UW School of Dentistry

Dr. Slayton to resign from UW positions

Dr. Rebecca Slayton, director of the University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry, chair of the UW Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the UW School of Dentistry, will step down from these posts and retire from the UW this year, the school has announced.

Dr. Rebecca Slayton at the podium
Dr. Rebecca Slayton speaks to the crowd gathered to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the University of Washington Center for Pediatric Dentistry in October 2015.

Dr. Slayton will conclude her duties as department chair and director of the Center on Feb. 29. She will continue her role as Associate Dean at the School of Dentistry and will teach and see patients at the Center until June 30.

“I have learned more than I ever imagined and have had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of dedicated professionals,” Dr. Slayton wrote in a letter of resignation to Dean Joel Berg.

Dr. Slayton, who said that family needs compelled her resignation, added that she plans to continue working as a volunteer dentist at the Center one day a week after June 30.

Dr. Slayton, who holds the rank of professor with tenure, has been director at the Center and chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry since March 1, 2013. She came to the UW from the University of Iowa, where she was also professor and chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. At Iowa, Dr. Slayton had earned her DDS degree, certificate in pediatric dentistry, an MS in engineering and a PhD in genetics.

She was also intimately involved in laying the groundwork for the Center during an earlier stint at the UW as associate professor and graduate program director in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry from 2004 to 2008. During that time, she was research chair and director of the Early Childhood Oral Health Project. This became the foundation for the Center, which opened in September 2010.

“We are indebted in so many ways to Dr. Slayton for the tremendous work she has done in helping create the Center and then guiding it through a critical time in these early years,” Dean Berg said. “Her leadership has helped us realize our vision of a world-class facility that delivers superb patient care and also conducts research into the best practices in pediatric oral health.”

Dean Berg added, “At the same time, she has built on her department’s strong traditions to ensure that  our pediatric dental residents continue to receive unsurpassed training.  She leaves an outstanding legacy.”

Dean Berg said that he and Dr. Travis Nelson, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, will share administrative duties at the Center for the time being. No time frame has been set for the search for a new department chair, he said.  Dr. Berg will serve as Acting Chair in the interim.

Dr. Slayton is also director of the Dental Department at Seattle Children’s Hospital and said she plans to continue in that position after her retirement from the UW.

She currently serves as the Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, as a member of the American Dental Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation and has been a consultant to the ADA’s Commission on Dental Accreditation. She regularly serves as an examiner for the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and has been an ad hoc reviewer for leading dental journals.