California has a New State Dental Director

Friday, Jun 12, 2015

Gov. Jerry Brown announced that Jayanth V. Kumar, DDS, MPH, will serve as California's new state dental director. For years, CDA has advocated for a state dental director — the establishment of this position is a major achievement for the state's oral health program and access to care planning goals.

Kumar comes to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) with more than 25 years of experience in the New York State Bureau of Dental Health. He has held the positions of state dental director and acting director since 2009 and is responsible for developing the first comprehensive state oral health plan for New York.

"Under Dr. Kumar's leadership, New York's oral health program experienced significant success and is recognized as one of the finest in the nation. We are excited to have his leadership and experience here in California," said Weber. "His excellent grasp of the serious challenges our state faces in reducing barriers to dental care, and his knowledge of effective disease prevention programs and federal funding opportunities, will be a tremendous asset to California."

According to the CDPH, Kumar will direct and manage the oral health program in the CDPH and, in collaboration with the Department of Health Care Services, provide leadership in developing and implementing innovative strategies and policies to reduce oral health disparities in California. In addition to a state oral health plan, Kumar will also be responsible for establishing prevention and oral health education projects and working to secure funding for prevention-focused oral health programs, particularly for children.

CDA will continue to provide information about the new state dental director in the Update, e-newsletters and on cda.org.

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