Ann Arbor, MI — October 25, 2012 — Three University of Michigan School of Dentistry dental hygiene alumnae received major awards for their contributions to the profession during the annual House of Delegates meeting of the Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association (MDHA).
Karen Essell — Frances Shook Award
Karen Essell (BSDH 1969) was recognized for a career of mentoring on-campus dental hygiene students and those in the online Degree Completion Program, advocating for oral health care services for youngsters in the Head Start Program in Washtenaw County, and providing opportunities for the underserved to receive oral health care.
During her 36 years of service in private practice, Essell was an active member of the Washtenaw District Dental Hygienists’ Society (WDDHS), MDHA, and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA). She served as president, trustee, delegate, and board member of WDDHS; was a member of MDHA’s Membership Council and the organization’s historian; and served as an ADHA delegate.
After “retiring” from clinical practice in 2006, Essell continued her active participation in dental hygiene and helped developed the Smiles for a Lifetime Fluoride Varnish program. Since 2007, the program has provided oral screenings and fluoride varnish treatments twice a year, reaching 600 preschoolers in the five Washtenaw County Head Start locations. The program has been funded with grants and donations Essell acquired.
Essell is an adjunct faculty member in the dental hygiene program at the School of Dentistry, an advisor to the Student Chapter of ADHA, and is the WDDHS liaison to the School’s dental hygiene program.
Named for a 1921 graduate of the School of Dentistry’s first dental hygiene class, the MDHA’s Frances Shook Award is presented to a person with 15 years of continuous active MDHA membership, at state and local levels, and at least15 years of clinical practice.
Allison Restauri — Washtenaw District Dental Hygienists’ SocietyOutstanding RDH of the Year Award
A graduate of the School of Dentistry’s degree completion program in 2011, Allison Restauri received the Outstanding Registered Dental Hygienist of the Year Award for her active involvement in WDDHS as well as for leadership roles with both MDHA and ADHA.
As a student in the dental hygiene program, Restauri was chosen as an ADHA District Five Alternate Student Delegate in 2010. That year she also participated in the ADHA’s Center for Lifelong Learning and was a member of the House of Delegates during the ADHA’s annual session in Las Vegas. A year later, she accepted an invitation to serve as WDDHS Trustee and faculty advisor to the U-M Student Chapter of ADHA. She has served on the Michigan Dental Association’s annual session planning committee for last two years.
Elizabeth Easter — MDHA Springboard Award
The Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association presented its Springboard Award honorable mention to Elizabeth Easter (BSDH 2012). Presented annually to a recent graduate who is now an active MDHA member, the recipient must have served as a student delegate to the MDHA House of Delegates or served as an officer in their student chapter of ADHA.
Easter was active in the U-M Student Chapter of ADHA during the three years she was in the School of Dentistry’s dental hygiene program. She served as secretary in her junior year and president during her senior year. She was also a student delegate to the MDHA’s House of Delegates in 2010 and 2011.
As a dental hygiene student, Easter worked with the Great Start Fluoride Varnish program and participated in independent study at the Michigan Center for Oral Health Research. At graduation she received the Pauline Steele Leadership Award for demonstrating outstanding leadership as a U-M student.
“The University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s dental hygiene program and alumni are immensely proud of Karen, Allison, and Elizabeth for representing U-M so honorably,” said Janet Kinney, director of the dental hygiene program. “Each of these remarkable dental hygienists has unselfishly given back to the community and served in leadership roles in our professional organization.”
The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care, and community service. General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the School to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan. Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia, and public agencies. Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide. For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at: www.dent.umich.edu.