NEW ORLEANS – Two dedicated supporters of the Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) program—Candy B. Ross of KaVo Kerr Group and Kathy L. Woodard of the Ohio Dental Association—were recipients of the Give Kids A Smile “Smile Champion” Awards, presented at the American Dental Association Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile Gala during the ADA’s Annual Session in New Orleans on November 1.
The award recognizes the winners’ efforts to expand the GKAS program to reach even more underserved children across the country. Give Kids A Smile is the American Dental Association’s signature national program that provides free dental screenings, treatment and education to underserved children. Since its founding more than 11 years ago, GKAS has provided dental services for nearly 4.5 million children. Each award winner received a commemorative crystal trophy.
Candy B. Ross, Director of Industry and Professional Relations, NA Equipment, KaVo Kerr Group — Steven W. Kess Give Kids A Smile Corporate Volunteer Award
One of Give Kids A Smile’s most powerful champions since the program’s inception, Ms. Ross has worked to grow the program by carrying its message within her industry, her corporation, and at local events. Representing DEXIS, and now KaVo Kerr Group, at GKAS events nationwide, she reinforces their commitment to caring for underserved children in the U.S.
DEXIS has supplied digital radiography equipment and technical support at dozens of GKAS events each year, in addition to financial support. In providing ease-of-use in imaging, DEXIS adds a much-needed element to helping solve the oral healthcare disparity.
Ms. Ross has served on multiple boards and committees with ADA, AAP, ADHA, and ADEA. In addition to her current service on the ADA’s Give Kids A Smile National Advisory Committee, Ms. Ross is on the Board of the ADA Foundation, ADA Industry Advisory Board, UK College of Dentistry Dean’s Advisory Board, TeamSmile Advisory Board, Access Industry Advisory Board, OHA Gala Committee, AAE Corporate Relations Committee and Dimensions Corporate Council.
The support of Ms. Ross and DEXIS have expanded GKAS prevention and treatment services to tens of thousands of children.
Kathy L. Woodard, Director of Public Service and the ODA Foundation, Ohio Dental Association. Jeffrey Dalin, D.D.S. Give Kids A Smile Volunteer Award
For 11 years, Ms. Woodard has worked to provide support services to volunteers who donate care to Ohio’s underserved children through Give Kids A Smile. She organizes the resources that help make Give Kids A Smile events happen, freeing the dentists and their staffs to focus on what they do best: bringing healthy mouths to Ohio’s children. From working with a site to find uninsured children in need of dental care, to contacting legislators and media to create awareness locally and statewide, to finding additional sources of product donations, Ms. Woodard helps make each Ohio event successful for underserved children and rewarding for its volunteers.
The results are impressive: more than 194,000 children have participated in a GKAS Ohio program since 2003, averaging 17,000 children treated each year. More than $10,000,000 in volunteer dental services have been provided to Ohio’s children since 2003, with an average of 2,355 volunteers participating annually.
“Knowing that this program is about helping children in need — and that Ohio dentists care so much — is what matters,” Ms. Woodard said, “It is because of each dentist who has participated in Give Kids A Smile Ohio since 2003 that I am receiving this honor, and I thank them all.”
In addition to celebrating Give Kids A Smile, the event recognized ADA President Robert Faiella and other ADA luminaries, including trustees and board officers.
Give Kids A Smile is made possible through the efforts of volunteers, including 110,000 dentists and 335,000 other volunteers ranging from dental hygienists, dental technicians, teachers, parents and school nurses to other community health professionals. In addition, several partners provide funding and in-kind product support. Henry Schein Dental is the exclusive provider of professional dental products and Colgate is the exclusive provider of consumer dental products. DEXIS, CareCredit and 3M ESPE Dental have also provided major support for the program.
Since the establishment of the Give Kids A Smile Fund, the ADA Foundation has made grants in support of the program in excess of $1 million.