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WesternU appoints new College of Dental Medicine Dean

by Rodney Tanaka

June 17, 2011

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Western University of Health Sciences has named Steven W. Friedrichsen, DDS, as the new Dean of the College of Dental Medicine.

“In his academic and professional qualifications, and in the way he interacts with students and staff, Steve Friedrichsen represents everything that makes Western University of Health Sciences the special place it is,” said Ben Cohen, DO, provost and chief operating officer of WesternU. “I am extremely pleased to appoint him as Dean for the College of Dental Medicine, and am confident that the College’s reputation and stature will only grow under his watch.”

Dr. Friedrichsen joined WesternU as the Associate Dean of Patient Care and Clinical Curriculum in January 2010. He has served as interim dean since Feb. 1, 2011, after Founding Dean James Koelbl accepted a position with the University of New England.

“I am honored to continue my service to Western University of Health Sciences and the College of Dental Medicine,” Dr. Friedrichsen said. “WesternU is a unique academic environment, and the College of Dental Medicine plays a pivotal role in the University’s vision for the future of health care education. Although we are still a very new program, the College has an inspiring team of faculty and staff who work diligently to help us realize our mission and vision. I am proud to be a part of the WesternU family and grateful for the support and encouragement that everyone has demonstrated.”

Prior to joining the College of Dental Medicine, Dr. Friedrichsen was Dean of Creighton University Medical Center School of Dentistry and Special Assistant to the University President for Healthcare Strategies. He also served for more than 20 years as Chairman, Department of Dental Sciences, and Director, Idaho Dental Education Program at Idaho State University. During that time, he concurrently held the position of Director, Idaho Advanced General Dentistry Residency Program for five years.

Dr. Friedrichsen has taught at Northwestern University Dental School, Idaho State University and Creighton University School of Dentistry on such topics as dental anatomy, occlusion, expanded function dental hygiene, dental literature review and pre-clinical and clinical restorative dentistry. He has published on a wide array of topics including Balancing Leadership and Management, Rural Behavioral Dental Health Care, Periodontal-Restorative Interactions, and a Socio-Economic Comparison of Prosthetic Patients in a Two-Tier Delivery System. He has also made numerous presentations to local, state and national conferences.

Dr. Friedrichsen maintained his own private practice in general dentistry for more than 25 years in both urban and rural settings. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association and the Tri-County Dental Society.

“The Dean plays a vital role in moving the college forward and challenging students and faculty to excel,” said WesternU President Philip Pumerantz, PhD. “We are proud of all of our Deans, and we know Dr. Friedrichsen will continue this tradition of excellence.”

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