Good Oral Health is an oral health research program based on three federally funded National Institute for Health (NIH) studies that encompasses nine years of collaborative, multidisciplinary formative and intervention research focused on helping senior housing residents in need of improved oral health care and knowledge learn how to best manage their oral health.

Project Summary

The three studies, funded by grants from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, include: Building Collaborative Research Infrastructure to Reduce Oral Health Disparities among Low Income Older Adults (1 RC4 DE021324, 2010 – 2013), Changing Oral Health Norms and Hygiene Practices among Vulnerable Older Adults Project GOH!: Good Oral Health (R34 DE022271-01, 2011 – 2013) and Good Oral Health: A Bi-level Intervention to Improve Older Adult Oral Health (1U01 DE024168, 2014-2019). 

  1. The first study built a state, community and university partnership for geriatric oral health research and intervention.
  2. The second study tested a pilot for improving oral health and hygiene with residents of one publically subsidized building housing older adults and people with disabilities.
  3. The third is a five year clinical trial to evaluate components of the pilot intervention against each other over several cycles and added a sustainability component.

Over the course of these studies, our multidisciplinary teams have included researchers, health and social service providers, community outreach specialists and student interns in the following areas of expertise: anthropology, sociology, dentistry, dental hygiene, social work, nursing, medicine, adult education, public health, community outreach and biostatistics. All members of our research teams have brought with them a strong commitment to improve oral health knowledge and self-management, and to eliminate oral health disparities among vulnerable, low income community residents. 

Research partners across studies include the Institute for Community Research (ICR) , University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Dental Medicine, North Central Area Agency on Aging (NCAAA), staff of local housing authorities and privately managed senior housing sites throughout central CT, and independently living residents of those buildings.

Our Team

Amauri Barbosa, MSDH
James Grady, PhD
Zahira Medina, BA
Rita Bodea, BS
Rajesh Lalla, DDS, PhD
Kim Radda, RN, MA
Colleen Foster-Bey, M.Ed
Jianghong Li, MD, MS
Susan Reisine, PhD
David Reyes, BA
Eduardo Robles
Apoorva Salvi, BDS, MPH
Jean Schensul, PhD


Senior Researchers

Efthimia Ioannidou, DDS, MDSc, UCONN School of Dental Medicine

Joanna Douglass, DDS, UCONN School of Dental Medicine

Ruth Goldblatt, DMD, FAGD, UCONN School of Dental Medicine

Student Interns

Undergraduate Students

Andreea Dinicu, BS

Abigail Raynor, MPH

Stephanie Kisciras, BASc

Dental Fellows UCONN School of Medicine

Daniela Cuadra, DDS

Luis Miron, DDS

Graduate Dental Students

Chelsea Murphy, DMD

Demetress Davis, DDS, MDS

Graduate Students

Hector Maldonado, MA

Ruth Hernandez, Ph.D.

Jeremy Figueroa-Ortiz, MA

Jonkay Jacobs, MA

Julie Miller

Laura Jensen

Lourdes Janer, MSW

Research Staff

Clara Acosta-Glynn, MSW, MPH, Field Researcher, North Central Agency on Aging

Emil Coman, Ph.D., Data Analyst Institute for Community Research

Candace Corbeil, BA, Data Manager, Institute for Community Research

Helena Hilario, BA, Data Manager, Institute for Community Research

Mitch Irving, MPH, Data Manager, Institute for Community Research

Brian Tantillo, BA, Data Manager, Institute for Community Research

Yacihuila Moni, MA, Data Manager, Institute for Community Research

Ken Plourd, Research Assistant, Institute for Community Research

Luz Rohena, Field Researcher/Interviewer, Institute for Community Research

Administrative Personnel

Paul Hubobenko, BA, CRA

Wendy Walsh, CRA

Connie Yan, BA

Megan Clement, CCRP, DA

Linda Burian, MS

Emily Marble, MBA

Susan Murphy, CPA

Laura Didden

Cynthia Smith

Collaborating Organization

Robyn Harper-Gulley

North Central Agency on Aging

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