Priscilla Flynn, DrPH, MPH, LDH, CHES

Associate Professor
Priscilla Flynn


Office Address

9-372 Moos Tower 515 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Division of Dental Hygiene,
Division of Dental Public Health


Associate Professor


DrPH, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill
Major: Health Care Policy and Management

MPH, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Major: Community Health Education

BS, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
Major: Dental Hygiene

No Degree, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Major: Food Science and Nutrition

Licensures and Certifications

Registered Dental Hygienist, Licensure/Certification Number: 4711
Certificate in Program Evaluation, University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
Registered Dental Hygienist, Licensure/Certification Number: H02679
Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)
Certified Wellness Practioner, National Wellness Institute

Expand all



Dr. Flynn is Associate Professor in the Division of Dental Hygiene. Professional experiences include dental hygiene, dental public health, and community health education. She co-founded the Network for Women’s Life and Health, a non-profit community organization serving low-resource women and their families in Southeastern Minnesota and Southwestern Wisconsin. Prior to joining the School of Dentistry faculty, she was the coordinator of the Office of Women’s Health at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for 10 years. Previous faculty positions in public health include Walden University and Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. The American Dental Association Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations appointed her to the Community Dental Health Curriculum Test Construction Committee in 2015. She serves on the American Dental Hygienists Association (ADHA) Journal of Dental Hygiene Editorial Board and Council on Public Health, and the joint American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) - ADHA work group to develop a public health certificate program for dental hygienists. She is also a member of the Minnesota Oral Health Coalition, the Minnesota Collaborative Dental Hygiene Practice Advisory Committee, and the University of Minnesota Senate's Equity, Access and Diversity Committee.

Research Summary

Current research includes adapting and testing psychometric properties of oral health literacy instruments and evaluating the effects of social determinants on oral health in immigrant and refugee populations. She also evaluates cultural competency and student attitudes toward treating underserved populations following classroom and outreach experiences, and rural dental hygienists' use of communication techniques with low oral health literacy patients.

Honors and Recognition

Didactic Teacher of the Year Award- Division of Dental Hygiene, School of Dentistry

School of Dentistry 2014 Paper of the Year Award, Social and Behavioral Science & Public Health

Teacher of the Year Award- Division of Dental Therapy, School of Dentistry

Excellence in Teamwork Award, CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) ACT Interpreter Training Project- Mayo Clinic

"Spirit of Collaboration" Honorable Mention Award, Minnesota Cancer Alliance

Delta Omega Honorary Public Health Society, Theta Chapter, School of Public Health, University of North Caroline-Chapel Hill

Excellence in Women's Health Research Award, Women's Health Research Conference, University of Minnesota Deborah Powell Center for Women's Health

Minnesota County Achievement Award for Outstanding Programming, Winona County Community Health Services

Graduation with Honors, University of Minnesota


Selected Publications

Vincent, T., Thompson, S., Flynn, P., 2018. Impact of acculturation on the oral health of Somali refugees in Minnesota. (American Association of Dental Research). Fort Lauderdale, FL,

Flynn, P., Sarkarati, N., 2018. Improving evaluation of dental hygiene students’ cultural competence with a mixed-methods approach. Journal of Dental Education, 82 (2): 103-111.

Flynn, P., Shire, A., 2018. The relationship between social determination of health and Somali intergenerational caries. (Power of Partnerships, Program in Health Disparities Research, CTSI CEARCH and The Prevention Research Center, Department of Pediatrics ). Minneapolis, MN,

Flynn, P., 2017. The effect of social determination on intergenerational caries of Somali mother-child dyads . (Global Dental Hygiene Conference ).

Flynn, P., Shire, A., Thompson, S., 2017. The relationship between social determinants of health and Somali intergenerational caries. (CTSI-CEARCH Annual Poster Session, Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota).

Flynn, P., 2017. Leverage health literacy for better outcomes . Decisions in Dentistry, 3 (6): 39-41.

Flynn, P., 2017. Assessing and addressing low oral health literacy can help improve patient adherence to recommendations and outcomes. Dimensions of Dental Hygiene, 15 (3): 46-49.

Flynn, P. M., John, M. T., Naik, A., Kohli, N., Van Wormer, J. J., Self, K., 2016. Psychometric properties of the English version of the oral health literacy adults questionnaire - OHL-AQ. Community Dental Health, 33 (4): 274-280.

Flynn, P., Acharya, A., Schwei, K., VanWormer, J., Skrzypcak, K., 2016. Assessing Dental Hygienists' Communication Techniques for Use with Low Oral Health Literacy Patients. Journal of dental hygiene : JDH, 90 (3): 162-169.

Naik, A., John, M. T., Kohli, N., Self, K., Flynn, P., 2016. Validation of the English-language version of 5-item Oral Health Impact Profile. Journal of Prosthodontic Research, 60 (2): 85-91.

Flynn, P., Chang, V., Lunos, J., 2016. Intergentational caries among mother-child pairs following migration. Pediatric Dental Care,
Johnson-Agbakwu, C. E., Flynn, P., Asiedu, G. B., Hedberg, E., Breitkopf, C. R., 2016. Adaptation of an Acculturation Scale for African Refugee Women. JOURNAL OF IMMIGRANT AND MINORITY HEALTH, 18 (1): 252-262.

Flynn, P., Self, K., John, M., Kohli, N., Naik, A., 2015. Social acceptability of dental therapists' oral health care. (2015 Poster of Partnerships Poster Sessions and Awards).
Odunukan, O. W., Abdulai, R. M., Hagi Salaad, M. F., Lahr, B. D., Flynn, P. M., Wieland, M. L., 2015. Provider and interpreter preferences among Somali women in a primary care setting.. Journal of primary care & community health, 6 (2): 105-10.
doi: PubMed ID: 25292169.

