Photo: Last spring, Assistant U.S. Surgeon General William Bailey met with students on campus to discuss careers in public health dentistry
By Lyndsey Crum | School of Dental Medicine
AURORA, Colo. - Assistant Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps William D. Bailey, DDS, MPH, has been appointed by the CU School of Dental Medicine as the endowed chair in Prevention of Early Childhood Caries. His appointment is effective August 1, 2014 following his retirement from the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in spring 2014.
Bailey is a 1982 graduate of the CU School of Dental Medicine.
Funded by Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, the endowed chair in Prevention of Early Childhood Caries aims to further Delta Dental’s and the School of Dental Medicine’s mutual goal of eradicating childhood tooth decay.
“Dr. Bailey will bring a national perspective and decades of experience to our ongoing efforts to reduce the oral disease burden on vulnerable populations in Colorado," said Denise Kassebaum, dean of the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. “His leadership will further enhance the focus of our dental school, students, faculty and alumni, and will ultimately impact generations to come.”
Dental caries (tooth decay) remains the most prevalent chronic disease in both children and adults, even though it is largely preventable. Although caries has significantly decreased for most Americans over the past four decades, disparities remain among some population groups. However, the incidence of dental caries in young children has increased in recent years.
Delta Dental Foundation presented the CU School of Dental Medicine with a $2.5 million gift to recruit a national expert to inform public health policies and practices that impact dental caries disease rates of vulnerable populations, particularly the children of Colorado. After a multi-year search, Bailey was recruited and accepted the offer to serve as the inaugural chair.
“Caries is a disease of health inequity," Baily said. "As dental professionals, we can work with other health professionals and community leaders to decrease disparities in oral health. I am delighted to join the progressive and dynamic team at my alma mater, the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine.”
Barbara Springer, executive director of the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, said "We are proud to have someone of Bailey's status and reputation serve as the first Endowed Chair for Prevention of Early Childhood Caries. We know he will make a difference in the fight to reduce dental disease among Colorado's children."
The CU Anschutz Medical Campus has a significant focus on public health, including serving as the host campus for the Colorado School of Public Health. “Having the expertise of Dr. Bailey on our campus will not only enhance the education of all of the students of the various health professions, but also benefit our community far and wide,” said Dean of the Colorado School of Public Health David Goff, MD, PhD.
Bailey, a board certified public health dentist, is the Chief Dental Officer for the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and has recently served as the acting director of the Division of Oral Health within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
He also directed dental care activities for the Aberdeen Area Indian Health Service and served as chief dental officer at the Federal Correctional Institute In Ray Brook, NY. In addition to his DDS, he completed his master’s in Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
As the endowed chair in Prevention of Early Childhood Caries, Bailey also will serve as the director of Prevention and Health Promotion and will be a key member of the leadership team of faculty and staff dedicated to public and population health activities at the School of Dental Medicine. He will help to inform public health policies and practices that impact oral disease rates of Colorado’s most vulnerable populations; provide information about children’s and adult oral health issues to legislative and other governmental groups and work with local foundations to design projects that improve the health of local communities.
On the Anschutz Medical Campus, Bailey will work the pediatric dentists in the Dental Center of Children’s Hospital Colorado and with School of Dental Medicine researchers investigating advances in fluoride and new technologies used in preventive biomaterials. He will help to develop and implement a combined DDS/MPH degree program affiliated with the Colorado School of Public Health; teach dental students, residents and graduate students; and collaborate with other faculty on funded projects that train professionals to promote children’s oral health resulting in the prevention of early childhood caries.