Felton chosen to be new dean of School of Dentistry

Felton chosen to be new dean of School of Dentistry

Dr. David Felton has been chosen to be the new dean of the School of Dentistry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Felton will begin his leadership role on Jan. 19, 2016.

“My wife, Sue, and I are absolutely elated to be given the opportunity to serve in this capacity,” said Felton. “It is an honor and a privilege to come to UMMC. I look forward to training Mississippi's outstanding students to become the next generation of dentists in the state.”

Felton received his DDS and MS in prosthodontics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He joined the UNC faculty in 1984 as an assistant professor in the Department of Fixed Prosthodontics. He served as director of graduate prosthodontics for four years and as chair of the prosthodontics department for a decade before rejoining the faculty as a full professor.

Felton became dean of the West Virginia University School of Dentistry in 2011. After three years of service as dean, his latest role has been that of professor in the school's Department of Restorative Dentistry.

In his town hall-style meeting on the UMMC campus in November, Felton outlined his strategy for moving the SOD forward as a leader in dentistry through innovation. He touched on topics such as opportunities for more community outreach, increasing the school's endowment and interprofessional collaboration with the goal of “putting the mouth back in the body.”

Felton said it is time for the SOD to “become fully integrated with the Medical Center,” a concept echoed by Dr. Ralph Didlake, associate vice chancellor for academic affairs and director of the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at UMMC.

“Dr. Felton is the right person to bring the SOD forward to become more deeply engaged in the life of the Medical Center as a whole,” said Didlake. “The school is in a unique point in its history, poised to play a major role in the health of Mississippians as we learn more about the contribution of oral health to health in general.”

Felton will succeed Dr. Gary Reeves, who has served as dean of the School of Dentistry since 2012 after two years as interim dean of the school. A member of the Medical Center faculty for 30 years, Reeves earned his DMD at UMMC in 1984 after serving four years in the U.S. Army. He had general practice residency training at UMMC and joined the faculty as an instructor in restorative dentistry in 1985. He has been a professor of care planning and restorative sciences since 1996, and was with the Mississippi Army National Guard, Dental Corps, in Iraq in 2004.

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Testing, biofeedback make UMMC pediatric GI program rare in region

Nurse practitioner Shanda Sandridge and a young patient stare at a video screen, one the little girl is controlling with her body.

“Let's let the blue bird fly higher,” Sandridge said. “Don't let the red bird go up, though.” 

Through muscle contractions or relaxation in the abdomen and pelvic floor, transmitted through electronic leads, kids can make birds fly high or low on a video screen. Red birds flying low represent a relaxed pelvic floor, while blue birds soaring upward show abdominal contractions.

The game is a form of biofeedback therapy used to encourage and strengthen muscle coordination as well as confidence. It's one of the features of the Pediatric Gastrointestinal Motility program at Batson Children's Hospital on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Gastrointestinal motility, or the ability for food to be processed by the body, is vital to a child's growth and well-being. Any slow-downs in the path from a child swallowing food to eliminating waste “definitely have the potential to cause life-threatening problems.”

This therapy can help children with nerve or muscular damage from infections or other conditions have a better understanding of how their bodies work and how to use their muscles more effectively, said Dr. Neelesh Tipnis, chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Tipnis and his division solve gastrointestinal problems and their causes at Batson Children's Hospital, one of a dozen spots in the U.S. where advanced pediatric gastrointestinal motility can be tested.

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Testing, biofeedback make UMMC pediatric GI program rare in region

Electronic cigarettes: harmless hobby or gateway drug?

Electronic cigarettes: harmless hobby or gateway drug?

One of the nation's greatest public health achievements has been the decline of cigarette use. According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost half of Americans smoked in the 1960s, and in 2014, only 16.8 percent smoked. An emerging product could undo that progress.

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Cardiac electrophysiologist, recent fellows join med, peds faculty

The Medical Center is proud to announce the following additions to its faculty and leadership staff:

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Cardiac electrophysiologist, recent fellows join med, peds faculty
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