Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Awards History (formerly Star Award)

In 2019, the annual Star Award was renamed the Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Award in honor of NADP’s first executive director.  Established in 2000, this award recognizes individuals who make unique or special volunteer contributions during the year to meet NADP's goals. While the Gabryl Award represents long-term volunteer contributions—a lifetime achievement award—toward NADP’s mission, the Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Awards recognize that one-time or short-term contributions are required each year to accomplish our goals.

Recipients may be part of a volunteer group or simply act individually. Nominations come from Board members, chairs of volunteer groups, and staff. The Executive Committee approves the final selections.



NADP Honors 13 Members with Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Award

In celebration of outstanding volunteer achievements, the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP) is honoring 13 individuals with the Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Awards during CONVERGE 2022, Sept. 19-22 in St. Louis.  The award recognizes annual volunteer contributions necessary for the association to accomplish its mission to improve consumer access to affordable, quality dental care through advocacy, research, and the promotion of dental benefits.

Following is a list of 2022 Evelyn Ireland Volunteer Award recipients and their contributions to NADP volunteer groups.

Seema-Anadan_300wSeema Anandan, Humana

Membership WorkGroup

The Membership WorkGroup is recognizing Seema for her keen analytical skills in working with the Budget Committee on membership dues.

Seema is currently serving as vice president of specialty growth strategy at Humana, where she has been focused on accelerating growth in the group business segment by delivering market-leading offerings that achieve value through the network, pricing, key capabilities and product activations.  Her key responsibilities include strategy, execution and delivery of proven product solutions and client services, that leverage data and analytics. In addition, she oversees improving member experiences in healthcare and enabling disruptive, digital models and technology. Prior to joining Humana Inc. in 2021, Seema held several key roles in Guardian, including vice president of government product strategy and analytics, business transformation leader and head of integration.

Seema holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Pace University, Lubins Shool of Business, NY;  a Master of Computer Applications from S.N.D.T. University, India; and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Bombay, India.


Carl-Brody_300wCarl Brody , go2dental/Dentistat
Education Commission

The Education Commission is honoring Carl for spearheading a sub-group to develop the CONVERGE educational sessions on timely topics.

Carl began his career in 1992 at MetLife’s New York sales office as a group sales trainee and representative.  Carl was promoted to Manager of Group Sales Training in 1995 and was invited to join MetLife Dental to lead communication and product development in 1997.

Over the next 22 years, Carl held a variety of roles at MetLife. He led Institutional Sales Training and National Accounts Customer Growth Strategy development, but Carl arguably made his biggest impact as a MetLife Dental and Vision Sales Director.

As Sales Director, Carl facilitated profitable growth and business retention. To accomplish this, Carl spent vast amounts of time in-market across the U.S., meeting with consultants, prospects, and customers of all sizes.  In doing so, Carl built a deep understanding of marketplace dynamics. He shared his insights to provide guidance on product innovation, and to empower sales, marketing, underwriting and service associates to collaborate and differentiate more effectively.

In 2019, Carl left MetLife to join Dentistat and go2dental, where he currently serves as vice president of Strategy and Client Engagement. Carl collaborates closely with clients to ensure “they derive optimal value and market differentiation from our capabilities.”


Jeffrey-Chaffin_300wDr. Jeffrey Chaffin, Delta Dental IA
Oral Health Review Task Force – a CAP & Communications WG Initiative

The Oral Health Report Review Task Force applauds Jeff’s efforts in securing presenters for the Oral Health Report webinar and service on the task force.

Jeff is an experienced senior-level dental benefits executive and is currently the chief dental officer for Delta Dental of Iowa.  His responsibilities include all aspects of the development and management of the dental network with a focus on network innovation and provider quality.  He is the primary liaison with dental providers and manages the scientific and clinical aspects of policy related to the administration of oral health care benefits.

Dr. Chaffin completed a 21-year Army career with his last assignment serving as the dental chief for the TRICARE Management Activity. In that role, he was responsible for administering the Department of Defense’s dental insurance programs worldwide. He served as the Consultant for Dentistry to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and as the Consultant to the Army Surgeon General for Dental Public Health.

Jeff was a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Tampa in 1988 and received a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Nebraska in 1992, a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Michigan in 2000, a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2006, and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University in 2006.  He completed a one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry Residency at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1993.

Dr. Chaffin is a Diplomat of the American Board of Dental Public Health, a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and a Fellow of the International College of Dentistry. He was an Associate Section Editor of the recently released Oral Health in America report from NIDCR. He currently serves on the boards of the Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, the American Institute of Dental Public Health and the Medicaid-CHIP State Dental Association (MSDA).


