Beloved Professor’s Legacy Continues in Dental Clinic
Taline “Talley” Dadian Infante, Ed.D., M.S., RDH, started volunteering in 2005 in the new medical clinic at the SAMMinistries Transitional Living and Learning Center (TLCC) with her husband, Anthony Infante, M.D., a pediatric allergist and immunologist.
Dr. Talley Infante, then chair of the Division of Dental Hygiene, saw firsthand the oral health needs of the homeless patients. She then contacted colleague and friend Mary Partida, D.D.S., M.P.H., with the idea of creating a dental clinic where dental hygiene and dental students could volunteer while honing their clinical skills.
“Talley was a visionary. She had excellent ideas. She was a very passionate person, especially with underserved people,” Dr. Partida said. Together, they worked with SAMMinistries to find a space in the facility. The Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics and others helped identify funding sources, including local foundations. The result was a fully equipped clinic with two dental chairs.
The dental clinic started in 2007 with clinic hours two evenings a month, Dr. Partida said. “Talley expanded it and started doing afternoon clinics with dental hygiene students for cleanings. Then more faculty started volunteering. The students love volunteering there. Talley was a main mentor for students.”
Dr. Infante died April 6, 2013, after being treated for six months for a brain tumor. She was 56. An associate professor of periodontics, she won the university’s Presidential Teaching Excellence Award in 2009. Dr. Infante was a nationally recognized dental hygiene educator.
In June 2013, the Taline Dadian Infante Dental Clinic was officially named at the SAMMinistries TLLC, 5922 Blanco Road, in San Antonio.
Dr. Anthony Infante said his wife’s mission was education and her passion was teaching clinical skills. “I’m sure she would be proud of having her name on the clinic facility. However, her real legacy is the students, who improved their skills at SAMM-TLLC under her tutelage, and the center’s residents, especially the children, who received dental care to which they would not otherwise have had access. I don’t know anyone who knew Talley who does not still miss her and her contributions.”