Blanton named interim dean of South Carolina dental school
In 2014 Dr. Patricia Blanton ’67, ’74, ’76 sold her Dallas periodontics practice and moved to Charleston, South Carolina, continuing clinical work part time with a colleague and assuming a faculty position in the stomatology department at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine at Medical University of South Carolina. Blanton served simultaneously as a commissioner with the American Dental Association’s Commission on Dental Accreditation.
Two years later, as the dental school looks toward celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2017, she is busier than ever as she serves in her new role as interim dean.
“To have been offered this opportunity is something I could not have imagined nor anticipated,” Blanton says. “I am enjoying the challenges and the opportunities that this administrative position continually provides.”
Blanton’s academic career began in 1967 at Texas A&M College of Dentistry, known then as Baylor College of Dentistry, when she put her doctoral degree in anatomy to work on the biomedical sciences faculty. She then earned a dental degree and completed graduate specialty education in periodontics at the dental school before embarking on decades-long involvement in academia, clinical practice and simultaneous organized dentistry leadership roles at local, state and national levels.
“The James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine has long been recognized for educating and graduating outstanding clinician-scholars for the region and beyond. “We have a strong research component, graduating DMD/PhDs in addition to our DMD graduates. To find a strong, integrated basic science component here has been the most rewarding aspect for me,” Blanton says.
Blanton has served terms as president of the American College of Dentists, Texas Dental Association, Southwest Society of Periodontists, Texas Society of Periodontists and Dallas County Dental Society and as vice president of the ADA. She is the 2012 recipient of her alma mater’s Hall of Fame Award and the TDA Gold Medal Award and is a longtime board member of the Baylor Oral Health Foundation.