The evening of November 4, 2013, was dedicated to bringing together and recognizing people who work passionately to provide better oral health care to underserved communities. The occasion featured a reception, a tribute to the late Professor Anthony Jong, the presentation of the American Public Health Association (APHA) Oral Health Section (OHS) awards, and a dinner. The event was held at the Metcalf Trustee Ballroom at Boston University during the 141st Annual Meeting of the APHA, which took place November 2–6, 2013.
A prominent theme throughout the night was the leadership role forged by Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM) in local and national advances in oral public health.
The guests were visiting from far and wide, having traveled from 4 countries and 15 states. There were more than a dozen GSDM Dental Public Health (DPH) alumni in attendance as well as some current DPH students and many pre-doctoral students who are considering Dental Public Health post-doctoral degrees.
The evening’s program began with a tribute to Professor Jong, former Associate Dean of the Boston University School of Dental Medicine and Chairman of the School’s Department of Dental Care Management. He tragically passed away from cancer in 1992 at the age of 53. Dr. Jong was recognized nationally for his passion for providing community service and improving the oral health status of the underserved.
Presiding over the tribute and awards was APHA Oral Health Section Chair Dr. Oscar Arevalo DPH 99.
Dean Jeffrey W. Hutter spoke, recognizing distinguished guests, who included representatives from 15 dental schools and programs,; representatives from professional organizations such as the American Dental Association, the American Dental Education Association, student chapters of the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, the American Association of Women Dentists, and the National Dental Association; and corporate partners, community health partners, and representatives from the Boston Public Health Commission.
Dean Hutter commemorated Dr. Jong’s outstanding career, including 19 years at GSDM, service as a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health and as a consultant to the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare; the National Institutes of Health; Boston’s Head Start Health Program; and the Bridge Over Troubled Waters free dental clinic for homeless teenagers in Boston.
“On behalf of all the faculty, staff, students and alumni of the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine I want to personally thank the Westwater Jong family and all of you for being here on this very special evening, and allowing the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine to sponsor this evening’s reception,” said Dean Hutter.
Students and colleagues of Dr. Jong added to Dean Hutter’s commemoration, demonstrating Dr. Jong’s influence on leaders in oral public health in Boston and nationally. The speakers were Dr. Dushanka Kleinman DPH 76, Associate Dean for Research, Professor, and Chair of Health Services Administration at the University of Maryland School of Public Health; Dr. Mary Tavares DPH 81, Program Director, Dental Public Health Residency, Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Senior Clinical Investigator, The Forsyth Institute; Mark E. Nehring DMD 81, Professor and Chair of Public Health and Community Service at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine; and Dr. Woosung Sohn, Director of the Advanced Specialty Education Program in Dental Health and Associate Professor of Health Policy & Health Services Research at GSDM. Dr. Jong’s wife, Pat Westwater Jong, also spoke.
The Anthony Westwater Jong Memorial Community Dental Public Health Student Awards were presented by Oral Health Section Chair-elect Kathy Lituri MPH 03. Ms. Lituri is Clinical Instructor of Health Policy & Health Services Research and Oral Health Promotion Director at GSDM.
The recipients of the Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Pre-Professional Award (sponsored by Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) were Jolie Goodman, DDS 15 (University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry) and Aaron Mertz DMD 16. Mertz’s recent public health efforts have been aimed at encouraging organizations and health professionals to become more effective when using social media and the internet to provide fluoridation information.
Dr. Go Matsuo (University of Maryland School of Public Health) received the Jong Memorial Community Dental Health Post-Professional Award (sponsored by DENTSPLY International).
The John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health was awarded to Dr. Jared I. Fine. Dr. Fine has dedicated 25 years in dental leadership roles as a Dental Health Administrator and as part of the Center for Oral Health and the Alameda County Dental Society in California.