Willgerodt selected as Macy Foundation Faculty Scholar

Mayumi Willgerodt

Mayumi Willgerodt Photo by Courtesy photo

An associate professor in the School of Nursing became the first UW faculty member to be selected as a Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Faculty Scholar last month.

Mayumi Willgerodt, an associate professor in the department of Family and Child Nursing, was selected as one of five recipients in July.

Established in 2010, the Macy Faculty Scholars program provides a stipend to five faculty leaders nationwide each year. Each candidate must submit an application to the Macy Foundation which includes a description of a prospective health care reform project they hope to accomplish, and letters of recommendation. The winning faculty must devote at least 50 percent of their time at their institution pursuing their reform project.

“Macy Scholars are selected after a highly competitive review based on their prior accomplishments and future promise as educational leaders and innovators,” wrote Peter Goodwin, chief operating officer and treasurer of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, in an email. “Dr. Willgerodt’s work addressing pediatric oral health disparities and building team-based models of care is particularly timely and important to improving the delivery of care and the health of the public.”

Willgerodt said she will team with pediatric resident dentists and UW graduate students in the nursing and social work departments to address oral health care disparities in children, especially among those who are underprivileged. She said the team will also partner with the UW’s Center for Pediatric Dentistry.

Willgerodt said she has three main goals for her project. The first is to develop a curriculum for graduate students that will take them from the classroom to a clinical setting, and then out into the community. The second is to establish the Center for Pediatric Dentistry as a team-based model of care, by bridging gaps in interprofessional education and collaborative practice. The final goal is to bring together key stakeholders in children’s oral healthcare to develop ways to put these team-based models into permanent practice.

“I really believe in interprofessional education,” Willgerodt said. “That’s the way we need to go, and we’re getting there. This would give me the opportunity to network with other scholars around the country who are all trying to do something innovative around education.”

Another requirement of the project is for a mentor to supervise the faculty member for the duration of the project. The mentor must be a faculty member who has already been involved in interprofessional education. Brenda Zierler, professor in the department of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, will serve as Willgerodt’s mentor.

Zierler and Willgerodt have worked together on various other projects and grants at UW. One of Zierler’s main roles in this project is to give Willgerodt national networking opportunities and connections. Zierler will also provide support to Willgerodt throughout the next two years.

“I think it’s a good project and it’s a good time for her — the timing was right,” Zierler said. “There’s a strong support and leadership from the School of Dentistry … She has the skill set, [and] she’s very enthusiastic about the project.”

Reach contributing writer Mackenzie Ciesa at development@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @mackenzieciesa

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