Inside Dentistry
March 2007
Volume 3, Issue 3

Friends of the NIDCR Celebrate Achievements at Annual Gala

A record turnout of researchers, dental school faculty, and Capitol Hill dignitaries recognized national award winners at the annual gala of the Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (FNIDCR) on December 11, 2006, at the National Press Club in downtown Washington, DC.

The 2006 FNIDCR gala award winners in media excellence, science education, patient advocacy, and lifetime achievement made significant contributions to oral health research, complementing the role of the Institute in reaching out to broad public audiences and impacting public opinion and policies to advance oral health.  

The Media Award of Excellence went to Dr. David A. Reznik, founder and president of HIVdent (www.hivdent.org), a not-for-profit organization of concerned providers who ensure access to high-quality oral health care services for those living with HIV.

Founded in 1997, HIVdent has educated millions worldwide about HIV/AIDS oral health care through an interactive, Internet-based presence that has become a teaching component in medical and dental schools. Dr. Reznik is the dental service chief for the Grady Health System in Atlanta and directs the Oral Health Center’s Infectious Disease Program. He has authored numerous articles on HIV-related oral health, participated in clinical research trials, and lectured and provided technical assistance on HIV disease treatment.

The DENTSPLY/Harold Slavkin Oral Health Science Education Award recognized Janet LaVonne Nelson, MS, EdD. Ms. Nelson is the creative director for Toothfairy Island (www.toothfairyisland.com), a dental curriculum project used by The National Children’s Dental Foundation, schools, and dental offices nationwide.

An Inglewood, CA, educator, Ms. Nelson has taught in elementary and high schools for standard, gifted, and special education programs. She holds numerous teaching specialist certificates and is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry Educational Committee.

The Patient Advocacy Award was given to Ms. Charlene Waldman. After 20 years as executive director of The Paget Foundation for Paget’s Disease of Bone and Related Disorders (www.niams.nih.gov/bone/hi/paget), Ms. Waldman extended the organization’s reach and recently formed a rare bone disease coalition. The Paget Foundation has organized more than 100 conferences and provided numerous research grants.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to US Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR). Rep. Ross introduced and continues to sponsor the “Reconstructive Surgery Act” in response to constituents with craniometaphyseal dysplasia. He is a fifth-generation Arkansan who operates a family pharmacy and home medical equipment business in Prescott, Arizona.

Three Special Recognition awards were also given. The recipients were: Dr. Barbara Gooch, DMD, MPH, senior consultant at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, for distinguished work in prevention and surveillance of oral diseases; the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Graduate Science Education Program, William R. Galey, PhD, director, for its fellowships to help train the next generation of biomedical scientists; and Rear Admiral (Ret) Dushanka Kleinman, DDS, MScD, immediate-past deputy director of the National Institutes of Health at the National Institute of Health, and Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland.

The Friends group is a nonprofit association of dental and craniofacial researchers, dental schools, oral health industry supporters, and institutions who educate and advocate independently on behalf of the NIDCR, one of the National Institutes of Health institutes in Bethesda, MD. Dr. Lawrence Tabak directs the NIDCR.

For more information about joining the FNIDCR log on to: www.fnidcr.org.

Friends of NIDCR Officers:

C. Yolanda Bonta, DMD, MS, MS

Vice President
Katherine Hammitt, MA

R. Bruce Donoff, DMD, MD

Michael R. Sudzina, MBA

Immediate Past President
Linda C. Niessen, DMD, MPH, MPP 

Past President
John S. Zapp, DDS

President Emeritus
D. Walter Cohen, DDS

Anita Boles, MPA
James B. Bransom, DDS
Cecile Feldman, DMD, MBA, Dean
Christopher H. Fox, DMD, DM Sc
Marjorie K. Jeffcoat, DMD
Roger P. Levin, DDS
Daniel Perkins
Mary Kay Richter
Christian S. Stohler, DDS, Dr MedDent
Sarah A. Tevis, DDS
Richard W. Valachovic, DMD, MPH 
Alec J. Stone, MPA, MA

Figure 1 Janet LaVonne Nelson, creative director for Toothfairy Island, a dental curriculum project that aims to improve children's understanding of dental health, received the DENTSPLY/Harold Slavkin Oral Health Science Education Award, presented by FNIDCR board secretary Dean R. Bruce Donoff, DMD, MD, of Harvard University's School of Dental Medicine.   Figure 2 Dr. David A. Reznik, founder and president of HIVdent, whose interactive Internet presence has educated millions worldwide about HIV/AIDS oral healthcare, received the Media Award of Excellence, presented by FNIDCR board member Daniel Perkins, president of AEGIS Communications, LLC.

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