The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP), a community of individual clinicians, group practices, educators, researchers, consultants, trainers, compliance directors, policymakers, and industry representatives who advocate for the safe and infection-free delivery of oral healthcare, is pleased to announce the recipients of the annual OSAP Leadership Awards.
The awards were presented during the 2023 OSAP Annual Conference on June 2 in Tucson, AZ.
“Every year, the OSAP Leadership Awards recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of dental infection prevention and safety,” says Michelle Lee, Executive Director of OSAP. “OSAP is also proud to have an active volunteer base. In addition to the awards for which individuals are nominated by OSAP members and selected by the board, the chair of OSAP also awards special recognition to a few volunteers who have exceeded all expectations to make a difference for the organization.”
25th Annual Dr. James J. Crawford Award: Andy Whitehead
This award, named in honor of one of the founders of dental infection control, recognizes lifetime achievement in the field. Awardees have made major contributions in science, education, or public policy related to OSAP’s core competencies of infection control and patient and provider safety. OSAP was proud to present the 2023 Dr. James Crawford Award to Andy Whitehead.
Andy Whitehead has been involved in the dental industry for more than 50 years, holding executive positions in dental distribution and manufacturing organizations focusing on dental infection prevention and control and safety. He is one of five founding OSAP members and a tireless advocate for young dental infection preventionists.
He has served on various boards, including the OSAP Association and Foundation Boards, the OSAP-DANB-DALE Foundation Infection Control Certificate/Certification Steering Commission, the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation Board, and the American Dental Assistants Association Foundation Board. Andy’s fundraising capabilities were critical in developing the OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate Program, the CDIPC certification, and the DISIPC certification — the first of its kind.
Andy has raised over $3 million as an auctioneer for OSAP, DTA, ADHA, ADAA, and Oral Health America, earning him the informal title, The Dental Industry Auctioneer. He was the 2009 Dr. Milton E. Schaefer Superior Service Award recipient and is a US Army Vietnam Veteran who served from 1967-1970. Andy truly believes in OSAP’s vision and mission and works tirelessly to tell OSAP’s story so that more in dentistry can access this critical education.
21st Annual Dr. Milton Schaefer Award: Erinne Kennedy, DMD, MPH, MMSc
This award is named after one of the founding members of OSAP. It celebrates superior service to the organization, recognizing either continuous contributions over a period of time or singular accomplishments. The nominee’s efforts have resulted in tangible benefits to the continuing advancement of OSAP’s mission to be the leading provider of infection prevention and control education, training, and credentialing that supports safe dental visits.
This year’s Schaefer Award was presented to Erinne Kennedy, DMD, MPH, MMSc. Dr. Kennedy graduated from Nova Southeastern College of Dental Medicine in 2015. She completed a 1-year general practice residency at a VA Hospital in 2016, a Dental Public Health residency in 2018, and an MMSc in Dental Education at Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 2019.
She currently serves as the Assistant Dean for Curriculum and Integrated Learning in the College of Dental Medicine at Kansas City University in Joplin, MO. In 2022, she helped OSAP secure CDC grant funding to disseminate antibiotic stewardship resources to dental personnel and led OSAP’s first-ever Antibiotic Stewardship Summit.
9th Annual Emerging Infection Control Leader Award: India Chance, RDH, BS, CDIPC
The goal of the Emerging Leader Award is to help develop and promote the next generation of stars in the field of dental infection prevention and safety by identifying outstanding new infection control advocates. OSAP was honored to name India Chance, RDH, BS, CDIPC, as the 2023 Emerging Infection Control Leader Award recipient.
India is a Registered Dental Hygienist, Independent Compliance Consultant, and an Authorized OSHA Trainer who provides continuing education courses for dental healthcare providers to improve their knowledge of infection prevention and safety in the workplace environment. Nationally, she has trained hundreds of dental practice owners & teams on compliance program creation & implementation.
