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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6
September 2023
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Northern Arizona Oral Health Coalition Presents Maureen Pisano With The 2023 Northern Arizona Oral Health Hero of the Year Award Presented by Delta Dental of Arizona
By Alison Bailin - Monday Mar 06, 2023
The Northern Arizona Oral Health Coalition (NAzOHC), whose mission is to improve the public's oral and general wellness with the focus on vulnerable populations through community partnerships, is pleased to announce Maureen Pisano, the director of dental services at Sid Davis Memorial Dental Clinic, as its 2023 Northern Arizona Oral Health Hero of the Year Award Presented by Delta Dental of Arizona. Pisano was given her award during the 2023 Northern Arizona Oral Health Hero of the Year Awards, which took place on March 3 at North Country HealthCare.

"The Northern Arizona Oral Health Coalition is honored and excited to name Maureen Pisano this year's Oral Health Hero. Maureen has spent her career changing lives throughout northern Arizona and the world. She has dedicated countless volunteer hours addressing our oral health needs and providing support to those in our communities that need it most. No one is more deserving of this recognition, and we are excited to celebrate Maureen's achievements and work,” says Peter Van Wyck, co-chair of NAzOHC and senior director of the northeast regional area for First Things First.

In addition to her dedicated work at the Sid Davis Memorial Dental Clinic, Pisano – who has been a Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) certified dental assistant since 1979 – was an Affiliate Committee Member of the Arizona Dental Foundation. She also taught radiology for dental assistants for many years at Northern Arizona University and was the department head at Union Technical Institute in New Jersey prior to that. Pisano also coordinated the Flagstaff Give Kids a Smile program.

“I first got to know Maureen when she and I worked on the first Northern Arizona’s Gold Crown Ball Committee in 2008, which raised funds so we could purchase oral hygiene supplies for kindergarten children in the Flagstaff area. She also visited the classrooms to teach oral health through this program,” says nominator Jenny Zamora-Garcia, herself a past winner of the award for her work locally as the Flagstaff Tooth Fairy. “Many know about the good works she has done in Flagstaff in particular, but not everyone knows that Maureen also travels to Mexico with the Flying Dental Samaritans to volunteer as a dental assistant.”

Pisano was also one of the leads for the Northern Arizona Mission of Mercy events in 2019 and 2021, recruiting dental assistants and volunteering as a dental assistant in oral surgery for the two-day event.

Nominations for the 2023 award were open to individuals living and working in Coconino County who engage in raising awareness about the importance of oral health; actively support oral health across the lifespan; lead and organize oral health activities for the underserved, including but not limited to direct oral health services.

“There are countless oral health heroes across northern Arizona, many of whom we work with through our support of several programs in the area, notably Flagstaff Medical Center, North Country Health Care, NAU School of Dental Hygiene, Coconino County Cooperative Extension, Northern Arizona Council of Government, Verde Valley Medical Center, and many more,” says Michael Jones, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Arizona. “Today, we are honored to shine a light on Maureen, whose tireless work being done to increase access to oral health services to all individuals across northern Arizona should be commended as we collaboratively continue to create a path to healthier lives for everyone.”