As Dean of Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Niessen will represent the Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences Section of the AAAS. Linda Niessen, DMD, MPH, MPP, dean of the Nova Southeastern University (NSU) College of Dental Medicine, has been appointed to the Advisory Committee on Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry by the US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius.

The Advisory Committee provides advice and recommendations on policy and program development to Secretary Sebelius, and is responsible for submitting an annual report to the Secretary and Congress concerning certain activities of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act. Additionally, the Advisory Committee develops, publishes, and implements performance measures and evaluations of certain sections of the PHS Act. Niessen’s term with the Committee will run through Aug. 31, 2016.

“It is truly an honor to be appointed by Secretary Sebelius to represent the field of dentistry and Nova Southeastern University on a national scale,” Niessen said. “The Advisory Committee, through its policy recommendations, has the ability to improve the health of our Florida residents and the US population through innovative health professional training programs.”

The Advisory Committee is comprised of 17 members, including practicing health professionals engaged in training, leaders from health professions organizations, faculty from health professions educational institutions, and health professionals from public or private teaching hospitals or community-based settings.

Niessen joined NSU in October 2013. She previously served as a clinical professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry at Texas A&M University’s Baylor College of Dentistry. While at Baylor, Niessen developed and directed a dental public health residency program and partnered with faculty at the University of North Texas Health Science Center College of Osteopathic Medicine to start a geriatric dentistry and medicine fellowship. Her research interests include geriatric oral research and education, epidemiology of oral diseases in older adults, and oral health public policy.

Niessen was recently elected as a council delegate representing the Dentistry and Oral Health Sciences Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an organization that seeks to advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world and publishes the journal, Science.