ADA Honors Illinois Dentist with Hillenbrand Fellowship

CHICAGO, June 16, 2011 – The American Dental Association (ADA) recently selected Dr. Elizabeth Shapiro, 48, of Waterman, Ill., as the 2011-12 ADA Hillenbrand Fellow. The ADA awards the fellowship every other year to a dentist who has demonstrated strong leadership potential and the desire to transition from practicing dentistry to a nonclinical dental career in a health-related organization.

"Dr. Shapiro was selected among a number of highly qualified applicants but stood out for her dental practice experience and her time spent lobbying for access to care issues on behalf of the state of Illinois," said ADA President Dr. Raymond Gist. "I look forward to seeing her leadership skills further develop during her time at the ADA."

Dr. Shapiro will serve as a Hillenbrand Fellow from September 2011 to August. 2012.

"I'm excited about this wonderful once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn more about how the ADA works with other healthcare organizations and government agencies to improve America's oral health," said Dr. Shapiro. "It's an honor to serve as a Hillenbrand Fellow."

Like previous Hillenbrand fellows, Dr. Shapiro will learn about the inner-workings of the ADA's agencies and departments; learn about other oral health organizations and federal and state government agencies; and have the opportunity to take academic courses through the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Past Hillenbrand fellows have gone on to become executive directors, associate deans, faculty and staff for various dental associations and schools, and work in industry positions. The Hillenbrand fellowship is named for Dr. Harold Hillenbrand, a former ADA executive director who served from 1946-69.

Dr. Shapiro earned a dental degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a law degree from Northern Illinois University. She has served on a number of ADA and Illinois State Dental Society councils and committees. She also lobbies on a volunteer basis on behalf of the state dental political action committee on issues such as access to oral healthcare for the underserved.

As part of her fellowship, Dr. Shapiro will select and complete a project that is of interest to her and helpful to the ADA. Although she describes herself as "a dentist first, a lawyer second," Dr. Shapiro said she feels the Hillenbrand Fellowship is an excellent opportunity to combine the two degrees.

Dr. Shapiro is married to Dr. Robert O'Donnell, a dentist.

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing more than 156,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit the Association's Web site at www.ada.org.