FRIDAY, MARCH 24, 2017; 12:30 P.M. – 3 P.M.

The Luncheon Symposium focuses on engaging patients as stakeholders in the National Dental PBRN. Patients and patient advocates will join researchers, practitioners, and policymakers in discussions of patients’ roles in Network research, and implications of study results for practice. Patient engagement represents the next step in the evolution of the National Dental PBRN as a dynamic Learning Health System.

The Symposium will include a brief welcome and session overview by Jeffrey Fellows, Western Region director; an update of Network progress by Gregg Gilbert, Network director; an overview of NIDCR's precision medicine initiative by Martha Somerman, NIDCR director; and a keynote address on patient advocacy in dental research by Kathy Hammitt, vice president, Medical & Scientific Affairs, Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation. The brief presentations will be followed by interactive sessions at tables of 8-10 participants each discussing Network study results, and implications for practitioners and patients. Each table will bring together dental practitioners, faculty researchers and clinicians, and other stakeholders in order to build collaborations and identify common issues and strategies.

A panel discussion will follow the breakout session to discuss important issues for practitioner and patient engagement in Network research. The ultimate goal is to identify strategies to improve the effectiveness of the Network toward achieving its goals of empowering collaboration among practitioners, clinical researchers and other stakeholders, to expand evidence and improve patient care and outcomes.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the role of patient stakeholders in the Learning Health System and strategies to incorporate patient group contributions in National Dental PBRN research.
  • Develop knowledge about National Dental PBRN strategies to engage clinicians and patients in the dissemination and implementation of study results into clinical practice.
  • Improve the collaboration between practitioners, academicians and patients in order to maximize the network’s impact on dentistry and patient care.


  • Welcome and Session Overview – Jeffrey Fellows (Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research)
  • National Dental PBRN Update – Gregg Gilbert (University of Alabama at Birmingham)
  • Perspectives on Precision Medicine from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research – Martha Somerman (National Institutes of Health – National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)
  • Patient Advocacy in Dental Research – Kathy Hammitt (Sjögren's Syndrome Foundation)