Staff Profile: Francesa Moore
“IT’S MY CO-WORKERS WHO MAKE IT EASY to come to work every day. We’re a team. We put our heads down and get things done,” said Francesa Moore. Fran will celebrate her 30-year work anniversary in January 2020. When asked about retirement, she laughed and said, “I’m not quite ready yet.”
Fran grew up in the Boston, Mass. area and as a teenager began working part-time at a private dental practice for extra spending cash, and continued working at that practice on and off throughout high school. Then, after a few years in college as a business major, she changed course and enrolled in Northeastern University’s dental assistant program.
With a certificate in hand, Fran moved to sunny Los Angeles for a fresh start and was immediately hired at a private dental practice. In those early years of her career, she taught dental assisting on the side. At a meeting for the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontics, Fran was recruited by staff from the UCLA School of Dentistry to work at the UCLA orthodontics clinic.
“The founding chair of the orthodontics section, Dr. Spiro Chaconas, hired me, and one of my first experiences was to take impressions for mouth guards we supplied to the UCLA Athletics Department,” she said. “It was that moment when I started to feel that Bruin Pride, it’s something that can’t be ignored, whether you're an alumnus, faculty, or staff."
For the first eight years of her career at UCLA, Fran worked in the clinic as a chair side assistant. She then transitioned to the clinic’s front desk and was later promoted to the Section’s administrator, where she has spent the last three years. When asked what she likes about working here most, she says that, “every day is different and there’s always opportunity to learn a new set of skills at each stage.”
It’s the relationships she’s established over the years that mean the most to Fran. In addition to all the staff members and faculty who have come in and out of her life, many of the orthodontics residents who have graduated from the program have become personal friends. This coming June will mark the graduation of the thirtieth class that Fran has worked with and impacted.
“My favorite part about working with the residents is watching them come in a little afraid of the unknown, but then leaving with confidence. You see the lights turn on.”
Fran has also touched the lives of generations of patients. “Parents bring in their children because of the experience that they had as an adolescent or teenager. That makes me smile,” she said.
For anyone who’s ever had the good fortune to meet Fran, it’s her sense of customer service that stands out the most. “My mission is to make people feel welcome when they come to UCLA Orthodontics. I say that you won’t get better service anywhere else than in my section.”
In the first year of my deanship, I found myself surrounded by faculty, students, staff, and fellow academic leaders wanting to introduce me to the beauty of this campus, this city, and this outstanding dental school – UCLA Dentistry. I have been warmly welcomed by the entire community to what has now become my home.
Making Saliva a Serious Business
“Most people are surprised when I tell them that saliva can reveal as much, if not more, than blood or urine can. We have made it our mission to make saliva testing a clinical reality to detect for serious diseases. And we’re getting very, very close.”
Decoding Oral Health: Diana Wang, Class of 2017
“I believe there’s a little bit of pathologist in all of us,” said Diana Wang, Class of 2017. “Patients always want to know why something happened to them, and pathology helps answer those difficult questions.”