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ADA President-elect Joseph Crowley attends Give Kids A Smile event in Ohio

February 08, 2017

By David Burger

Congregating for good: Dr. Joseph Crowley, ADA president-elect, second from left, gathers with volunteer dentists (left to right) Drs. Kevin Laing, Ohio Dental Association President, Daniel Makuh, Erica Unverferth, Tom Ahman and Richard Ramsey.
Van Wert, Ohio — The Van Wert Smiles location of the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio hosted the 2017 Give Kids A Smile Ohio kick off in partnership with the Ohio Dental Association Feb. 3, providing 47 children with free dental care, according to a news release.

"The ADA and our member dentists take seriously the need for children's oral health," said ADA President-elect Joseph Crowley, an Ohio dentist and in attendance at the Van Wert event, in the news release. "We are getting kids access to care and putting them in a place where they can continue to access it in the future.”

Through the ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile program, more than 5.5 million underserved children have received free oral health services since the program's inception.

Dinosaur brushing: Volunteers at the Give Kids A Smile event provided oral hygiene instruction while children waited for their appointments.
The event connected children from northwest Ohio without dental benefits with volunteer dental team members who provided preventive dental services and volunteer dentists who eliminated dental pain through tooth extractions and fillings. Dental care worth $20,800 was provided.

"This was great because they took out each tooth that hurt them every day and was causing them to be missing class all the time to see the school nurse," said Cheri Baer of Van Wert, whose two grandsons attended the event.

"I am really proud to have the statewide Give Kids A Smile kick off event here in Van Wert during my year as the Ohio Dental Association's president," said ODA President Dr. Kevin Laing of Van Wert. "I appreciate all of the volunteers giving of their time and talent to provide valuable dental care to the kids in our community. Dentistry is truly a caring profession."

Since 2003 more than $12 million in donated dental care and oral health education has been provided by volunteers in Ohio, according to the Ohio Dental Association.

During the event, local leaders and Ohio policymakers, including state Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, and state Rep. Craig Riedel, R-Defiance, toured the Van Wert Smiles dental center and spoke with Drs. Laing and Crowley about the importance of oral health.