The Esther Wilkins Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Is Honored During Reception
Dimensions of Dental Hygiene celebrated Jane L. Forrest, BSDH, MS, EdD, with The Esther Wilkins Lifetime Achievement Award at an in-person reception on June 18 after last year’s celebration was postponed due to the global pandemic.
Dimensions of Dental Hygiene celebrated Jane L. Forrest, BSDH, MS, EdD, with The Esther Wilkins Lifetime Achievement Award at an in-person reception on June 18 after last year’s celebration was postponed due to the global pandemic. The event was held during the American Dental Hygienists’ Association’s (ADHA) Annual Session in Phoenix, with meeting attendees happy to celebrate Forrest’s efforts to strengthen the role of research in the field of dental hygiene in addition to introducing evidence-based decision making (EBDM) to dental hygiene education and practice.
While initially steered toward dental hygiene by a local dentist and a dentist uncle who thought the profession was well-suited for women, Forrest has pushed the boundaries of what dental hygiene has to offer to both patients and clinicians. After spending a short time in private practice, Forrest realized she wanted more from her career and enrolled in the Master of Dental Public Health Program at Boston University. It was in this environment that she realized the need to improve access to care in the United States, as well as innovative ideas on how to finance it. The importance of quality assurance in the provision of dental hygiene care became a passion and inspired her to embark on a career focused on research and evidence-based decision making.
A professor emerita of clinical dentistry and former section chair of behavioral science at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Forrest is also the co-founder and director of the National Center for Dental Hygiene Research & Practice (NCDHRP). An internationally recognized author and presenter on EBDM, Forrest is also the lead co-author of two textbooks: Evidence-Based Decision Making: Developing Competence in EB Practice and its companion, The Faculty Toolkit. A grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Health Resources and Services Administration, and ADHA, she also has served as a reviewer and task force member for the Cochrane Oral Health Group and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Forrest’s impact on the profession is long-lasting as the inclusion of EBDM into dental hygiene education has significantly changed the practice of the profession. Clinicians are charged with staying up-to-date on oral health research and literature, incorporating these discoveries into evidence-based treatment plans. Through the NCDHRP’s four global dental hygiene research conferences, dental hygienists from around the world have been able to share their research outcomes, provide hands-on training in different areas of research, and offer networking opportunities for novice and future dental hygiene researchers.
Sponsored by Colgate Oral Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the award is named after its inaugural recipient and dental hygiene leader Esther M. Wilkins, BS, RDH, DMD, who passed away in December of 2016.
From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. July 2021;19(7):9.