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USPHS Dental Category turns 100

June 28, 2019

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — June 24 marked the 100th anniversary of the United States Public Health Service Dental Category. That’s the date when Dr. Ernest Eugene Buell became the first commissioned dental officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. 

Every year, the USPHS Commissioned Corps honors Dr. Bell’s legacy by recognizing a junior dental officer with the Ernest Eugene Buell Dental Award.

The USPHS Commissioned Corps comprises more than 6,500 full-time public health professionals dedicated to delivering the nation’s public health promotion and disease prevention programs and advancing public health science.  Dental officers  serve in a variety of roles: researchers, administrators and clinicians; and serve in agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (Indian Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research), Department of Justice (Federal Bureau of Prisons), and within the Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Coast Guard, Immigration Health Service Corps). They also provide care to underserved populations, help promote military readiness in the Coast Guard and deploy in times of national emergencies.

“Please join me in celebrating our centennial anniversary by thanking all dental officers, past and present, who have helped carry out the USPHS mission to protect, promote and advance the health and safety of our nation,” said Rear Adm. Tim Ricks, chief dental officer of the U.S. Public Health Service, in an email to stakeholders.

For information about becoming a USPHS dentist, visit the website.