UTHSC professor earns national recognition for community service


(Dec. 9, 2003) The Hispanic Dental Association (HDA) has awarded Vidal Balderas, D.D.S., clinical assistant professor in the department of community dentistry at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC), its prestigious President’s Award for community service.

The President’s Award is granted to individuals who have excelled in their efforts to improve the oral health of the community. For more than 15 years, Dr. Balderas has worked with dental students in a mobile van unit to provide care to children of migrant farm working families, many of whom are Hispanic.

Dr. Balderas has been a faculty member at the UTHSC for 16 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio in 1980 and his doctor of dental surgery degree from the UTHSC Dental School in 1984. He is pursuing a master’s degree in Public Health Administration at the UT-Houston Health Science Center School of Public Health, San Antonio campus.

“Vidal’s dedication, devotion and interest in sensitizing students to community needs and in providing care to children who may not have access to care otherwise, certainly deserves to be commended,” said Martha Baez, R.D.H., M.P.H, assistant professor of community dentistry at the UTHSC and president of the HDA.

Founded in 1991, the mission of the HDA is to optimize the oral health of the Hispanic community. Membership has grown to 2,600 members who come from 35 dental school chapters and professional chapters around the country.

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