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States, communities receive fluoridation honors at National Oral Health Conference

May 11, 2012

By Stacie Crozier, ADA News staff

Milwaukee—Celebrating 67 years of community water fluoridation, the ADA, the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention honored nearly 130 states and communities with 2011 Fluoridation Awards at the National Oral Health Conference May 1 at the Frontier Airlines Center in Milwaukee.

A total of 17 communities in seven states were recognized with Community Fluoridation Initiative Awards for passing water fluoridation initiatives during 2011: Kotlik, Alaska; Carroll-Boone Water District, Fort Smith, Ark.; Santa Clara Valley Water District, County of Sacramento, Calif.; Great Pine Island, Fla.; Grenada, East Leflore County Water & Sewer, Mount Comfort Water Association, Smithville, Hiwannee Water Association, City of Pass Christian, Ellisville, Cooked Creek Water Association and Lampton Water Association, Miss.; Gretna, Neb.; and Nelson County Service Authority, Va.

Another 35 communities in 16 states received Fluoridation Reaffirmation Awards for defeating initiatives to discontinue fluoridation or approving initiatives to maintain fluoridation, including: Bethel and Nome, Alaska; Yuba City and City of Sacramento, Calif.; Arvada and Denver, Colo.; East Lyme Water & Sewer Commission, Conn.; Dunedin, Collier County, Holly Hill and Stuart, Fla.; Lewiston, Idaho; Davenport, Des Moines, DeSoto, Dubuque, Iowa City, Monona, Stantin, Treynor, Vinton and Waterloo, Iowa; Cheney City, Kan.; Great Salt Bay Sanitary District (Damariscotta & Newcastle), Maine; Groveland and Templeton, Mass.; Bolivar and Liberty, Mo.; Messena, N.Y.; Aiken, S.C.; Austin, Texas; Alma, Avoca and Mount Horeb, Wis.; and Blacksburg/Christiansburg VPI Water Authority, Va.

For the third consecutive year, California received the State Fluoridation Initiative Award as the state having the greatest increase in population receiving fluoridated water in 2011.

Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota and Rhode Island received State Fluoridation Quality Awards for maintaining the quality of fluoridation and optimal fluoride levels.

Sixty-six water systems in 28 states received Fifty Year Awards for achieving 50 years of continuous water fluoridation during the past calendar year. A complete list of recipients is available online.

Dr. Lynn Douglas Mouden, recently appointed Chief Dental Officer for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, received the Fluoridation Merit Award in recognition for his advocacy for water fluoridation and his accomplishments in Arkansas.

A former member (1995-1998) of the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations, Dr. Mouden has chaired the CAPIR Prevention Subcommittee and National Fluoridation Advisory Committee and founded the PANDA program (Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness) and saw it grow to more than 40 states and a dozen international programs.

Dr. Mouden holds faculty appointments at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry, the University of Tennessee College of Dentistry and three faculty appointments at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He spent 16 years in private practice dentistry and eight years with the Missouri Department of Health before becoming director of the Office of Oral Health for the Arkansas Department of Health.

When Dr. Mouden began work in Arkansas in 1999, the state had a fluoridation rate of 49 percent. In March 2011, state legislation was signed to guarantee access to fluoridated water for all persons living on water systems serving 5000 or more customers. The product of 11 years of continuous effort, several campaigns and advocacy by the Arkansas Office of Oral Health and the Arkansas Oral Health Coalition, this law affects 32 water systems and 640,000 Arkansans. Dr. Mouden’s consistent involvement and dedication to this goal helped bring in partners and funders to assure understanding of the benefits of water fluoridation and its contribution to optimum oral health, and to assure that the legislation would not be an unfunded mandate for the people of his state.

A past president of the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, Dr. Mouden received an ASTDD Outstanding Service Award and recently received the U.S. Public Health Service Chief Dental Officer’s Exemplary Service Award.

“I was truly honored to receive this award,” said Dr. Mouden. “Truth be known, this should be shared throughout Arkansas and across the country, because the award does not show how many people were involved in moving fluoridation forward, and how many people were even more deeply invested in bringing a fluoridation statute to life in Arkansas.”