The Administrative Core provides the management infrastructure for the MUSC Center for Oral Health Research. The Director, Dr. Keith Kirkwood, is responsible for overseeing all fiscal and accountability activities. The well-established administrative structure provides for management, oversight, planning, ongoing evaluation and quality assurance of the Center as a whole, and for the scientific cores specifically. The Administrative Core utilizes under the auspices of the Center for Oral Health Research. Clearly defined and proven centralized administrative process and procedures are in place. The oversight and planning mechanisms for the COBRE Phase III P30 grant include a COHR Steering Committee that meets monthly and an External Advisory Board (EAB) that meets 2x/yr and provides an extensive annual assessment of the entire Center and each core and program. The EAB consists of nationally/internationally recognized experts in oral and craniofacial research, ranging from basic science to community-based participatory research. In addition, the Administrative Core coordinates an Enrichment Program for investigators and trainees in oral health research, which provides educational, networking and collaborative opportunities for the COHR members as well as linkages with other research centers and multidisciplinary programs at MUSC. The Enrichment Program includes monthly COHR meetings. Journal Club, Seminar Series, Annual Oral Health Research Day, and the COHR website, ensuring rapid and extensive dissemination of information. The Administrative Core also conducts the COHR Pilot and Feasibility Projects Program, which provides support for pilot studies in order to foster emerging projects that utilize established Center resources, personnel and facilities and facilitate interaction with COHR members. A critical element in the success of the Center for Oral Health Research at MUSC is the enthusiastic participation of its members who serve on various COHR committees and help guide the Center;they are drawn from 4 MUSC Colleges and 13 Departments. A major role of the Administrative Core is to ensure careful, even-handed planning, implementation and follow-up along with thoughtful consideration of informal feedback and formal evaluation data for Center activities.
Oral diseases and craniofacial disorders are linked to total health and wellbeing throughout life. Virtually everyone has had at least one oral disease, e.g., dental caries, periodontal disease, cold sores or cancer. Many suffer from oral and facial pain. General risk factors, such as tobacco use and poor dietary practices, affect oral/craniofacial health and data show a connection between oral health and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. The national health expenditures for dental services exceeded $102 billion in 2009.
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