What Is the AAWD?: Women Advancing Dentistry

In 1921, 12 young women who shared similar interests and traits decided to form a new organization � the Federation of American Women Dentists.

In 1921, 12 young women who shared similar interests and traits decided to form a new organization — the Federation of American Women Dentists. In 1928, the name was changed to American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD). The goal of AAWD was to "promote the interests of the women dentists of the United States of America and bring them into closer touch with each other." In 1922, the AAWD held its first meeting the day before the ADA Annual Session. AAWD numbered 95 members.

Eighty-one years later, AAWD is a dynamic, growing organization designed to capture the strength and skills of women in dentistry to enhance the field. The mission of AAWD is "to provide a global network of mentoring and support for women dentists in their professional growth, academic endeavors and personal lives." AAWD encompasses all aspects of dentistry: all specialties, dentists, dental educators, students, federal services, and international dentists.

The AAWD Web site is the leading resource for women in dentistry. It includes a members-only section and a consumer section. Our Web site — www.womendentists. org — provides consumers with a way to locate women dentists in their area. Members also can set up their own pages to promote their practices. For our members, we provide discussion forums on dentistry, research, education, networking, and women's health issues.

Our latest addition is a Supplier Directory, which allows AAWD members to view products and services from suppliers that are pertinent to dentistry. The Supplier Company receives a page on our Web site within the directory plus five targeted links to their Web site. This directory is available to members and all site visitors.

The Annual Meeting and Conference provides scientific, practice management, and technical sessions over a two-day period. Sessions on women's health are also a feature. CEU credit is provided. The conference is not only an educational event. Networking and idea exchange are major aspects of the conference, as well, elevating the spirit of women dentists.

AAWD is pleased to count among its current and past membership some of the most well-known women in dentistry. Drs. Gillette Hayden and Grace Spaulding were co-founders of the American Academy of Periodontology. Dr. Geraldine Morrow was the first woman to be elected president of the American Dental Association. Dr. Dushanka Kleinman is deputy director of the National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). Dr. Mary Martin, past president of the Smiles for Success Foundation, was selected to participate in the fifth class of Hedwin van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) and is associate dean of Clinics at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. Dr. Judith McFadden is past president of the American Association of Dental Editors and Co-Founder of AAWD's Smiles for Success Foundation. Dr. Pricilla Hamilton is commander of the 561st Medical Company in the U.S. Army, and Dr. Linda Niessen, who now works for Dentsply and is a well-known presenter at many dental associations. Dr. Margaret Scarlett, past president of AAWD, is the managing editor of the Woman Dentist Journal. The list is endless.

AAWD provides two award programs and one loan program for students. The Colgate-Palmolive Research Award is given to 10 outstanding junior/senior women who have excelled in academics and research in the dental field. This monetary award is given every spring and is sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive. The second award is the Eleanor Bushee Senior Student Dental Award. This award is provided to all dental schools to select an outstanding senior dental student. Each senior student selected to receive this award is presented with a certificate from AAWD.

The Gillette Hayden Memorial Fund program is a loan program to junior/ senior dental students. Loans of up to $2,000 are given to students who meet certain criteria.

The Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award, the highest honor bestowed on a member of AAWD, is presented in recognition of significant service to dentistry on the basis of achievement in civic, cultural, humanitarian and academic areas. Past recipients of the Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award are: Dr. Mary Hayes (2001), Dr. Barbara Moussel (2000), Dr. Samia Elias (1999), Dr. Linda C. Niessen (1998), Dr. Eva C. Dahl (1997), Dr. Dushanka Kleinman (1996), Dr. Jeanne K. Sinkford (1995), Dr. Leanore K. Feine (1994), Dr. Jean Campbell (1993), Dr. Eleanor Bushee (1992), and Dr. Helyn Luechauer (1991).

The Col. Jeanne Hansen-Bayless Federal Service award is awarded for outstanding leadership and achievement in the Federal Services, which includes the Veterans Administration, Public Health Service, Army, Air Force, and Navy.

AAWD holds its annual Awards Program, which includes supplier tabletop exhibits, in conjunction with the ADA Annual Session.

AAWD's mentoring program provides assistance, guidance, and mentoring to dental students and practicing dentists in a variety of areas. Members volunteer their time in many different ways; some of the topics are associate partnership set-ups, practice purchases, state board exams, practice management, and advice on whether or not to specialize.

The AAWD Bed and Breakfast program assists members and students going on professional trips with housing locations. This program also helps students find housing when moving for a residency or graduate program.

Through AAWD's mentoring and bed and breakfast programs, Web site, expanded annual meeting and conference, newsletter, and awards program, women dentists and dental students receive the tools they need to meet their professional goals.

Smiles For Success Foundation

AAWD's Smiles For Success Foundation was established in 1995 by Drs. Judith McFadden and Donna Rumberger. This volunteer program offers free dental care to women graduates of accredited job readiness and placement programs or other community-based agencies. See more about Smiles on Page 9.

AAWD advances women in dentistry through many mediums. AAWD strives to educate, inform, and support women in all facets of dentistry. To find out more, visit www.women dentists.org, or write to 645 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611, phone (800) 920-AAWD.

These are just a few of the tangible benefits you will receive. There is so much more that will enrich your mind and spirit that cannot be put into words. If you are a member, then you know. If you aren't, come experience an organization made just for you!

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