GDA Children’s Dental Health Month Activities Reach 16,000 Children
Dentists and staff members from every GDA district provided free dental care and oral health education to Georgia’s children during February—National Children’s Dental Health Month. In addition, each of the seven GDA districts conducted events on February 7, which was the 12th Annual Give Kids A Smile Day (GKAS)! The American Dental Association (ADA) let the GDA know that 28 Georgia programs registered with the ADA to provide GKAS events in just our state. The ADA estimates that GDA volunteers provided care and services valued at over $100,000 in just one day!

Kudos to the GDA Council on Dental Health members listed below that spearheaded the district programs. They oversaw the distribution of over 10,000 toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes, and goody bags across all seven of the GDA districts during their various CDHM and GKAS events. Special thanks to our Children’s Dental Health Month liaison Dr. Ryan Vaughn for his efforts.

Council on Dental Health
Chair Dr. Byron Colley
Southeastern District
Dr. Amy Loden (Central)
Dr. Andy Chandler (Eastern)
Dr. Jennifer Wells (Eastern)
Dr. Ryan Vaughn (Northern)
Dr. Aaron Schwartz (Northwestern)
Dr. Chris Shim (Northwestern)
Dr. Stephanie Skinner (Southeastern)
Dr. Amanda Merritt (Southwestern)
Dr. Alex Cranford (Western)

The Council in turn sends out a big “thank you” to all the GDA member dentists, dental staff members, GDA Alliance members, dental hygiene educational programs, and community volunteers who helped to make Children’s Dental Health Month and Give Kids A Smile Day a tremendous success in Georgia. The GDA could not conduct these valuable charitable events without dedicated volunteers. Despite the unexpected winter weather and storms that rolled across Georgia the week before GKAS Day, the GDA still reached out to more than 16,000 children in February! This is just one more example of dentistry at its finest!

Several GKAS and CDHM programs and GDA members were featured in local newspapers and television news stations. The outlets that printed and broadcast stories about our GDA events included CBS Atlanta, Gainesville Times, Marietta Daily Journal, WTOC Savannah, WALB Valdosta, Macon Telegraph, and the Adel News Tribune.

Central District

Thank you to Drs. Nitsa Gilbert, Amber Lawson, Amy Loden, Margaret Moore, Marilyn Murphy, Jennifer Roberson, Carl Shaw, and the members of the 78th Dental Squadron for their time and commitment to improving the oral health of over 200 children in the Macon and Warner Robins areas.

Eastern District

Volunteers provided oral health education and other services to 5,200 children during events in Athens, Augusta, Lincolnton, Evans, and Martinez, as well as McDuffie County. Special thanks to Drs. Lee Andrews, David Brantley, Andy Chandler, Doug Clepper, Greg Clepper, Celia Dunn, Greg Griffin, Grant Loo, Rosanna Masciadri, Jim Morang, Tina Moses, Tommy Neal, Steve Powell, Mike Rogers, Chris Siebert, Barbara Utermark, Jennifer Wells, and Erik Wells, as well representatives from the Department of Pediatric Dentistry in the College of Dental Medicine at Georgia Regents University for taking care of your area children!

Northern District

GDA members in this district really stepped up! Volunteers conducted oral health presentations and educational programs, and provided screenings, and treatment services to 7,200 children! Kudos for their dedication to Georgia’s children goes to Drs. Lindsey Anderson, Evis Babo, Gretchen Blanchard, Todd Britt, Ron Cavola, Sean Cochran, Brad Cox, Meredith Dempsey, Cindy Greene, Stephanie Greene, John Haffner, Ben Hawkins, James Hicks, Kiran Kamdar, Diane Kelly, Sam Kwon, Svetlana Lekht, Heather Perry McGee, Sidney Tourial, Matthew Vaughn, Ryan Vaughn, Thomas Weyrich, Janice Wilmot, Ron Wilson, and Carol Wolff.

Northwestern District

The district’s volunteers reached 1,500 children with to oral health education and dental care services. Thank you to Drs. David Bradberry, Brian Choate, Philip Davidson, Darlene Davis, Atusha Patel, Alex Patrick, Aaron Schwartz, Chris Shim, Kathy Smith, John Taylor, and Kelly Vaughn for your time and expertise.

Southeastern District

SEDDS members provided oral health education and other services to 1,100 children in Savannah, St. Simons, Tybee Island, and Darien. Special thanks goes out to Drs. Chris Comer, Cara DeLeon, Chris DeLeon, Mark Dusek, Ben Duval, Suzanne Hailey, Billy Jamerson, Felix Maher, Yulinda Rhodes, Glenn Sasser, Larry Schmitz, Chad Schnabel, Stephanie Skinner, Jim Vaughter, and Donihue Waters for helping children smile in southeastern Georgia!

Southwestern District

District volunteers provided free dental services and oral health education to 70 children in Valdosta, Adel, and Albany. Thank you to Drs. Bo Broadfoot, Chris Hilliard, Stacey Marshall, Amanda Merritt, Robert Moss, Bonita Richter, Charles Stewart, Carly Thomas, and Jessica Watson for your commitment to these children.

Western District

Kudos and big thanks to Drs. Camilee Beall, Fred Beall Jr., Alex Cranford, and Paul Garcia for visiting local schools, as well as Boys and Girls Clubs and other charitable organizations, to put smiles on the faces of more than 1,500 children in Americus, Newnan, and Columbus.

    This Council on Dental Health also commends the Pierre Fauchard Academy for providing free dental services to 37 children at PFA events held in Barrow and Jackson counties. Drs. Joe Dufresne, Stan Halpern, Peter Vanstrom, Karyn Stockwell, Shirley Fisher, George Mason, and Mark Shurett deserve thanks for helping to make these events successful.