Wednesday, April 27, 2022


Leon Stanislav

At the National Oral Health Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 10, 2022, Leon Stanislav ('77 DDS) received the 2022 American Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors (ASTDD)/American Dental Association (ADA)/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Fluoridation Special Merit Award. 

This award is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions toward the continued and/or expanded use of community water fluoridation for caries prevention.

Stanislav, or “Stan” as many know him, is a 1977 University of Iowa College of Dentistry graduate who has since been practicing in Tennessee, including with his daughter the past few years.

Stanislav started his career with two years in the U.S. Navy Dental Corps before starting his private practice in Clarksville, in northwestern Tennessee. He is a past president of the Tennessee Dental Association and past president of the Tennessee Academy of General Dentistry.

In Tennessee, Stanislav has made sustained major contributions to the success of community water fluoridation. He first got involved with community water fluoridation issues when a nearby local Tennessee community was going to stop fluoridation, and he continues to be involved with all local and regional Tennessee water fluoridation activities. His direct communication and problem-solving approaches are the main reason why thousands continue to benefit from community water fluoridation in Trenton and other towns in Tennessee. In addition, he led efforts that culminated in Tennessee becoming the first state (and later followed by Iowa, Missouri, and other states) to have a “fluoridation notification law” that requires public water systems to notify the public well ahead of a planned termination of community water fluoridation, often averting discontinuation and allowing ongoing fluoridation.

At the state level, Stan is an important leader in Dental Public Health (DPH) despite not specializing in the field. He represents his district on the Council of Government Affairs at the American Dental Association and has presented on water fluoridation to his colleagues. At the national level, he has been the Chair of the National Fluoridation Advisory Committee, serving with Steven Levy, the Wright-Bush-Shreves Endowed Professor of Research in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry, for most of the past 15 years.

Stanislav has participated in the 65th, 70th, and 75th anniversary celebrations of community water fluoridation and has spoken at national conferences about how every single community member, especially dental professionals, can support the powerful and equitable population health program of community water fluoridation. He exemplifies how one can do this practically as a practicing dentist himself. Hawkeyes help others!

The University of Iowa College of Dentistry is the only college to have two affiliated individuals receive this prestigious award. Steven Levy also received the award in 2011.

Additional details can be found in the awards brochure.