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Give Kids A Smile kicks off Feb. 7

Indiana University School of Dentistry to host national event

February 06, 2020

By Mary Beth Versaci

Image of Give Kids a Smile ADA Logo
The American Dental Association's Give Kids A Smile program will bring free oral health services to hundreds of thousands of children across the U.S. beginning Feb. 7.

Since the program's national launch in 2003, GKAS has served more than 6 million children in need. In 2020 alone, nearly 340,000 children will receive free care from about 6,500 volunteer dentists and 26,000 other dental team and community volunteers at 1,400 GKAS events.

The Indiana University School of Dentistry will host the 2020 GKAS national kickoff event Feb. 7 in Indianapolis. More than 150 volunteers will provide dental exams, cleanings, fillings, crowns, extractions, fluoride, sealants, X-rays and oral health education to about 250 area children.
Photo of Give Kids A Smile leaders
All smiles: Leaders involved with Give Kids A Smile gather Feb. 6 during the national kickoff reception at the NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis. From left are Dr. Tawana Ware, faculty sponsor of the Indiana University School of Dentistry GKAS; Phyllis Martina, senior academic relations manager for Colgate; Dr. Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch, Ph.D., dean of the IU School of Dentistry; AJ Caffentzis, president of U.S. dental distribution for Henry Schein Inc.; Dr. Chad P. Gehani, president of the American Dental Association; Michele Penrose, director of global professional relations for Henry Schein and chair of the ADA GKAS National Advisory Committee; Dr. Matilde Hernandez, scientific affairs manager for Colgate; Dr. Jeff Dalin, co-founder of GKAS; and Andy Dalin, co-chair of the IU School of Dentistry GKAS.
The national kickoff is sponsored by Henry Schein Inc. and Colgate-Palmolive. To celebrate GKAS, ADA President Chad P. Gehani, Second Vice President Vincent Rapini, 2nd District trustee Paul R. Leary and 3rd District trustee Linda K. Himmelberger joined Henry Schein CEO and board of directors Chairman Stanley M. Bergman in ringing the Nasdaq Stock Market Opening Bell on Feb. 5 in New York. Henry Schein has been a sponsor of GKAS since the program's inception.
Photo of Nasdaq Stock Market Opening Bell
Ring in GKAS: Henry Schein Inc. CEO and board of directors Chairman Stanley M. Bergman (front, center, left) and American Dental Association President Chad P. Gehani (front, center, right) are joined by other Give Kids A Smile supporters as they ring the Nasdaq Stock Market Opening Bell on Feb. 5 in New York. Photo courtesy of Henry Schein Inc.
The ADA launched the national GKAS program as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. Dr. Jeff Dalin, a graduate of the IU School of Dentistry whose son Andy is now a dental student and co-chair of GKAS at the school, co-founded GKAS in 2002 as a single event that donated oral health services to about 400 children in St. Louis.
Image of Henry Schein Logo
Through GKAS, dentists and other dental team members volunteer their time and services to offer oral health education, screening, preventive care and restorative treatment to children in need. Events range from those that provide free services to hundreds of children in a day to individual dentists providing pro-bono oral care and a dental home to one or several children under the GKAS banner. The program includes local events year-round.


Image of GKAS Colgate Logo
For more information about how GKAS programs are organized across the country, visit ADA.org, and to learn about programs taking place in your area, email gkas@ada.org or contact your state or local dental association. GKAS is the anchor event of the ADA's National Children's Dental Health Month.