Mary-Lee-Coincella_300wDr. Mary Lee Conicella, Aetna
Oral Health Review Task Force – a CAP & Communications WG Initiative

The Oral Health Report Review Task Force is praising Mary Lee for presenting key updates on the oral health report Webinar and service on the review task force.

Dr. Mary Lee Conicella is Aetna’s chief dental officer and oversees dental clinical initiatives, policies, and claim reviews.  She is a member of Aetna’s Medical Affairs Team, focused on driving clinical quality, member engagement, health equity, and improved outcomes.  She has published numerous articles on dental care's impact on holistic health and was instrumental in creating Aetna's groundbreaking Dental-Medical Integration program.  These efforts received global recognition in the National Institutes of Health report: “Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges.” Dr. Conicella received her DMD from Temple University School of Dentistry and achieved Fellowship status in the Academy of General Dentistry during her private practice.  She spent many years on the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine faculty and sits on the NYU College of Dentistry Dean’s Strategic Advisory Council. Mary Lee has been a volunteer with NADP since 2006 and is currently serving her second term as a member of the NADP Board of Directors.


Jurkovich_150wDr. Mark Jurkovich, HealthPartners
Diagnostic Terminology SWG (DT SWG)

The DT SWG is commending Mark for leadership of the Clinical SWG. 

Mark is a senior fellow at the HealthPartners Institute. He is very active in the analysis and development of diagnostic terminology and information exchange in dentistry and the tools necessary to make them more effective. He currently leads the International Health Terminology Standards and Development Organization’s (IHTSDO) Dentistry Clinical Reference Group (CRG). The CRG provides expertise in the development of SNOMED CT terminology related to dental care. He is a member of the Standards Committee on Dental Informatics (SCDI) . He serves on the State of Minnesota Department of Health E-Health Advisory Committee and Health Information Exchange Oversight Committee.

Dr. Jurkovich is also the recipient of the 2022 Don Mayes Leadership Award. Read more about him in a related article in this newsletter.


Jacki-Kertzman_300wJaclyn Kertzman, Principal
Research Commission

The Research Commission is honoring Jacki for her steadfast contributions to the Research Commission's industry reports. She has been instrumental in improving the quality and value of the data NADP has provided to members and the other stakeholders. 

Jaclyn Kertzman is an actuary supporting group benefits pricing for Principal Financial Group in Des Moines, IA. She currently supports pricing dental, vision, and life products as well as supporting dental networks.  Prior to joining the group benefits pricing team, she had responsibility over Individual Life in-force pricing. She currently serves on the NADP Research Commission as well as volunteering with the Society of Actuaries.

Jaclyn holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Actuarial Science from Drake University, is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, and is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries.


Kathy-Larkin_300wKathy Larkin, DenteMax
Government Relations WorkGroup (GRW)

The Government Relations WorkGroup is recognizing Kathy for her work on the Washington Rate Filing SWG and leadership in the GRW bill analysis pilot group.

Kathy has more than 30 years of legal and regulatory experience, including HMO, Medicare, Medicaid and dental network compliance.  In her current role, Kathy oversees regulatory compliance for the Dearborn National companies, including Dental Network of America and DenteMax.  She also serves as an Ethics Ambassador and Divisional Privacy Officer for the Dearborn National enterprise. 

Kathy holds a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Communications and a minor in Religious Studies from Rochester College.  She also has a Master of Science and Administration with a concentration in Leadership from Central Michigan University.  Kathy’s avocational pursuits include volunteer work for veterans' charities, mentoring young people at local youth homes, and home improvement.


LAUREN-MACKELA_300wLauren Mackela, Dearborn Group
Government Relations WorkGroup (GRW)

The Government Relations WorkGroup is praising Lauren Mackela for leadership in the GRW bill analysis pilot group.

Lauren is the regulatory consultant for Dearborn Group and its affiliated entities, including DenteMax and Dental Network of America.  Since joining Dearborn Group in 2018, she has taken on responsibility for dental regulatory compliance, oversight, and advocacy in all 50 states.  Prior to joining Dearborn Group, she was employed as a research attorney in private practice.

Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Marquette University and a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School.  She is a licensed attorney, a member of the State Bar of Michigan, and has earned the Managed Healthcare Professional (MHP) designation.

Don-Polite_300wDon Polite, SKYGEN

Membership WG

Membership is honoring Don for offering his marketing expertise and perspective to the Budget Committee regarding dues.

