POMONA, Calif. – Dr. Steven Friedrichsen, Dean, Western University of Health Sciences College of Dental Medicine, will be honored with the Champion of Academic Impact Award at Center for Oral Health’s special 30th Anniversary Gala on November 20, 2015 at the legendary Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles, CA. The award recognizes Dr. Friedrichsen’s leadership in engaging dental education with underserved communities throughout his career. 

Dr. Friedrichsen has provided support and advocacy for an educational model and student engagement at “WesternU” that emphasizes prevention of dental disease by getting children into the oral health care delivery system, or dental homes, by age 1. WesternU's College of Dental Medicine (CDM) has also opened six school-based oral health centers that provide comprehensive oral health services to uninsured and underserved children. Previously Dr. Friedrichsen was awarded the Milagro Award by the One World Community Health Center in 2008 and was an Outstanding Public Service awardee at Idaho State University in 2002 for his efforts to integrate care for underserved communities into the dental education programs he led. 

“I’m honored to accept this award on behalf of the faculty, administration, staff and students at WesternU,” said Dr. Friedrichsen. “Community partnerships are a core part of the university, its mission and vision. The rewards are personal for our students and faculty as well, not just for the communities we serve: the tears of joy from a smile restored, the look on a patient’s face when relieved of pain, or the hand-drawn picture make you realize the impact you can have on people’s lives.”

Dr. Conrado Bárzaga, Executive Director of the Center for Oral Health, said, “The Center for Oral Health is proud to partner with Western University of Health Sciences in making positive change in the lives of underserved and uninsured children and it couldn’t happen without the vision and action of Dr. Friedrichsen. The foundation he is laying for his students is creating a paradigm shift within the healthcare delivery system and at dental schools all over the country. We are thrilled to honor Dr. Friedrichsen.”

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