October 28, 2019

Golisano Foundation 2019 Move to Include Award Presented to Dr. Allen Wong

Dr. Allen Wong accepting the Move to Include Award with a group of people

(l to r) Dr. M. Dian Chin Kit-Wells, clinical assistant professor of pediatric and community dentistry at University of Buffalo School of Dental Medicine; Barbie Vartanian, Executive Director, Project Accessible Oral Health; Dr. Allen Wong; Ann Costello, Golisano Foundation Director; Dr. Steve Perlman, founder of Special Olympics Special Smiles; Dr. Abra Caroci, Pediatric Dentist. Drs. Perlman and Caroci are recipients of the Golisano Health Leadership Award.

Ann Costello, Director of the Golisano Foundation presented its prestigious Move to Include Award to Allen Wong, DDS, EdD, DABSCD, on October 28 at the University of Buffalo  School of Dental Medicine‘s Joseph E. Bernat Symposium—Oral Health Care Options for the Population with Intellectual & Development Disabilities.

“Dr. Wong is the perfect, most deserving recipient of the Award,” said Costello. “His tireless efforts and lifelong work to improve oral health for people with IDD is remarkable, greatly appreciated and a shining example to dentists all over the world.”

The Golisano Foundation Move to Include Awards are given to those who both “believe” and “act” in the purest realm of the essence of “move to include.” It’s an award that challenges its very name.

Allen Wong, DDS, EdD, DABSCDDr. Wong, who practices dentistry in San Francisco, California, is a widely-recognized expert in special care dentistry, with more than 25 years of experience caring for with people with special needs. He has been working with Special Olympics and Special Smiles for 20 years. In 2016 he was appointed a global clinical advisor to Special Olympics International Healthy Athletes Special Smiles program. Special Smiles is the dental health discipline of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes that provides athletes with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to take charge of their oral health. Special Smiles provides comprehensive oral health care information, offers free dental screenings and instructions on correct brushing and flossing techniques to Special Olympics athletes. This also includes issuing preventative supplies, like toothpaste, toothbrushes and fluoride varnish.

Dr. Wong traveled to the Abu Dhabi to train local dentists for the 2019 Special Olympics World Games, which drew more than 7,000 athletes from 175 countries.

Dr. Wong earned his DDS and served his residency at Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry, where he is also Professor/ Director of Hospital Dentistry Program and Director AEGD Program at the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. He is board certified in Special Care Dentistry and a fellow of the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, Pierre Fauchard Academy, Academy Dentistry International, American Association of Hospital Dentists.

The “Move to Include Award” is such a special award,” said Dr. Wong, “because the Golisano Foundation represents excellence in recognition of accomplishment and an icon in promotion of IDD inclusion. I am honored to be in the company of those who have been recognized before me and their accomplishments.”

“Special Olympics and the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) with all their amazing members has helped me to collaborate and help improve oral and overall health for all.  I admire the Golisano Foundation for all the great things they have done to create meaningful change in the healthcare arena and proud to be noticed.  This award was special for me as it was presented among people I deeply respect and cherish, particularly my friend Ann Costello and my mentor Dr. Steve Perlman.

This marks the second Move to Include Award presented in 2019. The first was presented to Matt Holder, MD in May at the annual AADMD conference in Rochester, NY. See all honorees below.

Congratulations Dr. Wong, and thank you for demonstrating that inclusion should never be an afterthought.

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