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Leaders in evidence-based dentistry honored

October 30, 2017

By Michelle Manchir

Dr. Forrest
Atlanta — Dentists engaged with evidence-based dentistry at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California have probably encountered Dr. Jane Forrest.

Dr. Forrest not only teaches evidence-based dentistry at the university to dental residents, hygiene students and dental students in the school's pre-doctoral curriculum, she also teaches her peers. She has developed and implemented faculty development workshops at the university, providing training to more than 90 full- and part-time fellow faculty members.

She also mentors faculty as they incorporate evidence-based dentistry in their clinical areas of responsibility, according to Dr. Avishai Sadan, dean of the Ostrow School of Dentistry.

For her leadership in developing evidence-based dentistry research and educational programs, Dr. Forrest was awarded the 2017 Evidence-Based Dentistry Accomplished Faculty Award from the American Dental Association and the American Association for Dental Research.

The ADA/AADR Evidence-Based Dentistry Faculty & Practice Awards annually recognize dentists and researchers who make significant contributions to implement and advance evidence-based dentistry.

The organizations presented the awards in October at a reception during ADA 2017 – America's Dental Meeting. The awards are supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Colgate.

In addition to teaching evidence-based dentistry, Dr. Forrest, a full-time faculty member at the Ostrow School of Dentistry since 1999, has been the lead author of two textbooks about evidence-based dentistry; led presentations at regional, national and international dental meetings on the topic; and published more than 25 articles related to evidence-based dentistry in peer-reviewed journals, according to Dr. Sadan's letter of support for the award.

"She has distinguished herself as a leader who has made, and will continue to make, significant contributions to the development of new resources and to the implementation and advancement of evidence-based dentistry here at USC and throughout the global dental academic and practitioner communities," Dr. Sadan said.

Mid-Career Faculty Award

Dr. Jaana Gold's leadership in evidence-based dentistry is well-established on the University of Florida College of Dentistry's campus, according to Dr. Scott Tomar, professor and chair of the college's Department of Community Dentistry & Behavioral Science, who nominated Dr. Gold for the ADA/AADR Evidence-Based Dentistry Mid-Career Faculty Award.

She is the director of evidence-based dentistry at the university, where she leads a widely acclaimed introductory course for second-year dental students and an elective course for third- and fourth-year students, Dr. Tomar said in his letter nominating Dr. Gold.

She is also developing an e-course for faculty at the school to enhance evidence-based dentistry education and practice, Dr. Tomar said.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities in Florida, she is an online instructor at A.T. Still University's College of Graduate Health Studies, teaching courses related to dental public health and planning and design of dental research and global health.

Also a researcher, she has contributed to the evidence base for preventive dentistry by conducting a randomized clinical study published in 2001 in the Journal of the American Dental Association, "Assessing the Effect of Fluoride Varnish on Early Enamel Carious Lesions in the Primary Dentition."

"Her increasing service roles and teaching responsibilities demonstrate a clear desire to excel, a strong leadership role in implementing EBD in research, practice or education and (a) strong contribution to the scientific knowledge base of EBD," wrote Dr. Tomar.

Champions' circle: Drs. Ben Balevi, left, and Jaana Gold, a dentist with a Ph.D., received  awards at ADA 2017 – America's Dental Meeting recognizing their leadership and work in evidence-based dentistry. Dr. Jane Forrest, who won the evidence-based dentistry Accomplished Faculty Award, could not attend the reception.
Practice Award

Before pursuing his DDS in Montreal, Dr. Ben Balevi, a private practice dentist in Vancouver, British Columbia, earned a bachelor's degree in engineering at McGill University.

It's in part because of his engineering training that he "has created an approach to private practice that incorporates the very best elements of evidence-based dentistry in a visionary and efficient manner that I am certain provides his patients with the best possible approach to care," said Dr. Robert Weyant, professor and chair of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine's Department of Dental Public Health.

For his dedication to evidence-based dentistry in practice, Dr. Balevi is the 2017 ADA/AADR Evidence-Based Dentistry Practice Award winner.

Dr. Balevi has a certificate and diploma in evidence-based health care from the Faculty of Graduate Studies at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. In 2005, he graduated from the University of Oxford with a master's of science degree focusing on evidence-based health care and clinical epidemiology.

He has published five critical summaries on the ADA's Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry website, conducted his own research and given several presentations on evidence-based dentistry throughout his career thus far in addition to maintaining his private practice.

"Ben is clearly a well-trained and highly motivated evidence-based practitioner whose commitment to the process is second to none," wrote Dr. Weyant, who wrote a letter supporting Dr. Balevi's nomination for the award.