School of Dental Medicine Faculty and Staff Recognized with Awards

The rotunda overlooking the entrance to the Academic Building at UConn Health was completed in the summer of 2016. (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health Photo)

School of Dental Medicine faculty and staff were recently recognized for their extraordinary contributions to the field of dental medicine and to UConn Health.

Dental Faculty Scores as a MedEdPORTAL Top Reviewer

Dr. Elias Chatah, assistant clinical professor, was recognized by the Association of American Medical College (AAMC) and MedEdPORTAL as an outstanding reviewer. Ten out of three hundred faculty from universities across the county were chosen for this honor.

This year, Chatah was the only dental expert on the top reviewer list.

Dr. Chatah was invited by the AAMC to attend the Award Ceremony during the 2019 AAMC Learn, Serve, Lead Meeting which took place at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix, AZ.

“I am honored to receive this recognition and I look forward to contributing to MedEdPORTAL’s promotion of educational scholarship and dissemination of scholarly resources to healthcare professionals,” said Chatah.

MedEdPORTAL is an open-access journal of teaching and learning resources in the health professions published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the American Dental Education Association (ADEA).

The MedEdPORTAL review and editing process involves multiple layers of rigorous scientific vetting and analysis. Reviewers and editors judge all MedEdPORTAL submissions based upon strict AAMC criteria which include evidence, relevance, clarity of the objectives, accuracy, completeness, impact, and reflection. Submissions may be returned to the author(s) for revisions or rejected if the author(s) fail(s) to meet the AAMC criteria. Feedback is critical to authors who are seeking recognition for their scholarly work and looking to improve. This year’s honorees also completed at least three reviews.

Faculty and Staff Recognized for Excellence at UConn Health

On Tuesday, November 6, dental faculty and staff received the Award of Excellence at the UConn Health John Dempsey Hospital Annual Medical Staff meeting for their dedication and service to education, patient care and to UConn Health.

Dr. Sergio Sanchez received the Award of Excellence in the dental staff category. Sanchez currently serves as the program director for the General Dentistry Residency Program—the largest dental residency program at UConn with over 30 residents per year. Sanchez was nominated for being an “exceptionally enthusiastic and committed faculty member who has spearheaded efforts to incorporate technological advances in dental medicine into both the educational program and its patient care program and has helped to move UConn into the forefront of digital treatment planning and 3D printing,” said Dr. Steve Lepowsky, senior associate dean for education and patient care. Sanchez is also directly responsible for the administration of the Dental Emergency Service, which is the largest dental emergency entity in the state. In addition, Sanchez is an active provider within University Dentists and provides care to patients with acquired and developmental disabilities in the John Dempsey Hospital operating room.

Marlena Sliwka Golaszewski, a patient care coordinator in the Division of General Dentistry, received the Award of Excellence in the dental clinic support staff category. Marlena handles the scheduling and coordination of care for patients with acquired and developmental disabilities, patients from skilled nursing facilities, and other groups who have historically encountered the greatest difficulties accessing oral healthcare. Marlena works with staff from the Department of Developmental Services, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and over 100 group homes in the state to facilitate the care of patients, both for the outpatient Dental Care Center and for the operating room at John Dempsey Hospital. Marlena spends countless hours on the phone to make certain that consults and referrals are all completed in a timely manner so that there is no interruption in care. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, Marlena functions as a dental assistant for dental emergency services and in the operating room. Marlena was nominated for her compassion and sincerity, along with her commitment to ensuring the best possible delivery of care. According to Lepowsky, “regardless of how busy or stressful the day is, Marlena always is always smiling – her optimism and bright outlook is infectious.”