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2015 GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute

Over the past twelve years, the ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) Program has established itself in providing education and oral health care to nearly four hundred thousand underserved children annually. As GKAS enters its 13th year, the program’s focus has evolved to become a more comprehensive program, particularly through the provision of continuity of care and the establishment of dental homes for children.

From 2007-2010, the ADA convened a GKAS Promising Practices Symposium, which brought together like-minded individuals for the opportunity to learn from one another and share valuable resources regarding how to move existing dental care systems to the next level for America’s underserved children. In an effort to continue this experience and enhance the concept, in 2011 the Symposium evolved to become the GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute (GKAS Institute).  Rather than bringing together a large group of individuals to network, the Institute offers a small selection of participants the opportunity to learn, in-person, how to initiate, expand and/or enhance a GKAS program.  View past GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute Ambassadors.

Thanks to the ongoing support of our generous sponsors, Hu-Friedy and Henry Schein Cares, the 2015 GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute will take place on Oct. 21-24, 2015 in St. Louis, MO., where GKAS first began   As part of the Institute learning experience, selected participants will have the opportunity to witness the estimated 500 underserved children who will receive comprehensive care during the St. Louis GKAS Program.

Video from Give Kids a Smile Institute: Fall 2014

Goal: The goal of the grant application is to execute a process whereby eligible applicants interested in expanding, enhancing, or beginning their GKAS programs can apply for funds to subsidize travel expenses associated with attending the GKAS Institute.

Grant Award: For this grant, up to ten travel grants will be given for selected participants. The ADA Foundation GKAS National Advisory Committee reserves the right to increase or decrease the number of awards given.

Eligibility Organizations: State (constituent) and local (components) dental societies of the ADA and/or community based organizations providing oral health care for underserved children during GKAS will be considered. Applicants must reside within the U.S. 50 states.

Applicant Criteria:

  • Candidates must demonstrate their commitment and ability to begin a new GKAS program or enhance an existing one.
  • Candidates should have experience managing/chairing an access to care event.
  • Candidates should hold a position in their organization that will allow them to effectively implement lessons learned during the GKAS Institute.
  • Applicants are not required to be a licensed dentist or hygienist.

Those selected will be asked to serve as a GKAS Ambassador during the GKAS Institute.  The GKAS Ambassador will work the duration of the Oct. 23-24, 2015 St. Louis GKAS event in a variety of capacities depending on his/her particular interest and program goals. Examples of the duties of an Ambassador range from being a clinic escort, working at the check-in/check-out process, sterilization area, photography, triage area, education area, entertainment area, and more. The St. Louis GKAS Clinic will address the needs of the participants while allowing them to experience first-hand the workings of the clinic. Due to Missouri licensing rules, not all participants present will be able to work as clinical practitioners.

The 2015 application period ended on May 11.  Applications submitted prior to the deadline will be considered.  All applicants will be notified of the GKAS selection committee’s decision the week of June 1, 2015. Please contact the Give Kids A Smile Team at gkas@ada.org if you have any questions regarding the GKAS Institute. Thank you!