As a practicing dentist for more than thirty years, Dr. Dirks brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her new role at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine (CU SDM). She joins the faculty in the department of community dentistry and population health with a focus on senior care, and is assistant director of the ACTS program. Her passion lies in geriatric dentistry and connecting dental care with overall health care.
Dr. Dirks studied psychology at Hastings College in Nebraska and earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA). She completed fellowships in geriatric medicine & dentistry and substance abuse in interprofessional care through the South Texas Veterans Health Care System and UTHSCSA.
For nearly two decades, Dr. Dirks was a clinical associate professor and director of the UTHSCSA Geriatric Dental Clinic. She then transitioned to adjunct faculty with a supervisorial role for clinical rotation sites. During this time, she established the Geriatric Dental Group of South Texas which provides clinical rotations for students in dental hygiene and dental assistant programs.
Now as the CU SDM ACTS program assistant director, Dr. Dirks is heavily involved in community outreach initiatives and helping dental students gain real-world experience with diverse populations at more than thirty clinical sites around Colorado.
Dr. Dirks is a member of the American Dental Education Association, the Association of State & Territorial Dental Directors (Healthy Aging Committee), Geriatric Dental Alliance, and Special Care Dentistry. She has held leadership roles in many dental and non-dental organizations, including the Texas Oral Health Coalition and the American Association of Community Dental Programs Board of Directors. Publications include: The New York Times, Journal of Dental Education, Journal of the American Society on Aging, Quintessence International, Lifetime Magazine: Health & Wellness Issue, among others.