WDA recognizes 12 for contributions to dentistry, public oral health

Downloadable high/low-res photos of recipients on Flickr

Mequon general dentist Dr. Dennis Engel receives lifetime achievement honor

WEST ALLIS, WIS., Nov. 19, 2013 – Mequon resident and general dentist Dr. Dennis Engel is the 2013 Wisconsin Dental Association Lifetime Achievement Award recipient in recognition of his significant contributions of time, energy and expertise to organized dentistry throughout his 38-year career.

He was among 10 individuals and two organizations presented with Pyramids of Pride by the 3,200-member statewide professional dental organization on Nov. 15 at the Madison Marriott West in Middleton.

Engel has demonstrated significant, personal commitment to the dental profession through leadership positions at the local, state and national levels.

Active with the Greater Milwaukee Dental Association and Washington Ozaukee County Dental Society, he served as WDA president from 2003-2004 and three terms as WDA editor from 1994-2002 and 2006-2010. He recently concluded a four-year term representing his 9th District colleagues in Wisconsin and Michigan on the American Dental Association Board of Trustees.

Engel, a certified dental editor, is editor of the International College of Dentists – Wisconsin Section and serves on the editorial board for the Journal of the ADA. His writing and editing have been recognized with multiple awards from the ICD and American Association of Dental Editors.

A 1975 graduate of Marquette University School of Dentistry, he is also a member of the American College of Dentists and a fellow of the ICD and Pierre Fauchard Academy.

Dr. Ronald Stifter of Saukville is this year’s WDA Foundation Philanthropic Award recipient. During 21 years on the foundation board, Stifter served as fundraising chair and retirement seminar co-chair. He is a tireless volunteer having worked countless silent auctions, raffles and golf outings, as well as providing substantial in-kind donations. For years, he provided charitable care through the WDA Mission of Mercy and Donated Dental Services program and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Dental Clinic in Milwaukee.

Community Outreach Award recipients include Wisconsin residents Dr. Debra Palmer of Racine, Dr. Robert Dillman of Lake Geneva and Robert Glass of Neenah.

Palmer, a 1987 MUSOD grad with a general dental practice, is a leader in assisting the needy locally and worldwide. She volunteers at the Racine Health Care Network and has organized 21 dental/medical mission trips to the Amazon, Argentina, Guatemala, Indonesia, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Dillman was a local co-chair of the 2013 WDA Mission of Mercy. A general dentist, he has served on the Walworth County Community Health Improvement Plan and Process Committee and is a member of the Open Arms Free Clinic board. He donates care to adult patients with disabilities through the Inspiration Ministries Clinic in Fontana and has participated in dental missions to Haiti. 

Glass has been executive director of Appleton’s Tri-County Community Dental Clinic since 2008. During his tenure, the annual value of care delivered to low-income Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago county residents grew to $3 million. The facility was expanded and a “Focus on the Children” program launched. Glass has increased financial support of TCCDC and built good working relationships with MUSOD and Fox Valley Technical College.

Kwik Trip and KLS Martin Co. have been named Friends of Dentistry for ongoing contributions to WDA Mission of Mercy events. Since 2009, the La Crosse-headquartered Kwik Trip has provided beverages, fresh fruit, bakery and snacks for thousands of patients and MOM volunteers. KLS Martin Co. made a significant donation of oral surgery electric hand pieces.

Kenosha resident and orthodontist Dr. Jane Wright is the New Dentist Leadership Award recipient. Wright is a MUSOD alum having earned her dental degree in 2009 and orthodontics specialty in 2011. During that time, she was active in the American Student Dental Association. Today, Wright is president-elect and program chair for the Kenosha County Dental Society. In addition to her private practice, she teaches part-time in MUSOD’s orthodontic graduate program, volunteers with WDA Mission of Mercy and Give Kids A Smile® events and is politically active on behalf of oral health issues.

Wauwatosa resident Dr. Monica Hebl is recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Mentoring. A general dentist with a practice in Milwaukee, Hebl participates in the WDA-MUSOD-PFA Mentor Program and is active politically at the local, state and national levels. She is a past-president of the GMDA and WDA and most recently chaired the ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations

Beloit resident and general dentist Dr. Edward Chiera and Wisconsin Dells resident and general dentist Dr. David Clemens received WDA Political Action Awards.

Chiera is politically active at the local and state levels of organized dentistry and is vice chair of the WDA Legislative Committee. His personal outreach to state legislators has made Chiera a valuable and trusted resource on dental health issues.

Clemens is recognized for his leadership of the Wisconsin Dental Political Action Committee and eight-year tenure on the WDA Legislative Committee. He was instrumental in helping secure a lead co-sponsor of recent major WDA legislation.

Award of Honor recipient Kathleen Hess is an Oconomowoc resident with more than 20 years experience in designing and creating visual content. She has worked with the WDA since 2001, helping produce numerous award-winning print publications and educational materials for state association members, patients and the general public.