UPIKE names first dean for College of Dental Health

On behalf of the board of trustees at the University of Pikeville, President Burton Webb, Ph.D., has announced the appointment of Pamela Sparks-Stein, DMD, MPH, as the dean for the UPIKE College of Dental Health.

“Among several strong candidates, Dr. Sparks-Stein stood out for her incredible alignment to the mission of the University of Pikeville,” affirmed Webb. “Her compassion and empathy will help her create the kind of dental school where care for the underserved is central to our identity, where the health of the public is paramount, and where quality care is an absolute necessity.”

Sparks-Stein comes to UPIKE from the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, where she serves as division chief of dental public health. 

“Dr. Sparks-Stein has extensive dental education experience with a focus in rural and public health,” said UPIKE Provost Lori Werth, Ph.D. “Her leadership experiences over the last 25 years have prepared her well for this important role on our campus.”

Prior to her roles in education, Dr. Sparks-Stein served in private practice in the commonwealth for 13 years where she formed her passion for dental education and public health.

“I am a public health dentist and my heart has a passion for helping vulnerable and underserved populations,” said Sparks-Stein. “My years of working with grants and projects in Eastern Kentucky have shown me there are so many wonderful partners who are willing to help, making it a great place to forge partnerships that will allow us to make a true impact in Central Appalachia.” 

Sparks-Stein received her Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry and Master’s of Public Health from the University of Kentucky. 

“I’m thrilled to be part of the UPIKE family and I cannot wait to get started,” said Sparks-Stein. “When I stepped on campus, I had the sense that this is where I belong.” 

Family is very important to the new dean. Her daughter Lauren Hoagland and husband Gordy, of Louisville, have two sons, ages one and three. Her son John Stein married Michelle Caudill of Hindman, and the two are expecting their first child in April. They are all very close and live near each other in Lexington.

For more information about UPIKE, email wewantyou@upike.edu or call 606-218-5251.