Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program


30 years ago, a renaissance of dental public health activity began in California. While many of the early advocates and leaders remain in the field today, many of our leaders are or will be retiring soon. This anticipated “brain drain” will result in the loss of many key experts whose institutional memory makes them among the most knowledgeable about the unique aspects of advancing a people-centered oral health agenda that ensures equal access to oral health services regardless of individual or community status. The oral health community in California needs to cultivate new leaders to re-energize the field and replace the long-time knowledgeable experts and advocates.

To help develop emerging oral health leaders in California, Center for Oral Health is establishing the Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program

Named after Robert Isman, DDS, MPH and Jared Fine, DDS, MPH, the Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program is a one-year interdisciplinary, mentored fellowship program focused on health-related community service and leadership development. Click here to learn more about Dr. Robert Isman and Dr. Jared Fine. 

The main objective of the Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program is to foster and mentor a new network of emerging leaders who will take responsibility for growing and sustaining the field. This program will generate and engage younger public health professionals and oral health advocates, and prepare them to deepen their knowledge on public policy, and take on leadership roles more effectively. 

Defining Health

The Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows must embrace the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  Rooted in this holistic understanding of health and the belief that a state of optimal health cannot be accomplished without good oral health, the Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership projects will address not only clinical health issues, but also the social determinants of health—defined by the WHO as the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, and which are mostly responsible for health inequities.


Eligible applicants must fulfill the following credential, residence, and age requirements listed below:


Dentists, dental hygienists, and individuals with a master’s or higher degree in public health or an equivalent field are eligible to apply.


Applicants must reside within the state of California


Applicants must be 40 years old or younger.

Term of Program

The term of the program is 12 months, during which the selected participant will meet with oral health leaders. The selected participant will research public policy topics affecting the oral health of vulnerable populations. Such topics may include but are not limited to oral health indicators, oral health literacy, access to oral health care services, service delivery models, health care policy, and quality of oral health care services.

Selected fellows must summarize findings of their research in the form of reports, peer-reviewed publications, and policy briefs with recommendations to address the oral health care needs of vulnerable populations. Selected fellows may be asked to provide briefings to policy makers locally or in Sacramento or Washington, D.C.

Participants must work on their research project a minimum of 7 hours per week. The participant may work remotely, with some travel within the state and country as needed. COH will work around the participant's schedule. 

Financial Support:

Each fellow will receive a $10,000 stipend over the course of one year. Stipend may be utilized to cover travel expenses associated with the project, such as traveling to Sacramento or Washington D.C. to meet with policymakers and oral health leaders.


Applications must be submitted to the Center for Oral Health by 5:00 pm (PDT) on Sunday, April 30th, 2017.



Applications must include:

1. Completed and Signed Application Form. We ask that you please request an application form via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All applicants must fill out the 2017 Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program Application Form (available here)

2. Resume or Curriculum Vitae

3. A 2-4 page essay (double-spaced) addressing the following:

  • Meaning of oral health and its importance in relation to general health and well-being.
  • Your expectations of how the Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program will enhance your knowledge.
  • How do you expect to apply what you learn from the Isman-Fine Oral Health Leadership Fellows Program to further your career?

For More Information, Please Contact:

Center for Oral Health


Center for Oral Health offers Calif. fellowship - Dr. Bicuspid - July 27, 2015