CDA elects dentist as new president

Nov. 18, 2009
Dr. Thomas Stewart is a Navy captain and dentistry veteran of more than 30 years.

SACRAMENTO, California-- Dr. Thomas Stewart, a Navy captain and dentistry veteran of more than 30 years, has been elected president of the California Dental Association.

As president, Dr. Stewart will continue CDA's mission of improving the oral health of Californians. He was installed in November 2009 at the CDA's House of Delegates meeting in Sacramento, and will serve a one-year term.

"CDA is truly fortunate to have a president of the caliber of Tom Stewart. Tom is visionary but his vision is tempered by his common sense," said Dr. Thornton A. D'Arc, long-time CDA volunteer leader.

Dr. Stewart has been a leader in dentistry since he graduated from Howard University College of Dentistry in 1972. He served four years in the U.S. Navy on active duty as a dentist, and then 19 years in the naval reserve. He retired as a captain in 1997.

Dr. Stewart has operated a practice in Bakersfield, Calif., since 1976. He has been a CDA member since that time and has held several leadership positions, including chair of the Dentists Insurance Company Board of Directors, a CDA-owned company.

"As I begin my year as president, I recognize the many challenges that face our profession and our service to the public, especially in these economic times," said Dr. Stewart.

"This year's state budget crisis resulted in the loss of two government programs that provided dental education and services to both low-income children and adults. This has had a tragic impact on the number of people who experience barriers to receiving dental care. Dentists must be the leaders, providing the expertise to develop solutions to this problem."

Dr. Stewart also has held leadership positions at the local and national level. He has been a member of the American Dental Association since 1976, and served on the ADA Council of Communications from 1994-95. He is a member of the Kern County Dental Society and served as president, six years as a trustee, and was a long-time member of the Board of Directors.

In addition to his DDS degree, Dr. Stewart received honorary degrees from the Pierre Fauchard Academy, the International College of Dentists and the American College of Dentists.

He has also been a Kiwanis Club member for 33 years, been a member of the Teen Challenge of Kern County Advisory Board for 23 years, and has been on the board for 20 years of S.T.E.P.S. (Special Treatment Education and Prevention Services)--a local drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation organization. He served S.T.E.P.S. two years as president.

The other individuals that took office at the CDA's House of Delegates meeting include:

Carol Gomez Summerhays, DDS – Immediate Past President
Andrew Soderstrom, DDS – President-elect
Daniel Davidson, DMD – Vice President
Lindsey Robinson, DDS – Secretary
Clelan Ehrler, DDS – Treasurer
Alan Felsenfeld, DDS – Speaker of the House
Kerry Carney, DDS – Editor

For more information, go to California Dental Association.

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