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U-M Alumna Receives First Gribben Award

Ann Arbor, MI — May 19, 2015 — Dr. Laura Norris, who earned her dental degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry last spring, is the first recipient of the Patrick Gribben Community Commitment Award.

The $25,000 award recognizes her efforts to provide oral health care to children and adults in underserved areas of Michigan.  Established by the Delta Dental Foundation, the $25,000 award honors Gribben’s achievements during the 25 years he was president and chief executive officer of Delta Dental of Michigan and later the Delta Dental Fund, which is dedicated to improving the oral and overall health of children and adults.

Norris was selected for the award by School of Dentistry faculty based on her commitment to work for at least a year in underserved communities.  For the past year, she has been practicing at Cherry Health in downtown Grand Rapids.

“I’m honored to have been selected as the first recipient of the award,” Norris said.  Since last July, Norris said she has treated more than 1,100 patients.  “It’s been very rewarding to be able to offer care to people who may not otherwise have the opportunity or access to dental care,” she said.  Norris said she plans to continue practicing at Cherry Health.

The Gribben Award will be presented to a student from the U-M School of Dentistry who has demonstrated a commitment to community service by agreeing to practice in a federally designated Health Professional Shortage Area in Michigan for at least one year.