School of Dentistry faculty named GSA fellow for his dedication to the field of aging
Stephen Shuman, DDS, MS, associate professor and director of the Oral Health Services for Older Adults Program at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, has been named a fellow by The Gerontological Society of America (GSA). Shuman is only the eighth dental professional to be awarded this distinction in more than 70 years by the GSA, which is the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to the research, education and practice in the field of aging.
“I’m honored to be recognized by such a large and distinguished organization as GSA,” said Shuman. “This is especially meaningful for me because of GSA’s strong interprofessional representation and focus.”
Over the course of his more than 30-year career, Shuman has focused his teaching and scholarly work on oral health in long-term care, utilization of geriatric dental services and medical issues impacting dental care of older adults.
“This achievement is a testament to Dr. Shuman’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of older adults,” said Gary Anderson, DDS, dean of the School of Dentistry. “His compassion has driven him to devote his career to caring for patients who might not be able to fully care for themselves. As a gifted teacher, Dr. Shuman educates the next generation of dental professionals at the University of Minnesota about the unique oral health care needs of older adults.”
Shuman received his dental degree from Temple University and, in 1989, completed an advanced education program in geriatric dentistry and MS degree at the University of Minnesota. That same year, he became a School of Dentistry faculty member.
As part of his dedication to geriatric dentistry and the field of aging, Shuman — in partnership with a local aerospace company — received federal grants for two projects aimed at helping older adults: creating a hands-free tooth-brushing system for those with oral hygiene difficulties and developing an antenna and smartphone app to help find missing dentures.
“Misplacing dentures, which occurs frequently in long-term care settings, can be both emotionally and financially draining,” said Shuman. “I hope that through these projects we can help alleviate concerns and help vulnerable people maintain their oral health and independence.”
Shuman’s fellowship will be celebrated at GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting, November 14-18, 2018, in Boston, Mass.
About the School of Dentistry
The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry advances health through scientific discovery, innovative education and the highest-quality care for all communities. As the state's only dental school, the School of Dentistry educates the next generation of oral health professionals and is a resource to five states for dental education and consultation. Of Minnesota’s practicing dentists, 73 percent are graduates of the dental school. Through it’s clinics, the School of Dentistry also sees more than 156,000 patient visits each year.