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Dental assistant receives three awards, honors

April was a remarkable month for veteran dental assistant Gail Ward, Department of Restorative Dentistry. Within the past month, Ward, who has more than 30 years service within dentistry, was honored with three prestigious dental awards at separate awards banquet ceremonies around the state.
Ward was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU) National Dental Honorary on April 4. The OKU honorary is one of the highest distinctions an individual within dentistry can receive. Comprised largely of dentists, the induction of a dental auxiliary (hygienist, assistant, laboratory technician, or staff member) into OKU is rare throughout the country’s 50-plus local chapters.  
Ward’s induction into MUSC’s Zeta Eta Chapter is the first such induction in the group’s history at MUSC. The award is not based on her years of dedicated service, but rather the excellence with which she has served. 
On April 18, Ward was again selected by College of Dental Medicine students as Outstanding Dental Assistant of the Year. This is the 18th year in a row that she has received this student-driven award. On several occasions Ward  shared this award with another dental assistant, but a majority of the time, the award was presented to her solely and is a testament to the high regard in which she is held by the students, faculty, fellow staff-members and patients.
On April 24, Ward received a Special Recognition Award from the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Dental Association during the group’s annual meeting in Myrtle Beach—resulting in a third highly prestigious and independent award for her work at the College of Dental Medicine. 
Also attending the awards luncheon were Mark Feldman, DDS, president of the American Dental Association, and James B. Edwards, DMD, president emeritus of MUSC and former governor of South Carolina.

Friday, May 16, 2008
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