Patient Care

Romesh Nalliah appointed Associate Dean for Patient Services3 min read

September 20, 2019

Romesh Nalliah appointed Associate Dean for Patient Services3 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept. 20, 2019 – The School of Dentistry Executive Committee and the University of Michigan Board of Regents have approved the appointment of Romesh Nalliah as associate dean for patient services.  The appointment is effective January 1, 2020, for a five-year term.

Romesh Nalliah

In announcing the appointment Friday, Dean Laurie McCauley said Professor Nalliah has had a significant impact as director of the pre-doctoral clinical education at the dental school since 2015. “He has improved and optimized numerous clinical teaching activities that have improved patient care and enhanced student learning,” McCauley said. “He has created several clinical faculty development courses involving calibration, clinical skills augmentation and faculty skills training. Recently, he created the successful Speed Learning program, and the development of an online course focused on teaching students about the opioid crisis.”

McCauley also cited his mentoring of dental and post-doctoral students, many of which have resulted in publications, presentations at national and international meetings, and awards, including the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Fellowship award. Nalliah has more than 100 publications and has attracted funding from several university, foundation and federal grants, including support from the Michigan State Department of Health and Human Services for his work on the Michigan Opioid Provider Engagement Network.

As associate dean for patient services, Nalliah will be responsible for the administration and operational activities in the office of patient services and the clinical program of the School of Dentistry. He will ensure efficient management and administration of the school’s patient care and dental clinical curriculum, and will take a leading role for the patient care domain of the school’s strategic plan. He will oversee administration of auxiliary support services, interact with service systems on patient-related issues, and administer policies and training programs to assure compliance with HIPAA privacy regulations. He represents the interests of patient care to the university, state and American Dental Education Association, and assures compliance with patient care accreditation standards.

Nalliah earned his Bachelor of Dental Surgery in 2000 from the University of Adelaide in Australia.  In 2015, he completed a fellowship in Medical Education at Harvard Medical School, and in 2016, he earned a Masters in healthcare management from Harvard School of Public Health. He joined the U-M dental school in 2015 as a clinical associate professor and director of pre-doctoral clinical education. In 2018, he completed a fellowship in Healthcare Policy from the Center for Healthcare Policy and Innovation at U-M, and in 2019, he was promoted to clinical professor of dentistry.

McCauley thanked the selection committee, led by Dr. Mark Fitzgerald along with Cassandra Callahan, Dr. Will Giannobile, Dr. Brandon Gordon, Mary Jo Gray, Dr. Ron Heys and Dr. Hera Kim Berman.

Nalliah takes over his new role from Dr. Stephen Stefanac, who held the associate dean position for the last 15 years and will remain a member of the dental school faculty. McCauley noted that Stefanac “expertly led our patient services mission with dedication since 2004.” She said the school would celebrate Stefanac’s tenure as associate dean for patient services later this fall.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, at, or (734) 615-1971.