Double accolades for dental academic

Sally Hanks, Associate Professor from Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry, is one of only five dental academics across Europe to receive the prestigious Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) 40th Anniversary Scholarship Award.

She has also been made a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Senior Fellowship of the HEA is awarded to educators in the higher education sector who have a proven, sustained track record in higher education teaching and management and who are seeking to progress into a leadership position.

Sally has received the ADEE award in support of an innovative piece of research which will, for the first time, address the issue of management and leadership in primary care general dental practice 

The research will investigate the nature of management and leadership behaviours and traits in primary care dentistry, and identify where and how the findings could be used to enhance standards of dentistry nationally and internationally. The study will employ methods of investigation which have not been used before within dental practice or education.

Said Sally: “In the UK especially, dentistry as a profession is going through a period of change. Now more than ever before we need to understand what management and leadership looks like in the profession, so that we can set realistic expectations for professional assessment, learning and development – in effect providing a base line from which we can build a whole new structure for the development of dentists and dentistry to encompass issues such as fitness to practise.”
She added: “I am delighted to have received this award from the ADEE in support of a project which has not been done in dentistry before, the outcomes of which could well be timely for the profession. I am also delighted to have been awarded senior fellowship of the HEA.”
Professor Christopher Tredwin, Head of Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry, added: 

“Our congratulations go to Sally for these remarkable achievements and it is superb that she is one of just five to have received this award. Her study and her senior fellowship sit at the heart of what we aim to achieve here in Plymouth – the creation of new dentists who are clinically skilled, who understand the needs of their patients as a person and not just ‘a mouth’ and who are uniquely prepared to thrive in a changing profession.”

Sally is also final year lead at Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry and module lead for professionalism for both dentistry and therapy/hygiene.

Her particular clinical interest is in dental behavioural management for patients with special needs and for those who have a fear of the dentist.

With colleagues who specialise in patient and public involvement (PPI) activities, Sally also oversees a humanities module for dental students. Designed to help create a ‘whole practitioner’, in this area students undertake writing, art, music and drama projects (including stand-up comedy).