ADA bestows distinguished service award on former military dentist Dr. Leo Rouse

The American Dental Association recently granted Leo Rouse, DDS, the organization's highest honor when naming him the 2020 recipient of its distinguished service award.

Dr. Rouse obtained his DDS from Howard University in 1973 and went on to work as a military dentist for 25 years, becoming the first Black commander of the U.S. Army Dental Command. Upon leaving his military career, he returned to Howard, where he acted as its dental school dean for 11 years. Active in the dental education community, he became the first Black board president of the American Dental Education Association in 2011.

Retaining his title of dean emeritus of the Howard University College of Dentistry, Dr. Rouse is now the president-elect of the American College of Dentists.

"I am inspired by the young men and women of our profession who through our tremendous dental education programs provide selfless service, quality oral health care, understand the social determinants of health, recognize the importance and value of access to care — all through ethical behavior, professionalism and leadership," Dr. Rouse told ADA News.

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