Several people at the AAPD foundation podium. A little girl speaking into a microphone.Several people at the AAPD foundation podium. A little girl speaking into a microphone.

The Smile Newsletter: July 2022

Newsletter • July 2022

In Person, And In Touch With Dental Home Families

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Foundation returned to in-person events with a bang at AAPD 2022 in beautiful San Diego. More than 5,300 AAPD members, families, exhibitors and guests joined in on the learning and fun, making it an Annual Session to remember! 

The AAPD Foundation was proud to sponsor the amazing AAPD/AAPD Foundation Welcome Reception in the historic Gas Lamp District, which allowed the Foundation to share its mission of ensuring access to dental care for all kids regardless of their parents or caregiver’s ability to pay for treatment and services. Another highlight of the weekend was the Foundation’s donor appreciation reception, where guests got to hear directly from families whose lives have been touched by AAPD Foundation grants. 

Through the generosity and dedicated support of donors like you, the AAPD Foundation is now the nation’s largest dentist led charity dedicated to child oral health. Thanks to your support, the Foundation has provided more than $7 million dollars in grant commitments to 153 nonprofit clinics in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Because of you, more than 700,000 children have received the dental care they needed and might not otherwise have received were it not for the care provided by AAPD Foundation grant recipients. 

On behalf of the AAPD Foundation Board of Trustees, the recipients of Foundation grants, and the nearly one million kids in their care, thank you! 

We hope to see you again in Orlando, FL at AAPD 2023. In the meantime, to learn more about the difference you helped make, see our impact.

Several people at the AAPD foundation podium. A little girl speaking into a microphone.
Featured in picture left to right are: Jaszmin Kuhner, Cari Daniels, Shaylee Blackwell, April Chamchalaem, Ana Gomez, RDA, and Coty Wesley from Kids’ Community Dental Clinic in Burbank, CA, and Dr. Charlie Czerepak, Immediate Past President of the AAPD Foundation

Thank you, Dr. Charlie!

The AAPD Foundation Board of Trustees is grateful to Dr. Charles S. Czerepak, DMD, MS for his service as Foundation President from May 2020 through May 2022. His term was anything but typical given the uncertainties within the fundraising world during the global pandemic, but true to form, Dr. Czerepak’s compassionate leadership, charm, and irrepressible sense of humor guided the Foundation through the storm. 

Under Dr. Czerepak’s leadership, the AAPD Foundation has made nearly $8 million in new grants and commitments to clinics providing dental homes for underserved children. Actions taken during Dr. Czerepak’s term have ensured the AAPD Foundation is self-sustaining. This means when you support the AAPD Foundation, 100 percent of your gift benefits children directly. It is a legacy of which to be proud. 

Thank you Dr. Czerepak, for your unwavering commitment to children, and for your dedication to the advancement and sustained growth of the AAPD Foundation. 

Dr. Charles Czerepak speaking at the AAPD Foundation podium.

The AAPD Foundation is the third-largest foundation in organized dentistry.

Dr. Charles S. Czerepak, DMD, MS
A dentist performing teeth cleaning on young girl.

AAPD Foundation Makes $1.3 million in New Grant Commitments

The AAPD Foundation Board of trustees has approved $1.3 million in new Access to Care Grant commitments for the fiscal year ending June 30! Since 2010, the Foundation has supported community-based organizations and educational institutions nationwide in their efforts to provide Dental Homes for children from families who cannot afford care. 

Thirty-three organizations will receive single-year Access to Care Grants of up to $20,000, and we project that these awards will establish dental homes for more than 100,000 for kids in need. Three other exceptional organizations will receive Access to Care Grants of $225,000 over the three years that will help them to continue to lift barriers within their community and serve low-income children. 

Beginning July 29, 2022, through October 3, 2022, we will be accepting applications for one-year, $20,000 Access to Care Grants for awards to be issued in April 2023. All eligible organizations are encouraged to apply. Please visit for more information and open your application for 2023.

A dental hygienist and young girl giving thumbs up and smiles from dental chair.

Dr. Vineet Dhar, First Recipient of the Dr. Beverly A. Largent Access to Care Innovator Award

The AAPD Foundation awarded the inaugural Dr. Beverly A. Largent Access to Care Innovator Award, sponsored by Elevate Oral Care, during AAPD 2022 in San Diego. 

