Dr. Elsbeth Kalenderian, dean of the Marquette University School of Dentistry, has been appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on the Healthcare Workforce by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, his office announced on Tuesday.
The task force is charged with studying the workforce challenges facing the state’s health care system, including recruitment and retention; identifying ways to improve patient care and alleviating the burdens on the health care workforce; exploring educational and training pathways to grow a sustainable health care workforce; and creating an action plan with solutions related to workforce development, industry innovation, education, and training for consideration in the governor’s 2025-27 executive budget.
“I am honored to serve on the Governor’s Task Force on Healthcare Workforce,” Kalenderian said. “As dean of the Marquette University School of Dentistry, the state of Wisconsin’s dental school, we remain committed to our mission of educating and training Wisconsin’s future dentists and leading in the promotion of oral health care statewide. I look forward to working with the state to address critical issues facing dental education and access to care.”
Evers signed Executive Order #220 to create the Governor’s Task Force on the Healthcare Workforce on Jan. 29. Lt. Gov. Sara Rodriguez, a registered nurse, will lead the task force as its chair. Secretary Amy Pechacek of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and Secretary Kirsten Johnson of Wisconsin Department of Health Services will serve as co-vice chairs. The 25-member task force includes representatives from the state’s higher education institutions, members from state and local government, citizens of Tribal Nations, and individuals representing health care professionals, organized labor, patient advocacy groups, and other impacted workforce sectors and industries.
“These individuals will bring important and necessary perspectives toward finding solutions to the pressing challenges facing our state’s dedicated health care workforce,” Evers said in his announcement. “This task force will be charged with developing critical, innovative solutions for me to consider in preparing my next biennial budget to bolster and support our health care workforce and make sure this vital industry is prepared to meet the needs of Wisconsinites today and well into the future.”
Kalenderian joined Marquette as dean of the School of Dentistry in August 2023. She previously served as professor in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department at the Amsterdam University Medical Center. Prior to that, she was dean of the faculty at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam, professor and chair of preventive and restorative dental sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, and clinic dean and chair at Harvard School of Dental Medicine.
Kalenderian received her Doctor of Dental Sciences degree in 1983 from Rijks Universiteit Groningen in The Netherlands. As a Fulbright Scholar, she completed her oral and maxillofacial surgery residency from Boston University in 1986 and received a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University in 2007. In 2013, she earned a Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam, defending her thesis on dental diagnostic terminologies.
Kalenderian’s well established research portfolio is continuously supported by numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; her work uses informatics approaches with a focus on patient safety, quality metrics and quality improvement in the dental setting. Additionally, Kalenderian publishes in peer-reviewed journals and is frequently an invited speaker at national and international conferences on leadership, quality improvement, dental diagnostic terminologies and patient safety.