USC University of Southern California

Ostrow School of Dentistry Recognized for Ethics and Compliance Standards

The USC Office of Compliance has recognized individuals from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC with the first annual USC Ethical Leadership Award.

The award, given to individuals who best embody the spirit of the USC Code of Ethics and principles of the USC Compliance and Ethics Program, was presented to Sigmund Abelson, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs, and Ruby Hinds, Healthcare Compliance Program Director.

Abelson and Hinds took the lead in establishing the Ostrow School of Dentistry’s official healthcare compliance program, a comprehensive program and set of policies regarding faculty credentialing schedules, HIPAA privacy, HIPAA security measures, risk management, and more.

The new program significantly unifies, organizes, and strengthens the School’s compliance efforts. The policies and standards are strongly aligned with University compliance measures, Abelson said, and both he and Hinds expressed gratitude for the involvement of and the guidance provided by the Office of Compliance.

“Awareness of and adherence to compliance policies is an essential part of the University and part of the day-to-day operations of a healthcare environment,” Hinds said.

The extensive program was nearly three years in the making, and Ostrow School of Dentistry staff and faculty have readily embraced the new structure and realigned policies, Abelson said.

“As we built this program, we did it in such a way as to build support from the School community at the same time,” he said. “This is a partnership.”

The School has also refined its partnership with members of industry through the new program, including the institution of new industry relationship reporting guidelines for faculty, the use of the RepTrax program in order to keep track of visiting industry partners, and other measures which make productive, appropriate relationships with industry easier.

Hinds said that the new structure and the openness of the whole process have made adhering to compliance policies, as well as reporting any concerns or problems, simpler for staff and faculty members.

“We aim to be very inclusive and accessible for any of our community members who have questions about the program,” she said.

Avishai Sadan, Dean of the Ostrow School of Dentistry, praised Abelson and Hinds’ leadership in implementing the new program throughout the School.

“In the ever-changing world of regulations which govern institutions such as USC, the Ostrow School of Dentistry has been able to adapt to new guidelines and new technologies while maintaining an environment that encourages productive, professional relationships with patients, students, visitors and industry partners,” Sadan said. “This environment fosters research growth, improves education, enhances patient care, and helps us to better fulfill our mission.”