Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Dr. Jeff Dalin to Receive ADA 2022 Humanitarian Award

Let's give some credit to where credit is due.  Early in my "second career" of teaching, testing, writing, etc I met an incredibly nice guy from St. Louis named Jeff Dalin.  A fellow dentist, I met Jeff at a meeting where someone introduced us thinking that two Midwestern guys would probably get along well.

Back then, Dr. Dalin had recently launched an idea for helping children in need of dental care.  He called the program "Give Kids a Smile".   It was founded on the idea of taking one day out of the year and using that day to treat as many children as possible, free of charge.

That idea was quickly picked up by the American Dental Association and soon, with their backing, GKAS became a national day in dental offices to help kids whose families could not normally afford dental care.

I'm proud to say the Dr. Dalin's idea pretty much exploded across the country as offices joined in.  In the Kansas City area the local dental association coordinated care in large offices where many of us would go to screen, triage, and then treat these kids so desperately in need of care.  

I have no idea how much free dentistry has been provided by GKAS, but I'm sure it is now, after 20 years, multiple millions of dollars.  And when you think of it, many of those kids from the early days of the program are now old enough to have kids of their own.

So hats off to my friend Dr. Jeff Dalin.  What started out as just an idea in his noggin has now changed to lives of countless children AND adults.  He's a great humanitarian and a giver.  I can think of no one more deserving of the ADA 2022 Humanitarian Award.  Congratulations my friend... you have changed the world and helped make it a better place of tens of thousands of people.

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