UW School of Dentistry

Macy Foundation Faculty Scholar to work with Pediatric Dentistry

Mayumi Willgerodt, an associate professor in the University of Washington School of Nursing, will collaborate with The Center for Pediatric Dentistry in her work as a 2013-14 Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Faculty Scholar.

Dr. WillgerodtDr. Willgerodt, the first faculty scholar selected from the UW, will focus on addressing pediatric oral health disparities and building team-based models of care by bridging gaps in interprofessional education and collaborative practice. She will work closely with pediatric dental residents, advanced practice nursing students and social work students to implement an interprofessional oral health curriculum, and will partner with The Center to create a team-based model of care for underserved children. Her project will also explore ways to expand these models of care across the country.

“The Center for Pediatric Dentistry will provide the perfect setting for Dr. Willgerodt’s project. Our residents and faculty look forward to the opportunity to participate in a team-based approach to care,” said Dr. Rebecca Slayton, chair of the UW Department of Pediatric Dentistry and director of The Center for Pediatric Dentistry. “The diverse patient population we treat includes children with special health care needs, children from other countries and children who have difficulty accessing the health care system. This partnership will demonstrate interprofessional education at its best.”

Dr. Willgerodt, who teaches in the Department of Family and Child Nursing, has focused her research and scholarship on immigrant youth and families, school health promotion in children and in recent years, interprofessional education (IPE) and collaborative practice.

Her emphasis on health disparities and advocating for underserved and vulnerable children, families and communities has remained constant throughout her professional life. She practices as a school nurse in Seattle and she is active in numerous interprofessional initiatives, is a former UW IPE Teaching Scholar and leads a grant-funded IPE Assessment Team.

“This award will give me the opportunity to really focus on addressing several critical needs in education and practice: collaborative practice opportunities, pediatric oral health disparities, and the inclusion of school nurses as integral members of the health care team,” said Dr. Willgerodt. “It’s really all about addressing the ‘Triple Aim’ – better care, better health and controlling health care costs – among our most vulnerable population.”

The Macy Faculty Scholars program, the first of its kind, began in December 2010 and selects five scholars annually from around the United States. The program aims to accelerate needed reforms in health professions education to accommodate the dramatic changes occurring in medical practice and health care delivery. Scholars engage in an educational project and work closely with a mentor who is recognized for leadership. Dr. Brenda Zierler, Professor in Biobehavioral Nursing Health Systems, will be Dr. Willgerodt’s mentor during the next two years.

“Mayumi’s background in conducting research with underserved populations is perfectly aligned with her Macy Scholar’s project,” said Dr. Zierler.  “As a pediatric nurse, Mayumi has outlined a project that if successful will make a difference in the lives of underserved children and the health professionals who practice collaboratively to address this chronic health illness in children. I am privileged to be a mentor working with Mayumi and collaborating with the UW School of Dentistry and The Center for Pediatric Dentistry on such an important project.”

Said George Thibault, president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation:  “These promising educational innovators will join other Macy Faculty Scholars in driving much-needed innovation and reform in health professions education.”