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Anne Gwozdek receives national award from ADHA

Betty Kabel (left), Immediate Past President of the American Dental Hygienists' Association, presents Anne Gwozdek with the Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene during the organization's annual conference in Jacksonville, Fla.

Anne Gwozdek (center) with former School of Dentistry colleagues who nominated her for the ADHA award. They are (from left) Jane Halaris, Christine Farrell, Mary Layher and Wendy Kerschbaum.

Ann Arbor, Mich., June 22, 2017 -– The American Dental Hygienists’ Association has presented its Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene to Anne Gwozdek, a recently retired faculty member at the School of Dentistry.

The award was presented last week at the association’s 94th annual conference in Jacksonville, Fla.  It honors hygienists who are leaders in the advancement of dental hygiene and who demonstrate outstanding accomplishments that have an impact on the practice and future of the dental hygiene profession. Recipients must be actively involved with the ADHA and its constituents.

Gwozdek was a Clinical Assistant Professor and Director of the Dental Hygiene Graduate and Degree Completion Programs at the School of Dentistry when she retired in December after 15 years at the school.

Janet Kinney, Director of Dental Hygiene, said Gwozdek’s years of dedication, service and leadership to the program are exceptional.  “I’m sure that I can speak on behalf of all of our dental hygiene faculty and students when I say that we know how deserving Anne is of this distinguished award,” Kinney said. “During her career Anne has given so much to our school and our greater profession that it’s wonderful to see her recognized at this level for her dedication and contributions to dental hygiene.”

Gwozdek received a Certificate in Dental Hygiene from U-M in 1973, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in journalism and public relations from Madonna University in 1992, and a Master of Arts in educational media and technology from Eastern Michigan University in 2007. She was employed in clinical practice for 32 years before joining the School of Dentistry in 2001 as an adjunct faculty member.

Gwozdek has served in a variety of leadership roles in the ADHA, the Michigan Dental Hygienists’ Association and the Detroit District and Washtenaw District Dental Hygienists’ Societies, including serving as MDHA President from 1999-2000. She was involved with drafting legislation that added two dental hygienists to the Michigan Board of Dentistry, as well as changes that allow the administration of local anesthesia and nitrous oxide by dental hygienists.  More recently, she has been an advocate for dental therapy legislation in Michigan.

Gwozdek led a team of faculty in the development of the online delivery of the Degree Completion Program, launched in 2008, and the online Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Program, started in 2012. She directed both programs until her retirement. She collaborated with the U-M School of Social Work to address the oral health care needs of the vulnerable and underserved, an initiative that led to the development of a Social Work course preparing students for working with these populations, which is now a part of the dental hygiene curriculum.

Gwozdek’s research with colleagues and students has resulted in more than 40 published manuscripts, in addition to numerous posters and presentations, many of which received awards. She was also recognized as the ADHA’s Student Chapter Advisor of the Year in 2007 and the Philips Sonicare RDH Mentor of the Year in 2013.

The ADHA Award for Excellence, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, Consumer Inc., includes a $2,500 award. Founded in 1923, the ADHA is the largest national organization representing the professional interests of the 185,000 registered dental hygienists across the country.


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:
Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communication, at, or (734) 615-1971.