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Dr. Karen Yoder receives Maynard Hine Award


Karen M. Yoder, PhD, MSD, who serves as Director of Civic Engagement and Oral Health Policy at Indiana University School of Dentistry and is a member of the IDA Council on Dental Public Health, received a prestigious 2012 IUPUI Alumni Leadership Award during a ceremony in late February.

The Maynard K. Hine Medals honor the memory of IUPUI’s first chancellor, who was also longtime dean of the Indiana University School of Dentistry.

Dr. Yoder’s contributions to the school and the community are significant. In less than a decade, Dr. Yoder has grown IUSD’s local community outreach efforts to provide global reach to underserved populations.

In 2003 she collaborated with the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana Dental Association to launch the SEAL Indiana mobile dental program, which to date has served more than 23,000 Hoosier children statewide while helping dental students realize there’s a wider role they can play.

Dr. Yoder has made important contributions to AMPATH, the organization representing Moi University and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kenya and other North American academic health centers led by IU working in partnership with the Government of Kenya. The IDA Foundation for Dental Health helps sponsor IUSD’s collaborative efforts with Moi University.

She has helped inspire the creation of many other projects that connect IUSD to the greater community on an ongoing basis, such as the Shelter Sealant Program for homeless persons; screenings and mouth guard fabrication for athletes in Indiana’s Special Olympics; IUSD’s student-managed partnership with the HealthNet People’s Health and Dental Clinic in which dental students volunteer their Saturdays to see patients in need for free; the Oral Health Policy Forum that engages students in discussions about policymaking and introduces them to legislators and the Indiana statehouse; and student volunteer service at a northern Indiana clinic primarily serving the Amish community.

In her new role as Director of Civic Engagement and Oral Health Policy, Dr. Yoder works to further raise IUSD’s profile and impact, aligning the dental school’s civic engagement program with IUPUI’s RISE initiative, which focuses on increasing student participation in research, international, service, and experiential learning programs.

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