Missouri Dental Schools in Action

Presented by Dr. Steven Haas (UMKC), Dr. Dwight McLeod (ATSU), and Dr. Linda Niessen (KCU)

View the Presentation - UMKC

View the Presentation - ATSU

View the Presentation - KCU

Course Description:  Updates from the Deans of Missouri’s three Dental Schools and the main challenges they see in dental education and the future of the profession. 

Objectives: At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Express how dental education will change to meet the future needs of oral health 
  • Understanding the roles of Interprofessional Education in dentistry and in health care 
  • Describe the composition of future dental school classes  

Dr. Steven Haas is the dean of the School of Dentistry. Prior to joining UMKC, he was the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Interim Chair of the Department of Adult Restorative Dentistry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry.

Dr. Haas earned his D.M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, did his hospital residency at The Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia and postgraduate prosthodontic specialty training at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dentistry. While working in private practice on Long Island, NY, he returned to school to earn his J.D. from Touro College Law Center in Huntington, New York, taught at Long Island Jewish Hospital and served as the Director of the General Practice Residency at University Hospital Stony Brook.  After moving to Florida, he joined the faculty and administration at Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine as the Associate Dean for Clinical Services and received his M.B.A. from the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship at Nova Southeastern University. He has served on numerous dental society committees related to legislation, malpractice and discipline issues, reviewed cases for the Office of Professional Discipline in New York and gave remediation courses for the Florida Board of Dentistry. He holds dental licenses in multiple states and law licenses in both New York (retired) and Florida.

This speaker has declared no commercial conflict of interest relative to this presentation.

Dwight E. McLeod, DDS, MS, joined A.T. Still University’s Missouri School of Dentistry & Oral Health (ATSU-MOSDOH) as dean in 2016. Previously, Dr. McLeod served as a professor, chair for the Department of Applied Dental Medicine and section head of periodontology at Southern Illinois University’s School of Medicine. 

Passionate about serving the underserved population in his native country of Jamaica, Dr. McLeod founded the Jamaica Dental Mission in 2000. More than 19,000 patients have received dental care through this mission, which continues to operate with volunteers from across the United States, at three clinics in western Jamaica. 

Dr. McLeod served as the quality assurance review chair for the University of the West Indies, Mona: Mona School of Dentistry, Kingston, Jamaica in 2019 and University of the West Indies, St. Augustine: St. Augustine Dental School, Port Au Spain, Trinidad and Tobago in 2021.

Dr. McLeod has served as the secretary, chair-elect and chair of the American Dental Education Association Section on Periodontics and as the Section on Periodontics councilor for the American Dental Education Association. He currently serves as vice chair of the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health, as member of the Board of Directors for the Jamaica Consulate (Chicago) Medical Needs Committee and member of the Midwest Jamaica Diaspora Committee. He is also a member of the American Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, American Academy of Periodontology, Missouri Dental Society, St. Louis Dental Society, American Board of Periodontology, and Midwest Society of Periodontology. Dr. McLeod is the author of five abstracts, three manuscripts and 16 published journal articles. 

Dr. McLeod received his doctor of dental surgery degree from Howard University College of Dentistry, certificate in general practice dentistry from the Veteran Administration Health Center in Washington, D.C., and a master of science degree and certificate in periodontics from the University of Iowa School of Dentistry. 

This speaker has declared no commercial conflict of interest relative to this presentation.

Linda Niessen, DMD, joined Kansas City University in 2020 as professor and founding dean for the College of Dental Medicine and vice provost for Oral Health Affairs. Prior to joining KCU, she served as dean and professor at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Dental Medicine from 2013 to 2019. Dr. Niessen had a career in the dental industry as chief clinical officer for Dentsply International, a global dental manufacturing company from 1998 to 2013. Before joining Dentsply, she was a professor and chair, Department of Public Health Sciences at Baylor College of Dentistry (now Texas A&M College of Dentistry). Dr. Niessen started her career as a commissioned officer in the US Public Health Service, Division of Indian Health, where she worked for the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in Talihina, Oklahoma.

Dr. Niessen has authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications, numerous chapters and a textbook, Geriatric Dentistry: Aging and Oral Health. She is a diplomat of the American Board of Dental Public Health and the American Board of Special Care Dentistry. She has provided clinical care to medically complex patients at VA Medical Centers in Boston and Dallas.

She has been active professionally in numerous organizations and served as president of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry, the American Academy of Public Health Dentistry, the American Association of Women Dentists, the American Board of Dental Public Health, Dallas County Dental Society, and the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her service to dentistry and the dental profession, including the 2017 Paragon Award presented by the American Student Dental Association for her support of dental students.  

Dr. Niessen received a Doctor of Dental Medicine, cum laude, a Master’s in Public Health and Master’s in Public Policy all from Harvard University. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of New Mexico.

This speaker has declared commercial interest in or relationship with organizations or companies that sell products or services.