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CEA Program: Inter-Professional practice (IPP) Community Engagement Associate at IU School of Dentistry

DUE is home to IEL which is sponsoring these types of positions across campus. This specific position is part of the Community Engagement Associates program in which students work in a specific department on campus to support campus and community engagement initiatives. You will see more information on the specific job and department below.

Overview of department:
The mission of the Indiana University School of Dentistry is to advance the oral and systemic health of the people of the state of Indiana and globally through excellence in teaching and learning, research and creative activities, patient care, civic engagement, and service. Indiana University School of Dentistry is to be a global leader, advancing oral health as an essential component of overall health, through excellence and innovation in education, patient care, research, and community engagement and service, in Indiana and around the world. At the Indiana University School of Dentistry, we are also considerably and consistently invested in our community. Our outreach work in Indianapolis and across the state brings positive change to people who use our services, while at the same time enhancing the educational experience for our students.

Project summary:
The following are examples of several projects currently ongoing as part of the Inter-Professional Education/Practice Program we are engaged in at IUSD.
  1. Elder Project (D503) We are anticipating wanting to continue our piloted project to help educate first year dental students about the key principles of geriatric dentistry from an relationship centered care (RCC) perspective (provider-patient, provider-provider, and provider-community). The project's goal is to promote humanistic person-centered connections between dental students and local seniors in order to long term improve the student's understanding about how best to clinically provide oral health care for older adults.
  2. IUSD's DV Program This project is intended for students to work toward assisting in continuing our efforts at supporting the funding needed to provide DV/IPV survivors with essential dental care. Students will work in assisting us to continue our efforts in seeking out, securing and in distributing funds needed to act as a payer of last resort for people who have faced abuse/trauma.
  3. OHQL of People Living with Addictions The purpose of this IRB approved community engaged study proposal is two-fold. The first is to examine the oral health habits, oral health hygiene, and oral health quality of life factors influencing a person living with a substance abuse disorder getting medication assisted treatment (MAT).
  4. Oral Health Care for Cancer Patients Project This project involves working on the continuance of the education, promotion and advocacy of increasing access to oral health care for Hoosiers with cancer. The goal of this project is to educate providers and patients about the critical importance of better understanding the importance of the intersection between oral health care and oncology tx (before, during and/or after chemotherapies and/or radiation).
  5. Project: Partnering with Asylum Seekers and Immigrants to Appreciate Oral Health Quality of Life This IRB approved (originally approved during our recent pandemic and halted due to Covid-19) community engaged research will look at the oral habits, oral status, and oral health quality of life of refugees and asylum seekers in Indianapolis by using an existing anonymous online/hard copy survey at related oral health screenings, oral health education sessions, or in conjunction with agencies providing social services. Our project aims to identify the current oral health status, hygiene habits and underlying oral health risk factors that impact the quality of life of people in these communities.

Specific tasks that the community engagement associate will complete: 
Duties of the position typically include the following:
  • Emails, phone calls, communication with local agencies
  • Helping to design/develop/critique new/existing underserved & disenfranchised community based needs assessments
  • Reviewing and/or developing IRB's for related community engaged action oriented/translational research
  • Acting as a project manager requiring coordination of activities (e.g., student email/phone calls w/ seniors) between students and community members and/or related staff
  • Project management involving design/maintenance of spreadsheets w/ timelines for accomplishing work related goals
  • Collaborating as part of an interprofessional (IPE) team in working on poster/presentation proposals for submission
  • Collaborating with the IPE on the design/completion of any accepted posters/presentations 8. Developing new community contacts related to specific projects (e.g., expanding our community capacity related to oncology, HIV, DV, Special Care/Needs…. services)
  • Collaborating with local IU School of Dentistry (IUSD) American Association for Public Health Dentist (AAPHD) students to coordinate any oral health education (OHE)/oral health promotion (OHP) or oral health screening events.
  • Working as a collective community service oriented educational, research, education and advocacy team.

Specific qualifications (knowledge, skills, class standing, etc) we desire the project coordinator to have:
A graduate student with a 3.0 GPA+ whois: Self-motivated, self-directed, effective at critical thinking, strong socio-emotional skills in working with diverse client/patient populations, committed to cross-cultural community engagement, partnership and capacity building, interested in translational and applied action-oriented research, an effective team multi-disciplinary team member and passionate about creating positive community and organizational change.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this position assignment, the student will meet the following learning objectives

  1. The CEA values collaborating with others, especially those individuals representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints.
  2. The CEA demonstrates empathy, openness, inclusiveness, and sensitivity when working with diverse others.
  3. The CEA analyzes diverse perspectives and evaluates how these perspectives influence their own norms and biases.
  4. The CEA feels a sense of responsibility and commitment to use the knowledge gained in their higher education experiences to serve others.