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Record Online - Dec 08/Jan 09

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Rossmann takes leadership of periodontics department

Dr. Jeffrey Rossmann
                 Dr. Jeffrey A. Rossmann

This month, Dr. Jeffrey A. Rossmann became the new chair of the Department of Periodontics at HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry. For Rossmann, the position is a return to a full-time academic career and, as he sees it, an opportunity to return a favor to the profession he’s enjoyed.

“I’ve always had a passion for teaching, and I’m looking anxiously to regain that part of my career,” Rossmann says. “I’m also at the point in my career to contribute to the future of the profession. I want to have an influence in the direction of both periodontics and dental education.”

Rossmann already has identified two areas where the department can grow: more clinical research and response to patient demand. He plans to contribute to the research increase by exploring his personal interest in laser therapy.

He also would like to adapt the periodontics curriculum in response to patient interest in such areas as implant therapy, helping to ensure that all HSC-BCD graduates are well-prepared for this growing demand.

In addition to serving as department chair, Rossmann will teach in the graduate clinic and spend one day each week in his private practice in Lewisville, where he has worked since 1995.

Rossmann joined the college’s faculty that same year, when he was asked to serve as assistant director of the graduate program by Dr. Terry Rees, who was then chair of the department.

Like Rees, Rossmann had a dental career in the U.S. Army, serving for 20 years and establishing residency programs in periodontics. During that time he met several HSC-BCD faculty members, and he says that has helped establish strong friendships with his colleagues.

“My first mentor was Dr. Schow, whom I got to know in San Antonio on my first assignment,” says Rossmann. “Of course there was Dr. Rees, too, and many others. We used to call this Fort Baylor because there were so many of us.

“There’s a great camaraderie in this group,” Rossmann says. “It’s a warm, friendly environment.”

In addition to his Army experience and private practice, Rossmann was clinical director of graduate periodontics at the dental branch of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. He is an active member of Alpha Omega dental fraternity and Rotary International. He also is an examiner for the American Board of Periodontology, which he says will help in his leadership as chair.

“The experience on the American Board of Periodontology gives me a national perspective,” Rossmann says. “It also offers a chance to collaborate with others in the periodontics field.”

Rossmann hopes to become even more involved in other dental associations and looks forward to giving lectures across the country, but he’s most anxious to lead the graduate program here at the college.

“Being able to chair a department at Baylor is a tremendous honor,” Rossmann says. “Our graduate programs are excellent, and to think of the past chairs in this role – Dr. Hurt, Dr. Rees, Dr. Hallmon – it’s an honor to be in that group of people.”