ADA celebrates veterans at SmileCon 2024

Celebratory event at the National World War II Museum among opportunities to engage


The ADA Foundation’s Give Veterans A Smile program will launch nationally at SmileCon 2024 in New Orleans, Oct. 17-19.

SmileCon will present multiple opportunities to help call attention to the unmet oral health needs of veterans by encouraging dentists to provide pro bono oral health care services to underserved veterans and providing resources to support those efforts.

“I am proud to be a part of the Give Veterans A Smile program,” said Mark A. Vitale, D.M.D., chairperson of the Give Veterans A Smile National Advisory Committee. “Each time I look at the Bronze Star that my father received for his service in the Army during the Korean War, it reminds me of the great opportunity dentists and their team members have to give back to those who were willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom.”

The ADA Foundation’s Give Veterans A Smile celebration, an awareness and fundraising event, will be held Oct. 19 at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

The event is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. and tickets cost $150 ($75 for students).

The ticket includes food, beverages and enter- tainment. Any funds raised over the cost of the event will be used to support efforts to connect veterans to oral health care. Business dress is requested, and attendees are invited to wear their service dress uniform, if applicable. Event tickets can be purchased in the SmileCon registration system.

The program will be officially kicked off during a mainstage session titled Give Veterans A Smile: Engage, Educate, Empower, scheduled for Oct. 18 from 8:30-10 a.m. The session will educate attendees about the oral health needs of veterans and what resources are available to veterans and provide details about the Give Veterans A Smile program framework. The audience will hear from representatives of the ADA, ADA Foundation, Veterans Administration, American Institute of Dental Public Health and a distinguished keynote speaker.

The Give Veterans A Smile Pack & Give Back Event will be held Oct. 17 from 9:30 a.m.-noon in Dental Central, Social Impact Hub. In partnership with the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, this event is an opportunity to help local veterans in need by packing Health & Comfort Kits with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and oral health education materials. The kits will be distributed the following day to underserved veterans at a local VA hospital.

The GVAS Pack & Give Back Event is sponsored by Colgate, Henry Schein Cares, the Dental Trade Alliance Foundation and the Alliance of the American Dental Association.

Throughout SmileCon, the ADA Foundation will also host multiple continuing education sessions in collaboration with the American Institute of Dental Public Health, including:

• Innovative Approaches to Managing Chronic Diseases in Veteran Patients (5104), Oct. 17, 10-11:30 a.m.

Supporting Veterans with PTSD: Collaborative Care with a Trauma-Informed Approach (5114), Oct. 17, 2:30-4 p.m.

Providing Care to Underserved Veterans: Panel Presentation Various Care Models (6122), Oct. 18, 10:30 a.m.-noon.

• Identifying Sustainable and Innovative Best Practices to Veteran Oral Health Care (7102), Oct. 19, 8:30-10 a.m.

• Medical-Dental Integration: A Path to Improved Veteran Healthcare (7108), Oct. 19, noon-1:30 p.m.

All events except the Oct. 19 celebration will ake place at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

For more information on GVAS SmileCon programming and to register, visit education/smilecon/meet/give-veterans-a-smile.

For general inquiries regarding the GVAS program, email

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