2020 has been a doozie so far, hasn’t it? And as the nation continues the process of recovery from all that has been dealt out so far this year, the American Dental Association is making plans to give one of its highest humanitarian awards next year.

Nominations for the 2021 ADA Humanitarian Award can be made through Sept. 15, 2020. This year’s focus will be on domestic service and will come with $10,000 to be given to the dental charity or project of the recipient’s choice. For 2021, the ADA Board of Trustees is modifying the award just a little to highlight volunteer participation in care programs within the U.S., with the change prioritizing sustainable dental health programs that benefit communities stateside, not anywhere in the world.

The ADA Humanitarian Award traditionally has recognized member dentists who have dedicated a minimum of 10 years to improving the oral health of underserved populations both stateside and/or overseas. This honor goes to someone who has contributed to alleviating human suffering and has exhibited notable leadership in the field of dentistry.

“The Humanitarian Award is one of the highest honors the Association bestows on an individual,” said Dr. Richard A. Stevenson, chair of the ADA Council on Advocacy for Access and Prevention. “Every year, the recipient’s actions continue to inspire the rest of us to fulfill the most meaningful aspirations of the profession by helping those who need care when so often it can be hard to be found.”

Criteria for Award Nomination

Dr. Stevenson looks forward to learning about all the dentists across the country who are making a difference every day. “Volunteerism often brings out the best of all of us,” he said.

Criteria for the 2021 ADA Humanitarian Award include:

  • Demonstrate significant leadership and outstanding humanitarian volunteer accomplishments that bring honor to the profession of dentistry
  • Contribution to alleviating human suffering and improving the quality of life and oral health of individuals in the U.S.
  • Exhibit a commitment to humanity and selflessness without regard to direct personal or organizational gain or profit
  • Serve as an inspiration to the dental profession, colleagues and patients
  • Establish a legacy and/or sustainable program that has ongoing value and benefit to others

How to Nominate Someone for the ADA Humanitarian Award

Anyone may nominate any active, life or retired ADA member in good standing by submitting a nomination for consideration. The nomination does not have to come from a dental professional. Even patients can nominate someone! Any nominations received after the Sept. 15 deadline will be placed on file for consideration the following year.