ADA Humanitarian Award

The ADA Humanitarian Award is a recognition open to member dentists who have distinguished themselves by giving a minimum of 10 years to improving the oral health of underserved populations in the United States.

The 2025 Humanitarian Award Portal is Now Open!

To nominate, please read the criteria and instructions found below, all submissions will be made to the electronic portal. We will be accepting nominations until the portal closes on September 1st, 2024.

Information about the award

Nomination criteria
Any individual may nominate any active, life or retired ADA member in good standing by submitting a nomination for consideration by the Board of Trustees. A nominator is limited to one Humanitarian Award nomination per year. 

The award will be given to a member who exemplifies humanitarian ideals and attributes by:

  • Contributing significantly to alleviating human suffering and improving the quality of life and oral health of individuals in the United States
  • Demonstrating significant leadership and outstanding humanitarian volunteer accomplishments that bring honor to the profession
  • Serving as an inspiration to the dental profession, colleagues, and those treated
  • Showing through the scope of work undertaken a commitment to humanity and selflessness in regard to direct personal or organizational gain or profit
  • Establishing a legacy and/or sustainable program that is of ongoing value and benefit to others

One Humanitarian Award will be given annually. The recipient must be a member of the American Dental Association. (The award is not intended for an individual who provides limited uncompensated services in the course of normal business or provides such services to an underserved population in the course of business for which they are compensated.)

Submitting a nomination
The following documentation must be submitted in electronic form with each nomination:

Complete nomination information addressing the commitment (of at least 10 years) and extraordinary humanitarian services of the nominee and the ongoing legacy that will be left, taking into account specific actions employed, demonstrated leadership skills, knowledge, dedication and persistence used to improve the oral health prospects of the specific community(ies), the population group(s) served and the long term impact of these endeavors as indicated by the information requested

  • A Curriculum Vitae/resumé highlighting the nominee's humanitarian contributions
  • Three letters of support from specific individuals, who are not the nominator (if more than three letters are submitted, only the first three will be considered)
  • One letter in support of the nominee from his/her state or local dental society
  • Other essential supporting documentation to substantiate and fully present the character and achievement of the nominee at the discretion of the nominator. Testimonials, photographs, brochures, newsletters, etc. (CDs, DVDs, and Videos or excessive amounts of material will not be considered)

For more information, contact the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention at

Please review the criteria and the list of requested information thoroughly before submitting the nomination to ensure completeness and attach nomination information, CV, letters of support and additional documentation. Nominations must be received via the electronic portal and incomplete nominations will not be considered. All nominations become the property of the ADA, which may use them for any purpose including program promotion, information dissemination and professional education. Nominations will not be returned.

Previous Award Recipients

Be inspired by the great work of our award recipients.