May 2019 Volume LIV Number 3


Donor Profile: Dr. James Nickman

September 2013 Volume XLIX Number 5

NORTH OAKS, Minn. Editor's note: This is one in a series of occasional interviews featuring Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children donors.


Dr. Jim Nickman maintains a private practice in the Twin Cities and teaches part-time at the University of Minnesota, where he earned his D.D.S. and M.S. degrees. Nickman has been a member of the AAPD since 1999, a Diplomate of the ABPD since 2002, and he just completed his term representing District IV on the AAPD board of trustees. An avid volunteer and supporter of many causes, Nickman also served as a volunteer for the first HSHC Dental Home Day last May.
He and his wife, Jean, became members of the Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children President's Circle of donors this past summer. Together they have three children: Beth, Kyle and Noah.
Nickman shared some of his views on why volunteering, service and giving are important to him.
Q: With all you do - practice, family, etc. - why do you dedicate so much of your free time for volunteer work?
A: I feel that I have been truly blessed to have the opportunity to do what I do. Dentistry is my second career. Unfortunately, children cannot choose the household that they are born into or conditions that they are born with. I believe strongly that all children deserve a great start in life, which includes good oral health. I believe this is one way that we all can pay back to our communities for the blessings that we have received.
Q: We know many pediatric dentists are involved in all kinds of volunteer activities, why do you think that is?
A: I think that it is part of a pediatric dentist's DNA. In general, pediatric dentists tend to be very social and active worker bees. They also tend to have big hearts.
Q: What are some of the causes that are near and dear to you, and why?
A: I like to support charities that benefit children and those with special health care needs. My mother had multiple sclerosis. Growing up watching the challenges that she endured inspired me to contribute my time, talent and treasure to make someone else's life a little easier.
Q: Is there anything in particular that drew you to Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children?
A: I have been impressed with the growth and development of HSHC and the results of ensuring that the children have longterm access to oral health care. Some charities have focused on relieving pain and I'm always concerned about the health of the child "after the circus leaves town." HSHC appears to be taking that into account when selecting their grants and project proposals. The recent Dental Home Day in Orlando is a great example of this in that funding is in place to address the oral health needs of the children seen for next 12 months.
Q: In addition to volunteering your time, you also make financial contributions to your selected organizations. What motivates you to contribute your time and money?
A: Again, I am blessed that I make a good living doing what I love to do and feel that the impact of my efforts usually make a difference in someone's life. I contribute my time, talent and treasure to my favorite causes as a way of paying back those who made my life possible.
Q: Please describe a notable favorite volunteer moment.
A: I have a lot of favorite volunteer moments. At a volunteer event in Mankato, Minn., last year, we were able to provide and complete the treatment needs for a mother and her three children. After the family left our area, the mom returned and personally thanked all of the people who participated in her family's treatment. The genuine smile and tears of appreciation on her face made it all worthwhile.