Dr. Usa Bunnag named 2017 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient in recognition of her dentistry practice that brings smiles to the Thai Villagers
On January 9, 2017, the American Dental Association nominated a Thai dentist in Maryland the 2017 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient in recognition of her continuing commitment to Thailand and her community in Maryland.
Since 2003, Dr. Usa Bunnag has performed many long journeys from DC area all the way to the remote villages of Thailand. Cut off from the outside world by dense forest and mountainous terrain bordering Myanmar, almost inaccessible by car, villagers from Mae Sariang, mostly young students, were cherished by continued visits of benevolent teams for a dental care led by Dr. Bunnag and other volunteer doctors and competent personnel.
For over 12 years, the program went even further that not only the dentistry has now created Smiles on Wings but a permanent clinic was build in the area and dozens of local girls had their dreams come true. Generous funds from around the globe also enabled young women, usually deprived of higher education as they married at age of 14 or 15, to attend college and become health providers and educators in their own villages after graduation.
Village after village, Dr. Bunnag continues her own dream to bring Smiles on Wings to each and every underserved village …this is how she helps change the world – one girl, one village, one mission at a time.
Read more on How Smiles on Wings took flight
Dr. Usa Bunnag, DDS, FACD, FICD, graduated from Howard University School of Dentistry in 1994, has two private practices in Maryland, Bunnag Comprehensive Dentistry and Bunnag Dental Associates and is president and founder of the nonprofit organization Smiles on Wings.
In 2009 Smiles on Wings received first grant from the American Dental Association Foundation to fund a post-tsunami dental reconstruction project in Thailand. Since then Smiles on Wings had received more grants in particular from the After the Wave Foundation, the International College of Dentists, the Australian-New Zealand Women’s Group of Bangkok and many other generous donors to furnish the area clinics and to upgrade the mobile dental units in order to reach out thousands of children for years to come.
In recognition of more than three decades of service, which includes a continuing commitment to Thailand and her community in Maryland, the American Dental Association announced on January 9, 2017 that Dr. Usa Bunnag has been named the 2017 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient. She will be honored at ADA 2017 – America’s Dental Meeting, taking place in Atlanta from October 19-23.
Read more on the 2017 Humanitarian Award