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Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund honors innovative dental leaders

October 11, 2016 Philadelphia — The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund held its 2016 Shils Awards ceremony on Oct. 5, recognizing people, organizations and programs that positively influence the dental community and the public oral health arena.

The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to innovative leadership in health care and named after the late Dr. Edward B. Shils, the executive director of the Dental Manufacturers of America and the Dental Dealers of America for almost 50 years.
"For 14 years, the Shils Fund has celebrated innovation, recognized excellence, and honored the visionaries that shape our industry and protect the oral health of so many," said Steven W. Kess, president of the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund's board of directors. "This year's honorees exemplify Ed's dedication to the values of entrepreneurship and education, and I believe that he would be incredibly proud to see the impact their talent, compassion, and leadership have had in our communities."

The 2016 Shils-Meskin Award, given at the discretion of the board of directors to an individual of great character and modesty in the face of renowned achievement and well-deserved recognition, was given to Dr. Lawrence A. Tabak, the principal deputy director and the deputy ethics councilor of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Tabak was recognized for his dedication to and advocacy for the advancement of dental research and leadership at the NIH.

This year's Shils Awards were presented to:

  • Dr. Laurie M. McCauley for her outstanding leadership as a health educator as the dean of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and for her commitment to researching the prevention of early tooth decay.
  • Dr. Carolyn Primus, the president of Avalon Biomed Inc., for her innovation and development of many products for fixed prosthodontics, orthodontics and endodontics to enhance dental procedures and advance the dental profession.
  • Dr. Othman Shibly, the director of the postgraduate program in periodontics for the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, for his exceptional leadership as a dental educator and for his participation in medical missions to help Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon.
  • The Stephen and Sandra Sheller 11th Street Family Health Services, an organization that provides quality, comprehensive health services to residents of the public housing units in Philadelphia's 11th Street Corridor.
  • Dr. Sidney Whitman, the director of pediatric dentistry at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, received this year's Special Recognition Award for his advocacy for and lifelong dedication to improving the oral health of thousands of children living in the Delaware Valley and New Jersey.
Dr. Shils earned six degrees — including three doctorates — from the University of Pennsylvania, where he served as a professor and chair of the management department at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was also instrumental in establishing the Wharton Entrepreneurial Center, the first institute dedicated to the academic study of entrepreneurialism.

Because of his stewardship, scholarship, and encouragement of innovative business practices in dentistry, the Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Fund was established by the dental industry to recognize those whose contributions reflect a similarly enduring commitment to innovation in the field of oral health.

Stanley M. Bergman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Henry Schein, delivered remarks about his personal relationship with Dr. Shils and the effect Dr. Shils had on so many people.
"Ed was an unforgettable man with an uncanny ability to forge friendships and empower all those fortunate enough to know and work with him," Mr. Bergman said. "His unmatched belief in the power of education and entrepreneurship have had an incredible impact on our industry, and it is so comforting to see his legacy being carried on by the people and programs honored here tonight."

The awards were presented at the Shils Fund Dinner at the Union League of Philadelphia.