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Quincy Dentist Named Volunteer Hero by the Massachusetts Dental Society

Pelly Chang, DMD, Recognized as William McKenna Volunteer Hero

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass.August 5, 2019 – Dr. Pelly Chang, a general dentist practicing in Quincy and clinical associate professor of general dentistry at the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (BUGSDM), has been recognized as the 2019 William McKenna Volunteer Hero by the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS), a statewide organization serving more than 5,000 member dentists.

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 Hero 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.

Dr. Chang was acknowledged by her peers for substantial contributions to organized dentistry at both the state and local district levels. She is actively involved in the MDS, having volunteered at every Yankee Dental Congress since she joined the Society in 1989, including as presiding chair. Dr. Chang also has been a delegate to the MDS House of Delegates, the Society’s supreme authoritative body, and chair of the South Shore District Dental Society.

Dr. Chang, who was raised in Taiwan and immigrated to the United States in 1987, recounted how her parents were very charitable to their community. Her mother always helped their neighbors and families in need, and her father—a high-ranking army colonel pharmacist in charge of a medical hospital in Taiwan—always took care of his soldiers and staff there.

“Now, it is time for me to continue my parents’ legacy by giving my time and skills and volunteering to help underprivileged kids in my community and through organized dentistry with the MDS and BUGSDM,” Dr. Chang said. 

As a member of the MDS Leadership Institute Ad Hoc Committee in 2014, Dr. Chang helped organize the first TeamSmile event with the MDS, which was held at the Yankee Dental Congress in 2015. 

“At the event, I saw the happy faces of all the children after they had their teeth cleaned or sealants applied, got their new toothbrush, and played with [Boston Red Sox mascot] Wally the Green Monster,” she said. “This experience motivated me to do more charitable events like this when my time allows.”

According to MDS President Janis Moriarty, DMD, Dr. Chang has a true passion for volunteerism, especially when it comes to giving back to underserved children in need of access to care. 

Dr. Moriarty said, “She is usually one of the first volunteers to sign up—and likely the last volunteer to leave!”

Dr. Chang is an active faculty participant in BUGSDM Global Days of Service and has been an annual volunteer at many local charity events with her students, such as Christmas in the City, Rosie’s Place, Cradles to Crayons, and the Greater Boston Food Bank. She also has participated in volunteer efforts through the American Student Dental Association and the American Association for Women Dentists.

A stellar fundraiser, Dr. Chang has helped raise money for cancer research through her participation with the MDS Miles and Smiles Team in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. The team is made up of dental professionals and their families and friends who raise funds to support a clinical trial for oral squamous cell cancer patients being overseen by Dr. Jonathan Schoenfeld at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Dr. Chang was co-captain of the team in 2017-2018 and is serving as the captain this year. 

During her tenure as chair of the South Shore District Dental Society in 2018, Dr. Chang spearheaded a District donation to the MDS Foundation, the charitable arm of the Society, and worked to encourage other District chairs to recommend their Districts do the same.

Dr. Chang earned her Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Chung-Shen Medical and Dental School in Taiwan. She received her Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry from Boston University in 1989.

Photo Download (1): Dr. Pelly Chang headshot
Photo Download (2): Dr. Chang volunteering with MDS and TeamSmile at Fenway Park
Photo Download (3): Dr. Chang at the Jimmy Fund Walk with the Miles and Smiles Team

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, and follow the MDS on Twitter @MassDental.