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U-M Orthodontist Receives Major Award from ODA

Ann Arbor, MI — October 7, 2014 — A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s orthodontics program has been recognized for establishing a dental clinic in Ohio that serves children in need.

Dr. James Homon, who received a Master of Science in orthodontics from U-M in 1998, received the Ohio Dental Association’s Marvin Fisk Humanitarian Award for establishing KidSMILES, a clinic that meets the oral health care needs of children 18 and younger whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but do not have private dental insurance.  Started in December 2012, the clinic is staffed by volunteer dentists, hygienists and other dental professionals.  Each visit is $10, regardless of the services provided, including comprehensive dental care.

“I am humbled to receive this award, but it’s really a team award.  It is the result of the hard work and collective efforts that involved board members, our volunteers and generous contributors,” Homon said.  Although there are no immediate plans to establish similar clinics elsewhere, he said the long-term vision of KidSMILEs “is to expand to other cities in Ohio.”

U-M Orthodontics Education Lauded

Homon said his orthodontics education at Michigan made a lasting impression on him.  “It was more than learning how to become a great orthodontist,” he said.  “There was an emphasis on a greater responsibility to our profession, the dental community, advancing scientific research and helping patients, regardless of their ability to pay for the care they received.”

“I am proud of the education I received from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry’s Department of Orthodontics,” Homon added.  “The dedicated efforts of Drs. Lysle Johnston, James McNamara, other faculty and the entire staff were directly responsible for my well-rounded education and personal development.  That is something I will always appreciate.”

The Ohio Dental Association presents the Marvin Fisk Humanitarian Award to dentists who work to improve the oral health care needs of people of all ages and from all walks of life.