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Duo recognized in Hawaii for Give Kids A Smile volunteerism

November 05, 2018

By David Burger

Group photo at GKAS reception in Hawaii
Come together: A group of attendees of the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Reception at the Hilton Hawaiian Village celebrate with leis Oct. 20 during ADA 2018 – America's Dental Meeting.
Honolulu — The ADA Foundation feted two people who have made extraordinary commitments to Give Kids A Smile during the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Reception at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oct. 20 during ADA 2018 – America's Dental Meeting.

Dr. Erin Gross, Ph.D., from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, is the recipient of the 2018 Jeffrey Dalin, D.D.S. Give Kids A Smile Volunteer Award. Karen Neiner, vice president, corporate development and professional relations for Hu-Friedy, is the 2018 recipient of the Steven W. Kess Give Kids A Smile Corporate Volunteer Award.
 
Photo of Dr. Gross
Dr. Gross
Photo of Ms. Neiner
Ms. Neiner
"Our GKAS reception was an opportunity to celebrate the success of GKAS and also provided a perfect backdrop to honor two award recipients.," said Dr. William Calnon, ADA Foundation president. "Dr. Erin Gross and Ms. Karen Neiner are perfect examples of individuals who have shown unparalleled commitment to the GKAS program.  Both have truly made a difference and have genuinely helped GKAS on its pathway to success."
 
Dr. Gross, the director of pediatric dentistry at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, is also the faculty advisor to the student organization that plans the GKAS events at the university. Since the first OSU GKAS event in 2012, more than 1,300 underserved children have received more than $400,000 worth of oral health services.

"Give Kids A Smile is such a special part of our college," Dr. Gross told ADA News. "At our events, students get to meet these incredible kids, talk to their families and see for themselves what a difference it makes when we reach out to help one another. They begin to understand that it's our job to take care of the people who need us the most."

Dr. Patrick Lloyd, dean of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, accepted the award on Dr. Gross' behalf.
 
Ms. Neiner is celebrating her 30-year anniversary at Hu-Friedy, which has cosponsored the GKAS Community Leadership Development Institute since 2011 and has also contributed donated products and funding to GKAS since 2006.

"I was pleased, honored, and humbled to be awarded the prestigious Give Kids A Smile Corporate Volunteer Award, especially since it is so aptly named after a mentor of mine, Steven Kess," Ms. Neiner told ADA News. "The GKAS program fits in so well with Hu-Friedy's core values and commitment to the dental community, helping dental professionals perform at their best and improving lives through better dentistry — smile after smile."

Photo of Dr. Calnon at GKAS reception in Hawaii
Honoring: Dr. William Calnon, ADA Foundation president, opens the ADA Foundation Give Kids A Smile Reception at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Oct. 20 with awards bestowed on Dr. Erin Gross and Karen Neiner.
Bill Bonsall, regional sales manager for Hu-Friedy, accepted the award on Ms. Neiner's behalf.

The reception followed an Oct. 17 Hawaii Dental Association Foundation GKAS event at the Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School in Honolulu, where more than 70 volunteers — including 40 dentists — provided education, screenings and fluoride varnish to about 250 children. The ADA Foundation supported the event with grant funds.

For more information about past award recipients or Give Kids A Smile in general go to www.ADAFoundation.org/gkas.