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Brian Jeffery Swann

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Brian Jeffery Swann



1970 B.S. Psychology. Pacific University Forest Grove, OR

1975 D.D.S. Dentistry University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry San Francisco, CA

2008 M.P.H. Family & Community Health Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH)


Someone once told me that if I had a passion for public health the walls of my dental practice would become confining. After much consideration, I applied and was accepted into the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) as the first Joseph L. Henry Fellow. I completed that program and a one-year certificate in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM). Upon graduation, I received the distinguished Albert Schweitzer Award for my ongoing commitment to global outreach.

I graduated from the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF) and received the W.C. Fleming Award for public service. I continued my affiliation with UCSF for 30 additional years serving as a lecturer and mentor. Concurrently, I spent 4 years in the public and 26 years in the private sectors before coming to Harvard. During my career in California, I treated patients in a convalescent hospital, conducted in service training to nurses, spoke to students about topics ranging from oral health to vocations, served as a dental director in a clinic where I pioneered a preventive dental/medical program, and arranged and participated in mission programs locally and abroad. I felt honored to receive the first Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Future Volunteer of the Year award.

My current research is focused on further developing the concept of the oral physician to expand the oral health capacity. I am also working to increase access to care by researching the advantages to using a “group visit” model.

Since 2008, I have been Chief of Oral Health for the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), co-director of the HSDM/CHA General Practice Residency Program, an Instructor at HSDM, and at Harvard Medical School (HMS) as an Instructor for Patient Doctor I. Two years ago, I helped introduce oral health questions to the “review of systems” portion of the medical interview. This year I co-sponsored the introduction of the oral health examination as part of Patient Doctor II; it will be given for the first time in the history to the HMS and HSDM second year class this November.

I have been a member of HSDM’s Global Health and Outreach Committee since 2010 and the Primary Care Committee since 2012. In conjunction with HSDM, I am involved with projects in Haiti and Rwanda. For Haiti, I am participating with a group to develop an emergency preparedness for dental students and an oral health course for nursing students. I recently worked as a faculty member at the University of Rwanda helping to develop a curriculum and impact faculty development for its first dental school. I helped initiate the development of outreach programs in rural areas. I also made inroads to integrate and cross train dental, nursing, pharmacy, and medical students at the University of Rwanda School of Medicine and Health Care.

My career is characterized by a passion for motivating and educating the disenfranchised, mentoring and teaching our future generation, incorporating community health in every venue, and advocating for health care reform nationally and globally.