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As the highest-ranking dental program official with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Timothy Ward ’70, is responsible for the oral health of more than 5 million veterans seeking medical care.

In his role as assistant undersecretary for health for dentistry in Washington, D.C., Ward deals daily with issues of national policy and administration. Yet he has never forgotten his strong academic start at UW Oshkosh.

“This was the time I developed an intellectual curiosity that has remained with me throughout life,” he said. “I met the people who have remained my closest friends to this day.”

Ward continued his education with a master’s degree from Bradley University and a doctorate of dental surgery from Marquette University. He also is a diplomat of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, one of his proudest accomplishments.

Beginning with a private practice in Wisconsin, Ward has pursued a long career in patient care, education, research and national policy and administration. In his current role with Veterans Affairs, his office oversees the dental care delivered by 750 dentists at more than 200 clinics. He also is a staff oral and maxillofacial surgeon at the Washington VA Medical Center.

“Dr. Ward is one of the most thoughtful leaders in our profession,” said Paul Lambert, chief of staff with the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Medical Center. “In his role as undersecretary, he has undertaken a host of initiatives that have improved the delivery of dental care in the VA.”

For example, Ward developed and implemented a two-year fellowship in war-related illnesses and injuries and a program to provide dental care to homeless veterans.

“He is an extremely bright, humble, thoughtful and caring man who continually strives to enrich the lives of those around him, to advance VA dentistry, to improve dental care, to teach, research and serve,” Lambert said.

Within the community, Ward donates oral surgical services monthly to a free clinic in rural Virginia.

“It is an impoverished area and the residents have crushing oral surgical needs,” Ward said. “They are very appreciative of the help they receive.”

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