USC’s advanced program in orofacial pain endowed and named
The investment ensures Ostrow’s first named program, The Dr. Glenn T. Clark Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine Program, continues educating the profession’s finest for years to come.
BY JOHN HOBBS MA ’14
USC’s advanced program in orofacial pain has been provided a significant financial endowment — ensuring its place at USC for years to come — thanks to a generous donation from Drs. Glenn T. Clark and Roseann Mulligan.
The substantial donation will provide long-term funding to Ostrow’s orofacial pain program, which, when it began, was the first of its kind in the nation — a factor that inspired this gift.
In recognition of their generosity, the advanced program in orofacial pain has been named, The Dr. Glenn T. Clark Orofacial Pain and Oral Medicine program.
“We, at Ostrow, are honored that Drs. Clark and Mulligan have chosen to invest in this program, which not only prepares some of the nation’s finest practitioners but also grants our DDS students educational benefits by seeing and learning about this important field,” Dean Avishai Sadan said.
“Because there are so few programs out there, each one is vital since they only produce a small number of highly trained practitioners in these disciplines,” said Clark, who is the assistant dean of distance education and the director of the orofacial pain program. “Moreover, these programs do not satisfy the demand that patients with various diseases, dysfunctions and disorders of the orofacial and oropharyngeal area have. Clearly, we need more trained practitioners in both disciplines.”
Leading the way
Orofacial pain and oral medicine practitioners treat more than 300 diseases of the mouth and face, including temporomandibular dysfunction, sleep apnea and orofacial pain.
Ostrow established its orofacial pain and oral medicine program in 2004. Since then, it has educated nearly 40 practitioners.
In 2012, Clark expanded the program’s reach even further, launching a visionary hybrid online/on-campus version of the master’s degree and certificate programs in orofacial pain and oral medicine.
The hybrid online/on-campus program uses a combination of weekly live webinar sessions with faculty and other residents, video lectures, quizzes and intensive on-campus boot camps to solidify all the learning that has taken place in cyber space.
“What we’re doing is changing the face of graduate education in dentistry,” Clark said in a 2016 TroDent article. “Traditionally, you had to quit your dental practice to get training. Now you can continue your career, work hard, get advanced training and change the direction of your practice and the mix of patients you see.”
Since their inception, the hybrid master’s degree and certificate programs in orofacial pain and oral medicine have graduated more than 100 highly skilled practitioners.
Pioneering online education
Clark was a biochemistry major at California State University at San Jose, before going on to complete his doctor of dental surgery education at UCLA. He then earned a master’s degree in dental research from the University of Rochester and finished a two-year general practice residency at Eastman Dental Center.
In 2003, he joined Ostrow’s faculty, determined to start the orofacial pain and oral medicine program. In the intervening years, he has not only successfully implemented that advanced program, he also started Ostrow’s distance education enterprise, which currently offers master’s degrees and certificate programs — in orofacial pain and oral medicine, pain medicine (collaborating with Keck School of Medicine of USC), geriatric dentistry and in community oral health. There is also a certificate program in oral pathology and radiology.
Clark is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orofacial Pain and a Fellow of both the American Academy of Orofacial Pain and the American Academy of Oral Medicine. In 2006, Clark was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Academy of Orofacial Pain.
Not their first investment in USC
Mulligan earned her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State before going on to pursue her doctor of dental surgery degree from UCLA. Afterward, she furthered her education by earning a master’s degree in gerontology from USC and completing a general practice residency at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital.
Mulligan joined the USC dental school in 1982 as an assistant professor. Today, she is the associate dean for community health programs and hospital affairs and the Charles M. Goldstein Professor of Community Dentistry, overseeing all of the efforts of Ostrow’s Community Oral Health Programs.
Mulligan is a Diplomate of the American Board of Special Care Dentistry. She also sits on the Ostrow Board of Councilors and was recently named the 2020 recipient of the Geis Award for Achievement for Dental Educators for her longtime contributions to dental education.
This is not the first gift that Clark and Mulligan have bestowed on Ostrow. In 2015, on its 30th anniversary, Ostrow’s Special Patients Clinic was endowed and named the Dr. Roseann Mulligan Special Patients Clinic, ensuring its continued operation long into the future.