Dental educator to receive ADA's highest honor

The ADA will honor Kenneth Kalkwarf, D.D.S., this week with the 2009 Distinguished Service Award at its annual meeting in Honolulu.

The award is the highest honor the ADA bestows upon an individual.

Dr. Kalkwarf, dean of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School and past president of the American Dental Education Association (ADEA), is being lauded as a leader and consensus builder whose contributions have brought diverse communities together for the betterment of the entire profession.

"Dr. Kalkwarf has touched so many groups in our profession and been a link between the educational community and the profession, and young dentists and more established members. It's his collaborative spirit that really shines through," said ADA President John Findley, D.D.S., in a press release. "In addition, while actively supporting the profession and the ADA on a national scale, he has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to working with the local dental community to further their efforts in promoting oral health for San Antonio and South Texas."

Some of Dr. Kalkwarf's ADA leadership roles include chair of the Joint Commission on National Dental Examinations (1998-1999); chair of the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation (2003-2004); member of the oversight committee that developed the report on the future of dentistry (2000-2001); and member of the task force on the Commission on Dental Accreditation (2007-2008). He was president of the ADEA in 2006-2007.

Dr. Kalkwarf was the founding chair of ADEA's Commission on Change and Innovation (CCI) in Dental Education, which was formed in 2005 to investigate systemic change to advance and sustain curricular reform. The CCI, he said, created a forum for those interested in dental education and future members "to create better ways of assuring that graduates, and eventually all dentists, are lifelong learners providing evidence-based care to meet society's needs."

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