September 2021 Volume LVI Number 5


AAPD Resident Recognition Awards

July 2018 Volume LIII Number 4

 AAPD Resident Recognition Awards
     The AAPD Pediatric Dental Resident Committee developed the Resident Recognition Award to recognize pediatric dental residents doing innovative and interesting activities in their training programs. Selected residents are awarded with a monetary prize, featured on the AAPD website, featured in Pediatric Dentistry Today (PDT), and recognized at the awards ceremony during the annual AAPD meeting.
     Winners are chosen based on activities during residency that contribute to one or more of the following fields: patient care, education (i.e., teaching), research, and community service. Innovation, time commitment, and significance of service to others are the primary factors consid- ered in the selection process.
Dr. Sara Ehsani
The University of Connecticut
     Since dental school, Dr. Sara Ehsani has distinguished herself through a significant and ongoing education com- mitment. Her teaching experience in- cluded tutoring pre-dental students on dental procedures. Additionally, she was
Lab Teaching Assistant for ASDA, which included tutoring in Sim Lab on endodontic and restorative procedures. In her residency, she played a leadership role in developing new opportunities for dental students. Although part of this effort was a component of her Chief Resident administrative and teaching role, she initiated those activities early in her residency and continued them throughout her training. Through weekly clinical sessions, she aimed to improve students’ pe- diatric rotation experience. She presented new ideas, assignments and treatment cases to prepare students for treating patients with special needs and complex medical histories. Also, with the encouragement from her program director, she has shown exemplary initiative by designing a 170-page clinic handbook, outlining guidelines and poli- cies for the incoming residents. The handbook consists of contact in- formation, clinical exam and treatment planning steps, administration of antibiotics, drug prescriptions, sedation preparation, orthodontic evaluation, assessment of trauma and on-call policies and procedures.
     From the first year of residency she started collaborating with representatives of educational oral health services, esthetic crown companies and insurance agents. Through these channels, she helped establish seminars for her co-residents on pre-veneered and zirconia crowns, optimal oral hygiene habits, practice management, disability and professional liability insurance, and financial planning. Addition- ally, she was the recipient of  the 2018 NuSmile Summit Scholarship, which provided her with unique learning opportunities.
     Through research, she has developed the appetite for promoting healthy dental habits and targeting disparities in caries incidence.  One of her greatest accomplishments is publishing 11 articles in vari- ous topics, including laser, pediatrics, implants, dental materials, and radiology. She was the primary investigator in five of  her publications. She presented her research, in oral and poster formats, at 14 dental conferences. In residency, her research has focused on oral health literacy. The data has been finalized and accepted for presentation in My Kid’s Dentist Research Poster Competition and Graduate Student Research Award at AAPD 2018 in Hawaii.
     Furthermore, she has volunteered in outreach activities, educa- tional lecture series, and innovative hands-on demonstrations. In dental school, she organized "Give Kids a Smile Day", Saturday health-fairs and sealant trips to underserved areas. In residency, she continued her commitment to raise oral health awareness by col- laborating with Child Health and Family Resource Clinic at Con- necticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) to help families find a dental home. Through establishing those health-fairs she was able to bring smiles to hundreds of underprivileged families and those with special needs. The health-fairs have been a huge success and continue every month. In addition, she has taken the initiative to expand her knowledge and experience by attending educational dental meetings, including Connecticut Society of  Pediatric Dentistry and CCMC meetings, Texas Dental Association 2017 meeting, AAPD Sedation and Comprehensive Review courses. Recently, she attended the Connecticut Oral Health Initiative’s Annual Advocacy Conference to become more involved in advocating for oral health and access to care issues in children, adolescents and patients with special needs. These experiences have strengthened her passion to promote oral health knowledge.
Dr. Brianna Muñoz
The University of Connecticut Community and Public Service
     Dr. Brianna Muñoz is the first com- bined certificate/MPH resident at the University of Connecticut, and she has set the bar incredibly high. Muñoz will not only graduate with her MPH, but
also with a Certificate of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies in Public Health. She chose this extra certificate to further explore the multidi- mensional nature of public health as it relates to health care, society, culture, politics, economics, history, legislation, education, and social attitudes affecting persons with disabilities. Her goal is to impact policy in oral health for all children irrespective of race, ethnicity, income, or health status.
     In pursing this aim, Muñoz is a board member for the Connecti- cut Society of Pediatric Dentistry as well as a representative on the Connecticut State Dental Association Legislative Council. This re- quires her to attend all board and legislative meetings. She serves our profession very well, and her desire to advocate for children is genu- ine. In the future, Muñoz will be a leader in this field as she is truly passionate and committed to continuing her work post-graduation.
     Muñoz has instructed clinical lab exercises within the undergradu- ate curriculum, consistently scored high marks on her evaluations, and delivered seminar presentations that have been engaging and well researched. In light of this, she was selected to deliver a keynote seminar at the Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Society of Dental Assistants. In addition, Muñoz has created an Emergency Room protocol to address and correct certain deficiencies that had been noted. This has significantly improved management of after hour emergencies.
     There is no doubt that Muñoz is an excellent provider and always takes any assigned responsibility to the next level. She has continu- ously created connections with other hospital departments to facilitate multidisciplinary relationships. She has spent a significant amount of time coordinating with ENT to routinely schedule tonsillectomies in conjunction with oral rehabilitation surgeries. This accomplishment minimized the overall exposure of general anesthesia to countless children. It has been a significant undertaking to identify patients
in need of other surgeries and to collaborate with various hospital departments. Balancing this task in addition to her other duties has been an admirable feat.
Dr. Gail Silveira
The University of Tennessee
     Dr. Gail Silveira has been exemplary in her efforts at mentoring pre-doctoral dental students. Dental Education has entered an era of declining numbers of pediatric patients needing restorative treatment.  It has necessitated finding
creative ways to provide clinical experience for our students. Silveira has engaged pre-doc students almost daily, inviting those who have patients who fail their appointments to join her in the graduate clinic. She redeems the broken appointment, making it a teaching time. She allows the student doctor to treat her patients under her direct supervision. These efforts are self-generated and aimed at enriching the student’s clinical experience. She has participated in almost every clinical outreach program the University of Tennessee has sponsored. At these you never find her treating patients alone. She always has students at her elbow. The motivation for this recommendation is my observation of self-sacrificing actions aimed at the dental student’s enrichment.
     Silveira has a complete grasp of clinical dentistry and is a very competent clinician. She completed a GPR and worked in private practice, so she has a wealth of experience to share with the students. She is extremely knowledgeable of all phases of pediatric dentistry. Her knowledge of dental literature is outstanding. She has excellent behavior management skills and is well liked by the children and parents. She is happy to teach this to students.
     Silveira genuinely has a passion for dentistry, providing excellent care, and sharing her knowledge with others. She is willing to do whatever she needs to do to teach and show the students so that they can learn. This one-on-one attention is a unique service that we are able to provide our students, only because of her willingness to give, and when she graduates in June, the loss will be felt.

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