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ADA Foundation Hosts Second Give Kids A Smile Awards Gala

Three Members of Congress Honored at Charitable Affair

CHICAGO, May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Dental Association Foundation held its second annual Give Kids A Smile Awards Gala at the Library of Congress yesterday in Washington, DC.

Give Kids A Smile is the American Dental Association's (ADA) signature charitable program, delivering free oral health care to millions of underserved children and enlisting hundreds of thousands of volunteers since its inception in 2003.

The Awards Gala honors Members of Congress who have supported the ADA's oral health advocacy goals and is a forum to announce grants to other programs that care for underserved children. The event is held during the ADA's annual Washington Leadership Conference.

Congressional awards presented

This year's congressional honorees are:

  • Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-WI) receive the ADA's Oral Health Champion Award. Collins and Feingold co-authored the Dental Health Improvement Act in 2002 and then worked to have it re-authorized last year. Since its inception, the law has provided almost $17 million to states to improve oral health access through enhanced dental workforce programs.
  • Rep. Michael Ross (D-AR), who receives the ADA's Leadership in Oral Health Advocacy Award. Ross is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Health Subcommittee and will play a key role in the health care reform debate. Ross is the lead sponsor of the Essential Oral Health Care Act of 2009, the cornerstone legislation of the ADA's oral health care reform proposal.

Give Kids A Smile grants awarded

The Gala honored five 2009 grantees, all receiving $20,000 grants from the ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile Fund for their pediatric oral health initiatives. Give Kids A Smile Program Champion Grantees are the America's Dentists Care Foundation (Missions of Mercy) and TeamSmile(TM). Program Growth grantee, the Hispanic Dental Association, will fund four community oral health projects led by student and local chapters to provide screenings and treatment for underserved populations. The National Dental Association (NDA), Program Growth grantee will fund the Deamonte Driver Dental Project, a grassroots endeavor of NDA's Robert T. Freeman Dental Society to support a school-based mobile dental van servicing nine schools in Prince Georges County, Md. Oral Health America will use its Program Growth grant to fund three Smiles Across America(R) affiliates to improve oral health of underserved children in targeted schools and enhance access to restorative dental care.

About the ADA Foundation The ADA Foundation is a catalyst for uniting people and organizations to make a difference through better oral health. Since 1991, the ADA Foundation has disbursed nearly $31 million dollars to support such charitable activities. In addition to funding grants for dental research, education, scholarships and access to care, the Foundation supports Charitable Assistance Programs such as relief grants to dentists and their dependents that are unable to support themselves due to injury, a medical condition or advanced age; and grants and loans to those who are victims of disasters.

About the American Dental Association

Celebrating its 150th anniversary, the not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing more than 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit the Association's Web site at

SOURCE American Dental Association
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