Ann Arbor, Mich., June 23, 2016 –- Dr. Diana Ellis, an adjunct clinical assistant professor in the School of Dentistry, has been named director of the Community Dental Center, the non-profit clinic in downtown Ann Arbor that the school has operated since 1981.
“I am honored to have the responsibility and opportunity to carry out the core values of the School of Dentistry,” Ellis said. “Hand in hand with serving the community, I feel privileged to have the chance to enhance the learning experiences for our dental students.”
The CDC is a full-service dental office providing comprehensive dental care to Washtenaw County residents, including those limited by finances, physical conditions or other factors. The staff is assisted by students from the school.
Dr. Steve Stefanac, senior associate dean, notes, “CDC serves an important role in providing a wide variety of dental services to the underserved in Ann Arbor and throughout Washtenaw County. I look forward to working with Dr. Ellis and our students to have CDC be the dental ‘home’ for these patients.”
Working in a community health setting like the CDC is familiar to Ellis, who received her DDS from U-M in 2004. She has practiced in similar settings for more than a decade, both as a dentist and during her dental training. From 2009-15, Ellis provided care at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, Mich., treating children with early childhood caries and patients with special needs. “The opportunity was both sobering and rewarding because the patients I saw in the hospital setting often did not have access to regular dental care,” she said.
As a dental student, Ellis completed a rotation at a community dental clinic in Marquette, Mich. Working under the mentorship of Dr. James Hayward, she gained experience in pediatric dentistry and oral surgery, providing care not normally available because of a lack of specialists in the Upper Peninsula at that time.
While in Traverse City, Ellis became an adjunct lecturer for School of Dentistry students rotating through the Community-Based Dental Education clinics the school collaborates with throughout Michigan. After returning to Ann Arbor in 2015, she was appointed an adjunct clinical assistant professor. She continues to teach and also mentors several student groups as part of the Pathways program, which requires students to explore health care delivery, leadership or research as part of the dental curriculum.
Ellis said she looks forward to growing CDC’s relationships and community partnerships with numerous groups in Washtenaw County and Michigan. “We will work to strengthen the safety net of service to individuals challenged with resources,” she said.
For more information about the CDC, or to make an appointment, visit its website.