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Joana Cunha-Cruz, D.D.S., Ph.D., has been selected to participate in the 2023-2024 cohort of UAB Healthcare Leadership Academy which begins in October.

School of Dentistry BuildingAs a Professor and Director of Practice-based and Community-based Research in the UAB Department of Clinical and Community Sciences, she also serves as National Director of Communications & Dissemination to foster research collaborations and support the work of the National Dental Practice- Based Research Network (PBRN), which is housed at UAB.

A seasoned public health and clinical researcher with more than 15 years of public health academic experience, Cunha-Cruz uses epidemiology, behavioral and implementation sciences, and evidence-based practice methods to understand and improve dental practices and systems for better health and health equity.

Cunha-Cruz is a Senior Scientist in the UAB Minority Health & Research Center, Microbiome Center, and Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education. She has served as an Investigator or PI on more than 20 federal and foundation grants and has authored more than 160 peer-reviewed publications and presented nationally and internationally.

As an academic leader, she has served as an advisor and mentor for many students, volunteers, and research assistants and as a reviewer for NIH study sections. In addition to participating in school and campus committees, her national service includes AADOCR and IADR leadership. She has been recognized with the ADA/AADR Evidence-Based Dentistry Mid-Career Faculty Award, the Evidence Based Dentistry Network Prize (IADR), and the University of Washington Latinx Faculty Recognition Award.

“Leadership is about inspiring others to achieve their goals in a culture of understanding and collaboration. Healthcare leaders must have a deep understanding of the complex challenges and opportunities facing our healthcare systems and the Academy is a great opportunity for this,” says Cunha-Cruz. “I look forward to joining colleagues from across campus to learn and collaborate, while improving my own leadership skills.”

The UAB Healthcare Leadership Academy (HLA) was founded on the premise that the future of academic health systems will be led and managed by clinicians and executives who operate at the frontiers of medicine and possess the leadership skills required to guide their organization into an increasingly complex future.