Allegheny Graduate Develops Initiatives To Promote Oral Health for the American Dental Association

Matt Zaborowski ’17, MPH, CPH, initially set out to pursue a career as a dentist. However, as an Allegheny College student, he found another route and realized his vision of promoting oral health.

“I was actively involved on campus and was presented with tremendous opportunities in the community to develop my passion,” says Zaborowski, who majored in global health studies and minored in biology. “I quickly found that my passion for oral health extended beyond the clinical delivery of care. As a result, I decided not to attend dental school but instead become a devoted, lifelong oral public health champion.” 

Matt Zaborowski
Matt Zaborowski

Today, Zaborowski serves as the preventative health activities manager for the American Dental Association (ADA) in Chicago. He is responsible for promoting population-based activities by planning, implementing, and managing prevention initiatives. Additionally, he supports the director and Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention (CAAP) by fostering partnerships for oral health literacy, oral disease prevention and intervention, access to oral healthcare, and community oral health advocacy. 

“It is critical to include oral health as part of the overall health assessment to improve quality of life,” Zaborowski says. “I find collaborating, convening, and facilitating a shared vision for oral health with local, state, and national partners extremely rewarding.”

As an Allegheny student, Zaborowski founded an annual children’s dental health fair, assisted with a Crawford County health needs assessment, and researched oral health concerns related to Meadville Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree, Zaborowski earned a master’s in public health with an emphasis in dental health from A.T. Still University and a certification in public health from the National Board of Public Health Examiners. 

Zaborowski’s experience with clinical and business teams has allowed him to educate patients about the connection between oral and overall health. Prior to his current role with the ADA, he worked at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Division of Public Health, as Idaho’s de facto state dental director where he supported partnerships, monitored dental disease rates, and assessed dental public health programs across the state. 

“Allegheny allowed me to be a scholar and responsible citizen, and to recognize the importance of respectful dialogue. Allegheny lived up to its reputation as a college that changes lives,” Zaborowski says. “Its strong foundation continues to guide me through creativity, civility, and humility. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for my Allegheny education.”