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Five receive honorary memberships

August 14, 2019

By Kimber Solana

The ADA Board of Trustees in May named five recipients of ADA honorary membership, recognizing their contributions to the advancement of the art and science of dentistry.

This year’s ADA honorary members, who will be recognized in September at the ADA FDI World Dental Congress, are Dr. Ashok Dhoble, secretary general of the Indian Dental Association; Nancy Honeycutt, executive director of the American Student Dental Association; Steven W. Kess, vice president of global professional relations, Henry Schein, Inc.; Joe Menapace, government affairs consultant and chief lobbyist for the New Mexico Dental Association; and Linda Miles, longtime dental practice management consultant, speaker and author.

Dr. Ashok Dhoble
The Honorary Secretary General of the Indian Dental Association has been instrumental in initiating several oral health projects in India over the past 25 years, including setting oral health and tobacco cessation initiatives.

Dr. Dhoble
Dr. Dhoble

“Everyone looks forward to being involved with ADA activities, and [being an honorary member] gives me a chance to liaise with this prestigious body on the basis of work being done in India,” Dr. Dhoble said. “This will set the tone for global dentistry and an improvement in global oral health, which we all have been aiming at.”
Recognizing that oral health is an overlooked component of overall health and well-being, Dr. Dhoble helped set up the Dr. APK Abdul Kalam Education & Research Centre and the Super Specialty Dental Clinic in Mumbai, India.

These modern facilities provide free dental treatment to the underprivileged sections of the community, making dental treatment more accessible, available and affordable, he said. The center also provides continuing dental education on changes in dental technology and preclinical, clinical and advanced clinical training.
“The experience gained in India in promoting oral health among the poorest would be useful in replicating the programs in other developing countries eager to improve global oral health,” he said.

ADA President-elect Chad P. Gehani, who was among those who nominated Dr. Dhoble for the honorary membership, said Dr. Dhoble has been “singularly responsible for placing IDA on the global map and enhancing its image and visibility.”

“Dr. Dhoble has been responsible for establishing the Oral Cancer Foundation for early detection and treatment of oral cancer and Tobacco Intervention Initiative for tobacco cessation in India,” Dr. Gehani said of Dr. Dhoble’s work and accomplishments. “The list appears too long.”

Dr. Dhoble said he plans on accepting his membership at ADA FDI 2019 in San Francisco in September.

Nancy R. Honeycutt
Over the past 16 years, Ms. Honeycutt has served as the executive director of the American Student Dental Association, developing the future leaders of organized dentistry — many of whom have taken leadership roles in the ADA, along with those in local dental societies and state associations.

Ms. Honeycutt
Ms. Honeycutt
“[Working at ASDA] has been more rewarding than I could ever have expected,” Ms. Honeycutt said. “I never imagined that this job would be the most rewarding of my professional life.”

Ms. Honeycutt said her work at ASDA has allowed her to guide young people and mentor passionate dental students for the next chapter of their lives.

“I love helping people identify their strengths and guiding them to realize their potential,” she said. “Being an honorary member means that the ADA believes I have made a meaningful contribution to the dental profession. It is a significant honor from an organization that I have valued.”

About 10 years ago, Dr. Adam C. Shisler — then a first-year dental student from the University of Texas School of Dentistry in Houston — went straight to Ms. Honeycutt’s office to ask her how he could be a leader in ASDA.

“Under her support and direction, I served on the ASDA Board of Trustees as a trustee, president chairman of the board and immediate past president,” said Dr. Shisler, who is currently serving as the ADA New Dentist Committee 15th District representative.

“She does this all with a servant leadership mindset and a passion to foster a mentorship that is authentic and planted in ethical decision-making,” wrote Dr. Shisler in his nomination letter. “This story is not just my story; there are countless young dentists around the country that could illustrate the same impact she has made on our careers and the profession.”

Ms. Honeycutt said she plans on accepting her membership at ADA FDI 2019 in San Francisco in September.

Steven W. Kess
As one of the driving forces behind the Give Kids A Smile national program, it’s surprising to learn that oral health was never a positive component in Mr. Kess’ childhood.

Mr. Kess
Mr. Kess
“Those who know me know I’m a terrible patient, especially at the dentist,” said Mr. Kess, vice president of global professional relations, Henry Schein, Inc.
However, after joining Henry Schein in 1991, he found a way to blend his experience in creating national programs at the local level with raising public awareness of the importance of oral health. This was evident through his work with the ADA and the ADA Foundation.

“Steve excels in forging public-private partnerships to address complex issues,” wrote Dr. William R. Calnon, ADA Foundation past president, in nominating Mr. Kess.

“Steve recognized the potential of a very fledgling program in St. Louis and became the founding chair of the GKAS National Advisory Board for the ADA. I personally witnessed the commitment Steve had to that program.”

During the creation of Give Kids A Smile, Henry Schein committed that it would provide the dental products and materials necessary to treat the children in every participating program, Mr. Kess said.

