UF College of Dentistry Dean

Published: September 15th, 2014

Category: Memos

David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Health Affairs, UF President, UF Health

I am pleased to announce that Isabel Garcia, D.D.S., M.P.H., has been named dean of the University of Florida College of Dentistry.

The UF College of Dentistry, the only state-funded dental school in Florida, is known internationally for excellence in education, research and patient care — a reputation that I am confident Dr. Garcia will continue to develop through her leadership in the years to come. She succeeds Teresa A. Dolan, D.D.S., M.P.H., who retired in June 2013 after serving as dean of the college for 11 years.

As the tenure of a new dean begins, I would like to sincerely thank Boyd Robinson, D.D.S., M.Ed., for serving as interim dean since June 2013. Dr. Robinson has been a stabilizing force for the college and its faculty during this transition period.

I am grateful for the efforts of the search committee, led by chair Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine, and thank its members for their hard work and input.

Dr. Garcia’s career spans 34 years in public health, clinical practice, research, teaching and administration at the local, state and national levels. As deputy director of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, or NIDCR, she has shared responsibility for the oversight and management of programs and functions within the institute — which includes a staff of more than 400 scientists and administrators dedicated to research, training, science policy, health education, communications and financial management.

A rear admiral lower half in the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Garcia joined the NIDCR in 1995 and has held multiple leadership roles since. She led NIDCR’s science transfer efforts, directed the Institute’s Office of Science Policy and Analysis, and served as acting NIDCR director from 2010-2011. Dr. Garcia also served as the institute’s coordinator for global health and took over as director of NIDCR’s Residency in Dental Public Health program in 2005. Since 1995, she has been a faculty adviser and mentor for more than 30 dental public health residents.

Before joining NIDCR, Dr. Garcia was a health scientist administrator at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, where she managed a portfolio of health services and primary care research. Prior to her career in the U.S. Public Health Service, she held local and state health management positions in Virginia and Ohio and practiced dentistry in Virginia.

She received a doctorate in dental surgery in 1980 from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan in 1988. She has subsequently completed a residency in dental public health at the University of Michigan and a fellowship in primary care policy from the U.S. Public Health Service.

While pursuing her master’s, Dr. Garcia was a lecturer and adjunct assistant professor in the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. She later served as an adjunct assistant professor in the College of Dentistry at The Ohio State University.

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Dr. Garcia has received the NIH Director’s Award for Mentoring, the American Association for Dental Research’s Jack Hein Public Service Award, and the U.S. Public Health Service Jack D. Robertson Award for outstanding long-term dedication and service to improve the oral health of the nation.

Additionally, she has been recognized for her role in a 2007 presidential and secretarial health diplomacy mission to Latin America with a Special Assignment Award, Hazardous Duty Award and Foreign Duty Award.

A fellow of the American College of Dentists, Dr. Garcia is a diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health, one of the nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, and is an active member of the American Dental Education Association, the International Association for Dental Research and the American Dental Association.

Dr. Garcia’s record of proven and effective leadership skills makes her the ideal choice for leading the UF College of Dentistry. I am confident that under Dr. Garcia’s leadership, our nationally prominent college will gain even greater recognition by expanding the breadth and depth of our research programs and clinical practices while developing innovative and forward-looking approaches to dental education and community partnerships in oral health care.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Isabel Garcia to the UF Health family and the UF College of Dentistry when she begins her new role as dean on Feb. 16.

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