Benco Dental announces six women in dentistry earning Lucy Hobbs Project Awards for 2018

Posted on July 3, 2018

From standing ovations and inspirational messages, to opportunities for education and giving back, The Lucy Hobbs Project® 6th annual Celebration will create an uplifting experience for its attendees. The three-day event, inspired by the first woman to earn a degree in dentistry in the U.S., heralds the extraordinary accomplishments of women in this ever-changing profession.

Benco Dental will host The Lucy Hobbs Project 6th Annual Celebration, sponsored by Midmark, from September 13 through 15 at The Westin St. Francis on Union Square, 332 Powell Street, San Francisco. For the first time, Benco Dental partners with Straumann, global leader in implant, restorative and regenerative dentistry, to deliver the Digital Dentistry Symposium: The Time is Now. Keynote speaker Erin Gruwell, founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation, will introduce the ultimate educational experience, which will feature more than 15 experts in the world of dentistry. Visit The Lucy Hobbs Celebration website for details on guest panelists, educational topics and CE credits. This year’s celebration beneficiary is the Center for Oral Health. Register today .

As a highpoint of the opening day, The Project will honor six women selected as award recipients for setting new benchmarks in the dental profession:

Sabiha S. Bunek, DDS, recipient of the Clinical Expertise Award, bridges the gap between research and clinical practice in a unique role as both a dentist/owner at Bunek Dental Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan and CEO/Editor of Dental Advisor (DA). She collaborates with scientists at DA’s biomaterials research laboratory and with manufacturers to advocate for testing pertinent to real-life dentistry. Most recently, the Journal of Esthetic and Restorative Dentistry invited Dr. Bunek to serve on its editorial board. Previously, Dr. Bunek earned recognition from the Seattle Study Club as one of the Top 10 Young Educators in the U.S. and from Incisal Edge among its 40 Under 40, America’s Best Young Dentists.

Sharon K. Parsons, DDS, recipient of the Humanitarian award, dedicates her practice, Dental Associates, in Columbus, Ohio to the needs of patients of all ages. An advocate for opiate awareness, she educates dental professionals and has been interviewed by CBS Sunday Morning on the topic. After her elder son died of an opiate overdose in 2015, Dr. Parsons began addressing the scourge of addiction, speaking at the sentencing hearing for the man who sold her son the drug that killed him. As Chairperson of the East Main Street SID, she leads the non-profit corporation in its efforts to improve the neighborhood and business district east of Bexley. In October, 2019, Dr. Parsons will be inducted as President of the Ohio Dental Association, only the third woman elected to the position.

Athena S. Papas, DMD, PhD, recipient of the Industry Icon award, dedicates her inspirational level of knowledge as Head of the Division of Oral Medicine at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. There, Dr. Papas is a Distinguished Professor of Diagnostic Sciences and the Erling Johansen Professor of Dental Research. With expertise in the oral healthcare of the elderly, medically compromised, Sjögrens, cancer and bone marrow transplant patients, Dr. Papas has been the principal investigator of over 100 clinical trials. Dr. Papas was selected as the 2009 recipient of the International Association of Dental Research PTT Distinguished Scientist Award and has been the President of PTT and has chaired the distinguished scientist awards committee. She also has received the Gavel and Pierre Fauchard awards and is a life fellow of the American College of Dentists.

Diane Johnson Krueger, CEO, recipient of the Innovator award, founded NuSmile, Ltd. with a goal of improving the clinical practice of pediatric dentistry. Under her leadership since 1991, the company has become the world’s leading manufacturer of esthetic pediatric crowns. Diane is deeply involved in ongoing research of esthetic materials for crowns, luting cements, bioceramics and other related pediatric dental products at both the academic and clinical level, and in interacting with her customers. For more than 20 years, the Certified Dental Technician has been active with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and its Foundation — Healthy Smiles Healthy Children, the American Dental Association, and other national and international pediatric dentistry organizations.

Jeanette Sabir-Holloway, DDS, recipient of the Mentor award, founded and directs a nonprofit organization, Increasing Diversity In Dentistry (IDID), which supports an increasingly significant number of successful applicants underrepresented in dentistry. In her role as Director of Outreach, Recruitment, and Admissions at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, she initiated a pre-matriculation program for students, primarily from economically and educationally disadvantaged environments, to ease the transition into dental school. Active in organized dentistry since her career as a private practice clinician in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dr. Sabir-Holloway received a presidential citation from the National Dental Association and the Groundbreaker Award for Service and Leadership from the Indianapolis District Dental Society.

Rita Y. Chuang, BA, DDS, ABO, recipient of the Woman to Watch award, drives dentistry forward with her commitment in the field of novel Orthodontic techniques. Patients at her private practice, Breeze Orthodontics in Torrance, California, benefit from her vast experience gained serving as Clinical Director at the University of Pennsylvania Department of Orthodontics. Trained at Ivy-league universities, Dr. Chuang has published in several peer-reviewed journals and presented her award-winning research both nationally and internationally. The author of dental bestseller, Million Dollar Smiles, serves on the boards of the American Association of Orthodontics and North American Taiwanese Medical Association.

The Lucy Hobbs Project, a national, long-term program powered by Benco Dental and 10,000 members strong, helps women in dentistry use their voices as a force for change. Named for Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the woman who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, this project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental profession – dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others. Free to join, it supports the following pillars: innovation, networking, and giving back. To learn more about previous winners of The Lucy Hobbs Project® Award, or to sign up for The Lucy Hobbs Project®, visit: