Mary E. Foley, RDH, MPH, Dean, Associate Professor, Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene
Ms. Foley has worked in public health since 1999, before becoming dean in 2007. She has served as the director of the Office of Oral Health with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, a Head Start oral health consultant, and project director for the Improving Perinatal and Infant Oral Health Project in Washington, DC. She believes that all dental hygienists are working in public health by serving the needs of their patients.
What drew you into public health?
I went back to school because I wanted to learn what more I could do for my patients. All of a sudden I found myself being able to promote oral health as well as general health on a much larger scale. Being informed enough to advise my patients on broader health topics was very fulfilling. It was from my expanded education that I recognized that when you’re in private practice the number of people you can help is a finite number. When you’re in public health, the sky is the limit. You can literally help millions.