The Academy of Laser Dentistry is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of our annual awards honoring leaders in the field of laser dentistry. Awards were presented during the President’s Reception and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 8 at the Hilton Sandestin Beach and Golf Resort in Destin, Florida marking the final exercises of the Academy’s 10th Anniversary Conference and Exhibition. The committee consisted of Dr. Janet Hatcher Rice as chair and ceremony spokesperson, Dr. Les Burman, Dr. Bill Siminovsky, and Dr. Steven Parker. The committee presented two awards this year.
The Academy’s T.H. Maiman Award is presented for excellence in dental laser research. Theodore H. Maiman developed the first laser in 1960. This year’s T.H. Maiman Award was bestowed upon Dr. Craig Gimbel for his contribution to the field of dental laser research. Dr. Craig Gimbel, by his own acknowledgement, is not a traditional researcher. But, as a private practitioner, in 1993 he was a principle investigator for the first human hard tissue clinical trials using the Er:YAG laser that were submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It was his passion, commitment, and vision to see this device used to better his practice, where the emphasis is treating children, and to help bring this technology to where it is today as the leading wavelength and emerging device of choice in the Pediatric community. Craig is continuing his research by working on developing a switchable multi-wavelength laser and Optical Coherence Tomography diagnostic dental imaging device which we heard about at this conference. For these outstanding accomplishments, Dr. Craig Gimbel was awarded the T.H. Maiman Research Award.
Dr. Gimbel joins his esteemed colleagues who were award recipients in past years: Dr. Joel White in 1993, Dr. Lynn Powell in 1995, Dr. Richard Blankenau in 1996, Dr. Terry Myers in 1998, Dr. Peter Rechmann in 1999, Dr. Frederick Parkins in 2000, Dr. Akira Aoki in 2001, and Dr. John B. Featherstone in 2002.
The Academy’s Distinguished Service Award is presented for outstanding commitment and contribution to the Academy. This year’s distinguished service award was presented to Dr. Donald Patthoff, chairman of the Academy’s Ethics Committee. Dr. Patthoff has chaired the Ethics Committee for five years and has contributed through his leadership to the Academy's strategic plan, mission, vision, and core values. His leadership has defined the goals and standards for the Academy, but Dr. Patthoff did not do it for us -- he required the Board to go through the sometimes painful process themselves and come up with a more meaningful and vested interest in the outcomes. It was this leadership and dedication to the Academy that has earned him the Academy’s Distinguished Service Award.
Past recipients are: Dr. Stewart Rosenberg in 1993; Dr. Scott Brundrett in 1995; Mr. John Sulewski in 1996; University of California, San Francisco in 1997; Dr. David M. Roshkind in 1998; Dr. Alan J. Goldstein in 1999; Dr. William Siminovsky in 2000; and Dr. Stuart Coleton in 2002.
The Past President’s Award was presented to Dr. Joel White in appreciation of his devoted leadership as president during 2002. Dr. White represented the Academy of Laser Dentistry in Japan at the ISLD meeting in July, in Korea at Chosun University, at the 1st meeting of the ALD-Israeli Chapter in Cyprus in October, and at the Laser Institute of America with his input to the revisions of the ANSI Z136.3 Laser Safety Standard. His contribution to the Academy during 2002 as president helped us to further the Academy’s mission and vision through effective implementation of the association’s strategic plan.