Her mission is to equip dental healthcare providers with current & credible information so they can deliver the safest dental visit possible. She has worked on several committees for various CDC dental industry projects, featured on national podcasts, is an invited guest speaker to dental conferences, and is a former healthcare subject matter expert writer for the USA Today Educators Blog.
India has also earned Certified in Dental Infection Prevention and Control (CDIPC) certification.
20th Annual Bette & Paul Schwartz Award for Volunteerism: Michele Lash, RDH, BA
This award is named in honor of a couple who personify the spirit of volunteerism for the organization, Bette and Paul Schwartz, a dynamic duo who, for many years, selflessly contributed their time and resources to manage all the volunteer activities associated with OSAP’s annual conference. The award is given to identify and thank an outstanding volunteer, a nearly impossible selection, given the generous support of the OSAP community.
This year’s award was presented to Michele Lash, RDH, BA. Michele is a Manager in Clinical Research and Scientific Support for Dentsply Sirona with more than 20 years of experience in the dental hygiene profession. Over the last several years, with Dentsply Sirona, she has developed scientific evidence-based clinical education curriculum and resources for dental healthcare professionals, key opinion leaders, and internal team trainings.
Keeping abreast of scientific literature and clinical trends allows her to provide insights for new product development. Her current focus is ultrasonic debridement, aerosol management, and best practices in infection control and prevention. She is a current member of ADHA, IFDH, AAOSH, and OSAP. She serves on committees for OSAP, attained the OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate, and was a subject matter expert in the remaking of the 2023 If Saliva Were Red Video and facilitator’s guide.
Chair Citation Awards
David Kierce, 2022 – 2023 OSAP Chair of the Board, presented special citations to individuals who have enriched the organization by contributing a unique blend of talents, skills, hard work, and unwavering commitment to the advancement of dental safety.
OSAP awarded Elaine Bailey, PhD; Marie Fluent, DDS, CDIPC; and Erinne Kennedy, DMD, MPH, MMSc, for their work on OSAP’s first-ever Antibiotic Stewardship Summit.
OSAP also awarded Kathy Eklund, RDH, MHP, and Karen Gregory, RN, CDIPC, for their work as co-chairs of the Boot Camp planning committee as well as Matthew R. Ellis, MPH, CIC, CDIPC, and Michele Lash, RDH, BA, for their work as co-chairs of the Annual Conference planning committee.
Dr. James A. Cottone Award for Excellence in Investigative Research: Thiago Antônio Raulino do Nascimento, PhD
This award is named for one of the founders of OSAP, who exemplified the best in infection control and safety research. This year’s award goes to Thiago Antônio Raulino do Nascimento, PhD for the poster presentation titled, International Guidelines in Dental Settings Before COVID-19: Were We Prepared?
Co-authors of the poster include Liliana Junqueira de Paiva Donatelli, BS, MBA, MPH, CDIPC; Janmille Valdivino da Silva, PhD; and Gerliene Maria Silva Araújo, MSc. Dr. Raulio graduated in Dentistry, specializing in Sanitary Surveillance, and has a PhD in Health Sciences. In his career in the public service, he works as a dentist at a technical school and as a health policeman at the Health Department of his state, in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Enthusiastic about biosafety in health services, he studies the subject and is interested in research that deals with regulatory frameworks at an international level.
The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) is the only dental membership association solely focused on infection prevention and patient safety education. Our members include individual clinicians, group practices, educators, researchers, consultants, trainers, compliance directors, policymakers, and industry representatives who advocate for safe and infection-free delivery of oral healthcare.
OSAP focuses on strategies to improve compliance with safe practices and on building a strong network of recognized infection control experts. OSAP offers an extensive online collection of resources, publications, FAQs, checklists, and toolkits that help dental professionals deliver the Safest Dental Visit possible for their patients. Plus, online and live courses help advance the level of knowledge and skill for every member of the dental team.
For additional information, visit www.osap.org. Follow OSAP on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.