Pacific Center for Special Care Honored with Gies Award for Innovation

March 22, 2017

ADEA Gies Award


ADEA Gies Award


ADEA Gies Award


The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's Pacific Center for Special Care has won the 2017 William J. Gies Award for Innovation in the Academic Dental Institution category. This special honor was presented during a black-tie ceremony held March 20, 2017 during the American Dental Education Association's Annual Session in Long Beach, Calif.

Named after dental education pioneer William J. Gies, Ph.D., the Gies Awards recognize individuals and organizations for contributions to global oral health and education initiatives. The winners exemplify dedication to the highest standards in the categories of vision, innovation and achievement in dental education, research and leadership.

The Pacific Center for Special Care is a unit within the Dugoni School that focuses on improving the oral health of underserved people on the local, state and federal level. The center has created best-practice models of, and advocates for, improved access to dental care for anyone who faces challenges receiving oral health services through the traditional oral health care system. This includes groups and individuals who have difficulty maintaining good oral health or accessing oral health services because of medical, physical, social, economic, and geographic conditions.

Center director Dr. Paul Glassman and his team have educated thousands of dental professionals, allied health professionals, caregivers, dental students and faculty about how to care for people with developmental and other disabilities.

One of the innovations highlighted in the award ceremony was the Pacific Center's groundbreaking work on the "Virtual Dental Home." This telehealth system brings oral health care services to underserved populations in a community setting, such as a school, community center or nursing home. The system brings much-needed services to individuals who might otherwise not receive care.

"For decades, the Pacific Center for Special Care has worked to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society by improving their healthcare," said Dr. Nader A. Nadershahi, dean of the Dugoni School, who was on hand to present the award at the ceremony.

"They've done this important work at a systems-level, creating ‘systems of change' to promote oral health and the wellbeing of underserved people. The team's work truly touches lives and shows our school's core value of humanism in action. We congratulate the Pacific Center for Special Care on this well-deserved national recognition."

To see the complete list of 2017 ADEA Gies Award winners, please visit

To learn more about the Pacific Center for Special Care, please visit