Timothy Garvey, DMD, has received a 2020 Health Equity Hero Award from DentaQuest. Dubbed “Heroes in the Time of COVID-19,” this year’s awards celebrate individuals who go above and beyond to expand access to equitable oral care and healthcare, DentaQuest said.
Garvey, a clinical assistant professor in the University of Florida College of Dentistry Department of Pediatric Dentistry, received the award in recognition of his long-term focus on access to dental care for individuals with disabilities and special healthcare needs.
This underserved population has had unique challenges during the pandemic, the university said. As these patients need continued and routine oral healthcare, their medical and physical state requires providers like Garvey to design modifications in the delivery of care beyond the routine.
The award comes with a $5,000 contribution from DentaQuest to an organization committed to promoting health equity. Garvey chose to support the FreeDOM Clinic of Marion County with his award.
“Coronavirus exposed stark truths about our nation’s longstanding health disparities, hitting low-income communities especially hard and highlighting gaps in health literacy, access to care, and trust in our systems of care,” said DentaQuest president and CEO Steve Pollock.
“DentaQuest is proud to once again highlight the outstanding work of individuals who are responding to the health challenges of our time. The 2020 Health Equity Heroes in the Age of COVID-19 are bright spots that give us a glimpse of our country’s potential for compassion and change,” Pollock said.
Garvey also received a 2020 Superior Accomplishment Award from the University of Florida for his exemplary dedication to community service, the university said.
Garvey was one of 12 winners in the 2020 Health Equity Heroes Awards. DentaQuest will provide a $5,000 donations to nonprofit organizations promoting health equity in each winner’s name. Other winners in oral health include:
- Jeanette MacLean, DDS, pediatric dentist-owner of Affiliated Children’s Dental Specialists in Arizona, who provided colleagues with educational materials about techniques for arresting decay without the use of aerosols during the March and April shutdown.
- Flavia Lamberghini, DDS, MS, MPH, pediatric dentist, clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and founder of Apple Dental Care, who connected stressed families connect to longer-term specialized help during the pandemic. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation will receive the donation.
- Katherine Collier, DDS, who continued to see patients at Quest Dental and Spectrum Dental in East Baltimore, providing emergency care and pain management, during the pandemic. The Black Mental Health Alliance will receive the donation.
- Aidee Nieto-Herman, DMD, founder of the Massachusetts Hispanic Dental Association, launched a research project to understand health disparities as a result of COVID-19 among underserved communities. The Hispanic International Mission will receive the donation.
- Sarah Bedard Holland of Virginia Health Catalyst provided actionable information and guidelines from the ADA, the state of Virginia, and the Virginia Dental Society so frontline workers could safely provide care during the pandemic. Housing Families First will receive the donation.
- Ritika Chandra, DMD, of the Community Health Center of Shohomish County in Washington developed a teledentistry program to serve the county, keeping high-risk patients out of emergency departments. The center will receive the donation.