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Dr. Marie Tolarova Honored with Distinguished Service Award

April  10, 2007

Rotaplast International, Inc., a non-profit, humanitarian organization that provides free reconstructive surgery for cleft lips and palates in children, honored University of the Pacific Arthur, A. Dugoni School of Dentistry faculty member Dr. Marie Tolarova with its Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes Tolarova for her 10 years of service with Rotalplast and the school's participation in programs to prevent and treat cleft lip and palate in children throughout the globe. Rotaplast presented the award during its annual recognition dinner at the Hotel Monaco on March 31.

"That same evening, our department of orthodontics and our craniofacial genetics division also received a plaque for support of Rotaplast," Tolarova said. "It is wonderful to be recognized for our efforts to prevent and treat cleft lip and palate."

Tolarova, professor and executive director of Pacific's Craniofacial and Cleft Prevention Program, has led the dental school's efforts to help individuals with cleft lip and palate. Tolarova, who has taken part in 37 Rotaplast missions, played a key role in establishing a curriculum for the School of Dentistry's orthodontic residents to participate in medical missions to treat underprivileged children with orofacial clefts. Pacific is currently the only dental school in the country to include such an opportunity in its orthodontic curriculum. Thanks to Tolarova's influence, Pacific students, residents and faculty have participated in more than 83 missions since 1999.

Tolarova is a board-certified pediatrician and board-certified medical geneticist. She has published a book on epidemiology of orofacial clefts, has contributed to several books on cleft prevention and has lectured throughout the world. Tolarova is currently a member of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Society, the International Association for Dental Research and the American Association of Human Genetics.

Category Type: Honors and Awards

Contact:  Office of Public Relations, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu