Kornberg’s Lisa Poole Deem appointed to PA State Board of Dentistry
Lisa Poole Deem, D.M.D., J.D., recently became the first full-time Temple dental faculty member appointed to the Pennsylvania State Board of Dentistry. She will work to further the board’s mission to protect the health, safety and welfare of Pennsylvania residents in the dental setting through activities such as developing standards of conduct, reviewing certification requirements and investigating complaints against dentists, dental hygienists and certified dental assistants.
Deem was nominated to the board by Gov. Edward G. Rendell and confirmed by the state Senate to a six-year term. She will be one of seven dentists on the 13-member board.
While most nominees are recommended by a state senator, Deem’s own persistence afforded her the support of the governor.
“In my last year of law school, I wrote to then-Gov. Tom Ridge to explain how my background in dentistry and law would qualify me as a valuable member of the board,” Deem said. “I’ve written several letters to the governor’s office since then, and in December, I was notified that Gov. Rendell had nominated me.”
An alumna of the Kornberg School of Dentistry and the Beasley School of Law, Deem has been a strong presence at the Dental School for the past 21 years, first as director of clinics from 1987 to 1996, and since then in her current position as associate dean for admissions and student affairs. She is also an associate professor of dental public health sciences, and is married to fellow Kornberg alum Thomas E. Deem, D.M.D., an adjunct faculty member at the Dental School.
“Appointment to the board is very competitive, and Lisa will be a terrific addition as she is not only a licensed dentist, but also a lawyer,” said Bonnie Graham, senior administrator at the Dental School.
On behalf of the American Dental Education Association, Deem has advocated for patient's rights on Capitol Hill, and she said her concern for patient safety perfectly aligns with the state board's mission and goals.
"I went into law with the specific intent to expand into public advocacy, and I will bring a unique perspective to the board," Deem said.
In addition to serving on the state board, Deem will continue to serve on the North East Regional Board of Dental Examiners, which implements the licensure exam for dental and dental hygiene graduates.
"My main concern is the health and welfare of dental patients in Pennsylvania, and I plan on zealously representing them," she said.
Deem's first official meeting with the board will take place in March after she is formally sworn in for her term.
— Renee Cree