CDA Foundation honors UOP professor, program director

Allen Wong

The CDA Foundation has announced Allen Wong, DDS, EdD, as this year’s recipient of its Dr. Arthur A. Dugoni Faculty Award.

CDA established the award in 2004 in recognition of Dugoni’s accomplishments in dental education and organized dentistry. The award acknowledges and supports eligible faculty affiliated with the state’s six 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.

After graduating with his DDS from the University of the Pacific in 1986, Wong 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, 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.

“My love for our profession and desire to help teach future dentists and leaders makes me warm inside,” said Wong.

Wong was selected for the CDA Foundation’s 2014 award in part because of his ability to demonstrate 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, 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 Wong, who recently added perinatal care to the service and education of his students. 

Wong is also responsible for the establishment of a referral system and services offered at the local hospital for dentistry and for dental clearances of organ transplant and radiation therapy patients. In his role as director, Wong requires senior dental students to participate in the care of these patients through the Special Care Clinic and Hospital Dentistry Program.

“Helping individuals become professionals through education and experiences is key for the future of our profession,” said Wong. “I try to make learnable moments whenever possible.”

In addition to his proven leadership and compassion, 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.

“My philosophy is ‘either you are part of the solution or you are part of the problem,’” said Wong. “I also believe that we must practice what we preach in being generous in giving back our talents and resources.”

For more information on the CDA Foundation’s grant and scholarship programs, visit cdafoundation.org/receive.