Don currently serves as a chief marketing officer at SKYGEN.  Prior to joining SKYGEN, he served as vice president, Brand and Corporate Marketing for Johnson Controls.  Don also held positions of increasing responsibility in marketing for Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Abbot & Disney.  He received his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University in 1990 and has an MBA in Marketing from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University in 1996.  He serves on the Board of Directors with Silver Spring Neighborhood Center ,which serves Milwaukee’s northwest community.


James-Slotnick_300wJames Slotnick, SunLife
Commission on Advocacy Policy

The Commission on Advocacy Policy recognizes James Slotnick for his leadership on issues in Massachusetts and Maine, as well as at the federal level.

As Sun Life head of government relations, James represents the company’s US interests to elected officials and regulators, focusing on employee benefits, healthcare and tax policy. Through his work, Sun Life has successfully championed several initiatives, ranging from expanding access to Paid Family Medical Leave to providing added flexibility to the Paycheck Protection Program.

James has spent nearly his entire career at Sun Life, joining in 2002 after graduating from college. Over the years he has held several roles in Distribution, Group Benefits and Legal. In 2017 he became head of government relations.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Saint Anselm College, an MBA from Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management, and a JD from Suffolk University School of Law. He is an active member of the Massachusetts Bar.

In 2021, James was named both a Top Lobbyist by The Hill and a Top 100 Lobbyist by the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics.


Kristen-Smith_300wKristen Smith
Operations WG

The NADP Terminology, Standards and Transactions department, specifically the EDI WorkGroup, recognize Kristen for her leadership of the Operations WG and service as a subject-matter expert on Delegated Credentialing, Provider Directory Validation and Network Leasing. Kristen has been part of the Operations WG for over 10 years. Her expertise makes the Operations WG thrive and meet the WG goals.

Kristen S. Smith is the director, of Dental Network Operations at United Concordia.  She has overall leadership responsibility for all credentialing, delegated credentialing, provider data management and support functions.  

Kristen has over 33 years of clinical and administrative dental experience.  She has worked for United Concordia for 31 years where she has held positions in professional relations, claims operations and audit, provider data management, quality/process improvement and project management. Prior to United Concordia she worked as a dental office manager and clinical dental assistant.  Kristen has volunteered for NADP on the Operations Workgroup for 8 years and has been the chair for the group for the past 2 years.

Kristen has her Bachelor of Science from East Stroudsburg University, a PA Teaching Certificate.


Chuck-Stewart_300wChuck Stewart, Dental Advisors
Membership WG

Membership applauds Chuck’s continued service as an outstanding ambassador for NADP in his highly successful recruitment efforts.

Chuck is the founder, president, and CEO of DentalAdvisors, a dental consulting firm.  Chuck and his team apply a unique combination of both provider and carrier experience to help Dental Plans, dental support organizations (DSOs), and individual dental practices solve challenges they face in their respective markets.

Previously, Chuck served as director, Business Development for Smile Brands, one of the nation’s largest DSOs.  Chuck oversaw plan relations, a commercial sales team, and sales for an in-house dental plan.

Chuck earned a BSc and MBA from Arizona State University.


Linda-Vidone_300wDr. Linda Vidone, Delta Dental Massachusetts
Codes SWG

Codes SWG recognizes Dr. Linda Vidone for leadership of Diagnostic Terminology SWG.

Linda Vidone, DMD, is the chief clinical officer, and vice president of Clinical Management at Delta Dental of Massachusetts (DDMA). She has 20 years of dental experience in private practice, as dental school faculty, and in the dental benefits industry. She is a board-certified dental consultant and is responsible for all clinical programs at DDMA, which include dental/medical integration, utilization review, and management, oral health analytics, benefit criteria, clinical and contractual appeal review, as well as sets standards for quality care confirming DDMA maintains a quality network of providers.   She continuously stays abreast of innovations in oral health ensuring that DDMA continues to enhance and provide the best dental benefits to its customers.

Beyond her work with DDMA she currently serves as past president and chair of the Certification Committee for the American Association of Dental Consultants. She is a member of all three National Association of Dental Plans Terminology workgroups (chairperson of Diagnostic Terminology), a voting member of the American Dental Association’s Code Maintenance Committee, where she represents American Health Insurance Plans, and a voting member for the Dental Quality Alliance as well as serving on their educational committee.  She is considered an expert in Dental Coding and is the author of the Implant Chapter in the ADAs CDT Coding companion manual.

Dr. Vidone earned all her Dental degrees from Boston University School of Dental Medicine including a Doctor of Dental Medicine as well as specialty degrees in Periodontology and Prosthodontics. She maintains a private practice in Periodontology in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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