Michelle Baxter, faculty member in the University of Louisville Schools of Dentistry and Nursing, is the first advanced practice nurse to be chosen for the American Academy of Oral Medicine’s new Academic Affiliate Fellowship.
Encouraging collaboration across disciplines to expand patient access to oral medicine care, the fellowship is designed for nurses, physician assistants and other medical professionals who are not dentists but who teach, research or practice in oral medicine.
The fellowship affirms a practitioner’s competence in oral medicine, the integration of dentistry and medicine.
Baxter, APRN, has been appointed to the academy’s Affiliate Fellowship Committee and will help develop the program and certification exam required of future affiliate fellows, which members of the academy will be able to take starting spring 2019.
As a nurse practitioner and faculty member in the Division of Oral Medicine at the UofL School of Dentistry, Baxter focuses on medical consultation and instruction with dental students and fosters interprofessional relationships with dental faculty, staff and students.
Many of the patients she sees have multiple chronic conditions that impact their dental treatment.
“We see people that are very sick, and I help students bring dentistry and medicine together to treat the patient,” Baxter said. “I add a special understanding that is strictly medical in helping dentists understand what is going on in the rest of the body as it relates to oral manifestations of disease.”
Baxter has been a nurse since 1994. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the UofL School of Nursing. This year, she participated in the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program, a prestigious national fellowship for advanced practice nurses that supports providing effective and efficient health care to underserved populations.