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Grant winners lauded at Give Kids A Smile gala

Washington—Three national organizations will be able to reach more children with oral health care screenings, treatment and education as winners of the 2009 ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Program Growth Grants. The Hispanic Dental Association, National Dental Association and Oral Health America were honored at the ADA Foundation GKAS Awards Gala May 12 at the Library of Congress.

"The ADA Foundation is excited to be working with these three exceptional national organizations to carry out the Foundation's vision of connecting people and changing lives though Give Kids A Smile initiatives," said Dr. Arthur Dugoni, ADAF President.

The HDA will fund four community oral health projects led by local and student chapters that will provide screenings and treatment this fall.

"We're very, very excited about collaborating with the ADA and Give Kids A Smile in a formal way," said Dr. Francisco Ramos-Gomez, HDA president. "Our student chapters are very active and can play a big role in outreach and screening. We've been working locally very effectively to conduct GKAS programs, and now we will be able to do it in a much broader way thanks to the grant."

Oral Health America will support Smiles Across America affiliates in California, Minnesota and Nevada so they can expand their current preventive and restorative care programs.

"On behalf of Oral Health America and its board of directors, I extend our sincere thanks to the ADA Foundation for this special honor in recognition of our Smiles Across America program," said Beth Truett, president and CEO. "We are grateful and honored to be in the company of the NDA and HDA—organizations with whom we are collaborating to provide access to care for America's vulnerable children."

The National Dental Association will fund the Deamonte Driver Dental Project, a grassroots initiative by the NDA's Robert T. Freeman Dental Society Foundation, to support a school-based mobile dental van that will provide services to schools in Prince George's County, Md.

"We are pleased to be the recipient of the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Grant," said Dr. Hazel Harper, co-founder and project director of the Deamonte Driver Dental Project. "This grassroots effort is a collaboration of efforts that fulfills the mission of the NDA and the Robert T. Freeman Dental Society Foundation. Together, they will work toward a legacy of leadership, a tradition of service."

For more information on GKAS, visit www.ada.org/goto/gkas.