Patricia Lenton is a licensed dental hygienist and certified clinical research professional; she holds a Masters of Arts in Education. Pat is a Research Fellow in the Oral Health Clinical Research Center at the University of Minnesota, School of Dentistry. In addition to her work in clinical research, Pat has also developed numerous continuing education courses for the School of Dentistry in the areas of “risk communication” and “customer service.” Her interest in the area of oral health literacy has grown out of her recognition of the importance of gaining informed consent from potential study subjects and ensuring that patients fully comprehend the procedures they are agreeing to. Pat became curious about the issue of oral health literacy after attending a seminar on health literacy. After researching the topic, she discovered a number of initiatives that are currently underway to improve oral health literacy. She met Jessica Ridpath while attending an HMO research conference in early 2008 and the two of them agreed to collaborate on the development of this oral health literacy course for dental professionals.
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