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The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund Recognizes Outstanding Innovators In Dentistry

Posted on November 4, 2014

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 2014 Shils Awards. The Awards, which recognize individuals, organizations and programs that positively influence the dental community and the public oral health arena, were presented at the Shils Fund Dinner, held Oct. 29, at the Union League of Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pa. 

"Each year we host this event, we are increasingly proud to expand the pool of recipients to include truly outstanding members of the dental community, whose creativity, vision and tenacity have pushed the boundaries and horizons for oral health care," said Steve W. Kess, President of The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund's Board of Directors. "Ed, an entrepreneur and educator of the highest caliber, would be proud of these individuals, whose pioneering work embodies Ed's indelible memory of passion and tireless commitment to fostering growth, breaking new ground, and embracing challenges as opportunities."    

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

The Shils Awards are broken into three categories: the Shils-Meskin Award, the Shils Award and the Special Recognition Award. Dr. Bruce Donoff, Dean of Harvard School of Dental Medicine, received the 2014 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. Dr. Donoff was recognized for his leadership on numerous expansive initiatives that incorporated oral health into overall health care issues, and for fostering professional education and international relationships, leading to public-private partnerships, which have benefitted colleagues, the dental profession, Harvard and the public.

"Bruce's decades of service place him on the highest rung of leadership in the dental profession for the 20th and 21st centuries," said Dr. D. Walter Cohen, Chancellor Emeritus, Drexel University College of Medicine and Co-chair of the Shils Awards Committee. "His research, renown throughout the oral health industry, and his use of his position to advocate on behalf of the many constituencies of the dental community make him such a well-deserved recipient of the Shils-Meskin Award. Bruce's accomplishments, along with the other award winners, call attention to the high-watermark of achievement set by the best in the field."

This year's Shils Award winners, who are presented with a monetary prize, represented academics, clinicians and private sector organizations. 3M ESPE, the Dental Division of 3M Corporation, received a 2014 Shils Award for its support over the past three years of the American Dental Association's (ADA) Gives Kids A Smile® program (GKAS), which provides free oral health services to children and adolescents, through the 3M NASCAR race series. Another recipient of the 2014 Shils Award was Dr. Linda Niessen, Dean of Nova Southeastern University's College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Niessen was recognized for her advocacy of the importance of oral health for seniors and for her research into geriatric dentistry and oral health public policy. Dr. Irvin Silverstein, a San Diego-based periodontist, also received a 2014 Shils Award. Dr. Silverstein was cited for his mentorship of students in the UCSD Pre-Dental Society, which exposes undergraduate students to the profession of dentistry, and for helping place pre-dental students, dentists, other professionals and pre-professional students on U.S. Navy ships performing humanitarian outreach.

Special Recognition Award recipients included: Dr. Horst-Wolfgang Haase, Publisher of Quintessence Publishing Co., a recognized world leader in dental education, for global education and publishing in the oral health community; Dr. Marc Rothman, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, for his work as Chairman of the U.S. Alpha Omega Foundation, which funds dental health, education and research worldwide; Jeffrey Parker, CEO of Sarrell Dental Center, a non-profit that treats the dental and optical needs of Alabama children and youth ages 1-20, for transforming the Center into a thriving 14-clinic organization; and Dr. Tracy Garland, Program Director of the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH), a consortium of funders and health professionals working to eradicate oral disease, for leading NIIOH's formation and attracting, retaining and growing its philanthropic support.

"At every Shils Award ceremony, we strive to do justice to Ed's life in all its scope and dimension," 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. "This award ceremony is both a sobering and thrilling occasion, as it not only calls to mind the memory of a great man, but also underscores how that memory is honored, kept alive and burns ever brighter due to the great work of these dental professionals."