The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry has been honored with the 2008 Shils Award for being an outstanding transformational leader and demonstrating a commitment to promoting public oral health awareness by developing innovative and entertaining educational programs for children. The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Education Fund presented the award on June 17, 2008. The Museum was commended for its dedication to connecting the ideas of good oral health and a healthy life through its national and local programs and web site, ensuring that people take an active interest in their personal oral healthcare
"The National Museum of Dentistry makes a national impact educating the public about the importance of good oral health to a healthy life," said NMD Executive Director Rosemary Fetter. "We are extremely honored to be recognized for innovative programming that is affecting the oral health of children across the country."
At its historic location in Baltimore, smile-inspiring hands-on exhibitions encourage good oral health habits and celebrate the heritage and future of dentistry. The Museum is renowned for its collection of treasured objects from the dental profession, including its most famous artifact, George Washington's lower denture. In-house educational exhibits include a learning laboratory that provides elementary-age children an opportunity to "visit" a dentist's office and features a child-size dental chair, lab coats, pretend X-rays and hands-on models that explore how to brush and floss, steer clear of the dangers of tobacco, eat healthy, and explore careers in dentistry.
Online, the MouthPower program shares the power of a healthy smile with children across the country through an entertaining and educational web experience developed in partnership with the American Dental Association. It is accessible in English and Spanish and has been visited by more than 250,000 unique visitors to date.
A Traveling Exhibition Program to other museums and venues throughout the United States and Canada has reached a national audience of more than 2 million people to further educate the public with engaging information about dental history and oral health.
The Dr. Edward B. Shils Entrepreneurial Education Fund was founded in 2002 to recognize outstanding entrepreneurial initiatives that educate the community at large on the impact of oral health or provide educational opportunities for those in the dental industry and profession. It operates under the administration of the American Dental Association Foundation. This year's 2008 Shils Award recipients included the National Museum of Dentistry, DENTSPLY International, Dr. Robert Klaus, and Cherilyn G. Sheets, DDS.
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