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Meet the faces of clinical leadership at UTHealth School of Dentistry

Published: July 01, 2021 by Kyle Rogers

UTHealth School of Dentistry clinical leadership (clockwise from bottom left): Dr. Thomas A. Servos; Shalizeh “Shelly” Patel,  and Amity L. Gardner.
UTHealth School of Dentistry clinical leadership (clockwise from bottom left): Dr. Thomas A. Servos; Shalizeh “Shelly” Patel, and Amity L. Gardner.

UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry announced several changes in its clinical leadership, effective July 1, 2021.

Interim Associate Dean for Patient Care
Shalizeh “Shelly” Patel, DDS, MEd, assumed the role of interim associate dean for patient care.

Patel, who is an associate professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry and Prosthodontics and also serves as director of clinical simulation, is a 2019 recipient of the ADEA/Colgate-Palmolive Co. Excellence in Teaching Award and the Academy of Laser Dentistry’s T.H. Maiman Award for Excellence in Laser Research. In 2020, she was inducted into The University of Texas Kenneth I. Shine, MD, Academy of Health Science Education and recognized as a distinguished teaching professor by UTHealth.

At UTHealth School of Dentistry, Patel has also been recognized with the John H. Freeman Award for Faculty Teaching (2014), Dean’s Excellence Awards for Teaching (2012, 2015), and Dean’s Excellence Award for Mentoring (2019). In 2020, she won a Dean's Excellence Award for Application. Patel has completed both the ADEA Leadership Institute and the UTHealth Health Educators Fellowship Program.

She holds a doctorate in dental surgery degree from UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry and a master’s degree in education, curriculum, and instruction in health science education from the University of Houston.

Assistant Dean for Clinical Education
Amity L. Gardner, DDS, has been named assistant dean for clinical education.

Gardner, who is an assistant professor in the Department of General Practice and Dental Public Health, has served as the director of clinical education for the predoctoral program since 2017. She also serves as an examiner for the Western Regional Examining Board.

Gardner is an honored recipient of the John P. McGovern Outstanding Teacher Award for Clinical Teaching (2016) and the Dean’s Excellence Award in the Scholarship of Integration (2020). She has completed the Academy for Advancing Leadership’s Institute for Teaching and Learning and the American Dental Education Association’s Emerging Leaders programs.

Garner joined the UTHealth School of Dentistry faculty in 2012 after 10 years in private practice in her home state of Nevada. She earned a doctorate in dental surgery degree from the Creighton University School of Dentistry and completed a general practice residency at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas.

Chief Clinical Officer for UT Dentists
Thomas A. Servos, DDS, has been elevated to chief clinical officer for the UT Dentists faculty practice enterprise. In his role, Servos oversees the clinical operations of the faculty practice, including the expansion of UT Dentists into the Houston community.

Servos, who is an associate professor in the Department of General Practice and Dental Public Health, joined the UTHealth School of Dentistry faculty in 1995 after many years in private practice in Houston and has held several roles since that time. He served as the first director of UT Dentists when it opened in 2006 and the group practice’s clinic director since 2017. Servos has also served as director of patient assessment, vice-chair of the former Department of Diagnostic Sciences, and, since 2013, interim head of radiology.

He holds a doctorate in dental surgery degree from UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry.

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