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ADA/HVO volunteers receive Golden Apple Awards

Washington—Dr. Eugenio Beltrán-Aguilar and Dr. Martin Hobdell are recipients of the Health Volunteers Overseas 2012 Golden Apple Award in recognition for their dedication to international education at HVO training sites worldwide.

Image: International educators: Dr. Martin Hobdell meets with students in the Health Volunteers Overseas Oral Health Initiative Program in Laos.
International educators: Dr. Martin Hobdell meets with students in the Health Volunteers Overseas Oral Health Initiative Program in Laos.

Dr. Beltrán-Aguilar has served on 27 assignments, volunteering in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Tanzania, Nicaragua and Guyana, and has taken on program leadership roles emphasizing public health and preventive care. He received an HVO Golden Apple Award in 2008.

“I was lucky to receive support to develop and continue my dental education and professional skills,” said Dr. Beltrán-Aguilar. “I always felt that it was my responsibility to share that knowledge with others not having those opportunities. It is challenging but also rewarding to have these colleagues wanting to learn from you, because you also learn from them.

“You are never the same after this experience,” added Dr. Beltrán-Aguilar. “The best reward I get from these efforts is to know that my students will not only use their learned skills, but also pass those skills to others and generate their own solutions to their health problems.”

Image: Dr. Eugenio Beltrán-Aguilar, at right wearing cap, conducts a classroom lesson for Laotian students.
Dr. Eugenio Beltrán-Aguilar, at right wearing cap, conducts a classroom lesson for Laotian students.
Dr. Hobdell has participated in 57 volunteer assignments and has dedicated more than three decades to improving the oral health care of countries in need. He worked with local faculty to develop a two-year dental public health curriculum and created and implemented graduate-level certificate and masters training programs in dental public health in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, increasing the capacity of the health infrastructure of these countries.

Dr. Hobdell has also served as a member of HVO’s Oral Health Steering Committee, the ADA International Development Subcommittee and as program director in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. He received a 2007 HVO Golden Apple Award.

“To be recognized in this way for the second time by one’s peers is a distinct honor,” said Dr. Hobdell, “and I am very grateful to all those who played a part in this.”

The ADA sponsors the nine Oral Health Initiative Programs of HVO that bring training and education to communities in need. The HVO Oral Health Initiative Programs are managed and overseen by the ADA International Development Subcommittee through the ADA Division of Global Affairs.

HVO is celebrating its 25th anniversary. For more information on the nonprofit organization’s work to improve global health through education or its anniversary, visit hvousa.org.

For more about ADA international activities, visit ADA.org/international.