U-M dentist receives community service award

A dentist is the recipient of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Servant Leadership in Building a Beloved Community, which has been given by an Ann Arbor, MI, church for 25 years.

The award is given to someone who works in the community as a community servant, according to Dale Magee, who served on the committee that chose the award winner. This year's recipient, Bonita Neighbors, DDS, is the director of the University of Michigan (U-M) School of Dentistry - Community Dental Center, which provides Washtenaw County residents -- low-income families, senior citizens, young adults, and the homeless -- with a range of services, including cleaning, extractions, crowns, bridge work, implants, and oral healthcare education, according to the university.

Dr. Neighbors, who is from a middle-class African-American family, previously served 22 years as a dentist in the Michigan prison system. When she left in 2010, she was responsible for dental clinics in 23 prisons across the state.

She will accept her award on Sunday at the Church of the Good Shepherd and give a guest sermon on what we can all do to improve the community.

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