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Give Kids A Smile® Announces 2014 “Smile Champion” Awardees

Cindy Hearn, CareCredit to receive Kess Award - Dr. Michael Shreck to receive Dalin Award

September 08, 2014

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Chicago, Sept.  8, 2014 – The ADA Foundation (ADAF) has announced the winners of the 2014 Smile Champion awards for Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS).

Cindy Hearn, Vice President, Branding & Communications for CareCredit, will receive the Steven W. Kess Give Kids A Smile Corporate Volunteer Award. Dr. Michael Shreck, D.M.D. will receive the Jeffrey Dalin, D.D.S. Give Kids A Smile Volunteer Award. The awards presentation will take place during the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Gala, Oct. 10 at the San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio, during the American Dental Association’s (ADA) meeting, ADA 2014 – America’s Dental Meeting.

The Smile Champion awards are presented annually by the ADA Foundation. The award recognizes the winners’ tireless efforts to expand the GKAS program to reach more underserved children across the country. Give Kids A Smile is the American Dental Association’s signature national access-to-care program that provides free dental screenings, treatment and education to underserved children. Since its founding more than 10 years ago, GKAS has provided dental services to more than 5 million children.  Through its Give Kids A Smile Fund, the ADA Foundation has provided financial support for the program totaling almost $1,400,000.00 since 2011.

Cynthia C. Hearn
Steven W. Kess Give Kids A Smile Corporate Volunteer Award

Cindy Hearn serves as Vice President, Branding & Communications for CareCredit, a part of Synchrony Financial and North America’s leading healthcare credit card. Through Ms. Hearn’s dedication and leadership, CareCredit has donated $100,000 per year to the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Fund since 2007. Ms. Hearn has served on the GKAS Advisory Committee since the Committee’s inception in 2007. There she has been a subcommittee leader, run strategic planning sessions and shared her marketing expertise. Her work with Give Kids A Smile played a role in her being elected to the ADA Foundation Board of Directors in 2012.
Michael Shreck, D.D.S.
Jeffrey Dalin, D.D.S. Give Kids A Smile Volunteer Award

Dr. Shreck brought the Give Kids A Smile event to Nassau County, NY in 2003 and has acted as chair or co-chair every year since then. During GKAS day in 2014, more than 1,600 children were screened and/or treated. The program has averaged approximately 1,200 children per year over the past 11 years. Nassau County’s GKAS event utilizes the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY, to provide a multi-dimensional educational experience for underserved 4- to 7-year-olds in a “fair-like” atmosphere. Along with dental screenings, cleanings, extractions, fluoride applications and sealants, kids can explore the history of flight, aeronautics, and space exploration and also visit the adjoining Firefighter’s Museum.  The Society has received the ADA’s Golden Apple Award and the New York State Dental Association’s Hallmark of Excellence Award for its Access to Care Programs, including Give Kids A Smile.

Dr. David Whiston, President of the ADA Foundation, acknowledged the importance of volunteers like Dr. Shreck and Ms. Hearn. “Give Kids A Smile is a national treasure, helping hundreds of thousands of kids learn how to care for their teeth for lifelong benefit. The key to the success of this program is the volunteers, such as Cindy Hearn and Dr. Shreck. We are very grateful to them and to the many thousands of others who give their time, their skill, and their caring for these children. There is nothing better than giving a kid a smile.”

In addition to celebrating Give Kids A Smile and this year’s Smile Champion award winners, the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Gala will recognize ADA President Charles Norman and other ADA luminaries, including Trustees and Board officers, along with members of the ADA Foundation Board of Directors and the Give Kids A Smile National Advisory Committee.

Give Kids A Smile has been made possible through the efforts of nearly half a million volunteers, including more than 100,000 dentists and more than 350,000 other volunteers ranging from dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental office staff, dental technicians, dental students, teachers, parents and school nurses to other community health professionals. In addition, several key supporters provide funding and in-kind product support. Henry Schein Dental, Colgate and DEXIS are the primary sponsors for GKAS Day, and 3M ESPE Dental and CareCredit have also provided major support for the program.

Sponsors of the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Gala include: Colgate-Palmolive Company, DEXIS KaVo Kerr Group, and Henry Schein Cares (Benefactors), AXA Equitable, CareCredit, DENTSPLY, and Great-West Financial (Patrons), and 3M ESPE, Air Techniques, American Dental Education Association, Dental Trade Alliance, Hu-Friedy, Patterson, and Procter & Gamble (Sponsors).

Since the establishment of the Give Kids A Smile Fund, the ADA Foundation has made grants in support of the program in excess of $1 million.

Editor’s Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website

About the ADA Foundation

As dentistry’s premier philanthropic and charitable organization, the ADA Foundation is a catalyst for uniting people and organizations to make a difference through better oral health. The ADA Foundation provides more than $800,000 in grants, scholarships, and awards annually to programs that are in alignment with the organization’s four mission pillars: Charitable Assistance, Access to Care, Research, and Education (C.A.R.E.). As part of these efforts, the ADA Foundation oversees Give Kids A Smile® and also oversees the ADA Foundation Volpe Research Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland (formerly the Paffenbarger Research Center). For more information about the ADA Foundation, visit