ST. LOUIS – Jerry R. Clark, DDS, MS, an orthodontist from Greensboro, North Carolina, was presented the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) 2017 Humanitarian Award at the AAO’s 117th Annual Session, held recently in San Diego. The award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to improve the quality of human life that extends beyond the usual scope of private orthodontic practice, academic functions or organized dentistry. Dr. Clark was recognized for his more than 40 years of humanitarian work.
His empathy for seriously ill children was the driving force behind founding and chartering the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Carolina in November 1985. He has devoted countless hours to assist in making wishes come true for more than 7,000 children suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Now known as the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina, Dr. Clark assisted a group from the eastern part of the state with the establishment of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina, which now serves 50 counties in the eastern part of the state.
Dr. Clark is active in a host of additional civic and church humanitarian activities, including serving the Nat Greene Kiwanis Club of Greensboro for more than four decades, volunteering as a coach for youth soccer, and his work with Young Life, a Christian ministry directed toward high school students.
In other outreach to youngsters, Dr. Clark has invested in the academic success of at-risk inner city children by tutoring them. As an outcome of this tutoring program, Dr. Clark’s wife, Regina, founded Hope Academy a private, faith-based school for at-risk inner-city children in grades 5-8.
Dr. Clark has spent an evening each week for many years feeding homeless people at Grace Community Church in Greensboro. He helped to found Journey Resources, a non-profit organization providing spiritual direction to individuals, business and churches. He has served for more than ten years as the organization’s chairman of the board of directors.
Dr. Clark has participated in mission trips to Mexico, Washington DC, Hungary, Ireland, and Nicaragua, providing dental care and construction support for local community projects.
The author of more than 50 published articles on orthodontic clinical and practice management topics, Dr. Clark has also lectured extensively in the U.S., Canada and abroad, giving more than 150 lectures worldwide.
He is a member of many professional organizations including the AAO, the Southern Association of Orthodontists, the North Carolina Association of Orthodontists, the Guilford Orthodontic Study Group, the American Dental Association, the North Carolina Dental Society, the Third District Dental Society (North Carolina) and the Guilford County Dental Society. Dr. Clark is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, an honor society for dentists. He is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and Psi Omega Dental Fraternity. He is a founder and past CEO of Bentson Clark & Copple, a firm based in Greensboro that assists orthodontists nationwide with the tools needed to run a successful business and aids with practice transition services.
Dr. Clark earned his undergraduate degree in 1965 at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill. Subsequently, he entered UNC’s dental school, and graduated with his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in 1969. Dr. Clark then entered the Navy as a lieutenant and served at Oceana Naval Air Station for two years. After completing his service, Dr. Clark operated a dental practice in Greensboro for two years. To become an orthodontist, Dr. Clark attended the orthodontic residency program at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated in 1975 with a Master of Science in Orthodontics, and returned to Greensboro to practice his specialty.
A resident of Greensboro, Dr. Clark and his wife, Regina, have four children and six grandchildren. Devoted to faith and family, in his leisure time Dr. Clark enjoys golf, college basketball and football, UNC athletics, professional football and travel.
About the American Association of Orthodontists
Members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) help children, teenagers and adults achieve healthy, beautiful smiles.
Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities to correctly align teeth and jaws. Orthodontists receive an additional two-to-three academic years of specialized education beyond dental school at an accredited orthodontic residency program. Only orthodontists qualify for AAO membership.
Founded in 1900, the AAO is the world’s oldest and largest dental specialty organization. It represents more than 19,000 orthodontist members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. The AAO encourages and sponsors key research to enable its members to provide the highest quality of care to patients, and is committed to educating the public about the need for, and benefits of, orthodontic treatment.
For more information, and to find nearby AAO-member orthodontists, visit mylifemysmile.org.
American Association of Orthodontists
314-993-1700, ext. 524