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UofL dental school hears from renowned surgeon on patient-centered care

On April 11th, the School of Dentistry spearheaded the Health Sciences Campus (HSC) 1st Patient Centered Care Symposium.  This year's symposium featured Dr. Hassan Tetteh, MD, a board certified Patient-Centered Care Symposiumcardiothoracic surgeon and recognized authority on health care and public policy.

The theme of the symposium was "Humanistic Communication For Improved Health Outcomes," born out of a desire to educate the HSC health care providers about tools for effective communication with patients and colleagues. The IOM (Institute of Medicine) defines patient-centered care as: "Providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.”

The symposium was well attended by over 150 constituents from all aspects of health care, mainly those responsible for patient treatment.  Special guest speakers were Dr. Shirley Willinghganz, Provost for the University of Louisville; Bob Steltenpohl, Director of Finance, Jewish Hospital Frazier and Southern Indiana Rehab; Dr. John Sauk, Dean of the School of Dentistry, and the moderator, Dr. Jennifer McCants, Associate Professor of General Dentistry and Oral Medicine at the UofL School of Dentistry.  Other special participants providing vital metropolitan demographic information regarding the health of Louisville, were Dr. Anette Arno, Director of the Louisville Metropolitan Board of Health, Center for Health Equity, and Mrs. Sadiqa Reynolds, Chief of Community Building in the Office of Mayor Greg Fischer.

Dr. McCants was instrumental in organizing the campus-wide event, recognizing the need for humanism and patient centered health care.

"Academia is the place where it begins. We are educating and training the future of health care and when we set the bar high, everything else will fall into place.  We are the change that we want to see, and what more appropriate place to ignite the flame for others to catch than the University of Louisville," said McCants.

Patient-centered care is not only a benefit for the patients of the HSC but for the patients and practitioners of the entire community.

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