An Interview with 2020 Janet Reaves Awardee Dr. Rob Doherty

Janet Reaves was a tireless advocate for North Carolinians, working statewide to improve the health of those with chronic disease. Janet excelled at creating partnerships and helped champion innovative quality improvement initiatives that put North Carolina at the forefront in of chronic disease management.

In her memory, and to highlight the connection between oral and systemic health, the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative sponsored the first Janet Reaves Community Achievement Award this year.

The award was initially supposed to be presented during lunch at the North Carolina Community Health Center Association’s Clinical Conference on Quality and Chronic Disease in April, but the conference was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Instead, we met virtually with this year’s awardee, Dr. Rob Doherty, chief dental officer at Greene County Health Care Inc., to discuss his lifetime of service and what the award means to him.

Dr. Doherty is an innovator in the field of community-based dentistry. Throughout his career, he has worked hard to increase access to quality oral health care for underserved communities. From spearheading new approaches to school-based dentistry to pushing the envelope to offer more services from a public health setting, Dr. Doherty has shown that hard work, dedication, and collaboration can achieve incredible results.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Doherty or use the table of contents below to skip to specific topics of interest to you.


Table of Contents

0:15 – About the Janet Reaves Community Achivement Award

1:10 – About Dr. Rob Doherty

5:32 – Opening the Janet Reaves Award

8:31 – Choosing dentistry and public health

11:00 –Coming to North Carolina for farm worker dentistry

12:10 – Back to school

12:40 – Impacting the community in Greene County

13:25 – Innovating the workplace: adding orthodontics to a public health clinic

17:25 – Three requests: open the doors, offer comprehensive dentistry (18:35), and create a teaching environment (20:24)

21:39 – Bringing residents to Greene County

22:34 – Local health department roles in oral health care

24:25 – Collaborating with community

27:22 – Keeping the flame lit: mentorship and sustaining safety-net dentistry

31:44 – Innovating the workplace: school-based care

33:43 – Working on a shared vision: restorative dentistry in a mobile clinic

37:33 – Advice to dentists in public health