Priscilla M. Flynn, DrPH, MPH

Associate Professor, Division of Dental Hygiene

Priscilla M. Flynn

Contact Info

Office Address:
9-372 Moos Tower
515 Delaware St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

DrPH, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Healthcare Policy and Management), 2008

MPH, University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse (Community Health Education), 1997

University of Minnesota (Dental Hygiene), 1978


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.

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.


Research Summary/Interests

  • Oral health literacy
  • Health disparities and health equity
  • Immigrant and refugee health
  • Women’s health


Reibel Y, Pusalavidyasagar S, Flynn P. Obstructive sleep apnea knowledge, attitudes and screening practices of Minnesota dental hygienists. Journal of Dental Hygiene. 2019 June;93(3):29-36.

Flynn P, John M, Naghibi Sistani M. Confirmation of the unidimensional structure of the Oral Health Literacy Adults Questionnaire. International Dental Journal. 2019 June;69(3):207-213.

Self K, John M, Prodduturu S, 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. 2018 August;29(3):1135-1152.

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

Flynn P. Leverage health literacy for better outcomes. Decisions in Dentistry. 2017 June;3(6):36,39-41.

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

Flynn P, John M, Naik A, Kohli N, VanWormer J, Self K. Psychometric properties of the English language version of the Oral Health Literacy Adult Questionnaire. Community Dental Health. 2016 December;33(4):274-280.

Flynn P, VanWormer J, Schwei K, Skrzypcak K, Acharya A. Assessing dental hygienists’ communication techniques with low oral health literacy patients. Journal of Dental Hygiene. 2016 June;90(3):162-9.

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

Flynn P, Chang V, Luke J. Intergenerational caries among mother-child pairs following migration. Pediatric Dental Care. 2016 February; 1:101. doi:10.4172/pdc.1000101

Abbakwu-Johnson C, Flynn P, Hedberg E, Asiedu G, Radecki-Breitkopf C. Adaptation of an acculturation scale for African refugee women. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 2016,18(1):252-262.

Odunukan O, Abdulai A, Hagi Salaad M, Lahr B, Flynn P, Weiland M. Provider and interpreter preferences among Somali women in a primary care setting. J Prim Care Community Health. 2015;6(2):105-110.

Flynn P, Call KT, Kemmick-Pintor J, Elmi N. The projected effect of the Affordable Care Act on dental care for adult Medicaid enrollees. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 2014 Feb; Suppl:25(1):79-94.

Tiedje K, Shippee N, Johnson A, Flynn P, Finnie D, Liesinger J, May C, Olson M, Ridgeway J, Shah N, Yawn B, and Montori V. 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. 2013 Oct;93(1):86-94.

Morrison TB, Flynn PM, Weaver AL, Wieland ML. Cervical cancer screening adherence among
Somali immigrants and refugees to the United States. Health Care for Women International. 2013 Mar;34(11):980-8.

Flynn P, Ridgeway J, Wieland M, Williams M, Haas L, Kremers W, and Radecki-Breitkopf C. Primary care utilization and mental health diagnoses among adult patients requiring interpreters: a retrospective study, Journal of General Internal Medicine. 2013 Mar;28(3):386-91.

Miller V, Flynn P, and Lindor K. Evaluating sex/gender competencies in the medical curriculum: a case study, Gender Medicine. 2012;9(3):180-6.

MacLaughlin K, Angstman K, Flynn P, Schmitt J, and Shuster L. Predictors of patient comfort and adherence with less frequent cervical cancer screening, Quality in Primary Care. 2011; 19(6):355-63.

Flynn P, Foster E.M, Brost B. Indicators of acculturation related to Somali refugee women’s birth outcomes in Minnesota. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 2011;13:224–31.

Salem W, Flynn P, Weaver A, Brost B.Fertility after cesarean delivery among Somalia-born women resident in the USA. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. 2011 Jun;13(3):494-9.

DeStephano C, Flynn P, Brost B. Somali prenatal education video use in a United States obstetric clinic: a formative evaluation of acceptability. Patient Education and Counseling. 2010 Oct; 81(1):137-41.