CHICAGO, October 14, 2022 — Jeffrey B. Dalin, D.D.S., of St Louis, Mo., is the recipient of the 2022 American Dental Association (ADA) Humanitarian Award for co-creating and continually guiding the ADA’s signature access to care program, Give Kids A Smile, for 20 years. Each year, the Humanitarian Award honors an ADA member for improving the quality of life and oral health of individuals in the U.S. and internationally over a period of 10 years or more. Dr. Dalin will be honored at ADA SmileCon™ in Houston, Texas on October 15.
In 2002, Dr. Dalin and B. Ray Storm, D.D.S, held the first Give Kids A Smile event in St. Louis, which then evolved into a nationwide program in 2003, officially launched by the ADA. Although Give Kids A Smile is celebrated nationally in February during National Children’s Dental Health Month, events take place throughout the year, such as Give Kids A Smile back-to-school events held in August.
“It is my distinct pleasure, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, to recognize our friend and colleague Dr. Jeffrey Dalin for his stewardship over the past two decades,” said Dr. Cesar R. Sabates, ADA president.
Dr. Dalin was nominated by the Greater St. Louis Dental Society for the Humanitarian Award. According to its nomination letter, more than 17,000 St. Louis area children have received dental care worth over $10.2 million in the 37 clinics that have taken place since the very first event in 2002. Dr. Dalin is actively involved with planning and participating in the clinics and has served as a provider in all 37.
“It is such a humbling thing to hear news like this,” said Dr. Dalin. “I also thought, ‘How can I share this award with all of the people I work with here in St Louis?’ A huge thank you goes out to all of the volunteers around the country. And how we could we accomplish all that we have done without sponsors and supporters like Henry Schein, Colgate, CareCredit, 3M, Premier Dental Products Company and others who have been so generous with their contributions? Remarkably, more than seven million children have received some sort of dental education or care because of this national program. This is a team effort. Programs like this do not get started and do not keep going without the dedication of so many people.”
Dr. Dalin received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in chemistry from Emory University and a doctor of dental surgery (D.D.S.) degree from Indiana University School of Dentistry. After graduating from dental school in 1980, Dr. Dalin began working with his father in his dental practice. In the years after graduation, Dr. Dalin earned a fellowship in Geriatric Dentistry from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry and fellowships from the American College of Dentists, the Academy of General Dentistry, the International College of Dentists and the Academy of Dentistry International.
Thomas C. Flavin, D.D.S., Give Kids A Smile St. Louis president, expressed Dr. Dalin is a natural-born leader, saying “He took the idea to the ADA and the rest, as they say, is history.” “He inspires by example. No one works harder than he does. And ideas seem to flow from him as naturally as breathing. Dr. Dalin represents the best of our profession. He has been blessed with a significant intellectual capacity equaled only by his desire to help his fellow man. How fortunate we are to have him in our profession,” added Dr. Flavin.
First established in 2008, the ADA Humanitarian award annually honors an ADA member for creating a legacy of volunteer works and is one of the ADA’s highest honors. Criteria for the Humanitarian Award include significantly improving the quality of life and oral health of individuals, demonstrating significant leadership and serving as an inspiration to others both in the dental profession and the general population.
For more information about the ADA Humanitarian Award, please visit https://www.ada.org/about/volunteer-and-get-involved-with-the-ada/humanitarian-award
For more information on Give Kids A Smile and ways to get involved in the movement, visit ADA.org/gkas.
Editor’s Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn and #SmileCon2022 for updates from SmileCon