AAPD 2021 Awards


Distinguished Service Award- Dr. Reneida Reyes

The Distinguished Service Award is the most prestigious award given by the AAPD. Presented only when the AAPD Board of Trustees identifies a truly worthy recipient, the award recognizes individuals who have made a major contribution, on a national or international level, over their entire career to advocacy for children, improvement of children’s health or to a health profession related to children. The Miller Foundation supports this award.

Dr. Reneida Reyes is a pediatric dentist in Brooklyn, NY, and maintains a private practice. She earned her dental degree from Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine in 1978 and her master’s degree in public health from Harvard University School of Public Health in 1981. She completed a public health fellowship in maternal and Child Health at Harvard University School of Public Health. She went on to seek postdoctoral training at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston Massachusetts.

Dr. Reyes was elected President of the ADA Foundation (ADAF) Board of Directors from 2012-2016, leading the ADA Foundation in both its philanthropy programs and efforts related to ADA Foundation Dr. Anthony Volpe Research Center. Dr. Reyes has also served as a member of the prestigious Organization Committee of our Greater New York Dental Meeting. She was the district representative on the AAPD Political Action Committee Steering committee from 2007-2013 and AAPD PAC Chair, 2013-2017. She has been an active participant in AAPD public policy advocacy projects since 2010. Currently, she is chair of the AAPD President’s Task Force on Equity and Inclusion.

Dr. Reyes has received the Second District Dental Society Distinguished Service Award. This award is the most prestigious award and is periodically presented to a member of Second District Dental Society (SDDS) whose contributions to the Society and dentistry are truly outstanding. Since 1977, it has been awarded only on 13 occasions. Dr. Reyes has been elected to every position in the Society and the first woman president of the Society in its 160 year history.

With her collaboration with SDDS volunteers, her collaboration with the NYC College of Technology Dental Hygiene Program and the dental residents of the local hospital programs, her oral health education and screening programs have touched thousands of children and adults lives in the Brooklyn area.

Other awards she has received include Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Award- the Brooklyn Hospital Center Black History Medical Synergy, New York State Dental Foundation- Foundation of Excellence in Community Service Award, National Association of Health Services Executives- Women of Distinction Award, and Science Skills Center Incorporated- Minds in Motion Award.

Pediatric Dentist of The Year – Dr. Heber Simmons, Jr.

Established in 1998, this annual award honors a pediatric dentist who has made significant contributions to the dental profession and the specialty of pediatric dentistry through clinical practice, academics or policy development over the past year. Recipients will also have devoted extensive volunteer leadership service to the dental profession and the specialty. This award is sponsored by NuSmile.

Dr. Heber Simmons, Jr. currently serves as a special consultant to the AAPD Board of Trustees after serving as Congressional Liaison for the Academy since 1997. Dr. Simmons, who has now retired from active practice, practiced in Jackson, MS for 57 years and is a distinguished leader in dentistry, having served as past President of the AAPD, the American Academy of Dental Practice Administration, the Pierre Fauchard Academy and the Mississippi Dental Association.

Heber received the AAPD’s Distinguished Service Award in 1994 and the Ann Page Griffin Humanitarian Award in 2011. He has served on the ADA’s Board of Trustees and was an expert spokesperson for the ADA from 1981 to 2019, making numerous media appearances on such programs as “60 Minutes” and “Good Morning, America”. Heber received his dental degree from the University of Tennessee and completed his pediatric dentistry training there after serving for 3 years in the U.S. Army Dental Corps.

As AAPD Congressional Liaison, he has helped educate members of Congress and their staffs concerning oral health issues for children, testified before Congress and been an integral part of the AAPD’s advocacy efforts, which have raised more than $158 million for pediatric dentistry in the Title VII program. He has been a part of the Academy’s advocacy efforts such as legislative workshops and Washington, D.C. “Lobby Days”. Heber was awarded an AAPD Presidential Citation in 2001 in recognition of his successful efforts in obtaining additional funding for the pediatric dentistry Title VII program. At our 2020 Pediatric Oral Health Advocacy Conference, where he was the keynote speaker, the ADA awarded him a Presidential Citation in recognition and appreciation for his tireless and dedicated efforts of advocacy at the national level for our profession and the public in order to improve the oral health of America’s children. He has built strong relationships within a number of key Congressional offices and significantly contributes to the ongoing efforts of the AAPD’s Council on Government Affairs and PAC Steering Committee. If someone in D.C. is related to someone in dentistry or to Heber’s extended friends and families list, he usually finds that connection. Heber always says, “After all, advocacy is all about building relationships!”

