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2019 Legislator of the Year

Each year, GDA recognizes a distinguished member of the Georgia General Assembly for his or her efforts in advocating for sustainable oral health initiatives, protecting patient safety and promoting the dental profession.

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Free Dental Care for Kids at GDA Foundation
Give Kids a Smile Day

Dentists across Georgia are providing free dental care for children in the state as part of the Georgia Dental Association and its Foundation’s annual Give Kids a Smile Day on Friday, February 7. The volunteer initiative takes place each February in conjunction with Children’s Dental Health Month and provides dental screenings, treatment and education at no charge to underserved children in Georgia.

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Image 1 Dr. Cornay

Member Moment with Dr. Ray J. Cornay

When and how did you become a GDA member?  
I joined the GDA while in school at The Dental College of Georgia.

Why is being part of a professional group important?  
It allows like-minded individuals to create connections and network. It can be somewhat daunting to seek out these relationships on our own. Having a well-established network in place allows us to have a sense of security and support. 

What is the single most important thing, in your opinion, GDA can do to help members?  
Connect the well-established professionals with the new, younger dentists. 

What advice would you give to an aspiring dental student?  
Stay motivated and inspired. Learn to love what you do. Be proactive about learning and discovering new aspects of the profession on the journey. 

What did you want to be when you were growing up?  
A paleontologist.

What was your first job? 
Lawn service.

Why did you decide to become a dentist? 
I’ve always had a natural gravitation toward healthcare. My great grandfather was a dentist in south Louisiana. He was a staple member of his beloved community, and I admired that about him. When I was shadowing the various professionals, it seemed that the local dentists were among those who had a balanced home/work life.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?  
I enjoy being active, especially outdoors—rock climbing, hiking, cycling, playing soccer. I also like to play guitar and spend time with family and friends. 

What is your all-time dream vacation?  
Currently my dream vacation would be to take part in a dental clinic in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal through the Global Dental Relief organization. That would be a wonderful chance to meet the needs of children from the remote Himalayas while providing an incredible adventure to trek the base of Mt. Everest.