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Chicago Dental Society honors NASCAR's Greg Biffle

George H. Cushing Award recognizes his work with Give Kids A Smile


GKAS ambassador honored: 3M ESPE’s Jodi Case, professional relations program manager, and John Stefanick, director, industry & professional relations, present the Chicago Dental Society’s George H. Cushing Award to NASCAR star Greg Biffle at Daytona International Speedway Feb. 23.

Chicago program: Dr. Indru Punwani, UIC professor emeritus and past department head for pediatric dentistry, poses Sept. 12, 2013, with St. Malachy students in front of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion race car on display during the ADA/NASCAR Give Kids A Smile Day at UIC.

While NASCAR's Greg Biffle was in Florida preparing for the 2014 season-opening Daytona 500, dental and dental industry leaders gathered Feb. 20 at the Chicago Dental Society's 149th Midwinter Meeting at McCormick Place West to laud the Give Kids A Smile ambassador's work in raising awareness of oral health issues.

Mr. Biffle is the 2014 recipient of the George H. Cushing Award. The CDS Communications Committee annually nominates an oral health advocate for the George H. Cushing Award, an honor given to an individual or group that has raised the public awareness of oral health issues. Mr. Biffle joins a distinguished group of oral health advocates who have received the award, including former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher and the Shriver family.

"It's an honor to receive the George Cushing award from the Chicago Dental Society for our work with the Give Kids A Smile program," said Mr. Biffle in a taped presentation played at the ceremony. "I'd like to thank our collaborative group of the American Dental Association, the ADA Foundation, 3M ESPE Dental, Henry Schein Cares, CareCredit, Church and Dwight and Oral Health America. Without their support, this program wouldn't be possible."

Since 2011, Mr. Biffle has brought oral health messages to NASCAR tracks nationwide. Last year the GKAS/NASCAR program reached 300,000 race fans with dental health education messages and free spinbrushes at 11 NASCAR race events nationwide, and educated 10,000 children at special oral health assemblies at schools and other community sites.

 "Today, we have the honor of bestowing the award to Greg Biffle," said Dr. Phil Schefke, 2014 Communications Committee chair. "Greg Biffle, NASCAR driver of the No. 16 3M ESPE car, for the last three years has been working in conjunction with ADA on their Give Kids A Smile Day program. He has been helping deliver the message about the benefits of healthy habits like brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist and making smart food choices to children around the country at NASCAR events. This past September, one of these events was at the University of Illinois Chicago. The dental clinic hosted kids from St. Malachy School for dental screenings and an opportunity to view a NASCAR vehicle up close."
 
John Stefanick, director, industry and professional relations for 3M ESPE, accepted the award on Mr. Biffle's behalf.

"As Greg said, he is kicking off the race season this weekend at Daytona, and I will be presenting the George H. Cushing Award directly to Greg prior to the start of the Daytona 500 on Sunday," said Mr. Stefanick. "On behalf of Greg Biffle, I'd like to say thank you for the recognition and continued support of our much needed initiative to educate kids on the importance of good oral health."

"I've had a chance over the past three years to meet thousands of kids and help share the message about healthy habits like brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist and making smart food choices," said Mr. Biffle. "We took the Give Kids A Smile Ford to victory lane at Michigan last year, and we look forward to going back to victory lane this April in the Give Kids A Smile Ford at Texas. In the meantime, let's all 'brush with the Biff' to help put kids' good dental health on the fast track. Thanks again and see you at the track!"

During the 2014 NASCAR season, 3M ESPE Dental will bring the "Brush with the Biff" program to 11 racetracks. At each race, fans of all ages visit the 3M display in the midway for fun family activities, education about healthy dental habits, dental care kits that include Church and Dwight SpinBrushes and ToothTune toothbrushes, and a chance to meet Mr. Biffle on race day. 

In five race markets, the Give Kids A Smile program will race into local schools for fun-filled high-speed oral health education events featuring

members of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion race team and the No. 16 3M racecar. Through a grant from the ADA Foundation made possible by funding from CareCredit, more than 7,500 students will have an opportunity to learn about Mr. Biffle and 3M Racing and get smart dental tips that will improve their dental health, confidence and ability to pay attention in school. 

In addition to following Mr. Biffle on the track, race fans of all ages can put themselves in victory lane with him. Visit 3MESPE.com/givekidsasmile to create a photo with Greg Biffle on pit road or with the race-winning trophy in Victory Lane. 

For smart dental tips, visit 2min2x.org, MouthHealthy.org (the ADA's consumer education website) and the Give Kids A Smile Facebook page.