On Sunday, April 14th, at the National Oral Health Conference in Memphis, Tennessee, the co-founder and CEO of Apple Tree Dental, Dr. Michael J. Helgeson, was awarded the John P. Rossetti Community Oral Health Impact Award for his efforts to improve oral health access.
Dr. Helgeson cited his dentist grandfather, Jay A. Jacobson – who never turned anyone away from his dental practice, even during the Great Depression – as inspiration for entering the dentistry field. Shortly after graduating from dental school, Dr. Helgeson co-founded Apple Tree Dental. Though it started with a mobile dentistry program, Apple Tree has grown to have seven Centers for Dental Health throughout Minnesota. In 2018 alone, Apple Tree employed nearly 200 staff and clinicians and provided over 96,000 visits and screenings.
The John P. Rossetti Award is one of the prestigious accolades presented by the American Association for Community Dental Programs (AACDP). The award annually goes to an individual who has “demonstrated outstanding service, commitment, and leadership to improve oral health, especially to the underserved.” Previous recipients have been Mark J. Doherty, DMD, MS (2017), Maureen Oostdik, BA, RDH (2016), Reginald Louie, DDS, MPH (2015), and John P. Rossetti, DDS, MPH (2014, awarded posthumously).
To learn more about Dr. Helgeson’s work and the founding of Apple Tree Dental, visit www.appletreedental.org/mission/history/.
Featured image: (from left) Dr. Larry Hill, Dr. Michael Helgeson, Dr. Jay Kumar, Dr. Myron Allukian, Jr.
Dr. Michael Helgeson received the John P. Rossetti Award. Dr. Jay Kumar received the Myron Allukian, Jr. Award.