Dental Hygiene faculty members win national awards3 min read

June 28, 2018

Dental Hygiene faculty members win national awards3 min read

Ann Arbor, Mich., June 28, 2018 -– Two adjunct faculty members in the Dental Hygiene Program received national awards last weekend at the annual conference of the American Dental Hygiene Association. They were the second national awards for each in the last several months.

Chris Farrell

Chris Farrell received the 2018 Excellence in Dental Hygiene Award from the ADHA during the conference in Columbus, Ohio.  It is one of the top awards given by the ADHA, recognizing outstanding accomplishments that have an impact on the practice and future of the dental hygiene profession. Recipients must show leadership in the advancement of dental hygiene and be active in the ADHA.

Farrell is Oral Health Director for the Michigan Department of Community Health. She is responsible for an array of statewide oral health care and education programs and previously was a policy specialist in the Medicaid program at MDCH, where she has worked since 1988.  She has been an adjunct faculty member at the School of Dentistry since 2010 and currently teaches in the online MSDH program.

Chris Farrell in front of a display announcing her award at the national ADHA conference in Columbus, Ohio.

A member of the ADHA for 35 years, Farrell is a past chairperson of the ADHA Public Health Council. She also is a past-president of the Michigan Dental Hygienists Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene and a master’s degree in public administration, both from U-M.

In April, Farrell received the 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors for her work as the Oral Health Director for the Michigan Department of Community Health. Her award was presented at the National Oral Health Conference in Louisville, Ky.

Elizabeth Pitts

Also winning an award at the ADHA conference was Elizabeth Pitts, an adjunct faculty member who earned a master’s degree in Dental Hygiene from the school in 2017. She won second place in the Graduate Student Clinician Research Program sponsored by Dentsply Sirona and the ADHA. Each year one student from each U.S. graduate program can share their research for the competition. Pitts presented her thesis research project exploring dental utilization patterns of children ages 2-3 years covered by Medicaid and residing in Wayne County, Mich.

Earlier this year, the same research project earned Pitts third place in the Leverett Graduate Student Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dental Public Health presented by the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. She presented a poster on the research in April at the 2018 National Oral Health Conference.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at: www.dent.umich.edu.  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications, atdentistry.communications@umich.edu, or (734) 615-1971.