From left to right, Isaacs, Katsman, Burkhart, and Craig.
The four recipients of the 2017 Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction were introduced to the dental hygiene profession during a ceremony on August 11 in Chicago at the RDH Under One Roof conference.
The four recipients were:
- Nancy W. Burkhart, BSDH, EdD, of Charlotte, North Carolina
- Angela Craig, RDH, BSDH, of Edmond, Oklahoma
- Kyle Isaacs, RDHEP, BHS, of Monroe, Oregon
- Elina Katsman, RDH, of Toronto, Canada
Jackie Sanders, manager of professional relations at Sunstar Americas, presided over the ceremony. She told the audience of primarily dental hygienists that the award program “has recognized the achievements of dental hygienists.” She said Sunstar and RDH magazine have extended the award to 117 dental hygienists during the past 16 years.
In identifying characteristics of Award of Distinction recipients, Sanders said, “There are three key elements. A strong internal drive to make a difference, a positive attitude, and the will to face challenges with the purpose to succeed.”
Burkhart was praised for her work in educating dental hygienists on oral pathology. She is the co-author of the textbook, General and Oral Pathology for the Dental Hygienist, and she is the author of a monthly column on oral pathology for RDH magazine. She also serves as the co-host of the online International OLP Support Group, which supports people diagnosed with lichen planus and provides referrals to facilities all over the globe. The group currently has 6,500 members internationally.
Craig is concluding her third term as a member of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. She was praised for her work in serving as a liaison between the state’s dental board and the Oklahoma Dental Hygienists’ Association. A long-time provider of charitable dentistry, Craig currently works with other dental professionals affiliated with Delta Dental of Oklahoma in providing free dental care to schoolchildren in Oklahoma.
Isaacs was praised for her organization of volunteer efforts in rural Oregon, including health fairs and other community service activities. Recently, she co-wrote a pilot project for the state, the Oral Health Equity for Vulnerable Populations program, which targets residents in long-term care facilities. As a result, in 2015 she began working as an employee of Benton County, working with other health-care professionals in the community to improve access to dental care.
Katsman is the founder of the Smiles Foundation, which provides dental care and other services to residents in the Dominican Republic. The Smiles Foundation consists of 10 permanent and five mobile dental clinics in the Dominican Republic. The foundation also utilizes the skills of 187 employees and more than 500 volunteers, including staff in Toronto.
All four award recipients are featured in the September 2017 issue of RDH magazine.
Additional information about the Sunstar/RDH Award of Distinction should be addressed to Jackie Sanders, RDH, at Sunstar Americas via email at [email protected].