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Nova Southeastern’s Pediatric Dentistry Club lauded for GKAS efforts

April 22, 2016

By David Burger

Ms. Cundy

Mr. Saltz
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. — The ADA Foundation honored Nova Southeastern University by inviting it to serve as the national kickoff location for hundreds of Give Kids A Smile events across the country in February.

Now the university itself has given one of its most prestigious awards to its College of Dental Medicine for its Give Kids A Smile efforts.

The CDM Pediatric Dentistry Club, led by dental students Adam Saltz and Kelly Cundy, won the Graduate Student Organization of the Year at an April 12 awards ceremony. The award was part of the university’s Student Life Achievement Awards, affectionately known as the STUEYs.

“This is a great honor for the College of Dental Medicine,” said Dr. Linda Niessen, dean of the college. “The award is presented to the graduate student organization whose efforts have made the greatest impact on the community. Kelly and Adam’s leadership with GKAS … resulted in over about 750 children being cared for, many of whom seeing a dentist for the first time. This level of leadership truly represented NSU incredibly well in the community.”

The February Give Kids A Smile event provided dental services to 750 children and special needs patients in Broward County. The children received exams, cleanings, oral health education and preventive and restorative services valued at more than $300,000.

“When I joined on two years ago, I never expected NSU’s Give Kids A Smile program to receive the national attention it has,” Saltz said. “However, through the incredible efforts of our students, faculty and administration, we continue to set the bar for other outreach programs. To be selected as the 2016 national kickoff was rewarding enough, but to be honored in the highest capacity by our own university was really something special.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of watching our club’s programming grow over the last two years as president,” Cundy said. “NSU’s Give Kids A Smile brings a reminder to the diverse community we serve. We provide comprehensive care to minority children and special needs patients through an interprofessional structure of dental, pharmacy and medical students. I’m so proud to have contributed to its continued success and am confident in its future leadership.”

The club has not stopped serving the underserved in the area, Dr. Niessen said. “Our dental students are going to the Broward County elementary schools and providing sealants to the children who may not have received them during the GKAS event,” she said.

“We want to give kids a smile and then some,” Saltz said.