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Associate Professor Fiona Blinkhorn obtained her Bachelor of Dental Surgery from the University of Manchester, UK in 1981. She began her career working for the Public Dental Service in the North West of England treating adults and children with special needs. She obtained her Master of Dental Surgery in 1986 investigating treatment services and dental needs of the elderly living at home. From there she joined the ranks of the academic fraternity and began teaching dental students and hygienists at the University of Manchester whilst undertaking specialist training in Paediatric Dentistry. Teaching has always been Fiona's great passion but she still maintained her clinical interest in Paediatric Dentistry and was awarded the title of Specialist in Paediatric Dentistry by the General Dental Council in 1999. She then began a secondment to the Dental Health Research Unit at the University of Manchester where she was an Examiner on a large caries clinical trial and she also obtained her PhD investigating dento-alveolar trauma in children. Fiona's career then diversified into management and she held the positions of Director and Clinical Director of Dental Services for a large Area Health Service, again in the UK. Once again, she maintained her clinical and academic teaching sessions. In 2002 Fiona was awarded $500,000 to set up a School to train Dental Therapists and Hygienists within an AHS. The School was, and still is, very successful. In 2007 Fiona emigrated to Australia and once more began a career in the Public Dental Service, as Consultant in Oral health Promotion, for NSSCH Oral Health Service. In 2009 she set up a new program at the University of Newcastle, NSW, - the Graduate Diploma in Dental Therapy and was appointed to the position of Associate Professor to oversee this new and exciting postgraduate program. Fiona has numerous publications in peer reviewed journals and her research interests include health services research, early childhood oral health and the field of dental education.
A/Prof Blinkhorn has forty publications in peer reviewed journals and given numerous conference presentations internationally. Since emigrating to Australia A/Prof Blinkhorn has developed an interest in the oral health of Aboriginal children, which is particularly poor with high levels of dental disease. She is currently working in collaboration with a research team from the University of Sydney to improve early childhood oral health in this population. A/Prof Blinkhorn is particularly interested in Health Services Research and has undertaken a number of health promotion studies evaluating the benefits of different oral health interventions in the child population. Having been involved with teaching students for over twenty years, A/Prof Blinkhorn has a special interest in evaluating teaching experiences, particularly outreach teaching. Her research has shown that oral health outreach placements in the public dental service provide numerous benefits to students.
Research Article: J Child Adolesc Behav 2015, 3: 224