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Dr. Brent Ward Named New OMS/HD Chair

Ann Arbor, MI — June 29, 2015 — Dr. Brent Ward will become chair of the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Hospital Dentistry on July 1.  Interim chair since January, Ward “has received overwhelming support for this appointment from alumni and faculty colleagues in dentistry, the Medical School and from across the country,” said Dean Laurie McCauley.

Ward is an associate professor of dentistry, section head and clinical lecturer in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery/Hospital Dentistry in the Department of Surgery at the Medical School.  He is also program director of Oral/Head and Neck Oncology and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery at the Medical School and is a member of several professional societies, including the American Academy of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery where he is currently president.

McCauley said Ward’s independent and collaborative research efforts have resulted in vital external funding to the university community.  As a member of U-M’s Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and the Biological Sciences “his combined expertise as a surgeon and a scientist were critical both to research in targeted chemotherapy for diseases including head and neck cancer and for pain management strategies with physiologic triggers for safety in battlefield applications,” she said.

Ward also leads a national effort to collect oral, head and neck cancer data in his role as director of U-M’s Oral/Head and Neck Oncologic and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship Program.

Known for his passion and dedication to education and teaching, Ward instructs pre-doctoral dental, dental hygiene students and residents having served as program director of the residency program and more recently the oncology/microvascular fellowship.

Describing Ward as “a highly skilled and compassionate surgeon known for his integrity and character,” McCauley said his focus on cancer, pathology and reconstruction has helped patients, many from underserve populations, who come to Michigan and sometimes from across the country, to seek his care for medically complex conditions.

Ward succeeds Dr. Joseph Helman.  “We are extremely grateful for the leadership he provided during his 13-year tenure as chair where he not only sustained, but markedly advanced, the goals of the department and the mission of the school and greatly elevated the standing of Michigan Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Hospital Dentistry,” she said.