CDA Honors Its Finest at Annual Session

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From the Summer 2017 Journal of the Colorado Dental Association

The CDA was honored to present these awards and scholarships to leaders in the dental profession during the House of Delegates meeting on June 10, 2017.

CDA Exceptional Leadership Award

Dr. Stephenie Kaufmann has been a longtime leader both in the Intermountain Dental Society and on the CDA Board of Trustees. In these roles, Dr. Kaufmann has continually gone above and beyond her duties. From effective outreach to component members, to providing thoughtful insights on key board decisions, to organizing innovative component society events that have energized members, she has been a prime example of an effective leader. In addition to her leadership on the Board of Trustees, Dr. Kaufmann has given her time and talents to the CDA Finance Council, CDA Peer Review Council, CDA House of Delegates and served as an ADA Alternate Delegate. All these commitments are in addition to her family and practice needs, and she continues to lead by example in how to balance and prioritize many competing obligations. Dr. Kaufmann is also a military veteran, having served as an awarded Navy military officer, and has shown a longstanding commitment to providing care to underserved patients. After years of service to the CDA, Dr. Kaufmann has taken her leadership talents to the ADA level, and they will benefit greatly from her expertise, experience and service.

Dr. Kaufmann is the 2017 recipient of the CDA Exceptional Leadership Award in recognition of her service to the CDA, the Intermountain Dental Society and the dental profession. She is one of Colorado’s most influential dentists.

Exceptional Service Award

Dr. An Nguyen is one of the key faces of the future of dentistry. Dr. Nguyen started her life overcoming obstacles when her parents fled Vietnam and were sponsored by an Arkansas church to rebuild life in the U.S. She has continued to overcome challenges and help others rebuild their lives throughout her professional career.

Her upbringing, including time spent as a Medicaid recipient, has shaped Dr. Nguyen to be an incredible advocate for underserved patients, ensuring that these patients can receive quality care that sets them up for future success. Dr. Nguyen had a unique entry to dentistry—first obtaining a Master of Public Health and afterward completing dental school. She now serves as the vice president of dental services for Clinica Family Health, one of the state’s largest federally qualified health centers, where the broad majority of patients are publicly insured or uninsured. Even with many roles in the administrative and public policy realms, Dr. Nguyen takes time to regularly care for patients, as this is her passion. Dr. Nguyen’s heart of gold and infectious demeanor shines through all her work. She has contributed time and talents to the CDA’s Membership Council, as well as multiple other boards and advisory groups. Dr. Nguyen currently serves on Medicaid’s Medical Services Board, and she is one of the only dentists to have filled that role in recent history. Her voice and dental expertise on that key Medicaid advisory board have been invaluable during a time of rapid dental program and policy changes.

Dr. Nguyen continually encourages partnerships between dentists in private practice and those in public health. She has been a vital voice to have at the CDA table, bringing great perspectives that help ensure the CDA is reflecting the passions and practice settings of all our member dentists. Dr. Nguyen is a master of balancing incredible service to the profession with excelling in personal commitments as a wife and mother.

Dr. Nguyen is the 2017 recipient of the CDA Exceptional Service Award as a dentist who is at the forefront of positive change. The future is bright with leaders like Dr. Nguyen at the helm.

CDA Dental Student Scholarship Awards

Becky Bye is originally from Brooklyn, NY, and graduated from Colgate University in upstate New York with a double major in chemistry and religion. After college, she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and graduated in the top 19% of her class. After practicing law at a large law firm and then with the state and federal government, she applied to dental school. Becky is the immediate past president of the Colorado chapter of ASDA. She has served on the CDA Government Relations Council and is also on the executive board for the CU Alpha Omega chapter. Additionally, at the dental school, Becky sits on the Curriculum Committee and the newly formed Portfolio Committee, to continue the efforts of the CDA to allow alternative pathways to dental school licensure.

After dental school, Becky hopes to practice general dentistry while also combining her active law license and passion for dentistry in a way that benefits the dental profession. She plans to continue her involvement with the CDA, ADA, Alpha Omega, and other organized dental organizations.

Kyle Diehl is a Colorado native who grew up in Fort Collins. Before his journey in becoming a dentist, Kyle completed his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. in integrative physiology at the University of Colorado Boulder. The emphasis of his Ph.D. was interventional cardiovascular disease physiology and included human studies in areas of increased cardiovascular disease risk such as obesity, aging, hypertension, HIV and sleep.

As a student at the dental school, Kyle serves as class president to the graduating class of 2019. In addition to his daily class leadership role, he also is a standing student member of seven institutional committees that include the Operations Committee and Integrity and Fairness in Grading Committee. These committees provide Kyle with the opportunity to experience and learn administrative and institutional happenings while also having influence on future policy and shaping student culture.

Kyle’s future goals in dentistry include specializing in periodontics and becoming a faculty member and extramurally funded researcher. He also aspires to be an active member in his personal and professional communities, including organized dentistry and the CDA.