It’s no secret: Dentists have passion for what they do, both in their professions and in their personal lives. It’s passion that drives them to go above and beyond to help their patients and their communities. It’s passion that carries over into their personal lives, where they set—and achieve—goals others only dream about. The CDA thinks it’s time for these pillars of society to get a little recognition for their service or achievements, so we’re starting Faces of the CDA to tell their stories.
Member: Dr. An Nguyen
Reason: Advocate for Underserved Patients
Dr. An Nguyen is a key face 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 both overcome 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 Colorado’s largest federally qualified health centers, where the majority of patients are publicly insured or uninsured. Even with many roles in the administrative and public policy realms, Dr. Nguyen still takes time to regularly care for patients, as this is her passion.
Dr. Nguyen has heart of gold and her infectious demeanor shines through in 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 the Medicaid 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 also continually encourages partnerships between dentists in private practice and those in public health to foster a whole body approach to healthcare. 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. It’s because of this and her commitment to her community that she was recognized with the 2017 CDA Exceptional Service Award. On top of it all, she is a master in balancing incredible service to the profession with excelling in personal commitments as a spouse and mother.To nominate a CDA member for recognition in Faces of the CDA, please email Molly Pereira at email@example.com and include the member’s name and the reason for the nomination.