Shils Fund Bestows Awards at Annual Ceremony

Dentistry Today


The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund held its third annual Shils Stars Dental Student Competition and its seventeenth annual awards ceremony on October 16 at the New York University College of Dentistry.

“Our event is an exciting opportunity for healthcare entrepreneurs to motivate, educate, and engage with one another in a mission to advance innovation in oral health,” said Steven W. Kess, president of the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund’s Board of Directors. 

“From our competition showcasing young entrepreneurs to the recognition of social entrepreneurs who help expand access to care, Dr. Shils’ legacy lives on in elevating the contributions of the next generation of healthcare leaders,” said Kess.

The Shils Stars Dental Student Competition included submissions from dental students in the United States and Canada who pitched their ideas to a panel of judges led by Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and CEO of Henry Schein. Winners included: 

  • Ola Adel Farrag of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine took first place and $2,000 for her P-File endodontic file.
  • Michael Schiappa of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine took second place and $1,500 for his oral capnography accessory.
  • Dr. Supontep Teerakanok of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine took third place and $1,000 for his fabrication of a novel orthodontic cement.
  • Fareed Tareen of the New York University College of Dentistry took fourth place and $500 for his invisible needle syringe.

The evening also featured the 2019 Shils Fund Innovator Awards, which recognize people and programs from across healthcare for their impact on the field and on their communities. The awards, which include $1,000 to a charity of each winner’s choice, were presented to: 

  • Teresa A. Dolan, DDS, MPH, vice president and chief clinical officer of Dentsply Sirona in recognition of her “Excellence in Industry” entrepreneurial efforts, dedicated leadership, and unique skill set, which his enabled her company’s oral health education program to reach more than 400,000 dental professionals worldwide.
  • Joseph Brofsky, DMD, section head, Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, in recognition of his “Excellence in Community Service,” leading and expanding the Nassau County Dental Society’s Give Kids A Smile program.
  • Meg Booth, MPH, executive director of the Children’s Dental Health Project, in recognition of her “Excellence in a Nonprofit Organization” efforts to transform the status of children’s oral health through her leadership of the Children’s Dental Health Project. 
  • Dr. Stephen LeBeau, president of nanoMAG LLC in recognition of his “Excellence in Research” efforts to advance the development of bioabsorbable implants made of high-strength magnesium alloys with the potential to transform this area of oral healthcare delivery.

The Special Recognition Award, which acknowledges people and programs for their work to improve the oral health and well-being of others, was presented in absentia to Dr. Karen Fields-Lever, founder and owner of 28 to Brush Dental Studio and Mobile Dentistry Program. 

The award recognizes Fields-Lever’s entrepreneurial efforts to expand 28 to Brush Dental Studio’s delivery of care to more than 3,000 patients and the creation of a mobile dentistry segment that raises awareness of oral health’s importance and provides care to more than 16,000 students. 

The Cohen-Volpe Award, which recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to dentistry or its allied sciences, went to Daniel H. Fine, DMD, professor and chair, Department of Oral Biology, at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, and senior vice dean of research at the Graduate School of Biomedical Science.

Fine was recognized for his longtime and unwavering dedication to integrated medical and dental research of oral infectious diseases, significantly advancing the ability of healthcare professionals to successfully treat their patients and ultimately help improve overall health.

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