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December 22, 2014

APHA Recognizes Rising Star in Dental Public Health

At the November American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, Dr. Sahiti Bhaskara, BDS, MPH was awarded the Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Public Health Award, which recognizes dental public health students making significant contributions to the field.

From left to right: Tracy Finlayson, APHA Award Committee Chair; Dr. Sahiti Bhaskara; Kathy Lituri, Oral Health Section chair; and Scott Tomar, Oral Health Section chair-elect.

Dr. Bhaskara was the sole recipient of the 8th annual post-professional award.  Her background includes training as a dentist, completing her BDS at the Mahatma Gandhi Missions Dental College in India in 2011. She received her master of public health (MPH) degree in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota in December 2014. As a student, she worked on multiple dental public health projects at the Minnesota Department of Health and as a research assistant with the Tobacco Research Programs and the Oral Health Disparities Research Group at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Bhaskara was recognized for the study entitled “Emergency Room Utilization for Non-traumatic Dental Conditions in Minnesota” and presented the findings at the “Rising Star” session during the APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition.  She examined the number of dental emergency room (ER) visits, the diagnosis of the problem, the likelihood of ER visits based on demographic characteristics, the preventability and severity of dental conditions, and cost impact resulting from such visits in the state of Minnesota. The study led to a proposal for goals and objectives to help guide dental public health professionals in future efforts. With this work, her interest in research, and her experience, Dr. Bhaskara is well-suited for a future role in shaping public health dentistry.

Updated Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 10:30AM