Representatives of Naples Children & Education Foundation, founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, recently accepted the 2012 William J. Gies Award in Orlando at the national American Dental Education Association conference. The Gies Awards honor individuals and organizations dedicated to the highest standards of vision, innovation and achievement in dental education, research and leadership. The award, which was one of nine presented at a formal dinner celebration, recognized NCEF’s superior demonstration of outstanding vision as a private partner in support of dental education.
In 2008, NCEF, in collaboration with University of Florida College of Dentistry and other public/private partners, fulfilled a vision of creating NCEF Pediatric Dental Center to address the pediatric oral health crisis in Collier County. The impetus for the center came from a 2005 needs assessment commissioned by NCEF that revealed an estimated 17,000 children in the county lacked adequate dental care, a proven formula for severe tooth decay, pain and disruption in children’s ability to learn. To date, the center has provided care through more than 30,000 patient visits.