April 11, 2017

Heroes Among Us

Ted Roberson
ICDF President

You know, I started my involvement in the USA Section as a state, then district and finally national officer. During much of that time period, I focused on the mechanics of the organization and how it recognized leadership, service, and integrity. It was not until several years later that I realized that not only is leadership, service and integrity recognized in the ICD’s invitation to Fellowship, but also there is an expectation that Fellows should continue their quests in service to others. In other words, the Fellowship was not just recognition of what you had achieved but also a commitment to continue your positive impact for the good of others. I can’t imagine how many examples of this continuing commitment of USA ICD Fellows’ humanitarian efforts could be acknowledged across the USA. It would truly be noteworthy to see the many types of humanitarian projects that are part of the lives of USA ICD Fellows!

While we are trying to create methods to identify the humanitarian efforts of our USA ICD Fellows, we have not yet been greatly successful. There are several reasons for this inadequate knowledge of our USA Fellows’ accomplishments. First, too many dentists do not want to “toot their own horn”, i.e. they don’t want to have that recognition. Second, we, the ICD, have not created the proper inducement to get USA Fellows to share that information. In that regard, I am encouraging our USA Section Foundation (ICDF) to establish a grant project that would secure proposals from many USA Fellows’ projects that would then be considered for financial assistance (perhaps 20-40 funded projects across the USA that would receive approximately $500 each). In this way, the ICD would begin to have an inventory of USA Fellow humanitarian projects and therefore a better grasp of the magnitude of the contributions made by those Fellows. While I am trying to get this initiative started, I am pleased to indicate that we do already, in fact, have a number of noteworthy examples of USA ICD Fellows’ efforts to help others. Our Foundation has been instrumental in providing resources to many of these projects.

I am simply going to list some of our ongoing USA ICD Fellow projects that I think you should be aware of. Most of the following information as well as other information about each of these can be found on our website. While this list is not all-inclusive it does quickly identify some of the “Heroes Among Us”. Let us know what you are doing so we can acknowledge that as well!

Dr. Bill Hunter—ICD Fellow, ICDF Trustee, and ICD Leadership of the Year and Sharon Secor—Honorary ICD Fellow

Chogoria Dental Hospital, Kenya, Africa
With seed money from the ICD USA Section Foundation and other groups the Chogoria Hospital Dental Clinic became operational in 2014 and is providing amazing services to the Chogoria area of Kenya. The Clinic is in the process of developing support staff and outreach projects

Kikuyu Hospital Dental Clinic, Kenya, Africa
The USA ICD Foundation is proud to have supported the development of the Kikuyu Dental Clinic in Kenya with financial aid over a period of years. The clinic now provides for the treatment of dental infections, provides for the restoration of teeth, and offers preventive services and dental health education. Care is provided both at the Kikuyu Clinic and at outreach locations.

Drs. Jeffrey Parrish and Michael Karr—ICD Fellows

Seattle 4-Day Free Clinic—In October 2016 Drs. Parrish and Karr organized and managed the Seattle 4-day free clinic that was held at the Key Arena. Over 400 caregivers and their staffs worked together to provide a full range of free dental, vision and medical care to the underserved population in the region.

Dr. Usa Bunnag—ICD Fellow

Smiles on Wings aims to improve the health and well-being of underserved communities in Thailand.

In recognition of more than three decades of service, which includes a continuing commitment to Thailand and her community in Maryland, the American Dental Association announced that ICD USA Section Fellow Dr. Usa Bunnag has been named the 2017 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient. She will be honored at ADA 2017 – America's Dental Meeting, taking place in Atlanta from October 19-23.

In 2015, the ICD USA Section Foundation contributed $18, 000 to Smile on Wings.

Dr. John Baker—ICD Fellow

Dr. John T. Baker, DDS, FICD, from Dallas, Texas received a national award from the American Dental Association for his volunteer service to disadvantaged and impoverished people of Mexico. There were only 22 recipients in 2016.

Dr. Baker participated in 38 mission trips over 19 years to the most secluded, impoverished people who lived in brush huts, caves, lean-tos, dugouts and small adobe huts, providing dental care and treatments of extractions, dental cleanings, dental fillings, root canals, as well as educational techniques in oral hygiene and basic tooth maintenance.

Drs. Steve Mackler (ICD Humanitarian of the Year) and Robert Kriegsman—ICD Fellows

Moldova Student Exchange Program

The program that exists between the University of North Carolina Dental School and the Dental School in the Republic of Moldova was established in March of 2000 by ICD Fellows Robert Kriegsman and Stephen Mackler. It involves an exchange of faculty and students usually numbering between four and six participants. Most commonly it comprises a two-week visit during October for the Moldovans and a one-week trip during the spring break for the UNC students.

The program was initially supported by a three thousand dollar grant from the ICD.

Dr. E. Steven Moriconi—ICD Fellow

He leads annual dental mission trips to Haiti to provide oral surgery services for the poor and indigent. He created Men Anpil ("Many Hands," in Creole). Its mission is to support the dental facility in Christianville, Haiti and to identify and support other Haitian students to attend medical, dental, or nursing schools.

He provides free services to indigent patients in his community.

Dr. Ronald E. Fritz—ICD Fellow

Gorgeous Guatemala—La República de Guatemala, along with Belize, are the most northern countries of Central America, and border México to the north and west. His mission was to travel to the highlands of Alta Verapaz and set up a portable clinic and provide dental care.

Wonderful Huatulco—Care was provided in a variety of villages around Huatulco.

Dr. Kim Harms—ICD Fellow

Rwanda Project:  Dr. Kim Harms has been very active in establishing libraries and supporting medical and dental education in Rwanda. They have sent or are ready to send, over 120,000 books and computers including two complete Law Libraries (donated by Thompson Reuters), 2000 new dental textbooks (donated by Quintessence) and over 1000 Merck Manuals first for the dental school and now the medical school. 

Dr. Francis G. Serio—ICD Fellow and ICDF Trustee

Dominican Dental Mission Project has touched and improved the lives of countless people through volunteerism and education.

In recognition of his more than three decades of service, Dr. Serio was named the 2015 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient.

Over all of the past 33 summers, the project has provided more than $15 million worth of needed dental care and dental and medical supplies to some 60,000 rural poor in the Dominican Republic and the local hospital.

Dr. Serio's work with DDMP has even garnered presidential attention. He received a President's Volunteer Action Award from President George H. W. Bush in 1991 and a Daily Points of Light Award from President George W. Bush in 2001.

He also presents programs on volunteer activities for dental professionals and their families at major dental meetings nationwide for the ICD and was a coordinator and speaker at the ADA's first several volunteer symposia, now held biannually at the annual meeting.


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