Gies Awards Honor Dental Educators and Innovators

Richard Gawel


The ADEAGies Foundation has announced the winners of its 2017 William J. Gies Awards for Vision, Innovation, and Achievement. The awards will be presented on March 20, 2017, during a ceremony held in conjunction with the 2017 American Dental Education Association (ADEA) Annual Session & Exhibition in Long Beach, Calif.

Honorees were selected by a panel of judges consisting of the ADEAGies Foundation Board of Trustees. The 2017 recipients include:

  • The Colorado Dental Association (CDA): Gies Award for Vision, Public or Private Partner
  • Eastman Institute for Oral Health: Gies Award for Achievement, Academic Dental Institution
  • Allan J. Formicola, DDS, MS: Gies Award for Vision, Dental Educator
  • N. Karl Haden, PhD: Gies Award for Achievement, Public or Private Partner
  • Jordan Valley Community Health Center: Gies Award for Innovation, Public or Private Partner
  • Pacific Center for Special Care at University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry: Gies Award for Innovation, Academic Dental Institution
  • George K. Stookey, PhD, MS: Gies Award for Innovation, Dental Educator
  • University of Washington (UW) School of Dentistry Regional Initiatives in Dental Education (RIDE) Program: Gies Award for Vision, Academic Dental Institution
  • Pamela Zarkowski, JD, MPH: Gies Award for Achievement, Dental Educator

The CDA has been a longtime collaborator with the University of Colorado (CU) School of Dental Medicine. This partnership has enabled the organization to take action with its own governance as well as with the Colorado legislature to innovate options for dental licensure in the state. Also, the CDA has helped develop alternatives to live patient exams to promote fairness and ethical practices in assessing competency.

“CU is our only dental school here, and we work with the school in a variety of ways, making sure it is represented on our board and on our committees,” said Molly Pereira, associate director of operations with the CDA. “Hearing directly from students throughout the year is invaluable to us. It keeps us relevant and informed about what is important to the future of dentistry.”

UW’s RIDE Program accepts 8 entrants each year, though it aims to expand to 30 entrants. Students spend their first year at the Eastern Washington University Spokane campus, where they take courses from on-site instructors and from UW School of Dentistry faculty in Seattle via a distance-learning network. After a summer community clinical rotation, they spend their second and third and part of their fourth year at UW.

Later in their fourth year, though, they go on a 4- to 6-month rotation at one of several Eastern Washington community clinics in the RIDE teledentistry network. These rotations increase the students’ familiarity with rural and underserved populations and let them learn more about practice opportunities in these communities. To date, about 70% of RIDE graduates have returned to practice in these areas.

“We are very honored to have the RIDE program recognized by the ADEA with the 2017 Gies Award,” said Dr. Frank Roberts, RIDE program director. “We are especially grateful for our wonderful partners and the outstanding community health dental clinics of central and eastern Washington. We look forward to growing this incredible program.”

Zarkowski, provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Detroit Mercy and professor at its School of Dentistry, was honored for her work across her career. She has held various administrative roles at the school, including chair of 3 departments and associate dean. Also, she is a former president of the ADEA and American Society for Dental Ethics. As a professor, she has focused on community dentistry as well as ethical and legal concepts.

“I am honored to be recognized for doing what I am passionate about, teaching and working with outstanding colleagues in dental, dental hygiene, and dental graduate education. I am fortunate to have taught students for more than 38 years as well as serve as an administrator and leader in dental education,” said Zarkowski.

“I have had multiple opportunities to work with colleagues at the University of Detroit Mercy as well as colleagues on the national and international levels in the areas of ethics and professionalism,” Zarkowski said. “In addition, I have gained insight from leaders I have worked with, coupled with my own professional experiences, allowing me to provide guidance to future leaders and administrators in the dental education profession.”

“The outstanding winners of the 2017 Gies Awards were selected from a record number of nominations this year,” said Leo E. Rouse, DDS, chair of the ADEAGies Foundation Board of Trustees. “The ADEAGies Foundation Board of Trustees congratulates the winners and thanks all of the nominators for the excellent submissions.”

The ADEAGies Foundation funds programs that support innovations in dental education, research, leadership, and recognition, awarding more than $1.2 million in grants since its inception. Gies, a Columbia University biochemistry professor and founder of the school’s College of Dental Medicine, published the landmark report that established the importance of dentistry as a healing science and an essential component of higher education in health.

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