DH Clinical Director Receives Award

General dentists’ referrals are a key to the success of Smiles Change Lives, a program that helps families across the U.S. and Canada with low-cost dental and orthodontic care. Lisa Thurlow, Dental Hygiene Clinic Director at Concorde’s campus in Kansas City, Mo., has been a big supporter of Smiles Change Lives for years. As such, so has the Concorde – Kansas City Dental Hygiene Clinic and its students and faculty, which has donated hundreds of volunteer hours to children in the program.

“As a general dentist, I support the mission of Smiles Change Lives,” Thurlow said in a news release which announced her as a 2017 Gini Award Honoree, which recognizes dentists who volunteer time to help children’s oral health. “When you see the impact a healthy smile brings to a child – for a lifetime – you want to get on board!

“I can’t provide direct orthodontic care to my patients, but what I can do is connect families, who are unable to afford the full cost of braces for their children, to this wonderful program. I also teach my students to recognize orthodontic needs so they can better advocate for their patients.”

Outstanding work with Dental Hygiene program

Thurlow has been an outstanding ambassador for the mission of Smiles Change Lives, not only referring children in need of treatment from her private practice, Johnson County Dental Care, in Overland Park, Kan. She invites SCL to present an outreach program at the Concorde – KC Dental Hygiene clinic. Because of her initiatives, her students have donated hundreds of volunteer hours, and dozens of children have qualified for treatment in the program.

“It is my goal as an educator to encourage students to work in the community, especially to serve the underserved,” Thurlow said. “One of the many things I love about working at Concorde is that opportunity to take care of patients in our clinic who might otherwise go without basic care.

“By seeing patients in this setting, many students have decided that they too have a passion for public health and decided to pursue a career along those lines. I’m proud of our graduates and the work they do for others.”

Outstanding resume

For more than 20 years, Thurlow, a Kansas City native, has been delivering dental care to patients in her community. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Kansas University, majoring in human development. After graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry in 1994, she completed a general practice residency at the Kansas City Veteran’s Administration Hospital. She was a faculty member at UMKC in the department of Oral Surgery and the Johnson County Community College Dental Hygiene program.

Her charitable dental activities don’t end with Smiles Change Lives. Over the years, she’s worked with the Kansas Mission of Mercy, Donated Dental Services, Special Olympics, Give Kids-A-Smile, volunteered with TeamSmile, been on the Oral Healthcare Initiative Committee and is a provider of indigent care in Kansas.

She was awarded the honor of Dentist of the Year by the Fifth District Dental Society of Kansas in 2008. She was the recipient of a Golden Apple Award as well as the Excellence in Education Award for her dedication to the students in the Dental Hygiene program at Concorde – Kansas City.

We’re certainly proud and honored to have Lisa Thurlow directing our Dental Hygiene clinic at Concorde – KC! Her involvement only helps make Concorde among the best Dental Hygienist schools around!

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