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FirstHealth’s Dental Director Named to UNC Board of Visitors

| Date Posted: 8/9/2012

PINEHURST – The director of the FirstHealth of the Carolinas Dental Care Centers is among a new class of alumni and friends now serving on the Board of Visitors for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sharon Nicholson Harrell, DDS, MPH

Sharon Nicholson Harrell, DDS, MPH

Sharon Nicholson Harrell, DDS, MPH, FAGD, has been named to the approximately 170-member board that assists the Board of Trustees and Chancellor Holden Thorpe in a range of activities that includes marketing, top student recruitment, government relations and fundraising. She has been director of the FirstHealth Dental Care Centers program since 1998.

Members of the UNC Board of Visitors serve four-year terms and typically meet twice a year in Chapel Hill. The new members began their terms on July 1.

“It is my pleasure and honor to give back to the university that gave so much to me and enabled me to pursue my dream of practicing dental medicine,” Dr. Harrell said. “The foundation I received at UNC has enabled me to make an impact on access to dental care for underserved populations. I am most grateful for the opportunity to serve as a member of the Board of Visitors, and I look forward to actively participating in one of the hard-working board committees.”

A native of Richmond County, Dr. Harrell is a three-time Carolina graduate. She earned a B.A. in chemistry in 1983, a doctor of dental surgery degree in 1987 and a master’s in public health in 1990. She also has a certificate in advanced general dentistry from the University of Maryland’s College of Dental Surgery.

Dr. Harrell was serving as dental director of the Cumberland County Health Department when she was recruited to plan, design, open and supervise the three FirstHealth dental care centers. Located in Southern Pines, Raeford and Troy, the clinics provide comprehensive dental care for uninsured and underinsured children.

Also an adjunct professor in the UNC School of Dentistry, Dr. Harrell is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and in the Pierre Fauchard Academy.


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