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Smiles spread across country today

Give Kids A Smile observation kicks off in Louisville

February 01, 2013

University of Louisville dental school Dean John Sauk and ADA President Robert A. Faiella (right) laud Smile Kentucky! volunteers at Louisville's Muhammed Ali Center Thursday in anticipation of the Feb. 1 Give Kids A Smile Ali Center event, which was cancelled this morning because of inclement weather.
Louisville, Ky.—Now in its 11th year, Give Kids A Smile is in full swing across the country—in dental offices, clinics and elsewhere—through a network of some 41,000 volunteers, including 10,000 dentists, who are providing screenings, treatments and education to an estimated 400,000 children.

The national event at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in Kentucky was cancelled this morning because of inclement weather.

Jan. 31 reception: Guests enjoy Louisville pure tap water at a Smile Kentucky/GKAS reception Thursday night.

Last night, however, about 200 volunteers, sponsors and donors for the scheduled Feb. 1 event were honored at Louisville's Muhammed Ali Center. With a breathtaking view of the cityscape along the Ohio River, guests learned more about Smile Kentucky! and Give Kids A Smile from a variety of speakers including Dr. Dennis Price, Louisville Dental Society; ADA President Robert Faiella; UofL Dean John Sauk; UofL Provost Shirley Willihnganz; Jan Myskowski, DEXIS; Tim Sullivan, Henry Schein Dental; and Linda Nason, Bullitt County Schools.

This year's program is a collaboration by the American Dental Association and Smile Kentucky!, Henry Schein Dental, Colgate-Palmolive Co. and DEXIS LLC. Some 40 dentists, 200 dental students and 100 other community members were ready to donate their time and expertise to perform comprehensive dental care on an estimated 300 underserved children from area schools.

Give Kids A Smile is made possible by the volunteer efforts of dentists, dental team members and the generous support of corporate sponsors. Sponsor Henry Schein Dental provides professional dental supplies such as gloves, gauze, masks and patient bibs; sponsor Colgate-Palmolive Co. donates toothbrushes and toothpaste for children at the events; and sponsor DEXIS LLC donates the use of its digital X-ray systems, along with the expertise of its staff for dental schools, organizations and large group practices requesting assistance. In addition, longtime contributor 3M donated 500 refills of dental sealant and etchant materials for those GKAS programs that qualified.

“It's a thrill for me, as president of the ADA, to be invited to Louisville to witness such an amazing event,” Dr. Faiella said Jan. 31 at the Muhammed Ali Center. “It was 11 years ago when the American Dental Association first began celebrating Give Kids A Smile day, and I congratulate the University of Louisville and Smile Kentucky! for being part of that history. Over the past 11 years, Give Kids A Smile has become the world's largest oral health charity and the American Dental Association's signature access-to-care endeavor.”

“Our activities highlight for policymakers the ongoing challenges that disadvantaged families face in finding dental care and the need to improve public policy,” Dr. Faiella said. “I congratulate all of you for your hard work and dedication, not only today, but every time you provide care for a child in need.”

ADA News will provide GKAS coverage from across the country. Follow GKAS on Twitter at #gkas or #givekidsasmile.