Sponsored by NuSmile

Ann Page Griffin Humanitarian Award – Dr. Kevin J. Donly

The Ann Page Griffin Humanitarian Award is sponsored by Practicon, Inc. This award, established in May 2010 by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation, honors Ann Page Griffin, AAPD member and president and founder of Practicon. The award honors an AAPD member dentist who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to alleviating suffering and improving the oral health of underserved populations in the United States or abroad.

Dr. Kevin Donly is currently a Professor and Chair in the Department of Developmental Dentistry and Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.  He received his D.D.S. in 1984, Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry in 1986, and M.S. in 1986 from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Donly is a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, was on the Board of Trustees for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, was on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation, is the previous Chair of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Council on Post-doctoral Education, is Past-President of the American Society of Dentistry for Children and was the Pediatric Dentistry Commissioner to the Commission on Dental Accreditation. He is currently the Immediate Past-President of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.  He has published over 350 chapters, manuscripts and abstracts associated with pediatric dentistry, prevention, dental restorative materials research and clinical utilization.

Sponsored by Practicon


Jerome B. Miller “For the Kids” Award – Dr. David M. Avenetti

This award is presented annually to an up-and-coming clinician, researcher or academician in pediatric dentistry for their outstanding efforts directed to children’s oral health and welfare. The

Miller Award was established in May 2007 by AAPD Foundation, to honor former AAPD and Foundation President Dr. Jerome B. Miller for his many years of service to children, philanthropy and giving back to the profession of pediatric dentistry.

Dr. David Avenetti is the residency program director and a full-time Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A native of California (UCLA, DDS, 2010), he went on to seek public health focused training at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital (Cert/MS/MPH, 2013) before entering full-time academics after graduation from residency.

Dr. Avenetti is involved in clinical and didactic teaching, administration, research, and service; he provides direct patient care in an extramural practice one day per week. Dr. Avenetti is actively involved in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, currently serving as the Chair for the Council on Continuing Education and a member of the Council on Post-Graduate education in various capacities. He is a Fellow, spokesperson and graduate of the Kellogg Leadership Institute with the AAPD.

Dr. Avenetti’s current funded research activities include oral health promotion and reducing oral health disparities (NIDCR), leadership and professional development in pediatric dentistry (HRSA), and outcomes of pediatric general anesthesia for oral rehabilitation. Additional research interests include social determinants of health, access to care and oral health services, interprofessional and dental education, and application of leadership and business principles in the dental setting, among others.

Dr. Avenetti is thankful to the AAPD and its Foundation for their advocacy efforts around optimal children’s oral health and supporting patients/families, clinicians, residents, and educators through their mission and vision. He is thankful and honored to be recognized for this award.

Merle C. Hunter Leadership Award – Dr. Jade Miller

The Merle C. Hunter Leadership Award is presented to an AAPD volunteer who has provided exemplary leadership service in the volunteer structure of the organization over the past year. This award, established in 1998, honors the memory of Merle C. Hunter, AAPD Executive Director from 1968-1986.

Dr. Jade Miller is a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist whom since 1983 has maintained a private practice in Reno, Nevada. Dr. Miller has many other involvements outside of his dental practice.  He is a graduate of University of the Pacific, School of Dentistry and completed a residency at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dr. Miller is a Past President and Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He served as a Board of Trustees of the Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry as well as Western Society of Pediatric Dentistry. He is a Chairman of AAPD Committee on Safety, a Co-Congregational Liaison of the AAPD, and serves on the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure (CDEL).

Dr. Miller is a Past Chairman of Nevada State Board of Health, Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners, Past President and Examiner and Sedation Examiner. He is Past Chairman of the Committee on Anesthesiology for ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure, Past Chairman, ADA Continuing Education Recognition Program, and ADA Advisory Committee on Evidence-Based Dentistry.

He received the 2019 Pediatric Dentist of the Year from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Northern Nevada Dental Society and is Board Certified in Pediatric Dentistry. He is a member of the American College of Dentist, International College of Dentist, Academy of Dentistry International and Pierre Fauchard Academy. He served as Fellow of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry as well as the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland.

