Dr. Mary Lee Conicella Receives the NADP Gabryl Award, Dental Benefits Industry Top Honor

NADP awarded the dental benefits industry’s top honor to Mary Lee Conicella, DMD FAGD, chief dental officer for Aetna / CVS Health, during CONVERGE 2023, the association’s annual conference. Dr. Conicella received this lifetime achievement award because of her significant contributions to dental medical integration.

A world-renowned authority regarding the link between oral and systemic conditions, Dr. Conicella has participated in numerous research projects in conjunction with respected institutions of higher learning. She authored or co-authored publications on dental medical integration, made possible by leveraging the data available from medical and dental claims. In addition, she represented a payor organization on the American Dental Association’s Code Maintenance Committee and always supported NADP positions and proposals.

Dr. Conicella is an active participant on the National Dental Association (NDA) corporate roundtable where her focus is to recognize and address disparities in oral health and access to dental care, applying corporate support to help eliminate them.

She has an equally impressive list of NADP volunteer contributions. Dr. Conicella was nominated by multiple NADP volunteer groups, including the Research Commission, Membership WorkGroup, and the Clinical, Codes, and Diagnostic Terminology Sub-WorkGroups. Additional volunteer service includes:

  • Board of Directors, 6 years
  • Board Vice Chair, 1 year
  • Board Clinical Liaison 2023
  • Expert analysis, National Institutes of Health’s Oral Health in America Report 2022
  • Presenter on multiple NADP webinars and CONVERGE sessions
  • Future of Dental Care Task Force member since 2020
  • Codes SWG member since 2016 (Interim Chair 2023-2024)
  • Clinical SWG member since 2008
  • Board Liaison to all NADP Terminology, Standards and Transaction groups (Codes, Clinical, Diagnostic Terminology)
  • Network Leasing / Stacking Task Force 2022
  • Nominating Committee 2018-2022

Dr. Conicella is a recognized, long-term industry leader in both clinical and strategic aspects of the dental benefits industry. She oversees dental clinical initiatives and policies, with a focus on driving member engagement and improving health outcomes.  She was instrumental in creating Aetna's Dental-Medical Integration program and several strategies to reduce dental opioid prescribing.  These initiatives received global recognition in the groundbreaking NIH report: “Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges.”  She is also a member of the Veterans Affairs Hospital-acquired Pneumonia Prevention Workgroup and the National Council for Mental Wellbeing Expert Panel that created the toolkit for increased coordination of Oral Health and Behavioral Health treatment.

Dr. Conicella received her DMD from Temple University.  She is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry and has attained life membership in the American Dental Association.  Following many years as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, she currently sits on the NYU College of Dentistry Dean’s Strategic Advisory Council.  Dr. Conicella served two terms on the National Association of Dental Plans Board of Directors and is now the Board’s Clinical Liaison.