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David Brown, PhD, impacted dental care across state

Image with caption: David Brown, PhD (Photo by Margaret Cain)

David Brown, PhD (Photo by Margaret Cain)

David Brown, PhD, retired on Dec. 31, after 39 years at the UNMC College of Dentistry, most recently serving as a professor of oral biology focusing on community outreach.

"During my time at UNMC, I enjoyed meeting and working with many wonderful faculty and staff," Dr. Brown said. "Perhaps the most exciting aspect of being at UNMC was the willingness of administration to give genuine consideration to new ideas and ways of doing things. I believe this attitude has allowed UNMC to progress beyond expectations and made it such an exciting place with which to be associated. I will miss it."

Dr. Brown was instrumental in helping thousands of Nebraskans receive oral health care through the college's outreach events, including Children's Dental Day and SHARING Clinics, and through building college partnerships with organizations like Clinic with a Heart.

Additionally, due to his efforts, the college participated in hundreds of community events where thousands of Nebraskans received oral health education and screenings. Dr. Brown taught generations of students the importance of helping the underserved. Through his passion for helping others and his leadership, he touched the lives of countless community members, students, faculty and staff.

"Through his skill and great effort, many underserved people throughout the state now have better access to care and improved oral health outcomes. His unselfish professional example will always serve as an inspiration to faculty and students alike."

Charles Craft, DDS, dental director for the Nebraska DHHS Office of Oral Health and Dentistry

"Dr. Brown has been a leader in Nebraska community public health dentistry for decades," said Charles Craft, DDS, dental director for the Nebraska DHHS Office of Oral Health and Dentistry. "His knowledge, energy, compassion and ability to mobilize personnel and pool existing oral health resources together has been invaluable in providing critical dental care to underserved Nebraskans through numerous outreach activities."

"Through his skill and great effort, many underserved people throughout the state now have better access to care and improved oral health outcomes," Dr. Craft said. "His unselfish professional example will always serve as an inspiration to faculty and students alike."

In his long and distinguished career as an educator, Dr. Brown helped thousands of students become extraordinary oral health professionals. He was the course director for dental research, ethics, public health and oral medicine. He also taught biochemistry and pharmacology to dental hygiene, dental, nursing and postgrad students.

His influence on the college, UNMC and the state of Nebraska is far-reaching. Throughout his career, Dr. Brown served on more than 85 UNMC, UNMC College of Dentistry, University of Nebraska and Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services committees; published 24 scholarly journal articles; received 40 grants; and worked with countless national, statewide and local nonprofit organizations.

Dr. Brown received many awards for his community outreach work, including the Dental Public Health Award from Nebraska Health and Human Services, the American Dental Association's Presidential Award for increasing access to dental care for special populations, Clinic with a Heart's Community Partner Award, and the Nebraska Rural Health Association's President's Award.

"On behalf of the entire college, I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Brown for all he has done. His passion for oral health education and community outreach is inspiring," said Janet M. Guthmiller, DDS, PhD, dean of the UNMC College of Dentistry.

About Dr. Brown

Dr. Brown received his doctorate degree in biochemistry from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1970, completed a a postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry and pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University in 1972, and then spent nine years in teaching and leadership roles at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine.

In 1981, Dr. Brown became chairman of the UNMC College of Dentistry Department of Oral Biology, a position he held until 1987. He served as the director of research from 1982-1984 and as the assistant dean for research and administration from 1984-1989. Dr. Brown became the associate dean for academic affairs in 1989 and supervised the academic and student affairs office staff, college front desk staff and information systems.

In 2000, he became executive associate dean and earned his master's degree in legal studies from the UNL College of Law. For the past t20 years, he served the college as a professor of oral biology focusing on community outreach.

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