Rear Admiral Timothy Ricks

Rear Admiral Timothy Ricks
Chief Dental Officer, U.S. Public Health Service

Rear Admiral (Upper) Timothy Ricks currently serves as the Chief Dental Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as well as Assistant Surgeon General. In this role, RADM Ricks oversees dentists serving in various federal agencies including the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Health Service Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Indian Health Service, National Institute of Dental and Cranio-facial Research, Health Resources and Services Administration, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also serves as the Surgeon General’s spokesperson on oral health and interacts with chief dental officers from other countries, with military dental officers, with dental organizations, with state oral health programs, and much more. He is currently leading the development of the second-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health

Rear Admiral Ricks began his public health service career in 1999 in the Indian Health Service (IHS) as Chief of the Basic Dental Satellite Unit at Pyramid Lake, Nevada. Subsequently, he served as Chief of the Complex Service Unit overseeing seven programs in Nevada and acting Service Unit Clinical/Medical Director. In 2006, Dr. Ricks was selected as the Area Dental Officer and Director of the Office of Public Health of the Nashville Area IHS, overseeing 27 dental programs and various health programs under the Office of Public Health. After serving as an acting Deputy Area Director for 18 months, Dr. Ricks became the Area Dental Officer for the Albuquerque Area IHS, overseeing an additional 23 programs and becoming the first Area Dental Officer to serve two IHS Areas at the same time. In 2016, RADM Ricks was selected as the Deputy Director of the IHS Division of Oral Health where he has numerous responsibilities. As the Continuing Dental Education (CDE) Coordinator, he oversees the creation and delivery of more than 250 education courses each year to dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, resulting in over 15,000 CDE participant hours each year. As the Oral Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Consultant, he has carried out national public health initiatives including the IHS Early Childhood Caries Collaborative, the IHS Periodontal Treatment Initiative, and others.

Rear Admiral Ricks is the recipient of numerous awards; to include: the Ernest Eugene Buell Junior Officer Award, Ruth Lashley Mid-Career Officer Award; Jack D. Robertson Senior Officer Award; and the Herschel S. Horowitz Oral Health Research and Policy Award. He is one of three dentists to have received the IHS Toyo Shimizu Career Achievement Award, and he has received two national IHS Director’s Awards, IHS Dentist of the Year an unprecedented four times, IHS Prevention Program of the Year two times, 17 IHS Area awards, and over 25 Commissioned Corps individual and unit honor awards.

Dr. Ricks holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Delta State University, a Master of Public Health Degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, and received his dental degree from the University of Mississippi. He completed a dental public health residency with the Indian Health Service and is a board-certified Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health.

Dr. Ricks has been married for 27 years to his wife Julie and they have two children, Kristen and Tyler. He enjoys outdoor activities such as kayaking, swimming, and tennis, is an avid SEC football fan, and enjoys running. Over the past three years, he has competed in over 30 races of varying distances, including a Tough Mudder, a half-marathon, and three ultra-races.