Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund Recognizes Dentistry's Innovators

Posted on October 29, 2015

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 29, 2015 -- The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to innovative leadership in health care and named after the late Dr. Edward B. Shils, announced today the recipients of the 2015 Shils Awards. The Awards recognize people, organizations, and programs that positively influence the dental community and the public oral health arena. They were presented at the Shils Fund Dinner, held October 27, at the Union League of Philadelphia.

"This year's honorees represent some of the oral health field's brightest minds, boldest thinkers, and biggest hearts, and we are humbled by their talent, generosity, and dedication to Ed's values of entrepreneurship and education," said Steve W. Kess, Chairman of The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund's Board of Directors. "Ed would be proud to see how their creativity, ambition, and compassion have expanded access to care, pursued innovation, and embraced challenges for the opportunities they offer."

Dr. Shils served as the Executive Director of the Dental Manufacturers of America and the Dental Dealers of America for almost 50 years and earned six degrees—including three doctorates—from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as a professor and Chair of the Management Department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Shils was also instrumental in establishing the Wharton Entrepreneurial Center, the first institute dedicated to the academic study of entrepreneurialism. Because of his stewardship, scholarship, and encouragement of innovative business practices in dentistry, the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund was established by the dental industry to recognize those whose contributions reflect a similarly enduring commitment to innovation in the field of oral health.

Three different awards were presented at the event: The Shils-Meskin Award, named after Dr. Shils and Dr. Lawrence Meskin, a renowned dental educator and former Dean of the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine; the Shils Award, which is a monetary prize given to people and programs from all sectors of the health care community in recognition of their positive impact on the field and their respective communities; and the Special Recognition Award.

The 2015 Shils-Meskin Award, which is given at the discretion of the Board of Directors to an individual of great character and modesty in the face of renowned achievement and well-deserved recognition, was given to Dr. Amid Ismail, Dean of the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry. Dr. Ismail was recognized for being a global ambassador for oral health and demonstrating a lifelong commitment, dedication, and passion for the importance of oral health across all aspects of society, including ethnic, religious, cultural, economic, and political divides. Dr. Ismail is just the seventh person to receive the Shils-Meskin Award since the award's inception in 2008.

"Amid's qualifications as an educator, researcher, and clinician are beyond reproach, yet it is his commitment to helping those most in need that leads his colleagues to hold him in such high esteem," said Dr. D. Walter Cohen, Chancellor Emeritus, Drexel University College of Medicine and Co-chair of the Shils Awards Committee. "He exemplifies the spirit of the Shils-Meskin Award, and I can think of no more deserving recipient."

This Year's Shils Awards were Presented to:

• Dr. Cecile Feldman, Dean of the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, for her commitment to training the next generation of dental care providers with a focus on cultural competency, access to care, and excellence in the school's clinical requirements;

• Dr. Kathleen O'Loughlin, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the American Dental Association, for her leadership as a health educator, business executive, and professional society leaders, as well as her staunch advocacy for improved oral health literacy, prevention, and care for underserved populations; and

• The Ohio-based Children's Oral Health Network for its commitment to providing accessible and affordable oral health care to scores of children in the Greater Cincinnati area.

• Dr. Joseph McManus, an Associate Clinical Professor of Dental Medicine and the Director of Practice Management at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, received this year's Special Recognition Award. Dr. McManus was recently appointed the Executive Director of Columbia's Community DentCare Program, which offers comprehensive dental care to children ages three to five through eight school-based dental clinics and a Mobile Dental Center van that visits more than 80 locations throughout Northern Manhattan and the Bronx.

"While those who knew Ed best will forever feel his absence, there is no better way to honor his memory than by recognizing and celebrating those who embody his spirit," said Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners. "We take comfort in knowing that Ed's legacy lives on in the incredible people and programs honored here tonight."

About The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund

Friends and colleagues of Dr. Shils, who are also prominent leaders in the dental industry, founded the Dr. Edward D. Shils Entrepreneurial Education Fund in 2002 because they knew that Dr. Shils wanted to leave a legacy of entrepreneurship.

In 2012, the Fund was renamed the The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund, Inc. and became a registered 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization. Through annual awards, the Fund honors the pioneering vision of Dr. Shils and helps foster inspiration and initiative in current and future health care entrepreneurs.  

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