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Champions of GKAS feted at 10th anniversary gala

San Francisco—Just as the ADA’s Give Kids A Smile program has become synonymous with a spirit of giving, so too have the names of several champions of the program over a decade of providing free dental treatment to children who need it.

Image: Pictures of Gene Wurth, Dr. William Calnon, Dr. Jeffrey Dalin, Dr. David Whiston, Dr. Robert Faiella and Dr. Kathleen O'Loughlin
ADA leaders were on hand to greet and fete recipients of the Smile Champion Awards that were presented at the GKAS 10th Anniversary Gala. Posing, from left, are ADA Foundation Executive Director Gene Wurth, Dr. William Calnon, then ADA president, award recipient Dr. Jeffrey Dalin, award recipient Steven Kess, ADA Foundation Board President Dr. David Whiston, and ADA President-elect Robert Faiella. Award recipient Stanley Bergman, chair and CEO of Henry Schein, Inc., was not present.

For their tireless efforts, three of those champions were honored Mon., Oct. 22 at the ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile 10th Anniversary Gala.

Give Kids A Smile is the ADA’s premier national access-to-care program that provides free dental screenings, treatment and education to underserved children. The ADA launched GKAS a decade ago, inspired by the successful local programming efforts of Dr. Jeffrey B. Dalin of St. Louis.

Dr. Dalin is one of the three recipients of the first ever GKAS Smile Champion Awards, bestowed at the gala. The two other honorees are Henry Schein Chairman and CEO Stanley M. Bergman and Henry Schein’s Vice President of Global Professional Relations Steven William Kess.

They were feted before an audience that included then-ADA President William Calnon, then-President-elect Robert Faiella and several other ADA luminaries, including trustees and Board officers. (Dr. Faiella was installed as president on Oct. 23.) Each received a commemorative crystal trophy with a special inscription.

Over the course of a decade, GKAS has provided dental treatments for nearly 4.5 million children through the efforts of nearly half a million volunteers, including 100,000 dentists and 335,000 other volunteers ranging from dental hygienists, dental technicians, teachers, parents and school nurses to other community health professionals.  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.

Image: Picture of Dr. Calnon
Dr. William Calnon addresses the audience at the GKAS 10th Anniversary Gala.

Dr. Dalin received the Smile Champion Award inscribed “Outstanding Oral Health Professional Volunteer.”

In 2001, Dr. Dalin co-founded Give Kids A Smile St. Louis, a program designed to deliver full-service dental care to children without access to dentistry. In February 2002, his dream became reality with the first St. Louis Give Kids A Smile Clinic. Since then, more than 9,500 St. Louis-area children have received more than $4 million worth of dental care in 21 two-day clinics. Following the success of the program in St. Louis, Dr. Dalin shared the concept with the ADA and the national Give Kids A Smile program took form.

Dr. Dalin has been in private practice in St. Louis for 32 years. He has published articles and lectured on many topics related to oral health, and he has won dental journalism awards from the International College of Dentists; Awards of Merit, Distinguished Service Awards, and the Gold Medal Award from the Greater St. Louis Dental Society; a Dentist of the Year Award from the Missouri Dental Association; and a Presidential Citation from the American Dental Association. He is a 1980 graduate of Indiana University School of Dentistry and a former clinical instructor in the Department of Operative Dentistry at Washington University School of Dental Medicine.

Mr. Bergman received the Smile Champion Award inscribed “In Appreciation of Exemplary Leadership.”

Image: Dr. Jeffrey Dalin
Dr. Jeffrey Dalin, who founded the first Give Kids A Smile event in St. Louis, accepts the Smile Champion Award for Outstanding Oral Health Professional Volunteer.

He heads Henry Schein, a Fortune 500 company and the largest provider of dental, medical and animal health products and services to office-based health care practitioners, with over 15,000 employees and operations or affiliations in 26 countries. An early sponsor of GKAS, Henry Schein is also a Fortune “Most Admired” Company, ranked No. 1 overall in its industry and No. 1 for social responsibility, global competitiveness, quality of management, quality of products and services, and long-term investment. Henry Schein Dental serves as the exclusive professional product sponsor of Give Kids A Smile Day. Over the past decade, Henry Schein and its supplier partners have donated products and services valued at more than $11 million to GKAS.

Mr. Bergman, his wife Marion, and their two sons, Paul and Eddie, are active supporters of organizations fostering the arts, higher education, cultural diversity and grassroots health care and sustainable entrepreneurial economic development initiatives in the United States, Africa and other developing regions of the world. Mr. Bergman received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2011 and honorary membership in the American Dental Association and the Alpha Omega Dental fraternity and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health.  

Image: Pictures of Dr. David Whiston, Dr. William Calnon and Dr. Jeffrey Dalin
ADA Foundation Board President Dr. David Whiston (left) and Dr. Calnon flank Smile Champion Awards winner Dr. Jeffrey Dalin.
Mr. Kess received the Smile Champion Award inscribed “Outstanding Corporate Volunteer.”

Mr. Kess is co-founder of Henry Schein Cares, the company’s global corporate social responsibility program committed to “helping health happen.”

He has served on many organization’s the boards of director, including the American Dental Association Foundation (as vice president); the U.S. National Oral Health Alliance; the International Alliance for Peace through Oral Health; The Forsyth Institute; the Tel Aviv University School of Dental Medicine; the Children’s Dental Health Project; and Alpha Omega International Dental Fraternity.

Other awards that Mr. Kess has won include the Distinguished Service Award from Dental Volunteers for Israel (2010); the Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Public Service from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (2010); a Distinguished Service Award from the Brownsville Medical Service (2009); a Presidential Citation from the American Dental Association (2008); and honorary membership in Alpha Omega (2008).

Image: Picture of Steven Kess
Steven Kess, vice president of global professional relations at Henry Schein Inc., accepts the Smile Champion Award for Outstanding Corporate Volunteer.

In 2006, the ADA selected Mr. Kess to serve as chairman of the National Advisory Board of Give Kids A Smile, a position he held until 2012.

GKAS has enjoyed a decade of generous support from many dedicated sponsors, including the primary sponsors of Give Kids A Smile Day, which is celebrated annually every first Friday in February: Henry Schein, Colgate and Dexis. 

CareCredit is the founding donor of the ADA Foundation's GKAS Fund, contributing $100,000 annually since 2007.

Sponsors of the GKAS 10th Anniversary Gala include Benefactor, Henry Schein; Patrons, the American Academy of Periodontology, AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, CareCredit, Colgate, DENTSPLY, and Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company; and sponsors, 3M ESPE, American Dental Education Association, Air Techniques, DEXIS, Patterson Dental, and Procter & Gamble. 

Image: Pictures of Dr. David Whiston, Dr. William Calnon and Steven Kess
Dr. David Whiston (left) and Dr.Calnon flank Smile Champion Awards winner Steven Kess of Henry Schein, Inc.
GKAS accepts contributions throughout the year. To make a tax-deductible donation to the ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile Fund to support grants for national and regional dental access to care programs, checks may be made out to the ADA Foundation and mailed to: ADA Foundation 75 Remittance Drive, Suite #1178 Chicago, IL, 60675-1178.