TOPEKA, Kan.— Cathy Taylor-Osborne, D.D.S., M.A., has been selected as the next director of the Bureau of Oral Health at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. She will begin her post at KDHE on March 21.
“We are delighted that Dr. Taylor will be joining our team and taking on this important role in our work with partners to improve oral health in Kansas. She brings a wealth of dental practice and leadership experience to the oral health director’s position and shares KDHE’s commitment to improving health outcomes through evidence-based strategies,” said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer.
Dr. Taylor is currently the dental director of Cabot Westside Medical and Dental Center, a federally qualified health center in Kansas City, Mo. In 2011, she established a dental clinic during an extended mission trip to Bangalore, India. She received her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from University of Missouri-Kansas City and her Master of Arts in bioethics and health policy from Loyola University.
“I’m excited for this opportunity to serve Kansans in the capacity of dental director at the state health department. Though I will certainly miss my patients, I look forward to the challenge to excel in a statewide public health setting through a new role of assessment, policy development and assurance,” said Dr. Taylor.
Dr. Taylor fills a vacancy created in September 2013 when Dr. Kathy Weno left KDHE for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta as the Division of Oral Health Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. In the interim, Jennifer Ferguson, KDHE’s Children’s Oral Health Program Manager, has served as the agency’s acting director of oral health.
“At KDHE, Dr. Taylor will be an asset to more than the Division of Public Health where the Bureau of Oral Health resides; she will also work closely with our Division of Health Care Finance, which houses the KanCare program, a federal-state health coverage program for Kansas’ most vulnerable citizens,” said Dr. Moser. In 2013, KanCare, a new model for delivering Medicaid services in Kansas, added new benefits, including adult coverage of preventive dental care, a service previously limited to children in the program.
Dr. Taylor practiced dental hygiene for 15 years before pursuing her DDS degree. At UMKC School of Dentistry, she was the American Student Dental Association delegate and received honors from the American Student Dental Association and American Association of Public Health Dentistry, as well as the National Society of Dental Practitioners’ Law and Ethics in Dentistry Award and the Warner-Lambert Preventative Dentistry Scholarship. Dr. Taylor operated her private practice in Overland Park, Kan., from 2001 to 2011. During that time, she served as a delegate to the Kansas Dental Association and in many roles in the Fifth District Dental Society, including president from 2008-2009. She was recognized as UMKC Dental Alumni Young Alumnus of the Year in 2004.