Prestigious Community Award Given to Local Dentist and Child Advocate

July 14, 1999

The 1999 Kenneth W. Woodward Award was presented to Buddhi M. Shrestha, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., director of the University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center's Community Dentistry Program for his dedication and zeal, ensuring that poor children have access to essential oral health care.

The Woodward Award, sponsored by the Rochester Primary Care Network (RPCN), is given in honor of Dr. Kenneth W. Woodward, a Rochester pediatrician, who dedicated his life work locally and nationally to ensure that the poor and insured had access to quality primary health care services. Woodword was the first chief executive officer of the Anthony L. Jordan Center and of the Rochester Health Network, one of the nations' first community health centers and the predecessor of the RPCN. Congresswomen Louise Slaughter was the recipient of last year's award.

Shrestha has been an active partner with RPCN in recent joint ventures. Through his leadership, Eastman Dental Center (EDC) has joined with Rushville Health Center to operate the RPCN- supported Rural Preventative Pediatric Dental Project, screening and treating 5,433 children and 739 adults in seven rural counties. EDC also became the dental care provider at the Downtown Health Care Center, making affordable oral care available to inner-city residents and the homeless.

Prior to joining EDC, Dr. Shrestha was the staff pediatric dentist at the Anthony L. Jordan Health Center for nine years, during which he served for four years as president of the medical-dental staff and chair of the Joint Conference Committee of the Jordan Center board.

Shrestha became a full-time associate professor and director of EDC's Community Dentistry Program in 1994. The program's outreach clinical services consisted of two mobile vans, named Smilemobiles, which cared for 2,230 children in eight Rochester elementary schools, two day care centers, and one rural summer clinic at Mt. Morris. Four years later, the program treated 6,513 children at 17 city clinics including: 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, three city sites, and 12 rural clinic sites. The Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation recently awarded the program $250,000 to purchase a third Smilemobile, which will serve an additional 1,200 under served children who otherwise would not receive care.

Shrestha personifies George Eastman's founding vision for the Rochester Dental Dispensary - to provide community outreach to children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Shrestha said, "I am deeply honored to receive this award. Although, we have made considerable progress in providing much needed dental care to thousands of the neediest children in Rochester and its neighboring rural counties, there are many more children to reach".

Shrestha is a member of the Maternal and Child Health Committee of the Monroe County Board of Health, a founding member and chair of the Health and Human Services Committee of Rochester's Sector 10 Northeast Neighborhood Alliance Council and a dental consultant to the ABC Head Start Health Advisory Committee. At the NYS Department of Health, he is a member of the Medicaid Dental Managed Care Workgroup and the Strategic Planning Committee of the Bureau of Dental Health.

Shrestha received his dental degree from Punjab University in India in 1963 and was awarded a Fullbright Fellowship in 1967 to study in the U.S. He completed his pediatric dentistry training with a master's degree in dental science at EDC in 1970 and a Ph.D. degree in pathology at the University of Rochester in 1980.

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