At SmileCon 2022 in Houston, the ADA handed out several awards for distinguished service, humanitarian work, and evidence based dentistry.

The American Dental Association handed out awards and honors at SmileCon 2022 in Houston, Texas, including its distinguished service award, humanitarian award, and research awards.

ADA Distinguished Service Award

The ADA awarded Zack Studstill, MEd, DMD, with the ADA Distinguished Service Award. The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor given by the ADA Board of Trustees.

“Studstill is a mentor, an incredible human being, and a tremendous dentist,” said Cesar R. Sabates, DDS, ADA president “I am so pleased to present this year’s Distinguished Service Award to him for a lifetime of hard work and dedication on behalf of dentistry.”

Studstill practiced dentistry in Montgomery, Ala, for more than 45 years. He is currently serving as executive director of the Alabama Dental Association and has previously served as Alabama Dental Association president, ADA trustee, and ADA second vice president.

Under Studstill’s leadership, the Alabama Dental Association has developed a full, four-year dental school tuition forgivable loan program administered by a state agency, the Board of Dental Scholarships and Loan Awards.

“It has been a privilege for most of my adult life to have the opportunity to serve dentistry in a number of different, exciting, and yes, challenging roles,” said Studstill. “Service is not work when you thoroughly enjoy every minute of the journey. For me and for so many others I represent, Service in support of dentistry has been an honor and a privilege.”

ADA Humanitarian Award

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, of St Louis, Mo, is the recipient of the 2022 ADA Humanitarian Award for co-creating and continually guiding the ADA’s signature access to care program, Give Kids A Smile, for 20 years. Each year, the Humanitarian Award honors an ADA member for improving the quality of life and oral health of individuals in the U.S. and internationally for 10 years or more.

In 2002, Dalin and B. Ray Storm, DDS, held the first Give Kids A Smile event in St. Louis, which then evolved into a nationwide program in 2003, officially launched by the ADA.

Dalin was nominated by the Greater St. Louis Dental Society for the Humanitarian Award. According to its nomination letter, more than 17,000 St. Louis area children have received dental care worth over $10.2 million in the 37 clinics that have taken place since the very first event in 2002. Dalin is actively involved with planning and participating in the clinics and has served as a provider in all 37.

“Remarkably, more than seven million children have received some sort of dental education or care because of this national program,” said Dalin. “This is a team effort. Programs like this do not get started and do not keep going without the dedication of so many people.”

Evidence-Based Dentistry Faculty and Practice Awards

The ADA and the American Association for Dental, Oral & Craniofacial Research (AADOCR) also announced the winners of the annual Evidence-Based Dentistry (EBD) Faculty and Practice Awards.

The awards are supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Colgate and are presented to educators and clinicians who have made significant contributions to implement and advance EBD.

Gregg H. Gilbert, DDS, MBA, received the 2022 EBD Accomplished Faculty Award. Gilbert is a Distinguished Professor and chair of the department of clinical and community sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry.

He also serves as the founding director of the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. The National Dental PBRN connects clinical researchers with dental practitioners, creating partnerships that allow working dental offices with real-life patients to be used in the evaluation of existing and novel strategies for improving oral health.

To date, the network has conducted more than 50 studies and published more than 190 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles that advance the scientific basis for clinical decision-making and foster the movement of scientific evidence into routine clinical practice.

JoAnna M. Scott, PhD, received the 2022 EBD Mid-career Faculty Award. She is an associate professor in the Office of Research and Graduate Programs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry.

Scott is one of a few biostatisticians in the country with a primary appointment in a dental school, and she has used her position to support more than 100 faculty members, postdoctoral fellows, residents, and students in conducting high-quality oral health research that advances the evidence-base of dental professions.

Martha Ann Keels, DDS, PhD, received the 2022 EBD Practice Award. Keels is a full-time practicing dentist at Duke Street Pediatric Dentistry in Durham, North Carolina, and a provider of general anesthesia services at nearby Duke Health.

She also serves as an adjunct associate professor of pediatrics and an associate consulting professor of surgery at Duke University Medical Center; an adjunct professor of pediatric dentistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and an adjunct associate professor of dentistry at the University of Rochester.

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