To say that Brian Homann knows about volunteerism is an understatement. He actually wrote the book on it.
Dr. Homann, a 2012 graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, will be honored with the Chicago Dental Society Foundation’s Vision Award for outstanding volunteer achievement. He was nominated by his peers for work he did to establish the student-run dental clinic at Goldie’s Place, and his continued efforts to help dental students across the country replicate their success at increasing access to care.
The Vision Award will be presented Thursday, Feb. 20, at the 149th Midwinter Meeting.
“Dr. Homann is in the beginning of his career as a dentist and already has determined that helping to bring oral care to those underserved is part of the fabric of his professionalism. It is truly heartening to see that his dedication — including passing on his secrets — so that others can do the same,” said CDS Foundation chair Mary Hayes. “We are privileged to honor this leader for his Vision: he energetically shows the rest of us how it is to work effectively to improve all our patients’ oral health.
A 2012 graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, Dr. Homann was a founding participant in the student-run dental clinic at Goldie’s Place for homeless Chicagoans; while there, he initiated a donation drive and created Goldie’s Place Denture Program.
As the clinic grew in scope of services and capacity, Dr. Homann created a manual for other dental students to follow as they created their own student-run dental clinics on campuses nationwide. Along with the manual came Dr. Homann’s mentorship, as he admits that there is no universal model for success.
Now a practicing dentist, Dr. Homann continues his involvement at Goldie’s Place. He works part-time in private practice and two days per week in a paid position at Goldie’s Place. This is the first time Goldie's Place has ever had a paid dentist on staff, funded by a grant.
He is also an adjunct assistant clinic professor at UIC, an unpaid position that allows him to work with current dental students in the student-run clinic on his days off. His current students have assumed his old role of mentor to other campuses across the country.
The Roscoe, IL, native thanked the CDS Foundation for honoring him with the Vision Award.
“I was at Goldie's Place when I heard. I was excited, I was surprised, I was blown away because I know what I've always done with my time, and it doesn't compare to what others have given,” he recalled. “But it made me excited to realize that the selection committee saw the importance of giving back early in our professional lives. It's not extra - it's part of being a dentist. Dentists have opportunities to do what only our profession can. With our education, we have the responsibility to help people in need.“