Dr. Beverly A. Largent Access to Care Innovator AwardDr. Beverly A. Largent Access to Care Innovator Award

Dr. Beverly A. Largent Access to Care Innovator Award

Sponsored by Elevate Oral Care®

Recognizing Excellence

The Access to Care Innovator Award seeks to recognize an individual whose passion and creativity allowed them to do more with less to provide dental care for underserved children. It also represents an opportunity for the Foundation to recognize an innovator of our own, the individual who took the first step in leading the Foundation into access to care: Dr. Beverly Largent.

Rewarding passion, commitment, and creativity

The Access to Care Innovator Award shines a light on someone making a big difference for little teeth

Their passion and commitment have led to creative solutions and problem-solving, allowing them to do more with less in order to provide dental care to underserved children.

This year’s winner will receive…

$10,000 Award

For their agency or organization that may be applied to any expense in support of Access to Care. (Upon receiving award, recipient must specify how the funds are being used).

A trip to AAPD 2024

Airfare and accommodations for the recipient and a guest to attend AAPD 2024 in Toronto, including two tickets to the AAPD Foundation donor recognition reception, where the award will be given.

A portrait of our winner Dr Nicole

Meet our winner, Dr. Nicole!

Dr. Nicole McGrath-Barnes is the Founder and CEO of KinderSmile Foundation, which she established in 2007 following a personal story of a patient in her own community of Montclair NJ, and reaffirmed after the heartbreaking death of Deamonte Driver, a 12 year-old boy from Prince George’s County, MD, who died from a tooth infection that traveled to his brain. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, KinderSmile Foundation’s mission is to provide underserved children and families with access to comprehensive dental care and educate underserved children and their families about the importance of dental hygiene, envisioning a future where every child has access to a dentist and dental diseases are eradicated.

Dr. Nicole vowed to not only make a difference in ensuring that all children have access to oral health care, but that a change in policy will be made for future generations. She is a tireless advocate of raising awareness of oral health inequities for racially, ethnically, and socioeconomically disadvantaged children, and is a leading NJ voice for reducing these disparities.

Dr. Nicole earned her dental degree from the University of Maryland and completed her residency program at UMDNJ in Newark, NJ. She successfully completed the Leadership Program in 2010 offered by the American Dental Association, Institute for Diversity in Leadership, in partnership with Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management. In 2017, Dr. Nicole became a Fellow of the American College of Dentists – the oldest national honorary organization for dentists, to which only 3.5% of U.S. dentists have the honor of being inducted. In 2022, she was named Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Champion in the state of New Jersey by the American Dental Association. Added to her list of awards, in 2024 Dr. Nicole became an award winning producer of KinderSmile Foundation’s film, Toothache: The Painful Truth About Oral Health Care Inequity, which was awarded the Best Home Grown Documentary Feature at the Garden State Film Festival.

With her continued drive and infectious passion Dr. Nicole continues to be an oral health champion and leader, going to great lengths for each and every child, perinatal mother, student, or staff member.

Overview & Award Requirements

Since 2010, the AAPD Foundation has issued over $10 million in grants and commitments supporting community-based organizations nationwide in their efforts to provide dental care for underserved children. Our grantees are led by committed, passionate, and creative individuals who often toil in anonymity, putting the needs of the children they serve ahead of everything else. The AAPD Foundation, along with Elevate Oral Care, established their award recognizing a deserving individual for excellence in providing dental care for children from families that cannot afford it. The Access to Care Innovator Award seeks to shine a light on a selected individual whose efforts are making a difference for children in his/her community.

Who is eligible?

  • Individuals currently affiliated with a current or previous AAPD Foundation Access to Care Grant recipient (staff member or volunteer), previous Access to Care Grant applicant, or other representative from a 501(C)(3) nonprofit clinic or dental school are eligible for consideration.
  • Anyone affiliated with the grantee organization (supervisor, colleague, Board member, grateful parent) may submit a nomination.
  • Nominees may be in direct care or supporting roles.
  • Individuals may self-nominate, however, third-party nominations are preferred.
  • Nominations for 2024 are now closed.
  • If you have any questions, please contact the AAPD Foundation’s Grants and Programs Assistant Manager Jasmine Williams at jwilliams@aapdfoundation.org or 773-938-4989, between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm CST.
Dr. Beverly A. Largent Polaroid

Meet Dr. Beverly A. Largent

During a Foundation Board of Trustees meeting in February 2008, Board members were asked to name their greatest wish for the Foundation. Dr. Largent made the statement that she wished to “wipe out caries in kids.” Her declaration not only changed the nature of the conversation that day, it put the Foundation on a course that allowed it to issue over $10 million in grants that helped more than 800,000 children.

As AAPD President-Elect and into her term as AAPD President, Dr. Largent chaired the Foundation’s business plan task force that outlined a strategy that included issuing grants to support clinics providing care to underserved children. This group evolved into today’s Grants and Programs Committee.

In recognition of Dr. Beverly Largent’s own innovation and as a means for thanking her for her many contributions to the Foundation’s Access to Care work, Elevate Oral Care is proud to support the Dr. Beverly A. Largent Access to Care Innovator Award.