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ADA New Dentist Committee names leadership, program award recipients

April 21, 2014

By Kimber Solana, ADA News staff

Dr. Burleson
Dr. Herzog
A pediatric dentist in Spokane, Wash. An attending orthodontist at The Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo. A Fantasy Football league in San Antonio. And the Illinois State Dental Society New Dentist Committee. These are the recipients to be honored this year by the ADA New Dentist Committee.

The award recipients were chosen for their excellence in programming and leadership in support of dentists who have graduated from dental school less than 10 years ago. They will be honored at the 2014 New Dentist Committee Conference, set for July 17-19 in Kansas City (

The committee announced the following awards earlier this month:

• Golden Apple Award for New Dentist Leadership — Dr. Dustin S. Burleson of the Missouri Dental Association. Upon completing his residency in 2006, Dr. Burleson started private practice and also became the attending orthodontist at The Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. He is now the director of the Leo H. Rheam Foundation for Cleft and Craniofacial Orthodontics. In 2008, he accepted a part-time teaching position in the Graduate Department of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Dr. Burleson became involved in organized dentistry early on, participating in the MDA New Dentist Committee and the Board of Directors of the Greater Kansas City Dental Society from 2009-13. From 2011-13, he was a delegate of the MDA. In 2013, he became president-elect of the GKCDS, setting up 2014 as the year of his presidency.

• Golden Apple for New Dentist Legislative Leadership — Dr. Christopher Herzog of the Washington State Dental Association. As a new dentist, Dr. Herzog has already amassed an extensive list of accomplishments, including induction in the Pierre Fauchard Academy in 2011, serving as president of the Washington State Association of Pediatric Dentists in 2012, and continued service in the boards or executive councils of the WSDA, the Spokane District Dental Society and the Washington Dentists' Insurance Agency. "When we need help with a fundraiser, getting the word out, or really anything that's going to advance organized dentistry, Dr. Herzog always has his hand up. He really is a one-man juggernaut in the legislative arena," wrote Steve Hardymon, WSDA executive director, in nomination papers.

Fantasy football: Participants of the San Antonio District Dental Society's Committee on the New Dentist inaugural Fantasy Football league pose for a group photo on draft day. The program, which garnered interest from new dentists and residents, is the recipient of this year's New Dentist Committee Outstanding Program Award of Excellence.

• New Dentist Committee Outstanding Program Award of Excellence — San Antonio District Dental Society's Committee on the New Dentist. The committee earned the award for excellence with its Fantasy Football league involving new dentists and residency students who teamed up with a "corporate sponsor," such as Henry Schein and Northstar Financial. There was no monetary award, only glory and a custom trophy that the winner gets to display in his or her office for an entire year. The program provided a unique and innovative way for members and sponsors to interact and form connections through an activity that is not directly related to dentistry. The program generated interest in 221 SADDS new dentists and they expect more participants in 2014.

• Outstanding New Dentist Committee — Illinois State Dental Society New Dentist Committee. The committee established a New Dentist Network by working with each component and branch presidents to identify a current new dentist leader. They then developed a training session, and created a New Dentist Leader Toolkit that provides new leaders the tools and resources to be successful within their local area. Since the first training program in March 2013, several local areas have hosted a new dentist event while more new dentists are attending their local meetings.