When Dr. Cynthia Hodge joined the faculty at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Connecticut Health Center in 2003, her charge was to increase access to oral health care for the citizens of Connecticut. As Director of the newly funded Pipeline, Profession & Practice: Community-Based Dental Education Project, Dr. Hodge achieved success in all aspects of the grant: increased diversity of the dental student body at UConn, integrated cultural competency into the curriculum and established the community-based dental education program which is now integral to increased access to care.
Her CFHU Fellowship presentation, “Understanding the Relationship Between Oral Health and Diabetes” was an important work, and provided the knowledge and skills needed to develop the Health Disparities Collaborative in Diabetes at a Federally Qualified Health Center. A strong advocate for community-based dental education as a means to increase access to oral health care, she established the Dental Unit of the Primary Care Clinic of the Hartford Dispensary, a substance abuse center serving nearly 3,000 clients statewide.
Dr. Hodge received her D.M.D. degree from Oregon Health Sciences University, an M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.P.A. degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a certificate in Minority Health Policy. She is the current President of the National Dental Association Foundation, lectures nationally and internationally on access to care, and is a mentor to many Health Professions hopefuls.