Manuel M. Album Award – NYU Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities

The Manuel M. Album Award is presented annually to the individual or organization that has made the greatest contribution to the oral health of children with special needs. The award, established in 1997, honors Manuel M. Album, who devoted an entire career in pediatric dentistry toward improving the oral health of children with special needs. The Album Society supports this award.

In February 2019, the NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities (OHCPD), an 8,000-square-foot center designed to provide dental care for people with physical, cognitive, and developmental disabilities, opened its doors. The OHCPD provides much-needed comprehensive care for patients whose disabilities or medical conditions prevent them from receiving care in a conventional dental setting.

“The NYU Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities addresses a major public health challenge by providing comprehensive, compassionate dental care for people with a full range of disabilities who experience significant barriers to accessing care,” said Dr. Charles N. Bertolami, the Herman Robert Fox Dean of NYU College of Dentistry. “Equally important, care at the center is ongoing. By providing dental care across each patient’s lifespan, the center aims to break the vicious cycle of neglect and repeated hospitalizations.”

Lewis A. Kay Excellence in Education Award – Dr. Marcio Guelmann

This award, established in 2011, honors the director of the pediatric dental program determined to best exemplify the dedication and values set forth by Dr. Lewis A. Kay: outstanding leadership; commitment to educating pediatric dental residents to provide children with comprehensive quality oral health care; and contributions to society and the profession of dentistry which bring recognition to their program. This award is sponsored by Pediatric Dental Associates, Ltd.

Dr. Marcio Guelmann is Professor, Chair and former Residency Program Director of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Florida (UF) in Gainesville, FL. His D.D.S. degree is from the Federal University of Parana, Brazil, in 1984 and his Certificate in Pediatric Dentistry is from the Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine in Jerusalem, Israel in 1988. While in Israel, Dr. Guelmann was in private practice and part-time academics for 10 years and served as President of the Israeli Society of Pediatric Dentistry from 1995 to 1998. He joined the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at UF in 2000. He became Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD) in 2006, served the Examination Committee from 2009 to 2017, chaired the Oral Clinical Examination in 2018 and is currently one of the Directors of the ABPD. In addition, Dr. Guelmann is Consultant and site-visitor for the Commission of Dental Accreditation, a Fellow of the American Dental Education Association Leadership Institute and former Executive Director for the Florida Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (2018-2019). He is the author and co-author of over 50 manuscripts and book chapters and reviewer for national and international pediatric dental journals.

Suzi Seale Coll Evidence-Based Dentistry Service Award – Dr. Elizabeth Gosnell

The Evidence-Based Dentistry Service Award, established in 2016 by the AAPD’s Evidence-Based Dentistry Committee (EBDC), recognizes pediatric dentist(s) who have made a major contribution, on a national or international level, to the dental profession and the specialty of pediatric dentistry through evidence-based clinical practice, academics or policy development over the past year. Nominees are solicited from the membership and considered by the EBDC, which shall make the final selection.

Dr. Elizabeth Gosnell is currently an Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She is a consultant to the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD), a reviewer for several dental journals, and current chair, Committee on Special Healthcare Needs of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). She is also a member of the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Professional Advisory Board. She is a fellow of the AAPD and a diplomate of the ABPD. Dr. Gosnell has made contributions to evidence-based dentistry and oral health guidelines through her publications, her work while serving on the AAPD Council on Clinical Affairs, which updates the AAPD Reference Manual of Pediatric Dentistry, and the AAPD Evidence-Based Committee on Behavior Guidance.

Paul P. Taylor Award – Dr. James Coll

The Paul P. Taylor award is given to the lead author of the most prestigious journal article in Pediatric Dentistry from the previous year. This award is determined by the AAPD Editorial Board and the AAPD Awards’ Committee. The Baylor Pediatric Dentistry Alumni Fund graciously supports this award.

This year’s award was presented for “A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Nonvital Pulp Therapy for Primary Teeth”. Pediatr Dent 2020;42(4):256-72.E11-E199.

The co-authors of the article were Drs. Kaaren Vargas, Abdullah A. Marghalani, Chia-Yu Chen, Shahad AlShamali, Vineet Dhar, and Yasmi O. Crystal.

Dr. James A. Coll is a clinical professor at the University of Maryland Dental School in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and a former member of the State Board of Dentistry of Pennsylvania and has been in private practice for 39 years in York, Penn. He has published numerous articles on primary tooth pulp therapy, and is a member of the Editorial Board and section editor for pulp therapy for Pediatric Dentistry.

Sponsored by Baylor Pediatric Alumni Fund