Flynn, P., Chang, V., 2014. Intergenerational caries in a Midwestern Urban Federally Qualified Health Clinic (FQHC). (American Public Health Association Annual Meeting).

Flynn, P., Call, K. T., Pintor, J. K., Elmi, N., 2014. The Projected Effect of the Affordable Care Act on Dental Care for Adult Medicaid Enrollees. JOURNAL OF HEALTH CARE FOR THE POOR AND UNDERSERVED, 25 (1): 79-94.

Tiedje, K., Shippee, N. D., Johnson, A. M., Flynn, P. M., Finnie, D. M., Liesinger, J. T., May, C. R., Olson, M. E., Ridgeway, J. L., Shah, N. D., Yawn, B. P., Montori, V. M., 2013. 'They leave at least believing they had a part in the discussion': Understanding decision aid use and patient-clinician decision-making through qualitative research. PATIENT EDUCATION AND COUNSELING, 93 (1): 86-94.

Ben Morrison, T., Flynn, P. M., Weaver, A. L., Wieland, M. L., 2013. Cervical Cancer Screening Adherence Among Somali Immigrants and Refugees to the United States. HEALTH CARE FOR WOMEN INTERNATIONAL, 34 (11): 980-988.

Flynn, P. M., Ridgeway, J. L., Wieland, M. L., Williams, M. D., Haas, L. R., Kremers, W. K., Breitkopf, C. R., 2013. Primary Care Utilization and Mental Health Diagnoses Among Adult Patients Requiring Interpreters: a Retrospective Cohort Study. JOURNAL OF GENERAL INTERNAL MEDICINE, 28 (3): 386-391.

Miller, V. M., Flynn, P. M., Lindor, K. D., 2012. Evaluating sex and gender competencies in the medical curriculum: a case study.. Gender medicine, 9 (3): 180-186.e3.
doi: PubMed ID: 22304976.

Salem, W., Flynn, P., Weaver, A., Brost, B., 2011. Fertility after cesarean delivery among somali-born women resident in the USA. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 13 (3): 494-499.

Flynn, P. M., Foster, E. M., Brost, B. C., 2011. Indicators of acculturation related to Somali refugee women's birth outcomes in Minnesota.. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 13 (2): 224-31.
doi: PubMed ID: 19757054.

MacLaughlin, K. L., Angstman, K. B., Flynn, P. M., Schmitt, J. R., Weaver, A. L., Shuster, L. T., 2011. Predictors of patient comfort and adherence with less frequent cervical cancer screening.. Quality in primary care, 19 (6): 355-63.
PubMed ID: 22340898.

DeStephano, C. C., Flynn, P. M., Brost, B. C., 2010. Somali prenatal education video use in a United States obstetric clinic: a formative evaluation of acceptability.. Patient education and counseling, 81 (1): 137-41.
doi: PubMed ID: 20071131.

Miller, V., Flynn, P., 2009. Essentials for effectively supervising employees. The Physiologist,

Reibel, Y., Pusalavidyasagar, S., Flynn, P., Obstructive sleep apnea knowledge, attitudes and screening practices of Minnesota dental hygienists. Journal of Dental Hygiene,

Self, K., John, M., Kohli, N., Naik, A., Flynn, P., Influence of socioeconomic and oral health status on acceptability of dental therapists' oral health care . Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved ,

Flynn, P., John, M., Naghibi Sistani , M., Confirmation of the unidimensional structure of the Oral Health Literacy Adults Questionnaire.


Selected Presentations

Flynn, P. "Somali mother-child caries: the relationship to social determinants of health", Healthy Teeth, Healthy Baby Lunch & Learn, Minnesota Department of Health, March 01, 2018.

Flynn, P. "How best to measure oral health literacy?", Regional Dental Public Health Conference , University of Iowa, October 01, 2015.

Flynn, P. "The Key to Improving Patient's Oral Health: CLAS", Fall Core Competency Day for the Dental Team, University of Minnesota School of Dentistry , November 01, 2014.

Flynn, P. "Addressing oral health literacy through an oral health disparities lens", University of Minnesota School of Dentistry Research Retreat, UMN SOD Health Disparities Research center, October 01, 2014.

Flynn, P. "The projected effort of the Affordable Care Act on dental care for adult Medicaid enrolles", 14th Annual University of Minnesota Health Services Research Conference, March 01, 2014.

Flynn, P. "Improving health outcomes by addressing oral health literacy: a report from the field ", Dental Research Updates from the University of Minnesota, Coffman Memorial Union, February 01, 2014.

Flynn, P. "Women's Heath: Preventative Strategies for You and Your Patients", 48th Annual Dental Assistants Seminar , August 01, 2013.

Grants and Patents

Selected Grants

Award: Development of a PROMIS measure for adult dental patient
Principal Investigator: John, Mike Torsten
Sponsoring Organization: NIH NIDCR NATL INST OF DENTAL
Award Dates: 2019 - 2024

Award: Expanding access to dental care for underserved children
Principal Investigator: Flynn, Priscilla Moen
Sponsoring Organization: MN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Award Dates: 2018 - 2021

Award: Healthy Teeth, Healthy Baby
Principal Investigator: Flynn, Priscilla Moen
Sponsoring Organization: MN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Award Dates: 2017 - 2017

Award: Community Dental Varnish Initiative (CDVI)
Principal Investigator: Flynn, Priscilla Moen
Award Dates: 2016 - 2017