension Service Specialist for Oral Health, providing statewide dental resources and educational support. Shirley also will serve as a liaison between the two colleges to provide applied research, education and service programming when appropriate and applicable, as well as technical assistance and instruction for the UK College of Agriculture’s Extension Service. She will lead in the effort to build an oral health coalition with the College of Agriculture through her unique activities with the HEEL program.

The partnership marks the first time a land-grant institution has shared a faculty position with a College of Dentistry and a College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension program.


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