Dr. Terry Dickinson is the executive director of the Virginia Dental Association. Witnessing the tremendous need many Virginians have for dental services, Dr. Dickinson began weekend dental fairs to provide care for those in need. Today Missions of Mercy (MOM) projects provide millions of dollars in dental services through 49 projects in Virginia; they have been replicated in 20 states. The MOM Project has been a model of excellence for countless of dental outreach programs nationwide, including the New Orleans’ MOM Project in response to Hurricane Katrina.
Prior to his involvement with the Virginia Dental Association, Dr. Dickinson was in private practice in Houston, Texas for thirty years. His many accomplishments while in Texas include serving office in the Greater Houston Dental Society. He was also the director and vice- president of the Texas Dental Association and was appointed by then Governor Mark White to serve a six year term on the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. He was also certified as a FDA clinical examiner for Proctor and Gamble for twelve years testing products, such as Scope, Crest Tartar Control and Peridex.
Dr. Dickinson has received numerous accolades, citations and awards recognizing his commitment to dentistry and to the underserved. After a nomination by Governor Tim Kaine he was honored by the National Governor’s Association as the recipient of its Private Citizen of the Year Award, and in 2010, he was the recipient of the ADA’s Humanitarian Award for his leadership in developing the MOM Project. He received a standing ovation from a crowd of thousands upon his acceptance.
He currently serves on the VCU School of Dentistry’s Board of Advisors and as an active member of the Virginia Oral Health Coalition board of directors. He is a national spokesperson for the ADA on the subject of access to care and serves on the ADA’s task force for Give Kids a Smile. Dr. Dickinson’s passion continues to be ‘making a difference’ in the lives of those most in need and illustrates the need for oral care to all.
Dr. Dickinson attended the University of Texas at Austin as an undergraduate and received his dental degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. He also served two years with the US Air Force as a dental officer, receiving the Air Force Commendation Medal for his contributions supporting the mission of the Air Force Dental Corp.