2020 Annual Award Winners

PDA Distinguished Service Award

Ronald K. Heier, DDS
The 2020 Pennsylvania Dental Association Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Ronald K. Heier, DDS, for his leadership and service to the dental profession at the local, state and national level. In addition to his involvement in organized dentistry, Dr. Heier demonstrates his personal commitment to the underserved as a volunteer with the Community Volunteers in Medicine; Donated Dental Services; Give Kids a Smile; Chester County Community Dental Health Center; Kansas Mission of Mercy and the ADA Mission of Mercy. And, since 2013, Dr. Heier has served as a board member and the Chair of Volunteers with MOM-n-PA, an annual two-day clinic providing free dental care for Pennsylvanians who cannot afford dental care. The Annual Awards Committee is honored to name Dr. Heier as the recipient of the 2020 PDA Distinguished Service Award in recognition for his contributions to organized dentistry and his selfless dedication to improving the oral health care of Pennsylvania’s citizens.


PDA Recognition Award

Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD
The PDA Annual Awards Committee selected Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD, to receive the 2020 Pennsylvania Dental Association Recognition Award. Dr. Wolff is a professor in the Department of Prevention and Restorative Sciences and Morton Amsterdam Dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Dean Wolff is a lifelong advocate and dental provider for individuals of all ages with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities. And, in his 38 years as an educator, Dean Wolff has been involved with many clinical research projects involving dental caries, dental erosion, periodontal disease, dental materials and dentinal hypersensitivity. PDA is proud to recognize Dean Wolff’s contributions to the dental profession that will support the next generation of dental leaders. The Recognition Award will be presented to Dean Wolff at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the Penn Dental Medicine alumni reception held in conjunction with the Greater Philadelphia Valley Forge Dental Conference.


PDA Public Service Award 

Daniel W. Pituch, DMD, MD
Daniel W. Pituch, DMD, MD, founder of the Mission of Mercy Pittsburgh (MOMPGH) is the recipient of the 2020 Pennsylvania Dental Association Public Service Award. The letter of nomination from the Dental Society of Western Pennsylvania outlined his accomplishments and praised his dedication to the dental community and the citizens of the greater Pittsburgh area. In three short years, MOMPGH has served nearly 3,300 patients and provided more than $2.2 million dollars of donated services. PDA is pleased to recognize Dr. Pituch with the 2020 PDA Public Service Award and commends all the MOM volunteers for their efforts to provide free dental care to the underserved.


Please join us for the award presentations. Dean Wolff will receive PDA’s Recognition Award at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at the Penn Dental Medicine alumni reception held in conjunction with the Greater Philadelphia Valley Forge Dental Conference. Dr. Pituch and Dr. Heier will be honored on April 24, 2020, at The Mount Airy Casino Resort. Visit www.padental.org/PDM to purchase tickets to the April 24 dinner or contact PDA at (800) 223-0016, ext. 117.

PDA Public Service Award 
The PDA Annual Awards Committee selected David R. Russell, DMD, as the recipient of the 2015 PDA Public Service Award for establishing a permanent dental clinic to provide comprehensive care for the guests of the Bethesda Mission in Harrisburg. The philosophy of restoration of oral health, function and appearance is a critical component of restoration of the entire self – a core goal of the mission. PDA is proud to recognize Dr. Russell’s efforts on behalf of the underserved population in Central PA.

PDA Recognition Award 
Steven Roland Jefferies, DDS, MS, who holds more than 28 patents will receive the PDA Recognition Award for his research and contributions to the art and science of dentistry. During his 20 year career at DENTSPLY International Dr. Jefferies advanced dentistry through product development. In his second career, spanning more than 40 years, he has contributed to the profession by educating future dental leaders. The PDA Annual Awards Committee is pleased to honor Dr. Jefferies for his contributions to dentistry as a researcher and an educator.