Dr. Vineet Dhar, BDS, MDS, PhD, was welcomed on stage during the AAPD Foundation Donor Appreciation Reception to receive the award from outgoing Foundation President Dr. Charles Czerepak, Dr. Beverly A. Largent, and Mr. Kevin Thomas of Elevate Oral Care. Dr. Dhar was recognized for his leadership, development, and promotion of programs that identify and reach out to children – who for reasons ranging from poverty to lack of documentation, need oral health care — so they can receive the care they need. 

The award also included a $10,000 grant for The University of Maryland School of Dentistry’s Oral Health for Uninsured, Underserved (OH-UUC) program, where qualified children receive comprehensive dental care with access to preventative, restorative, and emergency services. Congratulations to Dr. Dhar! 

The Beverly A. Largent Innovator Award recognizes an individual who embodies Dr. Largent’s passion, creativity, and commitment to provide Dental Homes to underserved children across the nation. Dr. Largent’s own commitment to the AAPD Foundation has led to grants to support public and nonprofit clinics providing care to underserved children. The AAPD Foundation is grateful to Dr. Largent for her many contributions to the Foundation’s Access to Care work. 

Two kids smiling and holding a cavity free sign.

Welcome Dr. Douglas B. Keck, DMD, MSHED, AAPD Foundation President

It is with great pleasure that the AAPD Foundation Board of Trustees welcomes Dr. Douglas B. Keck, DMD, MSHED, as AAPD Foundation President. A Foundation Trustee since 2010, Dr. Keck’s term will be from May 2022 through May 2024. 

During his time with the Foundation, Dr. Keck has served with distinction in various capacities, including as Chairman of the Development Committee, Treasurer of the Finance and Audit Committee, Secretary of the Executive Committee, and a valued member of the Nominations Committee. 

Dr. Keck is currently on staff at the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida in Naples. Given Dr. Keck’s considerable academic accomplishments, his professional experience in private practice, and his hands-on experience working with in a Federally Qualified Health Care Clinic, Dr. Keck brings with him to the role of President a well-rounded and authentic understanding of the challenges associated with ensuring access to quality dental care for the under and uninsured. We welcome you Dr. Keck, and look forward to supporting you in your role as President of the AAPD Foundation.

Doctor Dhar accepting award with Dr. Largent and Kevin Thomas.
Featured left to right are: Dr. Vineet Dhar, first ever recipient of the Dr. Beverly A. Largent Access to Care Innovator award, Dr. Largent, for whom this honor is named, and Kevin Thomas, Managing Member of Elevate Oral Care, the sponsors of the award.

From the President

I’ve heard it said that San Diego is known as “the city in motion,” and for those of us who attended AAPD 2022 last month, it sure felt that way during Annual Session. It was great being together again, learning, connecting, and reconnecting in person for the first time since AAPD 2019 in Chicago.

Walking through the AAPD/AAPD Foundation Welcome Reception in the Gas Lamp District it was impossible not to feel the positive momentum of pediatric dentistry. Our profession is vibrant, and the passion and enthusiasm we have for ensuring that all children have a Dental Home is contagious. 

As I begin my new role as Foundation President, I’m inspired by the dedication and generosity of AAPD members, especially those who showed their BIG love for little teeth during AAPD 2022 by making nearly $175,000 in new pledges to support our access to care mission. Despite challenging and uncertain economic conditions, our profession remains steadfast in its support of optimal oral health for all kids. 

Thanks to that dedication, and the leadership of my predecessor, Dr. Charlie Czerepak, the AAPD Foundation is stronger than it has ever been. While other foundations are forced to scale back their commitments, the AAPD Foundation continues to bridge the healthcare gap by providing critical support to nonprofit dental programs serving under and uninsured kids across Ameri- ca. Since 2010, the AAPD Foundation has provided nearly $8 million dollars in grants and commitments to 153 organizations that have delivered dental care to more than half a million kids. It’s a legacy to be proud of and you can be a part of it! 

This year, as you renew your AAPD membership you will have an opportunity to support the AAPD Foundation. If you have given in the past, THANK YOU. We hope you will consider continuing, and if possible, increasing your support. If you’ve never given to the Foundation, please consider it if you are able. When you give to the AAPD Foundation, 100 percent of your gift benefits children directly. 

As I begin my term as President, I am honored to have been chosen for this role. Join me, won’t you? Together we can ensure that every child has a Dental Home! 

Douglas B. Keck, DMD, MSHED 
AAPD Foundation

A portrait of AAPD Foundation president Douglas Keck.
An illustration of our Healthy Smile Hero, wearing a pink cape, purple mask and skirt, and holding a dental floss lasso.

Become a healthy smile hero!

With your help, we can give more children the dental care they need—and the healthy smile they deserve.