Okemos, Michigan—Five dentists who studied in the Midwest have committed to caring for patients in high needs areas, and each were awarded $25,000 from the Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) as a result.
The $25,000 Community Commitment Award, given annually by the DDF, helps increase access to dental care in areas of high need.
Four dentists and recent graduates from the University of Detroit Mercy, Case Western Reserve University, Indiana University and Ohio State University, were awarded the 2017 Community Commitment Award.
A fifth student from the University of Michigan received a similar award— the Patrick P. Gribben Jr. Community Commitment Award.
“The Delta Dental Foundation Community Commitment Award is an opportunity for us to honor dentists who have answered the call to improve oral health care in underserved communities,” said Teri Battaglieri, director for the DDF. “We wish them the best in their careers.”
The Delta Dental Foundation Community Commitment Award was modeled after the Patrick P. Gribben Jr. Community Commitment Award which was established in 2014 to honor the memory of Patrick P. Gribben Jr. who served for 25 years as the president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Michigan and later as president of the DDF.
Each of the five award recipients will receive $25,000 in two payments for committing to practice in a designated health professional shortage area.
In order to receive the full award, the dentists must serve in the state in which they attended dental school and practice for at least one year in a high needs area immediately following graduation.
Recipient of the 2017 Patrick P. Gribben Jr. Community Commitment Award:
Dr. Lance Swapp
Hometown: Greenwood Village, Colorado
School: University of Michigan
Destination: My Community Dental Centers in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan
Recipients of the 2017 Community Commitment Awards:
Dr. Eli William
Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario
School: Case Western Reserve University
Destination: Family dental practice in St. Clairsville, Ohio
Dr. Jessica Lee Cole
Hometown: Rush County, Indiana
School: Indiana University
Destination: J. Andrew Taff Practice in Rushville, Indiana
Dr. Seth Pezar
Hometown: Perry, Ohio
School: Ohio State University
Destination: Practice in Ashtabula County, Ohio
Dr. Rebecca Schwarcz
Hometown: West Orange, New Jersey
School: University of Detroit Mercy
Destination: Western Wayne Family Health in Inkster, Michigan
About the Delta Dental Foundation
The Delta Dental Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina. The Foundation’s goals are to support education and research for the advancement of dental science and to promote the oral health of the public through education and service activities, particularly for those with special needs. For more information, visit www.deltadentalmi.com.