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Michigan Dental Association Public Service Award

February 18, 2017, 12:00 am


To recognize exceptional current contributions to the public and the dental profession in the field of dental health and related activities.  This is an intra and extra professional public service award that should not only recognize current and past contributions, but also to stimulate further service by others.

Any member of the dental profession or auxiliary group is eligible for this award.


  • Dr. Phil Yancho
  • Dr. William Lee
  • Rene Louchart, RDH, B.S.
  • Deerhaven Dentistry: Dr. Steve Niergarth, Dr. Jason Merrithew, Dr. Lance Beers
  • Grand Traverse Oral Surgery: Dr. Wayne L. Olsen, Dr. Craig Fountain, Dr. Dan Madion, Dr. Andrew Olsen


It takes only a moment of reflection to recognize that there is an incredible movement of compassion among the Resort District dentists, hygienists, assistants, and auxiliaries.  This movement has taken various forms over the past decade, but the beauty is that there are several individuals who continue to carry on this fantastic work and it is time that they be acknowledged.

The focus of this nomination is on the Victors for Veterans program highlighting the Resort District, though there are individuals from all over the state who play a monumental role in the delivery of care to our uninsured, under insured, and most recently our area veterans.

Drs. Jan and Ed Duski, DDS in Gaylord conducted a pilot program called the Wolverine Patriot Project.  This program screened and treated veterans in conjunction with University of Michigan Dental Students.  This template was used by University of Michigan D2 dental students (now D3) to develop the current program called Victors for Veterans to treat veterans in conjunction with our local dentists. 

The Victors for Veterans program began January 2016 with a screening day held at Dr. Phil Yancho’s office.  The veterans who participated came from a pool of patients who were screened and treated by Dr. Steve Niergarth and Deerhaven Dentistry with donated dental services on a first-come-first-serve basis to a large population of veterans.  Approximately 50 veterans were considered for treatment from Deerhaven’s clinic in the Victors for Veterans program at Dr. Yancho’s office, and 39 ultimately received treatment.    Dr. Wayne Olsen and Grand Traverse Oral Surgery provided surgical services ranging from extractions to implants.  Dr. Yancho originally donated 4 clinic days and to date he has opened his office for use 13 days over an eight-month period.  Dr. William Lee has been there for almost every clinic. Other involved area dentists include Dr. Ed Duski, Dr. Steve Hall, Dr. Ron Chao, Dr. Dave Swan, and Dr. Jason Merrithew.  Between GTOS and Dr. Yancho’s clinic, over $400,000 of dental care value will be done by completion, approximately $200,000 in each office. The dental care has been done mainly by the dental students from the University of Michigan with active participation by the preceptor doctors from Resort District Dental Society.  Additionally, recognition needs to go to Rene Louchart, RDH, who is credited with being an integral part of not only this program, but many, many others in our community.

Posted by Resort District Dental Society at 12:00 am
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