January 7, 2014
Our very own Dr. Raymond S. Damazo (WSDA's 2013 Citizen of the Year) has been named the 2014 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient, the ADA announced recently.
"It took me a few days to contact him and notify him of the award because he was busy traveling in Africa, doing humanitarian work," said ADA President Charles H. Norman. "Dr. Damazo has spent more than 45 years alleviating human suffering and improving the quality of life and oral health of individuals abroad, including serving remote villages along the Amazon and developing and implementing a mobile clinic that provides free, modern care to people living in the bush areas of Kenya and Tanzania."
Dr. Damazo founded the World Health Dental Organization to develop a permanent facility for the Maasai people of Kenya. There, he and his wife built the three operatory clinics with three attached apartments to provide housing for volunteer dentists and staff. He continues to champion the recruitment of dentists and funding for the clinic and has written a book, Safari Dentist, that recounts his years traveling and working throughout Africa.
The ADA Humanitarian Award was launched in 2007 and is the Association's highest humanitarian honor. This prestigious award recognizes dentist members who have distinguished themselves by outstanding, unselfish leadership and at least a ten year commitment to their fellow human beings in the field of dentistry, through the dedication of extraordinary time and professional skills to improve the oral health of underserved populations in the United States and abroad.
Dr. Norman will present Dr. Damazo with the ADA Humanitarian Award during the Opening General Session of the ADA 2014—America's Dental Meeting in San Antonio in October. He will receive a $5,000 donation to the dental charity/project of his choice and a bronze statue.