UW School of Dentistry

State dentists recognized for legislative venture with UW

A collaboration by the School of Dentistry and Washington State Dental Association (WSDA) to broaden participation in an outreach to state legislators has earned WSDA a Golden Apple award from the American Dental Association (ADA).

Dental Action Day
UW dental students cluster on the Capitol steps in Olympia during Dental Action Day on Jan. 31.

The ADA bestowed the award, which recognizes dental society volunteers and staff for outstanding activities and excellence in leadership, for Dental Action Day. The annual event, which is led by WSDA and took place this year on Jan. 31, brings WSDA member dentists and dental students to Olympia to meet legislators and discuss issues concerning organized dentistry and academic dentistry.

This year’s event drew nearly 200 students, the largest UW turnout ever, thanks largely to Dean Joel Berg’s decision to suspend classes for the day. He said he wanted students to appreciate how much impact their voices could carry in the public arena and to share a sense of solidarity with the larger dental community.

“Traveling from meeting to meeting with the dentists provides great insight to what the profession of dentistry looks like in practice, and they are always interested in hearing about our dental school experience and in sharing their knowledge and clinical stories with us, the students,” said student Todd Billington (Class of ’15) after the event.

WSDA also won Golden Apples for two issues of its WSDA News magazine: “Race, Gender and Dentistry: A Conversation” and “The Affordable Care Act and You.” In addition, WSDA member Dr. Christopher Herzog, a UW dental alumnus (’04), received the New Dentist Legislative Leadership award.