What started as a conversation between Dr. Okuda and his practice manager Julie Brum turned into a national charitable organization, through much hard work and big hearts. The Give Back A Smileâ„¢ Program helps eligible survivors of domestic violence by restoring their smile, self-esteem and their lives. Dr. Okuda presented this program to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) which wholeheartedly embraced the program. From this beginning, a charitable foundation was started to make his dream program become a reality.
As National Chairperson, Dr. Okuda spent countless hours creating the charitable foundation for the program. Miss America 1992 and former Miss Hawaii Carolyn Sapp graciously agreed to become the National Spokesperson for the program, because of her strong commitment and personal experience with this cause. The program was introduced in May 1999,and now over 1000 volunteer dentists nationwide participate. Thanks to these generous dentist volunteers, dental laboratories and corporations, the program continues to grow and reach more survivors. Per patient, thousands of dollars of cosmetic dental treatment is provided.
The National Coalition on Domestic Violence is a partner with the AACD, and can be reached toll-free at (800) 773-GBAS (4227) for more information, or visit the Give Back A Smileâ„¢ Website at www.aacd.com.â€