THE 2018 AMERICAN Association of Women Dentists conference, held over three days in early October in lovely Savannah, Georgia, was titled “Proper Positioning: Align Yourself for Success”—and scores of female dental colleagues from around the country gathered to network, collaborate, grow, refresh—and, yes, align themselves for even greater achievements still ahead.

The AAWD’s dynamic continuing-education conference—providing 12 hours of CEUs over two days—offered a high level of personalization in order to focus on the most pressing needs of women in dentistry today. There were lectures on endodontics by Dr. Anne Koch; “The Art of Scheduling,” by Dr. Leslie Pasco; and “Demystifying Pain and Fitness for Dental Professionals” by Dr. Bethany Valachi. A highly informative student session attracted the professionals of tomorrow from dental schools across the country. And of course attendees got to take advantage of some R&R during fun events at the Savannah Supper Club and at the “Spa’rty”—a winning combination of spa event and party, see?

            The unquestioned highlight of the weekend was the gala dinner and awards ceremony. The new board of directors and executive committee of AAWD 2019 were installed under the leadership of current AAWD president Dr. Tamara Berg and the incoming AAWD president, Dr. Brittany Bergeron. Student honorees of the Eleanor Bushee Award and Colgate Research Awards from various schools were named, along with the Student and Chapter of the Year awards.

Dr. Leslie Grant was honored with the prestigious Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award, having been nominated by AAWD member dentists Dr. Winifred Booker and Dr. Mary Teddy Wray, both past honorees of Incisal Edge’s Lucy Hobbs Awards.

The meeting also offered an opportunity for several former Lucy Hobbs honorees—Drs. Booker, Wray, Maria Maranga and me—to catch up. The weekend ended with AAWD member dentists and students celebrating all honorees and toasting the conclusion of yet another phenomenal event.

The next AAWD conference, “An Oasis of Collaboration,” will be held September 26–28, 2019, at the Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in Phoenix. To learn more about next year’s gathering and membership in the AAWD, please visit

About the author

KADY RAWAL is part of a faculty practice at Boston University’s Dental Health Center. In 2016, she was honored with the Lucy Hobbs Project’s Woman to Watch Award.