Now through October 15, the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) will host celebrations on the national and regional level, according to HDA President Rosa Chaviano Moran DMD, FICD. She spotlights two National Hispanic Heritage Month events, and discusses the goal of inclusivity that the Hispanic Dental Association plans to support well beyond the next 30 days.

National Hispanic Heritage Month annually celebrates the history and culture of the U.S. LatinX and Hispanic communities and commemorates their influence and contributions to American society at large.

“Inclusivity is critical for me and has been part of my platform since I became HDA president January 1, 2021. HDA is one of the few national associations that includes the entire Oral Health Team as members; the dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, technicians, educators and dental administrators, as well as other healthcare providers.” –Hispanic Dental Association President Dr. Rosa Chaviano Moran

That inclusivity is one of several initiatives in a Strategic Plan developed in April that the new president says will be implemented over the next three years.

“HDA’s vision, collaboration and network of leaders will make a real difference,” she added.

Other initiatives in the Hispanic Dental Association’s Strategic Plan:

  • Recognizing and including internationally educated dentists and other oral health care professionals in their membership.
  • Recognizing that it’s not necessary to be Hispanic / LatinX to be a member or serve in HDA. “It’s about the communities and patients we will be serving,” said Dr. Chaviano Moran.
  • Collaborating in the formation and launch of the Diverse Dental Society, which will include the Hispanic Dental Association (HDA), National Dental Association (NDA) and the Society of Indian Dentists (SAID).

Hispanic Dental Association President details two regional events taking place during National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Dental Association President Dr. Chaviano Moran is the Associate Dean for Admissions at Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. She mentioned two regional events taking place during National Hispanic Heritage Month. They include:

  • September 24 -25, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    Annual Hispanic Dental Association Student Regional in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine.
    “As it’s well-known, the past two years have been challenging due to COVID. Last year we held our Annual (September) HDA Student Regional in collaboration with UPenn Dental, virtually. This year we are planning to host the event in-person,” said Dr. Chaviano Moran.
    UPenn Dental has agreed graciously and generously to partner with us again. The national Hispanic Student Dental Associations, HSDA, will be recognized with awards and student scholarships provided through the Hispanic Dental Association Foundation and with the generosity of Colgate and Procter & Gamble, other benefactors and sponsors.”
  • October 7, North Brunswick Township, New Jersey
    “Building an Inclusive Culture”, a cocktail mixer and CE presentation hosted by the New Jersey Dental Association (NJDA), New Jersey Hispanic Dental Association (NJHDA) and New York Dental Association (Professional Chapters)

    To learn more about the Hispanic Dental Association and the history of National Hispanic Heritage Month, click HERE.

How is Dr. Rosa Chaviano Moran helping students from marginalized groups become the dental mentors, leaders and academicians of the 21st century?

In addition to leading the HDA in its mission of inclusivity, Dr. Chaviano Moran also contributes her efforts as the principal investigator for the American Dental Education Association (ADEA) GIES Foundation Grant. The association is the philanthropic branch of the American Dental Education Association.

Her goal: Increase outreach to dental and hygiene students from diverse backgrounds and marginalized groups.

Step 1:  Unite like-minded institutions.

“When we embarked on this exciting journey with the valuable support of the ADEA GIES Foundation, we reached out to the Hispanic Dental Association, American Dental Education Association, ADEA, the ADEA-Special Interest Group-Gay Straight Alliance, as well as other like-minded institutions such as the National Dental Association (NDA)  and The Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID).”

Step 2:  Encourage students and recent grads – especially historically underrepresented minorities and LGBTQ.

Dr. Chaviano Moran described the process of developing dentistry’s bright promise for the future.

“Develop meaningful relationships that encourage all dental and dental hygiene students and recent graduates on their dental journeys — especially those who are historically underrepresented minorities and LGBTQ –- to become the dental academicians, mentors and leaders of the 21st century and beyond,” she said.


Dental school SDM ADEA GIES diversity and Inclusion in Dentistry 02-13-20

The ADEA GIES Foundation grant funded a workshop “Creating Awareness in Academic Dentistry” at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine in February 2020 with Dr. Rosa Chaviano-Moran, DMD as one of two featured speakers from Rutgers School of Dental Medicine. Shown at the event are: SIUSDM Nathalia Garcia, DMD, Rutgers School of Dental Medicine’s Herminio Perez, DDS, and Rosa Chaviano-Moran, DMD, and SIU SDM’s Cornell Thomas, DDS. (Courtesy SIU SDU)


What do the dental students have to say about the ADEA GIES Foundation Grant workshops?

Dental and dental hygiene student feedback from programs and events funded by the ADEA GIES Foundation Grant is “extremely positive,” according to Dr. Chaviano Moran.

As an example, she shared a quote from a Guatemala native dental student who had attended a workshop presentation, Creating Awareness in Academic Dentistry hosted in February of 2020 at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine:

“Today I was reminded that we can understand more beyond what we imagine. The dentistry world is small. It’s a network. I appreciate hearing from the event speakers, so we can learn about what’s happening outside our campus and the opportunities that a dental career can offer.” – Guatemala native dental student on the ADEA GiES Foundation Grant workshop presentation, Creating Awareness in Academic Dentistry

Workshop participants feel “empowered” to seek academic and leadership opportunities, explained Dr. Chaviano Moran.

“These workshops DO make a difference. Diversity and inclusion breed educational excellence at our dental institutions.” –Hispanic Dental Association President Dr. Rosa Chaviano Moran regarding ADEA GIES Foundation Grant workshops

“By promoting/highlighting the need for diversity and inclusivity in academic dentistry, need for ‘intra-disciplinary’ connections and diverse dental faculty the participants feel ‘empowered,’ especially those from marginalized groups, to seek academic and leadership opportunities,” said Dr. Chaviano Moran.