“Securing sponsorship and industry support and commitment helped, but at the end of the day, it’s the engagement by the clinical community — and entire practice teams — that made all the difference at the local, county, state and national levels,” he said.

Since 2003, more than 5.5 million underserved children have received free oral health services.

Using the GKAS model, Mr. Kess helped create several other access-to-care programs, including Project Accessible Oral Health, a global public-private partnership to improve overall health of the disability community, and the Alpha Omega-Henry Schein Cares Holocaust Survivors Oral Health Program.

Upon learning about the honorary membership, Mr. Kess said his initial reaction was of pride and appreciation.

“Add to this the realization and recognition of all the Team Schein Members who have participated along the way to help make [GKAS] a reality, as well as our industry and supplier partners who generously contribute the products necessary, making it possible for the participating dental professionals to provide the care for the children served by the program,” he said.

Mr. Kess said he plans on accepting his membership at ADA FDI 2019 in San Francisco in September.

Joe Menapace
Mr. Menapace was born into a Pennsylvania family that has produced dentists for four generations: his grandfather, father, brother, sister, two brothers-in-law and an uncle. His mother was also a dental hygienist.

Mr. Menapace
Mr. Menapace
“I cannot remember very many days when dentistry was not discussed in our household,” he said.

However, somewhere along the way, Mr. Menapace took a slight turn. He received a bachelor’s degree in biological science from Pennsylvania State University and completed a Ph.D. in education from the University of New Mexico. In 1970, he took a position as executive director of the New Mexico School Boards Association, moved to Santa Fe and took on consulting duties. Among those clients included the New Mexico Dental Association.

This June marked the start of his 50th and final year as a legislative consultant and lobbyist in New Mexico.

“Since dentistry has been such a wonderful profession for my family, I was particularly delighted to have been approached in the mid-1980s to become the NMDA’s legislative consultant and lobbyist,” he said.

Among the advocacy highlights during his tenure with the state dental association include:
•    Promoting the establishment of associate degree hygiene programs in two community colleges to complement the lone program at the time at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. A state appropriation of $400,000 was obtained for the purpose.
•    Maintaining the dental team against repeated efforts in the late 1980s and 1990s to divide the profession with the imposition of an independent licensing board for dental hygienists.
•    Thwarting a ban on the use of dental amalgam.
•    Maintaining fluoride in the water system in Santa Fe and in greater Albuquerque.
•    Enacting the nation’s first Community Dental Health Coordinator legislation in the state as part of a periodic review process of the Dental Practice Act.

“Mr. Menapace is esteemed by legislators, regulators, fellow lobbyists and dentists across the state and on both sides of the aisle,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Thompson, NMDA president, in her nomination letter. “Few individuals demand this type of respect.”

As an honorary ADA honorary member, Mr. Menapace said he’s just glad he’s been able to contribute to the profession many in his family pursued.

“Frankly, I was stunned when the association nominated me,” he said. “The best people I’ve known have been dentists, especially those in my family. This is a special recognition.”

Linda Miles
While working in an administrative role in a startup practice in 1976, Ms. Miles learned that practice management was not part of the dental school experience.

Ms. Miles
Ms. Miles
“There were no computers, no internet and very few classes on practice management and even fewer for the dental team,” she said.

After attending a few dental meetings as an auxiliary, she began creating manual systems for scheduling, collections and pending appointments.

“My boss bragged to his friends about how smoothly his practice ran,” Ms. Miles said. “His friends across town became my first clients (on my days off).”
Today, Ms. Miles is an internationally recognized consultant, speaker and author on dental practice management and team development. She founded Linda L. Miles & Associates in 1978.

“As a new dentist starting my practice, I was a beneficiary of her expertise in dental practice management and team development,” said Dr. John F. Harrington Jr., ADA 5th District trustee, in his nomination letter. “Her concepts in the management of a dental practice helped me develop my new startup into a now successful 31-year-old business.”

Ms. Miles sold her consulting firm in 2007, but her contributions to dentistry continued through telecoaching and presenting at various dental conferences.
In 2012, Ms. Miles lost her only sister-in-law, Charlotte, to head and neck cancer, she said. At a dental meeting, she spoke with Robin Morrison, founder of RLM Healthcare Marketing & Consulting Inc., who lost her brother Mike to oral cancer.

“We talked about the fact with our 80-plus years of dentistry, plus Robin’s vast knowledge of nonprofits and marketing, together we can make a difference in honor of Mike and Charlotte,” Ms. Miles said.

In 2013, the duo founded Oral Cancer Cause, a Florida-based nonprofit that creates awareness of early stage head and neck cancer and provides financial assistance to oral cancer patients undergoing medical procedures.

“This is my 58th year since my first job in a dental practice in Bluefield, West Virginia, as a dental assistant/receptionist in 1961 at $1 per hour starting salary,” said Ms. Miles regarding the honorary membership. “I have received many awards over the years … but never in my wildest dreams would I be so recognized by the ADA. I loved dentistry then and still do.”

Ms. Miles will receive her honorary membership in September at the Academy of Dental Management Consultants Meeting in San Francisco.