Rita Jablonski PhD, CRNP, FGSA, FAAN

Dr. Rita Jablonski is a Nurse Practitioner and Professor in the School of Nursing at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has been providing care to persons with dementia for 35 years across acute and community settings. Her interest in oral care began as a nurse pracitioner in a skilled nursing facility in 2003. She noticed a pattern of resistance to care to those individuals with poor oral hygiene. That relevation sparked a 16-year span of research studies funded by the Brookdale Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Within the context of these studies, Dr. Jablonski developed and tested strategies to prevent and manage resistance-to-care behavior during oral hygiene activities in nursing homes across Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Alabama. Her team is currently funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, where they are sharing these same strategies with nursing home staff and monitoring oral hygiene using an intraoral camera to track plaque deposits.