A passion for community health
A dental hygienist in a public health clinic and a part-time educator, Lisa Nieves’ days are already full. But helping Macomb grow its Dental Science programs, including opening a clinic offering low-cost dental care to those who need it, was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.
“I have a passion for community health dentistry,” says Nieves, who began teaching in Macomb’s Dental Assisting program on Aug. 23. “I enjoy creating programs and playing a pivotal role in the resolution of oral health disparities in underserved communities.”
Nieves holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry and a Master of Health Administrative Services degree from Central Michigan University. She also has 20 years of experience as an educator, teaching in the schools of dentistry at the University of Michigan and the University of Detroit Mercy.
“Thrilled” to be here
“I am very proud to join the faculty at Macomb. It is one of the best community colleges, everyone has good things to share about it,” says Nieves. “I wanted to be a part of helping its students achieve their goals as dental professionals.”
The College Park Annex across from South Campus has undergone significant renovations to convert it from a standard office building into the home of Macomb’s new Dental Science programs. Nieves was given a tour prior to the start of classes and gave it a glowing review.
“I love the design, it’s state-of-the art, paperless and digital,” says Nieves. “I am extremely excited about teaching in the new dental facility. It has all the modern technology. Knowing that our students are getting the best education possible brings me joy.”
A dental health care activist
In addition to her college degrees, Nieves credentials include:
- Certified Dental Assistant (CDA)
- Registered Dental Assistant and Hygienist (RDA and RDH).
- Active member of the American Dental Association, American Dental Assisting Association and Wolverine Dental Hygienists’ Society (WDHS).
The WDHS, an offshoot of the National Dental Hygienists’ Association, is a professional organization for minority dental practitioners.
In addition to providing continuing education and networking opportunities to its members, WDHS also hosts dental health care clinics for underserved populations and promotes the dental profession to minorities through outreach and scholarships.
In other words, the mission of the society dovetails with Nieves’ own.
“I chose this field because I wanted to help people access oral health care,” says Nieves. “Dentistry has always been an underserved area, and I wanted to make a difference.”