2021 Annual Award Winners

PDA Distinguished Service Award

Jay R. Wells, III, DDS

The 2021 Pennsylvania Dental Association Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Jay R. Wells, III, DDS, for his leadership and service in his community and organized dentistry at the local, state and national level. In addition to his involvement in the dental profession, Dr. Wells served two terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and actively promoted water fluoridation in all PA communities. Described by the Dental Society of Western Pennsylvania (DSWP) as an “ethical, diplomatic, kind and hardworking volunteer,” Dr. Wells has inspired many dentists to join and become involved in organized dentistry. He is an active volunteer with an interest in the area of government relations and an advocate for dentists to be elected to state and federal political offices to give dentistry a voice. Dr. Wells serves his community as a volunteer to the Boy Scouts of America, the Lions Club and his church. After more than 25 years in private practice, he was a staff dentist at the State Correctional Institution in Waynesburg and Fayette for 12 years. The Annual Awards Committee agreed with the members of the DSWP when they wrote that “faith, family and dentistry are his life,” and PDA is honored to name Dr. Wells as the recipient of the 2021 PDA Distinguished Service Award for his numerous contributions and dedication to organized dentistry.



PDA Recognition Award

R. Donald Hoffman, DMD, PhD

The PDA Annual Awards Committee selected R. Donald Hoffman, DMD, PhD, to receive the 2021 Pennsylvania Dental Association Recognition Award. Dr. Hoffman has served organized dentistry and higher education since 1972. He began his service at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine as a part-time instructor and progressed to the role of associate dean. Throughout his academic career, Dr. Hoffman inspired students and residents to be the best clinicians they could be. His other leadership positions included service in the House of Delegates on the state and national level; treasurer and president of the Pennsylvania Dental Association, as well as president of the East Suburban Branch; the Dental Society of Western Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of General Dentistry. PDA is proud to recognize Dr. Hoffman’s nearly 50 years of service to the dental profession in support of the next generation of dental leaders. His professionalism and dedication to the dental profession have earned him the 2021 PDA Recognition Award. 



PDA Public Service Award 

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP

Joan I. Gluch, PhD, RDH, PHDHP, is the recipient of the 2021 Pennsylvania Dental Association Public Service Award for her commitment to the oral health of underserved individuals. As the Professor of Clinical Community Oral Health and the Division Chief of Community Oral Health at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Gluch has expanded community outreach programs and established an academically based service-learning course at Penn Dental Medicine serving approximately 20,000 individuals annually. And, Dr. Gluch has secured significant funding sources to support the programs, including a grant to allow all predoctoral students to have clinical experience with children in their first five years of life. Penn Dental Medicine was one of 11 dental schools nationwide to receive the “first five” Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant. PDA is pleased to honor Dr. Gluch with the 2021 PDA Public Service Award in recognition for her insightful innovations to improve the oral health of children and adults in underserved communities.



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.