CHICAGO, Dec. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. John S. Rutkauskas, Chief Executive Officer of The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) was selected as the 2012 recipient of the Outstanding Public Advocacy Award on behalf of the Friends of the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (FNIDCR). The award was presented to Dr. Rutkauskas during FNIDCR's Annual Conference & Awards Dinner for its members and friends, including distinguished leaders from across the U.S., Canada and abroad, on December 6 at the Marriott Hotel at Metro Center, Washington, D.C.
This award is presented to an individual or organization that has helped foster improved healthcare for patients and other health consumers through advocacy efforts for specific patient groups and/or public education activities. Past awardees include C. Everett Koop, Joe Garagiola, Scientific American, the Washington Post and most recently, Terrie Cowley, Co-founder of TMJ Association, Ltd.
When FNIDCR Board member Mary Kaye Richter nominated Dr. John Rutkauskas as a candidate for the association's prestigious Outstanding Public Advocacy Award, there was unconditional support from the Board that he be this year's recipient. Ms. Richter is the Past Executive Director of the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias. As she cited, "Dr. Rutkauskas has been a stellar advocate for oral health care for special patient populations – first as CEO at Special Care in Dentistry and more recently as CEO of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry."
Members of the FNIDCR Board acknowledged his vigorous efforts to get oral health coverage for patients with special needs under medical insurance, his advocacy for oral health care when the first discussions on national health care insurance began in the 1990's, and his continued fight for the needs of special care populations. Ms. Richter added, "John was among the first to champion those needs at a time when doing so was unpopular with the status quo." FNIDCR applauds his commitment to advocacy with this oft-times, under-served population.
"I am humbled and deeply honored to be receiving this award," stated Dr. Rutkauskas. "This recognition from such a renowned organization as FNIDCR is testament of the need for me to continue advocating for optimal health for all children and patients with special needs. It is in tribute to them that I respectfully accept this award."
For more information on FNIDCR's Annual Conference and awards of excellence, please visit: http://www.fnidcr.org/special/index.html
About the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) is the recognized authority on children's oral health. As advocates for children's oral health, the AAPD promotes evidence-based policies and clinical guidelines; educates and informs policymakers, parents and guardians, and other health care professionals; fosters research; and provides continuing professional education for pediatric dentists and general dentists who treat children. Founded in 1947, the AAPD is a not-for-profit professional membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Its 8,400 members provide primary care and comprehensive dental specialty treatments for infants, children, adolescents and individuals with special health care needs. For further information, please visit the AAPD website at http://www.aapd.org or the AAPD's consumer website at http://www.mychildrensteeth.org.
About The Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (FNIDCR)
The Friends of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (FNIDCR), a non-profit 501 C3 organization, was established in 1998 on the 50th Anniversary of the NIDCR. FNIDCR is a broad-based coalition of individuals, institutions and corporations who understand the critical importance of dental, oral and craniofacial research to the better health and well-being of society.
SOURCE American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry