Anne Duffy comes full circle to uplift women in dentistry #InternationalWomensDay

There is nothing like a circle of women. A circle of women is healing and inspiring. A circle of women is powerful. When women join together with intention and purpose, mighty things are at hand. During this short life, some of us are fortunate enough to be welcomed into one of these circles.

We are lifted up. We are encouraged to spread our wings and set out to achieve our wildest dreams by other driven women. One woman in dentistry is creating the ultimate circle and giving women in dentistry a voice, a purpose, and a platform for success.

Anne Duffy, Founder and Owner of DeW (Dental Entrepreneur Woman) Life Magazine

Anne Duffy is the owner of DeW Life Magazine (Dental Entrepreneur Woman), also known as DeW Life.  To be a part of DeW Life is a special way of being.  It is not only a magazine, it is a culture, a lifestyle, and a trusted space for entrepreneurial women in dentistry to join forces in uniting their individual strengths.  After realizing her own strengths and falling in love with what she has to offer, Duffy began falling in love with other women’s gifts. This led her to the idea that we are all here to build on one another’s talents as long as we do it with great love. 

Duffy is a stunning statuesque blonde that can light up any room with her smile and personality. To have a phone conversation or be in the presence of Anne Duffy is inspiring and invigorating. She has a gift of encouragement that leaves you feeling like you can move mountains.  She is no stranger to dentistry and hard work.  As a long-time practicing dental hygienist of 46 years, Duffy presses full steam ahead to get women in dentistry their deserved recognition.  She has a “no scarcity” mentality meaning that she believes that there is room for all of our ideas in dentistry and business.

Duffy began to realize that women, in particular, were not loving and staying in the profession of dentistry.  This caught her attention and she began to wonder how she could get women to love dentistry again and feel fulfilled. 

“At age 42 is when I started to have a vision to dream outside of the operatory. The next 20 years have been a rocket ship.”

Anne Duffy, DeW Life Magazine Founder and Owner

The First Step: Recognizing Achievements

Duffy’s passion for working with women began several years ago when she had the opportunity to take on a leadership role with a large dental-based company. As she acknowledged the slip in passion for dentistry and that women were not being properly recognized for their achievements and efforts, she decided to take a stand and started DeW Life.

The DeW Life is grounded in owning and working from your natural strengths.

“I wish I owned my strengths when I was younger. Now it is time we grab the arm of the person next to us and go together.” 

Anne Duffy, DeW Life Magazine Founder and Owner

As dentistry grows and becomes more female influenced, Anne Duffy will stand proud with her DeW Life community that promotes love, accomplishment, empowerment, and connectedness. 

Become a member of the DeW Life Crew at https://www.dew.life/

DeW Life joins The Lucy Hobbs Project
in celebrating women in dentistry

Dew Life Founder Anne Duffy, left, and Guest Panelist Amanda Butterworth, RDH, pay tribute to Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first female to earn a dental degree in the U.S. at Benco’s 2019 Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration in Chicago.
(Benco Dental/Michael John Gentle)

Last October at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, Anne Duffy supported women in the profession at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration hosted by Benco Dental.

Nominate an outstanding woman in dentistry for this year’s Lucy Hobbs Project Awards: https://goben.co/2tMwjv3

Powered by Benco Dental and 10,000 members strong, The Lucy Hobbs Project encourages dental professionals to become part of the movement that is changing the face of dentistry through networking, innovation and giving back. Named for Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, who in 1866 became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, the project brings women together from all facets of the dental profession — dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others.

Three days of events focused on “Mind+Body+Soul” with panel discussions, C.E. credits and opportunities to give back, while inviting the project’s members — and all women in dentistry — to “Achieve Your Personal Best Balance, at Home and Work.”

As a high point of the three-day event, the project honored six women selected as award recipients for setting new benchmarks in the dental profession. The recipients:

  • Industry Icon Award — Linda Miles of Estero, Fla., speaker, consultant and author with AskLindaMiles.com.
  • Clinical Expert Award — Deborah V. George, DDS, of Miami, executive vice president and chief dental officer with Jessie Trice Community Health System.
  • Humanitarian Award — Tesa Jolly, DDS, of Jolly Family Dentistry in Pulaski, Tenn.
  • Innovator Award — Cathy J. Grinham, RDH, of Assonet, Mass., public health dental hygienist with Visiting Dental Associates of Massachusetts.
  • Mentor Award — Carole Ann Palmer, Ed.D., RD, LDN, with the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Boston.
  • Woman to Watch Award — Charmaine Ng, DMD, of Healthright360, San Francisco.
Dew Life Founder Anne Duffy, left, and Benco Dental Director of Coaching, Kay Huff, right, celebrate their friend and colleague Linda Miles, recipient of the 2019 Lucy Hobbs Project Industry Icon Award, at Benco’s Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration in Chicago.
(Benco Dental/Michael John Gentle)

Join The Lucy Hobbs Project today at: TheLucyHobbsProject.com

About the blogger

Kandice Swarthout, RDH, LPC is a Registered Dental Hygienist and Licensed Professional Counselor. She is a full-time dental hygiene educator in Texas. Kandice is the owner of Inspired Education & Wellness where she is a speaker and writer and combines her clinical dental and mental health experience to help other healthcare professionals have a fulfilling work-life experience.  Contact Kandice at kandice@inspirededucationwellness.com  

How the 1st female dentist in the U.S. Army survived the 1906 California ‘Exodus’ #womenshistorymonth

Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch survived the horrors of the 1906 San Franscisco earthquake, set up her dental practice in the Presidio Army base during the aftermath and tended refugees in the makeshift camp. She became the first (and only) female dentist in the U.S. Army until 1951.

To begin March’s celebration of #WomensHistoryMonth, Dr. Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch seems a fitting selection.

A Daughter of Aristocrats

Leonie was born in 1882 in Texas, the daughter of German aristocrats. When she was six, she moved with her mother and sister to California. They finally settled in San Francisco, where Leonie attended the local high school and in 1902 earned a degree from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, then known as the College of Physicians and Surgeons. She became a practicing dentist in June, 1902 after passing the California State Dental Board examination. At first, she began a the practice of a Swedish immigrant dentist, but the work was long and punishing, so much so that after treating patients from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week for some time, she collapsed from exhaustion.

Earthquake, then fire

By the time of the earthquake on April 18, 1906, Dr. Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch had opened her own dental office with a colleague. Unfortunately, on the second day of the disaster, her office succumbed to the fire that destroyed most of the city. Before the building went up in flames, she managed to get inside and save a few instruments.

“Before eight that morning, I was downtown persuading the Phelan Building agent to open the door to my offices. Water, coming through a huge hose from temporarily repaired and newly laid mains, was already breaking in the great front windows, tearing down curtains and flooding rich carpets. I had only time to get my colleague’s leather bag, pick up several dozen of his most cherished forceps and elevators, and save some instruments of my own. I could not get into the safe, so books and papers were destroyed. The roaring of the fire, the drumming of the water on walls, ceilings and furniture, and the frenzied yelling of men drove all but escape from my mind. In less than an hour after it had started burning, the whole large building was gutted.”

Leonie von Zesch, Leonie :A Women Ahead of Her Time

Afterward, the fire continued and forced Leonie and her mother from their rented rooms. They took what they could carry and started for the Presidio Army base, where many refugees were encamped.

“What I call the ‘Exodus’ fled down Van Ness Avenue to the water front, thence along the Barbary Coast and tough water front by an enormously long detour to the ferries; it was the only way, the town streets being on fire and close by the military.”

– Harry C. Carr, Complete History of the San Francisco Horror

There, her mother offered to assist the U.S. Army and Red Cross document survivors. Dr. Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch offered her skills as a dental surgeon with the Army and attended to the many now-homeless people. The Army paid and housed her and her mother. This arrangement went on until early July when the city tried to replace her in this role with a male dentist. Both the mayor, Eugene Schmitz and Brigadier General Funston, in charge of the Army, had her reinstated.

1906_SanFran_earthquake2

In total, 30,000 refugees were cared for by the government at the Presidio base.

“It should be called the ‘Exodus,’ for it was a Biblical scene. It was the headlong flight of those who were most terror-stricken to get out of the doomed city.”

Harry C. Carr, Complete History of the San Francisco Horror

Starting Again

By 1907, Dr. Leonie von Meusebach–Zesch tried to start a private dental practice of her own. She did not receive many new clients, but she had additional income from appointments as dentist to the Children’s Hospital and to the Maria Kipp Orphanage. In 1908, she received agreements from commanders of both the United States Pacific Fleet and the United States Atlantic Fleet to bring dentists and lab technicians aboard ships and provide dental services to members of the crews. While this kept her busy, it was not particularly profitable.

On the Move

By 1908, she was on the move again, this time moving back to Texas with her mother. She became licensed in the state and afterward declined one offer from a Dallas businessman to front a statewide chain of dental offices that he intended to manage in the background.

After working for several years in Texas, she moved to Arizona, becoming licensed in that state. She started a business as a traveling dentist, driving around in her Model T, treating school children for free; she also treated many from the indigenous Indian tribes in the area. After being in practice there for a few years, she left for on a visit to her sister and brother-in-law in the territory of Alaska.

Time for New Adventures

She eventually moved her practice to Alaska and served several communities there for a number of years, practicing in remote Inuit villages and even a near-death experience.

More to the Story

There is much more to the amazing Leonie von Zesch’s story. She had many more adventures before dying at the age of 61 in 1944. Information can be found on her Wikipedia page here. Also, you can purchase her autobiography here on Amazon.

She was elected posthumously to the Alaskan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2012.

Celebrate women in dentistry with The Lucy Hobbs Project

Every day Benco Dental salutes women in dentistry, both past and present. The nation’s largest independently owned dental distributor created The Lucy Hobbs Project to promote all women in the profession.

For more information on The Lucy Hobbs Project, click here.

About the blogger

Guest blogger Jenn Ochman, Database Publishing Production Specialist in the Branding and Communication Department at Benco Dental, dedicates her time outside work to historical reenactment. She shares knowledge of dental history with TheDailyFloss.com readers on a monthly basis.

Benco Family Foundation Schedules Trio of Lessons in a Lunchbox Events for Chicago Schools

Benco Dental’s charitable arm will join the Children’s Oral Health Institute in hosting Lessons in a Lunchbox programs during the 2020 Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and in celebration, the Benco Family Foundation, together with the Children’s Oral Health Institute, plans to build on their strong relationship with Chicago Public Schools to host three Lessons in a Lunchbox events during this year’s Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.

Last year, the foundation gifted toothbrushes to every single student, from pre-K to elementary, in all 469 Chicago public schools, so that over 150,000 smiles could have the one basic essential for healthy teeth—something most people take for granted, but that a shocking number of children go without. However, you can’t just put a toothbrush in a child’s hand and walk away. That’s where Lessons in a Lunchbox: Healthy Teeth Essentials & Facts About Snacks comes in. This national oral health and nutrition program reaches underserved elementary school children by offering an ingeniously-shaped holder — a carrot — packaged in a bright orange lunchbox with all the supplies needed for healthy teeth.

This year, the two organizations will present Lessons In A Lunchbox at the following schools:

  • Jackie Robinson Elementary School on Wednesday, 2/19, at 1 p.m., 4225 S. Lake Park Avenue. (773) 535-1777.
  • John Charles Haines Elementary School on Thursday, 2/20, at 1 p.m., 247 West 23rd Place. (773) 534-9200.
  • Oscar DePriest Elementary School on Friday, 2/21, at 1 p.m., 139 S Parkside Avenue.  (773) 534-6800.

Benco Family Foundation representatives will be on hand for the event at John Charles Haines Elementary, and invite members of the media to also attend.

Dr. Winifred J. Booker created Lessons in a Lunchbox over two decades ago and has worked to expand its adoption in her larger role as CEO of the Children’s Oral Health Institute. The program’s cornerstone is the ingeniously crafted, carrot-shaped carrying case designed to teach elementary school children the importance of dental hygiene with information in English, Spanish, and braille. Before children receive their bright lunchboxes of treasures (a plastic carrot filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and rinse cup) the group follows a prepared lesson plan and enjoys short films about proper brushing and flossing techniques.

The program’s bright orange lunchboxes each contain a plastic carrot complete with toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and rinse cup.

“As access to care continues to be a challenge for the underserved, prevention is a more important part of our strategy than ever before. Lessons in a Lunchbox makes teaching good oral healthcare and nutrition habits at an early age fun and impactful. The program is valuable to every single student it touches because it helps build better educated and healthier communities.”

Rebecca Binder, Executive Director of the Benco Family Foundation.

Since 2015, the Benco Family Foundation has been helping people across the globe through toothbrush donations with its Buy-One-Give-One program. For every PRO-SYS brand adult tapered or antimicrobial toothbrush purchased, the philanthropic arm of America’s largest family-owned dental distributor donates a toothbrush to someone in need. But the Benco Family Foundation is about much more than toothbrushes. Dedicated to improving the dental health and quality of life in its local communities and around the world, it supports over 100 organizations, delivering innovative dental health solutions through monetary donations, as well as free product, to support dental missions, clinics and organizations. The foundation continually reviews new opportunities to underwrite oral health solutions and community resources that are innovative, sustainable, measurable and impactful.

About Benco Dental

Benco Dental Drives Dentistry Forward℠ through innovative solutions and a caring family culture. Company firsts include CenterPoint design/equipment superstores, OneVisit™ open architecture CAD/CAM, Painless® electronic ordering and automated supply management. Independent since founded by Ben Cohen in 1930, Benco has grown to become the country’s largest family-owned dental distributor. Over 1,400 dedicated associates serve customers at locations coast-to-coast including 400+ sales representatives and 300+ factory-trained service technicians. Benco is one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma for three consecutive years, a NAFE Top Company for Executive Women for two consecutive years, and among Pennsylvania Best Places to Work® for 12 of 14 prior years.
For more information, visit benco.com or call 1.800.GO.BENCO.

Arguments for equality in dentistry and in life #tbt #WomensEqualityDay

The blog is part of a series paying tribute to pioneers in dentistry. Celebrate changemaking women in dentistry at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration, set for October 3-5 at The Blackstone in Chicago. Register today: https://www.regmadeeasy.com/benco/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/

I am writing this post on August 26, #WomensEqualityDay. It’s the 99th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, that gave women the right to vote. Today, I’m focusing on a few voices that advocated for and against allowing women to practice dentistry. There were many against, but only a few brave souls who felt women were equal to men and that dentistry was a place where women could excel.

Sarah Grimke, Early Suffragette
SaraGrimke

I ask no favors for my sex. All I ask our brethren is that they will take their feet off our necks. – Sarah Grimke, early suffragette.

Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor

The Dental Times Dispute

If you follow The Lucy Hobbs Project, you’re familiar with the story of Lucy Hobbs, the young woman who sought a career as a dentist, but was constantly denied entrance to dental school based solely on her gender. This was common across a range of educational institutes; law schools, medical schools, and dental schools, among others, frequently denied women admittance to their programs.

Dental Times

Around the same time Lucy Hobbs was finishing up her dental studies in Ohio, a dispute was brewing in Pennsylvania between the pages of The Dental Times, featuring arguments both for and against allowing women to be dentists.

The 1866, Volume III, Number 4 issue of The Dental Times featured two articles, one advocating for women in dentistry, and the other arguing they are “not fitted physically for such taxing work”.

girl-graduates

The first article is the Valedictory address of James Truman, DDS, dean of the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery from 1865-1876. In it, he states:

The recognition of the right of every human being to an equal share in the privileges that we enjoy, has not yet become a principle of faith and practice, as I think it should. We say to one-half of the human family, stitch, stitch, darn stockings, make shoes for a shilling, stand behind counters for two or three dollars per week, do anything, but don’t enter the sacred precincts that we have marked out for our peculiar benefit…Talent is of no sex, color or clime…

This thought was revolutionary for the time and Dr. Truman knew it.

…It may be that I stand alone in these views, both with the Faculty of this College and the audience; but I trust not, as in my judgement, the advancement of the world depends, to a large extent, upon their adoption.

The Opposing View

JesseCastleLaMoreaux

Within the same scientific journal, there came the opposing view, with the glaring title, “Dental Surgery – Should Females Practice It?” Its author, Dr. George T. Barker, editor of The Dental Times, emphatically believed women were not suited for the physical rigors of dentistry.

Dr. Barker states, in part:

Should females be encouraged to enter the dental profession? I contend they should not, and it is with no disrespect that the assertion is made. The same reason holds good against females practicing dentistry that it does against a feeble male, for the reasons as previously stated. The very form and structure of a woman unfit her for its duties…

By 1872, three women were admitted to the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery; however, after completing the first year, they were not allowed to return because they were women. When that occurred, there was a dissenting vote by a member of the faculty. The matter then was brought to a committee of members of the board, who rendered the decision that “a student could not be cast out without due cause.” In 1874, two of the three women graduated from the college. Obviously some agreed with Dean Truman, regarding women in dentistry.

1911-Suffragettes

On this #WomensEqualityDay, we are glad that more and more people are of the mind of Dr. Truman rather than Dr. Barker. Here’s to more women in dentistry and to the pioneers, like Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Henriette Hirschfeld, and others who defied convention to become dentists.

Next year, the 19th Amendment turns 100! Here’s to more “firsts” for women!

About the blogger

Guest blogger Jenn Ochman, Database Publishing Production Specialist in the Branding and Communication Department at Benco Dental, dedicates her time outside work to historical reenactment. She shares knowledge of dental history with TheDailyFloss.com readers on a monthly basis.

Dr. Charmaine Ng is a Woman to Watch in dentistry

This fall, the Lucy Hobbs Project will host its 7th annual Celebration honoring women in dentistry. The event, hosted in partnership with Cameo Dental Specialists on October 3-5, 2019 at The Blackstone, Chicago will feature a lineup of inspirational and insightful guest speakers and panelists in line with the theme, Mind+Body+Spirit and close with a give back session to benefit the nonprofit organization Let It Be Us. (Register today:  https://www.regmadeeasy.com/benco/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/ )

Expect to be wowed.

Each year, though, the Celebration’s high point cannot be matched by any of these spectacular speakers and events. When The Lucy Hobbs Project Awards are presented to six indomitable women who are reshaping the profession of dentistry, awe-inspiring moments ensue.

As the applause dies down and each person is introduced, those in attendance have an opportunity to view the change one person can affect in the world.
This year, one of those changemakers is Charmaine Ng, DMD, recipient of the Lucy Hobbs Project Woman to Watch Award.

Ready to be inspired by Charmaine Ng, DMD?

Most of Dr. Charmaine Ng’s patients are experiencing homelessness or struggling with other barriers to quality healthcare; she aims to restore tooth function and self-confidence through dentistry, while providing integrated care.

To meet the needs of the underserved in her community, Dr. Ng created a dental program, HealthRIGHT360, in San Francisco, California. As the Founding Dental Director, she developed a whole body, integrated care approach that utilized the dental, medical, medical assisted therapy (MAT), and behavioral health services on site after early years dedicated to volunteerism.

What fueled her passion for giving back?

As an undergraduate student at University of California San Diego, Charmaine Ng dedicated her efforts with a student-run free dental clinic, and this passion for service led her to A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health to pursue a career in dentistry. Inspired by her educational experience, she continued to serve on the School’s alumni board for six years after graduation.

By engaging in local community health committees and the San Francisco Dental Society, she gathered data and assessed the needs of the community to expand HealthRIGHT360’s clinical site and also the scope of the practice to children who have limited access to dental care.

Dr. Ng is an American College of Dentists’ Fellow 2019 

Meet Dr. Ng and hear more about her incredible journey at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration! Bring the whole team. Register today: https://www.regmadeeasy.com/benco/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/

Creating a positive place in the universe: Nicole Zwiercan meets #LHP19

Giving back. Finding strength in difficult times. Inspiring others to use their voice to promote positive change. One woman does it all … and more.

Nicole Zwiercan, Mrs. USA Universe 2018 and a Registered Dental Hygienist who was recently named one of Chicago’s “Most Inspiring People” will discuss how to grow stronger from trials and celebrate triumphs at the 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration. Join her Oct. 3-5 at The Blackstone, Chicago.

Earn 4 CE credits and celebrate women in dentistry! Register: https://www.regmadeeasy.com/be…/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2019/

As Mrs. USA Universe 2018, Nicole sets out to inspire people all over the world to celebrate their triumphs, and grow stronger from their trials. She was honored to represent the USA this past December in Cebu, Philippines at the 12th Annual Mrs. Universe Pageant, where she placed first Runner Up to Mrs. Universe 2018. She also won “Most Photogenic” and the “Humanitarian Award” for her work in the community out of the 88 countries that participated.

In 2016 Nicole was named Mrs. Illinois International and dedicated her year to breaking the stigmas that surround bullying. As a victim herself, of workplace bullying and harassment, she created a worldwide, multilingual campaign to raise awareness that #BullyingDoesNotDiscriminate. Through this campaign she also developed her own app “Kindness Crossing Borders” to further reach people universally. She won the “Overall Best Interview Award” out of 62 contestants from all over the world, also earning her a First Runner‐ Up finish for Mrs. International 2016. She was proud to have completed over 100 charitable appearances and days of service that year.

In 2015 Nicole created her nonprofit “Be Kind. Make a Difference” which is dedicated to inspiring kindness, inclusion and acceptance. After her daughter received a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis, this last March, her mission has never been more important to her. She truly believes that difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.

Nicole is the author of the blog “It’s Simple. Be Kind” (www.itssimplebekind.com) which to date, has had over 65,000 visitors from all over the world. She uses this blog to show that we can acknowledge the storms we undoubtedly encounter in life, but more importantly, we should choose to celebrate the rainbows.

Nicole has an extensive professional dance background having danced in the AFL and NBA for the Chicago Bulls from 2001‐2010. Through those experiences, she’s become comfortable serving as a spokesperson and ambassador for many international companies all over the nation. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Art History. She also has earned a degree in Science and Dental Hygiene from Kennedy King & University of Illinois at Chicago: College of Dentistry in 2011.

She has been a practicing hygienist in both specialties of pediatric dentistry, as well as periodontics for the last eight years.

Most recently, Nicole was featured in the book “Beyond the Interview: A 52 Week Guide of Inspiration,” as one of the top interviews of the year from The Whitney Reynolds Show. She also was named one of Chicago’s “Most Inspiring People” by Voyage Chicago Magazine. Nicole currently is a reporter for the Comcast show Community Connection. Together with her family, Dr. Christopher Zwiercan, her son Cristiano (5) and their daughter Ashlynn (2), she hopes to not only be a voice, but a light for families that are navigating through the storms of diagnosis… and to show that it’s OK to have a different kind of perfect.

#LHP19 Celebration will honor six women in dentistry and feature CNN’s Poppy Harlow

On October 3-5, The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 will welcome Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration; registration is currently open. Click here.

When she’s not co-anchoring the weekday 9-11 a.m. ET edition of “CNN Newsroom”, Poppy Harlow hosts the CNN podcast “BossFiles with Poppy Harlow” with guests including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Melinda Gates. This fall in Chicago, the Emmy-nominated journalist (shown above, interviewing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg) will join The Lucy Hobbs Project in partnership with Cameo Dental Specialists in celebrating six outstanding women in dentistry.

On October 3-5, The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 will welcome Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration; registration is currently open. Click here.

“Each year, The Lucy Hobbs Project celebrates the achievements of women in dentistry. Our goal is to gather leaders in the profession to discuss relevant issues and overall well being. We want our guests to leave feeling uplifted, knowing they’ve gained insight to benefit their dental practice and themselves.”

Rachel Pugh, Branding and Communications Manager for Benco Dental


As a highpoint of the three-day event, The Project will honor six women selected as award recipients for setting new benchmarks in the dental profession:


Powered by Benco Dental and 10,000 members strong, The Lucy Hobbs Project encourages dental professionals to become part of the movement that is changing the face of dentistry through networking, innovation and giving back. Named for Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the woman who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, this national project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental profession – dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others.

Three days of events, with a focus on Mind+Body+Soul, will include panel discussions, Continuing Education credits, and opportunities to give back, while inviting the project’s members – and all women in dentistry—to “Achieve Your Personal Best Balance, at Home & Work”.

Upcoming at The Blackstone Hotel in Chicago, Illinois and included in the $199 ticket price:

  • Thursday, October 3: Afternoon reception and optional tours
  • Friday, October 4: Full day of panels, speakers and the Celebration ceremony honoring six Lucy Hobbs Project award recipients
  • Saturday, October 5: Morning group yoga and healthy breakfast followed by give-back activity to benefit Let It Be Us, a nonprofit that finds homes for the 18,000 children living in Illinois foster care.
On October 3-5, The Blackstone Hotel, 636 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605 will welcome Benco Dental’s 7th annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration; registration is currently open.

To attend the 7th Annual Celebration of Women in Dentistry, host a regional event, or take part in a Lucy Hobbs Project YOU event at a dental school, contact Event Coordinator Ali Riviello at 570-602-7068 or ariviello@benco.com.

Free to join, The Lucy Hobbs Project invites women in dentistry women to use their voices as a force for change. To learn more about previous winners of The Lucy Hobbs Project® Award, or to sign up for The Lucy Hobbs Project®, visit: www.lucyhobbscelebration.com

Dr. Juliann Bluitt Foster charted course for change. Dental leader dies at 80.

“Barrier breaker.”

The Washington Post aptly describes the first woman and first African American to serve as president of the American College of Dentists in a tribute to her passing.

Dr. Joan Bluitt Foster, 1938 – 2019

(Photo courtesy The Island Funeral Home)

Dr. Juliann Bluitt Foster died April 17 at her home in Hilton Head, S.C. She was 80, according to the story.

Chicago Dental Society President Cheryl Watson-Lowry, the society’s second female African-American president, describes Dr. Bluitt Foster’s mentorship qualities in an obituary published in the CDS Review:

“As the first female and African-American female president of the Chicago Dental Society, Juliann Bluitt inspired me and countless others to pursue our dreams without limitation. She not only served as a role model to so many of us but was also a pioneer in multiple arenas.” 

After earning her dental degree from Howard University in 1962, she dedicated her professional efforts as a member of the Chicago Board of Health, then later joined Northwestern University’s dental school as a dental educator and assistant dean.

Bart Barnes illustrates in his story how Dr. Bluitt Foster “encouraged and supported an increase in the number of female dental students”.

“It was expected that women would not be good in operating a dental practice because they didn’t have business experience,” she told the Chicago Tribune in 1992. “But women have been managing time, money and resources for years.”

Read more about Dr. Bluitt Foster’s early years in Washington and her legacy in dentistry: here.

Learn about her career in Chicago and achievements as the first female president of the Chicago Dental Society: here.

Meet (more than) a few incredible women in Lucy Hobbs Project History #WomensHistoryMonth

Thirty-one days. Not nearly enough time to spotlight every woman in history who has sacrificed, pioneered, challenged, innovated, mentored and made today possible.  Women’s History Month does provide the impetus to honor them,  learn more ( https://womenshistory.si.edu/   ) and most importantly, continue the path of positive reinforcement. The Lucy Hobbs Project does this through the community of dentistry.  Annually, […]