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The Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Faculty Award acknowledges and supports eligible faculty affiliated with the state’s dental schools for their exceptional leadership, innovation, collaboration, compassion, philanthropic spirit and integrity in dental education. It was developed to support individuals who contribute to the scholarly and creative activities of California dental students.
As of 2020, the Dugoni Faculty Award is transitioning from an application process to a nomination process. Nominations from CDA members, including student members, and California dental school faculty are encouraged. Self-nominations are welcome.
Elisa Chavez, DDS, professor of diagnostic sciences and director of the Pacific Center for Special Care at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, has received the California Dental Association Foundation’s Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Faculty Award for 2020.
“Dr. Chavez has a consistent record of service to the school, university and the profession,” said fellow faculty member Paul Subar, DDS, who nominated Chavez for the award. “She models important philanthropic values every day.”
“Receiving this award has been another opportunity to reflect on Dr. Dugoni’s life and attributes as an educator, leader and individual,” Chavez said, adding that the acknowledgment is especially meaningful to her because she had the privilege of working with Dr. Dugoni.
“I am mindful of how much he meant to so many and the importance of the spirit in which this award from the CDA Foundation is given. Staying true to the core value of humanism that he established and modeled for us at the Dugoni School of Dentistry and as a leader in our profession is so important, now more than ever.”
After earning her DDS in 1994 from UCSF School of Dentistry, Chavez went on to receive a certificate in geriatric dentistry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Over much of her career, including 16 years at the Dugoni School of Dentistry, she has been dedicated to improving access to care for geriatric patients.
In 2001, Chavez developed the pre- and postdoctoral clinical education programs for the Dugoni School of Dentistry at On Lok Lifeways, a nonprofit organization that pursues quality of life and care for older adults and their families. She continues to serve as director of programs and is a staff dentist at On Lok, overseeing student rotations for medically complex geriatric patients.
“Dr. Chavez’s vision in developing these programs has been for students to gain a holistic view of their role in health care and see value in every service they provide,” said Dr. Subar, who himself received the Dugoni award in 2006. “She has consistently received high marks and praise for the clinical education she has given countless students during her time as director.”
Chavez later expanded the Dugoni School of Dentistry’s extramural offerings by developing and launching a clinical rotation for predoctoral students at Stanford University’s department of surgery.
“These intense, low faculty-to-student ratio experiences prepare students for lifelong learning in a nurturing, caring and collaborative environment,” Subar added.
As course director of Integrated Clinical Sciences II at the Dugoni School of Dentistry, Chavez is credited for her ability to integrate interprofessional education and collaboration in unique and innovative ways, using asynchronous technologies such as web-based methods, videos and voice-over modules.
Ninety percent of Chavez’s time at the Dugoni School of Dentistry is delegated to teaching. However, her leadership activities extend well beyond the classroom. She has served on the curriculum, library, interprofessional education and extramural committees at Dugoni. And she is chair (since 2016) of the school’s Strategic Plan Oversight Committee, which is tasked with reformulating the dental school’s mission, vision and overall strategic direction for the next decade.
Chavez is a Founders Fellow with The Santa Fe Group, where her research focuses on improving the oral health of America’s seniors, and she has authored or co-authored over two dozen articles, abstracts and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals and text books, primarily in the areas of education and care for geriatric patients. She also has presented on treatment planning for older adults, aging and oral health, expanding Medicare dental benefits and other topics at national, state and local meetings and symposiums.
In October 2019, Chavez presented at the Symposium on Geriatric Oral Health in California, hosted by CDA and the Dugoni School of Dentistry, and she served as guest editor of the CDA Journal’s April 2019 issue dedicated to the oral health of older adults.
Dr. Nader A. Nadershahi, dean of the Dugoni School of Dentistry, calls Chavez “an exceptional credit to dental education and the extended professional community whose genuine, sustained commitment to our fragile elderly make her a force for change.”
Chavez received a monetary award of $1,500, which she says she would like to use to support a collaboration for scholarship between herself and Dugoni students through the Pacific Center for Equity in Oral Health Care.
“I usually learn at least as much ― if not more ― from our students as they do from me, so this would definitely be an opportunity for growth!” she said.
Richard Fredekind, DMD, MA, currently serves as executive associate dean at Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry. He hopes to apply the $5,000 award toward the purchase of technology to support communication that will engage students.
For the past 33 years, he has dedicated his career to spearheading key school initiatives including electronic health care records, centralized sterilization and developing the school’s strategic plan “Transforming the Future of Oral Health Education.”
