ThomasBobbyDavisThe American Dental Association (ADA) has named Thomas Bobby Davis, DMD, of Dallas, Tex, as the 2018 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient. Davis, known as “T. Bob,” is being recognized for his 40 years of volunteer service in Latin America and his community in Texas. He will be honored at the ADA 2018 Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, on October 18 to 22, 2018.

The ADA Humanitarian Award annually recognizes one ADA member who has distinguished themselves by creating a legacy of improving the oral health of underserved populations in the United States and abroad. The award includes a $10,000 donation to the dental charity or project of the recipient’s choice.

Through his overseas humanitarian trips, Davis has brought more than 1,500 dental students, and about 500 dentists, to Mexico and Central America on dental humanitarian missions.

Davis and his team helped people in and around Matamoros, Mexico, for more than 30 years before violence in the border town led Davis to look for another location. The group now travels to San Raymundo, Guatemala, where they treat its neediest populations.

The team’s sixth trip to San Raymundo in March 2017 was its most successful yet, according to Davis. The group included 16 dentists and 50 dental students—21 from Texas A&M University College of Dentistry (Dallas) and 29 from The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. They treated 820 people, delivering more than $329,000 worth of dental care.

In the United States, Davis has contributed to organizations such as the Academy of General Dentistry, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Southern Baptist Convention. He has also volunteered at his church as a deacon, youth worker, and pianist while using his dental expertise to treat children from low income households in Texas. In 2014, the Texas Academy of General Dentistry named him its Dentist of the Year.

“Dr Davis is well known throughout the ADA for his volunteerism and he has inspired many students to initiate their own humanitarian efforts,” said Dr Joe Crowley, ADA President. “He truly embodies humanitarian ideals and attributes by demonstrating significant leadership and outstanding volunteer accomplishments that bring honor to the profession.”