Pioneers for progress: Benco Dental’s Lucy Hobbs Project honors 6 women in dentistry

  • October 1, 2020
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Six Lucy Hobbs Project Award recipients for 2020

Meet the founder of two institutes and a university bachelor’s program, a front runner of advanced dental surgical techniques, an advocate for the oral care of 28,000 children and counting, the mind behind 100-plus medical devices and technology, an engineer of empowerment, and a unifier of oral health and medicine. They are Lucy Hobbs.

Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor earned her dental degree in 1866, advancing equality for her gender. She defied nearly a decade of resistance, leading with clinical proficiency and innovative thinking; then she mentored others to do the same. Benco Dental’s Lucy Hobbs Project® annually honors women in dentistry who personify that same spirit.

Lindsay Pross, Events and Marketing Operations Manager for Benco Dental
Lindsay Pross, Events and Marketing Operations Manager for Benco Dental

“Each year I am awestruck by the women being considered for this honor. Benco Dental unites women from every sector of the profession through The Lucy Hobbs Project, and creates a network that recognizes, fosters and celebrates that excellence,” said Lindsay Pross, Events and Marketing Operations Manager for the nation’s largest independent dental distributor.

The six Lucy Hobbs Project Award recipients for 2020, below, will be featured in the Incisal Edge magazine winter issue and invited to participate in the new Driving Dentistry Forward podcast hosted by Chuck Cohen and Rick Cohen, Managing Directors of Benco Dental and founders of Incisal Edge.

  • Rella Christensen, PhD, recipient of the Industry Icon award, shares her inspirational level of knowledge as a clinical researcher in numerous capacities, without any monetary compensation. Within her purview: Expanded Function Dental Hygiene, for which she founded and directed the Bachelor of Science Program at the University of Colorado in Denver.Dr.Christensen’s competencies in the areas ofPhysiology and Microbiology power the team at Technologies in Restoratives and Caries Research (TRAC Research), a nonprofit institute she established in Provo, Utah. At its core: in-depth studies of restorative materials, preventive dentistry, and dental caries. During her lifelong commitment to the betterment of patient treatment, Dr. Christensen also dedicated 27 years to Clinical Research Associates, a dental product testing institute that she founded and directed. She has presented over 1,040 dental continuing education programs, totaling over 5,200 hours, at U.S. and international locations and has published 121 abstracts. She is a member of the American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry and the International and American Associations for Dental Research. As a non-dentist, Dr. Christensen has been inducted into the International College of Dentists, Academy of General Dentistry and the Academy of Dentistry International as an Honorary Member. In 2001 she was selected as the Distinguished Alumnus of Brigham Young University’s School of Life Sciences, and now serves on its National Advisory Board.
  • Sarah Khan, DMD, recipient of the Clinical Expertise award, demonstrates scientific and academic proficiency and experience. Dr. Khan earned her doctorate in dental medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was selected to work alongside professors in a collaborative environment at the Ivy League school’s Dental Care Clinic. Through that exposure, she discovered her professional passion for advanced dental surgical techniques. Dr. Khan pursued courses with renowned educators Dr. Frank Spear, Dr. John Kois, and completed an intensive program with Dr. Arun K. Garg in the Dominican Republic. Dr. Khan’s expertise with sinus lifts, implants and full mouth extractions distinguish her surgically-focused practice in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Khan earned recognition from Incisal Edge among its 40 Under 40, America’s Best Young Dentists. Her recent undertakings include pharmaceutical development, and participation as a board member for a dental informatics company, aimed on improving patient care through the use of information technology.
  • Nicole McGrath-Barnes, DDS, FACD, recipient of the Humanitarian award, lives each day never losing sight of her impetus at age 15: to serve through dentistry. When, after 16 years of private practice, she began witnessing inequities in many communities, Dr. McGrath-Barnes created KinderSmile Foundation in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Since 2007, more than 28,000 children and families in that state experienced free dentistry ($7 million in donated services) through the efforts of the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In that time, this oral health advocate mentored 35-plus high school and college students to pursue careers in the dental profession. Dr. McGrath-Barnes’ latest endeavor resulted in the expansion of KinderSmile’s dental homes in impoverished areas of Newark and Trenton, and inspired her to create an educational dental app for patients that is age appropriate in two languages. Her efforts have been lauded by The New Jersey Dental Association, New Jersey Office of the Governor and local community impact organizations.
  • Carolyn Primus, PhD, recipient of the Innovator award, makes strides in bioceramic materials technology for dentistry as an inventor, researcher, manufacturer, teacher, and humanitarian. She developed more than 100 medical devices in 30-plus years, including those she used to found Avalon Biomed.  An inventor on 12 patents, with another pending, Dr. Primus developed bioactive materials that remain the standard of care in endodontics today. A medical device consultant for the past 23 years at Primus Consulting in Sarasota, Florida, she also shares knowledge as an adjunct associate professor at Dental College of Georgia and Texas A&M College of Dentistry. She contributes reviews for journals, lectures at schools on bioactive dental materials, and has authored 40 scientific articles, and chapters in textbooks. Recognitions include a University of Illinois engineering alumni award, and the Dr. Edward B. Shils Award for innovation and development of products for fixed prosthodontics, orthodontics and endodontics. She chairs the endodontic materials committees for the American Dental Association and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Most recently, Dr. Primus was recognized with the ADA 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award.  
  • Stephenie Goddard, MS, recipient of the Mentor award, guides the next generation of leaders in the dental community through her role as Executive Vice President of Business Operations at Glidewell Dental in Newport Beach, California. Her dedication to elevating women in the workplace inspired her to engineer Glidewell’s Guiding Leaders program, which empowers women nationwide in all facets of business and leadership. Goddard designed the educational program with the intent of developing future key opinion leaders and fostering mentorship in the dental arena. She is a senior executive with nearly 30 years of business experience across multiple sectors.  In her current role she has global responsibility for strategically leading new business development, sales, managing key partnerships, customer experience, human resources and learning and development.
  • Lisa Simon, MD, DMD, recipient of the Woman to Watch award, dedicates her talents as a Fellow in Oral Health and Medicine Integration at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a Resident Physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Simon works to ensure oral health equity by integrating the medical and dental systems, which led her to become a physician after working as a community health center dentist. She has procured grants to pilot the assimilation of oral health services into hospital wards, primary care settings, and clinics for incarcerated populations. Dr. Simon has developed oral health education curricula for practicing primary care clinicians as well as medical and nursing students, and conducts research on the impact of oral health on overall health. The New England Journal of Medicine, Health Affairs, and the American Journal of Public Health and many others have published her work. 

Want to learn more and join?

Powered by Benco Dental and 10,000 members strong, The Lucy Hobbs Project® encourages dental professionals to unite as a force for change through networking, innovation and giving back. Free to join, the Project includes women from all facets of the profession – dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives. To learn more or become a member, visit:

The post Pioneers for progress: Benco Dental’s Lucy Hobbs Project honors 6 women in dentistry appeared first on The Daily Floss Blog | Benco Dental.

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