Greater Boston Dentists Named Volunteer Heroes by the Massachusetts Dental Society
Since 1996, the MDS and the Journal of the Massachusetts Dental Society have been honoring local dentists who have dedicated their enthusiasm, talents, and countless hours to the community, the MDS, and the profession of dentistry. The Volunteer Heroes recognition is named in honor of the late Dr. William H. McKenna, a model of volunteerism within the Society and a driving force behind the development of the Yankee Dental Congress, New England’s largest meeting for dental professionals.
About Dr. Meredith Bailey:
Dr. Meredith Bailey, who serves as the assistant clinical director of dentistry at Fenway Community Health Center in Boston, is the current chair of the Boston District Dental Society and a member of the American Dental Association. Dr. Bailey also is a member of the MDS Governance Task Force, which is focused on developing a relevant governance structure that will help lead the Society into the next decade.
“Volunteer members of the national, state, and local dental societies work hard to protect the interests and preserve the integrity of the dental profession,” Dr. Bailey said. “It is a privilege to contribute to the development of ideas and implementation of changes that will determine the path of our profession.”
Dr. Bailey supports the MDS’s advocacy efforts by participating in Beacon Hill Day, and she gives back to her community by donating to the MDS Foundation and taking part in programs that improve access to care. She has participated in volunteer projects such as a “Back to School Jam,” a day packed with music, activities, food, oral health education, and dental screenings for Boston-area kids to help get them ready for a new school year. Dr. Bailey also has volunteered with the MDS and TeamSmile to provide no-cost preventive and restorative care to underserved children.
Dr. Bailey received her DMD from Case Western Reserve School of Dental Medicine in 2006 and a post-graduate degree from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine in 2007.
About Dr. Hubert Park:
Dr. Park is part of pediatric dentistry and orthodontics practice Drs. Park, Perlman & Koidin in Lynn, which also has taken care of special needs adult patients for more than 40 years. He is chair of the MDS Membership Committee and chair-elect of the Boston District Dental Society.
“By volunteering and staying involved, you act as a liaison between the heart of the profession and its extensions—private practice, public sector, academics, and dental support organizations, to name a few,” Dr. Park said. “We are in the midst of a rapidly changing landscape in our profession. We must stay informed and actively engaged to continue to do what we enjoy doing, which for me is taking care of my patients and staff, as well as my family.”
While in dental school at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Park spearheaded a free dental clinic at the Sharewood Project in Malden, which continues to provide dental services to the community. He also volunteered for several mission trips, providing dental care to the underserved populations in Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, and Zambia.
Through his experience with the Sharewood free dental clinic, Dr. Park said he learned the invaluable lesson that “giving back is not limited to a remote village overseas—it can happen, and should happen, in a close neighborhood with people you share life with every day.
“Even in the Greater Boston area, where we boast three amazing dental schools and many qualified dentists, there still are many people who have fallen through the safety net that exists to provide dental care for everyone,” Dr. Park said. “Often it is due to the lack of utilization—not necessarily by choice or negligence of the patient—that many of these patients continued on without receiving proper dental care. As volunteers in this clinic, dental students and practicing dentists alike are able to connect these patients with the care that they deserve.”
After earning his dental degree from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Park completed a general practice residency at the New York Presbyterian Hospital - Weill Cornell Medical College. He then returned to Tufts University and completed his residency in pediatric dentistry, where he served as chief resident. Dr. Park also received a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Tufts University School of Medicine with a focus on infant and toddler nutritional imbalances and racial disparities in oral health.
In addition to his work with the MDS, Dr. Park is a member of the American Dental Association, which recognized him in its inaugural ”10 Under 10” awards honoring new dentists across the country who demonstrate excellence in their work, community, and inspiring others. He also is a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Perinatal Oral Health Task Force.
About Dr. Rosie Wagner:
Dr. Rosie Wagner is the current chair of the Middlesex District Dental Society, and she is a member of the American Dental Association. Her volunteer efforts on behalf of the MDS have included hosting a networking event at her practice that was promoted and sponsored by the MDS Women in Dentistry Committee.
“We treat members of the community every day and go home feeling great about the connections we’ve made and the treatment we’ve completed,” Dr. Wagner said. “However, we’re members of a larger industry of professionals, and only after we’ve connected to one another can we examine the larger picture: How are dentists viewed by the community and by each other? What resources do we need as dentists that can help us give back and help grow our practices to make a difference in the most effective way?”
Dr. Wagner founded a start-up family practice in Somerville that focuses on treating patients with dental phobia, dental avoidance, and those with fear of judgment. She also is co-chair and founding member of the Massachusetts Oral HPV Prevention Taskforce. She lectures frequently at local dental schools and provider meetings on reducing HPV-related oropharyngeal cancers through education and prevention. She also is a subject matter expert for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health through the Oral Health Equity Project.
Prior to building her own practice, Smiles by Rosie Family Dentistry, Dr. Wagner worked as an associate dentist at a pediatric dental office. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her DDS degree at the University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Wagner also completed a general practice residency at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.
About the Massachusetts Dental Society
The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS), a professional association representing 5,000+ member dentists and a statewide constituent of the American Dental Association, is dedicated to the professional development of its member dentists through initiatives in education, advocacy, the promotion of the highest professional standards, and championing oral health in the Commonwealth. For more information, visit massdental.org, and follow the MDS on Twitter @MassDental.