“One of Dr. Fredekind’s greatest qualities is how he exemplifies our ‘humanistic’ approach to education,” said Nader A. Nadershahi, DDS, MBA, EdD, dean of Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry. “He models a respectful, supportive and helpful nature that brings out these qualities in others. Supporting our school’s culture is of paramount importance and I am grateful for the qualities he brings to his role.”
Dr. Fredekind has worked with Project Homeless Connect to treat the homeless population in San Francisco, partnered with San Mateo Medical Center to treat the center’s patients both in the hospital and at the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry and for more than 25 years collaborated with the San Francisco Department of Public Health in caring for HIV-positive patients. In the 1990s, he worked with the Trauma Foundation at San Francisco General Hospital to create a reporting template for needlestick injuries.
Ronald Mito, DDS, FDS RCSEd, graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1976 and completed his general practitioner residency the following year. For the past 40 years, he has been employed by the UCLA School of Dentistry and currently serves as the executive associate dean. He teaches six courses, including a course he co-developed for first-year students.
Dr. Mito has served in more than a dozen leadership capacities at the local, state and national levels, including president of the American Association of Hospital Dentists and member of the ADA Council on Government Affairs. Additionally, his community involvement over the years has earned him several awards and honors.
Having served as vice-president of the Dental Board of California, he had the responsibility of advising the secretary of Health and Human Services and Congress. During his tenure, he initiated the portfolio licensing efforts that involved collaboration between all schools and organized dentistry.
Dr. Mito has focused his academic creativity on the management of dental fear and anxiety and the professional development of dental students. He is recognized as an innovator in office-based dentistry under anesthesia for patients with severe phobias and anxieties. He serves as a role model for students through active classroom discussions about the parameters of professionalism and the importance of ethics and integrity, especially when it extends beyond school or practice and into everyday life.
“Dr. Dugoni has been and still is a role model and mentor,” Dr. Mito shared. “To be recognized for emulating all that Dr. Dugoni stands for is the ultimate recognition.”
Santosh Sundaresan, BDS, DDS, is a demonstrated leader who is truly committed to the profession and the students he serves. As chair of the Section of Community Health Programs at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, he is director of the USC Mobile Dental Clinics and oversees all of the community-based dental health clinics, which provide care to the underserved. At these clinics, students, overseen by experienced dentists, provide dental treatment to those who would not otherwise have access to care, gaining valuable experience working with challenging populations in areas most in need of dental services.
After graduating with his DDS from the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in 1986, Allen Wong, DDS, EdD, went on to receive certificates in Advanced Clinical Dentistry and Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) in 1987 and 2001, respectively, and a doctoral degree in professional education and leadership in 2010. In addition to owning a private practice in San Francisco and his position as director of the Highland Hospital Oral Surgery Restorative Implant Program, Dr. Wong devotes his time to his roles as director of the AEGD program and the Hospital Dentistry Program, both held at the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
Dr. Wong was selected for the CDA Foundation’s 2014 award in part because of his demonstrated leadership, collaboration and innovation — providing his senior students with hands-on experience in the hospital treating patients under general anesthesia. As director of UOP’s hospital dentistry program, Dr. Wong says he incorporates medical assessment, pharmacology, patient management, interprofessional consultations and firsthand experiences treating patients with special needs.
“My colleagues and I have focused on bringing attention to the growing needs of the medically compromised through hands-on teaching and interaction of physicians, nurses and specialists,” said Dr. Wong, who recently added perinatal care to the service and education of his students.
In addition to his proven leadership and compassion, Dr. Wong’s philanthropic efforts were another reason he was selected for the award as he regularly gives his time as a volunteer dentist, including organizing and participating in a number of international dental mission trips, volunteer clinics and Special Olympics events.
Dr. Earl Freymiller went into academics directly from residency training, knowing that if he went into private practice he might be financially richer but probably intellectually poorer. That decision has worked out better than he likely ever imagined.
He has made friendships that include faculty and bright dental students and is able to interact with them on a daily basis. What’s more, with the belief that dentists are privileged to be able to help others, for 23 years Dr. Freymiller has volunteered with the Thousand Smiles Foundation, a nonprofit group that treats Mexican children with cleft lip and palate deformities.
With the Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Faculty Award, Dr. Freymiller receives a scholarship that he will use to directly improve clinical teaching at UCLA. He will place the award into a fund reserved for improving the students’ and residents’ clinical teaching program in oral and maxillofacial surgery at UCLA.
It’s clear what moves Dr. Thomas Levy: a passion for teaching and traveling worldwide to provide dental care and research. Themes that are woven throughout an outstanding career deserving of the Dugoni Faculty Award.
A recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award by the USC School of Dentistry’s 2006-2008 graduating classes, Dr. Levy works diligently to understand his students. In fact, he frequently presents on the topic of how today’s students learn and how millennial students will apply their education to their future practice in dentistry.
What’s more, because he understands his students, he knows it’s vital that they learn to serve a diverse population, which is why he organized 15 trips to El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica, giving 60 endodontic residents an opportunity to perform surgeries, conduct research and help a society in need. He was also the driving force behind two access-to-care events with the LA Veterans in Pleasanton and Compton. He wrote and received the $550,000 annual Ryan White Grant of Los Angeles, offering students an opportunity to provide HIV-positive and AIDS patients with a high level of dental care.
With all that, Dr. Levy still somehow finds time for research. While in El Salvador he collaborated with an El Salvadorian dental school to develop the research on Platelet Derived Growth Factor role in osseous repair in Central America. At USC he introduced and implemented the use of operating microscopes in the undergraduate endodontic clinics, created the Mock Board Preparation Lab and Lecture for the Western Regional Boards, and wrote the Graduate and Undergraduate Endodontic Manuals for USC. It seems that he’s embraced the academic setting, in fact, he says, “Being an instructor at USC is without a doubt the most fulﬁlling experience of my life.”
A professor at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in the Department of Restorative Dentistry, Dr. Nadim Z. Baba, DMD, MSD, FACP, teaches restorative dentistry, prosthodontics, biomaterials and removable prosthodontics, but that’s not all that he’s known for. His willingness to help and expertise have earned him the moniker of “Dr. Fix It.” In fact, he feels that among the characteristics of a true professional is the willingness to share and that a teacher and educator should try to transmit expertise and knowledge to future colleagues, as his mentors did for him.
In addition to teaching classes and mentoring students, Dr. Baba is active in research and has published six articles in the past five years, co-authored an extensive revision of a chapter in the sixth edition of the textbook titled Ingle’s Endodontics, assisted in the development of an interactive program on oral cancer screening, and is currently revising the DVD program Tooth Preparation and Associated Clinical Procedures.
What’s more, he is a member of several professional organizations, has lectured nationally and internationally, and quite possibly, as mentioned in the quote at left, feels as if he never worked a day in his life.
Google the name Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni and you’ll discover accomplishments that fill a vast number of pages, encompass every facet of dentistry and set a very high standard for those who are nominated for the award given in his name. The 2009 recipient of the Arthur A. Dugoni faculty award, University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry’s Ram Mohan Vaderhobli, BDS, MS, does that, and more.
A health sciences assistant clinical professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry, Dr. Vaderhobli is a fixture in the Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences. There, he inspires his students as they navigate the complexities of Fixed Prosthodontics, Preventive and Restorative Dentistry, Dental Materials, Laser Dentistry and Esthetics. And while it seems that would keep Dr. Vaderhobli extremely busy, he still finds time to give back. He volunteers with the UCSF Children’s Health Hut, a community service dental program that travels to schools, playgrounds and community centers within San Francisco to promote health education. He is also an active member of the International Association of Dental Research, American Association of Dental Research, American Dental Education Association, Academy of Laser Dentistry, American Dental Association, and CDA.
His commitment to a career in academic dentistry has grown stronger over the years, and he looks forward to the innovations and research he can contribute to the community through this award. A goal we’re sure would make Dr. Dugoni proud.
Susan Hyde, DDS, MPH, PhD, UCSF School of Dentistry faculty member, was the 2007 CDA Foundation Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Faculty Award recipient. Dr. Hyde’s historical trail of accomplishments in dental education and organized dentistry, including her display of exceptional leadership, collaboration, and compassion, over the years proves her to be deserving of this faculty award.
Dr. Hyde is assistant adjunct professor at the University of California, San Francisco School of Dentistry, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, a member of the UCSF Center to Address Disparities in Children’s Oral Health and is the Project Director for its Acceptability Study of Preventive Interventions for Reducing Early Childhood Caries.
Colleagues describe her as “an exceptional, award-winning teacher and mentor” who “has contributed extensively to the new dental school curriculum and clinical activities.”
A pioneer in dental education and leadership, Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni held esteemed positions in organized dentistry, including that of president of the American Dental Association, American Dental Association Foundation, American Association of Dental Schools and American Dental Education Association. A graduate of San Francisco’s College of Physicians and Surgeons (the forerunner of University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry), he is credited with the development and management of many innovations that elevated UOP to national prominence, including the enhancement of the humanistic model of education.